Jump to content
Cheza Tearfall

Secondlife declining player base

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, Digit Gears said:

Feels a bit unfair to keep calling Sansar failed, it's still getting it's foot in the door in a unfortunately slightly crowded room.

No, it's with a few others in a big empty room. VR game level loaders just aren't going anywhere.

The best VR game seems to be Beat Saber, which is a very simple thing done very well.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/30/2019 at 5:52 PM, animats said:

My real point is this: It is far easier and cheaper to bring SL up to modern game technology levels than to try to start up a new virtual world and get users to use it.

Failed new virtual worlds include High Fidelity, Sinespace, Sansar, Worlds Adrift, Facebook Spaces... Two have shut down and the other three have few users.It's just not working out.

I do think it's worth repeating that the reason so many would-be competitors to SL fail is due to the fact that many of these virtual worlds lack much of what made SL popular early on. All the way back in at least 2005 when I joined you had robust avatar customization. I'm not talking user created content I mean the appearance editor. You could make a unique looking avatar  with that alone. Most other virtual worlds have lacked that entirely. Blue Mars had you select one of like 6 faces and gave you no control over your body type. High Fidelity gives you no character customization whatsoever. You pick a model. That's it. Don't like your avatar? Replace it with another non-customizeable model. Want something more bespoke? Open your wallet to someone who can make you a custom model.

In-world content creation was a huge part of SL's initial draw. It may have been pushed to the wayside since mesh, but I'd argue this has been to SL's detriment, and the lack of inworld content creation at the beginning would likely have resulted in SL ending up yet another failure on a mountain of short lived virtual world attempts. Sansar, HiFi, Blue Mars, et all lack in-world content creation.

 Marketing is another issue. I knew Facebook was working on a virtual world, but I didn't know it had a name yet, let alone that it was something you could sign up for. Worlds Adrift I've never heard of. Second Life got a lot of free marketing early on due to the virtual world and "3D web" hype being in full swing.That ship has long since sailed.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

I knew Facebook was working on a virtual world, but I didn't know it had a name yet, let alone that it was something you could sign up for. Worlds Adrift I've never heard of.

I'm interested in big-world systems, and I know about these because I seek them out. None of them got much traction.

Mavericks Proving Ground just went bankrupt a few hours ago. That was another Spatial OS based big world, or at least a medium sized one. (Spatial OS is a back end for running big seamless world systems. Mostly for MMOs, but it potentially could support something like Second Life. The game industry is waiting to see if their approach really scales like they claim. Spatial OS is a big project - 341 people and $500 million. But nobody major is using it.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, animats said:

I'm interested in big-world systems, and I know about these because I seek them out.

Well, Tim Sweeney of Epic Games has this vision of an "Open Metaverse" planned out. They want to use open protocols, formats and standards and not a closed system where companies have a lot of power over things. Perhaps this open system will allow for big-world scenarios. I guess will see how that turns out. Who knows, it may turn out to be serious competition for LL. Being open sounds promising. They are considering blockchain which I think I've seen some concerns over. I dunno. We'll see. Perhaps in 3 - 6 years? *shrugs* Epic has about 1200 employees worldwide with an arsenal of experienced developers and contents creators and a mass pool of money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Kurshie Muromachi said:

Well, Tim Sweeney of Epic Games has this vision of an "Open Metaverse" planned out...

Well, if it's not on steam at launch im not hopeful :P

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Secondlife declining player base?

old talk quantity versus quality, Years ago, when I joined SL, I had dozens of online friends who didn't pay  more than anything, they didn't produce anything, they just asked for sex and / or bites. No more than 10% were premium, or they owned land in different forms. Now, most of them have at least one premium avatar, spending several hundred L $ a month, etc. I think linden lab prefers to have 50,000 paying users than several hundred thousands who do nothing

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Kurshie Muromachi said:

Well, Tim Sweeney of Epic Games has this vision of an "Open Metaverse" planned out. They want to use open protocols, formats and standards and not a closed system where companies have a lot of power over things

"Open Metaverse" exists, but it's just a C# library for talking to SL and Open Simulator. Last update 2011. Code on Github. Or is Sweeney talking about something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, animats said:

"Open Metaverse" exists, but it's just a C# library for talking to SL and Open Simulator. Last update 2011. Code on Github. Or is Sweeney talking about something else?

It's something else. He hasn't released anything yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, animats said:

"Open Metaverse" exists, but it's just a C# library for talking to SL and Open Simulator.

I still have the iOS “Open Metaverse” app from when it was available in the App Store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/31/2019 at 1:31 PM, animats said:

VR game level loaders just aren't going anywhere.

Actually, last night I was talking with a friend as we both marveled at how virtual world developers all seem to overlook the key elements that made SL as successful as it's managed to be.

  1. Robust avatar customization. (No, not just the user created content you can decorate your avatar with, but the appearance editor itself.)
  2. In-world content creation. (Not only did simple content creation tools help make it easy for people to jump in to content creation, but it also made creating content a social feature. Remember sandbox building contests? When Sandboxes were always filled with people meeting and learning from each other in-world?)
  3. Land ownership. (Avatar customization aside, this is one of the stronger ways to get people invested in your platform.)
  4. Making money. (See above.)
  5. Allowing adult content. (People like the sex.)

All of these elements are crucial in the success of an SL-style virtual world and yet every entry into the race, including Sansar, manages to miss several of these elements. Most entirely lack 1, 2 and 5. (No, being able to create a mesh model to import and wear is not the same as logging in and being able to modify the shape and proportions of the standard avatar, then decorate it with attachments. In SL one of the first things a new resident does is make their avatar their own.)

SL also benefitted from a 6th element: Turn of the century hype for a "3D web". This is long gone. It's not crucial to success but it allowed LL to make a lot more mistakes than a developer could make today.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Further in essence to what Penny said. Despite the help of hype in the past, Linden Lab could turn it all around and get hype again if they put the man hours into it and give up on Sansar giving them more man power (will never happen). Sansar by the time it is finished will be DOA, no, it is already DOA. 

With second life Linden Lab have a gold mine, the best of both worlds with everything; a virtual currency, world and a well established base. If they could just look into the future. I'm sure they are trying but as it stands now its just going to get worse for them.

Linden Lab need to:

  • Make SL character creation better, update the bodies, the customisation etc. As a new user the only option now even when you create an account is a custom made body allowing very little editing. Gone are the unique face adjustments, body sliders, individual looks etc. Second Life has gone the opposite direction to the trend. When it was created it was rare to have such character customisation. In games it was pick x,y,z head. Now SL 18 years later, is pick x,y,z head and all other companies are pouring millions into unique character creation.
  • They need to rework the inworld creation system bringing back the defining difference between all other competitors both old and new
  • Adopt in world animation editing seen in the Black Dragon viewer,
  • Bring in texture creation and manipulation seen in modern games using shapes or as in past games such as APB Reloaded.
  • Focus hard on region crossings, pathfinding and more scripting options to rival the options in C#
  • Make some extra graphic and cache tweaks to bring it up to a current more reasonable real world graphics (not far off it)
  • Relook at integration of VR - and dont just put it in the too hard basket.
  • Rework (lower dramatically) tier prices

Doing all this could open the door for external game influences within the world. But for this to happen the rest of the content both now and in the future needs to be optimised for everyone for them to even consider this.

What better way for Linden Lab to bring SL into the future and garner new users could there be. To have gaming companies using the SL world for their games, not as a closed zone room like Sansar or other companies provide, but a never ending world where if I want to play (hypothetically) WOW 2.0 it would be a simple matter of teleporting or walking through a gate/portal after driving my car on a road on mainland (like attending a theme park) to the WOW 2.0 region from where I was playing minigolf or from my house. Then Experience Tools changes me automatically into my WOW 2.0 blood elf during the teleport or cross over through the gate. All with a universal currency managed through their Tilia subsidiary whereby all games in world use the same linden currency. Keeping user creation in the system so people get the best of both worlds exploration and gaming with social and building. This is where they should be heading not keeping the status quo.

Lastly, if they don't look to the future and change more, companies like Valve will just take Lab's idea over and SL will just fade away even quicker. This is why Sansar is already DOA. With steam VR you can already have a house that you can decorate, access steam menu's, create your own virtual space and share it with people through Steam Workshop, start and essentially "teleport" to games, meet, play and communicate with friends all in VR. Essentially Sansar mixed with SL only better, already with loads of content from both average people and multi-million dollar gaming companies. The Steam VR system is already finished, relatively bug free and most of all free to access. How long will it be before Valve introduce your own avatar customisation or, adopt the vapourware half life 3 engine to allow people to make their own region and games through Steam Workshop?

All of the above would also fix the very reasons people leave SL that they have posed in these forums time and again. Linden Lab and SL are getting left behind, plain and simply. If they can work on the above things and more, they could have a system taking SL (creation and exploration) into an area that not even Valve (games), Facebook (social and profile) or the like could rival.

Edited by Drayke Newall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Penny Patton said:

... virtual world developers all seem to overlook the key elements that made SL as successful as it's managed to be.

  1. Robust avatar customization. (No, not just the user created content you can decorate your avatar with, but the appearance editor itself.)
  2. In-world content creation. (Not only did simple content creation tools help make it easy for people to jump in to content creation, but it also made creating content a social feature. Remember sandbox building contests? When Sandboxes were always filled with people meeting and learning from each other in-world?)
  3. Land ownership. (Avatar customization aside, this is one of the stronger ways to get people invested in your platform.)
  4. Making money. (See above.)
  5. Allowing adult content. (People like the sex.)

Amusingly, there's a virtual world which has all that - 3DXChat. It started as just a sex sim. Then they added building. Then users started building and visiting each others places, instead of paying for sex like they were supposed to.

vtzSyIh.png

Building in 3DXchat is with prims, plus a library of prebuilt objects. It's more flexible than The Sims, but less flexible than SL. The pre-built objects may be parametric, like SineSpace, but I'm not sure.

3dxchatpositionmarkers.thumb.png.77b2dac4210e965f5706c048155ce509.png

A bit of the World Editor. This shows a neat solution to the sit target problem. The "person with yardstick" icon brings up the sittable patterns. Here, the builder just built a couch. It's not sittable yet. They have to select a suitable sit target pattern, drag it to the couch, and resize it to match. Then characters can use the couch. The available sit patterns are shown. SL could learn from this.

 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Penny Patton said:

 

  1. Robust avatar customization. (No, not just the user created content you can decorate your avatar with, but the appearance editor itself.)
  2. In-world content creation. (Not only did simple content creation tools help make it easy for people to jump in to content creation, but it also made creating content a social feature. Remember sandbox building contests? When Sandboxes were always filled with people meeting and learning from each other in-world?)

I may be flogging a dead horse here but the key to both these points is procedural content.

Polylist meshes and baked textures offer the creator a lot of control over details but they make the modelling process far more complex and time consuming. Even if a full fledged mesh editor was added to the viewer, it would still be too difficult to work with for most people and would be just as time consuming as working in an external editor. As for live building for an audience, forget it. The spectators would die of boredom long before the build was finished and think of the bandwidth it would take to re-dowload the entire model each and every time there was a minor modification.

I'm not saying we should go back to the old system avatar and prims, they are clearly too limiting today. But the system body only has 812 parameters (if I counted correctly), the prim even fewer. Even adding half a dozen more carefully chosen parameters to each would greatly icnrease their flexibility with neglible side effects. Even adding access to the nerfed options that are fully supported but not available neither through the viewer UI or scripts would help a bit.

It's not going to happen though. It's at leasy ten years too late for the prim and five years too late for the avatar (and ten years too late for system vegetation too - yet another parametric asset with tremendous potential). Second Life stumbled down a different path away from in-world creation and there's no turning back now.

Edited by ChinRey
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Selene Gregoire said:

I have a little difficulty remembering things I never saw. 🐘

Aww, you have to use your imagination!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, animats said:

A bit of the World Editor. This shows a neat solution to the sit target problem. The "person with yardstick" icon brings up the sittable patterns. Here, the builder just built a couch. It's not sittable yet. They have to select a suitable sit target pattern, drag it to the couch, and resize it to match. Then characters can use the couch. The available sit patterns are shown. SL could learn from this.

3DXChat also has specific IK's and specific body shape sizes to make those sex animations work between any two avatars.

Secondlife has no IK's at all. We're stuck with an archaic static based animation protocol that forces furniture users to use position/rotation and to accept the natural poke-through, air-grind, miscue effects from "couples animations".

I don't have faith, if LL even attempted to offer an animation protocol that uses today's standards, that they would even get it right.

They would strive as far as making hand holding possible and call it "Mission Accomplished".

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Aww, you have to use your imagination!

Whose world and imagination is this anyway? Yours or mine? Or his? Or hers? Or theirs? insanity.gif.3ae376898e69e411d8b513963664d17c.gif 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Whose world and imagination is this anyway?

It's all mine! I know because LL told me.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, animats said:

 It started as just a sex sim. Then they added building. 

This made me lol. So funny and so true

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, animats said:

Amusingly, there's a virtual world which has all that - 3DXChat. It started as just a sex sim. Then they added building. Then users started building and visiting each others places, instead of paying for sex like they were supposed to.

vtzSyIh.png

Building in 3DXchat is with prims, plus a library of prebuilt objects. It's more flexible than The Sims, but less flexible than SL. The pre-built objects may be parametric, like SineSpace, but I'm not sure.

3dxchatpositionmarkers.thumb.png.77b2dac4210e965f5706c048155ce509.png

A bit of the World Editor. This shows a neat solution to the sit target problem. The "person with yardstick" icon brings up the sittable patterns. Here, the builder just built a couch. It's not sittable yet. They have to select a suitable sit target pattern, drag it to the couch, and resize it to match. Then characters can use the couch. The available sit patterns are shown. SL could learn from this.

 

I can tell you 3dx does not in anyway have all of that. Every 6th avatar looks identical because it follows the mmo format of chose from these 6 heads. It is in no way unusual to see two avatars on 3dx that look identical wearing identical clothes. It has a choice of about 6 or 7 for everything including such items as trousers and skirts etc. You also have around 15 dances to choose from and about 23 animations. Your chat is character limited so you have to break anything long up. On top of which it is sub only. 3dx doesn't even come close to sl

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, KanryDrago said:

I can tell you 3dx does not in anyway have all of that. Every 6th avatar looks identical because it follows the mmo format of chose from these 6 heads..... It has a choice of about 6 or 7 for everything

They did check off the items that Penny Patton listed for a successful virtual world. In each area, they have the basics.

They don't have a content marketplace and permission system. If you put something in world, anybody can copy it. So there's no creator business model.

There's one other item that Philip Rosedale has mentioned but Penny did not - crowds. SL doesn't do crowds very well. That's a big problem. If you make a popular place in SL, the sim chokes. The London City people now show up at every Server User Group meeting. With one of the busiest sims in SL, they have a big interest in performance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, animats said:

They did check off the items that Penny Patton listed for a successful virtual world. In each area, they have the basics.

They don't have a content marketplace and permission system. If you put something in world, anybody can copy it. So there's no creator business model.

There's one other item that Philip Rosedale has mentioned but Penny did not - crowds. SL doesn't do crowds very well. That's a big problem. If you make a popular place in SL, the sim chokes. The London City people now show up at every Server User Group meeting. With one of the busiest sims in SL, they have a big interest in performance.

Except, no, they didn't.

  • I specified a "robust" avatar customization system. Blue Mars had the MMO "pick from 6 heads" style "avatar customization" so it didn't meet the requirement. One need only spend a few minutes glancing at random SL avatars to see how important avatar customization is. In SL, unlike other virtual worlds, you can make your avatar entirely your own without any CG modelling experience. Decorating your avatar is an activity, both solitary and social. People love showing off their avatars. And making your avatar to your specifications makes one far more invested.
  • I specified that SL itself had let in-world content creation fall by the wayside, meaning it's in-world content creation tools don't stack up to today's standards. If 3DX can't even meet SL's outdated and cludgy in-world content creation tools that means it's falling even further short of meeting that requirement.
  • I also specified making money because the creator business model is another requirement that 3DX is missing.

 I do have to say, the way you describe adding sitting to an object sounds way more intuitive than SL's SitTarget system, and it sounds like it has a better animation system. But still, without those 3 elements it's clearly missing, I'm not surprised it hasn't toppled SL off the mountain.

 

( I do agree on crowds, for the most part, but I have to wonder how well SL can do crowds if avatars weren't absolutely packed with performance killing content? )

Edited by Penny Patton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

I do have to say, the way you describe adding sitting to an object sounds way more intuitive than SL's SitTarget system, and it sounds like it has a better animation system. But still, without those 3 elements it's clearly missing, I'm not surprised it hasn't toppled SL off the mountain.

The facts that there's no free entry and that it markets itself as a pure sex game may have something to do with it too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, and I should add that just because it doesn't tick the boxes for what I see as a successful SL-style virtual world doesn't mean it can't do just fine in that sex game niche.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...