Update, October 9th, 2014: Linden Lab announced that development work on Patterns has been discontinued.
With recent focus being on the axing of three of LL’s initial new product offerings – and particularly Versu – it is easy to forget that the longest-running of LL’s moves to diversify is still out there, and actually has yet to officially launch in a release mode.
I’m of course talking about Patterns, LL’s PC / Mac game / content building sandbox application. This first appeared in September 2012, although there had been clues as to its name, if not what it would be about, as far back as July 2012, when Rocky Constantine spotted what appeared to have been a slight boo-boo.
I’ve not followed Patterns as closely as perhaps I could, but I have tried to provide periodic updates under my Patterns tag (menu: News-Updates-Opinion > Linden Lab > LL Products > Patterns), including recent notes on it gaining the ability for users to edit and create their substances, followed by support for materials.
While still in its “Genesis” form, Patterns has built-up a small but strong following in the gaming community and via the likes of Desura and Steam. Many of those who have purchased Patterns have provided feedback and input to the game’s development over the last 18 months, which have seen new capabilities added, functionality improved and a number of enhancements to the UI.
On March 18th, 2014, the Patterns team revealed that as part of the run-up to release (which had originally been indicated as being “late 2013” when the Genesis version first appeared, but has yet to have a date firmly pinned to it), the UI will shortly be getting potentially its most radical overhaul yet, aimed at “optimizing the play space by cleaning up the real estate”, and which will see the move of the tools, substances, and shapes into “one clean area at the bottom of the screen, where you’ll be able to quickly toggle between each of these different toolbars with ease by hitting the Q or E buttons on your keyboard.”
There’s currently no ETA on when the new UI will appear in Patterns, but the team are promising more sneak peeks in the future as work continues. Also coming in the future, I assume under a separate cover, is the Patterns scripting capability, which should further enhance the application’s creative capabilities.
I’ll endeavour to update as further releases are made for those of you still following Patterns.