3d games and SL like virtual worlds are on a convergent path
3d games have started incorporating SL like features and SL has started incorporating Games like features.
More and more Game Companies now allow players to "mod" their games.
Take for example the latest hit - Skyrim
It is a gorgeous, addictive, immersive game.
The graphics are stunning.
Sometime, like I do in SL, I just walk around in the game, examining and admiring the world.
That kind of graphics with that kind of frame rate is currently impossible in SL.
It is not a multi player game but has a great AI and the NPCs and AI makes it very immersive.
Now Skyrim provides something called a "CreationKit".
A PC game owner can download this for free.
It is a powerful, versatile IDE for making mods for Skyrim
It provides for path finding, navmesh, scripting language, story manager etc
It allows the gamer to build their own world, using any of the thousands of professionally created assets which comes with the game.
Structures, items, avatars, animations, voice overs, NPCs with built in AI
Amateurs can easily build there own 3d games/worlds
On the other hand SL has started adding Game like features.
Mesh is already here.
Path finding, navmesh , NPC characters are in pipeline.
Then there was the recent LittleText People acquisition - some kind of story manager?
Now SL has something that most other mod kits, game kits, 3d systems do not have.
It has this great in world creation capability.
In most other system, there is a build system and then there is the run system - a design time and a runtime system.
You build your world then you load it somewhere to see how it would run/appear.
In some system it is easy to switch between the two, in others it is cumbersome.
SL does not distinguish between the two.
Your design time is your run time environment.
Because you are building inworld you always know what your build will look like.
It is as if its not you but your avatar who is doing the build !!
And that is powerful.
Many people have tried to make 3d creation system which are intuitive and easy to use.
The SketchUp group( now owned by Google) had the goal of making 3d accessible to everybody,
Unity3d was started to democratize 3d game making.
Both have done a great job but none of them come close to SL as far as ease of use is concerned.
Where else can you just point to the ground, rezz a primitive, torture it, slap a texture, apply material, apply colors, turn physics on, add particle effect, add scripts
A pre built terrain and sky
Then of course you have networking built in - chat, multimedia, voice - multi player system becomes no brainer
Then add inventory system, asset ownership , commerce, virtual exchangeable currency, a great professional looking market place.(Both Sketchup and unity have their marketplace but they pale in comparison to that of SL)
Amazing stuff, enough to make a Game designer drool.
But few things need to be fixed
- speed sucks
After playing a game like Sykrim (with it 40-50 fps) SL feels like walking through molasses.
With official viewer 5-10 fps, with a TPV like Cool VL viewer or Firestorm maybe 15-25 fps and this on Linden created place like Linden homes or Linden quest game
- land price and prim limits
like somebody pointed out it is high time the land price went down and prim limit went up
128 prim !! come on!
Get on the cloud like kitely.com.
On kitely for few dollars a month you get a whole region for yourself with 100,000 prim limit !!
Imagine what you can do with that kind of prim limits
- default animations
the default animations make my avatar look like a retard !!
when was the last time the default animation was changed? 10 years back?
- terrain texturing system
creating simple paths in SL is a pain
would be nice if we could just "paint" paths on the terrain like in other system
I am sure others have their own pet peeves