Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Macy's Christmas Parade and The Christmas Expo

By Gemma  Cleanslate

So the shopping goes on. There are still many places to visit if you are looking for more trees, wreaths , scenery, or outfits. I will never get to all of them and I am pretty sure you won’t either. I still have a few recommendations though. Here are some reminders first.

Frannie DJ has put away all her Thanksgiving day parade floats and now has her Christmas Parade out. It will stay open until Christmas Day . Santa is still there at Macy’s store and there is still ice skating going on. I stopped over to see some of the floats which are as beautiful as ever. Don’t miss it! There is snow on the ground and the trees are glistening with ice formations on the limbs.

Remember to visit The Christmas Expo. This event is raising money for research for the American Cancer Society and has so much going on!

There are parties and raffles and Breedables, sales and auctions, and so many shops with goodies to continue your search for décor and outfits.

If you get there before the ninth, you can enter the snowman (and snowwoman) making contest. The regions are beautifully decorated just for exploring.  

The Expo website at  will tell you everything you need to know. This SURL will get you there :

Also, the Shop and Hop event opens Wednesday at 9am . Get ready for so many shops in one place on 12 regions with 240 merchants. Extreme lag in the early days, but it will be open until January 2 of the new year. I am sure there will be gifts at most shops.

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, December 3, 2021

Christmas Shopping: Snuggles Holidays and Stormwind's North Pole

By Gemma Cleanslate

Shopping at Snuggles Holidays is always easy. The grounds are massive but so well organized it is easy to find the theme you are looking for. 

Huge signs indicate the sections where you will find it fast. Here you see animal scenes next to the snowmen areas. Many themes, floral, Santas, Elves, mice, ”cute,” and more are available .

The indoor decor building is also huge and filled with goodies for the house. From trees to wall decor and globes grace the shelves. I am so impressed by the card section here. The cards are also well organized to make the shopping easy. The humour section is fun just to look at and read. Across the way is a great selection of gift boxes. There is so much to look at here save some time for perusing. There is a huge selection of teddy bears with music that are so cute .

There are several North Pole venues in Second Life that appear during the Christmas season. One that has all things Christmas for sale is set in Stormwind and looks like a shopping area of a European town. When you land the first thing you see is the large Fire Department. A stop there will let you furnish your fire department with great scenes for your winter department. Opposite that is the quaint Post Office with it’s mounds of mail piling up for Santa. Animated elves were mailing some as I watched.

Inside the massive town gate I found a sled rezzer to travel around the streets. I gave up quickly when I almost took out Santa riding around on his bike causing him to knock over a snowman on the corner.Each shop holds its own treasures for sale. I stopped in to the outlet which must hold older scenes but has bargains for those who love them. Elves are everywhere as you wander .

I was charmed at the wreath shop that holds so many wreaths with animated Santas and other season’s figures  in the center with various gestures. 

I had to fight the urge to buy one but I know I am out of prims at my houseboat after decorating. Don’t miss this shop! You might like to stop at the large skating pond in the center and take a spin with  free skates .

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, November 29, 2021

Christmas Shopping: Dench Designs and Khargo Market

By Gemma Cleanslate,

We are being urged to get out there and get our Christmas shopping done now both in real-life and Second Life. Black Friday has passed. I set out to find shopping areas where you can get going on decor for the region or home and have some fun doing it.

One of my favorite shops to visit is Amanda Dench Christmas Store. Just arriving puts you in the right frame of mind. The little cottage with the mailman delivering cards is one of the first things you see in a light snow falling and glancing up there is the man in the red sleigh . Nearby are many outdoor decor on the snow. Christmas music plays softly adding to the feeling even though it seems early to be doing the shopping.

I head inside where there is a lower floor filled with more decor . I am trying not to shop but the first thing I see is a new Santa with a bag of boxes waving at me and into my bag he goes.  I stop nearby to dance with one of the animated dancers but resist buying one.

Oh well, I know upstairs there are loads of freebies waiting. The Advent calendar is set up and ready to begin when the time comes, December 1. The usual gifts are arranged and on the wall a wealth of real bargains to grab. Check out the cute animal carousel while you are there , as well as other decorations to enhance your region or home. Prices here are really bargains. When you visit you will see why it is one of my first stops.

Khargo Christmas Market which has been open since 2009 is a lovely wintry shopping experience. The outdoor decor is spaced along a walkway that makes it easy to envision is on your own land. Try out some of the interactive  pieces. I helped fix the igloo but saw it has many animations to choose. If I had room I might like to have the teacup carousel that spins with the words Merry Christmas on each cup.

Inside the shop you will find all sorts of decoration for your home, art for the wall, fireplaces, Christmas shelves , and tables. I found a candy cane giver for the wall at home and may go back to get it. The shop is bigger than it looks from the outside with many rooms to check out. 

I tried out the Christmas bulb with a choice of resting for singles or cuddles for couples . I was tempted but resisted! There are so many decorations to look at . Plan some time to walk around both outside and inside the shop to see it all. A lot of work goes into planning out this venue.

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Crystal Craze

By Gemma Cleanslate

One of my friends, RoxyLee Rayna , who owns the Requiem  region in Second Life told me about a new fun game that owners are using to stimulate traffic. She was having a great time trying it out and recommended that I take a look at it.

I went over to the Headquarters to check it out. It is called Crystalcraze and is mainly for raising traffic for owners who want that to happen. 

The greeter announced:

 “Welcome to CrystalCraze Headquarters, Gemma Cleanslate!
CrystalCraze is a new and exciting SL hunting game currently still in pre-release testing!
Did you know that there is a HUD for CrystalCraze?
You can get it from the sign on the wall to your left.
[08:49] Second Life: CrystalCraze  has given you this landmark:
CrystalCraze HQ
I'm going to send you a LM just in case you don't have one yet.”

The headquarters is walls are filled with information on how to play to make any new player feel secure. There is help also. I joined the group that turned out to be a very busy chat and notice group . To try it out I got myself a Hud and a basket for carrying my crystals. There was an area there for practice. Joining the group and starting the game give one a bonus of 200L to get started. It is fast moving and has unexpected events held randomly by the owners to give players a chance to grab crystal or clusters of crystals on their property.

I also met Aɴɢᴜs (anguschill), the creator of this game and found it is still in beta but moving along very well. He explained how it worked and we went off to check out an event. It is great fun chasing crystals. I am pretty good at it because I still run in the Linden Realms for their crystals at times and this game is reminiscent of the realms and yet different. I asked about the traffic aspect of the game and he told me “Yes, they do get traffic, pure traffic stats, but also visitors to their creations of course. I mean there are a lot of traffic games out there. But with CC the idea was to have very active traffic. people who actually engage with landowners builds while looking for clusters and collecting crystals instead of just camping or standing there fishing in one spot.”

With permission, here is an example of a call to an event ...

“09:37] CrystalCraze:
Arlequin Carter is hosting a 2X CrystalCraze event for 15 minutes!
Head over there and join in on the fun!
Teleport to FRANCE Entraide & Amitie - Build & Script"

Notices come fast and furious at times, one after the other

I know that the owners love it too. I checked with my friend Roxy who has been using it for a few months to see how she likes it and she told me ,, “oh  that's great  Gem .. All  good for me.. love the game too .. is  fun and rewarding . I have clusters and Crystals at my sim and is a good traffic booster more than the other games..100% quote me” and about the creator of the game she said “He works really hard  and is a nice friendly person too  which helps  with  games”

Watching the calls for 15min events I can see the other owners of the parcels feel the same way and have fun doing it. It is a great way to make lindens for all the participants “ Angus makes a low profit but I think he created it because it he has a lot of fun watching and engaging with the players and the owners . I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a way to get more traffic and also to avatars who are looking for a way to make lindens. Go try it! 

Check out the website to see the rules and places that have crystal hunting  and more information  , and then visit the headquarters. Good luck and have fun!! Run!!

*Update*  The web address for more information recently changed to : .

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Firestorm Sale

By Gemma Cleanslate

Well, this weekend I have a bit of time to do some roaming. Some for Halloween, and some for shopping. I went shopping for a purpose. Firestorm , my favorite viewer is raising money to continue the project. Jessica Lyon, project manager put out this plea.

“It’s been 3 years since our last fund raiser and I really hate asking for help again! Really really! But we do incur significant expenses with server hosting, licensing fees, in world costs etc. Our average yearly operating costs are around $7000. Among other things this includes our KDU license, monthly server hosting fees, region tier costs for our community gateway / new user retention efforts and various in world expenses like paying for performers at events we host for you guys. While we do generate some revenue from the annoying ads on our website, it isn’t quite enough to keep us going. So from time to time we will do a fund raiser like this one to help balance the books for the next year or 3.”

Three years is a long time without such an event so I went over to the sandbox to see what they have. Wow! Gachas may be gone, but the individual items were everywhere. If you need something inexpensive for your inventory go! Items ranged from clothing to furniture, decor for your home,  cars, trucks , camping items , beach decor, and on and on! The prices were great. I spent many lindens and grabbed a bunch of stuff I can use... sometime ... somewhere ...( I hope) .
I almost forgot !! You must take your purchase after you pay.

 I looked for my new Camper Bus  and it was not in my inventory.. then I remembered. I had to go into my account to look for the items I had paid for . Then I had to go back and find them. Thank goodness for the search area ! I was able to find all my items and go back to get them.

I saw a sign saying there will be more items coming .

 I recommend you get over there and get some booty!

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Visit to the Viridian Gallery

by Anita Kimono

One unique and memorable day, I happened to find myself at Viridian Gallery on Antara, where I was greeted by a huge life-like crab that looked like it was ready to snatch me in its claws. But instead, it greeted me with a bounce, and even a slight smile, as it steadily gazed into my eyes to welcome me.  

Viridian Gallery is located on Antara, at Antara (228/7/25). The gallery showcases photos captured by Eyeclectic. Each photo has a story of his own experience and interaction with nature. I was fascinated by the enlarged photos situated throughout the island, merging into the ocean waves. Photos of dandelions, and of sunflowers, and of insects, as ant perched on the tip of his finger.  Real photos used to create an immersive 3D environment that visitors can interact with.  

Surrounding the photos are fields of wildflowers with dragonflies and butterflies flying freely through the air. There is even one dragonfly that followed me everywhere. It is drawn to me.

There is also a dandelion that you can touch to rez a seed and 'go with the wind' to fly with it through the island. I felt like Mary Poppins. Eyeclectic likes to call it, “Eyemagination Therapy.” Don't forget to make a wish ~

The creator of Viridian Gallery is Jules McWinnie aka Julian Crooks, a program director of design at Harcum College, outside Philadelphia. She is working to bring virtual reality into the design education. Eyeclectic is Ohio-based photographer, John Stone. 

His exhibit in Second Life is called, “The Butterfly Eyeffect: Touch of Light at the Edge of the World.” In first life, Eyeclectic has exhibited in major cities.

His "Empathy from the Empire" exhibit was displayed for visitors in the main lobby of the Empire State Building in NYC. He presented Eyeclectic Photography as Therapy  concepts to an international audience of occupational therapist and magicians in Las Vegas at David Copperfield's 25th Anniversary Project Magic Conference. In Chicago, his photos were exhibited at the Omidyar Network Members Conference.

As Jules McWinnie has been quoted, "The focus of the Viridian gallery art space has been to provide a venue for art that focuses on green issues and themes. This show, the Butterfly Eyeffect, has evolved from an exhibit of photographs to something far larger. Fueled by Eye's boundless creativity he has brought a truly beautiful, immersive and spiritual experience to the gallery site - an experience that reflects his deep inner connection to the natural world. It really is astonishing what he's done with the space. I can take no credit. I just gave him free rein and the most remarkable things started to happen."

In another statement from Eyeclectic, “ ‘As everything is connected in the Timeless Science of our
relationship with Nature, what will the world will bee like when we see everything through eyes of
LOVE? More than just photos of insects, "The Butterfly Eyeffect" is a message of Human Evolution,
creating waves around the world, as "Imaginal Cells" cause a Caterpillar to become a Butterfly.’ “

Eyeclectic happily offers personal tours to groups and individuals. As he talked about how the photos came about, there is always the underlying theme of respect of nature that allows for inter-species communication. He tells of how often grasshoppers would land on his hand, or even his face. Or a tiny little ant would crawl up to his little finger. Maybe they sense his respect and feel no harm from this human. I find myself during the day watching where I walk so that I would not step on any insects. I became more aware of the birds, insects, any living being, and how they are more than we think...they can sense what kind of people we are. This exhibit had changed my view of how I approached nature.

Serendipity is another word that comes to my mind when I view the exhibit. Photos of a young woman with butterfly wings;  a shadow of a hand outstretched over a pond full of plants; a leaf “head”; the sun “crowning” a sunflower; the encounter with the man on the beach; or a sunflower in front of a roller coaster. All these photos are taken at the right moment. The moment is right if you are aware of it.

Eyeclectic plans to expand over the whole Antara region, and hopefully be sustainable for all to come and visit and have their visions of nature forever changed. If you have  environmentally conscious art and/or ideas to help make Antara an educational entertaining experience, please let Eyeclectic know.

So come and explore this beautiful exhibit. Meditate on the messages of each picture, while learning about phenology (cycles in nature), and symbiosis (interaction between different lifeforms). Ride an owl, be carried away by a dandelion seed,  or sit on the fastest slugs you've ever seen and race your friends to find the treasure chest offering gifts from the Infinite Peace Garden to share with the world.

As María Concepción Pomar Rosselló, a university professor in Spain says, “I'm going to do my best to share it with my students. I'm sure they will all be extremely interested in the philosophy and message of this work, to love all kinds of things, to trust the universe, life, God, and living in peace.”

For private tours, or if interested in any of the photos for personal or educational use, please contact Eyeclectic at Visit and follow @InfinitePeaceGarden on Instagram.

Anita Kimono 

Editor's Note: This is the last article of Anita Kimono/Kayly Iali, whose work with Second Life art has led to her getting a real-life job involving the arts. We at the Newser wish her the best of luck.

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Gacha Ban From Two Owners' Points of View

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Sept 1, the selling of items through gacha machines was no longer permitted in Second Life. It was about a month earlier that the upcoming ban was announced. It was probably one of Linden Lab's most controversial moves in it's history. It was certainly it's most controversial one since the move to Cloud servers. There were no shortage of comments about it. Most were from fans of gachas and their detractors. Not so many were those with the most to lose: those merchants and content creators whom were using gacha machines to sell their items.

The Newser reached out to some. We had some responses, the two with the most to say being Nams (Nama Gearz) of the Gacha Guild, and Keira Raindale (KeiraLans Resident).

Nams commented on Discord "I could say a few things since I've been making gachas for a few years now.

"I can easily say the ban won't affect me all that much. I've been gradually making less and less gachas over the past year or so, mostly because I believe they've run their course, and I've seen an increase in profits after focusing on regular release items. Since gachas have so much production time involved with them due to all the varied items you have to make for the set, it really just makes more sense to focus all that time and energy into a regular release. A regular release with fuller features and copy/mod permissions seems to beat out the gimmick of gachas in the long run and I can make regular release items for 2 events in the time I can make a gacha set. The only way now the ban will effect me is having to rebox all of my past gachas for resale, but that can be done over time so it's not a huge worry.

"Business aside, I will miss the fun of gachas. Playing them actually was fun for me and my friends, to throw a few Lindens into a machine just to see what you get or giving extras to friends. Going "Look what I got!" roaming around with friends at events will always be a special memory and I am sad that this aspect of gachas is going away."

The Gacha Guild team had earlier made a public statement on it's website, saying the event would change to "straightforward, regular sales."

Another seller who did business through gachas was Keira Raindale (KeiraLans Resident), who I heard about through Prokofy Neva. Contacting her, she thanked me for paying attention to the issues, and sent me some notecards.

As some of you already know, gacha will be banned from SL since September,1...

I am really trying to cope with this news and to figure out what to do next, but right now I feel very lost.

Most of my income came from gacha and I seriously doubt that I'll be able to cover my SL and RL expenses with regular releases only...

My C|M collections never get as much sales as gacha sets (even when they have 10+ items in). It's not about quality, time and effort. I can spend 60+ hours on a highly detailed project, and it will never bring as much money as a gacha set made in a week...

As you might notice, I don't make a lot of gachas these days.  Arcade covered my fullsim rent + other fees, and an extra set every other month helped me to maintain my modest middle class lifestyle here in Russia. 

In order to make this money without gachas I'd have to create 10-15 new releases a month - that's unrealistic, and I will be burnout in just a few weeks.

I do love gacha both as a creator and a shopper, I think 2/3 of the stuff I've ever bought were from gacha machines, and it really feels like one of the last things I actually enjoyed in SL is soon to be gone.

Maybe it's a sign for me to move on and finally do something else outside of SL.
I'm not closing Raindale just yet, and have no such plans in the next few months! But if it turns into a hobby without any real profit - I'll have no choice but to minimize my time here.

The most confusing part for me - is what to do with existing gacha sets.

There is no way I could possibly re-package hundreds of items into individual products, make new pictures, replace note-cards etc... it would be a huge waste of time and prim space (especially since I'll most likely have to move to a cheaper sim with less prims)

She had decided on the following:

I will make copy+ full-sets for gachas that are currently in main-store - after September,1

I will have to completely retire (remove from store) most of the older machines in the Outlet area.

I will try to hand-pick the best prizes from all the sets and re-package them into copy+ releases - it will take some time and there is no guarantee that a certain product will ever be for sale again individually.

I will still exchange all the prizes purchased earlier (or from re-sellers) to copy+ on request
*yes, re-selling gacha prizes is still going to be legal

While the gachas were still allowed, she put hers on 25L a purchase, 'let's enjoy our final days of "risky gambling' and 'lucrative business' (grin)."

Of how much she would charge in the future, she had this to say:

All of ex-gacha sets will be priced as my normal copy+ products at this time:

25-50L$ for a small deco piece
75-150L$ for a simple piece of furniture in 1 colour
250-350L$ for PG animated furniture with  colour change HUD/menu
350-450L$ for adult furniture with  colour change HUD/menu
250-499L$ for builds (sheds, gazebos, cabins and cottages)

I'm afraid I will have to raise prices eventually, to survive in a new market, but only for the future products.

I made some approximate calculations on a few gacha sets and it looks like copy+ fullpacks will be around 900-1500L$ without any discounts applied. The final price/discount amount will be different for every set depending on their value.

Most collections will be available only in "fullset" and "rare" versions (no individual common prizes separately)

Few collections will be repackaged and set for sale with all individual prizes available to purchase separately (right now Wonderbell, Riverbreak and Millcreek are on that list due to popular demand)

A few prizes will be individually set as a small copy+ collection/mini pack (Moonleaf boat-sofas, Applemore couches and poufs, Meadowbloom arbours and swings - the list will extend based on your requests)

A third notecard was presumably made later on, "I received an overwhelming amount of questions, opinions, suggestions and just sweet messages from many of you! I think I should share some of it with the folks who have the same thoughts/solutions/concerns, but decided not to contact me for some reasons (cheers to all the introverts out-there ♥)."

• First of all, there is a popular opinion that if we put our gacha items in regular vendors, we'll have the same profit (or more). Sadly this is not true! Most profit comes from gacha re-sellers. Regular customer spends a few hundreds L$, regular re-seller invests a few thousands in a good gacha set. As a result I get a lot of sales during event, re-sellers get even more profit on a longer distance and customers can choose to have fun and pay a little for a random item or pay more for specific product. In my opinion (as an avid gacha player, ex gacha re-seller and soon to be ex gacha creator) It was a good and fair system for everyone.

I simply don't feel comfortable to charge 2000L$ for a house and up to 5000L$ for a full set as re-sellers do. So without re-sellers my revenue will automatically shrink down to 50% or less, even if all the same people will buy all the new products directly from me.

• I'm glad that creators are trying to find some new and exciting ways of shopping to replace gacha! Normal shopping is boring :D Unfortunately new systems that were introduced so far didn't inspire me as a customer, therefor I'm not going to implement them as merchant (I'm talking about those conveyor style vendors)

• I will also pass on simply drugging all the products to multi-vendors, or put that hover-text script inside old gacha machines. I have standards :D
Last year I re-packaged every single product just so they all have updated LM and NC inside! I think, that things like correct note-cards, individual pictures, nice packaging and overall aesthetics are super important - call me silly for that XD

• I will try to put for sale as many individual products as possible considering prim limit and general demand. You can always ask me to put a certain item for sale - many people already did - I'm very flexible about those things!

• I very much like the idea of collectibles - as transferable products available for a limited time or in a limited amount of copies. You can re-sell, trade, gift them to a friend and so on. All the things we loved about gacha minus the fun of getting a random prize. I'll try to make first collection in September and we'll see how it goes. I will also exchange them to copy+ on demand (normally less than 5% of my gacha players requested an exchange, so I see no point in making copy+ vendor at the first place)
I hope you'll also like this idea of having more exclusive and limited products + it will help re-sellers to stay in the market after gachas are gone.

Though we need to find a balance between re-sellers quickly getting all the copies and sell them for insane prices - and customers getting so many copies, that collectibles are no longer so special and exclusive.

 I'm not sure how to make it fun, fair and exciting for everyone, let me know if you have any thoughts!

Keira did add on a personal note, "Quite a lot of people contacted me with their concerns about my financial well-being, advices and suggestions  - it's so very nice of you - but I can assure you there is nothing to worry about. ... Even though I had the most terrible RL summer with a few family members having serious health issues - I'm still a debt free home owner in a country where minimal wage is 185 US$/month and average salary is around 600 US$/month! There are plenty of ways for me to make money as a 3D artist (actually much more money than I make in SL) - I'll be fine :D In the worst case scenario I'll wipe out the dust from my useless degree in Liberal Arts and get a RL job.

"For the past few years I was privileged to make a living by designing things that I love on the platform that I like - now it's over and I have to find other sources of income in or out of SL. That's OK, I see it as a new beginning. You should have much more sympathy to gacha-creators and re-sellers from more expensive countries, with a mortgage, small children, no free health-care and so on. They are the ones who will struggle the most in this situation!

"Still I'm very grateful for all the support, kind words and wishes!"

Dropping by Keira's place again, a quick look showed plenty of items for sale, but there was a choice at some vendors of either the rare item only, or the full set for a larger price. For now, she's still in business.

These are just two stories out of many among the gacha merchants. If anyone else out there has a story, either another merchant or a friend/favorite customer of one, please feel free to share it.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, August 13, 2021

Montecito Bay's Roller Club

By Bixyl Shuftan

Montecito Bay has changed much over the years. Originally designed with a mid-20th Cenutry feel, since then most of the sim has come to resemble a futuristic city. But recently, one place from a bygone time opened up there: the Roller Club. On Wednesday August 4, Moff (MoffettMephit Resident) announced it's opening.

It's time to get your skate on! Tonight, 7pm SLT, the Roller Club is officially opened! Come by for music, fun and of course, skating! Rental skates are available if you don't have your own!

Dropping by, there was a small but active crowd. Moff, in a skunk avie wearing a "Frankie Says Relax" t-shirt, was playing the music as "Super Rockin Magic" DJ Moff. Others were listening to the music, with one ottergirl, Emmy, skating around. The skates were available on a counter to the right of the entrace (walking in), with three choices available: white, black, and tan. Next to that was a currently unoccupied DJ booth and three inactive tip jars - Moff was playing tunes on the house. There were a few posters on the wall, and a Pac-Man arcade game.

Over time, others dropped in. At one point, Moff announced, "By the way folks, I found the real-life model for this rink!" He then put up the weblink to the Dreamland Margate Roller Disco in Margate, Great Britain, "Clearly a place Moff must visit one day!" Twocoin commented, "Oh look at that-that. Even has the name of Moff's favorite skate song on wall!" "Yes it do!"

At one point, Moff joined Emmy in skating around. Moff was doing just fine. Emmy usually did well, but once in a while took a tumble. But the ottergirl didn't let the occasional stumble stop her. She got up, dusted herself off, and resumed.

Eventually came Nine o' clock, and the scheduled end of the event. But after the planned last tune, Moff wasn't quite ready to call it quits, "Would anyone complain if I played just, one more song?" He then grinned, "Cuz this last song is about Moff." He then started playing "Don't Cha" by The Pussycat Dolls, "... hot like Moff ... " Emmy responded with giggles. And finally the song ended, "That's all I got for tonight," Moff told the crowd, "So! Thank y'all for coming to this soft-open! I will fix the booths and - " Then Emmy placed a chocolate on his nose. Moff reacted by crossing his eyes, "....uh...uhhhhh uhhhhhhhhh ..." He then flipped it into his mouth, "Oh Emm Gee!" Emmy giggled again, "Hehehehe!"

"Anyhoo," the Dj finally announced, "thank y'all for coming out tonight. Great seeing ya. Magic Moff is gonna sneak on out for the evening. Y'all have a great night!"

The Roller Club would once again have an event on Wednesday August 11 at 7PM. Join the Montecito Bay group to keep notified of events.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, July 12, 2021

Mobile App for Second Life Approved by Apple

By Bixyl Shuftan

At the Web User Group Meeting moderated by Keira Linden on July 7, Keira had some details on several issues. But the most notable one was about Linden Lab's mobile app for Second Life. She announced that it had been approved by Apple for it's App Store. It wasn't currently in the store as the Lab wants to add a few things before it gets posted. It will just be the iOS version as Android still needs more work.

The app is just a chat app only with no 3D view, for now. For now, one can only directly IM others with it, though group chat should be available later. One can search names on the app, but it can't access notecards (or anything else in inventory). Keira Linden thought it would be particuarly useful for Second Life merchants to keep in touch with customers away from their computers.

Keira Linden brought it up around 10:45 in the video made of the event by Pantera Polnocy, "I can give you a little info on the mobile app. We do have a version that we submitted to the App Store and did get approved, which was great because we've been having issues with approval. That has all been solved. But it's not yet in the App Store. We have a few more features that we want to put into it before we actually post it up on the App Store. And for those of you who maybe don't know about the app, the mobile app ... we are working on an iOS only mobile app right now. Android is kinda on the heels of that, but we need to get the iOS one out first. We have a little more work to do before we can do Android. And it is only a chat app. It's just a companion app for Second Life where you can keep in touch and chat with people inworld without actually being logged in. So we are working furiously, trying to get the next set of features into it before we actually put it onto the App Store. And I think that is the bulk of what we've been working on for the last 30 days.

When asked it's concurrency, Keira answered, "For the app, we don't have very many people with it now. There's maybe 40 or 50 people who have it. So we don't really have concurrency numbers on it. We haven't done widespread testing on it yet. We didn't have any trouble when we all jumped on with it. But we'll be taking a look at it before we post it obviously. Basicaly what you do is your presence is logged into one of our mobile regions. So you're kind of inworld, kind of not. It's not on a region anyone else can get to. As long as there is space on those regions, which we make sure there is, there won't be any problem.

When asked if the Lab had "any plans for a full mobile viewer with 3D view, Keira's reply was, "For the mobile viewer with 3D view, that's going to be down the road, if we do get there. We have talked about that in the past. It's going to take a lot of work. I know we have some other full 3D viewers out there, mobile viewers out there, and everybody's really anxious to get one. and I would love to have one as well. But it is going to take quite a bit of work, and it is something that we have on our road map. But it is way down the line."

When asked "Is a contained environment the norm going forward past beta, Kiera had the answer, "Yes it is, the contained environment is what we're going to be looking at, going forward."

When Keira was asked, "Why can't I use the app at my SL home," her answere was, "So we don't want you out in public because griefers like to do weird things to people. That would have introduced more complexity in trying to decide 'Are you on desktop or are you on mobile?' when you're on, whereever your home region is. So we just have a set of mobile-only regions that, as I was saying, unless you are on the mobile app, you won't be able to get to them. It was just a little easier to do it that way. Obviously, if we go 3D, that's going to change. But for now, that's what we're sticking with.

When asked about "localized chat on the app, ie inworld chat outside of IM," Keira's answer was "No, there's not. It's only IM at this point and time. We're going to be introducing group chat. But there's not going to be any local chat within those regions. Group chat I think is a couple of releases down, we're actually going through the road map and deciding which features are going to go where. Group chat is going to be a priority. Right now, it's just individual. it's just direct IM. We'll have group chat, and then we can take a look at adding, creating a chat room, grabbing two or three friends and putting them into a room."

Keira was asked if the others in the IM region could be seen, and she answered, "You do not see the list of people in the region. Nope."  

Then the question was, "How can anyone find each other on this, without already knowing a contact?" Keira responded, "So, the idea behind just having the chat app was, our main precident was for merchants to be able to keep in touch with their customers. So if you have a customer IM you, and you're not online, you have the option for it to it your app as opposed to going to email. So you can then jump in and direct chat with that customer through the mobile app instead of having to log inworld to talk to them. So you'll have your friends list, you'll have (your) group list. It's not meant to be able to find new people to chat. It's meant for you to be able to chat with people you already know. And you'll actually be able to search. So if you know somebody's name, if you know the name of someone you want to go find, you will be able to search it, search for their name, and find them that way."

"I get it," the Linden was told, "but it seems casual chat with new people would seem interesting." Keira responded, "That might be something we can impliment down the road."

When asked if people could see notecards in the app, Keria answered no, "Right now, you're not going to be able to see a notecard in the mobile app, because you don't see your inventory right now. Inventory is a whole other bucket of worms that we are going to need to tackle at some point. It would be cool, yeah, to be able to pull notecards up, yeah."

Discussion on the app concluded at about 19:00 in Panthera's video. There were other subjects covered, such as new Welcome Islands for new residents. But for most, it's the mobile app, which has long been in development, that will be of the most interest.

To view the video, (Click Here)

Hat tip: Daniel Voyager, Inara Pey

Bixyl Shuftan