September 2019 marks Linden Lab’s 20th anniversary – something I’ve commented on previously in the pages. It’s a milestone event for any company in the technology sector, where things can be here today, gone tomorrow. Nevertheless, the Lab have played things fairly low-key thus far, up to and including a there most recent blog post, issues on Tuesday, September 24th entitled What’s Next for Linden Lab?
While the title might be suggestive of being a commentary on the company’s past and future, it actually takes a general look at Second Life and Sansar, offering a consideration of changes to both platforms which users may or may not be aware of – and for Second Life, gives a small glimpse of things to come.
For Second Life, the blog post offers a brief look at recent and coming core feature releases – Animesh, Bakes on Mesh and EEP (the Environment Enhancement Project) – together with the recent Linden Homes release of Trailers and Campers (see: First looks: Bellisseria trailer and camper homes and Bellisseria: of Trailers, Campers and trains in Second Life).
Perhaps of more interest to user,s it also provides a mini-update on the migration to the cloud:
We have been hard at work moving the services that bring you Second Life from our existing data center to cloud hosting. Our goal is to make almost all of it seem invisible to you; in general we won’t announce that a service has been moved until it’s been working in the cloud for a while. Some things already qualify, though: Your inventory data has been in the cloud for quite some time, and the maps website moved a little while ago. We have several more things that your viewer uses that are being tested internally now, so expect more updates in the next couple of months. We are very excited about the new product possibilities that cloud hosting will enable.
Note, again, that this does not mean any regions or their underlying simulators have been moved to the cloud: currently, these are still being operated from within the Lab’s own facilities.
Another element mentioned in passing is the upcoming Second Life Blogger Network. This is something I’ve played a small role in helping the Lab to formulate ideas, and I’m interested in seeing it launched and how members of the blogging community respond to it.
In its look at Sansar, the blog post coincides with a press release for that platform issued earlier on September 24th, and in which the title really says it all: Your World is Waiting: The Makers of Second Life Reimagine Sansar as an Immersive Destination for Gaming, Commerce & Live Events.
For those with an interest or curiosity in Sansar, the press release perhaps offers meatier reading than the blog post, covering at it does the most recent updates to the platform: Avatar 2.0, the Nexus, the introduction of the Experience Points (XP) system, and the initial development of the Sansar “backstory”. All of these I’ve looked at in Sansar: R36 – Avatar 2.0 the Nexus, the Codex and more, and will doubtless be looking at again.
In particular the press release provides information on the new partnerships Linden Lab has entered into with regards to Sansar. These encompass include Dutch record label Spinnin’ Records, and a venture with Japanese kawaii (cute) brand-leader Sanrio alongside clothing brand Levis®. Also included is an outline of various live events Sansar will be hosting a series of live events through until the end of September to mark its “re-imagining”.
To coincide with the Sansar announcement, the Lab also issued a new promotional video for the platform. I’m not entirely sure it works, but the tag line – Your World Is Waiting – has a faint echo of a certain other tag line people may recall.
Returning to the blog post in closing, it makes no direct reference to the Lab’s anniversary, as noted above. However, given it is September, I’d like to offer all at Linden Lab congratulations on company’s 20th birthday; I’ve enjoyed being around for 13 of them, and I look forward to a good many more!