2nd round of Second Life Skill Gaming applications closed

secondlifeAs I reported at the time, Linden Lab announced at the end of 2016 that they would re-open applications for Skill Gaming creators and operators on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017, and this went ahead as planned.

For those who may not be familiar with the concept, while gambling is prohibited in Second Life, and games of pure chance that provides a Linden Dollar payout are against the Terms of Service, games of skill are permitted in-world, providing they meet the criteria of being a Skill Game, and are duly authorised by Linden Lab, under the terms of the Second Life Skill Gaming Policy, which defines such a game as being one:

1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance; 2) requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play; 3) provides a payout in Linden Dollars; and 4) is legally authorized by applicable United States and international law.

The current Skill Gaming policy was introduced in 2014, and the announcement of the re-opening of applications marked the first time the Lab has offered the opportunity for further Skill Gaming Creators (SGCs) and Skill Gaming Operators (SGOs) to register their desire to create and / or operate skill games in-world since that time.

However, the application period was fairly short – a little over a month, in fact. On Tuesday, February 7th, the Lab issued an update indicating that as of that date, applications were once again closed. It’s not clear how many new applications were received and are being processed, however, prior to applications re-opening. the Second Life Skill Gaming Approved Participants page on the SL wiki listed 45 SGOs. At the time of writing this article, the total had risen to 50, and the number of approved Skill Games had risen from 44 to 45 (neither of these increases account for any applications which the Lab may still be processing, if any).

Applications for those wishing to become Skill Gaming Operators and / or Skill Gaming Creators re-open on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
The Lab’s Gaming Regions provide an introduction to Skill Gaming for those interested

Those interested in playing Skill Games, or in finding out more about them, can follow the links at the end of this article, or they can visit the Lab’s Gaming Islands. Accessed either directly or via the Portal Parks, they provide information on what Skill Games are, the kinds of games user might encounter, how and where they can be played – and why, in some instances, users may not be allowed to access the regions where they can be played.

Links

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Changes at Holly Kai Park in Second Life

Holly Kai Park - with the new north-east design to the right
Holly Kai Park – with the new north-east design to the right

As many readers of this blog know, I both curate the Art at the Park exhibitions at Holly Kai Park, and help to look after the park itself, taking care of landscaping, layout etc. In addition, Caitlyn and I run a small music venue there – Caitinara Bar.

Earlier in the year, Nber Medici, the region’s owner, asked me if a part of the park could be altered to provide room for some of her collection of 2D and 3D art which she has put together over the years, making it something of a Second Life art archive. After some discussion, we decided to re-work the north-east corner of the park, which has been home a quiet art garden and the beach with Caitinara Bar.

The steps up from the Art Park to the new plateau
The steps up from the Art Park to the new plateau

Unfortunately, I can’t really do “small” changes … so what started out as the intent to keep things much as they were quickly became a major brainstorming session, which in turn culminated in an extensive rebuild of that corner of the park. Hence why, for a time recently, my blogging activities dropped off for several days!

Anyway, the larger part of the work is now done, and the new build is in place. If you’ve visited Holly Kai Park in the past, or if you’re a regular to the park or Caitinara Bar, the changes are pretty obvious, being marked by an extension to the Park’s rocky plateau.

This new rocky outcrop, higher than the main elevation in the park and linked to it by stone steps, will eventually be home to the Medici Collection, featuring both indoor and outdoor displays of 2D and 3D art from Nber’s collection. Right now, the footpaths and buildings are in place, but we’re still sorting through the art, so it will be a little while longer before things are in place and the landscaping is finished.

Going underground: the entrance to the new Caitinara Bar
Going underground: the entrance to the new Caitinara Bar, with steps up to the level above

Directly below this, and accessed via a cave-like opening, is the new Caitinara Bar, which grew out of a suggestion from Caitlyn that we try going underground. It’s a little large than the old beach side bar, with arched brick ceilings and walls, new seating  – it even has an actual bar at one end!

We’ll continue to host our Wednesday and Friday night music events at the bar with our DJs Anthony Westburn and Joy Canadeo. In fact, we’ll be christening the new bar on Wednesday, February 8th with a special event celebrating the Academy Awards, so there’s an excuse to don gowns and evening suits and come on over and see the place for yourself!

The north end of the area, reached via an extended Park Walk, will now offer interactive 3D art displays, including Reflections at Midnight, donated by Frankx Lefarve.

The Holly Kai River now sports a new set of falls
The Holly Kai River now sports a new set of falls

We’ll be re-starting the Art at the Park series very soon. But in the meantime, if you fancy visiting the park, you are more than welcome to do so, and Caitinara Bar offers a warm, friendly greeting and great musics every Wednesday and Friday, between 16:00 and 18:00 SLT. Hope to see you there one evening!

Additional Links

SL project updates 2017-6/1: server, viewer

Sol Farm, Story of Infinite; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrNatural Falls Vblog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server update thread for the latest information.

On Tuesday, February 7th, the Main (SLS) channel received the same server maintenance package a deployed to the three RC channel in week #5. This includes a follow-up to fix BUG-3286 “Can’t move object” fail notifications, which was partially fixed in an earlier deployment. This release should also see some improvement  in off-line IM and group notice delivery.

There is no planned deployment to the three RC channels for the week.

SL Viewer

The release viewer updated to version 5.0.1.323027 on February 3rd. This was formerly the Maintenance RC update with some 42 fixes and improvements.

A new Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.0.2.323359 was released on February 3rd, which contains new features, improvements and bug fixes. You can read an overview of the release features here.

Outside of these changes, the remaining viewers in the various official pipelines are:

  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer, version 5.1.0.501863 for Windows and Mac, dated January 10th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer, version 4.1.3.321712, dated November 23, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review – still pending completion of work on the 64-bit viewer, and no updates expected in the immediate future
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Simulator User Group and Content Creation User Group Meetings

Due to scheduling conflicts with internal meetings at linden Lab, there was no Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, February 7th, and there will be no Content Creation User Group meeting on Thursday, February 9th. The dates for the next of these meetings are:

Nvidia Driver 378.49 + 64-bit Viewer Bug

As I reported in week #4, many people on 64-bit viewers are seeing their Second Life world view turn decidedly blue. The issue is only encountered when Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) is disabled in a 64-bit viewer, although it can have odd behaviour (e.g. get it on one viewer, then launch another 64-bit viewer and it many not occur with that viewer).

The Nvidia 378.49 driver bug which can occur with 64-bit viewers when ALM is disabled, as seen on a 64-bit version of Windows)
The Nvidia 378.49 driver bug which can occur with 64-bit viewers when ALM is disabled, as seen on a 64-bit version of Windows) – this is not fixed by the recent 378.57 Hotfix issued by Nvidia

The cause of the issue appears to lie with the Nvidia 378.49 driver, released on January 24th. A Hotfix for the driver was released on January 31st (378.57), but this does not fix the SL “blue world” issue.