On Friday, March 27th, 2020, Linden Lab opened applications for those wishing to perform at the upcoming 17th anniversary of Second Life.
SL17B will run from Friday, June 19th through until Friday, July 10th, with the core entertainments for the celebrations taking place between June 19th and Sunday, June 28th. This year the theme is road trips and vacations.
Calling all performers! Second Life is seeking talent for our upcoming 17th annual Second Life birthday celebration (SL17B), held June 19-July 10. Get ready for a fun-filled week of live music and deejay performances, shopping exclusives, and amazing community exhibits.
One of the things that makes Second Life so vibrant and exciting is the wide range of Performers who share their talent with our Residents. Are you a DJ who can spin up a great party set? Maybe you’re a Live Musician who plays an instrument or sings! You might be one of the grid’s amazing Dance companies, or perhaps you’re a Particle Performer! Whatever your medium, we would love to hear from you.
Note that this call is not related to the SL Music Fest, which will take place over the opening days of SL17B, but is for those who wish to perform as a part of the event’s full week of activities and celebrations. As such, applications are open to DJs, live performers, dance troupes, particle performers, etc.
Those interested in providing their services should complete and submit the official performer application form no later than Monday, May 18th. Successful applicants will be contacted by SL17B Event Staff Leaders in de course.
As the last mini-update I gave for the product was in July 2019 and there is some further news to be had, I thought it time to provide a further update on where the client stands.
First and foremost, while the client was initially defined as an iOS client, speaking during the 19th episode of Lab Gab on March 27th, 2020, Ebbe Altberg confirmed the Lab has now started on an Android version as well, which they have to have up to parity with the iOS version at some point.
In addition, he indicated that the iOS version is currently close to being at an “alpha” testing status, which may only be for internal testing.
So, lot’s of activity there. We have a person who’s worked on a mobile – what do we call it? Companion client, because I want to make it clear that people understand that the mobile client will be primarily a communication client, where you can chat with people, and stay connected, but it’s not a 3D viewer. So you will not be running around with your avatar in the mobile client for quite some time. But you can at least, when you’re on the road, stay connected with your friends and customers, etc.
The iOS client is very close to what we call an “alpha”; I don’t know exactly how the alpha will then progress to a beta to like a full release that people can try…
I’m not sure if alpha is even just for internal people; we probably want to get the whole company using it first, but we might, umm, some pre-production grid, get some external users involved in the alpha as well, I don’t know the exact details. But it’s being worked on; hopefully most of us will be able to use the iOS client to stay connected with Second Life in, I don’t know, a month or two, I’m guessing.
And we also have added more resources, so we now have people working on an Android version as well. So hopefully that will catch-up and will get neck-and-neck or almost parallel with iOS here by the time we get to full release. So, actively being worked on.
The following notes are an amalgam of my July 2019 mini-update, and more recent comments from Third Party Viewer Developer Meetings, Simulator User Group meetings and the aforementioned Lab Gab session.
As noted, the app should initially be regarded as more of a communicator / companion app than a fully-rounded client. The intention is to provide users with a means of maintaining basic contact with other users whilst away from their main means of accessing SL.
It will support logging-in to the Second Life service and initially provide IM and group chat support.
Initially it will not:
Present you with an in-world location, nor will your avatar rez in-world.
Support local chat (as your avatar does not have a defined in-world location)
A mobile user won’t actually be in an area … they can use p2p or group chat, but not local, because we’re not rendering the world (yet) in the mobile app [and] we didn’t want things to be unbalanced: you can see me but I can’t see you, I can “go” somewhere but can’t see anything [etc.]. [But] direct IM is supported (that’s what I meant by p2p).
– Oz Linden, VP of Engineering, Simulator User Group Meeting,
March 17th, 2020
In theory, the app should work with both mobile ‘phones and tablets / iPads, although there may be some configuration differences.
Over time it will be enhanced – but additional capabilities and their order of development is still TBD.
As noted above, the iOS client will likely be available to users ahead of the Android client.
The time frame for the iOS client appearing is not confirmed, but might be in a next 2-3 months.
The Lab had started the work on getting the initial test versions through Apple’s acceptance process some time ago.
It had been previously stated that iOS users will need to have TestFlight installed on their iPhone (or iPad), as the app will be made available though Apple’s beta testing environment for apps. I assume this is still the case.
There may be further news on the mobile client in the April 3rd Lab Gab session, in which case, I will update this article.
A full region, Silent Melody is an impressive, open region designed by Celtic McDaniels (Celtic3147) that offer room to explore, take photographs, relax and, at a time when we’re all being told to stay home, simply feel the richness of nature and breathe.
Rising from east to west, this is a setting that presents what might be taken as a slice of wilderness brought into the virtual; a place where water tumbles from pool to pool or down sheer faces of high cliffs to feed fast-flowing streams that in turn tumble away to coastal bays and channels that cut the region’s eastern side into attractive, irregular lowlands and islands.
The landing point is on the largest of these islands, sitting just above its rocky coastline, a lily-filled pool fed by a fountain and guarded by a brickwork square of path, offers a place to start explorations. From here, a track winds south and down to where a wooden bridge connects to a tongue of mainland that licks its way to the open sea, passing between the jaws of the landing point island and a smaller isle that forms the south-east corner of the region.
Two further bridges connect the landing point, one to region’s inland areas and the other to another little isle to the north-east. Both of these northern and south isles offer their own attractions – a shingle beach here, a chair hanging from the boughs of a tree there, while a picnic corner sits at the tip of the tongue extending between landing point and southern island.
Between these eastern isles and the western highlands, the land is a rich mix. Tracks are to be found running through parts of the grass and flower carpeted landscape, while picnic and seating spots lay scattered under the shade of trees and shrubs, little bridges connecting tracks and greenswards by spanning stream and inlet.
In the heart of the region sits a natural bowl of rock nestled against the feet the the western cliffs. It folds its arms around the ruins of a cabin, an old piano sitting outside to presenting a romantic setting, even through keys and strings have long since between given over to moss. An usual sitting spot can be found here, perfect for cuddles or contemplation – but you might have to look up in order to find it!
Just to the south of this stone ring, a track winds to the west, ending in grassy humps that rise to a rocky out-thrust from the high cliffs, stone steps rising from grass to its flat top. Here sits a large French provincial style house – but be warned, it is a private residence, so do try to avoid trespassing too close. However, it is possible to skirt the front of the house and reach a grass-topped path that runs around the cliffs like a hat band sitting half-way up their bulk. This path offers a way out onto the east-pointing finger of rock that extends away from the cliffs and channels one of the streams running down from the cliffs, before depositing it by way of the further set of falls to the inlet that cuts deepest into the region.
A humpbacked bridge sits at the end of this rocky out-thrust, reached on one side by a track that winds inland over the lowlands to the east, whilst on its far side a set of stone steps run down to a low-laying finger of land also pointing eastwards. From here, and via a further bridge, this one of wood, it is possible to reach the region’s north side, where a slender, white-sanded beach is watched over by a cosy waterside café.
West of the café, just a short walk over flower-speckled grass, sits formal gardens and a little precinct of town-style houses, little places of business and a second café, all squared-off around a stone fountain and dominated by the imposing bulk of an Irish-themed pub. The garden paths leading visitors to this square also pass an outdoor dance area marked by a pavilion and glass-sided piano. It’s one of two of what might be called “formal” dance areas within the region, the other being a deck connecting the bulk of the landscape with the little rocky isle sitting in the south-east corner of the region.
With its sense of space, subtle sound scape, plethora of places to sit (including those that might take a little time to spot, high and low, such is the fun of exploring!), and lots of opportunities for photography, Silent Melody offers a pleasing visual medley for all who visit.
Speaking at the Above the Book session at the 2020 Virtual Worlds Brest Practices in Education conference on March 26th, and again during the Lab Gab episode 19 segment that aired on Friday, March 27th, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg revealed more about the about the sale of Sansar and the future of that platform. Also during the VWBPE session, he revealed something of the future path for Tilia Inc, the Lab’s subsidiary company.
The following is an amalgam of his comments during both sessions, complete with a quotes, audio extracts from the VWBPE Above the Book session, references to source material and supporting links.
The decision to sell Sansar came, at least in part, from the recognition that as a platform, it lay at a very different stage of its evolution compared to Second Life, requiring different investment and resourcing¹.
With the decision made, the Sansar team were apparently given the freedom to attempt to raise money / seek interested parties in order to keep the platform going (hence, perhaps, Ebbe Altberg’s February 12th comment that the former Sansar team were involved in discussions concerning the platform’s future – see the quote in Sansar: lay-offs, rumours, and confusion, February 12th, 2020)².
As it is, with the sale of Sansar, some 30 members of the team have (so far?) received offers to join Wookey Project Corp, and as of the March 27th Lab Gab session, “a bunch of them” are back to work¹. In support of this, I noted in a recent blog post that Sansar’s Community Manager, Galileo, appears to already be part of the Wookey Sansar team, having posted the Sansar blog post referenced below. Further, both Sheri Bryant and Julia Munck, formerly Sansar’s General Manager and Sansar’s VP of Product respectively at Linden Lab, have departed the company – presumably to join Wookey Project Corp.
It appears that the focus for the platform will potentially remain on it being a platform for large scale virtual events in the music / entertainment sectors, and that both desktop and VR support will be continued – although obviously, strategy and direction are now the remit of Sansar’s new owners.
Linden Lab will remain a “partner”, inasmuch as Tilia will continue to be used for Sanasr Dollar transactions and fiat money payouts (see more on Tilia below)¹ ².
Ebbe’s Comments – VWBPE Above the Book
To make the long story short about Sansar, we at Linden Lab decided to sell it and to give the team the chance to go raise funds and go it alone. I think it’s easier for them to go raise money as a separate stand-alone company rather than as a part of Linden Lab. Second Life is a very established, profitable, product and we kind-of had a start-up inside of an established, profitable company. And it was actually easier for them, I think, to raise money as a standalone, rather than as a part of Linden Lab.
So … the staff that worked on Sansar are all getting offers by the new entity to come back and start working on Sansar again, and I think they’ve started this week, so I’m super happy that the product and the technology and the team all get a chance to continue … and it makes it easier for Linden Lab and Sansar to both succeed, I think, going forward. I’m happy for the way things ended up in the end.
We are all likely familiar with Tilia Inc., Linden Lab’s subsidiary that handles all micro-transactions and payments /payouts related to Linden Dollars and Sansar Dollars, and which manages the Lab’s compliance with regulations relating to its role as a Money Transmitter / Money Services Business (MSB).
Tilia officially launched on Thursday August 1st, 2019, having been formally introduced to SL users in July 2019 – although as I noted at the time, SL and Sansar users may have had some awareness of its existence as the Tilia Inc., logo had been on both the SL and Sansar web pages related to L$ and S$ account purchases and Sansar account management for some time. For my part, I’d been speculating about the company since November 2015, and did so again in July 2019, when I noted that Tilia appeared to be geared towards providing its services to other companies.
Whilst speaking at the VWBPE Above the Book event, Ebbe indicated that with the sale of Sansar, Wookey Project Corp is effectively Linden Lab’s first customer for Tilia’s services, as the latter will continue to provide payment / payout capabilities for those using Sansar and the Sansar Dollar.
In addition, he also indicated more customers for Tilia are on the way:
We’re partners with them [Wookey Project Corp] because they’re using Tilia for payments / payouts just like Second Life is doing, and Tilia will have more and more customers over time. We have several of them lined-up to be integrated to get those payment services.
No specific details on which companies are planning to use Tilia, I’ll hopefully have more as they are announced.