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Linden Lab

A few months ago, we released a Project Viewer that made it possible to use the first generation Oculus Rift development kit (DK1) anywhere in Second Life.

Since then, Oculus Rift has released a second generation development kit, DK2. The new hardware offers an even more immersive experience when used with Second Life - there’s less likelihood of feeling motion sick thanks to the motion-tracking features, and less of the “screen-door effect” on the visuals, thanks to higher resolution and brighter display.

We’ve integrated the DK2 with Second Life, and today are releasing a new Project Viewer so that virtual reality enthusiasts with the DK2 can use it anywhere in Second Life, just as DK1 users can.

Unfortunately, though, there are still some bugs impacting the experience, which we won’t be able to fix until we receive the next SDK from Oculus Rift. Because Second Life uses OpenGL in its browser, we cannot support direct mode in the Rift until Oculus releases a version of the SDK that supports that.

In addition, juddering is an issue (as it is with most DK2 demos).This can be significantly improved on Windows by turning off Aero, which allows the Rift to use its full refresh rate rather than being limited to the refresh rate of the primary monitor. This refresh rate is a major factor in the judder and turning off Aero can significantly improve your experience.

We’ll continue to fix bugs and improve the experience as quickly as we can once we get the next SDK, but in the meantime, we wanted to get this Project Viewer out into testers’ hands. If you have an Oculus Rift development kit, you can download the new Project Viewer here.

Here again is our video to help you get started using the Oculus Rift with Second Life.

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Linden Lab

10.13.2014: UPDATE: Oculus Rift DK2 Project Viewer Now Available.

At Linden Lab, we’ve been very happy to see all the recent activity and interest in the virtual reality space - it's a sign of progress and innovation in the industry and helps validate the space Second Life has led for more than 10 years. Developments like the Oculus Rift hold great potential for Second Life, and we're very excited to bring the virtual world into the future with new technologies and partners.

 A few weeks ago, we began a limited beta test of a version of the Second Life Viewer that makes it easy to use an Oculus Rift headset with Second Life for a fully immersive, VR experience. From the outset, we’ve seen strong interest in the integration, not only from existing Second Life users seeking a new way to experience the virtual world, but also from virtual reality enthusiasts eager to explore the enormous quantity and variety of user-created 3D content and social experiences inworld.

 The early beta testers of our integration have provided some valuable feedback, identifying bugs as well as providing suggestions for additional features and options that would improve the experience of using the Oculus Rift with Second Life. Today we’re pleased to announce that our Oculus Rift integration is now available as a Project Viewer, the first step toward becoming a part of the default Second Life Viewer.

 The Project Viewer features:

  • Full Oculus Rift Hardware Support - includes automatic hardware detection and display calibration for quick and easy setup.

  • Full UI Support - users can access the entire Second Life UI and HUDs while in Oculus Rift mode, so there are no limitations on what a user can do inworld while using the headset.

  • Customizable UI - users can tailor the settings for Oculus Rift mode that work best for their needs.

  • Avatar Head Motion - Oculus Rift head-tracking data is mapped to the avatar, so users’ avatars look where they do.

  • New First-Person View - allows users to enjoy the immersion previously available with mouselook mode, but thanks to the Oculus Rift, the mouse is free again to control the cursor, allowing for interaction with the UI and objects inworld.

  • “Align to Look” -  allows users to quickly start moving the direction they are looking.

  • “Action Key” - interact with objects by pressing a key, works great in mouselook mode.

Like our initial beta release, this Project Viewer is more about making it easy to get started using the Oculus Rift to view Second Life than it is about optimizing the UI for headset users. We’ve made some minor adjustments to the regular Second Life UI in order to present it in head-mounted display (HMD) mode, but the UI headset users will experience with this project Viewer is still essentially the same as you’d see without an Oculus Rift.

If you have an Oculus Rift headset and would like to use it with Second Life, get the Project  Viewer here. Getting started is easy - the Viewer includes automatic hardware detection and display calibration, and we’ve created this brief

to help:

You can use the Oculus Rift for an immersive 3D experience anywhere and everywhere in Second Life, and we’re also creating a new category in our Destination Guide to make it easy to find places that are particularly compelling with the Oculus Rift.

It’s still early days for the Oculus Rift (the hardware isn’t yet available to consumers), and we have more planned for our integration with the Second Life Viewer as well. We’ll keep you posted as development progresses, and we look forward to hearing more about your experiences using the Oculus Rift with Second Life!

 

Vogt Linden

Today, we are pleased to launch the new, and much improved, Second Life Community website. The new platform integrates Blogs, Forums, Answers, and the Knowledge Base into one powerful integrated system that enables you to more efficiently leverage the power and knowledge of the community. We have also redesigned the Customer Support Portal around this platform to make it easy to find the most relevant answers to your technical support and customer service questions online or to contact us when your issues are more complex.
 
Take a look at this video to get an overview of the many benefits that the new platform offers.

In addition to the video, we also wanted to share some helpful information and anticipate a few of your questions:
 

  • Unified Search: You can find the information that you’re looking for in one federated search field that returns organized results from relevant content in the Forums, Blogs, Answers, and the Knowledge Base.
  • Single Sign On: You do not need to be logged in to read the community content, but you do need to be logged in to contribute. Just use your normal Second Life username and password to login. 
  • Share Blog Posts and Knowledge Base Articles: If you find an interesting blog post or Knowledge Base article, then you can now share that information on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Other kinds of content, such as user-generated comments, Forum posts, etc., will not have this functionality available.
  • Contribution-Based Roles: You will notice that each person in Second Life has a role, or rank, based on his or her contributions to the platform. The roles start at Resident and go up to Helper and with each rank comes more capabilities. So, keep those contributions coming and watch your community platform ranking rise.
  • A Smarter SL Answers: Try out the new Answers section. You’ll immediately notice that when you type a keyword, an intuitive category search will return common matching solution results. And, solutions accepted by the question author are automatically nominated for Linden editorial review and possible inclusion in the Knowledge Base.
  • Please Resubscribe to RSS Feeds: If you had an RSS feed on the old blogs or forums, then you will need to resubscribe to the RSS feeds that interest you in the new system. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • FAQs Help You Get Acclimated: We have created a detailed Frequently Asked Questions area for each section of the new system that will get you up and running in no time.
  • Yes, Archives Are Still Available: We preloaded Answered questions, Blogs, Forums, and the Knowledge Base with recent posts and/or solutions to get the conversations started. However, if you want to find older content that was available in the old platform, then you can still access it through search in read-only format.

Thanks for your patience as we transitioned to the new system. Start exploring, contributing, and let us know what you think. As is always the case with new systems, you may run into bugs. If you do, then log them on JIRA. And, if you have general feedback on the community platform, then share it with is in the Feedback section of the Forums.

 

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Linden Lab

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We're excited to introduce Linden Realms, where Residents can dive directly into exploring the towers, caves and valleys of the Lab's first-ever game prototype. Dodge rock monsters and fierce fireballs as you cross deadly, toxic rivers to complete quests and cash in your crystals for Linden Dollars. And that's just the beginning...


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Quests take you through the basics of game-play in Second Life while you earn Linden Dollars. You’ll start at Basecamp on Tyrah’s Island, where you’ll have your pick of exciting destinations to choose from!


  • Sunspire — Investigate a tower of experiments in teleportation and astronomy.
  • Shattered Cavern — Go deep into an intricate system of caves that snake down under a small mountain.
  • Devil's Canyon — Brave a  dangerous valley of fire and rock monsters, where the courageous are rewarded.
  • Whisper Hollow — Hike through a forest full of secrets and obstacles.
  • Banshee Peak — Soar above it all at the northernmost point of the island and admire the view of Whisper Hollow.
  • Tyrah's Peak — Scale the snowy peak overlooking the center of the island and the Basecamp.
  • Dark Moon Bay — Explore this southernmost point of the island, where Tyrah wrecked her ship and hopes to eventually escape.


Our teams dove deep into the inworld creation process during development, and are eager to share some improved tools that came out of this effort. Residents will soon be able to use those tools to create even richer original experiences in Second Life.


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Dive in, explore — and experience the wonder of Linden Realms!

Linden Lab

The Second Life economy remained stable in Q3 2011. We closed the quarter with some positive momentum, with a continued increase in registrations and a stable Linden Dollar exchange rate with slight appreciation, as well as a higher amount of Linden Dollars held by customers. Most other key metrics were consistent with recent levels.  

For a definition of the metrics in this post, please see this wiki page. Click on each image below to see a larger version.

DAILY COMPLETED REGISTRATIONS

Following the launch of our new-user registration flow, improvements to the Premium offering and the launch of mesh, we’ve seen a continued uptick in registrations throughout Q3. In fact, August was the biggest growth month for Second Life in nearly four years, with Q3 averaging 45 percent more completed registrations per day than Q1 before the new reg flow was implemented.


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AVERAGE MONTHLY UNIQUE LOGGED-IN USERS

Average monthly logged-in users increased slightly from Q2 2011.  


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USER HOURS

User hours declined slightly, remaining within 2 percent of the most recent quarter.


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AVERAGE MONTHLY ECONOMIC PARTICIPANTS

Active economic participants grew by 2.8 percent over Q2 2011.


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AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE

The exchange rate remains very stable, strengthening slightly with a 0.5 percent appreciation in the L$ over Q2 and a 6.4 percent appreciation in the L$ over the same quarter last year.  


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*Note that the exchange rate is expressed in L$/USD, meaning larger numbers represent a lower L$ value and smaller numbers represent a higher L$ value. The average rate is calculated by dividing the total L$ exchanged through the LindeX by the total US$ exchanged through the LindeX in the quarter.

L$ SUPPLY

Money supply grew by 3.7 percent in Q3 from the prior quarter and 8.5 percent year over year, bringing the equivalent U.S. dollar value of all customer-held L$ to U.S. $29.3 million.


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*Note: From time to time we will change our reporting in order to provide the most relevant and accurate summary information for the use of merchants, landowners, content creators, and other participants in the Second Life economy. Q2 2011 is an estimate calculated based on different methodology versus previous quarters.  


LINDEX VOLUME

LindeX volume for Q3 amounted to U.S. $30 million, a 2 percent decline in line with seasonality, but 6.4 percent growth of the same quarter last year.  

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WEB MERCHANDISE SALES VOLUME

Q3 2011 web merchandise sales volume grew 2.8 percent compared with Q2 2011, and grew 30.9 percent as compared with Q3 2010.


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WORLD SIZE

World size remained consistent, with last quarter at just over 2,000 square kilometers.  


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Previously:

Q1

Q2

Linden Lab

As some sharp-eyed developers have speculated, we’re going to make Second Life available on Steam in the next month or so.

Many of us have friends who are avid Steam gamers, but if you’re not familiar, Steam is a very popular online game platform that offers a wide range of titles (and will soon also offer other software as well).

What does this news mean for Second Life? You’ll still be able to access Second Life just as you can today; there won’t be any change to that. But, the more than 40 million people who use Steam will also be able to get Second Life as easily as they can get games like Portal.

We’ll make an announcement on the blog when Second Life is actually available on Steam, but in the meantime, if you have friends who are Steam gamers, let ‘em know it’s coming!

Linden Lab

Fitted Mesh Is Here!

 

Today, we're happy to announce that Fitted Mesh is available in the main Second Life Viewer! As we've previously blogged, Fitted Mesh gives Second Life content creators the power to craft mesh garments that make avatars look their absolute best. We’d like to thank the vibrant community of creators for their thoughtful feedback and help testing this feature.

For more information, check out the

below, then update your Viewer to the latest release and get creative with Fitted Mesh! 

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Linden Lab

We know how much work, value, personalization and emotional investment goes into a Second Life avatar, so we have always been careful when considering avatar changes. While we want to make improvements, we also want to maximize backward compatibility. Get ready for the biggest thing that’s happened to avatars in years …

Ever wish you could incorporate a tail, wings, or second set of arms into your avatar? How about having animations for facial expressions and finger movements? Yes, we know that there are some incredibly creative workarounds that give you some of these, but they can't leverage skeletal animation, so they have been very complex, often fragile, and very expensive in performance and resources both in your Viewer and the Simulator.

 

Introducing Project Bento

We are introducing extensions to the standard Second Life Avatar Skeleton that give you dozens of new bones to support both rigging and animation, and accompanying new attachment points! This extended skeleton, which is fully backward compatible with existing avatars, rigging and animation, gives creators the power to build more sophisticated avatars than ever before. The skeleton extensions include:

  • 11 extra limb bones for wings, additional arms, or extra legs.
  • 6 tail bones
  • 30 bones in the hands (all 10 fingers!)
  • 30 bones for facial expressions
  • 2 other new bones in the head for animating ears or antennae
  • 13 new attachment points associated with the new bones

We've developed all this in collaboration with many expert Resident content creators and with the developers of the most popular tools for creating avatars and animations, so there will quickly be versions of those tools you can use to help take advantage of these changes. You can view information about Project Bento in the Knowledge Base. To test Project Bento and provide feedback, please see Project Bento Testing on the Second Life Wiki. Demo content is available here.

We take care to balance improvements with backwards compatibility. This has contributed to a "deliberate" pace of important changes to what avatars support over the last few years:

    • April 2011 - Avatar Physics
    • July 2011 - Mesh
    • June 2012 - Server Side Appearance
    • February 2014 - Fitted Mesh
    • March 2015 - Hover Control
    • December 2015 - Bento

The avatar skeleton changes introduced by Project Bento are not yet final because we want your feedback, either in the Creation Forum or in JIRA. To experience the changes, you'll need to download the Project Viewer and upload any content using the new skeleton extensions to the Aditi Beta Test Grid (most regions on the Beta Test Grid will allow this; some may be in use for other testing and not yet have these updates). Once we have finalized the skeleton extensions, we will enable uploads using them to the main Second Life grid and the real fun can begin!

Linden Lab

Today, mesh technology is available gridwide in Second Life. All SL users can now benefit from mesh technology, no matter what you do or where you are inworld.


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If you shop, be sure to check out items built using mesh — they can sit alongside everything else you own and love in SL, but often look superslick, and may have greater detailing or design than a similar item built without mesh.

If you build, mesh is another option to help you access unlimited creativity. All the other traditional SL building options are still intact, we’ve just added to your toolkit.

If you sell things, selling objects created using mesh is one way to diversify your offering.

If you own land, well-made mesh objects can be used to increase efficiency and maintain optimum performance on your parcel.


Make sure you use the new Viewer to view and upload mesh objects correctly; older viewers will not render objects created with mesh correctly. Please check with third-party viewers; mesh support may vary.

A More Technical Look at Mesh

You’ve probably already seen mesh technology at work in modern video games, special effects and 3D animation. The term “mesh” refers to an object that consists of polygonal geometry data. That means it is extremely flexible — and it certain situations, it can be way more efficient than the existing prims and sculpties you’ll find inworld currently. Although existing building tools and techniques may still be the best choice in certain settings. You can talk with other designers about mes here.

Mesh objects are first created in external programs, such as Blender or Maya, (check here for more information) and then imported onto the Second Life grid. Once there, mesh objects can be manipulated in pretty much the same ways you would manipulate a regular old prim. Learn more about uploading your own mesh items here.



Linden Lab

We’ve been working hard on some major changes to Second Life’s Viewer and back-end infrastructure to improve the Second Life experience for all users. Today, we’re pleased to share an update on Project Shining - an initiative that will make avatars load and rez more quickly and reliably.

We’ve tested changing of outfits, avatar swapping, and initial avatar loading into worlds, and our tests showed performance gains across the board. Bottom line, Second Life users will experience less time in “clouded” or untextured avatar states and/or completely failed bakes that require relogs. Check out

for more about the project.

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Project Sunshine is rolling out in three steps:

1) A required Viewer update, out now! The official Second Life Viewer (version 3.5.1 and later) includes important updates you’ll need to enjoy the benefits of Project Sunshine, so update today if you haven’t yet.  Actively updated Third Party Viewers also already have Sunshine-enabled versions available.

2) A server-side update, rolling out soon. It’s at this point that you’ll begin to notice significant improvements in avatar and object load times and reliability. But if you haven’t updated your Viewer, avatars won’t look right to you when we roll out the server update, so seriously, update now!

3) A second Viewer update, released after the server-side improvements are rolled out. As long as you have the Viewer 3.5.1 or later (available now), avatars won’t look wrong for you, but this second Viewer update will be needed to get the full benefits of Project Sunshine.

Get on your way to a better, faster, and more reliable Second Life experience and update to the latest Viewer today!

 

Kim Linden

Our thoughts today are with all of those who are suffering in the devastation caused by the earthquakes in Japan and the tsunami in the Pacific. We encourage all Second Life Residents to support the relief efforts however they can, and we would like to help.
 
We have created two special Linden Bears--one that is wearable and one that sits--which are now for sale in the Marketplace at several pricing levels: L$300, L$1,000 and L$3,000. Here’s the direct link to purchase them. We will donate all proceeds from sales of this bear to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief efforts of the American Red Cross. 
 
Please help us to support the relief efforts - buy the bears, and help spread the word in Second Life.
 
Additionally, we know that independent groups in Second Life are also planning to support relief efforts. For example, Radar Magazine in Second Life will be holding a month-long event and are seeking designers to donate virtual items (see this article for details). If your group is planning an inworld relief effort, then please share it in the comments here.

Thank you,

Kim

 

UPDATE -- April 14, 2011: Thank you to everyone who contributed to this campaign! In total, this doation drive raised more than L$8.3 million.

The special-edition Linden bears are no longer for sale, but you can of course contribute directly to the charity of your choice and participate in the numerous efforts to support Japan in Second Life organized by fellow Residents. (If your group is planning an inworld relief effort, then please do share it with us in the comments here.)


Linden Lab
Meet other Premium members and travel together through a dense rainforest filled with abandoned ruins, mysterious tombs and hidden surprises in Wilderness, Second Life’s newest exclusive destination for Premium-only fun.*

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Hop aboard a boat cruise for an Amazonian adventure sure to thrill and chill — or check out one of the bars or hangout spots.

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Rumor even has it there are fish within the waters of the Wilderness — so grab your fishing rod and attempt to catch a rare species — or try to wrangle an ornery alligator!

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To access this exclusive Wilderness area, you must be a Premium member, so don’t delay! Embark on your jungle safari today, and take advantage this limited-time half-off promotion.*

Note to creators: Our teams used many of the new pathfinding tools to create activities and bring life to the Wilderness area. We will start rolling out these new pathfinding tools at the end of March.

For more information on this new destination, see Premium Wilderness FAQ.


*TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT
This limited-time discount offer is available only for memberships on the Quarterly billing plan. Discount will be applied to the first quarterly billing cycle only, and all future charges will be at the regular Premium price. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Monday the 19th of March at 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Monday the 26th of March 2012 at 08:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).
Linden Lab

September Update

September brings new developments to Second Life for Premium Memberships, improvements to Profiles and an update on mesh. These are all part of Linden Lab’s ongoing focus in 2011 on improving service, performance and usability.


New Premium Membership Benefits

At the beginning of September, we introduced some new benefits for Second Life Premium members. The first improvements? Exclusive gifts and Premium-only sandboxes.


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Getting access to your new Premium rewards is easy. Premium Gifts can be claimed now by members via one of the many inworld Premium kiosks, and the Premium-only Sandboxes are already open.

Even more benefits are on the way, so this is just the beginning. Read the original blog post for more details about Premium Sandboxes and Premium Gifts.


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Not a Premium Member? There couldn’t be a better time to sign up. We’re running a special limited-time promotion for new quarterly Premium memberships from now through Monday, Sept. 12 at 50 percent off the regular price.

Get Even More Out Of Social Profiles with Location Posting

September also brings a new social sharing feature to the Second Life Viewer. Residents now have the option to conveniently share where they are inworld by adding a location to their Profile posts as a tag:


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This means that people reading your posts live can teleport directly to your location and join you. Those who see your post later can also check out the location to see exactly what you were talking about even if you’re no longer there.

Of course, you can always choose not to use this feature it’s just there when you want it.

These “Locations” tags get really fun when combined with your Profile's “Nearby” feature. To check it out while you’re inworld, follow the menu Me → My Profile. Then, click on the first icon:
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Then click the second tab, “Nearby”:
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Now you’ll see posts from people nearby wherever you are inworld. Some of these posts might even be made by people in the same location at the same time you are there. It’s a great way to connect with others to start a conversation.


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You can also use this feature to browse through older posts, which can give you insights as to what kind of activities and conversations typically happen in that region. For example, you might uncover posts about recent or upcoming live music shows, hot new stores or the insider scoop on the hottest local dance clubs.

So... let people know where you hang out and why — or keep quiet, and just see what others are doing and saying.

If you haven’t heard the full story of Social Profiles, check out our post from last month for more details and the big picture.

Mesh Update


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With the arrival of mesh, a number of Residents have already started to create some impressive mesh items inworld. Since its inception, we’ve seen more than 9,000 content creators enable mesh, and more than 20,000 items have already been uploaded to the grid. And we’re looking forward to seeing what creations you make next.

There’s a lot of excitement around what mesh models can offer — for more information or to try it yourself, check out this page. You can also browse through some of the first mesh creations in our Mesh Showcase. The Lab is working on continued improvements and the next mesh release will include upgrades to how we show resource weight and land impact of objects.

Mesh rolled out in August as an added option to all inworld building tools to help Residents craft even more creations inworld. For the best mesh experience, you’ll need the current version of the Second Life Viewer (Version 3.0) or a comparable viewer.

Go create something great,

Linden Lab



Linden Lab

In 2013, we introduced a pilot program for Authorized Linden Dollar (L$) Resellers. This pilot program was designed to give Second Life Residents additional options for purchasing Linden Dollars, particularly for those based outside the US.

Since then, we have expanded the payment options for Second Life users, and today, you can easily purchase L$ in more countries than ever before, using a credit card, PayPal, or Skrill, which supports a wide range of payment methods. We’ve found that these options support the vast majority of Second Life users, and we have therefore made the business decision to close the Authorized Linden Dollar Reseller pilot program.

We are contacting program participants directly to detail the next steps for them, and they will have approximately six weeks to sell off their L$ inventory.

As of August 1, 2015, the Authorized L$ Reseller pilot program will be closed, and the LindeX will be the only authorized place to purchase L$.

 

How to Buy L$

If you’re used to using an Authorized L$ Reseller, you will still have many options for purchasing L$ as of August 1, 2015. If you put payment info on file for your Second Life account, you can purchase L$ in the Viewer with the “Buy L$” button. If you’ve never done it before, check out this quick

:

Among the options for payment information you can put on file in your account are:

Credit Card:
Using your credit card, you can purchase L$ on the LindeX using multiple currencies, including  EUR, GBP, JPY, and AUD.

PayPal:
PayPal can be connected directly to a bank account in more than 193 countries and regions.

Skrill:
Skrill supports a wide variety of payment methods. To start using Skrill for Second Life, just login at SecondLife.com, click “Billing Information” under “Account,” and then select “Add a Skrill Account.”

Linden Lab

We’re Making Premium Better — Starting with Exclusive Gifts & Sandboxes



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We’ve been working to bring more value and features to our Second Life Premium Members. Effective immediately, we’re adding new exclusive benefits: Premium-only Gifts and Premium-only Sandboxes — and that’s just the beginning! Keep an eye out for even more surprises in the future as we continue to enhance and expand our Premium Membership offering.


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Here’s the scoop on what’s new right now:


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Exclusive Virtual Gifts


Premium members will regularly receive exclusive virtual items that you won't find anywhere else. The very first gift is a stylish set of furniture crafted by Colleen Desmoulins of The Loft. The set features a sofa, tables, plants and lamps to enhance your home’s cozy factor. You can change the look of most of the furniture to fit your home’s unique style and decor — whether you live in a Linden Home or elsewhere.


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This customizable furniture collection is the first of many Resident-created gifts Premium Members will be receiving regularly. Premium Residents can visit a virtual inworld kiosk to claim their gift now.

Premium-Only Sandboxes


Explore your creative side or just get down to the business of creating without the distractions of a more public space in one of the many Premium-only Sandboxes in Second Life. There are four new, exclusive Premium-only Sandbox Islands you can access right now to give you more room than ever to bring your creations to life. Members can visit right now.


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Keep an eye out for even more surprises in the future as we continue to enhance and expand our Premium Membership offering. Of course, Premium Members still get their own Linden Home, weekly currency rewards, Live Chat support and much more.

For more information and details, see Premium membership in the Knowledge Base.






Linden Lab

The Second Life economy remained consistent in Q2 2011. The highlights were strong growth in registrations, a steady Linden $ exchange rate with slight appreciation, and continued growth in Linden $’s held by customers –with most other key metrics within 1-2% of recent quarters.


For a definition of the metrics in this post, please see this wiki page. Click on each image below to see a larger version.

DAILY COMPLETED REGISTRATIONS

With the addition of Basic and Advanced viewer modes, plus an improved new user registration flow in early Q2, there was a sharp uptick in registrations that continued throughout the quarter. Q2 averaged 27.9% more completed registrations per day than Q1.


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AVERAGE MONTHLY UNIQUE LOGGED-IN USERS

Average monthly logged-in users for Q2 increased 2.8% from Q1 2011. This chart is more comparable to industry standards for reporting size of customer base and will replace previous measures based on user repeat logins or time active.


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USER HOURS
User hours remained within 2% of the most recent quarters.

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AVERAGE MONTHLY ECONOMIC PARTICIPANTS

Active economic participants were within 1% of last quarter.

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AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE

The exchange rate remains very consistent and strengthening slightly with a 0.4% appreciation in the L$ over Q1 and a 4.3% appreciation in the L$ over the same quarter last year.  


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*Note that the exchange rate is expressed in L$/USD, meaning larger numbers represent a lower L$ value and smaller numbers represent a higher L$ value. The average rate is calculated by dividing the total L$ exchanged through the LindeX by the total US$ exchanged through the LindeX in the quarter.

L$ SUPPLY

Money supply grew by 2.2% in Q2 from the prior quarter and 15.8% year over year, bringing the equivalent US$ value of all customer-held L$ to US$30 million.


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*Note: From time to time we will change our reporting in order to provide the most relevant and accurate summary information for the use of merchants, landowners, content creators, and other participants in the Second Life economy.  Q2 2011 is an estimate calculated based on different methodology versus previous quarters.  

LINDEX VOLUME

Q2 LindeX volume declined 2.7% to US$30.6 million in line with seasonality. This is a strong 4.4% increase over the same quarter last year.

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WEB MERCHANDISE SALES VOLUME

The volume of web merchandise sales grew by 4.9%when compared to Q1 2011 and by 38.1% when compared to Q2 2010.


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WORLD SIZE

World size remained consistent with last quarter at just over two thousand square kilometers.  


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Linden Lab

 

An ethereal wisp glides through a fantasy forest and then vanishes, only to reappear at your side a few seconds later. Dozens of beetles and rats creep across the floor of a decaying,decrepit building, scurrying away whenever you get near. A hideous, scaly beast chases you up hills and across regions, dodging anything that gets between it and dinner.

These experiences are possible because Linden Lab is about to unveil a new, robust pathfinding system that will allow objects to intelligently navigate around the world while avoiding obstacles.

Pathfinding is a new set of LSL calls and Viewer tools that allow for smoother and smarter movement for non-player characters and objects in Second Life. These new tools will allow Residents to create objects that move around corners, climb inclines and cross region boundaries. Newly created functions such as pursue,” “patrol,” “wander,” “evade,” and go to a specified point — all of which are particularly useful for pet, NPC and enemy behavior — will allow for non player movements and behaviors never before possible in Second Life.

Pathfinding is efficient because it allows creators to place a much larger number of moving objects in a particular area without affecting server performance. Because the algorithmic complexity is on the server side, Residents can easily script with short and intuitive LSL functions that make creating a pet that follows you around as simple as rezzing a box.

As part of the pathfinding project, Linden Lab will also introduce new Viewer-side tools that will allow Residents to more efficiently create, visualize, test and debug Pathfinding-enabled characters. These tools are not required to create pathfinding behaviors but are particularly useful to builders and experience creators in second life.    

Additional pathfinding tools, and the ability to generate your own pathing data, will be put in Beta in the coming weeks. Linden Lab will begin releasing these tools to all Residents in the next several months. You can try out the new LSL functionality in select regions for which we have prepared pathfinding data on the Wiki page: http://bit.ly/wDrWhC .

 

UPDATE: 9/20/2012 
Content Creation Best Practices Guide and FAQ Now Available


As many of you are aware, we recently released the pathfinding server code that enabled all pathfinding behaviors and LSL calls grid-wide. In the next few weeks, we will also be releasing the viewer tools for changing pathfinding attributes and visualizing the navmesh. While these tools are not necessary to create a pathfinding-enabled character, they are extremely helpful in making new content or retrofitting existing builds to work with pathfinding. You can have early access to the viewer tools by downloading the beta viewer from here.

In addition, there are many helpful pathfinding best practices articles at the Good Building Practices wiki hub. Here you will find tips and tricks about how to build and optimize content in Second Life using mesh, scripting, pathfinding, textures, and animations. Over the next several months, the Lab will continue to add additional guides, as well as a series of builder-oriented tutorial videos!

The Lab would also like to take this opportunity to answer some of the common questions that have been asked about pathfinding here. We have been very impressed by some of your pathfinding-enabled creations and can’t wait to see what else you will create once the viewer tools are released!

 

 

Linden Lab

This month marks ten years since Second Life first opened to the public in June of 2003! We’re incredibly proud of Second Life’s success and longevity and we hope that all of you are too - it’s thanks to everyone who has made Second Life part of their lives over the past decade that we’ve reached this major milestone.

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We’ve planned some special things to celebrate SL10B that we’ll be rolling out throughout the month - be sure to keep an eye on this blog to be kept up-to-date with the latest!

 

Commemorative SL10B Avatar

Starting today, you can get a free, special-edition SL10B avatar on the Marketplace. This avatar is made with some of the new Materials features and will look even better once that Materials Viewer launches (you can also check it out with the Materials Beta Viewer). Visit the SL10B Marketplace and get your commemorative avatar today - they’ll only be available until the end of June!

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Snapshot Contest

We’re also kicking off an SL10B Snapshot Contest! Start snapping your celebratory images and get ready to share. Top prize is free use of a homestead for four months, and second and third prizes are free use of a homestead for two months.  Check out the rules and submit your entries here.

Watch Rodvik Linden on The Drax Files

On the occasion of Second Life’s tenth birthday, machinimist extraordinaire Draxtor Despres interviewed Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble (aka Rodvik Linden), for a special episode of the great video series The Drax Files: World Makers. Check out the episode

.

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Join the Parties Inworld

Throughout June, there will be celebrations for Second Life’s tenth birthday (SL10B) all over the grid - thrown by DJs and event planners inworld. So that you can keep track of where the parties are at, we've launched an SL10B Category in the Destination Guide. If you have an SL10B event planned - there is still plenty of time to submit your entry; and check back frequently - we’ll be continually updating the Destination Guide as always.

 

From June 16 - 29, there will be a large community-organized celebration inworld as well. As with past Second Life birthday celebrations, you can expect great exhibits, music, and events. For more info, check out the SL10B  Community Celebration website.

 

More to Come

Later this month, we’ll be kicking off a special grid-wide hunt with unique prizes, exclusively for Premium members. We’ll blog with more details soon, but if you want to get in on the fun, be sure that your Premium membership is up-to-date.

We’ll also be releasing some limited-edition gifts on the Marketplace and inworld. Some will be limited quantity - so stay tuned to find out when and where to get them!

There’s more coming to celebrate Second Life’s tenth birthday, so be sure to keep an eye on this blog for the latest.

Thanks again to everyone who has been a part of the last ten years in Second Life - we look forward to what is still to come!

 

Linden Lab

Today, we’re updating Second Life’s default avatar options with 24 brand new mesh avatars. You may have spotted a sneak peek at a few of these as Lindens tried them out recently, and starting today, you can start using them yourself!

These avatars are designed to give new users a more appealing set of choices as they start their time in Second Life. Based on the most popular avatars picked at registration, these new options are much better-looking and take advantage of technology incorporated into Second Life over the past year (like fitted mesh and materials) for a more modern feel.

If you want to check out the new default avatars, just open up the Avatar Selector in the Viewer. Under the People tab, you’ll see a great variety of male and female mesh avatars to pick from. Under the Vampire tab, you’ll see those infamous creatures of the night along with some other monsters like zombies, werewolves, and winged beasts. (Tip: Make sure you’re running the latest Second Life Official Viewer for the optimal experience with these avatars.)

Under the classic tab of the Avatar Selector, you will find many of the most popular classic default avatars. Although not all of the old options will be available in the Avatar Selector, you can still access them all in your inventory library under Library/Clothing/Older Outfits - so if you were partial to one of them, don’t worry.

Login to your Second Life account and meet the new mesh avatars, today!

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Note: These are just a few of the new avatars you'll find in the Avatar Selector. Login to see them all.

Linden Lab



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Teleport Agent
The first tool we added was Teleport Agent, a new LSL call that allows scripts to teleport agents to a particular SLURL or local position. A clear application of this call is to replace the “teleport” workarounds that many of you have had to implement over the years for your directories and “teleport pads.”

In Linden Realms, we also used this call to handle “death” for our rock monsters, poison lakes, rock falls, and other hazards.

Temporary Attachment
One of the difficulties we faced when making our HUD was that llAttach creates a copy of an object in your inventory once it’s attached. This led to the creation of a number of copies of a HUD that cluttered your inventory, and thus the need for Temporary Attachment.

This call works just like llAttach, but does not create the inventory for the user. This will allow you to create temporary objects like demo attachments or “region specific” gear, without creating unnecessary inventory.

It’s important to note that Temporary Attachment is NOT forced attachment. We accomplish forced attachment through our Experience Permissions system.

Experience Permissions
The Experience Permissions system is an expanded and simplified version of our current permissions system. Once a user grants permission to an experience, any object associated with that experience has the permission to control that user.

More importantly, these permissions span multiple regions, scripts, and objects. This will allow you to create cross-Second Life experiences with one simple request.

We have produced a number of other tools and prototypes to support more rich content creation that we look forward to releasing.  

In parallel to the rollout of these tools, we will be launching a Professional Creators Program. This program will provide members with helpful resources, such as tutorials and exclusive closed betas. More information will become available in the next few months.
Linden Lab

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We’re excited to announce that the first set of advanced creator tools, which includes the Teleport Agent and Temporary Attachment launched today.

Teleport Agent
The Teleport Agent is a new LSL call that allows scripts to teleport agents to a particular SLURL or local position. You can now create "portals" or even objects that cause an instant teleport upon being touched.

For scavenger hunts, this tool might be used to instantly direct participants to the next clue or location after they discover a hidden item.

However, there are plenty of other possibilities to consider. In Linden Realms, we used the same feature to "return" players to a safe location after they made contact with any pursuing rock monsters.

We look forward to seeing what innovative uses our creative community comes up with for the Teleport Agent.

Temporary Attachment
Temporary Attachment allows you to create temporary objects like demo attachments or “region specific” gear, without creating unnecessary inventory to manage.* In the context of shopping, you now can try on outfits or accessories before you purchase them.  Think having the ability to "try before you buy.”  

In other examples, an author can provide some unique ways to present information via the HUD.  The next time a visitor enters your establishment, you can push on-screen notifications out to them with ease.

This tool is as versatile as the creator’s ingenuity.  How will you use Temporary Attachment?

*It’s important to note that Temporary Attachment is NOT forced attachment. We accomplish Temporary Attachment through our Experience Permissions system requiring an opt-in scenario for the recipient.

Linden Lab

OnLive, the leader in cloud gaming, today released an exciting new service for Second Life users. SL Go, now in open beta, is a mobile Second Life viewer for Android that delivers a fully immersive desktop-like experience on tablets.

With SL Go, you can experience Second Life from anywhere you have Wi-Fi or 4G connectivity, with ultra high-quality graphics, full shaders, shadows, and the Advanced Lightning Model on Android devices. Not only can you get high-quality graphics on a low-powered device, but you also don’t have to sacrifice frame rate or draw distance for high fidelity inworld explorations. Thanks to super-fast gigabit connections with OnLive’s high-performance gaming servers, objects and textures rez quickly when logging in and teleporting. OnLive has clocked the SL Go viewer at upwards of 200 fps set to Ultra with Maximum Render Distance, allowing people to participate in events, engage in combat games, and generally enjoy immersion in Second Life at a level never before possible on a mobile device.

With SL Go, OnLive has brought touchscreen interaction to the Second Life experience, but if you prefer keyboard and mouse, you can opt to connect these devices and interact with your friends in the same way you always have. SL Go gives you access to edit menus, inventory, preference settings and chat management just like the Second Life Viewer on your home computer.

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You’ll need an OnLive account to launch the app, and then you’ll log into Second Life with the same credentials you’ve always used. To learn more, register, and get started with a free trial now, visit slgo.onlive.com.

 For the time being, SL Go is available to users logging in from the US, Canada and the UK. OnLive plans to expand the service to other locales in the future, so if you are interested in having SL Go in your region, sign up here. The company is also pursuing an iOS version of the app. You can sign up here to be notified when it is released.

Linden Lab

UPDATE: the deadline has been moved to September 1, 2014 (previously was August 1)

 Gambling is strictly prohibited in Second Life and operating, or participating in, a game of chance that provides a Linden Dollar payout is a violation of ourTerms of Service. However, games of skill are legally permitted in many jurisdictions, and we’ve seen that many Second Life users are interested in playing such games for Linden Dollars. Therefore we are updating our gaming policy in Second Life.

The details of the revised policy can be found here, and this is a summary of how it will work:

  • Skill games that offer Linden Dollar payouts will be allowed in Skill Gaming Regions only. This is a new region designation that will apply beginning August 1, 2014 September 1, 2014. Those Second Life residents who wish to convert their regions to Skill Gaming Regions can do so by contacting Linden Lab in accordance with Linden Lab’s Land Policy. Due to the additional administrative and compliance-related costs associated with these regions, the monthly maintenance fees will be greater than those for regular regions in Second Life. We will include Skill Gaming Regions as a new category in our Destination Guide (unless the owner requests its removal). As a resident, you will be able to check the setting of each region to verify that it has been recognized by Linden Lab for the placement, operation, and use of approved Skill Games.

 

  • Only operators approved by Linden Lab will be allowed to run skill games that offer Linden Dollar payouts on Skill Gaming Regions. Those wishing to become approved operators can apply now. Due to processing and compliance-related costs associated with maintaining this program, there is a one-time nonrefundable application fee as well as a quarterly license fee (waived through December 31, 2014, upon approval of an application) for those designated as approved operators. We will maintain a public wiki page of operators.

 

  • Creators of skill games that wish to make them available in Second Life may do so only through Skill Gaming Regions and only after the games have been approved by Linden Lab. Creators of skill games that offer Linden Dollar payouts can apply to become an approved creator and to have their games approved now. Due to processing and compliance-related costs associated with maintaining this program, there is a one-time nonrefundable application fee as well as a quarterly license fee (waived through December 31, 2014, upon approval of an application) for those designated as approved creators. We will maintain a public wiki page of approved creators and their approved games of skill.

 

  • Access to Skill Gaming Regions will be restricted to Second Life users who are of sufficient age and are located in a jurisdiction that Linden Lab permits for this kind of online gaming activity. If you are in a permitted jurisdiction and you meet the relevant age requirements, you will be able to access these regions just like any in Second Life. If you are not eligible, you will receive an error message.  However, you are responsible for knowing which jurisdictions are prohibited and the requisite ages of participation and not attempting to access a Skill Gaming Region if you do not qualify.  Attempts to circumvent our controls will constitute a violation of our Skill Gaming Policy and Terms of Service.

 

In summary, skill games that offer Linden Dollar payouts will be allowed in Second Life, but each game, its creator, its operator, and the region on which it is operated must be approved by Linden Lab.

These changes are effective as of August 1, 2014 September 1, 2014, and applications for approved creators and approved operators are now being accepted at Echosign.

If you live in a jurisdiction where gaming is permitted and you plan on playing these games in Skill Gaming Regions in Second Life, you should not need to do anything differently. However, adding payment information on file now is a good way to ensure you’re able to play as soon as Skill Gaming Regions are live.

We understand that this updated policy may raise some questions, and so we’ve created an FAQ page to address what are likely to be the most common ones at this point. We’ll be sure to update that as needed and will keep an eye on the forums and other community discussion channels so that we can help clarify anything that might seem confusing as this update goes into effect.

 

Linden Lab
As we head into the new year, I’d like to share some highlights from 2011, as well as a glimpse of what’s to come in 2012.

First, if you haven’t already, I hope you will explore our recently launched Linden Realms, the Lab's first-ever game prototype. For newbies, it is a very simple way to earn L$, so hop on over and start collecting gems.

One of the key goals of Linden Realms was to learn more about what tools Residents could use to develop richer experiences in Second Life — and boy, did we learn a lot! In Q1 2012 , we will be releasing new tools used to develop Linden Realms, which will allow Residents to create even richer original experiences in Second Life. To prevent abuse of these tools, we will introduce a "creators" program in which verified members will be given access to these very powerful capabilities.

In 2011, we also made strides to improve usability in Second Life.  We launched a new version of the Viewer, which allows you to customize the user interface for a more flexible workspace with drag-and-drop buttons, among other key new features. The new Viewer also makes it easier for new Residents to discover essential, basic functions — so, with the simple click of a button, you can change your appearance, go to a new location, find inworld merchants or head on over to the Second Life Marketplace.

Speaking of customization, since we deployed Mesh earlier this year, we’ve seen more than a 16 percent adoption rate. I expect this to continue to grow at a strong pace as more and more Residents take advantage of all the features available to allow you explore Second Life and create even more engaging, exciting experiences.

This past year, we also improved the customer experience with expanded Premium subscription benefits that include virtual gifts, as well as exclusive areas where you can go and create. One of the other benefits of being a Premium member is ownership of a Linden Home, which I’m pleased to report has reached an historic high. For those of you who have enjoyed owning a Linden Home and are looking for a little more real estate, you can check out what is available on the Second Life Land Store and through private-estate purchases and rentals found through Second Life Search. In 2012, you can expect to see more value added to Premium in the form of additional features and content. If you are not yet a Premium member, you can sign up here!

In 2012, the primary engineering focus of Q1 will be server side performance and fixing bugs. In fact, you may have noticed one upgrade deployed this week which should reduce the number of restarts and increase performance for all regions. This kind of work makes for a poor headline, but has enormous payoff for the customer experience. We will also continue to invest in and focus on our customer support, reducing response times and increasing satisfaction.

For landowners, existing land tier pricing will not go up in 2012. In addition, our service and quality focus in 2012 also means that we will be delivering features and policies that we believe will significantly assist merchants and landowners in running a business more profitably.

For creators our first new feature for 2012 will be pathfinding. Because worlds feel most vibrant when they are full of life, one of our next focuses for Second Life is the ability to make high-quality “life” within it. So in 2012, we will be rolling out more advanced features that will allow the creation of artificial life and artificial people to be much smoother. For starters, in Q1, we'll unveil a new, robust pathfinding system that will allow objects to intelligently navigate around the world while avoiding obstacles. Combined with the tools from Linden Realms this will make the polished creation of full MMORPG’s or people/animal simulators within Second Life easier and of high quality.

In addition to delivering new features and increasing our support for Second Life, we will be launching some completely different products next year not related to Second Life. Some of them will be very experimental, but all will fit within our company’s proud history of enabling creativity, which I hope may interest some of you.

Thank you again for being a customer have a great holiday and a Happy New Year!


Linden Lab

Today, we’re introducing Second Life Share or SLShare for short. It’s a new feature that makes it easy to share things from Second Life with your friends on Facebook.

SLShare is a new, 100% opt-in Viewer feature that will allow you to easily update your Facebook status, share photos, and check-in from Second Life locations to your Facebook wall.

Whether you’re at a great inworld event and want to let your Facebook friends know where to join you, want to show off a photo of your avatar modeling your latest Marketplace purchase, or just share a thought inspired by your inworld explorations, SLShare makes it easy to share pieces of your Second Life experiences with your Facebook network.

Check out this

introduction for more info.

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SLShare isn’t yet available for everyone, but starting today, a certain percentage of users will begin to be able to access the feature, and we’ll soon rolling it out to everyone.

UPDATE - Oct. 1, 2013: we're ready to expand the testing group for SLShare! If you'd like to give it a try, you can download the RC Viewer with SLShare feature here.