It’s hard to believe, but 2015 is wrapping up already! With the excitement over the recent Bento announcement still in the air, we’d like to end the year by highlighting just a few more of the many ways that Second Life got even better this year.
Tech & Feature Improvements
We just promoted the Valhalla (CEF) Viewer to release. This is a major step (so we bumped the version to 4.0.0) - In-Viewer web content is now coming to you via the latest version of the Chromium Embedded Framework API - it’s a lot like the latest version of the Google Chrome browser you might use on your desktop. This change allows Residents to add web media to their creations using the latest web standards including HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL. We’ve ditched the aging and unsupported Qt/Webkit framework and the myriad of previously unfixed problems it accumulated. While we encourage content creators to move to HTML5 for best performance and future compatibility, various older plugins are still supported.
We also spent quite a bit of effort to maintain and improve the infrastructure. There were 28 simulator releases, Inventory Robustness improvements, improvements to Group Chat, and a major update of the developer toolchain.
We launched Viewer Managed Marketplace this year and rolled out the timely demise of magic boxes. We released updates to improve the Mesh Importer and implemented a resident-contributed feature suggestion to improve and expand the Notifications UI. We added a control to set your Hover Height just right from another bit of feedback.
Of course there’s more to come in 2016, hopefully something for everyone. Just a few things we have in the pipeline are the new Marketplace Search (currently in Beta), HTTP project (soon merging with Voice fixes), the Quick Graphics & Rendering Complexity Viewer, and an update to the Oculus Rift Viewer as well!
Better Looking Starter Avatars
This year we worked on and launched new makeovers to classic avatars. These great-looking new avatars address some compatibility issues as well as offer better-looking starter options for new Residents.
New Premium Perks
We’re continuously looking for ways to improve the value of Premium Membership in Second Life. Just this year we introduced Experience tools, reduced the cost of monthly membership and stopped charging VAT, increased Group and IM limits, and added Live Chat and extended concierge hours.
Lower Land Set-Up Fees & Grandfathered Transfers
We now allow Grandfathered transfers and we’ve lowered setup fees for Land owners and we continue to look for ways to improve our land products while keeping the economy healthy!
Inworld Events & Community Fun
This last summer marked the 12th Birthday of Second Life, and our Residents put together an amazing community-driven event. As part of the celebrations, Linden Lab hosted the first Official Music Fest - inviting musicians who perform in Second Life to come out and showcase their live music and celebrate a dozen years of Second Life. Part of the fun of SL12B included the release of the awesome T-rex avatar - a hint at what was to come with the epic launch of PaleoQuest.
There’s lots to talk about - and we were happy to join the Lab Chat production team in November for the first session of Lab Chat. Stay tuned for more details on the call for questions and date for the next edition - coming soon!
In the spirit of our inworld meetups like the Creepy Crawl and our Snowball Fight - we look forward to spending more time enjoying this amazing world with you in the new year!