SL Go: OnLive announce teleport issue fixed for users of SLV

SL go logoImportant note: The SL Go service is to be shut down on April 30th, 2015. For more information, please read this report.

OnLive, the company providing the SL Go service, announced on Tuesday, February 3rd, that they had implemented a fix for the issue that prevented users of their SLV version of the viewer (the version based on the Lab’s code) teleporting anywhere when using SL Go.

As I reported on January 30th, because of the frustration the problem was causing, OnLive extended a free month’s use of the SL Go service for all users with an active subscription.

The news the the fix had been made broke on the SL Go support group when Dennis Harper, OnLive’s SL Go Product Manager announced, “I’d like to announce:  THE SLV TELEPORT ISSUE IS FIXED AND LIVE ON  PRODUCTION!”

The problem initially started around week 3, with a handful of users initially reporting problems in teleporting, but only when using SLV  – the version of Firestorm running on SL Go was unaffected. However, this gradually spread until anyone using SLV could not teleport.

By Friday, January 30th, the Lab had traced the issue down to something going wrong within the handshaking between the two simulators involved in a teleport attempt, although at that stage, what was initially triggering the problem had yet to be determined.

Further investigation revealed that a recent server-side update involving a cleaning-up of the code related to how avatars are handled during region crossings (see my week 3/1 SL project update) has triggered the issue. Essentially, the update removed the ability to have a single quote (“‘”) in the viewer’s channel name. Unfortunately, the channel used with SLV had been called “‘Onlive”, and the presence of the quote lead to teleports failing.

Once the problem had been identified, OnLive were able to make a small change to the SLV viewer via a command line change, and after some extended testing, were able to deploy that change to the production SL Go service.

As a result, any users employing the SLV viewer on SL Go (whether via computer, iPad or Android tablet)  should find teleports are once again working as soon as the log-in to the service; there is no requirement to re-download the SL Go client or anything.

I’ll have more news from OnLive ans SL Go coming later in the week.

The Drax Files Radio Hour: listening to the words of an Angel

radio-hourThe opening of 53rd episode of The Drax Files Radio Hour may have the feeling of being a slightly rushed production; there’s not casual introduction by the featured guest or other notable mentioned later in the show. Instead we launch straight into the Draxtor Theme.

However, any feeling the recording’s opening may have in being pushed through quickly is understandable: this segment of the show comes right off the back of a gruelling week for Drax cutting and finalising the 26th instalment of his World Makers series, which I looked at following its release.

More to the point, it offers plenty of time for an extended interview with Second Life architect Kaya Angel, the man behind the stunning Angel Manor, and who has been responsible for a number of unique and beautiful builds across Second Life over the years, as well as running his own business selling high-quality prefab houses. And if that isn’t enough, Kaya is also a great patron of the arts, providing both the Rose Theatre Ballroom and the Rose Theatre Gallery for a wide range of events and art exhibitions.

The interview with Kaya kicks-off at 14:11, following the musical interlude, starting with mention of Kaya beautiful 6-minute video Second Life: A different perception, which I make no apologies for embedding here once again, even though I featured it in these pages just over a week ago.

The interview starts with Kaya relating his own initial involvement in Second Life. While acknowledging himself to have been a gamer with a specific interest in on-line games, he was actually drawn to SL from something of a philosophical bent, created as a result of a question Philip Rosedale asked back in the very early days of the platform’s public existence: if you were given the tools to re-create society and reality, what would you create?  Would you create something new, or repeat what we can see around us?

From here the discussions focuses on the issue of engagement in SL. All too often when this is discussed, the focus tends to immediately narrow to matters of technology – such as the “steep learning curve” inherent within the viewer. While the viewer is complex and does take time to master, I do tend to feel that it and the technology are looked to as being the bugaboos preventing SL’s wider adoption because they are far more tangible an issue than the more fundamental (and oft acknowledged by seldom addressed) reason that the sheer lack of any direction given to people in terms of what they “should” be doing or achieving or seeking or fighting or building or destroying (insert you own term here) leads to confusion and departure a lot quicker than any really deep-seated problems within the viewer.

As Kaya states, “How do you get people to stay in a virtual world when they are so use to having specific things that they told that they should do or can do?”

It’s a question that has long plagued user and the Lab themselves; we’re all familiar with how hard it is to define SL – although Kaya goes on to express a few ideas of his own. However, I would just not that in terms of the initial discussion and ideas put forward, I would disagree with Drax on the idea that directed experiences, when used as gateways into the platform might further reduce people’s ability to see the wider potential of the platform.

If anything, I’d suggest the reverse is true; providing such “gateway experiences” offer some form of informative portal to the broader potentials of SL / a UGC driven environment, they are more likely to engage with an audience (those interested in the experience) and bring them into it and encourage those among them who are so minded to explore SL further far more effectively than simply dropping them in-world in a manner that is almost entirely random in nature and lacking any structure at all.

Angle Manor, January 2015
Angel Manor, January 2015

As a content creator, it comes as no surprise that Kaya sees one of the major means of engagement with the platform as being the ability to build and create. In itself, this is not a new idea – we’ve all pointed to much the same when discussing getting people more involved in SL; however, this doesn’t make what Kaya says any less valid. Rather, his comments give pause for thought on just how much harder it is for people coming into SL today to discover the expressive power and joy of content creation for themselves.

This isn’t so much because emphasis has shifted over the last few years from the humble prim and in-world building to mesh and external tools (although this does get touched upon during the discussion). nor does it really have anything to do (to a great degree at least) with the provision of Linden Homes or the inclusion of starter avatars in the viewer, both of which are also referenced.

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