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Where are the "Fall Guys" and "Among Us" of SL?


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I've incidentally stumbled over "Among Us" clones for Roblox. I know that LL is looking into Roblox and what they can learn from it. That step is also based on what has been communicated by the new CEO, the premise that SL NEEDS user growth in order to secure new money. I've never played Roblox but I understand that it has A LOT of mini games, played by many players.

While SL has a few mini games itself, it's nowhere comparable to Roblox. Why is this?

A few thoughts:

- Something like "Among Us" is not playable at all unless you restrict the client's camera capabilities. It also can be hard to detect cheating in movement skill based games if you don't restrict what the user can do. It seems that RLV is a hard requirement, unless all of these things can be done without RLV in 2021.

- Server performance: I know that some are gonna say that the main problem is server performance. However, I did participate in games with 15+ players recently and found that at least movement was pretty flawless. However, then there are some games.. you might know the game where people draw on a board and others have to guess what they draw, the drawing process is just very, very bad because the server just doesn't respond quickly enough.

- Scripting capabilities: I've played scripted games where I thought.. ok.. this is a harsh judgement, but this was wasted time. The game can't be fun because the controls are just bad.

- Client's performance: This is probably at least reducing the potential player base or limiting what games could do. I know that some people just derender everyone else in order to get acceptable FPS. Maybe those games would need to limit what people are actually wearing by providing outfits or even complete avatars.

- Incentive to host a game: Who hosts these games in Roblox? I have no clue. In SL the incentive can easily be traffic. To this day there are games that pay people for bringing traffic. The question is, could there ever be enough growth considering sim prices.

- Interest in games: I'm aware that I've compared SL to Roblox and Roblox is populated by kids. However, it would be wrong to say that mini games only work for kids, proven by the 2 prominent examples.

 

What does it take to make mini games more popular in SL?

Edited by Noelle Delaunay
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12 minutes ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

Something like "Among Us" is not playable at all unless you restrict the client's camera capabilities. It also can be hard to detect cheating in movement skill based games if you don't restrict what the user can do. It seems that RLV is a hard requirement, unless all of these things can be done without RLV in 2021.

You can do most of that with an experience, although it's a bit tricky. Visit the "Amazon River" roleplay areas. The experience makes you wear their HUD, which restricts camming. You can still move the camera, but the HUD notices and puts up objects to block your view while threatening to eject you.

Camera control in SL needs work. You should never sit down and find yourself with your camera stuck behind a wall.

17 minutes ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

- Scripting capabilities: I've played scripted games where I thought.. ok.. this is a harsh judgement, but this was wasted time. The game can't be fun because the controls are just bad.

I'd like to see SL support more controls. The full set of HID-compatible devices. (Joysticks, game controllers, etc.)

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2 hours ago, animats said:

You should never sit down and find yourself with your camera stuck behind a wall.

IMHO the problem isn't with the tools LL provides, it's that creators can't or don't use them in a smart way that applies to every possible use-case (putting your couch facing the wall for example) llSetLinkCamera(<6,0,2>,<0,0,0.25>); (not tested) works well enough for single-prim (or mesh) chairs, assuming they're built x-forward.

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3 hours ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

I know that LL is looking into Roblox and what they can learn from it.

If they are, I certainly haven't seen any signs from developers in the server and content creation meetings.

3 hours ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

That step is also based on what has been communicated by the new CEO

What new CEO?

3 hours ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

While SL has a few mini games itself, it's nowhere comparable to Roblox. Why is this?

I, along with many others who participate in the user group meetings, have been asking for new features that would make in-world game creation/operation better/competitive for years, but there has not been regularly dedicated/key development in this area since 2013 when Andrew Linden and Kelly Linden used to release said features on a quarterly basis. Both are no longer with the company.

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1 hour ago, Quistess Alpha said:

IMHO the problem isn't with the tools LL provides, it's that creators can't or don't use them in a smart way that applies to every possible use-case (putting your couch facing the wall for example) llSetLinkCamera(<6,0,2>,<0,0,0.25>); (not tested) works well enough for single-prim (or mesh) chairs, assuming they're built x-forward.

I use a drop-in script to apply llSetCameraEyeOffset() & llSetCameraAtOffset() based on my current camera angle whenever I sit on a new piece of furniture and I see these two params are not set, which 90% of the time has my camera facing the back of a wall because my avatar is facing the foot of said furniture.

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8 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

I use a drop-in script to apply llSetCameraEyeOffset() & llSetCameraAtOffset() based on my current camera angle whenever I sit on a new piece of furniture and I see these two params are not set, which 90% of the time has my camera facing the back of a wall because my avatar is facing the foot of said furniture.

The main problem is the creator of a chair (or other sitable) can't know if it would be more appropriate for the camera to look at you from in-front (which would always place it inside the room, but is "unrealistic") or from behind (which would put the camera behind a wall if the chair is against the wall).The scripter could add an option to set the link camera, but that's just another feature-creep for the furniture maker/seller to not understand how to use properly, and complain when it's not doing what they expect. (because their mesh that they bought from a 3rd party is y-forward for example)

Edited by Quistess Alpha
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1 hour ago, Quistess Alpha said:

The main problem is the creator of a chair (or other sitable) can't know if it would be more appropriate for the camera to look at you from in-front (which would always place it inside the room, but is "unrealistic") or from behind (which would put the camera behind a wall if the chair is against the wall). they could add an option to set the link camera, but that's just another feature-creep for the end-user to not understand how to use properly, and complain when it's not doing what they expect. (because their mesh that they bought from a 3rd party is y-forward for example)

If you wish to discuss that, I'd rather do so in the Scripting thread under a related topic than here. I can provide the example script I made there as well.

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33 minutes ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

If they are, I certainly haven't seen any signs from developers in the server and content creation meetings.

What new CEO?

I, along with many others who participate in the user group meetings, have been asking for new features that would make in-world game creation/operation better/competitive for years, but there has not been regularly dedicated/key development in this area since 2013 when Andrew Linden and Kelly Linden used to release said features on a quarterly basis. Both are no longer with the company.

 

I'm as confused as quite a few people are here,  I love how infiroamtion spreads in SL,  people dont come and verify it with the blog or the community forums, they just hear it in world and then come here like it's true and then most of us have to grab monty or some one or grab others and point out such about the information they "heard"

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1 hour ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

"Executive chairman". Sorry if that doesn't come down to "CEO". The one who has lots of the say :)

I haven't heard anything else from them since the June 21 interview.

I certainly haven't started to see any radically changes happening thanks to any newly acquired investment money. 😉

Edited by Lucia Nightfire
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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

I love how infiroamtion spreads in SL,  people dont come and verify it with the blog or the community forums

Gosh, it was said in one of the recent interviews. I didn't hear it "in world". To be fair, I was at the moles interview in world, so the Roblox reference might have been dropped there, I can't remember exactly at which one. And I repeat my self, to clarify, it was said that they are looking into, for example, Roblox, to look at what others are doing. Because SL needs growth. At no point of time I said that anyone is going to copy Roblox or whatever.

Edited by Noelle Delaunay
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

I haven't heard anything else from them since the June 21 interview.

I certainly haven't started to see any radically changes happening thanks to any newly acquired investment money. 😉

And that's where the growth reference was taken from.

Edit: Reading your post twice I feel like you want to question my remark that it was said that SL needs growth in order to secure new money. Actually he said as well that SL needs growth in order to stay alive at all. This is exactly what is said in the interview. This is what I'm recalling from my memory: He needs to be convinced that SL can grow before he puts new money into it. If this is really in doubt, and I didn't think it is,  we can surely go through the specific quotes tomorrow.

I just got the quote anyway. He talks about allocating resources between Tilia and SL. "we only have a certain number of resources, a certain number of dollars [...] if the resources lead to growth and engagement [...] there are unlimited resources that can be devoted to second life if second life is growing and engagement increases" at 32:50 in the video.

Growth is stressed so often. He uses the following analogy:

"if you throw a party it's probably 10 o'clock right now in second life. now I like parties that go till 6am, okay, and this one started at seven, at for, five, six or seven in the afternoon [...] I don't want this party to end at 10. I don't want this party to end at midnight, you know, I'm hoping, I don't want the party to end at all. [...] one of the things that I like to do at my party is have more people show up [...]" at 22:30

And because you say that you don't see any radical changes happening. It has been said as well, that sometimes change is needed, needed to stay relevant. I could find the quote for that, too, but actually this thread wasn't about this. It was simply about the question why SL doesn't offer mini games like Roblox does who is doing this very successfully. And yes, based on the fact that SL needs growth. But we can do that in a different thread if that is disputed.

Edited by Noelle Delaunay
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17 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

We had that zombie shooting game in SL, I forgot what movie it was tied in to, but it was actually fairly easy to learn and lots of people played. 

Just checked:

https://www.engadget.com/2007-11-07-first-impressions-i-am-legend-in-second-life.html

we also had eletric sheep from the cbs/ncis episode and even their own viewer for it (which worked better than what LL had at the time lol)

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5 hours ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

What does it take to make mini games more popular in SL?

It takes people like you, who take to heart that old adage:

"Ask not what SL can do for you. Ask what you can do for SL." - Abraham Lincoln

In other words: it takes you to make mini games more popular in SL.

Hey, good luck! :) 

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6 hours ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

the premise that SL NEEDS user growth in order to secure new money.

what profit does it bring when you get a load of new players while it costs a lot less to keep your old players comming and happy, those fade slowly away ...( thats where the bigger wallets are, not in "kids" that sign up) for example... where are our premiumgifts? ..it didn't change in nearly a year... where are the long suggested super premiums?...

We see 5 digit figures in sign ups ... but NOBODY seems to come inworld, those figures are the same since years. The clue of this ?... it aren't sign ups but registrations.. and run away in the same speed because it's not what they want or look for. Ánd if it's still the same, accountfactories for bloodline and other games.

There is a vision for SL, no doubt.. but the visible work and changes inworld are mostly focussed on single projects.
Those are needed i won't deny that, but after "hey there's something new at Belliseria for a dozen times, .. (or a Sansar for example) ... there's more than that....  empty mainland?..estates?.. user perks?..

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

It takes people like you, who take to heart that old adage:

"Ask not what SL can do for you. Ask what you can do for SL." - Abraham Lincoln

Interesting approach, to make this a question about generosity, about what you can do for SL. Sadly I believe this is not gonna work. I think the economic factor needs to be a driving force. And to return to the Roblox comparison, the successful one, this is what they prominently present on their homepage:

"Earn Serious Cash
Creators like you are getting paid for what they love to do. Our top developers are earning over $2M a year by providing in-experience purchases"

So I do think it's the economic factor that drives the Roblox games. but I would happily stand corrected.

Edited by Noelle Delaunay
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11 hours ago, Lucia Nightfire said:

I, along with many others who participate in the user group meetings, have been asking for new features that would make in-world game creation/operation better/competitive for years, but there has not been regularly dedicated/key development in this area since 2013 when Andrew Linden and Kelly Linden used to release said features on a quarterly basis. Both are no longer with the company.

The impression I have is, this was around the time Second Life's developers were sucked into Project Sansar, and subsequently laid off.

A browse through SL's recruitment page shows a focus on services, but zero postings for developers. It's not encouraging for the platform's future.

 

14 hours ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

- Something like "Among Us" is not playable at all unless you restrict the client's camera capabilities. It also can be hard to detect cheating in movement skill based games if you don't restrict what the user can do. It seems that RLV is a hard requirement, unless all of these things can be done without RLV in 2021.

- Scripting capabilities: I've played scripted games where I thought.. ok.. this is a harsh judgement, but this was wasted time. The game can't be fun because the controls are just bad.

- Client's performance: This is probably at least reducing the potential player base or limiting what games could do. I know that some people just derender everyone else in order to get acceptable FPS. Maybe those games would need to limit what people are actually wearing by providing outfits or even complete avatars.

- Incentive to host a game: Who hosts these games in Roblox? I have no clue. In SL the incentive can easily be traffic. To this day there are games that pay people for bringing traffic. The question is, could there ever be enough growth considering sim prices.

- Interest in games: I'm aware that I've compared SL to Roblox and Roblox is populated by kids. However, it would be wrong to say that mini games only work for kids, proven by the 2 prominent examples.

So far as I'm aware(I haven't gamed on these platforms), Roblox and Core Games host the games too with no additional cost to the developer. The caveat is, they take a large portion of the revenue from the developer's creation. Roblox takes 75% and Core takes 50%.

To create a minigame in SL has these considerations:

- Game Design : Who is actually designing the game, with an understanding of what is, and isn't possible in SL. Plenty of people make suggestions, but they aren't invested or knowledgeable enough to draw up an actionable plan.

- Scripting : Who is scripting your game, how much are they charging, will your game sell well enough to meet the demands of LSL scripters? This right here is the deadend for many projects, since costs are generally quoted from $2000 USD and up.

- Player registration : How are players interacting with your game? Are you holding their details. And are you storing this information in an SL Experience, or an offworld server. What is the lifetime of this server, who's managing it, is there a backup strategy in place and so on.

- Mesh : Who's creating the mesh. Is the creator committed towards low poly gaming assets, or advising your audience to raise their LoD just to see a wall from 10 meters away. Will these assets play well with the scripts?

- Textures Who's creating the textures? Will you favor standard resolution tiled maps, or full on baked textures for every asset to create the least optimized scenario possible(Like most of SL)

- Animations and Audio : As above, who's animating and how well will your animations work around existing AOs. And who is creating your audio.

- NPCs : A whole other challenge. Who is rigging the models and scripting their AI. How well will these NPCs play with your environments and interact with your players?

- HUD : Games needs HUDs, who's designing it, and scripting it and will it be packed full of 10+ scripts like I've seen many HUDs use?

- Hosting - Finally, you've met the above challenges. Now who's hosting your game, consider the area and LI needed on their parcel. Upon rezzing, the script will want to figure out the parcel's dimensions and its center. These are standard calculations for a rectangular parcel but a headache for anything else.

- Network Are your games networked? Can your HUD discover active sessions and teleport you to them. Who's managing the inevitable drama and cheating accusations between players, does the game moderate, or allow for player moderation (Usually a mistake to trust people).

 

And this is just the early planning stage, it doesn't account for the unique challenges you'll encounter along the way.

I'm not posting this to put people off from creating, it's just an overview of why we haven't seen modular gaming systems in SL. And how LL themselves could assist the community by adding creation tools and dynamic scene hosting, like seen in other 'metaverses'.

Edited by Mr Amore
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5 hours ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

I would happily stand corrected.

I'm perfectly fine with no Roblox-like things in SL. You want something, not me. You better start working on it then. Even if it's just motivating others to do things for you. "This is why we can't have nice things." is getting you nowhere.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

You want something, not me. You better start working on it then.

Why are you bringing this toxicity into this thread? Don't say you don't. Your "Hey, good luck! :)" is well understood. However, I think it has been made pretty obvious that my thread wasn't a "PLZ SOMEONE DEVELOP A MINIGAME I'M SO BORED" but encouraging the discussion about why this is extremely successful in a world like Roblox but nowhere near this in SL (you can argue that projectile combat systems could be understood as mini games while they are often part of something bigger, or that breedables were pretty successful.) So again, just to make sure you get it, too: I'm not demanding anything from anyone. Okay?

Mr Amore: Thank you for your insights, also the fact that there are no charges in Roblox to host these games is pretty interesting.

 

edit: ok, I get it. I took the chalkboard games as an example for a pretty bad user experience, and you're selling one of these. I hope it's clear that I didn't blame the creator, but it's likely just due to the slow server reaction :)

Edited by Noelle Delaunay
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That's nice. This isn't Roblox. It isn't Fortnite. It isn't anything else.

Being quite frank and bringing yet another "other" place into this: I cringed on seeing Among Us as a place in VRC.

Want to make something similar? Meh - not my cup of tea but sure. Leave the actual Among Us and Fall Guys where they belong - as their own games.

No, this does not mean I am for doing things to attract gamers (or Gaemrz either).

Edited by Solar Legion
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18 minutes ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

the discussion about why this is extremely successful in a world like Roblox but nowhere near this in SL

The same reason why Formula 1 cars are extremely successful on an asphalt circuit and not on a dirt road.

You might also ask yourself the question why the avatars in Roblox look so crappy, like little Lego figures, and not like the extremely detailed characters in SL.

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7 hours ago, Noelle Delaunay said:

 

"Earn Serious Cash
Creators like you are getting paid for what they love to do. Our top developers are earning over $2M a year by providing in-experience purchases"

 

2 million developers making over $2 million a year.  Is that $1 each?   

 

Roblox is powered by a global community of over two million developers who produce their own immersive multiplayer experiences each month using Roblox Studio, our intuitive desktop design tool.

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On 8/16/2021 at 1:22 AM, Noelle Delaunay said:

What does it take to make mini games more popular in SL?

Either:

A) A good business model for professionals to make developing mini-games a more profitable endeavour on SL than it would be on other platforms (devs want to maximize their income too, after all).

Or:

B) Strong creation tools with a flat learning curve so that they're easy enough to pick up in an afternoon and build something on a small, cheap plot of land without significant costs.

SL has neither.

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5 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

2 million developers making over $2 million a year.  Is that $1 each?   

 

Roblox is powered by a global community of over two million developers who produce their own immersive multiplayer experiences each month using Roblox Studio, our intuitive desktop design tool.

You only have to be 13 years old to develop a game in Roblox (along with a few other criteria, like a validated email address, being in compliance of TOS, be a premium member, have a record of earning a specified amount of Robux in game prior...)   and many of the games I can believe were created by early teens. 

One of the ones my grandson likes is the one where you go into some natural disaster and see how long you can survive before you get broken bones, squished, drowned or whatever and die.   Another game he played had to do with injuring or killing a mean grandmother - and I told him he couldn't play that game in Roblox at my house.    I think there are some knock-offs of Five Nights at Freddies or Hello Neighbor.  There are more normal games as well - my granddaughter plays one where you have a house in a suburb (truly a ticky tacky every house and yard the same suburb), and you can 'work' at in-game places (in that mini-game) like the pizza parlor and earn tokens that can only be used in that mini-game and the stores there for buying furnishings and decor for your house.  It also has some type of have to eat, have to sleep, have to get washed up type of stats.  It's nothing though, compared to family style RP and any of the various farming/crafting/lifestyle HUDS in SL, or even the buy and decorate a house and then shop & play dress-up scene in SL. 

Perhaps there are better quality games beginning to be developed, but I still think the target age is kids (or maybe late teens/early 20-somethings).   

All the games that my grandkids play in Roblox seem to be free to play, and I don't beleive that they are premium members, or that their parents buy them Robux (or only very rarely, if they do), so I'm not sure what fuels the economy there.

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