SLCC … the question that didn’t get asked..

I’ve been to conferences before, (not the SLCC) and they tend to be a little similar in that they are advertising events where the Company preaches to the converted. Only real enthusiasts will fork out the necessary cash to go see the Boys tell of all the exciting new plans that are in the pipelines and no-one goes to upset the warm fuzzy feeling of social belonging. Don’t get me wrong I think they are great social events, for the most part, and a chance to meet on a different level than you do in Everyday Life…. (as Draxtor’s video shows)

There were a large number of topics discussed, well…more presented really, but there are a few things which would have been top of my agenda if I had been there…

I’ve read a lot of the notes but life’s too short to watch all the presentations so I may be a little vague, as usual, in precise references… In reference to the new user experience as it’s called there has been an attempt to make a game of learning the ropes. Well, that would probably have put me off.
…and I wonder if making the intro to SL in the form of a game will actually send out the wrong sort of message. Won’t gamers then be disappointed to find that SL isn’t a game? and won’t non-gamers think, well, this isn’t for me?

This machinima shows the sort of thing is currently part of the 15000 per day new user experience .. because voice is on by default.

but there is another thing with mesh which I have been concerned about for quite a while and which Bryn touches on in her blog… it concerns the LOD (level of detail).

Now, because I have been very sceptical about mesh in the past, I have taken a break from criticising mesh, partly because I do believe that, in the future, it may well be a great asset but there is another major issue with mesh which I have been concerned about for quite a while and which Bryn touches on in her blog… it concerns the LOD (level of detail).

Now, far from being easy to upload, mesh is an absolute nightmare as the 3 or 4 LOD that are a part of any mesh determine how mesh is presented close up and at a distance. (Apparently, all the talk of how the free mesh programme Google Sketch-Up could be used by anyone to make mesh is all BS as it won’t be supported). If you want to economise on the relatively huge cost of mesh then you will tend to use a low LOD when the mesh is viewed at a distance. The reality of that is that stuff in the distance will look like blobs…..(hopefully not clothes). So…in the case of a forest, or large castle, for example, the meshes nearest to you will look great, but those in the distance will look like sculpties that haven’t popped. (A nightmare for those in vehicles?? Sim cossings?? eek!!)
I was worried about machinima when I first heard about this, but as Bryn rightly points out it will be a bigger problem for newbies who haven’t come to terms with the whole Advanced Menu more than it will for more experienced viewers.

The advent of Windlight meant a couple of my friends had to leave SL as their machines weren’t up to the new demands and I am worried that mesh will place more demands on the graphics card too. [Windlight still hasn’t been developed to it’s full potential, 3 years after it’s instigation]. Prok rightly said that the masses won’t flock to SL until you can buy a machine in Walmart that works with SL.

Anyway…. there’s no way to turn the tide on it so we might as well get used to the idea of mesh, but it won’t be an asset for a number of years, more likely another source of problems.

I know I read somewhere that they have actually admitted that the new user homes on 512’s “have become stale” which to my mind is a major understatement as they are virtual slums as several of us warned about early in their development but I am not wishing to “I told you so LL” at this point, rather tie it in with the new Direct Delivery development.

In the same way that starter homes destroyed the businesses of many inworld entrepreneurs, both the land agents who broke up larger tracts of land and those that sold low prim homes to noobs, so has the new push towards shopping on Marketplace ripped a major part of clothes sales out of SL and onto the web. Obviously this is being done for no other reason than that LL want their 5%.
The consequences are that malls are closing down and again land sales have declined.

So…instead of Search working, we have Marketplace, instead of Chat working we use Twitter, instead of Avatars United working they are promoting FaceBook…. and now, instead of better tools for creating better prims inworld (flexie sculpts would have been fantastic) we are getting mesh.

The Myth of Ten Million Users is sending us out of SL and onto the web.

This is a general trend that actually works completely against all that the 3D worlds used to stand for.

It is actually undermining the grid.

And this is the question that didn’t get asked… Are you sure this is the right plan?

:))

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “SLCC … the question that didn’t get asked..

  1. Juanita Deharo

    If that’s the new user experience then I wonder who will end up in SL. It would certainly have put me off.

  2. Thanks for using the time and effort to write something so interesting.

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  3. there is another question that hasn’t been asked. why is it that @rodvik keeps saying that SL growth is so amazing, when none of our indicators seem to support what he’s saying. concurrence is flat. sim count is slowly declining. why doesn’t anyone ask @rodvik for some statistical data that supports what he’s saying? if in fact there are tons of new signups and these are retained, then they must be offset by others who are leaving. wouldn’t you say? secondly, i was struck by how he just skimmed over the financial references. we would expect him to be a fanboy. we continue to hear these reassurances that LL is profitable, that there is positive cash flow. think about it, why would he feel the need to reassure us so?

  4. Well… LL is down 8% this week on gestimated value, so someone else doesn’t believe him either

  5. That machinima is a horror story. I have long experience with such things, as anyone does who has spent a lot of time on the nets. So my observations are based on a LOT of personal data.

    First thing: notice the avatars. Those aren’t noobs. The hair, the clothes, the AOs; everything tells me those are longtime residents. Why are they allowed there? How can LL be so irresponsible as to let this continue. If they are ignorant of it, it is self-willed.

    This is a common phenomenom. This is about a clique doing their best to keep their private playground private. A deliberate and nasty “hazing” to keep most people away. I’ve seen it in every world, IRC channel, chat program and online forum I’ve ever been involved with. It is a way that egotistical people control the new population; strongarm them, alienate them and in general control who stays and who leaves. This makes a mockery of any statements by LL as to “new user signups” and the unbelieveable “concern” over retention.

    Someone isn’t doing their job. As I have maintained, Rodvik is “the new guy” and SL is so sprawling, it’s understandable that he doesn’t know everything; that many of the things we know have come to us from our gradual awareness of the world, beyond the mechanics of movement, building, etc. and have taken time for us to perceive.

    This really needs to be SEEN by him to give him the visceral exposure that I believe would send him through the roof, with guns blazing, because if this kind of thing is “the new user experience” it’s a wonder anyone stays at all.

    This is thuggery, plain and simple. This is a Mafia-type action.

  6. @Miso, yes, I think the only solution is virtual police, or someone with enough clout to just ban miscreants from the arrival areas. This has been reported for months now with no one able to take any action it seems.

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