Friday, December 21, 2007

Moving SL content to other worlds sparks debate

Oclee draws my attention to a page on the Crystal Studio blog, in which they demonstrate that they are able to rip content from SL and place it into other game engines. He also helpfully provides a link to an animated discussion going on in the SL forums until a Linden stomps on the resmod's ability to allow debate.

This certainly opens up a whole can of worms. Did they get permission to rip the content shown on their demo from SL? If they did, it is strange that no acknowledgement is given on the page. If they did not, it rather undermines the credibility of their statement that they will ensure that content is owned by you before they rip it out of SL and into another world.

On the other hand... the possibility for being able to take the things you make in SL and export them as useable items or builds in other worlds is a seductive one. The problem that if they can do that for you then other people can do it with things that don't belong to them... seems to me that a whole new area of law is opening up, and I am not sure in which direction I should hope it goes.

Postscript: Oclee dashes my hopes that this might be a viable option for moving things between one world and another, with his opinion that you would get a lot of subpar unoptimised meshes using this technique and that it might well be quicker to build things from scratch. Sometimes I prefer the rose tinted glasses that being a non-techie gives me!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How to teleport people...

Yesterday I popped into SF designs, on a search for a pair of sneakers for Oclee Hornet, my Second Life partner of two years. As it happened, Swaffette Firefly was close to the teleport point, and we exchanged complaints about the current weirdenesses of SL.

She complained that one of the major frustrations was her inability to teleport customers to the shop when they requested it, as one can only teleport friends at the moment.

I was able to hand her a solution to this problem, and so I now share it with you.

In the past, offering a teleport to a person you didn't know was simply a case of finding their profile using the search facility and then clicking the teleport button.

While in SL, look at the headings along the top of the screen. If you have a heading which says "client", click on the heading, go down to view admin options, and click on it.

This should enable teleport on even stranger's profiles.

If you don't see "client" along the headings on the top of the screen, press control and alt, and D to open them up for you.

I'm not sure what the reason is for hiding the teleport option for anyone who isn't on your friends list, but this should overcome it.

Cory Linden leaves LL

The big news has to be Cory Linden/Ondreijka leaving Linden Labs. Moo Money posted the news on Massively, and my attention was drawn to it by Moopf first thing yesterday morning.

It has shaken the people I have talked to today. Cory is one of the main architects of SL, and nobody knows what the consequences will be if he leaves the company. More than that, the Tao of Linden, for those who have romantic ideas about how it works or does not work, is tarnished by the news that two of the most important members of the company have been having substantial differences in the past few weeks... it seems to confirm what a lot of bloggers and commentators have been saying for a long time: there is no substitute for someone having the balls to take decisions and manage the company, in short.

If the saintly Linden machine can't resolve differences at this level in the company, it is difficult to see that it works lower down the pecking order. To those of us who spend as much time in world as most Lindens, but only get to observe the way things work - or don't work - from the outside, it is hard to know how it is, really. I am reminded of a comment my son once made about school, when he told me "the thing is, there are two schools really, the one the teachers think they go to, and the one I get to go to, and they are completely different places which happen to be in the same place...."

I often get the feeling that there are two SLs really... the one which I inhabit and the one that the Lindens work in. Sometimes the divergence between the two SLs is very frustrating, for example when you meet a Linden who is unaware of the currently prevailing building bug, or who seems to be completely ignorant of the constraints (prim limits, avatar limits) that govern the world for most users.

I have noticed in SL, that individuals tend to appear more generous, open and available in world than in real life, while groups appear to be more volatile and unstable in world than in real life. Sometimes it seems that groups are going through some sort of basic cell division, where people join together for a while, then split off and form their own groups, which in turn spawn their own groups.

Of course, the chief architect of Second Life may well be in demand for other ventures of a similar nature, and he has unique experience to be able to assist the many potential worlds currently in incubation around the world. People have speculated that a competitor world which was run more efficiently than SL might well have a positive effect upon SL.

For me, it will be interesting to see if the people who set up SL begin to reflect this subdividing effect which is already apparent in world, and whether this has a strengthening or weakening effect on the worlds they are co-creating.

Cali in Second Life

I have been blogging about Second Life for months, here there and everywhere. Firstly on Second Life Insider, then on VTOR, and now I think the time has come for me to blog in my own right.

I've been in Second Life for four years in February 2008, and I have tried most things there are to try. I am a builder and developer in Second Life, and sometimes that makes it difficult to be honest about things I write about... if I say someone else's build is rubbish, will they come rubbish my builds too? If I say what I think about a commercial company, will they blacklist us as developers?

In the end, you have to tell the truth, I think, for people to respect your integrity and to take notice of what you say. So that's what I plan to do. I don't know what I shall write about, because I am interested in a lot of things, and I love to help people take their first steps in SL. I love it when a tip I have given to someone makes a difference to their experience of SL, whether that is a place to visit, or how to make a one prim photo frame.

I plan for this blog to be the place to find the things I like in SL, the things I hate in SL, the things I am doing in SL, and the things I am thinking about in SL.