SL19B MTL – the Moles (new starter avatars + Linden Homes)

via Linden Lab

Friday, June 24th, 2022 saw the final Meet the Lindens special events take place for the SL19B(irthday) celebrations, featuring Patch Linden and the Moles of the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW).

Unlike previous articles in this series, this is not a detailed summary of the session, but focuses on information relating to the New User eXperience (NUX) and the upcoming new Starter Avatars, and on plans for Linden Homes for Premium Plus and Premium accounts. Also provided is information on who the Moles are, and how to apply to become one, if you believe your skill sets are suitable.

New User Experience / Starter Avatar Project

[Video: 12:27-20:56]

  • NUX is a multi-phase, multi-faceted project that is fairly constantly in motion.
  • Currently, the focus is on the new user starter avatars, given the current avatars are a mix of the original system body and mesh attachments.
  • This project is intended to replace all of the starter avatars with fully mesh offerings. These will utilise the Bento skeleton and sliders, support Bakes on Mesh (BoM) and be an all-in-one, head-to-toes avatar, complete with new animation overrides.
A preview version of the new, single mesh (head-to-toe) avatar, which will use by mesh clothing and Bakes on Mesh, and be open for creators to design clothing and accessories
  • These avatars:
    • Will be provided with an “array” of outfits/looks/ethnicities from which new users can choose during the sign-up process, with everything being an unisex as possible, so as to work across the full gender spectrum and the avatars themselves also available through the system Library.
    • Won’t necessarily be as robust and extensible as some of the “best-in-class” bodies and heads, but are seen as a means to help those coming into SL get started and ease them into the wider creative ecosphere.
    • Will be supported by developer kits so that creators can produce clothing and accessories for them, and again further encourage new users into the broader commercial ecosystem.
A closer view of the preview avatar head / face. Note this is not necessarily indicative of the final versions of these avatars; the project is a work-in-progress.
  • The work is still very much at a pre-release status, with the preview shown at the event not necessarily represent the finished product; there is a lot more to come with the project before it is ready for release.

Linden Homes – Premium Plus and Premium

[Video: 36:31-44:55]

  • At the time of the Moles MTL, 34,845 Premium Linden Homes had been made available and 1,913 regions released, with a further 172 “under construction”.
  • Premium Plus Linden Homes:
    • Entirely new “ground up” themes with a new approach to implementation.
    • The “ranch” theme Patch mentions at his MTL session [video ; blog summary], is one under consideration, although exact style, etc., is still TBA.
    • The fact that ideas are still in development is why Premium Plus Linden Homes will not be appearing until the end of 2022 “at the earliest”.
    • The increased land offering (2048 sq m) means more opportunities to use different parcel sizes.
  • Premium Linden Homes:
    • Both the Traditional and Victorian theme will be getting a refresh with “open-plan” variants on their styles.
    • Houseboats to get four new floor plans.
    • Updates will include a pass to bring the control panels up-to-date with the most recent home releases.
    • All of this will be rolled out before the end of 2022.
  • New large-scale community centres for Bellisseria are also in the works.
  • No plans at this time for a “city style” theme with apartments and the like.

About the Moles

Who or What are the Moles?

  • Officially called the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW), originally formed in 2008, Moles are residents from all over the world hired by Linden Lab as independent contractors to undertake specific tasks.
  • Their work was originally focused on the Mainland, adding the infrastructure – road, bridges, etc., and the landscaping, as noted in the official LDPW wiki page, although they actually do a lot more than this.
  • Notable major projects carried out by the Moles include:
    • The infrastructure within Nautilus City.
    • The development of Bay City.
    • The Linden Homes continent of Bellisseria (including all topography, flora, infrastructure and housing).
    • The facilities for events like Shop & Hop, the Second Life Birthday, town hall events, the turn-key regions available for businesses, starter avatars, etc.
    • The Lab provided games such as Linden Realms, Paleoquest, Horizons and the grid-wide Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches – all accessible via the Portal Parks.
  • They also provide support / input for / to technical projects (e.g. Project Bento and the avatar skeleton extension), and work with marketing, QA and other LL teams.
  • In keeping with their name, Moles were originally given a mole avatar, complete with hard hat. However, over the years, most have moved to having a more individual and personal look, although some say with their Mole look.
  • As well as being paid for the work they do, Moles also receive and allowance from the Lab, which is primarily intended to go towards the cost of uploads (texture, animations, mesh objects, etc)., but which can also be put towards developing their individual looks.

How to Become a Mole

  • Positions in the LDPW are open to application by residents who believe they are qualified to work in the team, and the team may also approach specific residents and ask if they would consider joining them.
  • Applications are made by dropping a résumé (note card or email) of qualifications / experience (including links SLurls, Flickr, You Tube, etc.) to Derrick Linden (derrick.linden-at-lindenlab.com) or to Patch Linden (patch.linden-at-lindenlab.com).
  • Applicants have to go through a former interview process.
  • Successful applicants get to pretty much choose their hours of work – providing agreed tasks are completed on time.
  • As they are from around the world, this can allow some projects to move forward on almost a round-the-clock basis.
  • Those who are more fully-rounded in skill sets  – content creation, scripting, etc., – are encouraged to apply, but LL will also take on specialists.
  • Motivated, outgoing, communicative people with a passion for SL and willing to self-teach themselves new skill sets are particularly considered.

SL19B MTL: Brad Oberwager and Philip Rosedale – summary

via Linden Lab

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 saw the second in the SL19B Meet the Lindens events, Featuring Linden Lab board member and Executive Chairman Brad Oberwager (Oberwolf Linden), together with Linden Lab founder (and now Second Life Strategic Advisor) Philip Rosedale.

Notes:

  • This was a pre-recorded interview, with no opportunity to ask questions directly of the participants.

 

Table of Contents

  • The following is a summary, not a full transcript, and items have been grouped by topic, so may not be presented chronologically when compared to the video.

A Little Background

Brad Oberwager

[Video: 0:00-5:30]

Brad Oberwager is one of the three investors who acquired Linden Lab in 2020, together with J. Randall (Randy) Waterfield and Raj Date. Since the acquisition closed, he has been very hands-on at Linden Lab, working alongside members of the management team, and he has also brought-in long-time business associate Cammy Bergren as the company’s Chief of Staff.

His biography, as supplied by the Lab reads as follows:

Brad Oberwager has spent his entire career in technology and consumer focused companies as an entrepreneur and board member.
Currently, he sits on the board of two public companies, Asure Software (NASDAQ: ASUR) and Better World (NASDAQ: BWACU). He is the chairman of two companies he founded, Jyve and Sundia and is also on the board of TEGSCO (aka AutoReturn). He owned Bare Snacks, acquired by PepsiCo in 2018.
Brad was Vice-chair of YPO International, a global organization of 25,000 CEOs [where he met and became friends with J. Randall Waterfield, another of the Lab’s owners / board member].
Brad received his BS from Georgetown University, his MBA from the Wharton School and lives in San Francisco.

Philip Rosedale

Philip Rosedale earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and computer science from the University of California, San Diego, and in 1985 he created a video conferencing product called “FreeVue”, which was ultimately purchased by Real Networks, for whom he went to work, rising to the positions vice president and chief technology officer.

Departing Real Networks at the end of the 1990s, he founded Linden Research Inc (functioning as Linden Lab), and commenced work on trying to develop both the hardware and software for an immersive virtual reality system. The company switched to focusing on the software – which it called Linden World -, launching it as a publicly-accessible platform under the name Second Life in 2003. As founder and CEO, Rosedale steered the company through until 2008, when he stepped back from the role of CEO to become chair of the board of directors.

In 2009, he founded LoveMachine Inc., with  Ryan Downe, which later evolved into Coffer and Power (2011), with Rosedale briefly returning to Linden Lab in 2010 as interim CEO. After two years developing a mobile application called Workclub that helped bring contractors and those seeking them together, he and Downe announced Coffee & Power would become a new company, High Fidelity Inc. (2013), focused on building a fully decentralised virtual reality environments, and the required supporting applications / services. In 2019, High Fidelity ceased working on this platform to focus on one of the key supporting services: spatial audio, with their product subsequently being licensed by a number of companies.

In 2021, High Fidelity invested in Linden Research, brining in both staff and patents that might be used with the platform, and while High Fidelity still very much operates as an independent entity, Rosedale took the part-time position of Strategic Advisor to Linden Lab.

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Questions Specific to Brad Oberwager

Spending Time In-world

[Video: 7:36-9:12]

  • Has been 18 months since taking over Linden Lab.
  • Does spend a “tremendous” amount of time “on Second Life” – it is his primary business focus, and he is constantly working to ensure the resources needed to improve and grow the platform and its products and available.
  • However, as a result, does not get to spend much time within Second Life as an avatar.

What Drew Him to Second Life, and How Does He Feel 18 Months On?

[Video: 15:00-21:31]

  • Has known Philip for more than a decade and they are close friends, so has always been aware of SL.
  • This awareness included knowing that the former investors – as venture capitalists – had reached a point where they wanted to sell LL as a going concern and move on. However, due to the complexities in running the platform as both a social experiment and an open-ended, creative platform for its users where they can engage in direct commerce with one another, make it it hard to find a buyer.
  • After one opportunity fell through, Brad decided to get involved and make an offer to buy the company. As expertise on the financial side would be required, he contacted J. Randal Waterfield, and together they worked out a deal by which they could acquire Second Life and Tilia (the company’s money service business) and continue to move both forward
  • 18 months on, feels that the acquisition of Linden Lab is more exciting. In purely monetary terms, sees running a business as having three options by which to add monetary value:
    • By increasing revenue whilst keeping expenses the same.
    • By keeping revenue the same and decreasing expenses.
    • By increasing expenses [/outlay] in order to drive revenue higher, and try to ensure the latter outpaces the former – which tends to be the hardest, but most interesting, of the three options.
  • Second Life is proving that it is capable of the third option: it is possible to invest (increase expenses) and grow revenue.
  • Within the company, the mantra is, “give two dollars of value, but only charge a dollar” – the idea being LL might lose money as a result of something they introduce, but over time, that loss will be recoups and turned into a revenue gain.
    • An example of this has been Linden Homes and Bellisseria, what have, and continue to cost LL to develop and maintain, but which has generated considerable excitement for users and a social investment that is hope to grow an eventual return on the investment made in the development.
  • This is the core idea behind Premium Plus – to offer greater value to those wishing to use the capabilities offered, but at an overall lower cost than might be the case with raising Premium fees to cover the same, whilst still allowing those who do not wish to go Premium Plus to still have Premium.

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Questions Specific to Philip Rosedale

What Pleases Him the Most about Second Life?

[Video: 5:36-7:30]

  • In the early days, felt it was the collaborative nature of design and building and the escalating designs.
  • Has always appreciated travelling in SL and seeing the diverse region designs and all of the art and creativity.
  • What he particularly appreciates about the platform today is that, despite the state of the physical world, it remains a place of hope in the way it brings people together who engage and communicate with one another, build communities, all in generally positive ways .
  • Would love to see this positivity, love, and engagement transferred somehow into the physical world.

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What Drew Him Back to Virtual Reality?

[Video: 9:15-14:22]

  • Opening the means for people to communicate and engage with one another through the use of technology / on-line has always been one of his driving passions.
  • FreeVue was revolutionary in it time – if limited by the technology. By the time of SL, the technology allowed the ball to be moved much further forward.
  • High Fidelity (HiFi) came about as a result of him purchasing one of the gyroscopic chips now used within VR headsets, experimenting with it and realising the potential it represented for VR – although admits he was wrong in his belief of how fast head-mounted displays (HMDs) would “change the world”.
  • Ten years on from that point, recognises that HMDs have yet to reach that tipping-point, and understands that connecting people is harder than the technology alone.
  • Does believe [as I’ve actually always stated as a layperson – please pardon the horn tooting] there are specific vertical markets for HMDs. One such vertical is education – which is also a market where Second Life has long proved its value, and is a market that will only grow as technologies such as HMDs mature.

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Second Life and “the Metaverse”

On SL and Upcoming “Metaverse Platforms”

[Video: 31:04-40:35]

  • Philip Rosedale:
    • Notes the origins of the term “metaverse” in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snowcrash, and notes that what we’re seeing now is the latest resurgence of interest in the idea.
    • Believes this resurgence has been spurred by three things: COVID and the need for social isolation; the general rise in noise around crypto and web 3.0; and Facebook throwing a Hail Mary in trying to claim the “Meta” verse to recapture HMD hype.
    • Notes that much of the noise around crypto and NFTs actually echoes what has been available in Second Life since its earliest days. However:
      • Within Second Life, the concept of “the metaverse” was empowering people to create things together within a single space. This is what spurred everything else – you needed an economy not for “currency” speculation, but to enable people to engage in commerce.
      • Much of the current thinking about “the metaverse” runs contrary to this, as it starts with exploitation: obtaining data from people in order to push them into consumer-based activities.
    • Very much hopes SL can continue to grow as an example of what “the metaverse” can more positively be, and encourage others to move in the same direction.
    • Does worry that the term “the metaverse” is being used to promote ideas very different to those found in SL, ideas that see personal data as the “currency”.
  • Brad Oberwager:
    • In terms of Meta and the rest, they have had zero impact on Second Life; Zuckerberg may try to usurp the term “metaverse” but the residents of Second Life just carry on.
    • Where there is a broader impact, it is in consideration of where and what to invest in within Second Life, particularly in terms of rising above those environments that are being built around the crypto-currency / advertising model which could have the advantage of offering experiences for “free” where they’d have to be charged for within SL.
    • However, LL is steadfastly against direct advertising intrusion as a means of leveraging “payment” for services to users. This means the focus is liable to remain on the precepts of creativity and social engagement, and trying to encourage social groups into the platform by offering unique opportunities and experiences.
    • Touches on TOSL – The Office of Second Life and the management team of Grumpity, Mojo, Brett and Patch Linden, who are responsible for running the day-to-day Second Life operations – and their focus on attempting to bring richer, deeper experiences into Second Life.
    • Notes that the resurgence interest in “the metaverse” from other companies offers LL the potential to pick and choose who they might want to partner / collaborate with in order to bring new experiences to SL residents.

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On SL’s Longevity Compared to Other Platforms?

[Video 40:39-46:00]

  • Philip Rosedale::
    • Again, the collaborating, creative elements.
    • A common critique of Second Life in the early years was the lack of polish to the viewer UI, and predictions that once “professional” designs stated work on a competitor, virtual worlds will take off. However, this wasn’t the case and polish to the UI wasn’t the key.
    • Another point is that today, the big audience pullers of the world – Fortnite, Roblox, etc., – tend to cater to a younger demographic; but the reality is still that there is nothing that caters for “grown up” sensibilities and creativity in a manner that matches SL, and none of the alternatives – VR Chat, etc, – are close to offering the broad range of creative freedom or the audience reach to be seriously considered a core part of “the metaverse”.
    • This ability to capture a more adult demographic is potentially the “secret sauce” any platform needs to feed it if is to grow to fulfil a vision of “the metaverse” – and it is something that is hard to find .
    • Also feels that there are a lot of governance, technology and management hurdles that need to be cleared – and that’s going to take a lot of time for others to sort out and SL continue to build upon.

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Continue reading “SL19B MTL: Brad Oberwager and Philip Rosedale – summary”

SL19B MTL – Patch Linden: Premium Plus and more + video

via Linden Lab
Monday, June 20th, 2022 saw the first in the SL19B Meet the Lindens events, this one featuring Patch Linden, the Lab’s Vice President of Product Operations.

The following is a summary of the session covering the core topics raised, with selected audio extracts. The full video is located at the end of this article.

Note that this is a summary, not a full transcript, and items have been grouped by topic, so may not be presented chronologically when compared to the video.

Table of Contents

The TL;DR Summary

  • Premium Plus:
    • Launches June 23rd, 2022.
    • Offers a new subscription package for users, with benefits over and above those of Premium membership.
    • Priced at US $29.99 per month (or an introductory US $24.99, available for the first 30 days after launch) or US $249 annually.
    • Existing Premium members may / will receive some form of pro-rata upgrade path.
    • Does not replace either Free accounts or Premium subscriptions, but exists alongside them.
  • Event Regions: will now be priced at US $599 a month, with no set-up fee.
  • Linden Homes: further new themes; re-visits to existing themes to update them; new large-scale community centres; first Premium Plus theme possibly towards the end of 2022; retirement of old Linden Homes regions to be revisited with a view to starting that process.
  • General Discussion:  a series of questions, arranged by topic and with short answers: most significant changes to SL; the overall effect of the COVID-19 situation on SL use; SL and the metaverse; improvements to Mainland.

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About Patch Linden

  • Originally a Second Life resident and business owner who joined the platform in 2004, and became a Linden in September 2007.
  • Initially worked as a support agent and then as a support liaison. From there he moved to the Concierge team, eventually becoming that team’s manager.
  • Shifted focus to the role of Operations Support Manager for a year, then moved to the Product group, the team responsible for defining the features, etc., found within Second Life.
  • At Product he developed the Land Operations team, which includes the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW).
  • In 2018, he established the company’s support office in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 2020 he oversaw the move to larger office space in Atlanta, interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2019 he was promoted to Vice President, Product Operations, and joined the Lab’s management team alongside Grumpity and former VP of Engineering Oz Linden (see: Linden Lab’s management team expands: congrats to Grumpity, Patch and Oz).
  • Together with Grumpity and (now Mojo Linden and Brett Linden(, he forms the leadership team overseeing Second Life’s continued development.
  • In his management team role, Patch continues to oversee all of the Lab’s user support operations (some 5 teams), including the LDPW.
  • Despite his longevity at the Lab, his is not the longest-serving Linden, nor is he the “oldest” resident-turned-Linden.
  • Sees the most significant changes to SL during his time being: the arrival of voice (2007), Mesh (2010), Pathfinding (2011), Experience Keys (initially 2015, fully in 2019/2020), Bento  (2016/17), Animesh (2018/19) and EEP (2018/19), and Bakes on Mesh (2019).

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Premium Plus

[Video: 22:49-41:23]

Outline

  • Premium Plus is a new subscription package that has been in development for some 18 months. As the name suggests, it offers additional / increased benefits in comparison to the Premium membership package.
  • It is in addition to, not a replacement of, Premium membership, which will continue, as will the free Basic account.
  • Full details of the Premium Plus offering will be presented in a forthcoming official blog post. The following is a summary of the specifics mentioned by Patch.

Benefits “Above” Premium – In Brief

  • Sign-up bonus and stipend:
    • The sign-up bonus for Premium Plus will be L$3,000
    • The weekly stipend will be L$650.
  • Land: 2048 sq m of “free tier”.
    • This can be split between Mainland parcels and a Linden Home, as per Premium.
  • Linden Homes:
    • Still only one Linden Home per account
    • Premium Plus members will be able to go via Land Support to request they are given a specific Linden Home parcel this is not currently part of the automatic Linden Home assignment system (i.e. being handled by the Linden Homes ordering web page).
      • Any existing Linden Home must be abandoned first.
      • Such requests will generally be filled in 24 hours, but only if the requested parcel does move into the automatic Linden Home assignment system in the interim.
    • Future Linden Home options for Premium Plus:
      • Homes specifically designed for 2048 sq m parcels.
      • Premium Plus Linden Home parcels may be given the ability to have house styles from the 512/1024 sq m Premium themes, allowing those who want more land with their Linden Home to have it.
    • [Video 51:23-51:42] The first Premium Plus Linden Homes theme might be released towards the end of 2022.
  • Upgraded capabilities:
    • Group count doubles over Premium to 140.
    • Off-line message cap doubles of Premium to 160.
    • Animesh attachments will apparently increase (Patch said from 1 to 2, but Premium members already get 2 Animesh attachments, so it is unclear if Patch was just referencing Premium Plus with Basic accounts here).
    • Premium Plus members will be able to create two land Experiences (rather than just one, as per Premium).
  • Fees:
    • No upload fees for textures, animations, sounds.
    • No fees for event listings.
    • Mesh / Animesh upload fees will change for Premium Plus will be adjusted in the future.
    • Group creation fee reduced to L$10
  • Special support ‘phone line, with a toll-free 800 number, with international users able to use this via the likes of Skype without incurring international call fees.
  • Premium Plus sandbox access.
  • Premium Plus gifts.
  • [Video: 1:09:12-1:09:21] Potential for early access to Lab-run events (e.g. Shop and Hop events).

Premium Plus Fees

  • Monthly: US $29.99 (or $24.99 for the first month, if taken out in the first 30 days after launch).
  • Annually: US $249 (equiv. to US $20.75 a month).

Launch date

  • Thursday, June 23rd, 2022.

Premium Plus Audience Questions

  • [Video: 47:10-48:51] Will Premium Plus subscribers be able to choose their own Last Name, rather than picking from a list?
    • No, thei system isn’t set-up for totally free-form names. But the ability to change your last name for less than the current $49.99 fee is a potential “future add-on” for Premium Plus.
  • [Video: 57:30-58:25] Will those already grandfathered on the L$500 a week stipend, will this be factored into Premium Plus (so their stipend would be L$850 per week)? If they later downgrade back to Premium, will they regain their grandfathered stipend of L$500, rather than dropping to L$300?
    • Needs to be clarified, possibly in the official blog post for Premium Plus, when this is published.
  • [Video: 1:07:17-1:08:12] Could renting a Homestead region from LL be de-coupled from having to own a Full region as well, for Premium Plus?
    • Probably not, given the doubling of land tier already provided in the Premium Plus package, and the fact the breaking the lock between Homestead and Full regions could have widespread economic implications for existing estates.
  • [Video: 1:12:58-1:13:36] Will there be a pro-rata upgrade path for those on Premium to move to Premium Plus?
    • Yes, but does not have specifics [presumably within the official blog post, when published].

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Event Regions

[Video: 12:45-21:03]

  • LL started tinkering with the idea of flexing the capabilities available through AWS to try to develop a product reflective of those capabilities.
  • The move to provide such a product was born out of a belief that for large-scale events in SL, concurrency matters.
  • In testing, the Lab managed to get a shopping event region running reasonably well with up to 231 avatars (providing users dialled-down some viewer graphics options – DD, complexity, etc., dialled down).
  • Event regions tend to run best in a “standalone” mode, rather than connected to other regions (particularly other event regions), largely due to issues around avatars and child agents¹ on multiple regions. This is why there were issues during the SL19B opening ceremony, as the avatar (175 per region) was set too high for adjoining regions .
  • The “introductory” tier of $599 per month and no set-up fee (which had been due to end on June 6th) will now be the de facto fee for Event regions.
  • Event regions are open to land owners / estate to rent from LL, should they also wish to hire them out to those organising events.

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Linden Homes

[Video: 49:15-57:18]

  • LL “constantly looking” at ways to improve Linden Homes; this work includes additional house styles within the existing themes.
    • The original Traditional Homes will be seeing “a slate” of improvements.
  • New “grand scale” community centres to match those of the more recent themes (such as Sakura and Fantasy) or those like Campwich Lodge (Log Theme), etc., are being developed for the earlier Linden Home theme environments.
Sakura Linden Homes – Shobu Community Centre, May 2022. More such centres are likely to be coming to Linden Home environments
  • Further new Themes will continue to be deployed, which the next release for 2022 possibly being Premium Plus homes.
    • The idea of having “Premium Plus neighbourhoods” mixed in with Premium Linden Homes has been toyed with, but nothing has been decided either way.
  • Thus far, the most popular themes (in terms of lack of availability due to occupancy) appear to be Traditional Homes, Houseboats and Stilt Homes, following by Log Homes.
  • In terms of increased capabilities / options, the Fantasy theme homes are probably the most popular, followed by Sakura.
  • It is likely that the plan to “wind down” the original Linden Homes and their mini-continents will be looked at again in the near future .
    • This will not simply be a “turning off” of the regions, leaving those still living among them homeless, but will be handled with care and methodically.
    • Some instances of the older home may be preserved in some way, such as under the SLRPS banner, particular those elements that have a story behind them [e.g. Cape Ekim and the mystery of Professor Linden].

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General Discussion

  • Personal list of most significant changes in Second Life [Video 1:46-4:07]:
    • The 2007 implementation of Windlight + the arrival of voice.
    • The addition of Sculpties, and then mesh import (2010).
    • Pathfinding (2012).
    • Bakes on Mesh (2019).
    • The move to AWS (2019-2021).
    • Feels that SL is still at the forefront of what is being called “the metaverse”.
  • Last two years – COVID and user influx [Video 5:51-7:39]:
    • SL is still “well above” pre-pandemic levels, from economic activity (land, MP, on-world purchases, etc).
    • The sharp uptake in SL has slowed, but there has been no significant falling away of engagement.
  • SL and the “metaverse” [Video: 7:44-9:35]:
    • Believes that all of the interest in “the Metaverse” is good for Second Life.
    • Believes all the virtual worlds will have to work together – at some point in the future – to allow a degree of interoperability if “the metaverse” is to achieve its goals.
  • Mainland [Video: 41:37-45:36]:
    • LL is aware there is a lot of abandoned land on Mainland that could be made available / be improved with new landscaping.
    • However, there are no plans at present to add further mainland coastline to those continents that might otherwise be able to take it, because so much in the way of parcels inland remain available. This include the Zindra Adult continent.
    • The pricing of current coastline areas of Mainland are subject to the same laws of supply and demand as the rest of the Mainland (unless price gauging can be demonstrated).

Q&A Session

[Video: 58:47-end]

A range of general questions, some related to Premium Plus (and which have been listed above), the majority on more general topics. Please refer to the video for these.

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Footnotes

  1. Simply put, a Child Agent refers to a secondary agent (avatar) presence associated with your own, then can exist in regions physically adjoining to the one you are currently in, allowing you to “see” into a connected regions (and have it render in your viewer).

Child agents are not physically rendered avatars but a simulator resource, as such they can directly influence region performance.

Session Video

SL19B: your unofficial pocket guide to the celebrations

SL19B, June 16th through July 5th, 2022: The Steamworks

Second Life marks its 19th anniversary in 2022 with a week-long celebration of music, entertainment, art and more across 44 regions, nine of which are given over to exhibits from Second Life residents, and which include the companion Shop and Hop event.

With core celebrations running through until Sunday, June 26th, the birthday regions and the Shop and Hop event will remain open through until July 5th, 2022, and the theme for this year’s event is – Steampunk!

The gates have now opened, but as there was no opportunity for any previews by bloggers, etc., in advance, we’re all scrabbling around trying to put things together. Hopefully, however, this will serve as a shorthand guide, and my apologies for any omissions.

Key Events

In terms of major events, what does SL19B hold? Well, the best way the stay abreast of all that’s going on is via the official calendar of events, which I’ve embedded below.

  • Use the Week / Month options, top right to change the calendar view.
  • Click on any given line item on any given day of festivities to view more information, including teleport SLurls.

Grand Opening

Patch Linden will be formally opening SL18B at 12:00 SLT at the Arboretum, which will also be streamed as a You Tube Lab Gab special, in which Strawberry Linden will afterwards host a tour of the SL19B regions.

Meet the Lindens

As per usual, SL19B will feature a series of Meet the Lindens sessions, which can be attended in-world and live streamed via the Second Life You Tube channel. The sessions will all take place at the Arboretum, and will feature the following guests:

Day (Times SLT) Featured Guest(s)
Monday 20th June, 14:00
Patch Linden, Vice President of Product Operations.
Tuesday 21st June, 14:00 Linden Lab Executive Chair Brad Oberwager and Technical Advisor Philip Rosedale
Wednesday 22nd, June, 14:00 The Marketing Team.
Thursday 23rd June, 14:00 Grumpity Linden, Vice President of Second Life Product and Mojo Linden, Vice President of Engineering.
Friday 24th June, 14:00 Meet the Moles of the Linden Department of Public Works.

Premium Plus Announcement

If all is still going according to plan, at least one of the Meet the Lindens sessions should see the official announcement of the Premium Plus subscription package: what it is, what it will contain, what it will cost and when it will be launching.

SL19B, June 16th through July 5th, 2022: The Arboretum stage

SL19B Music Fest

  • The Music Fest will kick-off at 13:00  SLT on Thursday, June 16th, and conclude at 22:00 SLT on Saturday, June 18th.
  • It will take place at three venues across the SLB regions, with one venue hosting the event on each day.
Time (SLT) June 16th – Arboretum June 17th – The Steamworks June 18th – Vernian Rotunda
09;00 Gates Open
10;00 Cylindrian Rutabaga
11:00 Opening Ceremony Oblee Tia Rungray
Noon AnLaik Skye Galaxy
13:00 Marqs DeSade The Interplanetary Liberation Front Tempio Breil
14:00 Joaquin Gustav Randy De Lucia SEMINA
15:00 Joka Shuggah! Mimi Carpenter
16:00 Holly Giles Sam King Frogg Marlowe & Jaycatt Nico (Effinjay)
17;00 Angelikus Deo J Lively spiritLed
18:00 Ruvie Gatchie Agatha Nowles Jimmyt49 Dukes
19:00 Seth Regan Grace Loudon Mae Loved
21:00 John Rocky
21:00 Gabryel Nyoki

Shop and Hop

The SL19B Shop and Hop event is the largest S&H event thus far held.

  • 20 regions of shopping.
  • 400 creators offering 20% or more off of items.
  • Open through until July 5th, 2022.
  • Find direct SLurls to all participating creators here OR use the SLurls at the end of this article to jump to any of the Shop and Hop regions.
SL19B, June 16th through July 5th, 2022: The Vernian Rotunda

Other Points of Interest

The Tapestry of Time and Gift Area.

First presented in 2018, the region-wide Tapestry of Time presents visitor with a walk-through of Second Life’s history from 2003 through to the present day using images, text and videos. True, not everything has been recorded, but there’s enough within the region to be of interest to the historically minded.

within the Tapestry of Time can be found the SL19B Gift Area, offering gifts from the Birthday exhibitors and from merchants participating in the Shop & Hop event.

The Community Gallery

For 19 years, Second Life has offered us a virtual space to create, define and explore, bringing people from around the world together to create, share, discover new interests and make new friends, participate in games and adventures, to learn and discuss, and simply have fun.

For SL19B, the Community Gallery has been created to offer a place where visitors can share their memories of their times and adventures, memories that turned a virtual world into a community of Residents.

Pod Tours

Once again, Yavanna Llanfair‘s excellent pod tours will be circulating through the SLB regions. Hop on any that are free as they pass, or grab one from the pod tours station.

Exhibitor Regions

As is common for SLB events, the mix of content is varied, and the representation of interests broad. Role-play groups, arts, communities, are represented across the nine regions open to exhibitors; some are static, others are interactive in nature.

  • Direct links to the exhibitor regions can be found in the SLurls lists at the end of this piece.
  • Information / SLurls for individual exhibitors can be found in the SL19B Community Experiences pages of the Destination Guide.

Note that teleport boards are available throughout the region for jumping between them.

SL19B, June 16th through July 5th, 2022: The Steamworks stage 

Advice on a Better Experience

The SL19B regions – celebratory and Shop & Hop can get exceptionally busy. To help ease the pain for you:

  • If you have a high draw distance, reduce it to  as low as is comfortable for your enjoyment.
  • Turn off shadows in your viewer if you usually have them enabled.
  • Go to Preferences → Graphics and reduce the slider Max # Non-Imposter Avatars to a minimum and dial-down your Complexity slider.
  • Remove texture-heavy HUDs to free-up more texture memory.
  • To assist the simulator, remove unnecessary scripted attachments.
  • Dress lightly, avoid accessories of high complexity.

SLurls and Destination Guide Links

Core Event Region SLurls

All SLB regions are rated General.

  • The Arboretum – home to the Opening Ceremony, the Meet the Lindens sessions, the June 16th Music Fest line-up and more:

Arboretum 1Arboretum 2Arboretum 3

  • The Steamworks – home to the June 17th Music Fest line-up, and other entertainment:

Steamworks 1Steamworks 2Steamworks 3Steamworks 4

  • Vernian Rotunda – home to the June 18th Music Fest line-up, and other entertainment:

:Vernian Rotunda 1Vernian Rotunda 2Vernian Rotunda 3Vernian Rotunda 4

Exhibitor Region Landing Points

SLB Amaze SL1B Astonish SLB Astound
SLB Breathtaking SLB Captivate SLB Electrify
SLB Enchant SLB Fantasy SLB Imagination

Destination Guide and Other Links

SL19B: Shop & Hop, Music Fest and Meet the Lindens

via Linden Lab

The Second Life 19th Birthday celebrations are almost upon us, and on Tuesday, June 14th, the Lab published information on the Music Fest, together with the main calendar of events.

To help people with planning, I’ve pulled in the Music Fest info here, together with some key dates for other events during the celebrations. I’ll also have more on SL19B in general as a part of my Pocket Guide to the celebrations, complete with a list of SLurls and links, which will be available when the gates open!

Important: please note that all SLurls given below will only be available for general access when SL19B opens to the public.

Shop and Hop

The SL19B Shop and Hop event is perhaps the largest S&H event thus far held, featuring no fewer than 20 regions and 400 creators.

  • Public access to Shop and Hop, 10:00 SLT on Thursday, June 16th, 2022.
  • Early access for Second Life Birthday Group members from 09:00 SLT  on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022.

Note: these SLurls will be available on Wednesday, June 15th for members of the Second Life Birthday Group, and from 09:00 SLT on Thursday, June 16th for everyone.

Aurelian Chickory Dahlia Delphinium
Forsythia Frosted Gilded Gleaming
Golden Halcyon Hollyhock Jubilant
Lavendar (sic) Lupine Poppy Snapdragon
Snowflake Sugarplum Tinseled Zinnia

A full list of participating creators with direct SLurls  to there S&H stores is available here.

Music Fest

The Music Fest will kick-off at 13:00  SLT on Thursday, June 16th, and conclude at 22:00 SLT on Saturday, June 18th. It will take place at three venues across the SLB regions, with one venue hosting the event on each day.

Time (SLT) June 16th – Arboretum June 17th – The Steamworks June 18th – Vernian Rotunda
09;00 Gates Open
10;00 Cylindrian Rutabaga
11:00 Opening Ceremony Oblee Tia Rungray
Noon AnLaik Skye Galaxy
13:00 Marqs DeSade The Interplanetary Liberation Front Tempio Breil
14:00 Joaquin Gustav Randy De Lucia SEMINA
15:00 Joka Shuggah! Mimi Carpenter
16:00 Holly Giles Sam King Frogg Marlowe & Jaycatt Nico (Effinjay)
17;00 Angelikus Deo J Lively spiritLed
18:00 Ruvie Gatchie Agatha Nowles Jimmyt49 Dukes
19:00 Seth Regan Grace Loudon Mae Loved
21:00 John Rocky
21:00 Gabryel Nyoki

Meet The Lindens

As per usual, SL19B will feature a series of Meet the Linden sessions, which can be attended in-world and (hopefully) live streamed via You Tube. The sessions will all take place at the Arboretum, which can be reach via the following SLurls:

Arboretum 1Arboretum 2Arboretum 3

Day (Times SLT) Featured Guest(s)
Monday 20th June, 14:00
Patch Linden, Vice President of Product Operations.
Tuesday 21st June, 14:00 Linden LAb Executive Chair Brad Oberwager and Founder Philip Rosedale.
Wednesday 22nd, June, 14:00 Marketing Team.
Thursday 23rd June, 14:00 Grumpity Linden, Vice President of Second Life Product and Mojo Linden, Vice President of Engineering.
Friday 24th June, 14:00 Meet the Moles. The Moles are builders, scripters, and content creators employed by Linden Lab to work in the Linden Department of Public Works.

Second Life Birthday Calendar

The provides a full breakdown of events -note again that all times are SLT. Click here to open it in a separate browser tab.

Destination Guide links

Note: some of these may not be available until Thursday, June 16th:

SL19B exhibitor applications are open

via Linden Lab

June 2022 will see Second Life celebrate it’s 19th anniversary of opening to public access, and this year’s Second Life Birthday will run from Thursday, June 16th, with the Birthday regions open through until Tuesday, July 5th, and the main celebration events taking place from June 16th through to Sunday, June 26th, 2022. The theme this year is Steampunk.

On Thursday, March 31st, 2022, the Lab opened applications for exhibitor and volunteers. In calling for exhibitors the Lab notes:

Your exhibit does not need to stay in theme. If you are inspired by the thought of the hidden worlds around you, show us! Or, share your Second Life passions with us. Your interests. Your communities. Your worlds! Every year we celebrate because of you, the amazing and creative Residents, who have chosen to call Second Life home. What has drawn you into this world and what keeps you here? This year at the nineteenth  annual Second Life Birthday, show us what fuels your Second Life and inspires you. Let’s go exploring!

Those who are interested in exhibiting at SL19B are asked to read, complete and submit the official exhibitor application form, which includes this year’s Exhibitor Rules. Note that the closing date for applications is Sunday, May 8th.

At the same time, the Lab is seeking volunteers to assist during the celebrations, again noting:

We are looking for Residents with great people skills and a love and excitement for Second Life to help us make SL19B a huge success! That starts by making a great experience for visitors. If you like the idea of promoting Second Life in a positive way to thousands of people in a celebratory atmosphere, we welcome you to apply today!

Those who fancy volunteer are asked to complete and submit the volunteer application. Again, note the closing date is Sunday, May 8th.

This brings the total list of application form to: