It has been four months since the Dark Aether clue hunt game was set up and placed on destination guide. Since then i have updated and added the ‘Shadow of the 13‘ story and now finally release ‘The Black Heart‘ story updated to using the HUD system.
The HUD System
The HUD system basically stores all the objects, artefacts and machinima cut scenes in one place. As you explore the town you find objects and click them which in turn activates the HUD you are wearing to give you or show you the appropriate items.
While being a great way to tell stories, having video display in world has been a major headache. Shared media works differently on different viewers, different computers, different operating systems. So in future i’ll be experimenting with other ways to use HUDS to communicate story.
Visits wise, the now renamed ‘Babbage Chronicles‘ Games saw a quick drop off in visitors. Even though over 8000 visits have been counted, looking at the dark aether in game stats only about 400 of those took up the Dark Aether Quest and played the start. Only half of those got to the second part of the story but the stats showed that half continued and finished the game.
So a lot to be taken into consideration for my next gaming project called “The Founders”.
The Destination Guide
As you may remember the destination guide is the place where ‘its all at’ if you want visitors to play your game, and a wonderful thing the destination guide is too. Originally designed as a little place for newbs to browse places to explore when they first log in, it has grown to be something of a monster.
During the Dark Aether exposure on the main login screen i went from being overwhelmed by visitors to being lucky to have two or three a day. At first i blamed that on LL’s Categories. The Babbage Chronicles is listed in the Games category which is not listed on the Login Screen destination Guide. While Escapades Island is in the Adventures & Fantasy Category which is on the login screen and gets a steady flow of about 50 visitors a day. But the John King Experience which is also in the same Category as Escapades Island manages only two or three visits a day. Just goes to show how odd this game of destinations is where perhaps just the words “Looking for adventure? Look no further than Escapades Island” makes all the difference.
Linden lab recently announced that the 9th Second Life anniversary celebration would not be organised by them but rather us Users would create magical destinations that they would then place on… you guessed it.. the destination guide. Ad to this the descission to push Newbs through portals to random places on the destination guide, showing how it has become the standard place for ALL things that is happening in SL.
The destination guide is brilliant but it’s still waiting to be upgraded and integrated with the SL Feed as well or instead of the Facebook Social plugin.
I’ve said it before and i totally believe destination guide is one of the the most important weapons in SL’s arsenal. My hope is they will one day evolve the destination guide into a more intergrated social and perhaps gaming experience i.e. collect destinations to visit, collect favourite destinations you have visited, share destinations with one click to the SL feed.
As a growing developer of games and stuff in SL, i need more exposure and more ways for friends and fans to effortlessly share my destinations. Currently it feels like a flash of exposure then being tucked away in the bowls of the destination guide.
They could already be working on such a thing, who knows XD.