Desura and Blocksworld debut on LL’s corporate pages

LL logoUpdate: Linden Lab sold Desura to Bad Juju Games on November 5th, 2014.

Both Desura and Blocksworld have made their individual debuts on Linden Lab’s corporate website, with Desura appearing on Friday July 26th, and Blocksworld a little earlier in the week.

Both have links to introductory pages which in turn lead to their respective websites, as well as  banners at the top of the corporate site’s home page.

Blocksworld and Desura both now appear on LL's corporate website, with links to introductory pages and their own banners
Blocksworld and Desura both now appear on LL’s corporate website, with their own banners at the top of the home page and links to their introductory pages

The Desura introductory page includes a brief description of the service, which reads:

Desura is a community-driven digital distribution service for gamers, putting the best games, mods and downloadable content from developers at gamers fingertips, ready to buy and play.

The free Desura application can serve and patch games, mods, and add-ons directly for customers around the world.

Developers and publishers can share news, images, videos, and other content through their profiles, while every member of the Desura community can post comments, submit reviews, and upload screenshots from their own playing experiences.

The page also includes an introductory video from August 2011 entitled Introduction to Desura and (presumably) narrated by DesuraNET’s founder, Scott Reismanis.

While in-depth and useful for someone wanting to get to grips with Desura, the video is not really in keeping with the other promotional videos on the other product pages, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it is swapped-out for something a little lighter from the Lab in the near future (“Hello everyone. I’m Rod Humble, CEO of Linden Lab, makers of shared creative spaces…” ;-)) .

The link from the page goes directly to Desura’s website, which has yet to show any signs of rebranding – which is hardly a surprise, all things considered. The Lab has some grand ambitions for the service, and so it’s likely to be a while yet before we start seeing significant changes and updates.

The last time I reported on Blocksworld, I pointed to rumours that it could be launching in July. These came via All Things D’s Eric Johnson, following a Q&A with Rod Humble which appeared at the start of July.

The new(ish) Blocksworld introductory page on the Lab’s website is a little less forthcoming, stating only that it is coming soon to the iPad, with the rest of the text reading:

Blocksworld is a lighthearted build-and-play system for kids and grownups alike that brings the imaginative play of toy blocks to your iPad’s touch-screen, allowing you to bring your digital creations to life.

Snap together colorful 3D blocks to create anything you can imagine – from crazy characters to cars, space rockets, animals, robots, planes, monsters, and much more – and then bring your creations to life and play with them!

The Lab’s “official” Blocksworld video also appears on the page, and while it is good, I confess to still preferring Boldai’s own videos, but I’m again including it here for completeness.

The Blocksworld website hasn’t changed since my last report on it, and it most likely won’t until we do see the app launched. I wonder if the Lab will still push the product forward on Android, once it has launched…

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A short stay in Ghostville

Ghostville; Inara Pey, July 2013, on Flickr Ghostville, July 2013) – click any image for full size

It’s most likely the a lot of people first saw Cica Ghost on their radar screens as a result of her LEA13 installation. Called simply Cica, it ran from September 2012 through February 2013 and featured 2D black and white animated stick figures in their village, occupying a 3D immersive space. At the time, it captured the attention of a lot of people for its unique approach to SL art.

It was followed by Rust in March 2013, again at LEA13 (where it can still be seen for a while longer). While very different in approach and look to Cica, Rust nevertheless carries some similar motifs as evidenced in Cica, and includes much of the artist’s humour and playfulness first seen in that installation.

Ghostville; Inara Pey, July 2013, on Flickr Ghostville, July 2013

Now we have a new installation from Cica to enjoy., and hosted by Per4mance MetaLESGhostville continues to build on the motifs seen in Cica and Rust, but presents them in a vastly different way to the other two works.

This is a landscape which echoes that of Rust in some ways, but which is also very distinct. In it is set a series of buildings, each of which is incomplete and yet complete as a build, if you follow me, and which presents its own little tableau or vignette. Among and within them are further echoes of both Cica and Rust, although this is by no means a re-tread of either. The broader influences are very different, with the buildings having something of a Mediterranean look and feel, and several of the vignettes allowing visitors to participate in them – there are chairs and window sills to sit on and at, board games to watch over, and so on.

Ghostville; Inara Pey, July 2013, on Flickr Ghostville, July 2013

Cica’s own playfulness is once again much in evidence, and the composition of the various little sets is exquisite; you’ll probably need to take a look at each of them twice to catch everything.

There’s also something else here as well, which is hard to define – or at least which I’ve had a hard time defining. While there is a playfulness in the various vignettes, some of also seem to have a deeper feeling about them which is not always easy to catch, and which at times simply comes down to a turn of the camera or a change of viewing position which results in a piece taking on an entirely new appearance.

I honestly have no idea if this is in fact the case, or whether it is simply a product of my over-worked and family-distracted little brain. I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed my explorations of this piece, and will be going back as soon as time permits me the opportunity to spend a little longer there without RL looking over my shoulder.

Ghostville; Inara Pey, July 2013, on Flickr Ghostville, July 2013

Ghostville opened on July 25th, and will run for two months. It’s not one to be missed.

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