Second Life: Name Changes, Marketplace fees and events updates

With typical timing, I’m taking time off from the blog to enjoy an evening at the theatre (seeing Jonathan Pie, aka comedian Tom Walker, in case you’re interested!), when Linden Lab blogs about Name Changes, the updates to events I’ve mentioned in my Web User Group updates, and on Marketplace updates!

You can read the official post – The Return of Last Names and Changes to Marketplace, Events & Premiumin full on the Lab’s SL blog. However, here are the key points:

Name Changes

  • Linden Lab is working to make Name Changes “available by the end of January”.
  • As per my previous reporting on the subject, Name Changes will be an Premium (and Premium Plus – see below) benefit.
  • Changes will incur a fee (yet to be disclosed) which will be levied as a single transaction for “one or both of your first and last Names.”
  • Last names will be be list-selectable, and users can help LL curate the list.
  • Between December 16th, 2019 and January 6th, 2020, the Lab will hold a Last Name competition for SL users (Basic and Premium) to suggest suitable last names to add to the first list of names to be made available. Five will be selected, and those submitting them will be able to change their names completely free of charge. Details to follow in a later Lab blog post.

Note that in addition the to official blog post above, Linden Lab have also indicated that:

  • Those signing-up to Second Life will not be required to pick a last name, but will continue to have “resident” appended to their name until such time as the opt to go Premium or after they have completed the sign-up process, if they opt to go directly to Premium when setting up their account.
  • The fee applied to Name Changes will likely be in US dollars, and will be at a lower rate for Premium Plus (once available) than for Premium.

For further information on these latter points, please refer to:

Premium Plus

  • Again, as I’ve previously reported, there will be a new Premium membership subscription level, sitting above Premium.
  • This new subscription level is to be called “Premium Plus” (previously referred to by the Lab as “Elite”).

Again in addition to the official blog post:

  • Premium Plus will be made available on a monthly or annual subscription basis.
  • It will be made available some time after Name Changes have been made available.
  • Likely benefits will comprise a mix of “enhanced” Premium benefits and benefits exclusive to Premium Plus.

For further information on these latter three points, please refer to:

Events Updates

  • Events are being overhauled to present more functionality, such as the ability to set an alert on an event you want to attend, to follow your favourite events hosts, share event calendars, and more.
  • This work will include a new look for events (see the concept art below, courtesy of Linden Lab).
  • The updates will be accompanied by the introduction of event listing fees, at the rate of L$50 er event for Basic members, and L$10 per event for Premium members, who will – as a follow-up update to these initially changes – be able to schedule recurring events.
Concept design for the new Second Life events pages. Note the final version, when deployed, may differ to this. Credit: Linden Lab

For further information on this, please refer to:

Marketplace Fee Changes and Updates

As from Monday, December 2nd, 2019:

  • The Marketplace sales commission will increase to 10% of the item price.
    • This marks the first fee increase on the Marketplace in a decade.
    • It is seen as a means of off-setting the cost of on-going improvements and enhancements to the MP.
  • Marketplace Product Listing Enhancement fees will be reduced by 10%.

The blog post also points out further Marketplace enhancement that are close to being ready to be deployed, or are in development, including:

  • The ability to filter limited quantity and demo items (close to being ready for deployment).
  • Improved navigating shopping and order history for shoppers.
  • A means to prevent limited-quantity item redelivery for the Merchants.

Longer-term, the Lab is working on Mobile-friendly layouts for the Marketplace and planning both a complete facelift for the Marketplace and on a vendor system “that better connects in-world sales and tracking with Marketplace transactions”.

I’ll continue to report on all of the above as news surfaces on them via in-world meetings and / or official blog and forum posts.

Of Sky Towers and SL homes

In the sandbox: building a Sky Tower inspired home

As I’ve noted in assorted posts in these pages, I’m a bit of a science fiction fan – books, television and film. In particular in this case, I have a fascination with the 2013 Tom Cruise vehicle, Oblivion, a film that seems to fit in the “Marmite zone” – you either love it or hate it.

For me, the film has a pretty good storyline (if a bit overblown in places), an outstanding soundtrack by M83, Anthony Gonzales, Joseph Trapanese (that I’m listening to right now), and one of the most intriguing house designs seen in a film: the Sky Tower.

“Sky Tower” interior – trying to make it more of a contemporary home than “hard” sci-fi environment

Given my cursory interest in architecture and house design, I’ve always found the Sky Tower fascinating – particularly given the lengths the film crew went to make it. While there are a couple of commercial builds available in SL based on it, I’ve long wanted to see if I can take some of the core elements in the design and create a contemporary home that contains those elements, but moves the house out of hard-edged sci-fi and into something that could provide a comfortable living space.

I first entertained the idea well over a year ago and started on a design, but shelved it in a rezzer. However, it kept nagging at me, so over the last 10 days, I’ve been fiddling with it as time allows to see if I could build it out as a house that might sit within our current Balboa Estate home parcel.

The kitchen area with bedroom behind (beyond the smoked glass windows

The work isn’t finished yet, but the photos here give some idea of what I’ve been doing. The house intentionally doesn’t include the distinctive upper “Control” deck of the Sky Tower in the film, and while I’ve tried to retain some of the interior and exterior elements – the “back room” area (now converted to a bedroom space) and the iconic landing pad and “sky pool”, I’ve also done away with the workshop space sitting under the main house.

Unlike the film’s Sky Tower, this one isn’t intended to sit atop a 1,000ft tall tower. Rather, it is designed to sit between the “north” and “south” islands of our current home space, elevated above the water by a pylon structure I’ve yet to complete, and with moorings for boats and planes at water level below it. All of this is still to be finalised, as have the interior / exterior furnishings, fixtures and texturing, but these photos should give an idea of the overall look.

The design isn’t intended to replicate the full Sky Tower design – no upper deck Control unit, for example) and so has a “side entrance” and steps (foreground) that will connect it to one of the home islands

This isn’t intended to be a commercial build, but purely for personal use as an alternative to our current Fallingwater-inspired house. If all goes according to plan, the two houses will be “hot swappable” via rezzing systems and depending on which we fancy having in place at any given time of year.

I’ll probably bore you with more on this once the house is more in situ in our home parcel 🙂 . In the meantime, a nice little video of the original Sky Tower from the film.

Images and words in Second Life

Virtual Rhyming, November 2019

Virtual Rhyming is a small, semi-interactive exhibition of Second Life photography and poetry by Sunset Quinnell and Guerreira Xue (Brazilian social media writer Hilda Milk in the physical world), two friends in both the virtual virtual and physical worlds. It features nine images by Sunset flanked on either side by a poem in both Portuguese and in English by Guerreira.

I took the photos in different locations in Second Life, then sent them to Guerreira so she could see them fresh and be inspired to write about them.

– Sunset Quinnell, describing the process behind the exhibition

Virtual Rhyming, November 2019

The nine images with their accompanying poems are grouped into set of three, with one set focused on NevaCrystall’s Borneo; one set on Kekeland – Bardeco by Terry Fotherington and Bridget Genna and, between them, a triplet of pieces focused on the arts, and featuring pieces by Bryn Oh, Cherry Managa and Kicca Igally and Nessuno Myoo.

The approach of Sunset taking the photos and sending them to Guerreira, rather than them both visiting the locations together, perhaps gives the poems an extra level of sensitivity, approaching as they do each piece not just in terms of interpreting the scene presented, but possibly Sunset’s mood in taking the pictures. Thus, there is something of a personal sensitivity present in both words and images.

Virtual Rhyming, November 2019

For those who are curious, seven the pieces have interactive elements: just click on the sign below them and follow the instructions that come up in local chat (in both Portuguese and English). These offer a mix of activities intended for a little fun, rather than necessarily adding to the interpretation for the image / poem.

SLurl Details