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We have the power to make SL a "big thing" again (really) and tip the ongoing narrative, let's do this! c= let's do our part (for our sake)


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38 minutes ago, lucagrabacr said:

There are still many people out there who are passionate about SL and believe in it c= and not to mention the people who stick around

Well duh! I'm still here aren't I, after almost 18 years, nearly 2 decades.

After almost 20 years of waiting for LL to step up to the plate and them failing 90% of the time (I'm being generous here), it's rather difficult to maintain any level of enthusiasm, much less a high level.

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21 minutes ago, Janet Voxel said:

For some reason, when you start talking about improving things or adding features that other successful "games" have people always plug their ears and go "la la la" and LL gets a pass.

That's weird to me.

If you want to grow your user base, that's exactly what you do.

I noticed that, too.

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18 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

Not for me it isn't. That stuff has already put me in a position where I can't fix my desktop because I can afford $1200USD for a graphics card that probably won't be good enough to run the games I have that my 1050 was just enough to be able to play. Barely.

I assume you meant "can't afford $1200USD" ;)

I think the graphics quality/performance ratio is one of the three main factors why virtual worlds - not only SL - fail to reach a wider market. There's always a compromise there of course but I do believe SL is one of the very few that get the first part of that equation right. A cartoonish environment like Decentraland and Facebook's virtual world (whatever they call it this week) are too simplistic for most people today but the extremely high visuals most recent virtual worlds aim for is overkill.

Unfortunately SL doesn't get the second part right, there's way too much computing power and bandwdth wasted. Graphics quality at about the same level as SL's Ultra with performance at the same level as Low or Low+, that would probably be the optimal balance. It should be perfectly possible to achieve but it would require some serious upgrades both to SL's software and its content so I don't think it's realistic.

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Stupid question - I know the Catznip viewer has a lot of performance optimisations, whats to stop Catznip people putting that back into the mainline viewer or someone at LL yoinking out the good bits? Aren't they both open source?

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1 minute ago, ChinRey said:

I assume you meant "can't afford $1200USD" ;)

I think the graphics quality/performance ratio is one of the three main factors why virtual worlds - not only SL - fail to reach a wider market. There's always a compromise there of course but I do believe SL is one of the very few that get the first part of that equation right. A cartoonish environment like Decentraland and Facebook's virtual world (whatever they call it this week) are too simplistic for most people today but the extremely high visuals most recent virtual worlds aim for is overkill.

Unfortunately SL doesn't get the second part right, there's way too much computing power and bandwdth wasted. Graphics quality at about the same level as SL's Ultra with performance at the same level as Low or Low+, that would probably be the optimal balance. It should be perfectly possible to achieve but it would require some serious upgrades both to SL's software and its content so I don't think it's realistic.

Yes it was a typo and I did fix it before you grammar nazied me. 😋

Just for the info, I never ran SL on the 1050 on Ultra. I could or at least, that was the default setting on FS the first time I logged in with that card 2/3 years ago but it tended to stutter a little and I was more than content with it set at High Ultra and DD between 32 and 64 on the ground.

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3 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

Stupid question - I know the Catznip viewer has a lot of performance optimisations, whats to stop Catznip people putting that back into the mainline viewer or someone at LL yoinking out the good bits? Aren't they both open source?

There are parts of the viewer code that are not open source. Exactly how all that works I'm not sure.

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11 hours ago, Bree Giffen said:

I think it's a good idea for LL to start marketing in social media. How about hiring influencers? They can make people set fire to themselves! That's pretty impressive. Maybe LL can start some guerilla campaigns by spray painting the blue hand logo on the sidewalks of San Francisco. You have to cut the logo out of the bottom of a paper bag and hide your spray can inside the bag. Then you just put the bag on the ground, spritz, spritz, and you have graffiti! Of course, LL will have to put aside a little bail money when a Linden gets caught by the po-po. The glass is half-full! 

When I see "influencers" I think of those people who sometimes came into our bar and offer to promote it on their SM for free booze. We tell them we don't so SM (shocking, insn't it?) and they want a beer --- gotta pay for it.

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9 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:
  • They bought Desura - it failed, so they sold it
  • They bought Blocksworld - was never updated after 2017 because of Sansar and closed upsetting many people
  • They made Sansar - it failed, they lost money. 
  • They made Creatorverse - it failed, they lost money
  • They made Patterns - it failed, they lost money

And now, Tilia.

Tilia, LL's payment business, has failed. They're not going to be the next Stripe or the next Coinbase. Tilia has one (1) customer outside the LL ecosystem - Upland. Tilia doesn't even have full bank-level connections - they pay out through PayPal, not ACH, FedWire, or SEPA. They don't have the volume to play with the big boys.

But they're still hiring expensive people for Tilia. There were previously two jobs for payments lawyers, and those have disappeared from the list, presumably filled.

On the Second Life side, the VP of Engineering slot, to replace Oz Linden, who just retired, remains open. So no one is driving.

On the technical side, the problems are clear. There's a lot of legacy code, and not enough good people to rewrite it. There's an additional problem. Anyone good enough to haul the SL viewer and server system up to current technology can make about $200K/year in Silicon Valley. Those are the junior people, of whom they would need about a half dozen. The VP level job needs to pay $300K-$350K a year in San Francisco.

Worse, working on Second Life internals is career suicide for a young programmer. It's all unique technology inside. After spending a few years getting up to speed on the internals of SL, you have acquired no new saleable skills for your resume. You know all about Linden Lab Serialized Data, Second Life Mesh Representation, Linden Scripting Language, Second Life Network Protocol, and how prims work. All of which have zero value for getting your next job. Plus, you have the stigma of coming from a company on the way down.

However, if LL dumped Tilia, they could probably afford getting out of this hole.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, animats said:

Worse, working on Second Life internals is career suicide for a young programmer.

Does this mean us old gits are going to come hobbling out of retirement to work again? Yippee!

When I passed 60 I found I was having trouble getting contracts on software, I would be declined on the basis that I didn't have enough experience compared to a 30-year old. "How can than be?" I asked an agent with whom I had actually done some coding work years ago.

"It's like this. There's you, with 30 years experience spread across several languages, let's say Fortran, C, Macro11. So you have 33% of your working life on C, which the client is keen on. Then there's a 30-year old who's done nothing else but C for 10 years, so he's got 100% of his working life on C, so he's got more experience than you."

Edited by Profaitchikenz Haiku
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9 minutes ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

Does this mean us old gits are going to come hobbling out of retirement to work again? Yippee!

When I passed 60 I found I was having trouble getting contracts on software, I would be declined on the basis that I didn't have enough experience compared to a 30-year old. "How can than be?" I asked an agent with whom I had actually done some coding work years ago.

"It's like this. There's you, with 30 years experience spread across several languages, let's say Fortran, C, Macro11. So you have 33% of your working life on C, which the client is keen on. Then there's a 30-year old who's done nothing else but C for 10 years, so he's got 100% of his working life on C, so he's got more experience than you."

You were told that broader experience isn't as good as narrow one track experience. What a load of word salad hogwash you were fed.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, animats said:

And now, Tilia.

LL needs another project bringing in money besides SL to secure the companies future.
It doesn't really matter (from a business point of view) if it is another grid, a project like Tilia or an award winning software for lawn mowers.
And if some of the attempts fail, there is no other thing possible than to try another one.
If your business success depends on one product, that is always a risk IMHO.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

If your business success depends on one product, that is always a risk IMHO.

Yet, that is how we got where we are now. Businesses focused on one product and making it the best it can be. That has changed in my lifetime so it hasn't been all that long ago but most aren't even aware it happened.

Edited by Silent Mistwalker
typo OCD
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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

award winning software for lawn mowers

What Goat Simulator should have been

I guess I mean to say the name "Goat Simulator" should apply to award winning software for autonomous lawn mowers.  I suppose the name can be shared with a game?

Edited by Ardy Lay
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5 hours ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

Not cool.

Every good orc knows you paint it red to make it go faster.

3 hours ago, Extrude Ragu said:

Stupid question - I know the Catznip viewer has a lot of performance optimisations, whats to stop Catznip people putting that back into the mainline viewer or someone at LL yoinking out the good bits? Aren't they both open source?

LL can't yoink as that would taint their codebase with open source code.  If LL want code from a TPV is has to submitted under the terms of a contribution agreement

Right now they choose to release the viewer source, this preserves their ability to choose not to at some point in the future or offer SL under a different license. 

It's easy to offer broad features (like the spell checker), less so for a decades worth of cumulative micro optimizations.

3 hours ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

There are parts of the viewer code that are not open source. Exactly how all that works I'm not sure.

For all practical purposes there isn't.

Havok and KDU are special cases but aren't required to build a functional viewer.

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What a depressing thread.  There seems to be only one answer to save SL: 

Nationalize LL and allow it to focus on only Second Life development.  SL could become part of the State Dept., or HHW, or the Dept. of Defense.  Justify government funding by convincing Congress SL is needed to passify  the increasing unemployable and retired populations in the world, particularly the USA. 

Programmers worried about their obsolescence and lack of experience years in the latest languages could be guaranteed a govt. pension and retirement.  Of course to save money on salaries, LL would need to move to Texas.  Houston isn't that bad Ebbe.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Havok and KDU are special cases but aren't required to build a functional viewer.

Having to pay KDU is Firestorm's biggest cost. I'm currently struggling with using OpenJPEG to decode SL's J2K images. Most of the time, it works. Sometimes it fails, mainly in older areas. For example, Tabor sim, next to the Ivory Tower of Prims, has two textures that OpenJPEG can't decode. GIMP and two online decode sites can't decode them either. They were apparently uploaded with a known bad compressor.

Edited by animats
Censored
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4 minutes ago, animats said:

They were apparently uploaded with a known bad compressor.

Find a way to skip them and move on.  Please don't let a little thing like that derail you.

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1 hour ago, Coffee Pancake said:

For all practical purposes there isn't.

Havok and KDU are special cases but aren't required to build a functional viewer.

I was trying to put it in layman's terms. I have misplaced a lot of details but I remember a scramble to get certain things properly licensed back when FS first kicked off. Unless KDU is a shortened version of the name of the software I'm thinking of it's not the same thing. They do both start with the letter k though. It may not have had anything to do with LL's viewer code. I just remember it was being used and then it couldn't be because not open source so $$$$ had to be raised (I think) so things could move forward.

It's been more than 10 years. Don't ask me to remember stuff that old off the top of my head.  LOL 

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1 hour ago, Ardy Lay said:

Find a way to skip them and move on.  Please don't let a little thing like that derail you.

Oops, that was supposed to be a private message. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

Still Sims 4 with no sign of a 5 in sight. EA/Maxis damn near knocked it out of the park with 4. The only thing that would make if better is if it were an open world, without rabbit holes, and aimed a little bit more towards adults. By that I mean a tad more realistic and less cartoonish furnishings etc. Currently they have just the right mix going to keep me interested. Kits, packs, etc have been leaning more towards less cartoonish lately so that's been a plus.

The way they have set things up, they could expand on 4 for another 5 - 10 years, if not longer.

One of these days someone is going to get the brilliant idea and come up with a virtual world that is a sort of combination of SL, Sims 2, 3, & 4, and an open world galactic survival game.

Yeah, I know. Not in my lifetime.

Actually, Sims 5 is rumoured to be announced at this years E3 subject of course to Pandemic disruptions. EA's higher ups have already been talking about Sims 5 stating it is in development and have even mentioned it will be multiplayer and have a creator marketplace that allows people to earn real cash. How far that multiplayer goes is still unknown and of course whether EA will deliver. The Sims 5: EA confirms the game will feature multiplayer (realsport101.com)

If it is open world and less cartoony like some are hoping it will be a serious contender as a virtual social world should they get the multiplayer aspect right. Even if it isn't less cartoony but open world or semi open world via world teleport, with near 200-250 million players, multiplayer, income from creator marketplace etc it stands to poach quite a few people from other VW platforms.

Edited by Drayke Newall
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