Update, October 9th, 2014: Linden Lab announced that development work on Patterns has been discontinued.
It’s been a while since I last looked in detail at Patterns, Linden Lab’s desktop sandbox environment for the PC and Mac. Since that time, the game has come on in leaps and bounds, adding many new features and capabilities, including multiple worlds, multi-player options, creatures, new playing modes and more.
The last significant update to the game itself was in May 2013; however, work developing both the game and the supporting websites is continuing – including the creation of a nascent Patterns wiki.
The forums have also had a much-needed overhaul in terms of appearance, although active participation remains small. They do see a reasonable amount of developer activity, particularly where features and updates are concerned – which is hardly surprising given the game is still in its Genesis mode until the end of the year – although responses to questions are perhaps a little slow. It’s been over a month since an “Ask the Devs” thread requested questions on the platform from users, and despite only four questions being asked, replies have yet to be posted.
The Linden Lab team responsible for Patterns recently held a live stream event in September, which they promised would be “the first”, run in association with Twitch TV. How many more there are liable to be is open to question, but it’s an interesting way of reaching out to the Patterns community and gaining feedback. It appears to have garnered a lot of interest.
The stream offered users the chance to see the devs, learn about features and ask questions – such as whether or not the game will gain a character editing mode (the team revealed that while discussions on the subject have been held, and the idea considered, no definite decision either way has been made), together with other questions on the possible future directions for the platform.
At just over an hour in length, the recording has some interesting tidbits for those who are enjoying Patterns. Unfortunately, WordPress.com refuses to let me embed the video, even via Gigya, so all I can do is provide a link.
If the Lab are keeping to their original roadmap for Patterns, the formal release of version one should come around the end of the year.