This year in Second Life is fun. But the scale of what i want to do has slowly dawned on me.
The big buzz that came with the new Humble SL CEO was games. Immediately those who knew Humbles past started to connect him with a possible new direction for Second Life into gaming. Not long after the gaming tools, now renamed ‘Experience’ tools were announced as a way to make common game actions much easier than they currently are to implement.
When it comes to Second Life and games there really hasn’t been anything that looks professional, simply because SL is limited. Looking back over the years the funnest games i can think of have been the Zombie shooting games and Gelatinous cube fights. These are your standard SL puppeteer moving objects that scan for nearest avatar and moves towards them…… and thats it. Occasionally you might have wanted to turn damage on your parcel, but you ended up loosing all your friends that way as they died and were teleported home miles of regions away :-p.
In the coming months (i hope) we will get tools to allow more diversity in how we kill each other and how monsters can attack and wonder plus evade. Just recently i created a new game where you have to find Egg stealing Goblins and get the eggs back to put on your Easter Hat. It took me a week to create and uses the old style ‘sensor’ approach to enemies where you can’t die and can only attack.
The Village and Goblins were made from mesh as well as the updated mountain it is all placed on. I used a new Animation technique to get a smoother more organic movement from the Goblins. As soon as the new experience tools and pathfinding is released i will be updating this game as my test to see how big a difference to gameplay the new tools will bring.
But again this is just a small test game with a few Bugs (i still have issue setting object permissions). With Experience tools, Pathfinder, Mesh, New Physics and possibly stable Shadows and Lighting effects we should be able to create on this old platform game experiences to mimic or even rival that of big gaming studios. Why should this not be possible?
But thats when reality dawns….. i want to do this, i want to build a universe of my own design…. and i will….. but it’s going to take a bit of time. I’m not games studio hiring a group of creatives and programmers, i’m just one person with big dreams and a multitude of skills. It can take some games studios up to six years to develop a game that flops in the mass consumer games market.
I’m hoping what i’d like to do in Second Life won’t take that long but I’m not going to pretend that good semi-professional games in Second Life are possible without the processes used in games studios. What i mean is planning, concept design, story driven, time consuming content creation, beta testing, behaviour research.
It is probable that in the not to distant future games developers will not look at SL and see the possibilities. It’ll be up to those of us who love SL and have the skills to do so to step up to the challenge of creating games experiences that push SL’s tools to the limit. There ARE rewards, people ARE willing to pay micro payments to enjoy a good experience. But these good experiences will need a fare bit of time to develop, time which most of us don’t have time to invest in SL.
I’m of a different stock though, i have time, and i have stories to tell and i love what i do, I’m an SL do’er. XD