LL have started releasing more information on the Advanced Experience Tools developed during the creation of Linden Realms and its predecessor game demonstrated at SLCC-2011.
The blog post (yay! BLOG post!) provides an overview of the new tools and permissions, with the video providing further information. Bear in mind when reading and watching that this is only an initial announcement and that as such, further information will be forthcoming…
The video delves a little deeper into the creation of the tools themselves and which includes some interesting factoids and tidbits of information.
One of the tidbits demonstrates the popularity of the Linden Realms game, which has 5,000 unique visits per day, for a total of 249,000 unique visits since the game opened in (I presume) Beta. Had the game relied upon a “traditional” means of HUD attachment via people’s inventories, the game would be generating 4 million new inventory items per month!
The tools discussed by both blog post and video are:
Teleport agent: this is a new LSL function that enables an agent (avatar) to be teleported automatically to a given location / destination. Within Linden Realms, this is used when people are “killed” by the various threats to their safety; within the video, the LL spokesperson suggests a further interesting use for the capability: the teleport “gun”…
The function supports both local and remote teleports and also respects teleport and access permissions.
Temporary Attachment: this functions is a similar manner to llAtach, but avoids the creation of an item within a user’s inventory. This has two benefits, the most obvious being that people’s inventories don’t get cluttered with items each time they visit a region where the function is in active use and the second, as an extension of this, the asset database itself isn’t overloaded with millions of requests (again, Linden Realms would be generating an estimated 4 million items a month if using llAttach). Attachments for both avatar and screen (HUD) are supported.
The blog and video indicate that temporary attachment is not forced attachment, but a part of the overall Experience Permissions system.
Experience Permissions: this is a simplified version of the existing permissions system currently in use across the grid. Under the current system, permissions to control your avatar would need to be handled on a case-by-case basis. In something like the Linden Realms game, this means that rather than “dying” and being teleported on contact with a rock monster, the player would get a pop-up asking them if they wish to “die”.
Allowing these permissions to be granted requires action on the user’s part – such as walking through the Portals in the Linden Realms game, but they only need to be granted once, and can be applied across multiple regions (again, as with Linden Realms), allowing for large, continuous experiences to be built.
Permissions that can be granted (according to experience requirements) include:
- Attaching objects to an avatar / screen
- Control / track camera
- Trigger animations
The permissions system is specifically geared to prevent more dangerous permissions such as inventory access, debit a user’s account and change links.
The potential uses for these tools in terms of games and adventures are clear. However, there are wider applications for the tools, including:
- Providing a means for guided tours within sims – providing avatars with HUDs that suggest directions around the sim, allow items of interest to be identified, information relating to those items to be displayed, and so on
- Providing a means for store owners to enhance the in-world shopping experience - including how demo items can be provisioned to users using the temporary attach option
- The enhancement of more interactive experiences ranging across multiple regions.
Professional Creators Programme
In line with the new tools, LL will be launching a Professional Creators Program. Details on this are currently scant – the blog post simply states, “This program will provide members with helpful resources, such as tutorials and exclusive closed betas. More information will become available in the next few months”. However, Rodvik gave some pre-hints on this via Twitter a couple of months ago, and it seems likely the programme will, like mesh, require filing of some personal information with LL and perhaps taking some form or tutorial like the mesh status upload tutorial. From Rodvik’s comments, the requirements shouldn’t be that intrusive, but given the potential uses of the tools, are seen as precautionary against misuse.
For those wishing to be updated on news and information on the new tools, there is also an in-world Group - the Advanced Creator Tools Notification Group - which can be joined free-of-charge.
Appetites are bound to be whetted at this news (and there are already a fair few in the Advanced Creator Tools Notification Group already!) – and at the little teaser included in the blog post that LL have, “Produced a number of other tools and prototypes to support more rich content creation that we look forward to releasing”.