Something that I’ve been expecting is now out in the open;
- Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world.
- Closed source
- Not backward compatible with content from SL.
- Most of Lab’s development resources are already working on it.
- Smaller dev team headed by Oz Linden remains working on SL.
This can be both extremely good and exciting news as well as horrible.
Apparently Ebbe Linden himself announced this during his visit at the PV developer meeting today.
The good side of this news is that well, SL is old, very old.
I’ve been told by inside sources that actual hamsters in wheels run the servers.
There is a lot wrong with the actual software and many people have said before that to make SL work, it would probably be best to start from scratch and that is what they are now doing, or so it seems.
This radical new start was long overdue to be honest and I am glad that Ebbe saw this and decided to actually go trough with it.
I was hoping and even expecting that behind the scenes there is a LOT of cooperation with High Fidelity and that this is what the next virtual world would be, maybe that can still happen.
But alarm bells are ringing all over the place.
Closed source is a really bad idea.
This will probably mean that there will be no third party viewers.
Of course that is generally a good thing for a virtual world, but not a good thing for the users.
I’ve used Firestorm for almost all of my 5 years in SL and really need all those extra options it offers.
It will also mean that it is unlikely that SL will be part of the metaverse because closed source could also mean that there will be no teleporting to other virtual worlds, no open borders for avatars.
Not backward compatible with content from SL is something that will give SL content creators a heart attack, including myself.
Does this mean that we can throw EVERYTHING we’ve ever build in SL away when the new Virtual World comes?
Or will we at least still be able to upload our mesh stuff?
How about scripts?
We have spend countless hours, days, weeks, months, even years creating things for Second Life, I’ve build an entire city (1920s Berlin), it has tenants, scripts that keep it running, so many things that if they would have to be replaced or even build from scratch, I’d age 20 years overnight.
I may even decide that it is more than I can handle.
I’ve written before that any new virtual world would have to offer a chance for us to transport most of our SL creations there, because starting from scratch something that took me 5 years to build will be the death of me.
Not to mention that some of us have spend hundreds, if not thousands of RL dollars to buy things in SL, will you be willing to buy all that again?
Ebbe did say that content creators will be extremely important for the next virtual world, so lets hope things won’t be as dire as they appear at first sight.
Will we be able to at least transport our avatars?
Or at least claim our SL names there?
I expect that in some ways they will be looking at High Fidelity and new VR technology such as the Oculus to create a new virtual world ready for the future.
That is not only smart but necessary and a good step.
It is something I’ve been talking about as well.
Although many people are still skeptical of all this modern stuff, those who have tried it (including Ebbe Linden), are generally convinced it will change our lives for ever.
And I agree even though I have to admit that currently SL is not quite right for long term Oculus use.
Anyway, so far all we have are a few things Ebbe supposedly said during an in world gathering.
I’ve asked for more info, if I get a reply, I’ll share it.
A video of the meeting is being uploaded as we speak.