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Rodvik Linden

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a little while since I last updated folks on Second Life.

Earlier this year, I noted several areas we would be focusing on. Let me update you on each area and share with you our plans for the remainder of the year.

But first, we’d like to give a warm welcome to our newbies! August was the biggest growth month for Second Life in nearly four years! I hope you all take the time to try out the many different activities in Second Life
there’s everything from clubbing to boating. You might even to want to try your hand at making something new. As a side note, one of the easiest ways to find new things is to check out the Destination Guide in the log-in screen of the viewer.


Now, back to our areas of focus at Linden Lab:


Usability 

With the Basic mode, which we rapidly deployed, new users can now more easily find things, move around the world and manipulate the camera. This has really helped people walk and talk, as well as getting newbies up and running. But it has its limits particularly when it comes to participating in the economy and creating things. Soon you will see us merge the Basic and Advanced modes, which will eliminate the need to switch. All functionality will be in one mode with easier-to-use controls. After these modes are merged and deployed, you can expect us to release an improved UI into the viewer. This should be a lot more flexible for user flow for all users.

Deploy Mesh

Thankfully, this massive feature got deployed on time. Many new creators joined Second Life so they can use their Mesh skills, and some of the creations I’ve seen are truly spectacular.

Improved Service

Although our response times have improved, we realize that we still have a ways to go. You can expect continued investment and focus in this area to include expanded support staffing, as well new features (similar to the estate tools we rolled out earlier this year) and revised policies to make the Second Life experience much better for customers.

Better Customer Value

Last month, we added exclusive Premium areas such as sandboxes (places where you can go and create), as well as free items. You can expect more exclusive areas, items and features in the months ahead. We have been really pleased by the positive response to Premium by our residents. In fact, last week we reached the highest number of Linden Homes ever. We hope these new Linden Home owners will enjoy their newfound land ownership and check out other ways that Land is available on the Second Life Land Store and through private estate purchases and rentals found through Second Life Search.

You can sign up for Premium right here!

Shiny New Things

Because worlds feel most vibrant when they are full of life, our next project for Second Life is the ability to make “life” within it. Second Life has more than a million real people in it every month, as well as many artificial creatures and people – however, our creation tools have not made it particularly easy for the content creators to build high-quality entities.

Over the next few months (with testing most likely starting in December), we will be rolling out a series of more advanced features. These will make the creation of artificial life and artificial people much smoother. For starters, we'll unveil a new, robust pathfinding system that will allow objects to intelligently navigate around the world avoiding obstacles. Imagine being able to create advanced pets, creatures or even a living town where non-player characters are walking about. Combined with the experience tools I mentioned above, it should soon be possible to create more advanced MMORPG’s or interactive experiences which use AI right within Second Life.

I will touch base again in a few months when we have delivered a few more things. Thank you again for being a customer! I hope you enjoy your time in Second Life, whether that has been for years or you have only just joined.

 

Rodvik

 

Linden Lab

As we near the end of 2012, we wanted to take a moment to highlight just a few of the ways in which Second Life has grown and improved over the past year. This isn’t an exhaustive accounting, of course, but it seemed like a good time for a quick reflection on some of the initiatives we hope made your Second Life better this year.

Pics for Pete


New Ways to Create, Share, and Discover

Some of the most exciting work we did this year was to grow the toolset that you can use to create amazing experiences in Second Life. This year, we rolled out the first set of advanced creator tools, launched Pathfinding (possibly the first time ever that dynamic pathfinding has been successfully implemented in a 3D, user-created world!), and resolved some important issues to make it easier to create with mesh. Additionally, we recently created the Good Building Practices wiki to make it easier to find all the info you need about mesh, scripting, physics, Pathfinding and more.

We also made it easier to discover interesting places to explore inworld. We revamped Destination Island, improving performance (by about 15 fps) and introducing a new design that surfaces regularly refreshed destinations based on the wide variety of entries in the Destination Guide. We added roughly 1,200 new original entries to the Destination Guide in 2012, bringing the total number of unique directory listings to about 2,400! We’ll continue to grow the Guide in 2013, and if you’d like your location to be included, you can submit it here.

New Perks for Premium Subscribers

This year we offered some new perks for Premium subscribers to add a bit more fun to their Second Life experiences. For example, we launched the Premium Wilderness region for subscribers to explore and offered several exclusive gifts - a railcar, a dunebuggy, and a biplane - for those users to enjoy inworld. More perks will be coming in 2013, as we continue to look at ways we can bring additional value to our Premium offering.

Better Ways of Communicating and Doing Business

A number of the changes we made to Second Life this year were designed to make it easier for users to communicate and do business. For example, we launched Direct Delivery, which simplifies the purchasing flow for buyers on the Second Life Marketplace. The majority of Marketplace listings and transactions now use Direct Delivery, which is more than twice as fast and more reliable than the old Magic Box method. Next year, we have more work to do to complete support of limited quantity sales and address Merchant Outbox issues, but then we look forward to completing the migration to the new, faster system.

We introduced CHUI - a new user interface that combines all of your inworld communication options into one easier-to-manage place in the Viewer. You can check out CHUI now in a project Viewer, and in early 2013, we’ll roll it out to everyone as part of the main Second Life Viewer.

We also improved the group management tools this year to make it possible to interact with very large groups inworld. It’s now faster and easier for the hundreds of large groups in Second Life to check their member roles and check statuses, for example.

Towards a Faster, More Reliable Second Life

Many of the improvements we made to Second Life this year were “behind the scenes,” so you may not have seen the changes themselves, but we hope you’ll notice things just generally working better, faster, and more reliably. This year, we kicked off Project Shining- a major initiative to improve Second Life performance and reliability. As part of this project, in 2012 we made the single largest capital investment in new server hardware upgrades in the history of Linden Lab, and we have introduced an improved HTTP Library(currently available in a beta Viewer) to make Viewer/Server communications more efficient. More work on Project Shining in 2013 will mean additional improvements to performance and reliability - i.e. Second Life will simply work better for everyone!

Also to this end, we introduced threaded region crossing to improve teleporting performance and reduce lag when you move from one region to another, and expanded our support of video cards to include the latest from all major manufacturers and enhance the settings on many legacy cards as well.

Looking Ahead to 2013, and Thank you!

For next year, our priorities include further improvements to performance and reliability, and to that end we have more work to do on some of the projects we began this year, including some of those mentioned above. We’ll be rolling out new some perks for Premium subscribers (scavenger hunts, anyone?), as well as some new features for everyone to enjoy (like normal and specular maps to enhance graphics), while continuing and completing initiatives like Project Shining that will make everyone’s Second Life experience more enjoyable.

Pics for Pete

Lastly, all of us at Linden Lab want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you for everything you’ve done to make Second Life better in 2012. In just about every way - from creating wonderful new things inworld to supporting merchants to providing code, testing new features, and of course much more - you, Second Life’s users, make this virtual world better every day, and we at Linden Lab are grateful and looking forward to making Second Life even greater with you in 2013!

Linden Lab

It’s a new year, and we have news: Second Life is now available on Amazon! 

In addition to the standard Mac and PC versions, we’re offering several bundled packages for sale, which include vehicles to enjoy and L$ to spend inworld or on the Marketplace.

As a special promotion, this weekend only the Starter Vehicle Pack (usually $9.95), which includes a hoverboard and L$1000 will be available for FREE [limit one per customer].

If a friend of yours has been waiting to join Second Life, now is a great chance for them to head over to Amazon and get started with the free Starter Vehicle Pack. Spread the word!

Linden Lab



Second Life brings creative, intelligent, and just plain curious people together. It’s a place to experience the extraordinary -- live concerts, art exhibits, fashion shows, social gaming, all sorts of other events. Each week, the Destination Guide editorial team reviews dozens of new locations and events worth exploring - as recently blogged, we added about 1,200 new entries last year alone, bringing the total to more than 2,400 listings in the Destination Guide.

With all that great stuff to check out, we thought we’d use this blog to highlight a few of the recent entries that stood out to the editorial team. They could have an interesting concept, a hilarious idea, a surprising level of polish, anything really. So in no particular order, here are a few of the recently added destinations we’d recommend checking out if you haven’t already:

 

 

 

 

 

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Club Tipping Velvet

Club Tipping Velvet brings members a touch of class. Enjoy live DJ's, great music, contests and more. Make new friends, watch a show or just relax and have a drink or two. The staff of Tipping Velvet are happy to welcome you with a smile and make sure your needs are met. Club Tipping Velvet is LGBT, but everyone is welcome. It also features ballroom dancing Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 6 to 8 pm. See you there!

Visit in Second Life

 

 

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The Winter Safety Game

Winter weather can be a killer. The challenge of The Winter Safety Game is to prepare home, barn, and car for a winter blizzard and travel safely through it to Grandma's 75th birthday party. Score points by interacting with content, encountering a variety of hazardous situations and solving problems. Collect enough points to access skating, fireworks, and prizes at the party. Open now through March 20th.

Visit in Second Life

 

 

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Stardust Art

Stardust Art is an exhibition curated by Francesca Barbi Marinetti, and takes place both Rome and in Second Life at MIC. Featuring art from a host of artists, all creations have been dedicated to the actress Monica Vitti. These digital works will be included in a machinima video that will be screened at Margutta RistorArte January 14. Come and enjoy!

Visit in Second Life

 

 

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Dryland

A giant dry lake bed, a parched and barren place where hulks of rusted ships rest on dried, cracked mud. A once desert island with decayed warehouses now holds art galleries, while the surrounding landscape hosts gypsies, carnies and tradespeople. This is Dryland, the new sim design by Anita Witt.

Visit in Second Life



If you have a destination you’d like to share, head on over to the submission page and show us!

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 we recently blogged, you can now get Second Life for Mac and PC on Amazon. We’re also offering several bundled packages for sale that combine L$ to get started shopping and vehicles to enjoy inworld.

We’re happy to announce our second limited-time, special promotion on Amazon: from now until January 29, 2013, you can get the Hoverboard Bonus Pack (a $12.95 value) for free.

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The pack includes an exclusive, high performance designer hoverboard, with blistering turbo mode, and an original set of futurist protective gear, including a helmet, jacket, pants, leg guards, backpack, and bracer. There is a limit of one per customer, and this special offer is available only to users of the free Amazon Game Connect service, which is currently limited to customers in the US.

If you’d like to grab your free Hoverboard Bonus Pack, head to Amazon before January 29, and be sure to tell your friends!

Linden Lab

New to Second Life? There’s so much to see and do in this vast virtual world -- but getting started can be a bit intimidating for some newcomers. That’s why we’ve put together a new series of quick and easy tutorials to help.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see several new “QuickTips” clips that are designed to help new and existing users learn the basics of Second Life. Forthcoming tutorial clips will help teach the basics of shopping, socializing, connecting with communities, finding interesting places and more.

The first video tutorial in this new series focuses on customizing your appearance in Second Life. One of the first things most Second Life users do upon arriving inworld is to personalize their digital identity to reflect their own style.

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The above video only scratches the surface of avatar personalization options. Many people wish to further personalize their avatar's look by shopping for unique clothing, hair and fashion accessories in Residents' shops within Second Life. You can also browse on the Web for avatars and fashions at our shopping site SL Marketplace.

For more tips on controlling your avatar appearance, visit our Knowledge Base.

Linden Lab

When our developers first saw the Leap Motion controller they couldn’t wait to get their hands on one. Thankfully, we were able to get a pre-production development kit and built demos to explore its capabilities in Second Life. The demos included tests of flight controls, object manipulation, and avatar gestures. 


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This work was strictly experimental, but it showed the power of Second Life as a platform for exploring gesture-based interactions with controllers like the Leap Motion, and we’re happy to be able to share the code with you as a starting point for your own explorations.

If you have a Leap Motion controller and would like to experiment with the Second Life Viewer, you can find the source code for these experiments at http://bitbucket.org/simon_linden/viewer-rabbit. The indra/newview/llleapmotioncontroller.cpp file contains most new functionality. The Viewer is built to work in several different modes. These modes can be used to control the avatar while flying, send data into Second Life for scripts to intercept, detect hand motions that trigger avatar gestures, or control the camera and avatar movement. To switch between these modes use the "LeapMotionTestMode" value in the Debug Settings, accessible from the Advanced menu.

To give our experiments a shot you will need get the source mentioned above and contact www.leapmotion.com to join their developer program and obtain the SDK. Currently only Windows Viewers are supported, but other platforms could be added by linking in the appropriate Leap Motion SDK.

 

Linden Lab

Each week, the Destination Guide editorial team reviews dozens upon dozens of new locations and events - last time we blogged, we recommended a few interesting destinations we thought you’d enjoy. Once again, we’d like to highlight a few of the more interesting new submissions that stood out to our editorial team.

Recently, we’ve had a glut of great installation art. These evocative installations carry a variety of themes: from desolation and mortality to innocence in the face of a giant fish. Rounding things out are a night club hiding in a library, and a charity for at-risk youth. If you're looking for new places to explore in Second Life, you may want to check out some of these regions, or join the fun and submit your own.

 

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The Arrival

The Arrival: In this art installation from Rose Borchovski, you'll venture to an emotional and immersive art-landscape about The Arrival of the Fish, the next chapter of The Susa Bubbles adventures. In this installation, the Susa Bubbles caught a fish, while they admire how big it is, the fish dies. They wonder if they are to blame. Or search for your own explanation...

Visit in Second Life

 

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Citysphere

Welcome to Citysphère, a new vision of Second Life. A city with 132 buildings distributed on a floating sphere, this mind-bending experience features three times the surface area of most sims and must be seen. For more information, and important Citysphere advice, go to bit.ly/RNdSf1. The exhibition runs throughout the month.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Imogen and the Pigeons

Imogen and the Pigeons is an immersive narrative created by award winning artist Bryn Oh. A strikingly desolate sim with interesting puzzles and striking visuals, this is something you can't miss.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Shhh!! Nightclub

A sexy, naughty dance club set in a library, of all places. Chock full of events every Sunday from 6-8pm, they also do specialty theme built events (car wash, trailer park, disco, saloon, beach party and more). And if that's not enough, DJ Vixie Durant plays all the hottest club hits!

Visit in Second Life

 

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ARTC's Art House

Art House is a major collaboration with 20 of SL's best artists and creators donating art and decor to a house for ARTC. ARTC (Achieving Recovery Through Creativity) is a real life program that helps kids with drug and alcohol problems use art, creativity and virtual world counseling to recover and stay sober. It's an incredible body of work for a good cause.

Visit in Second Life

 

Linden Lab

Last week, we introduced the first video in a new Second Life tutorial series called QuickTips. Each of these tutorials aims to help newer users by introducing them to basic features, functions or activities in Second Life.

Our

focused on the simple process of changing your avatar in less than 60 seconds using the free avatars built into the Second Life Viewer. That’s a great skill to have as a newcomer -- but many users want to stand out in style or perhaps just look a bit more unique. Why look like everyone else when there are thousands of fashions and avatar accessories to choose from?

This week’s QuickTips video introduces new users to the fundamentals of how to shop like a pro in Second Life. Watch this clip to learn the basics on discovering places to shop, as well as transaction tips and even unpacking your items.

Soon you’ll be shopping up a storm as you stroll through the many virtual shopping hot spots in SL or browse for items via the web on the Marketplace.

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Stay tuned for even more QuickTips. Forthcoming videos will help teach the basics of socializing, connecting with communities, finding interesting places and more.

To learn more about shopping in Second Life, visit our Knowledgebase.

Linden Lab

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve introduced several

to help teach our newest residents the basics of Second Life. This week, we examine how to use the official unit of trade in Second Life, known as the Linden Dollar (or L$).

You can use Linden Dollars to buy almost anything inside Second Life or on the Marketplace -- a new outfit, a new home or even a completely new avatar.

Watch the video to learn more at:

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To learn even more about the basics of getting and spending Linden Dollars, visit our Knowledgebase.

Did you miss our previous QuickTips videos? Check ‘em out!

Linden Lab


Valentine’s Day is big in Second Life - whether you’re planning on buying something special for your sweetheart on the Marketplace, finding a romantic place to explore together, or just celebrating with friends inworld, Second Life is a great place to enjoy the holiday. 

To help you have even more fun in Second Life this Valentine’s Day, we have a surprise gift for you! 

You must log in by 7:30pm PT today to be eligible, so don’t wait!

What is it? Well, it wouldn’t be any fun if we spoiled the surprise here - you’ll just have to log in before 7:30pm PT today to find out.  

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We hope you enjoy this special gift and wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day!

 

UPDATE: We've received a number of inquiries regarding an email that was sent to Second Life users to announce this promotion. Due to some technical issues, the formatting and foreign language content of the email may have caused some confusion and concern, for which we apologize. As you can see from this blog, this promotion is indeed a Linden Lab sponsored effort.  
 
Remember, this is a time-sensitive promotion. The gift described in the email and blog post will be delivered by 11:59pm Pacific time on Valentine's Day (February 14th) 2013, and to be eligible to receive it, you need to login to Second Life by 7:30pm PT on February 13.

 

Linden Lab

We hope you’re all having a lovely Valentine’s Day in Second Life! If you logged in during the period to be eligible for the special gift from Linden Lab, today you’ll find an extra L$10 from us in your account by midnight (PT) tonight - it’s just a little something that we hope will brighten your day.

Looking for a last-minute gift for someone special inworld? There are lots of options for less than L$10 in the Valentine’s Day category on the Marketplace - you can see them all here. And, of course there are thousands of items in the entire Valentine’s Day category, which you can browse here.

If you don’t yet have any plans for Valentine’s Day inworld, we’ve got you covered! The Destination Guide team has been sifting through the many and varied recent submissions to highlight a few things you might want to check out today:

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The Stupid Cupid Hunt

That Cupid, he's so stupid! Flying around, shooting arrows everywhere, making everyone dizzy, trailing little hearts wherever he goes... He's trying to make love matches all across SecondLife! It's time to stop Cupid before he gets any more stupid! Find the arrows at stores across SL to lead you to Cupid's love nest and fall in love with over 20 sponsor prizes! Running from February 1st to the 15th, don't miss it.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Deesha World of Romance

This is a unique and romantic world is actually two breathtaking areas separated by the thinnest of veils. Bring that special someone to this alien wonderland!

Visit in Second Life

 

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Aoxomoxoa

Aoxomoxoa is a romantic place and club, and a wonderful place to meet new people, make friends and just have fun. Come for the romance, stay for the location.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Notre Dame Cathedral

One of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Second Life, this sim provides ample gardens for reflection, contemplation and meditation. Based on the famous Notre Dame cathedral, this is a peaceful reflective place to step back from the busy clutter of the virtual world. Best viewed with maximum graphics, turn urn up that draw distance!

Visit in Second Life

 

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One Billion Rising

On February 14, for 24 hours starting at midnight (Pacific), Second Life residents will join with activists around the world in a spectacular 24-hour dance event for ONE BILLION RISING. This will be the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. More info including a full schedule of events at onebillionrisingsl.wordpress.com.

Visit in Second Life

 

You can also peruse the romance category in the Destination Guide for many more, and as always, please submit your ownspace or event if you’d like it to be featured. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Linden Lab

Millions of people have registered for Second Life -- so chances are pretty good that there’s a community that shares your interest or hobby inworld. Connecting with people who share your interests is easier when you know how to efficiently explore the thousands of Groups and Destinations inside Second Life.

To learn more about how to find friends and connect to conversations that share your interests, watch the QuickTips tutorial video at:

.

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Find even more tips on joining Groups and connecting with communities in Second Life in our KnowledgeBase.

Did you miss our previous QuickTips videos? Check ‘em out!

Linden Lab

November Update

New Viewer Gives Second Life Users a Customizable User Interface
for a More Flexible Workspace


With the launch of the new Second Life Viewer on Nov. 8, Second Life Residents can now customize their user interface for a more flexible workspace.  

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New customizable functionality includes:

  • Drag-and-drop buttons on the toolbar so Residents can change ordering, move buttons from one toolbar to another and choose which buttons appear
  • An option to choose one, two or three toolbars
  • The option to select either icons or labels


The new Viewer also makes it easy for new Residents to find the essential basic functions, as well as access more advanced functionality as they grow in Second Life.

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New-user functionality includes:


  • How-to window provides easy, step-by-step instructions for common tasks
  • Destinations button offers interesting destinations
  • Avatars button allows Residents to choose and immediately change their avatar
  • Inventory button lets Residents see the things they own
  • Shop button takes Residents to the Second Life Marketplace

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By merging the Basic and Advanced modes, users no longer need to switch between modes, which improves usability – and ultimately enhances the Second Life inworld experience.

For further details on how to get the most out of the new Second Life Viewer, please check out the following video tutorials:





Inbox Messaging Gives Second Life Residents
a More Efficient Way to Communicate
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Did you know that you are now able to send a message from your inbox to anyone in Second Life who accepts messages from you?

Whether you are a merchant and want to ask your customers about their experiences with your products, or you simply want to keep in touch with friends, the addition of the profile inbox will help you better communicate.kLQetVR0iCS67FnLYg9s4d-z4X3Z2OKZAypdseKut7V9UDaGzO3n7zDC7QMY0Ra5Ga-4aCUpjHHzCY5LGvavv88jPRbodjrc37vOxYFEo7d74EKNoQU

Because you can view and track your messages, inbox messaging also allows you to better manage conversations. And because the inbox is available on the web, you don't have to be logged in to Second Life to read and send messages.

If you would like to contact someone who is not in your friends list, you can send them a message directly from their profile by choosing “Message” from the drop-down envelope icon.gHu_AF8hpBpwpeZsA4ILfMCjCFqcnh_ScAJtLefpU_CJGj6PJbfBYiSUvN8aPy25BnumjDEmQI2evGgZyEdW0ALjD3fCr4GCTn4gBdSI2YraQuYK0pA

Although direct messages to other users don't appear in your profile feed (even if that's set to public), if you are still concerned about your privacy, your profile settings allow you to control who sends you messages and how you get notified.

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
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

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

For a limited time, take advantage of 50% off Premium membership.

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A new Premium gift is now available! Go Premium today and jump behind the wheel of your Premium-only interactive dune buggy for some fast action fun. Pop wheelies and take on obstacles as you dodge sand dunes and put the pedal to the metal with your buggy’s NOS boost system. 


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Start your engines and compete against friends in Racer’s Gulch, a Premium-only slick racing zone.

The dune buggy is available to Premium Residents only. To access the exclusive Racer’s Gulch, you must be a Premium member, so don’t delay! Additional Premium benefits include a private home, currency payouts, as well as expanded support. Put the pedal to the metal and take advantage this limited-time half-off promotion today.* Already Premium? Get it here.

*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 Friday the 24th of August at 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Friday the 31st of August 2012 at 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

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

With so many ways for users to communicate with one another in Second Life, there are quite a few communications tools in the Viewer. To make it easier to find, learn and use these tools, today we released a project Viewer that introduces CHUI (Communications Hub User Interface). In addition to bringing most of these communications tools “under one roof,” CHUI also introduces some new and improved features.

One new feature is the Conversation Log, which provides a list of all the conversations you’ve had in the last 30 days. This includes IMs received from both friends and non-friends while you were offline. From the Conversation Log you can open the entire history of your communication with another person, so you no longer need to search for it on your computer’s hard drive. (You just need to choose the option of saving chat logs on your computer for this feature to work.)

A feature already in SL is the ability to open a conference chat by selecting multiple people from your friends list, and with a right-click, create a private IM session with all of them. In CHUI, you can now add people to a conference chat after it’s started, or add someone to an existing one-on-one IM session.

CHUI also makes it easier to move your voice connection among your open conversations, including nearby chat, private IM, conference chat or group chat. Click the “add voice” button on any conversation to move your voice connection to that conversation. Click the “hang up” button and your voice connection is returned to nearby chat.

In addition, you are now able to access your chat preferences in a single click from the Conversation window.  You can change the volume of a single person’s voice by simply clicking on that person’s speaking icon in the Conversations window.  In CHUI, the chat entry box expands to multiple lines as you type.

On the People window, we added a tab for blocked people and objects, so you no longer need to open a menu to see this list. It is also easier to unblock someone if you change your mind.

We are still working on making notifications more consistent and user-controllable. Depending on the type of incoming communication, you will be able to choose a notification style, such as a flashing button, a sound, or no notification at all. You’ll also be able to choose distinct notification types for friends and non-friends, as well as for those times when you’re busy and you’d prefer to be interrupted only by friends. We’re also in the process of moving the voice morphing capability so it will be easier to find and use.

On the People window, Conversations window, and Conversation Log window, we have moved the buttons to the top, where they are easier to see. In addition, we are leaving space for more buttons because there’s always room for improvement -- and because we expect you will have great ideas for more new features.

We’ve been testing CHUI inside Linden Lab for some time, but any major redesign requires a lot of people using it to make it as smooth and useful as it can be. This is where you come in.

Please think about these questions as you use the CHUI project viewer:

  • Are the new features useful?
  • Do the functions you commonly use seem more streamlined, or do they require more clicks than before?
  • Are all of the functions, both old and new, easy to find?

We’ll ask you to complete a survey in approximately one week to gather your thoughts on these questions.

If you find a bug, there’s a good chance we’re aware of it.  Please check the list of open issues and report yours at https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/chuibug

We look forward to hearing what you think and hope that you find CHUI to be as much of an improvement as we do.

Linden Lab

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PICTURED: Second Life Resident Keiko Takamura and her "real life" counterpart Amy E.

Linden Lab, maker of Second Life, is now casting both humans and their avatars for a new promotional campaign that will be featured on Secondlife.com and across the web.


For this campaign and a related video, we’re looking for people who are comfortable revealing their “human side” alongside their avatars in SL. This is your opportunity to participate in an extension and update to a campaign already in use on Secondlife.com and in various banner ads across the Internet. An example can be seen at: http://secondlife.com/whatis/avatar/.

This promotion aims to spotlight the diverse and creative communities in Second Life, so contact us if you’d like to share your passion for SL with the world! Whether you role-play as a Roman or robot...or just follow the latest virtual fashions and music in SL, we welcome all individuals to apply.

To be considered, please fill out this application form by noon (Pacific) on Sept. 12. All submissions will be reviewed by the creative production team for the campaign, but will remain private and undisclosed unless we receive your permission to use as part of the campaign.

We look forward to hearing from you!
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
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

For a limited time, take advantage of 50% off Premium membership. 

 

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A new Premium gift is now available! Go Premium today and take flight in your Premium-only airplane for some high flying fun. Zoom around and perform high-speed aerial stunts and acrobatics such as loops, barrel rolls, hard dives and climbs.

Take off in Orville, a Premium-only airfield where you can fuel up your airplane, spend some hangar time with your other flying friends, socialize in the airfield building lobby or watch over the skies from the control tower!

While this plane may be a single-seat aircraft that doesn't mean you can't bring some friends along -- you just might want to tell them to hold on!
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The airplane is available to Premium Residents only. To access the exclusive Orville Airport, you must be a Premium member, so don’t delay! Additional Premium benefits include a private home, Linden dollars, as well as expanded support. Take flight and take advantage this limited-time half-off promotion today.* Already Premium? Get it here

*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 Wednesday the 14th of November at 8:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST) and expires on Tuesday the 1st of January 2013 at 8:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST).



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