Linden Research seek Beta testers

Daniel Voyager is once again on the ball, noting on Plurk that Linden Lab has put out a call for potential beta testers.

The opportunity is presented on the Lab’s official website home page:

Call for Beta volunteers

Clicking on the link will open a form requesting various information from you.

The form (click to enlarge)

Some have taken this to be about Second Life, and have questioned the need for LL to ask for information “they already have”. However, it should be clear from the form itself that the call is not specifically about Second Life, but rather about Linden Lab’s upcoming new products.

There is no guarantee that those submitting details will be accepted for any Beta trials of products, and there will clearly be more involved in the process than simply filling-out a form (NDAs almost certainly will be involved).

Even so, it’s an interesting step for the Lab to take, and suggests that at least one of their new products is reaching a point where it is ready to be seen by something of a larger audience. If this is the case, then it would suggest that Rod Humble will be a step closer to his goal of talking more openly about the products – something he was finding hard not to do in a recent interview with Games Industry, which I reported on earlier this month.

With thanks to Daniel Voyager

Fantasy Faire ramps up

The 2012 Fantasy Faire is ramping-up ready for April 21-29 2012. In aid of Relay For Life, this year’s event will be spread across a total of eight sims in-world, and supported (as usual) by the Fantasy Faire website.

In an unusual move, the organisers have put out a call for “official” bloggers, complete with a set of prerequisites for being so. To qualify, a blogger must (among other things) have been blogging for at least 2 months, update their blog at least weekly and be required to blog about a sim they choose and about at least one item supplied to them from each of the stores on the sim to which they have been assigned. In return, the blogger will be listed on the Fantasy Faire website.

While I can understand the reasoning behind the move – the organisers want to ensure those participating in the event get due coverage – it’s not something I’m personally keen on. However, the organisers are aware this might be the case for some bloggers, and so are still providing the means for us to enjoy a preview of the sims in order to push out early bird reports and features. Whichever way you’d prefer to go, you’ll need to fill out the blogging application form.

The Sims

The sims to feature in Fantasy Faire this year are still under development. However, the blog describes them thus:

  • Devil’s Locket (by Lauren Thibaud / Piedras Chama / Nonna Hedges) – a small chain of islands that earned its name not only for the treacherous navigation of its waters and the amazing, but explosive, firegems that were mined from its volcanic depths
  • Jungle Bungle (by Mayah Parx) – a living forest where candies lay like pebbles along the edge of a chocolate lake and the smiling trees dance in excitement as they watch the fae race rose petals on the currents of the wind
  • Meandervale (by Marcus Inkpen / Sharni Azalee) – a surreal meadow where the streams meander as well as thoughts and, in fact, reality itself
  • Ruins of Nu Orne (by Elicio Ember) – a lost stone city of an ancient civilization, hidden in an exotic fantasy jungle where vegetation overgrows the magnificent ruins, and cupolas and spiraling buildings merge with the gigantic ferns and mushrooms
  • Shadow’s Claw (by Laufey Markstein) – a mountainous terrain thick with the scent of pine and covered with rocky crags that ride all manner of secrets, possibly even dragons
  • Shifting Sands (by Kayle Matzerath) – the Hourglass holding the Sands of Time has cracked and spilled creating a desert with untold treasures awaiting discoveries by the intrepid explorer
  • Siren’s Secret (by Elicio Ember) – caught between lava vents on one side and the bridges and towers of The Tides on the other, these rocky sea caves are a refuge for the sea creatures who hide in the depths of the kelp forest
  • The Tides (by Alia Baroque) – the silent ruins of a lost society who harnessed the power of the strong and heavy sea and ruled across the waves

About Fantasy Faire

(from the initial press release)

Fantasy Faire 2012 is the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, role players and performers in the virtual world.  Nine days of shopping, live music concerts, auctions, hunts and roleplaying to benefit Relay for Life and the fight against cancer.  Avatars, clothing, furnishings, gadgets, goodies and exclusive items are available from more than 130 of SL’s  top  Fantasy Creators, spread across nine stunning sims designed by some of the visionary artists behind many of the hottest spots on the SL destination guide.

Fantasy Faire 2012 will be open to the public April 21 -29 and accessible from the American Cancer Society sim. We welcome you to come and join the story.   

I covered last year’s event in part, although real life conspired to prevent me devoting the time I wanted to the event. This year I hope to present more in-depth commentary on the event along the lines of coverage I’ve given to the likes of SLCC and SLB.

Further Information and Related Links