Jump to content


  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Contributors to this blog

Guest Games blogger: Karsten Rutledge

Linden Lab



1. Many of the games you’ve created in SL have become classics. Tell us a bit about how you got started.

Purely by accident, as it happens. Before I joined Second Life I was heavily into the MMO-RPG scene from the '90s run on MOO-, MUD- and MUSH- based systems, which were purely text-based games because technology had not risen to the challenge yet of streaming something as complex and bandwidth-intensive as Second Life. When I say "into" the scene I mean that I created and collaborated on the creation of quite a few of them, not just played on them. The systems that we built rivaled games like WoW and EVE Online in complexity and gameplay, but you had to play them as interactive novels rather than what we now think of as MMOs.
One of the people that I "MOOed" with at the time introduced me to Second Life and I got hooked on the creation aspect of it instantly. That's the same thing that drew me to MOOs in the first place, the ability to instantly create and program things in real time, collaboratively. My very first thought about Second Life was, in fact, "Whoa, someone created a graphical MOO." because they are, in essence, identical except for the addition of graphical rendering. 

2. What’s the story behind Greedy Greedy – which is a favorite of many residents?

On several of the aforementioned MOO games that I helped develop I had created a rendition of Greedy Greedy to play among friends, primarily with the other developers. When I came to Second Life, I decided that porting Greedy Greedy would be a good way to learn the scripting language. I made the happy mistake of leaving it rezzed when I went to bed one night, and awoke to two people who had stumbled across it in the night and insisted they must have a copy of it for their own land, and thus a very long learning process began for me in how to run a business.
The origin of Greedy Greedy itself is lost to time, I grew up playing it in my family but nobody actually knows where it came from. Many people know it by many different names, including 10000, Zilch, Stugots, Farkle and Amish Dice, some with minor rule variations which I have attempted to incorporate into Greedy Greedy so everyone can play it their own favorite way.

3. Are you surprised by the ongoing success of Greedy Greedy?

A little. I didn't create it with the idea of even selling it, much less selling a lot of it. I think it owes its success to several factors. Firstly, it is a very friendly game. It doesn't eliminate players and doesn't require a steep learning curve. Secondly, it is a very social game. It doesn't require an intense focus on the game to play it well. You can play your turn, switch your focus, whether it be to Photoshop or scripting or chatting with friends, and then come back to it again later without having lost any important information, so it can be played very casually. Lastly, it is a very competitive game, and hope springs eternal. You can be the last player on the scoreboard, but at any moment you could leapfrog the competition and come out the winner. It's that anticipation of a big score that could be just around the corner. You haven't truly lost until the game is over, whereas in many games if you are trailing well behind the leader then you are basically walking dead.

4. You also recently opened a new blog dedicated to gaming in SL at http://gaming.sl. What inspired you to start that blog?

It's not really a blog, in the normal sense. The primary function of http://Gaming.SL/ is to provide support for games inworld, to give them access to features that are impossible to create with Second Life alone. Things like persistent grid-wide leaderboards and player achievements. These features require a database behind them to work, and that is something that SL isn't capable of handling on its own. The "blog" aspect of it is more of a "Here is what's new about games that use Gaming.SL technology!" and has little to do with the broader gaming culture in Second Life. One of the more popular features of Gaming.SL is the ability to provide "DLC" for games that are connected to it, although they are known as "addons" on the website. This allows games in-world to have features added to them on-the-fly by downloading new information off the website.
At the moment, this is primarily being used to allow a remarkable degree of aesthetic customization of my games. Are you a fairy? Great! You can buy a game, and then press a button and it turns into a giant mushroom patch. How about a vampire? No problem, another addon will shapeshift the game into gothic thrones around a stately table. I feel that a big part of Second Life is the immersion, and these features let players enjoy games in their own part of the grid while maintaining a higher degree of immersion into their chosen worlds. Many gaming tables in Second Life are garish and must remain so, making them an eyesore to have rezzed because they are, at the very least, out of theme with their surroundings. To me, presentation is nearly as important an issue as the gameplay itself.

Visit K.R. Engineering inworld here.


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

  • Create New...