On Monday, October 24th, Linden Lab blogged about some recent updates in Second Life, some of which I’ve previously covered in these pages. These comprise:
- Four new Premium members’ sandboxes arranged in a 2×2 grid, with each region running an individual simulator channel (Main Channel Sandbox A, Magnum Sandbox A, LeTigre Sandbox A, and BlueSteel Sandbox A). These are intended to allow creators to test differences and potential issues with region crossings between different simulator channels as they are deployed.
- A new Premium members’ Weapons Testing sandbox intended to provide an improved means for testing weapons systems without relying on public sandboxes.
- The new scripted llSit feature for use with Second Life experiences.
Also included in the post is a note about the revamped Portal Parks. Now comprising two regions apiece, these provide access to all of the Lab-present experience and games available in Second life: Linden Realms (still apparently the most popular), PaleoQuest, The Cornfield and the Grid Hunt, together with the seasonal locations of Winter Wonderland, Isle of View, Halloween, and some new “social” areas which join the Gnome Village.
The overall layout of individual regions remains the same: a central landing point hub surrounded by signposted paths leading to the portals for each of the experiences, or to the social areas. In addition, a path now winds its way through the landscape of each pair of portal park regions, passing a further hub which looks almost like it is intended to be a central landing point, half-way between each of the hubs.
In particular, the new design allows for further experiences to be added to the hubs over time, the most recent accessible one being the port to the Gaming Islands, which I covered back in August 2016. As the Lab’s blog post notes, there’s also a couple of hints of new experiences yet to come.
Given the nature of some of the experiences, not all are open all year round; hence why a visit today will reveal the Winter Wonderland and Isle of View (Valentines), for example, closed by barred gates. However, one that is again open is the Haunted Halloween Tour, which returns for its third season.
Initially opened in 2014, the Haunted Halloween Tour was the Lab’s first public trial of an experience which encompassed the Oculus Rift. It returned in 2015, this time sans Oculus support, but offering new twists and turns to keep people entertained. It’s back again, complete with the heavy nod towards a certain 80s film franchise (“they’re heeeere!”) and what I thought were a couple of new wrinkles compared to 2015 (but given a year has passed, I could be wrong on this). At 12-ish minutes long, I still find it a tad drawn out, but for those who like their spooks, it’s worth a visit.
If you want to tour the revised Portal Parks, grab the SLurls below: