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Everything posted by DartAgain

  1. Disclaimer that I wasn't bashing the marketplace on the whole, it is an improvement from XStreet. But if you really want to start a geek holy war, bring it! (kidding) I only mentioned the rewrite to Ruby to point out that if there was some cruft left over from XStreet, after an LL rewrite, 2 major DB migrations, and 2 major iterations of Direct Delivery, that XStreet magic box cruft should be long gone and not affecting the current marketplace any longer. Any cruft remaining should be of LL's own making. But here's the thing. XStreet wasn't built on a framework, while the current marketplace in Ruby was. It's always harder to maintain code based on a framework (and Rails expertise isn't fun or as common as PHP). If they'd stuck with PHP, it would have been easier to alter, although they'd have had to do more coding themselves. AND PHP is certainly up to the task, it's seen major improvements and speed increases since that time. Heavier sites than the marketplace use PHP at least as a front end tier with ease. Never used WebDNA, can't speak to it. The thing I miss is that XStreet did better historical data on sales for the merchant. And charts, must have sales charts! And if you reported a significant well written bug report to Apotheus he would toss you a couple thousand L$ privately and get it fixed within a reasonable timeframe.
  2. Missing a step in there. XStreet was written in PHP (I know, I've seen the code), which was later rewritten in Ruby by LL, based on the Spree shopping cart.
  3. Being ruthed like some others said. No one seems to take you seriously with full facial hair, hairy chest and breasts. First piece of mainland I bought as a noob sight unseen. Probably the most unbuild-able piece of land in SL on a steep cliff. Poseballs: I learned to hate them. Being stuck floating in the air and not being able to stop the animation. I think they were stray poseballs from a sex bed. Coded a chat relay system and forgot about it. Next thing I know I'm having a private conversation and broadcasting it to everyone on the other side of the sim. Related to poseballs, someone said to try clicking on a rather hideous looking creature. I don't remember who created those things. More on this I will not say.
  4. That's true, it's possible that anyone has legitimately licensed the rights to a particular work, although for bigger brands it's expensive and not likely to be approved without a promised threshold of income in the contract. The less popular the brand the more possible it is that you can license it affordably. Although there is something LL can do about it if they really wanted to. LL could request that any licensed brand be registered with LL, with a copy of the authorization/contract between the brand and the creator. LL could then relatively confidently remove any products that aren't registered with them. Of course that would mean that LL would lose money on the infringed products. But hey, why combat a problem that you profit from?
  5. Sacrificial goats! The smell of burning goat hair is hard for a Linden to miss. I've sacrificed one for you to see if I could summon a Dakota ....
  6. Translation: As we decline and spend on Sansar and other projects we try to make up for it in other ways. It's far better to take it from you than to dip into our own profit margin.
  7. In SL, anyone can be Rachel Dolezal. Best to keep it virtual though, it's not going well for Rachel Dolezal.
  8. Well, it used to be easier to see when they published quarterly reports, especially when they were more accurate (but still vague) in breaking down sinks and sources. Also, the Lindex is only telling you a fraction of what's going on, such as when sinks exceed a certain pool and new L$ are printed, etc. Remember also, that money that is taken out, must also be replaced. User to user transactions don't touch what happens when you need to print new money. Some years ago they used to say things about how they were trying to float a pool of $100 million USD in the exchange and so forth. I've been designing large economy simulation systems (and AI, weather, and so on) since the 90's on MUDs and then on other projects through the years. We're currently working on one game project now and working out some new currency ideas. One thing I can say though, the best way to deep dive into how to monetize currency is to make up your own fictional game on paper and work out how you make money. Start with seeding currency with easy numbers like backing it with $10,000 USD in initial currency sales to your users in your fake companies bank account and a conversion of $X USD equals $Y ChinRey dollars. Apply some sinks for an understanding of how to keep more of your real money in your bank account. If you're really wanting to do some exercises, mimic SL's exchange and then you'll start to see how strictly user to user transactions are impossible to maintain an economy. Always factor in how it's affecting your real bank account and real dollars. Give a play at churn and what might happen when the money goes from Bill to Betty to Bob in various combinations with sinks and cash-outs and new money purchases, etc.. At any rate, you should see that there's more going on in your system than user to user transactions on an "exchange". LL's system is just needlessly complex in this modern day of monetization in everything from content sales to services to cell phone apps to many variations of F2P models. People don't begrudge a more forthright monetization and we don't have to deal with the liabilities and government regulations and theft and laundering issues to the extent that LL has boxed itself into to the detriment of their users by trying to play "virtual" money-is-but-isn't-real money. Government doesn't like Bitcoin because it breeds the opportunity to do bad things in an untraceable way. Same with L$ although on a different level as you can see with IP theft and people not being able to instantly cash out money that they've legitimately earned without jumping through hoops.
  9. There are plenty of places where users sell content, where theft is not rampant within those sales venues. Let me clarify: LL makes as much or more money from virtual currency as they do land. It is designed so that this currency is bought, and then play money churns and churns, while sinks are applied, fees are applied on cash-out, etc. It is in the best interests of a game-monetized system (and LL) to let anyone who applies sell and for anyone that wants to create (or steal) to keep this virtual money churn going on a large scale. When you separate the game-style monetization and currency from the marketplace, you simply have less of these problems. Take Turbosquid or Renderosity for instance. While these markets may have theft, there is little theft and resale within those markets themselves. In some markets you must register with proper real-life information and tax information before you can even start selling. In some markets there's an approval process before content is listed. Thus the problem is eliminated in a market like Turbosquid of users ripping a Turbosquid model and then reselling it on Turbosquid itself. There you have it. The problem will persist as long as merchants are not treated as real-life business folk, anonymity is rampant, there's no approval process on goods and virtual money is used in place of real money. And yes there are ways L$ could be refactored to work with real money, if LL stopped pretending that it's just user-to-user transactions with no printing of virtual currency, no fiddling with seeding it, infusing it and taking an abundance out of it. We've solved it in other games with a dual currency system of real money/game currency. This would require some overhauls on LL's part, but until those large issues are addressed, IP theft will continue to be rampant.
  10. Mobile is a tough, saturated market and I don't think LL is willing to hire the big marketing guns it takes to rise above the rest, or know how to do large scale launches. Then they tend not to be able to manage a fast pace in development once the product is out there. Not to say that they can't, a sandbox-prim kind of thing has potential if you can add something special that Minecraft and similar ventures don't have. And they don't understand how to achieve a polished product. For instance compare LL's Blocksworld with ROBLOX.
  11. LL has tried. Hit or miss. Patterns: Failed Blocksworld: Still ticking, but only for iPad/iOS. I suppose that could be ported for more devices. Might be interesting to do something more SL-ish for mobile though.
  12. Exactly, it all comes down to an arbitrary implementation to try to comply with currency regulations. Something that originally got them around all financial regulations, which is why I started advocating for regulating virtual currency a good couple years before the government finally stepped in. But LL made their bed when they wanted to use virtual currency as another source of revenue. And it is quite profitable for them. But we're also in a position where it's not real-world fair to the people earning REAL money (it's all real money now) and the ability to get at it as real world transactions go. Much more regulation is needed, from ToS's that don't even resemble a contract that acts in BOTH parties interests, business laws, a users right to a fair legal representation which LL blocks with arbitration clauses, and on it goes. The bottom line for me is that if the company wants to deal with real world business, there should be no hiding behind "virtual" concepts. It's not fake money, it's not fake business. If you run a business, you follow ALL regulations like the rest of us.
  13. That doesn't explain an imposed limit that you can only go beyond if you can prove you actually need it. As I said, no other company does it. You earn your own money, you get your own money. Tax reporting is on both parties in the real world and not dependent on holding it back. Likewise no one holds it back for your own good for extended periods ... because fraud.
  14. Yes, do business with any other company in the world. No one else holds funds by arbitrary limits that you've legitimately earned hostage.
  15. Ha. I've got the scars to prove it. Then again that was a time when the SL economy and LL corporate culture were worth debating. Who knew you could look back fondly on warfare?
  16. With SL, nope. With Sansar's goals? I give it 85% commonality. Both are just game engines with the same extra services that yield the same end result to the user.
  17. That will do what Sansar is aiming for specifically, the closest is probably the Hero Engine. It handles a market, currency, the tooling, etc. Other game engines geared toward independent to pro development that are popular are Unity and Unreal engine. A newcomer to the field is Amazon's Lumberyard, although it's still a bit clunky. There are other toolsets that aren't bad for developing 2D or mobile games. The differences here are basically that existing game engines assume you're going to control many aspects of your game/architectural visualization/VR/etc. (or experiences as LL likes to call them. As well as what platform you're porting it to, handling your own users and so on. Your end product is your own to implement however you decide. Sansar's lingo is that they're "democratizing" game development. What this means is that they're basically putting their own game engine into a walled garden by controlling the userbase, the market, the currency and the hosting. Not that this is a bad thing, if you don't want to deal with your own hosting, distribution, currency, etc. Or if you're not interested in porting to mobile and console. While Second Life is a virtual world and not a game toolkit, it provides all of these things out of the box, which is great to just build an experience with some prims/mesh, some scripting and you're good to go. You'll still have to use the same types of tools in Sansar that you'll use in game engine toolkits such as some sort of pre-compiling your "game" and baking lighting and shadows into a final product. You then make it live and so forth. Placement of objects and lights and utilities will be done in some sort of editor just like game engine toolkits. Heavy changes will require rebuilding your project. Personally I think LL needs to get out of beta no matter how rough it is. It provides less control of your end product than a game engine, but it does give you some things built in that you may not want to deal with at all out of the box But the people that are going to be drawn to it are going to be familiar with game engines as well, so they need to just spit out what features are done and what features are planned. No need to get all cloak and dagger about it. Bring it into the light and brag about it. We understand works in progress, it's what we all do after all whether you're building a game engine or building an experience, you build, you improve and repeat.
  18. Except that the competitors in this case are other game engines and accompanying tools. Sansar is nothing more than a game engine with specific limitations, with currency and a marketplace built in. In that regard, their competition is already miles (and years) ahead of Sansar. I'm doubting they have any interest in putting a plant inside the Sansar beta group.
  19. It's true, and China has always been that bad. It's actually become worse and more organized since the internet. In the early internet days we were doing import/export on Usenet news groups. Since then, I've got many horror stories. Alibaba is only now starting to be concerned about it. Pre-Yahoo ownership of Alibaba, they were not. Prototypes sent over for manufacturing, only to see the prototype have an accident, and then see the product appear on the market a few months later. Products manufactured for the client only to have the exact same product produced as a knockoff by the exact same plant. "Too good to be true" deals of free prototyping and manufacturing to be paid on delivery. Why? Because if it sells, it will be duplicated and sold by another Chinese company, so even taking a loss from the original client is still profitable. To some extent, it's organized by geographic regions and controlled by what, in the U.S. would be considered organized crime. So yes, there are parallels between SL/digital goods and Chinese manufacturing. And the same lack of policing and disavowing of responsibility. In any other criminal activity, all parties involved would be complicit where there is an overwhelming amount of criminal activity happening. Not so in some companies that claim to be innocent third parties. We need more accountability from middlemen across the board.
  20. Well, some years after moving away from Invision forum software because it couldn't be updated by LL, we're back to Invision again. Probably a cost savings to move from Lithium hosting to Invision hosting. But at least it's a proper forum again.
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