Penny Patton

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About Penny Patton

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  1. Secondlife declining player base

    Let's say you enjoy drinking milk. You love it! Now, Linden Lab has put out this giant pitcher of milk. But it's green. It smells absolutely rancid. And if you did decide to taste it you'd probably spit it right back out. But...you love milk! Why aren't you already drinking it? Second Life is a fantastic idea with an extremely flawed execution. There is no way to overstate SL's problems. THAT is why the people I describe are not already here. Either they've tried to taste the milk and found it spoiled, or they've heard from others about how bad the milk is. Naturally, if Linden Lab gets their act together and finally addresses many of SL's problems, they'll begin to draw in more people who love the idea of SL, but couldn't get past it's many problems. I don't care to comment on the quality of individual moles. I'm sure they all do their best with the tools and direction they are given. But I'm convinced most of them gained the entirety of their experiences within the bubble that is Second Life's content creation community. So things someone who learned 3D game modelling outside of SL would take for granted (like keeping texture use and polygon counts low, and being competitive in creating the most detailed looking content using the fewest resources, etc) are not a regular part of their experience. There are people in SL who do have a handle on SL LOD, SL's LOD setup might be flawed, but it's not like it's entirely impossible to work with. And they also have to work within SL's guidelines, and I have no idea what those guidelines are, who set those guidelines, or what their own experience is like. So I can't really comment on how this may or may not be affecting the mole's content, but it's certainly a factor in how they work. Agree on everything except this. I'm 100% sure that better code can definitely help, and help immensely. However, as long as content remains slathered in literally gigabytes of wastefully made textures, there will be issues. People need to be better about this. If by some chance LL or a random TPV developer figures out a way to make excessive texture use a non-issue, I encourage them to patent it and approach both the videogame and CG animation industries. They will become filthy rich overnight because texture use is an issue in those industries. And if the AAA videogame developers haven't figured it out yet I can't imagine why people in SL think it's trivial to get around it.
  2. Secondlife declining player base

    I don't think there will be a shortage of new content creators, and if LL can make SL appealing to digital artists, specifically those with a background or interest in game design, then they will bring their skills with them. That's always been an obstacle for SL, Linden Lab has done a great job in driving off precisely the sort of people SL should appeal to the most. I also don't believe SL is going to lose any content creators. Not unless LL screws things up massively (far more than we're used to seeing). Optimizing content doesn't take any new skills beyond what it takes to create content in the first place. LL will just need to communicate to content creators what new factors will be driving up LI costs. There may be grumbling, but I imagine even the worst offenders in SL will figure it out with little trouble. It's never been that they don't know how to optimize, it's that they've never seen a reason to do it. What concerns me more is whether or not LL will get Land Impact changes right. I want to believe there's been a shift in attitudes and priorities at the Lab, but they've yet to really show they know what exactly they need to aim for with new LI calculations. Oz, Patch and other Lindens have all stated that a primary goal for the changes in LI will be to discourage the LOD exploit. (And to answer ChinRey's question, yes they want better optimized content so SL is less laggy, rezzes faster, and runs better overall.) There's nothing yet to indicate that this means all content will suddenly see a major increase in LI cost, but it's fair to assume that they want content that has a larger impact on rendering will have higher LI costs, but optimizing content will also be incentivized with reduced LI costs. At least, one would hope that's their intent. It's always hard to tell what LL is doing or if their general lack of expertise in this aspect of game design will lead them to some crazy nonsense approach that backfires horribly. Again, hoping the current crew is on top of things, but it's hard to shake 15 years of bad experiences until we see the results.
  3. Secondlife declining player base

    Maybe a bit harsh on my part, I'm sorry. But if you really see it that way (your initial post) then you're mistaken, and I hope I've been able to communicate why with my previous post. I'll even go further to say that "upgrading content to account for changes in how LI is calculated" is even further removed from the comparison with creating new sculpt and mesh content as those features arrived, as those were cases where content creators were creating new content to take advantage of new features, where in this situation it's fixing existing content, or creating all new versions of that content, to adapt to a rule change. And I've already said why I sympathize with frustration at that, but also why I see it as necessary and how LL can mitigate the work it would put on content creators. It's a short term inconvenience for long term gain.
  4. Secondlife declining player base

    By your own reasoning one must conclude that you felt to achieve your goal (staying in business) you felt compelled (read as: forced) to adapt and embrace new features. And that's a wholly reasonable conclusion! You would have to adapt to stay in business. But if that's the angle you're viewing this from, then your initial post, and now each of your follow-up posts, make even less sense if you remove that implied compulsion. And look, sculpts and mesh came out many years apart and each took years until you could say they were fully adopted by the SL market. You were never in a position of having to remake your entire product line to stay in business, rather you incorporated new features into the new products one must reasonably assume you would have created anyway. (Because if your goal is to stay in business, then continuing to create new content would be unavoidable).
  5. Secondlife declining player base

    Missed this earlier, but I still think SL could benefit from a proper text-only mobile client. Chatting with friends, making payments or managing your account, browsing the marketplace, etc. Done right, I think it's something most SL users (but especially those who run large communities or their own SL businesses) could get a lot of use out of. Of course, given the current state of the marketplace and SL's social tools, I don't think LL would know how to properly design such a mobile client. Not to mention, I think to really work well there would have to be massive improvements to said in-world social tools.
  6. Secondlife declining player base

    You don't have to literally use a word for it to be clearly implied in the sentiment. Why would you complain about "remaking" all of your content if you felt there was no compulsion to do so? For the record, I do sympathize. It's not fair to content creators that they should fell compelled to fix their content due to LL changing the rules. (An exception to those who knew better, and those who would argue against the facts of 3D rendering when presented with reasons why they should optimize their work. I have no sympathy for them. They brought the extra work upon themselves.) It's also not fair to customers who purchased content in good faith and who would need to deal with replacing items with updated versions, or altogether replacing content when no update is made available. This whole mess was avoidable from the beginning. Linden Lab screwed up. There were even those of us who told LL that the current situation is exactly what would happen, and how they could avoid it. The Linden management at the time chose to ignore that advice. But it's better to fix the problem than just throw our hands up in the air and declare that there's nothing to be done about it. The problems of unoptimized content will only get worse as time goes on, pushing framerates down and hardware requirements up. Making it so fewer and fewer people can even run SL as time goes on is a poor business strategy for LL, means fewer potential customers for SL's content creators, and fewer active SL users and communities overall. That's no good for any of us. I agree but of course I don't believe LL will make everything twice as expensive to rez. I expect, if LL is sensible about it (I know! I know! But if they're determined to change how LI calculations are made we have no choice but to at least hope they'll do it sensibly even if experience says otherwise. I'm still waiting to see LL deliver on the promises they've been making, but I want to at least give them the chance to show things at the Lab have changed.) some content will cost more LI, some will cost less. And given a reasonable timeline, we will all still come out ahead because of the LI increases LL gave us. I'm certain LL has no intent to trigger mass returns. Oz himself already said that there will be a grace period between the time they finalize the changes to Land Impact and the time those changes go into effect. I'm also fairly certain that even after the changes go into effect, they won't cause anything to be returned. If anything, I imagine there will simply be no extra LI to rez more content on land where the LI changes push the existing content over the limit. So existing builds would be unchanged, but if someone wanted to change anything in such a build then they'd have to figure out how to lower their LI use first. I also expect most (non-sculpted) prim content will be more or less unaffected (or even have a reduction in land cost).
  7. Secondlife declining player base

    First, let's not be disingenuous. No one was forced to remake all their prim content as sculpts. Sculpts provided a way to make more varied and detailed content so people chose to hop on board with it. No one was forced to remake their sculpt content as mesh. Mesh provided a way to make more varied and detailed content so people chose to hop on board with it. Now, when I say "update" here, I mean update. It is not another way of saying "remake". A lot of mesh content that currently exists can be made less bloated through some fairly simple changes. Your mileage may vary depending on how poorly the content was made in the first place of course. And yes, unfortunately that means you'll probably want to replace some of the existing content in your sims with updated versions, but it doesn't mean you'll log in one day and find yourself forced to take on this task all at once. It is something that would happen slowly, over the course of years. I think you're probably right on the money here. I would argue it's both. Second Life doesn't need to have the prettiest 3D graphics on the block, nor does it need to allow for fast-paced videogame action, but if it doesn't run reasonably well on someone's computer, they will be far less inclined to stick around. On the other hand, you are spot on about "things to do". I'd say this goes hand in hand with SL's lack of features, and the unfriendly nature of the client itself. And even if you solve all of SL's technical problems, if new people still complain about there being nothing to do, you won't see much of a change in retention numbers. I agree completely with this, too. SL doesn't need one tutorial that tries to cram a little bit of everything in there. The new user experience should mostly be about getting new users used to the basic controls, and helping them to find and connect with the types of content that they find engaging. If SL had deeper interactivity features LL could then introduce multiple tutorials specific to different activities. You get the basic "how to build" tutorial when you actually want to sit down and learn how to build, not having it foisted on you when you just want to learn how to meet people or explore. Even better, sim owners and content creators could then use those same tools to create tutorials or other interfaces specific to their sims and/or content. Imagine being able to walk into an SL club and instead of searching for a dance ball or something like that, just getting a dance button added to your UI, and it would go away when you left the club. Little things like that can just make SL a little easier and more fun. I also can't stress enough how much SL's social features need work. Again, not in a mimicking Facebook kind of way, which is what they tried in the past, rather LL needs to develop the features that play to SL's strengths. Fix events, make search more useful, make it easier for people to know where and when things that interest them are going on. Make it easier for people to find locations that might interest them. SL's "friend list" reminds me of a bare bones mid 90's IM client. You can't even properly organize your contacts. Their attempts were always really, really bad. Like, it's obvious they had no professional designers on board for crafting these experiences, like no one with game design experience which is the closest one can come to what you want in a new user experience. And often their attempts at a new user experience would fall short in ways that highlighted the lack of development in SL's feature set. HUDs not working half the time. Cludgy interactions. Poor presentation. LL can try as many different new user experiences as they want, but the fact is, if they refuse to devote resources towards doing it well, it's going to end up being a waste of time. This! Linden Lab has always failed to grasp this and it's so frustrating. They had a great idea in the form of "interest tags" but they wasted it in trying to slam random people together in the hopes it would force them to socialize. When that didn't work, they abandoned the entire concept, not once attempting to use the feature in any of the painfully obvious ways it could have been used to make it easier for people to connect with content and communities. And this is the same mindset they apply to how land works. They don't want to make it possible to derender content outside your parcel, no matter how negatively it affects your experience, because they somehow think forcing people to have awful neighbors will make them socialize with them. IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. IT HAS NEVER WORKED THAT WAY. It's things like that which often make me wonder if SL is actually being run by Bialystock and Bloom. It's not mesh that's the problem, it's that LL didn't set up the content creation tools so that content creators would be encouraged to optimize their mesh content. So instead of 3D rendering friendly mesh, we get drinking cups with five 1024x1024 textures. Tables with a dozen full size textures, multiplied by 3 because of the materials. I've seen avatar with hair using around TWENTY 1024x1024 textures. Just the textures, not including materials. Then you have content creators trying to get lower land impact costs on their mesh by making the mesh super detailed but gutting out all but the highest LOD models, telling their customers to simply max out object detail to "see the product correctly". Essentially telling their customers "To use this product you must turn your lag to maximum and lower your framerates". Then you'll have the SL equivalent of Flat Earthers crossed with climate change deniers who insist that this has no effect on performance. And Linden Lab does nothing about it. At least they haven't yet. It seems to have finally appeared on their radar as something they need to take care of, so fingers crossed. But even in this very thread you'll see people resistant to the idea. And I get it, LL should have never let this become a problem in the first place. But they did and here we are and something needs to be done about it.
  8. Secondlife declining player base

    I don't think it has, because there has not been a successful attempt at a "Ready Player One" or "Snowcrash" style virtual world. Not one. Second Life has been the nearest miss, but it was still very much a miss. At the same time, I don't think LL (or any other virtual world developer) should bank on novelty value. Do you really think SL's current userbase only sticks around because they're wowed by the novelty of it? I think you're overestimating how many people looked at SL and said "Ok, let's give this a try." I'd wager far more people took one look at it and said, "Hah, nope!" Again, one of SL's major issues has always been with presentation. LL has always been their own worst enemy in marketing Second Life. They have successfully managed to make it look far less appealing than it actually is and I believe that has kept the majority of their potential market away. I'd also point out that addressing the problems that have pushed away users over the years, continue to push users away. If Linden Lab can take a good, critical look at SL, identify and address the problems that have lost them users in the past, it will make it easier for them to hold on to the users they have right now. And while it's more difficult to bring back a lost customer than it is a new one, I do think if LL made significant progress on tackling those issues, they could start to draw back at least some of the users they've lost over the years. And that's in addition to stronger retention of their current customer base, and drawing in people who've yet to give SL a chance. While I can see a myriad of uses for VR I'd say the greatest draw of virtual world style platforms like Second Life are as a pastime. Entertainment. Socializing. Having fun. We don't really have to find a more practical use for it than that to justify enjoying it. Let's say someone moves to a town that has never had a pizza place and opens the town's first pizza place. Problem is their pizza is terrible. They use vinegar instead of pizza sauce. Dog food instead of pepperoni. Their delivery boy is so bad that half the time people never get the pizza they paid for. If that pizza place was struggling, would you say no pizza place, no matter how good, would ever have a chance at succeeding in this town? Second Life is a horribly designed virtual world that has enjoyed nearly 15 years of success despite mountains of glaring problems. That success is waning because it's been 15 years and the problems were never fixed. It's long since lost it's initial novelty and luster and even those willing to forgive it's problems have their limits on how long a broken product can hold their interest. (And, again, I do want to give the LL of today credit for beginning to address some of these problems. I hope they keep at it despite the long road ahead.) And every other virtual world that has sprung up over the years, including Sansar, have been even worse in key respects. Given all that, saying the market for virtual worlds just isn't there is like shoving a slice of cold vinegar and dogfood pizza into your mouth and commenting, "There just isn't a market for pizza." And...don't actually put that pizza in your mouth. It looks like someone stepped on it.
  9. Secondlife declining player base

    Second Life has, since it's inception, attracted far more people than it's kept around. People who are very much interested in the whole idea of a "virtual world", but for whom SL has fallen short of their expectations. Some of those people even did stick around for years, but ultimately left because the flaws they found in the product were never addressed, or were even outright dismissed, by a developer that didn't seem to actually care. While I'd generally say it's more difficult to bring back a customer you lost than an altogether new customer, I do think it's import to look at the type of people SL has attracted and lost over the years because there are a lot of people like that out there who have yet to try something like SL. They use computers regularly. Not an IT professional, but comfortable with everyday use of consumer technology. Most of them have no knowledge or interest in graphical design, but some of them very much do and SL needs to appeal to both types. They may or may not know people in SL. It's not a prerequisite but in addition to those who don't, LL should be turning SL into a product its users can easily get some of their friends into. SL should appeal to gamers. But let's define "gamers" because a lot of people have this strange idea that a gamer is some hardcore, tech savvy computer junkie who would come to SL expecting AAA graphics at 500fps and would lose interest if there were no "bosses" to defeat or game goals to achieve. This stereotype is laughably incorrect. So let's define gamers as anyone who plays videogames. And let's narrow our target here down to those who play games on their computer or tablet devices. There's a lot of crossover here as most who play PC games also play tablet games. I'd say there's probably a lot of tablet gamers who only play tablet games and I think SL could appeal to them as well, but even if we narrow our attention to those who are comfortable with PC gaming that's still a multimillion dollar demographic. Our target demographic probably uses Google or some other search engine everyday. We want SL to appeal to people who would have ambitions of making money in SL, but not exclusively such people. It needs a broader appeal, to those who have no such ambitions. We want to appeal to consumers as well as creators/sellers. These are not mutually exclusive. Our target demographic is not willing to spend a lot of effort and hours of work "getting into" SL. They expect features to work without cludges and work- arounds. They will not come to SL expecting to spend money, some might never spend money in SL, but many of them will after they've been hooked. Most of them will come to SL expecting some nice, smooth, professionally made and interesting ready-made experiences without having to search for it, or get past a large learning curve before they can find the content that engages them. Something like SL needs multiple target demographics. SL needs to be made appealing to artists and creators. People who enjoy modding games as well as playing them. People who just want to create simple content like shoes and clothes, and people who will come to SL and immediately get visions of creating their own mini-MMOs. At the same time, SL needs to appeal to people with no such interests, but who would very much enjoy the content created by those who do. Such an audience for SL does exist, people like this have been passing in and out of SL for years. We can't assume there is no way to keep people like this around just because SL has failed to do so in the past. Instead we have to look at why SL has failed to hold onto these people, and we will find no shortage of answers. LL has not, in the entirety of the past 15 years, even attempted at anything resembling professional polish in how SL is presented to their market. This is a mistake that has cost them dearly. LL has not, in the entirety of the past 15 years, even attempted to provide content creators with anything resembling competent tools. Everything from the appearance editor to SL's mesh import features are broken or badly designed. SL is lacking critical features it should have had years ago. Instead, the people who make development decisions regarding such tools and features are exclusively people who would never use such tools and features themselves. People who have no idea how such tools and features should work, or even why they're important. When LL did recognize the shortcomings of their social engagement features, their big idea was to copy Facebook. They didn't even do that well and when it failed to shore up their numbers they gave up on social engagement features altogether and now no longer consider them worth developing. All of this is actively driving users away from Second Life. None of these problems are somehow intrinsic to virtual worlds. None of them are unavoidable consequences of the platform. Most of them have obvious solutions that LL has, for whatever reason, never attempted. We don't need to find a new market for SL. We don't need to narrow our ideas on who SL might be able to attract. We don't need to somehow make SL attractive to people who have never used a computer. Linden Lab needs to get their act together and fix the problems that have been hamstringing their efforts to draw users since the beginning. The problems that caused SL's bubble to burst back in '09-'10. Their big 15th anniversary announcement shows that they seem to finally be recognizing this and making some attempts to address some of these issues, but they have a long road ahead of them and it's clear that they're still blind to many of SL's problems.
  10. Secondlife declining player base

    I'm glad you agree, the post of yours that I cited expressed very different ideas on what you seemed to believe LL needed to do in this area. As for what this has to do with attracting new users; How poorly SL performs is something I'm sure we've all seen a lot of people cite as to why they didn't stick around. Maybe not the only reason, but one of them. Improving that won't be a silver bullet to newfound success, I agree, but it will help significantly and it's a necessary step towards improving SL in other regards, such as usability and presentation. I'm sure you can see how they're related and why they're important to attracting new users. The greatest flaw I find in how people discuss these topics is that there is a tendency to reduce causality down to one single issue. It's a lot more nuanced than that. Performance Usability Presentation Engagement All of these issues and more need to be addressed if your goal is to attract more users to SL and improve the experience for the existing userbase. And I could spend at least as much time writing about each issue but I'd be here for days. None of these issues presents challenges that would make it impossible to improve SL in that area without somehow ruining SL for the existing userbase. None of them.
  11. Secondlife declining player base

    What are you on about? I guarantee there are people who'd read my post and argue it affects existing content too much. And content creators, the people making the content, should be affected more than more casual SL users who just want to buy something and have it work. As for "automated solutions", they can help but they're not a magic wand that can fix everything if you ignore the core problems. People keep trying to explain that to you. There is no magical computer with the AI capable of making the necessary changes to each and every piece of content out there to make it not kill everyone's framerates. You'd need an AI capable of looking at a model with poorly made UV maps, figure out how to remap the entire model more sensibly, and edit the textures accordingly. It needs to be able to look at a model and make a judgement call on how big certain textures should be. It would need to be able to basically completely remodel certain objects so they look the same but use a fraction of the polygons. By the time you reach that point the software has become self aware and either started cranking out robot skeletons with Austrian accents to kill us all or started posting it's own Blender tutorials to YouTube.
  12. Secondlife declining player base

    Fine, but I'm going to ignore the rest of your post because I'm not trying to make a sales pitch to potential new SL users, I'm talking about technical aspects of SL to SL users who know what terms like "LOD" and "mesh" mean. You use those terms in your own posts and you want me to explain where you're mistaken while not getting as technical as you do? How about no. Anyway, let's define our goals. The ultimate goal is better user retention and making SL more appealing to a broader range of people. But, I do have other things to do today so let's make it simple and focus on one part of this: Performance. Here is the goal: A general improvement in SL performance. Higher framerates (aiming for around 30fps on an older or mid range desktop) and less lag (faster rez times, few if any freeze-ups). The main problem here is poorly optimized content. First, let's define by what we mean by poorly optimized content: Content that is excessively high-poly and/or uses excessive amounts of texture data. Blended alpha textures used where not required. We also need to change the SL user attitude of cranking up Object Detail so they only ever render the highest LOD models. For this conversation we don't need to get much more specific than that. The Lindens should have access to all the data they need to determine what target numbers they should be aiming for. We just need to talk about the methods in how LL will get us there. To that end I'm going to explain the problem causing performance issues, a solution to that problem, and the challenge of implementing the solution without having too much of a detrimental effect on the userbase. I'll try to include a timeline in this section. Regarding high-poly content: Environmental Content (aka: stuff rezzed in world): Problem: "Land Impact" already does a generally good job of keeping objects rezzed in-world low-poly. The main problem there is content creators exploiting LOD use in Land Impact calculations by removing the lower LOD models altogether and telling consumers to increase Object Detail so they only ever see the highest detail levels. Solution: Linden Lab is already working to solve this problem by changing how LOD factors into Land Impact. If they change LI so that there is no benefit to gutting out lower level LOD then there will be no reason for content creators to continue doing it. Challenge: This will of course affect some existing content. Not all existing content, but some. I predict there will be complaints but not a mass exodus from SL. It will not, as some people seem to think, destroy all SL content and force everyone to abandon everything they've purchased since mesh was introduced. Some affected content will even likely see updates from the creators. However, I would add to this that the changes in Land Impact calculations should not be dropped on everyone overnight. First, LL should announce that the change is coming, and put the new information into the viewer, so people can see how the content they currently use will be affected. LL should work with the content creation community in explaining what changes are made, how content will be affected, and what content creators can do to minimize the impact on their creations, or even how they can update existing content. Implementing the new LI calculations should come later. I'd give people at least a year to adapt, with regular reminders that the changover to the new LI will be happening. Plenty of time for content creators to put out updates for that content which is affected. Avatar Content: Problem: Here is where the biggest problem is and where the biggest impact will be felt. Since there is nothing like Land Impact for avatars, content creators have never felt any pressure to lower the mesh complexity of avatar attachments. Actually, that's not wholly correct. When Jelly Dolls were introduced, content creators felt pressure to lower the draw weight of their creations, and they did. The problem is, the same LOD exploit for Land Impact works with Avatar Draw Weight, especially rigged mesh which never displays lower LOD levels. Solution: A "Land Impact" like resource cap for avatars so no individual avatar can excessively overdo it with high-poly attachments. This would, of course, take LOD into account just like regular Land Impact. I might even ignore "avatar rendering cost" and go with a straight triangle limit of about 600,000. Challenge: Some people are going to feel this one for a bit, unavoidable, but LL can minimize how much people are affected just like they can by implementing changes to Land Impact. LL should introduce new tools so people can actually see how many triangles their attachments total up to. These same tools should allow people to see the triangle use of attachments they don't own. such as those on other avatars. Marketplace listings should have a section for sellers to list how many triangles the object uses. Maybe they could incentivize the use of it, such as waiving or a reduced marketplace fee for a time after the item is first listed. Soon after, LL could add an avatar triangles cap. Avatars with attachments in excess of the cap get the jelly doll treatment. People could of course adjust this to suit their preferences or turn it off completely, but the information is there, as well as he ability to see a performance boost by using the feature. After these features are all implemented, LL should announce that a cap is coming. Just as with LI changes I would give people at least a full year to adapt. Having the above tools and information at their disposal will allow people to do this much more easily. LL may even want to wait some time before making any sort of official announcement, as simply putting the above tools out there will have some effect, making it even easier for people to adapt once the cap is announced. A timeline of 2-3 years from introduction of the tools to the cap becoming enforced is not unreasonable. A lot of the avatars I see in SL are already well below the 600,000 triangle limit I'm proposing, so not everyone will be affected at all. Regarding heavy texture use: Problem: Most mesh content in SL uses an excessive amount of textures. It was bad before mesh, but the introduction of mesh made it so much worse. So much so that this problem is arguably a larger factor in performance issues than high-poly content. Regarding in-world content: Solution: For in-world content I'd simply make texture use affect Land Impact. The more textures you use the higher the LI increase for the object. Regarding avatars: Solution: I'd introduce a texture memory cap. Probably set around 150MB. Challenge: Land Impact works well enough and people already more or less understand it. Like the changes to Land Impact I suggest in the previous section, I'd announce the change and have the new LI displayed in the viewer, alongside the current LI, at least a year before the change goes into effect. Since changing how LI works is disruptive, I'd include this change along with the other changes LL is currently making to LI, so LI is only being changed once. I'd also use a similar timeline between rolling out the tools people will need to understand and adapt to the change, and the eventual enforcement of the new LI calculations. For avatars, a lot of them already come in below 150MB so not everyone is going to be affected. For those that are I'd want to give similar tools and a similar timeline to the triangle limit proposed earlier. Introduce new tools allowing people to see how many textures content uses, the size of those textures, and the total memory cost. Marketplace listings should have a spot for sellers to include the above information, and be incentivized to use it until it becomes regular practice. I'd introduce a jelly doll feature for texture use similar to the one proposed for triangles. Again, people would be able to adjust this to their preference or turn it off altogether, but the information will be there and people will be able to see the performance boost for themselves. LL should work with the content creation and TPV community, explaining these changes and best practices for optimizing content. A creation blog aimed at content creators with official guides and information direct from the Lindens themselves would help a lot. Patch has expressed a desire to do exactly that. Only after all of the above is in place would I say LL should officially announce a hard cap on avatar texture use is coming. By this time a lot of people will have already made changes to how they dress their avatars, many content creators will have already begun making changes to the content they are producing. As with the previous section I'd say there should be a timeline of 2-3 years from the introduction of the new tools to the cap being enforced. And like that, the Lindens could tackle the biggest performance issues that have been plaguing SL since the beginning with minimal disruption to the community. A key part of this is not enacting any restrictions overnight, and not making those restrictions excessively strict. SL doesn't need to look and run as well as a professionally optimized game, but getting it to where most people checking SL out experience 30fps or better with little if any lag, would be a huge improvement over how it is now.
  13. Secondlife declining player base

    Are you talking about ChinRey's post? I like ChinRey but her explanation of the risks associated with making any changes to SL can be summed up as "If LL rushes in with a lot of nonsensically disruptive changes overnight, it would ruin SL!" It's a ridiculous worst case scenario where other, more sensible paths have been clearly laid out. Repeatedly and in thorough detail. ETA: I'll go one better, here's the link to the post where I respond to ChinRey's post to explain why it's flawed.
  14. Secondlife declining player base

    False. I'm not going to repeat why again because I keep doing it and no one has yet offered any sort of argument opposing my points. All that happens is someone repeats a falsehood that's already been thoroughly debunked, or makes some vague claim that basically makes it sound like they're saying "higher framerates are scary!" You don't have to "ruin" SL for it's current userbase to make it better. No one is arguing for any changes that would ruin SL for the current userbase. Those of us who want to see SL improve are SL users just like you, we don't want to tear SL down and turn it into Sansar or anything like that. We don't want to make it a gamer's-only club. We want to make it easier for users to get into dressing up their avatars, creating content, and exploring the world, not harder. I get what you mean, that's why I try to explain things as thoroughly as I can, so allow me to elaborate on this point. Prims do not all use the same amount of resources. A torus is not the same as a cube, it's a lot more complex, so it makes sense it should cost more LI than a cube. That said, you should still be able to make content using prims and not have it pushed out by overly strict limits. At the same time, with the current state of the tools, an optimized mesh should be able to do a lot more using less Land Impact than something made out of prims. However, I'd like to see the prim tools improved. I want people to make better looking content with the in-world tools and I believe that's possible. We've seen other platforms do it. SL's in-world tool set has not fundamentally changed since inception. That's 15 years with no real progress. Sure, materials and the ability to change the physics shape of objects, but these were implemented in the service of mesh. We need real improvements to the base tools. Bring back the charm SL had in being able to log in, go to a sandbox and start creating. LL has stated that any changes they make to how Land Impact is calculated will be a ways off yet (and considering we're still waiting on features that they said would be out "soon" almost a year ago, I think it's safe to assume LI changes are not something anyone needs to be immediately concerned about). They've also suggested they'd like to give people tools to adapt to the new LI changes. What form those tools will take, whether they will include changes to the prim building tools, remains to be seen. And maybe they won't change how prim LI is calculated at all! Maybe they'll single out sculpts, since those tend to be the real problem. Or maybe there will be no changes to any prims and the changes LL has planned will be exclusively regarding mesh. It's way to early to get worried since we don't even know what LL's plans are beyond trying to push content creators towards less laggy content.
  15. Secondlife declining player base

    I'm pretty sure if LL fixed all of the problems mentioned in this thread, it would definitely result in a lot more interest in SL. How much? Hard to say. SL is pretty old, but it's also been upgraded quite a bit and with the aforementioned problems solved it could look and run even better. Toss in more features and it could potentially give the whole platform a second wind, finally delivering on the promise people saw it in back at its peak. When people move on to the next shiny thing, that assumes there is a new shiny thing to take the place of the old. Right now there is no real alternative to SL, it's the only game in town.