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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

 

One of the great opportunities of Second Life is that Residents can create nearly anything they can imagine. One of the great challenges is that Residents can create nearly anything they can imagine. We spend a lot of time considering how to improve performance without limiting creativity, and today we're pleased to announce a major change that will serve to improve performance and influence behavior without restricting creative freedom.

In a conventional video game environment, everything you see has been carefully optimized and constructed to make display efficient; levels of detail and textures are checked and rechecked by highly skilled experts who understand the impact of every choice on the target display system, and as much of the expensive computation as possible is done in advance. In the free-form user-created world of Second Life, there is little opportunity for optimization, the target display environment ranges from low-end netbooks to state-of-the-art gaming systems, and the experience of creators ranges from complete novice to those who could be (and sometimes are) among the best in the field. The results are often astonishingly great, but are sometimes very hard on the display capabilities of less powerful systems, resulting in extreme rendering lag.

We've looked at what sorts of things cause the most difficulty, and one of the biggest factors turns out to be rendering of avatars. This shouldn't be very surprising when you consider how much time, attention, and creativity goes into selecting and customizing them. Unfortunately, creators and consumers sometimes make choices that are so difficult for others to render that they severely impact the experience of those around them; in busy areas, this can be a big problem for anyone who has a less than fantastic graphics system. We could address that problem by more sharply limiting what people can create - putting in new limits on the textures, mesh complexity, and attachment features you can use on your avatar, but we enjoy the richness and variety of amazing avatars we encounter in-world as much as you do.

Instead, we are trying to incorporate feedback to content creators and consumers on the impact of their choices, and ways for users to limit the effect that the choices others make can have on their own system performance. Avatars are quite complex; we have a measure of that we're now calling 'Avatar Rendering Complexity'. That measure is, of necessity, an approximation - Because different systems have different strengths, no one measure can ever perfectly represent the difficulty of rendering an avatar in a universal way, but we've put some effort into making it a useful approximation.

In the newest default Viewer release, each time you change the appearance of your avatar, a small notice with your new complexity value will appear in the upper right of your display for a few seconds. There is no absolute 'good' or 'bad' value for that number; it can range from just a thousand or so to several hundred thousand (all the starter avatars are under 32,000, and the newer ones are all under 10,000). There is also a new graphics preference you can use to limit the impact of high complexity avatars around you; it lets you set a maximum complexity for avatar rendering. Anyone you see that's over that limit is simplified to a "JellyDoll" - a solid color silhouette without attachments shown - saving you most of the cost that you would otherwise have had to draw that avatar and so increasing the performance of your viewer. Each user can select their own value for that limit, trading off performance and fidelity; defaults for it depend on the power of your graphics system. You can override the limit for an avatar by right clicking on them and selecting "Always Render Fully".

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This limit wouldn't accomplish much if it just changed everyone into JellyDolls without providing feedback to those who wear the most expensive avatars. In order to provide that feedback, your Viewer tells the simulator which of the avatars around you are over your limit and have been simplified. The simulator aggregates that information from everyone and in turn tells you how many of the people around you are not fully rendering your avatar (without telling you which ones they are). When that changes significantly, you'll get a brief notice in the upper right of your screen telling you approximately how many of those around you are (or are not) rendering you because of your complexity. Our hope is that over time this will encourage people to consider the complexity they create - after all, it's not much good having the most elaborate and amazing avatar in Second Life if no one else is seeing it.

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But, you say… This is one more preference that I'll constantly want to customize! Sometimes I want to see the amazing beautiful avatars my friends create, and sometimes I want to move quickly through a crowd and don't care, but changing graphics settings is a nuisance.

We've revamped the graphics settings panels to make that easier, but more importantly we've added a way for you to save collections of settings (called "presets") with a name you pick, and then a pulldown at the right end of the top bar (it looks like a little computer screen) to instantly switch between them without having to even open the setting floater.

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Now you can have one collection of preferences for shopping, one for clubbing, one for intimate settings with your closest friends - whatever you need, and you can add and change them any time.

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We continue to diligently work on stability and performance of Second Life along with adding cool new features.  As we do that, we hope to provide more and better information to the colorful and talented community of Second Life so that we can continue to make it an even better and more interesting world together.

More information on how to configure these settings is in the Knowledge Base.

Linden Lab

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We’ve got some exciting news for both aspiring and existing Landowners who think the cost of land is too darn high in Second Life. Effective immediately, we’ve reduced Mainland costs by over 10 percent. 

But, wait...there’s more!

Premium members now also get DOUBLE the Mainland allotment! That’s twice as much space to build, create and design your own home, business or experience in Second Life at no extra charge! Premium subscribers now have 1,024m² included with their membership: you could keep your Linden Home and still have another 512m² left over, or use your entire 1024 allotment towards a parcel on the Mainland.  To learn more about specifics of this change, view our Pricing and Allotment Comparison chart.

We know that costs associated with land ownership can hinder some people from realizing their full creative vision in Second Life or even keep them from participating in Second Life as much as they’d like. In 2015, we decreased land setup fees by up to 40% and restored a 50% discount on set-up fees and ongoing maintenance fees for educators and nonprofits. In 2016, we offered a limited-time “buy-down” opportunity that rolled back maintenance fees on full islands and homesteads.

As Second Life begins to celebrate its fifteenth birthday, we hope that this latest price drop will be welcome news to those who aspire to explore their creativity in 2018 and beyond.

To learn more about Premium benefits, visit our Premium page.

 

Rodvik Linden

I want to thank everyone who downloaded the SL Viewer Beta with Basic and Advanced modes, gave it a try, and shared feedback with us. Since the initial launch last week, we’ve also deployed an additional beta version with fewer bugs and more stability and performance improvements.  

Today, we are releasing the SL Viewer into general availability and it is now the default download for new users. A few new features that are included are the destinations guide which allows rapid access to selected areas around SL for new users by interest, the ability to change avatars quickly and “click to walk.” Just click on a point ahead of you and your avatar will automatically start walking there. Additionally, we encourage you to fill in your “Interests” in the Edit Profile tab of your Profile page. Eventually, you’ll see that we are going to do some fun things with Interests once more people fill them in.

Keep in mind, that we’re just at the beginning of developing the Basic experience for new customers and that we will continue to improve it, and add features, as time goes on.

An important step in this process is to get new users trying the software. With a simplified user experience, we should see an increase in new customers staying in Second Life to explore, make friends, and find interesting things to do. And, ultimately, the more customers in Second Life, the better for everyone. Once a new user is acclimated to Second Life, and has learned some basic inworld skills, then they may want to switch to Advanced mode to use voice, purchase virtual goods, join groups, and create content.

We look forward to working with you to help make our world grow.

Thanks,

Rodvik

Helpful Links
    •    Download SL Viewer with Basic and Advanced:
         Windows  |  Mac  |  Linux
    •    SL Viewer Release Notes
    •    SL Viewer JIRA for Bugs (And click on the "bugs" button on the upper right.)
    •    Knowledge Base FAQs on SL Viewer Basic Mode
    •    Feedback Forum on SL Viewer Basic Mode  
    •    Twitter hashtag #slviewer

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

From now through September 8, 2013, customers in the US can take advantage of a couple of great sales for Second Life packs on Amazon:

  • The Premium Vehicle Pack -  which includes L$4000, an exclusive hoverboard, deluxe sail boat, and premium dune buggy - is now 30% off.

     

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  • And, the Pet Pack - which includes four adorable troobles - is now 60% off.


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Head on over to Amazon now if you’d like to take advantage of these great deals!


This particular sale is limited to US customers only, but Second Life is now also available on Amazon in the UK and Germany as well, and we hope to expand our promotions in the future, so keep an eye out!

Rodvik Linden

I would like to thank everyone who sent me messages on how to improve Second Life. For now, I will leave aside longer term goals around creativity, new windows into Second Life, and other initiatives. Instead, I want to share three important areas that we are focusing on in the short-term, based on your suggestions:

 

  1. Service: We have added significant resources to better address customer service times. Many of you will have noticed that our response times have improved both for individual cases and larger community issues. In addition, we are actively working to reduce commerce friction. We will continue to work hard to work out the kinks and improve these services even further.
  2. Lag: We have already implemented some server-side performance enhancements to improve lag and there will be far greater focus on that area in the months to come.
  3. Usability: This is the topic of today’s post.

 
Many of you have noted that Second Life is difficult to use, both for yourself and when inviting friends inworld. This usability issue is more complex than the user interface as it not only includes finding people and places, but it is also is dependent on some of the items above. We want to make an experience that helps you overcome some of the big usability hurdles that you’ve shared with me.

Today, we’re launching a new version of Second Life Viewer Beta which introduces two modes that are available to everyone who downloads it--Basic and Advanced.

Basic mode is an easier, simplified experience designed to introduce users to Second Life. It includes simple communication and navigation tools such as click to move and hold to move the camera, a choice of 24 pre-configured avatars, and an integrated Destination Guide to help you connect to friends and interesting places quickly and easily. Certain functionality, such as voice capability, building tools, and the ability to purchase virtual goods, is not available in Basic mode.

Advanced mode is for those already familiar with Second Life who use the full feature set of the SL Viewer.

There are a couple of things that I want to share right off the bat. First, both Basic and Advanced modes are built on the same code base and are included in the standard download of the SL Viewer Beta. You can think of it like two skins on the same piece of software. New customers will default to Basic, and if you already have the SL Viewer loaded onto your machine, the new version will default to the Advanced mode.
 
Our goal is to get new users comfortable in SL using Basic mode and then have the option to toggle to the Advanced mode when they are ready to conduct more advanced activities such as using voice, purchasing virtual goods, and building. And, it’s easy to switch back and forth. Simply toggle to the alternate mode in the Login Screen, and then log back in.

Lastly, we know that the Basic mode is very lean, and we’re only at the beginning of developing the minimum feature set--keeping it simple and working on the basics of usability first. We anticipate adding additional capabilities to Basic mode, so your feedback is important before we make this version of the SL Viewer the default download for new users.

This is a first small step towards making the world that you have created more accessible and enjoyable to use for everyone.

So, download the SL Viewer Beta and try it out.

 
Thanks,

Rodvik

Helpful Links

Linden Lab

Imagine yourself in a jungle on a remote island brimming with possible adventures and spectacular flora and fauna to explore. Now, imagine that remote island jungle is what we’ve come to call the Second Life grid, and imagine that you are … a Velociraptor! Sounds a little bit like a pretty weird but cool dream, right?

Well you no longer have to imagine the dream - you can live it with the Second Life 12th Anniversary commemorative avatar! Pick up your free avatar at Hairy Hippo Fun Land or off the Marketplace before this raptor becomes extinct at the end of July!

Celebrate SL12B in Ferocious Style for a Chance to Win L$10,000

Now that you’ve got your raptor - it’s time to take ‘em for a test drive. Share snapshots of your raptor avatar celebrating SL12B to the Second Life 12th Anniversary Snapshot Contest from now until July 20th, and you could win 1 of 4 incredible prizes - L$10,000 , L$5,000, L$3,000, or L$1,000!

Be creative! This limited-edition raptor has the entirety of the grid to seek out a picture-perfect spot to take a winning snapshot - but a good place to start is the SL12B Destination Guide category.

Read the full rules and contest details on the contest page.

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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).



Brooke Linden

SKOW_LL_Dash_Deal Logo_FInal_4_8.jpgEveryone loves a great deal, right?

So, we’re introducing a new test program called “Dash Deals.” During this test, we will be running one Dash Deal per week, for the next five weeks. Dash Deals will provide Second Life Marketplace shoppers with the opportunity to purchase a specific virtual item for 24 hours at a 50% discount or more. Hand-picked by the Linden team from Merchant submissions, these products highlight the creativity and variety of products available to Marketplace shoppers. We hope that you enjoy our selections and take advantage of the deals!

And, if the test goes well, then you can expect to see more Dash Deals beyond the test period.

 

Here’s How to Score a Dash Deal
We’ll alert Second Life shoppers when the Dash Deal is available on Facebook, Twitter, and in a weekly email. Just click on the SL Marketplace link provided, take a look at the Dash Deal item, and snap it up while it’s still available.  

Today’s Dash Deal is an alluring couture gown offered at L$440 (originally L$880). But hurry—this deal only lasts for 24 hours!

Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for the official “Dash Deal” badge—and you could score a deep discount on some of the best virtual goods on Marketplace. Happy shopping!

Update (April 26, 2011)

There have been some additional questions regarding the Dash Deal emails, and we wanted to take this opportunity to clarify a few points. Although Dash Deals last for a day, they will only happen once a week for the next 4 weeks. For those who don't want to receive weekly Dash Deal emails, just "unsubscribe" using the link in the email. However, this will mean that you are unsubscribing from all optional Second Life emails. I hope that this clarification is helpful and get ready for the next Dash Deal, scheduled for April 27, 2011.

Update (May 6, 2011)

We have decided to discontinue the Dash Deal program. This decision was not made lightly and is due to several factors, including technical limitations which made the management of the program inefficient. We expect to test other programs of this type in the future, once we have resolved these issues.

Linden Lab

Did you know that you could be earning money while helping Second Life grow? The Second Life Affiliate Program makes it easy!

The Affiliate Program rewards you for associating your website, blog, social media channel, or other means of outreach with Second Life. You earn a commission every time someone becomes a Second Life user (registering an account and logging into the Viewer) within 45 days of clicking a Second Life link on your site. In other words, you get paid for helping Second Life grow with new users.

To learn more, including regional restrictions on participation, and to apply to the Affiliate Program, click here.

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*Note: Only sites that are in compliance with the Guidelines for Using Linden Lab’s Trademarks can be accepted into the program, so before applying, please check to be sure that your site is in compliance. You can learn more in the Second Life Brand Center.

Xiola Linden

Autumn has finally decided to fall upon us here in the Lab’s San Francisco offices. We didn’t think it would ever come - but took comfort in the fact that we could always visit gorgeous autumnal regions in Second Life. There is something magical and fantastic about that mix of Fall and Winter taking place all over the grid. Some of you are eager to dash into the winter holiday season - while others still cling to the lingering haunts of Halloween. I’m a little bit of both - to be honest! So, our Second Life Destination Guide editors must have been in the same mind when they curated this great list of spots you need to visit inworld!

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Gacha Good Events Bounty Of the Harvest

Gacha Good Events presents "Bounty Of The Harvest," a holiday event that celebrates the autumn and upcoming winter months with a variety of items that represent the fall month. There are 50 designers and over 100 Gachas to browse through.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Rainbow Music Festival

Vote for your favorite deejays at the Rainbow Music Festival, beginning Nov. 13 at the Santorini Club.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Disability Rights Affirmation Confererence

Virtual Ability's International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC 2015) offers speakers who discuss and celebrate successes, identify issues and re-affirm the rights of people with disabilities across the world. The event is held Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Pacific).

Visit in Second Life

 

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Bellisimo Art Gallery

This gallery hosts beautiful artwork by talented Second Life artists. Don't miss the monthly exhibitions on rotation.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Fractal Insanity

Fractal Insanity is an exhibition that features the fractal art and abstracts of Milly Sharple. The art in this gallery is rotated regularly as new work is added, keeping the venue interesting for new visitors as well as returning ones.

Visit in Second Life

 

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BristolQuest

Explore this island of adventure, filled with lots of fun and prizes that await you. There are several missions where you can look for artifacts, pendants, vouchers worth Lindens, treasures and more.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Aspen Fell - Endless

Discover the charms of Endless by Aspen, a calm monochromatic sim is open to the public for all to enjoy.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Driftwood Valley Winter Wonderland 2015

Driftwood Valley Estates would like to invite you to explore the 2015 Winter Wonderland. The naked winter trees line the avenue.There is a freezing chill in the air that brings crispness to the leaves, bejeweled with frost, that crunch underfoot. Rosy cheeked, we stamp to keep warm, pulling woolen hats over our reddened ears and tightening scarves over our blue-tinged lips.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Christmas Fair 2015

Get ready for Christmas at this special fair, held through the holidays in Second Life. In the town square, you'll find a lit Christmas tree and shops that sell a variety of souvenirs, gifts, decorations and more.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Christmas Lane

Come visit this beautiful Christmas and winter sim where you can fly with Santa, skate on ice, visit a coffee shop, listen to Christmas carols, take pictures and find all you need for this holiday season!

Visit in Second Life

 

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Let it Snow! A Winter Wonderland

This winter-themed sim is filled with the spirit of Christmas. Bring your friends to explore, dine and dance in the ballroom, ice-skate, sledge, cuddle, play in the snow, visit the coffee shop and take photographs. There's plenty to do and see and everyone is welcome!

Visit in Second Life

 

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Telrunya - Winter Has Come...

Welcome to the wintery land of Telrunya, the perfect place to explore, relax, go ice skating and take wonderful pictures in this exquisite scenery. With a hint of magic, this place is truly a winter wonderland.

Visit in Second Life

 

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Krampus - Your Christmas Nightmare

In a repeating vivid dream, you get told that your name is written in Krampus' book. It promises that you will suffer all kind of hell's agony before the year is over. Can you escape your fate and stop the repeating dream?

Visit in Second Life

 

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Christmas at The North Pole

In a secret valley in the North Pole, Santa Claus and his elves are working hard. In the hidden village, letters are piling up at the post office. Santa takes his time reading, checking each list twice, making sure he writes down who's naughty or nice. Come visit this magical wintry spot in time for the magic of Christmas

Visit in Second Life

 

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Country Christmas

Welcome to Country Christmas, where you can stroll around looking for a special holiday present or simply ice skate in the park.

Visit in Second Life

Be sure to share your inworld pics to the group pool at our Official Second Life Flickr Pic of the Day images are selected from there and featured on our blog and social media pages.

There’s only a day left to enter to win prizes in our 2015 Fa-BOO-lous Snapshot Contest - take pictures of your inworld adventures and share them to the contest for a chance to win Linden prizes.

See you inworld!

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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

MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show brings together couples that have online relationships to meet offline for the first time, often with surprising results as the differences between online personas and offline lives are revealed.

MTV is now casting the show’s second season, and they’re interested in hearing from Second Life users who have fallen in love inworld, and would now like to meet their love in person. If you’d be interested in being on the show, you can apply online here.

Linden Lab

 

Get all the perks of going Premium for half the price - weekly stipends of L$300, a L$1000 sign-up bonus, the ability to join more groups, expanded Live Chat support, exclusive sandboxes, free gifts, and more!* Learn everything there is to know about Premium membership and upgrade your account here.

New Perk! Prim Limit Increase

Premium members are entitled to a Linden Home and can own parcels on the Mainland. Now, we're raising the limit on the number of prims you can use in those spaces. This means you will have more prims and creative flexibility to decorate and customize your own space.  Land impact (object) capacity on Mainland Regions will go from 15,000 to 22,500 - that’s a lot more building capacity!

In addition to this, we will further carry the prim limit increases to the private estate regions shortly.  Keep your eye on our blogs for more information!

This episode of Designing Worlds features Patch Linden - talking more in-depth about this new perk. You can watch it on our Official YouTube Channel

. Thanks to the Designing Worlds team for hosting the show!

New Premium Gift

There is a brand new exclusive gift available to Premium members only. Drop by one of the Premium Sandboxes to get your Alpha Robot Avatar. It shoots lasers and features customizable color textures.

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This pricing and the Alpha Robot Avatar are only available for a limited time - so hurry and take advantage before November 10, 2016!

*TERMS & CONDITIONS This offer begins on November 3, 2016 at 8AM Pacific Time (PT) and expires on November 10, 2016 at 8AM PT. To qualify for this promotion, you must 1) have an existing Second Life ("SL") basic account or create a new account, and 2) select monthly (every one month) billing for your SL account. The fifty percent (50%) discount will be applied to your first month's bill and future months will be billed at the standard Premium Membership price (currently US$9.50 per month). For new accounts or accounts not previously upgraded to Premium Membership, after initial login through the Second Life viewer following upgrade to Premium Membership and: 1) following your first full week, the L$300 weekly stipend will be deposited to your account every Tuesday for the duration of your Premium Membership; and 2) after your account has been active for forty-five (45) consecutive days, the L$ sign-up bonus will be deposited to your account.  










































Linden Lab

You may have heard that in addition to continued work to improve Second Life, Linden Lab is developing a new platform for user-created virtual experiences, code-named Project Sansar. (If you’d like to learn more about it, check out some of the recent press in our media archive.)

Project Sansar is not a sequel to nor a replacement for Second Life, and that the two will run in parallel. Although different from Second Life in a number of respects, Project Sansar has understandably aroused the interest and curiosity of many Second Life Residents. We’re very grateful for that enthusiasm! While it’s still very early for Project Sansar, today we have a special message to share inworld -  exclusively with Second Life Residents.

Since this message is just for Second Life Residents - you’ll need to head inworld to view it. Simply teleport to Town Hall Island and click on the screen to start the video. Make sure your media settings in the Viewer are set to on, and that your volume is up in order to hear and view the message. Lindens will be in and out of the region throughout the day to answer questions as well.

Because of the exclusive nature of this message, it will only be available today - April 1, 2016, so log in as soon as possible and don’t miss out!

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Town Hall Island

Drop in on Friday, April 1st after 10 am SLT for an exclusive message for Second Life Residents.

Visit in Second Life
BK Linden

Efforts to improve operating focus and cost structure have resulted in two consecutive quarters of strong cash flow and profitability with Q1 2011 the most successful in Linden Lab’s history.

Regarding Customer Support, we made some changes late last year that unfortunately impacted Residents with longer resolution times. Over the last few months, we have worked through the backlog and have returned to 24- to 48-hour resolution times for nearly all types of issues. We continue to add resources and adjust processes to further improve resolution times and customer satisfaction, especially for more complex issues.

After launching the new SL Viewer with Basic and Advanced modes in late Q1 2011, and improving the new user registration experience in early Q2 2011, we have seen over 33% improvement in new daily completed registrations when compared to recent months. This is an early indicator that usability improvements are having an initial positive impact with more significant ones still to be delivered over the coming weeks and months.

In Q1 2011, measures of the size and strength of the Second Life Linden Dollar economy improved slightly while users, usage and world size were consistent with the last few quarters.

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

DAILY COMPLETED REGISTRATIONS
There has been a positive trend since the new registration experience was introduced on April 11.

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AVERAGE MONTHLY REPEAT LOGINS
Average monthly repeat logins have been virtually unchanged over the previous 3 quarters.

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USER HOURS
Similarly, user hours have remained consistent over the last 3 quarters.

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AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE
The value of the Linden dollar has continued to improve from Q4 2010 and is at its highest level in the last 6 quarters. 

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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
The US dollar value of Linden dollars held by Residents of Second Life has increased for the third consecutive quarter.

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LINDEX VOLUME
In Q1 2011, the LindeX Volume was at its highest level in the last 6 quarters.

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WORLD SIZE
World size has also stayed within a 1% range over the last 3 quarters.

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Linden Lab

For a limited time, we’re offering 50 percent off Premium Membership*! There’s no better time to see what’s available to Premium members of Second Life.

As a Premium member, you’ll enjoy rewards like exclusive Resident-created gifts, access to special Premium Sandboxes, as well as Live Chat support. Plus, you’ll get your own inworld home, a L$1000 sign-up bonus, and weekly L$ rewards to spend on whatever you like. You can read more details about Premium benefits here

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Today, a new Premium gift is available! Go Premium today and jump behind the helm of your new interactive pirate airship, the Linden Marauder. Enjoy fast-action, high flying fun-near-the-sun, or menace the airways with your armament of cannons. Premium members can pick up their airships here.

The Linden Marauder is available to Premium members only. You can access the exclusive airfield in Orville to take flight, so don’t delay!


*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 18th of July at 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Monday the 4th of August 2014 at 08:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

 

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

Limited Time Only! 50% off Premium Membership & Premium Perks
For a limited time, you can get a Premium Second Life Membership for 50 percent off*! Upgrade now at half-off and enjoy premium perks, including brand new premium gifts.

Perks for Premium subscribers include a a L$1000 sign-up bonus, exclusive access to Premium Sandboxes (special areas inworld where you can build objects, rez purchased items and meet other creative users), a weekly L$ stipend to spend on whatever you like, your own home, and special free gifts.

Limited Edition Premium Gifts
Just in time for Halloween, we have some new gifts for Premium subscribers - the bag of treats includes jack o'lanterns, witches’ brooms and more - including a bone-shaking skeleton avatar to haunt your favorite spooky spots in. Go Premium, then pick up your gifts at the inworld Gift Kiosks.

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Haunted Halloween Tour for Everyone - Oculus Rift or Regular Experiences Available
There’s also a special treat for everyone! Come visit the Haunted Halloween Tour and ride through a terrifying gauntlet of thrills and chills! For those who dare, step through the Halloween path from the Portal Park. If you have an Oculus Rift, you can check out the tour’s VR option - just grab the latest Project Viewer to get started.

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Second Life Fab-OO-lous Snapshot Contest

Last, but certainly not least - we know how much you love to dress up and show off your seasonal side this time of year - so why not join us on the forums for Second Life’s Fa-BOO-lous Snapshot Contest. Your frightful and delightful snapshots could win you L$10,000, L$5,000, L$3,000, or L$1,000!

Happy Halloween!

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*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; price will return to USD 22.50, excluding VAT where applicable. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Wednesday the 15th of October at 08:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Monday the 3rd of November 2014 at 08:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Linden Lab

We are pleased to announce two changes that make it less expensive to get your own Private Island in Second Life!

Price Drop for Land Set-up Fees

Effective immediately, all new Private Island set-up fees are up to 40% cheaper! Whether you’re looking to expand your estate or just getting started with your first Private Island, it’s a great time to buy.

Here are the new, reduced set-up fees:

  • Full Private Island  - previously $1000, now $600
  • Developed Full Private Island - previously $1029, now $629
  • Homestead Private Island - previously $375, now $225
  • Developed Homestead Private Island - previously $395, now $250
  • Openspace Private Island - previously $250, now $150

Qualified educational and nonprofit organizations will continue to receive a 50% discount off the applicable set-up fee (as well as 50% off ongoing maintenance fees). For more information about our discount program, please visit this page.

If you have paid a region set-up fee in the past 14 days, you will receive the difference in fees back as a credit (in US Dollars) to your account balance.

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Pic by Samuel Fallen.

Transferring Regions with Grandfathered Pricing

Previously, Private Islands with grandfathered pricing would lose that status and revert to the usual schedule of land maintenance fees when the regions were transferred to a new owner. Today, we are changing that policy to make it easier for these regions to remain on the grid if and when they are sold to new owners.

Effective immediately, both Grandfathered Full Private Island regions ($195/month) and Grandfathered Homestead Private Island regions ($95/month) may be transferred to new owners without losing the discounted pricing. However, the one-time fee for transferring grandfathered regions will be higher than the usual transfer fee, as follows:

  • Transfer of a Full Island, maintaining grandfathered pricing: $600/each
  • Transfer of a Homestead Island, maintaining grandfathered pricing: $300/each

The standard fee will still apply to all other region transfers, as well as if you choose to give up grandfathered pricing when transferring a previously grandfathered region.

 

Linden Lab

Linden Lab is excited to announce the launch of the Materials Beta Viewer! This Viewer will allow content creators to build objects using normal and specular maps and will allow users to view the effects of this new feature set. The end result is photorealistic textured objects inworld.

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Credit: Katana by June Dion

 

Technical Details

Normal maps provide modelling of fine scale surface textures at far lower cost (to performance and Land Impact) than the equivalent geometry, while Specular maps, along with advanced specularity controls, provide much richer control over how the surfaces of an object interact with all the light sources in a scene. Together, these new features provide creators in Second Life much greater ability to make detailed and responsive content appearance.

Setting any material property on an object will change the accounting method to the current accounting from the old count-the-prims accounting; in most cases, this will mean that you can get lower object cost for detailed or varied surfaces that would otherwise require more prims to create. It also means that Materials objects will have improved simulator performance and mesh object upload cost by decreasing the complexity of object geometry.

 

KO.jpegCredit: Jacket by Geenz Spad

 

A Collaborative Effort

This new set of features has been developed in collaboration with open source Viewer developers and content creators. New pages on how to best leverage these features and optimize the Land Impact of your creations are being published on the Good Building Practices wiki and the Content Creators Guide, and more will be added in the coming days by Second Life content creators and builders from Linden Lab.

 

Next Steps

Download the Beta Viewer from the official downloads page.

To see the new effects in this Beta Viewer, you must enable 'Advanced Lighting Model' in Preferences > Graphics > Advanced (this preference used to be called 'Lighting and Shadows', but actually controlled a wider range of rendering behavior, so the name has been changed).

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Once we have squashed all the beta bugs (which you can file in the MATBUG JIRA project), we will be pushing the Materials Beta Viewer to Release. Check back here for updates!




Linden Lab

Introducing the latest offering from our Starter Avatar Modernization project… 16 New Classic Avatars!

These new avatars are built combining mesh attachments with the original “system” process. Not only are compatibility issues being addressed, but the avatars are more performant and they look great! They can also be tweaked with the system sliders and easily dressed.

Last year, you may remember, we launched a number of new mesh avatars. They included both vampires and everyday people avatars that were built completely using mesh. While they looked good, they made outfit changes difficult and some of our internal tools were incompatible with the assets.

The new great-looking and efficient avatars will be available through the carousel during registration. Existing Residents can also access them through the “Me -> Choose an Avatar” menu in the Viewer.

In search of a new look? Try out one of our new classics today!

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Linden Lab

There’s a lot going on with Second Life these days, and we wanted to talk about a few of the projects that are either out or in the works!

Project Valhalla: CEF - Media on a Prim and in-Viewer Browser Overhaul
A new age of modern HTML5 content is upon us, and we're overhauling the way shared media (aka "media on a prim") works so that you can enjoy all kinds of modern web content within Second Life. Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) is coming to replace the aging QTWebkit framework. What you can now see in a Project Viewer is the latest released version of Chrome - so it will render all modern web technologies - like HTML5, CSS3, WebGL; has the latest security patches; and will be easy to keep updated to a recent version. What does this mean for your Flash content? What about Quicktime? They may still work, but because both can only be viewed if the user has correctly installed a 3rd party plugin, we can't  promise support and you shouldn’t expect that it will work for everyone. Standard HTML5 is the way of the future and this Viewer will enable it for anyone. There are still bugs to squash, and we’re iterating quickly to bring you a smooth inworld media and browsing experience. If you have comments about this feature - please post to the forum thread about this topic - located here.

Rendering Complexity / Quick Graphics
Often the most resource-intensive part of rendering a scene in Second Life is the avatars around you. The Viewer has a measurement of how avatars are affecting your performance, and now we are putting the control over whether to render them in your hands!

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A new *Avatar Maximum Complexity* control lets you prevent expensive-to-render avatars from lagging you; any avatar over the limit is displayed as a solid color rather than rendering in full detail. A default limit is set based on the rendering performance of your system. You'll also get a notice when your own rendering complexity changes, and an indication when you're over the limit of too many of the avatars around you.

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Bundled together in this Viewer is a change that allows you to create and quickly change presets of your graphics settings, so as you go from a club to an art gallery, to the beach, or to your home, you can quickly adjust your settings to fit the scene. Learn more about these changes: avatar rendering complexity: graphics presets: and try the Release Candidate ViewerIf you have comments about this feature - please post to the forum thread about this topic - located here.

 

 

Notifications

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A neat quality-of-life improvement for busy Residents, incoming notifications are sorted into categories where you can view, interact with each or many at a time, and use them to manage the numerous important notices that arrive throughout the day. Try out this feature in this RC Viewer. A special thank-you to Resident Aki Shichiroji for the initial feature design!

 

 

 

 
SecondLife.com
Due to the numerous recent security problems affecting Flash, it has been completely removed from our website. A modern way to animate starter avatars in the join carousel and some other exciting news for registration is coming out really soon. Keep an eye out!

Mesh Importer
Recently we shipped the Mesh Importer Viewer, which now performs name-based LOD association and handles models with many materials - no post-import assembly required. You can visit the Knowledge Base article for more details.

Inventory Robustness
Inventory loss is a dogged and complicated problem that we are constantly pursuing. A recent simulator change now prevents loss of no-copy items due to a failed rez. A number of other improvements to inventory robustness are in the pipeline and will be rolling out soon.

HTTP Project
Last year we created a better implementation of the HTTP layer in the Viewer and used it to substantially improve texture loading. In this new RC Viewer, we've upgraded all the rest of the HTTP uses in the Viewer. This will make many other features perform better and more reliably, and is establishing the foundation for future improvements.

 

Linden Lab

Do you enjoy classic stories, pageantry and wonder? Ever taken the time to enjoy truly immersive theater? In the newest episode of The Drax Files, Draxtor Despres interviews the creators of the epic Paradise Lost, an intricate production based on the works of Milton. Join them as they talk about the joys and freedoms of online production, the masks we use to reveal ourselves and more.

Click the link to see the


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Looking to scratch that Drax Files itch? Find all the previous episodes at Draxtor’s Website or below.

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 1: Kriss Lehmann

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 2: Jo Yardley

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 3: Eshi Otawara

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 4: Fantasy Faire / RFL

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 5: Engrama

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 7: Rod Humble

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 8: MadPea Games

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 9: Elie Spot

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 10: Robin Sojourner

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode11: Dwarfins

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 12: Ole Etzel

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 13: Creations for Parkinson's

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 14: Rose Borchovski

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 15: Scottius Polke

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 16: Feed a Smile

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 17: Zachh Barkley

 

 

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