On Wednesday, December 17th, the Lab issued a release candidate version of the Experience Keys viewer. Alongside the promotion comes a new blog post promoting the availability of the viewer and the Experience Keys / Tools beta programme.
For those not previously aware of Experience Keys, the blog post provides some explanation:
Experience Keys are a powerful feature that allows creators to build more seamless and immersive experiences in Second Life. Without this feature, you need to grant individual permissions to every single scripted object included in an inworld experience, and that can mean a lot of dialog boxes interrupting the fun! Experience Keys make it possible for creators to build experiences that ask your permission just once. In other words, you can opt-in to the entire experience, rather than having to grant individual permissions to every single scripted object included in it.
I provided an overview of Experiences, Experience Keys and the the viewer-side updates when the Experience Keys viewer first appeared as a project viewer. While there have been some updates since then, the core of that article should still be valid where the viewer is concerned, and finding actual Experiences is now a lot easier given they are now listed in the Destination Guide. You can also try-out the Lab’s own Experience Tools activity, the Cornfield via the LR Portal Park1 (and it looks like another one might be opening soon!).
As to the viewer, this essentially gives you all the tools you need in order to track and manage those activities you opt to participate in or those you opt to turn down – again, the key thing with Experiences is that you retain overall control; if you don’t want to participate in something, you can decide not to opt-in. So, for example, is a region has an Experience associated with it, but you’d rather just explore, you can decide not to join the Experience when prompted, but do so at a later time. There’s also a Search option (with its own Maturity setting) that allows you to locate Experiences from within the viewer.
As well as the tools for those wishing to find and participate in Experiences in SL, the viewer also includes tools and options which allow those wanting to build their own experiences – but you’ll need to refer to my preview article for more information on that.
You can, of course, still participate in those Experiences which are already available in-world with any viewer – you just won’t get the same richness of information and options that the Experience Keys RC viewer provides.
Also, when you leave a region in which an experience is running, you needn’t worry about anything untoward happening to you – all permissions, etc., associated with the Experience are revoked when you leave.
As the official blog post notes, Experience Keys are, from a creation standpoint, still in beta, but the signs are the first set of capabilities will be rolled out in the very near future, hopefully not too long after the Christmas / New Year break. After that, and depending on uptake / feedback, etc., it is likely the system will be enhanced and extended.
One thing to note with Experience Keys and Tools, is that while the emphasis is primarily on game-base activities, they offer a lot of potential in other areas as well – guided tours, store demos, and more. All of which will potentially make the capability a very flexible addition to Second Life.
There will be more to come on Experience Keys and Tools, but in the meantime, and like the official blog, I’ll leave you with Torley’s explanatory video.