Blurb on IGF 2007 lecture by Three Rings' Daniel James. The post includes embedded video and a link to download. Originally described as "a key hands-on lecture for all those considering making an indie online game."
Self-centered UK researchers unleash grieferbot on unsuspecting Second Life users: "It looks a bit drunk actually, but it is a great way to get data." Clearly the data is more important than the human subjects here. It's only a game, right?
I've been done with Twitter for about 4 months now. It just didn't gel for me. But for some reason, Facebook status updates were easier to make. Thanks to an update to the Twitter application for Facebook, it's possible to update one's Facebook status through Twitter, killing two birds with one stone--perhaps enough reason to twitter again.
The downside is that Twitter seems to think it's important for people on Facebook to know you've posted from Twitter, adding "is twittering" to your status update. Example:
Stowe Boyd is twittering: Lying in bed this morning, before really awake, I had several good ideas almost at the same time. Odd. Good.
What we have here is information overload in a Facebook status update, and a source of potential confusion for Facebook users who aren't familiar with Twitter: Why is Stowe twittering? What's twittering? Why do we need to know he's twittering instead of doing something else? Bad.
Horror story with chatlog explains how Turbine is screwing players of Lord of the Rings Online: "You either keep your [credit card] information in our system or the game that you PAID for will no longer work, ever."
Prokofy Neva crunches various CSI:NY / Second Life crossover numbers. Prokofy isn't buying that this was a success. Interesting tidbit: "An RP group that says they've been playing CSI in SL on their own for a year have 175 members."
"...how video and computer games can help teach kids to build successful futures--but only if we think in new ways about education itself... [the book] revolutionizes the ongoing debate about the pros and cons of digital learning."
Much like Linden Lab has moved to distinguish between Second Life (the experience) and Second Life Grid (the technology platform), Kaneva (the company) seems to be moving towards separating Kaneva (the virtual world experience) from Kaneva the technology platform. Confused? If it's any consolation, I feel like I just drank a pint of whiskey upside-down.
Linden Labannounced yesterday that a new, Google Search Appliance-facilitated search system for Second Life should be available both to Second Life users and outside web surfers "in the next few months." The new system, which funnels data from the virtual world into ordinary web pages, replaces a legacy system so past its prime that a number of third-party developers have invented their own public search tools, such as the Electric Sheep Company this year, or Wet Ikon in 2005.
Land parcels, resident profiles, groups, scheduled events, individual objects, and articles in the Second Life Wiki will be indexed by Linden Lab's new search engine. "Mature" content will be flagged as such in search results, and objects on public land which are marked for sale will be indexed by default. Second Life residents will be able to manually exempt objects from search, addressing privacy concerns raised by The Electric Sheep Company's search tool earlier this year.
Because official search results will be published to public web pages, Linden Lab expects in-world content to be indexed by web-exclusive search engines such as Yahoo! and Google. Presumably search results across all engines will include direct links (known as "SLURLs") to in-world content, and RSS feeds so interested parties can receive alerts when Linden Lab's search engine finds something they're looking for.
Free to play MMO Dungeon Runners will soon be sodden with in-game ads. The only reason this could work is that DR is a "comedy" rather than "serious" virtual world, therefore a Coke ad in the town square isn't entirely objectionable.
Excellent case for iterative, rapid prototyping. "Give yourself a short period of time to 'find the fun' in a design... If the fun isn't there, move on... If you do fail, it isn't the end of the world."
A pat on the head goes a long way to increase sales, according to a new study: "...in general, game titles that have a higher volume of Accomplishments correlate with both a higher Metacritic Metascore and higher gross sales in the United States."
A plastic guitar or drum set might be an obvious choice for a music-game controller, but not everyone's ready to shell out for one-shot items ultimately destined for landfill. A smarter play might be to design music games for standard controllers instead--the challenge for users here is to squeeze great music out of an unfamiliar instrument.
My brother Joel has started doing some practical R&D towards the goal of "allowing anyone to pick up a game controller and make awesome music with it." A newcomer to game development but an experienced musician and audio engineer, Joel's got a great sense play, a brain for making things work, and a passion for sound. He's posted his first YouTube video. In it, he's using a PS2 controller as a MIDI device (musical instrument), triggering sounds and breakbeats through a combination of audio programs. Wild stuff. Can't wait to follow Joel's adventures in game development, but of course I'm biased :)
Based on a limited range of screenshots and online discussion about the upcoming viewer, it appears that the Electric Sheep Company has gone a long way in addressing one of the chief problems facing new users: The interface. Historically, Second Life's viewer has been difficult to use, suffering from the classic "designed by engineers" syndrome plaguing many graphical user-interfaces and software applications.
German software developer impara has released an amazing little application for easily creating organic 3D objects for use with Second Life. PloppSL allows users to paint something on-screen, "inflate" it, tweak it a bit, then export it to the virtual world as a "sculptie." The Plopp interface is gorgeous in its simplicity, and appears to be completely idiot-proof, in contrast to Second Life's clunky built-in building blocks.
Certainly PloppSL is a very limited tool, but it's free, and for people like me who haven't added proper 3D modeling to their skill-set, it's got plenty of potential for rapidly creating interesting organic shapes. I have no use for its primitive painting system, but you can bet I'll be tinkering with Photoshop and replacing PloppSL's simplistic exported textures with more sophisticated ones.