OnLive announce pilot L$ payment programme for new SL Go users

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 Monday, March 9th, that new users signing-up to the service can now pay for their use of the service with Linden dollars via a pilot scheme involving secure in-world payment booths offered through OnLive’s SL Go support island.

The news came via a statement from OnLive that reads in part:

You’ve probably heard of SL Go, the viewer that streams Second Life from the cloud in ultra-rich graphics, right to your tablet or low powered computer.  You might have wanted to try it, but hate giving out your credit card info and personal information.  Well, we now have a great solution for you!

If you sign up for SL Go with a NEW USER account you can buy weekly subscriptions in-world using Linden Dollars (L$). There is a private sign up booth where you can create your free SL Go account, and then pay for subscriptions using L$. Each week is only L$650, and you can buy up to 4 weeks at a time.  Also, you can return and renew or extend your subscription in-world at any time.

Dennis Harper, OnLive’s Product Manager for SL Go contacted me to provide a few extra details. “This move will initially be for a limited number of new users,” he said. “The fact is, while payment in Linden Dollars has been frequently requested, we just don’t know how the community will use this new feature. Hopefully, given Linden Dollar payments have been so requested, this will be wildly popular.  If so, we will take the cap off and offer it to all SL Go user and subscribers.”

Part of the problem here is that payment via L$ can only be made on a non-recurring basis; so there is a risk that people could end-up signing-up to use SL Go for a week, and then never renewing, which would not be particularly good for OnLive’s business model or for SL Go itself. Hence the pilot programme, which allows OnLive to test the water.

The new SL Go in-world payment centre - new users can use this to sign-up for an SL Go account, and renew their payments
The new SL Go in-world payment centre – new users can use this to sign-up for an SL Go account, and renew their payments, with Dennis Harper (centre) and Jersey and Robby (to the right) from OnLive

However, if the pilot does prove successful – and Dennis and OnLive believe it will be – then paying for your subscription to SL Go via L$ will become a standard payment option provided by OnLive, and the company will implement a means by which existing SL Go users can transition to paying for their  use of the service with Linden Dollars if they so wish.

Another reason for not offering L$ payments immediately to existing users is that of technical complexity; there’s a lot involved in providing the means for users to switch over to a L$-based payment plan. As such, it makes sense for the company to trial the system with new users first.

The payment centre provides teleport disc to three secure sign-up areas ...
The SL Go in-world sign-up and payment centre provides up to three teleport discs to three secure sign-up areas (the number available may vary, depending on whether some / all of the sign-up areas are currently being used – they will accept only one avatar at a time)

“Solving the transition issue is difficult and will take some more time,” Dennis told me. “We need to figure out how to ‘stack’ payments via Linden Dollars upon an existing recurring subscription end-date, and implement a means by which their existing recurring can be cancelled, without it impacting their use of the service.”

He continued, “And then what happens if a user decides payment via L$ isn’t for them, and they’re happier using a recurring subscription? How do we facilitate switching them back, again without impacting on their use of the service or making them sign-up all over again? So it’s much more complex, both technically and from a user-experience angle, to provide Linden Dollar payments to existing users.

“But, if the pilot programme works out, it is something we’ll be working towards providing!”

Once at a sign-up centre, a new user can operate the TV screen to view the OnLive SL Go wesbite securely (no-one else can see it) and register a new OnLive account for themselves. The orb next to the TV can then be used to made their first payment of L$650
Each of the sign-up areas provides instructions on how to sign-up for an OnLive account using the television, how and how to download the OnLive client (PC / Mac) and app (iOS / Android). A payment sphere is also provided for your initial payment (made to OnLiveBanks Resident), which is a minimum of L$650 for one week

In the meantime, those wanting to give SL Go a try, but who might have fought shy of the idea due to the need to supply credit card and personal information can now do so by visiting the in-world sign-up and payment centre at SL Go Island. Signage at the centre will walk you through the sign-up process (which you only have to complete once; after that, you can renew your use of SL Go via the payment orbs located on the ground level of payment centre).

Please note that, for obvious reasons – including the potential to game the system – users signing-up via the in-world payment method will not have the 7-day free trial period offered to them (it can, for example, be too easily gamed).

If you haven’t tried SL Go yet, and would prefer to pay via subscription, you can still sign-up via the SL Go website, which is still offered with the  free 7-day trial period. Existing users can obviously sign-up for a new OnLive account using the in-world method if they wish, but will then be paying for two OnLive accounts until such time as they cancel one or the other.

Once you have created an account in this way, you can conitnue paying for the service via the payment globes at the ground level payment centre - there is no need to teleport to the secure areas in order to make further payments
Once you have created an account in this way, you can continue paying for the service via the payment globes at the ground level payment centre (payments made to OnLiveBanks Resident) – there is no need to teleport to the secure areas in order to make further payments

Remember, SL Go isn’t for everyone. But if you have a need to access Second Life while on the go from either an iPad or Android tablet (using the SL viewer only at present), or if you have a low-end computer on which you’d like to run Second Life in all its full richness (using either the SL viewer or Firestorm), then SL Go may well be for you.

Advertisements

2015 viewer release summaries: week 10

Updates for the week ending: Sunday, March 8th, 2015

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer
    • Stable branch updated to version 1.26.12.34 – March 7th
    • Experimental branch to 1.26.13.2 – March 7th
    • Legacy branch to 1.26.8.90 – March 7th
    • Release notes

Mobile / Other Clients

  • LittleSight for Android updated to version 1.6.1.0 on February 22nd – core update: changing the default log-in to a user’s home location to avoid log-in failures.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Armenelos: the returning

Armenelos, Calas Galadhon; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Armenelos, Calas Galadhon (Flickr) – click any image for full size

In December 2014, Ty Tenk  contacted me to let me know that Calas Galadhon would be closing its gates for the month of January 2015, while he and Truck Meredith took their annual hiatus from things following the busy October through December period. He also informed me that during the hiatus, there would, again as usual, be some remodelling within the parks, and as a result, the long-running recreation of the famous Santorini, located in the Armenelos region, would be packed away, and the region itself re-purposed.

While Santorini may well have gone from Calas Galadhon, Armenelos itself formally re-opened on Sunday, March 8th, and true to their word, Ty and Truck have created something truly fabulous. Relocated to occupy the north-west corner of the estate, and sitting alongside a new addition to the park, Long Lake, which Ty and Tuck have added to Calas in order to bring the total number of regions in the park back up to 12, the new Armenelos is a visual and aural delight.

Armenelos, Calas Galadhon; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Armenelos, Calas Galadhon (Flickr)

On arrival, the visitor is presented with a rugged, wooded landscape, with high cliffs facing the sea to the west, west, and which drop slowly to lower-lying land to the east, and the bridge connecting Armenelos with the  mostly low-lying islands of Long Lake, and which in turn offer passage to the Misty Mountains.  Across Armenelos, tall spires of rock and flat-topped plateaus push their way between the trees, offering high vantage points from which to survey the world, while paths an trail wind through the tall grass and under the shade of high boughs, encouraging visitors to wander and explore.

And there really is a lot to see; so much so, that unless you are keen-eyed, you’re liable to miss many of the finer touches tucked away across the region which bring it to life. For a start, make sure to have local sound enabled; Armenelos has a wonderful sound scape that enhances the feel of immersion: waves crashing against the cliffs; the singing of birds inland, the bark and cry of gulls wheeling over offshore island  where they and pelicans are nesting; the honk of male deer, the plaintive cry of a high-soaring eagle or two; the slightly worrisome howl of wolves through the trees…

Armenelos, Calas Galadhon; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Armenelos, Calas Galadhon (Flickr)

Signposts close to the landing point will point you in the general direction of many of the region’s attractions, such as the oriental pavilion, where you can enjoy a refreshing cup of tea under the benevolent gaze of Buddha. From here you can follow a wooden board walk around the rocky escarpment that rises to one side of the pavilion and hop onto a boat with a friend or two and enjoy a trip around and through the waters of Armenelos and Long Lake, passing the Dolphin Cafe, which remains in a re-modelled form on the west side of the land, and which resume its live entertainments from Monday, March 9th at 18:00 SLT (Oz’s club also remains overhead as well).

For the daring, there’s the opportunity to scale the high plateaus and then traverse between the various high-points via rope glides supplied by Cube Republic, which have excellent camera positioning for giving you a real feel for shimmying your way over deep gorges on a single length of rope! There are also, of course, all the touches one would expect from Ty and Truck – places to sit and chat, to cuddle or dance, and hidden walks which might not be discovered on a first visit.

Armenelos, Calas Galadhon; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Armenelos, Calas Galadhon (Flickr)

For me the magic of Armenelos doesn’t just come from all of this; it also comes from the little details that have been added throughout the region, and which really do require a keen eye in order to spot. Such as spotting one of Morgan Garrett’s marvellous and beautifully detailed little brids sitting on a bough or watching you from the side of a board walk, song occasionally bursting forth from it; or looking up into the branches of a tree and spying a little lizard, frozen in place, looking back and you and pretending it really isn’t there…

Given all of this, you’ve probably gathered that Armenelos isn’t so much a place to be visited, but rather to be experienced. It its new form, it addes further depth to the already remarkable Calas Galadhon parklands – which, if you haven’t visited before, I strongly urge you to do so, as there is much to see, including new attractions. Should you do so, remember you can take a horse from near the park’s main entrance and ride up from Calas Galadhon, through Mirrormere and over the Misty Mountains to Long Lake (which, btw, offers activities of its own), and then on to Armenelos, making for a wonderful trail ride.

Armenelos, Calas Galadhon; Inara Pey, March 2015, on Flickr Armenelos, Calas Galadhon (Flickr)

When visiting, please also remember that Ty and Truck provide all 12 of the Calas Galadhon park regions purely for the benefit of other residents. They do not offer land rentals or use the regions to run an form of business, nor profit from the estate. They provide 40% of the total running costs out of their own pockets, the rest being made up by donations by visitors. So please, when visiting, do consider using one of the donation points scattered throughout the park to show your appreciation for, and support of, their work and generosity in bringing to much to Second Life for us all to enjoy.

Related Links