Lab issues Experience Keys release candidate viewer

The cornfield (game play area iuses a much darker and more atmospheric windlight)
The Cornfield: the Lab’s Experience Keys demonstrator (game play area uses a much darker and more atmospheric windlight)

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.

The Search tab on the new Experience floater - part of the Experience Keys project viewer
The Experience Keys RC viewer provides you with the tools you need to manage the Experiences you decide to participate in, or decide not to join. (the Allowed / Blocked tabs, above right), while the Search tab makes it easy to locate in-world Experiences (click for full-size)

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.

An Experience dialogue box. On the left, as it appears in an Experience Keys enabled viewer, with options to display the Experience Profile (by clicking the Experience name link) and to accept / refuse the Experience and to block the Experience (so you'll never see a prompts anywhere for it again) or to block just the current inviter. On the right, how the same dialogue appears in a viewer that is non Experience Keys enabled - you can only opt to accpt or refuse the invitation
You can use a “regular” viewer to join Experiences in-world, but you don’t get the same richness of information and options as presented by the Experience Keys RC viewer. Information displayed by the latter is shown above left, compared to a “non-Experience Keys” updated viewer on the right. While the “non” viewer still gives you basic information on the Experience you might be about to enter, the RC viewer provides a lot more – including a link you can use to display additional information on the Experience, which may additionally help you decide if you want to join in or not

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.

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3 thoughts on “Lab issues Experience Keys release candidate viewer

    1. Skill Gaming regions are open. They’re the same as they ever were, just with the new special region type designation and access restrictions and there is a dedicated section in the Destination Guide for them, just like there is a dedicated section for Experience regions (although the latter is called “Seamless Experiences”, which perhaps isn’t the most obvious title).


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