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I've been ranting occasionally about the obvious lack of investment in SL by it's new triumvirate board, but THANK GOD relief may be on the way.  LL's SL team has been decimated by two rounds of layoffs before the acquisition, as well as the normal attrition without a single hire.  OnceLL has a new VP Engineering for SL (either recruited internally or externally), presumably that person will be able to create and fill reqs for new engineers.  At least I hope so.  I sure wouldn't take this VP position without an agreement upfront that I could plug some of the most obvious staffing holes.

The Project Management position is also clearly for SL, not Tilia, for which I personally give much thanks.  We tend to blame individual engineers when obvious screw-ups like having to revert a server release or having the World Map nonfunctional with no fix ETA since November occur, but a more likely cause is a lack of coordination and inadequate planning, both of which a good project manager will highlight and, hopefully, solve.

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Much will depend on who LL hires as a VP of engineering. If they get someone with a track record and reputation in the game industry, things could get interesting.

I'm not seeing their job posting on LinkedIn, Gamasutra, or GameDev. Linden Lab has historically not been part of the game industry. They don't send people to GDC, for example. Now that big MMOs have a lot in common with SL, it's reasonable to look in the game industry for talent.

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20 hours ago, Nika Talaj said:

We tend to blame individual engineers when obvious screw-ups like having to revert a server release or having the World Map nonfunctional with no fix ETA since November occur, but a more likely cause is a lack of coordination and inadequate planning, both of which a good project manager will highlight and, hopefully, solve.

I blame lack of skill, lack of interest and lack of people who have skills & interest.

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15 hours ago, animats said:

it's reasonable to look in the game industry for talent

I would sooner expect LL to negotiate the salary demands of another telecommunications "veteran" than a rockstar/primadonna dev team lead/manager unless they're desperate for a job after their obscure named gaming company went bankrupt or got bought out by EA or Sony after their last game(s) sold like crap thanks to incompetent leadership, bugs galore, broken feature promises or multiple pushed back release dates.

Don't get me wrong. I'd rather take my chances on a game industry dev as it would(hopefully) lead to pursuit of features that are popular with a newer/next generation of users and finally evolve this platform beyond offering "features" that cater only to an aging/dying audience that currently demand little or no change and/or are oblivious to what makes other platforms attractive and/or successful or are oblivious that said other platforms exist unless their kids and/or grandkids use them.

Edited by Lucia Nightfire
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23 hours ago, Nika Talaj said:

I've been ranting occasionally about the obvious lack of investment in SL by it's new triumvirate board, but THANK GOD relief may be on the way.  LL's SL team has been decimated by two rounds of layoffs before the acquisition, as well as the normal attrition without a single hire.  OnceLL has a new VP Engineering for SL (either recruited internally or externally), presumably that person will be able to create and fill reqs for new engineers.  At least I hope so.  I sure wouldn't take this VP position without an agreement upfront that I could plug some of the most obvious staffing holes.

The Project Management position is also clearly for SL, not Tilia, for which I personally give much thanks.  We tend to blame individual engineers when obvious screw-ups like having to revert a server release or having the World Map nonfunctional with no fix ETA since November occur, but a more likely cause is a lack of coordination and inadequate planning, both of which a good project manager will highlight and, hopefully, solve.

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The hope would only come if they fill those jobs properly. That's a lot of senior jobs to be filling at once and adjusting to the existing corporate culture.

Did you read the job description for VP of Engineering? It sounds like they want from *this* person the vision thing, that is, they must decide the path of Second Life -- not whether some higher-ups vision is doable technically, but they themselves devise it. That seems odd to me.

The other current triumvirate "legs" (Patch and Gruhmpity) do not have a gaming background  (Second Life is not a game) and that's a good thing, so I hope the VP of Engineering would be someone from "the real world" such as Oz Linden and others before him, i.e. a big company that has customer requirements fronted and has to do real work, i.e. not make games where there is no user content and the users are in more of a thrall than they are in SL in terms of world mechanics.

Probably they can't offer the kind of salary of a Facebook or Google, so they have to find someone "devoted to the cause." Perhaps it makes sense to promote someone from within.

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4 hours ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

I would sooner expect LL to negotiate the salary demands of another telecommunications "veteran" than a rockstar/primadonna dev team lead/manager unless they're desperate for a job after their obscure named gaming company went bankrupt or got bought out by EA or Sony after their last game(s) sold like crap thanks to incompetent leadership, bugs galore, broken feature promises or multiple pushed back release dates.

Don't get me wrong. I'd rather take my chances on a game industry dev as it would(hopefully) lead to pursuit of features that are popular with a newer/next generation of users and finally evolve this platform beyond offering "features" that cater only to an aging/dying audience that currently demand little or no change and/or are oblivious to what makes other platforms attractive and/or successful or are oblivious that said other platforms exist unless their kids and/or grandkids use them.

Why, given your views about gaming as superior, and the die-hards still playing SL, don't you wish that SL would just die? 

Oh, because it hasn't died. It lives.

So why do you want to kill it off? You could go to one of those superior worlds the kids are raving about like Roblox and play and develop there.

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Well this certainly explains why there has been no fix for the world map for months... I have been wondering why the tiles stay screwed up and the reply is they are working on a fix with no ETA ... seriously .... the no ETA part clearly means... they fired / laid off the people that would have had the fix already by now ... NOW it makes perfect sense as to why the map tiles have remained broken for months... thanks for clearing that up ... it makes sense now.. BRILLIANT! I wonder how LL would feel if I said well I can make my sim payment... but  I have no ETA on when I might be able too actually do that...  but they will get it ....eventually .... SERIOUSLY! I was under the impression they just don't give a (fill in the blank with any word) and now I absolutely think they don't and it's confirmed, that's too bad I wonder what will happen when other sim owners figure out they are paying for a broken product that claims it will fix itself with no one at the helm to actually fix it .. Ding the lights on and now its clear!!!  Speaking of which has anybody noticed that LL has done no investing in advertising its product as of late perhaps they are hoping it will die out and quietly go away ... what a shame...

 

Edited by Camis Lee
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1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Why, given your views about gaming as superior, and the die-hards still playing SL, don't you wish that SL would just die? 

Oh, because it hasn't died. It lives.

So why do you want to kill it off? You could go to one of those superior worlds the kids are raving about like Roblox and play and develop there.

In all of my rants, I've never uttered anything remotely to "I wish SL would just die, already!".

I want this platform to evolve, not stagnate.

I have tough love for SL. I've logged into SL literally all but 30 days total in the last 15 years. How many can make that claim?

But I am not a blind, devoted fanboi who thinks everything is all right all the time and no bad decisions can ever come from management or developers.

I participate in all the user group meetings, participate in the feature beta periods and am ranked #2 in bug report filings at https://jira.secondlife.com/

If that isn't love and devotion for this platform, IDK what else is.

Should I apply to be the next VP of Engineering? Should I make a significant "contribution" in hopes of becoming a board member?

I'm certainly not just going to be silent if I think there are areas that need improvement.

I've invested too much time/money/interest and will continue to do so.

Again, it's tough love, not hatred.

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Well, I have logged on nearly every day for 17 years, barring days in the hospital which is likely more than 30 but generally I've been present.

You may not be willing to concede that the "evolution of the platform" could involve very different things; some of them may have to do with graphics excellence or game engines or those things you are concerned with; others are intangibles like governance and the economy which are more interesting to me.

Not caring about the prettiness of SL doesn't mean a person is a blind fanboy -- I'm sure not. I just don't care about the looks and the speed etc. I don't share your interests. Occasionally even I will race a car, recently I took this new vehicle from Culprit called I believe "the Dango" which I got thinking, well, it's more compact, maybe it won't require as much course correction as every other vehicle/animal does." To me, it's not sim seams, it's not speed, it's not graphics, but the requirement to constantly have to press the arrow keys to keep a vehicle on course. There are a few vehicles that you don't have to run, that run you, but they can be very slow. Even so, such as with a train, I don't mind that. So it turns out, yeah, this one was not that different, so I went on to those desert sandboxes of the Lindens where it doesn't matter so much if you fall off course, and this vehicle could climb you up ravines. And it seemed as speedy and as good as anything anywhere, but then I don't play Call of Duty, a game I find reprehensible for its violence and racist stereotypes. So it's "good enough" -- and if someone wants something better, they can go play those Steam games I guess. 

You have to look at the customer base and their use cases, which is mainly about staying on their sims, taking lots of photos, some of them very elaborate, and buying all the props they need for their photos. So in that, most people are like the Victorians who liked to make little miniature boxes with scenes and houses and take carefully posed photos, even of dead children. And that's ok, because that's what people want to do, they don't want to race around in cars or fight battles. I find it crazy what people will do to take photos and post-process them and never do any of that, I just snap. But I can get why that is a beloved pass-time for many -- they will even pay others to take their profile photos and wedding photos of course. If LL put an ad "Be a photographer" or "fashion photographer" or "explorer photographer" they'd get more people, I bet. Not for machinima -- that's too hard to do. But for photos, which people love making at any level of skill.

So if their goal is to make bank from Marketplace sales and they are still dependent on tier revenue, that will guide their engineering choices -- or should.

So if you are the number 2 bug finder, perhaps you should apply for this job. I don't know what your life experience is, but then you might find some of the reality checks that go against your dream, namely, lack of VC cash. LL sold itself, which is progress I guess, in the world of Silicon Valley but it's not like its attracting scads of VC cash. At one time it got a modest amount. If anything, they may have turned some away because they didn't want to turn into yet another social media clone.

So when you don't have a budget of zillions, and endless cash pouring in like a WeWork or something, you have to be much more modest in your goals.

There's also the founders' vision, which isn't about pretty graphics, really, it's more about "a Better World" or making a virtuality simulation. When Will Wright used to delight in making interactive moving charts that showed what ever sim was doing in the world at that moment -- chatting, eating, swimming, going to the bathroom, working -- he thought it was just the cat's pajamas. And Linden LAB, which is a LAB is kind of like that, maybe more than we know.

So once you actually had to work in their almost cult-like corporate environment, with a very small budget and lots of very boring repair jobs to do, you might say, hmm, this isn't any fun, I think I'll go back to just bitching on the forums which is more fun.

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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