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:
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.
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.
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.