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3D Game Comparison
Second Life
Email Eep²
Introduction Introduction

Second Life (SL) is an immersive, three-dimensional (3D), on-line, interactive, multi-user, real-time, building/chatting, virtual reality (VR) environment. Overhyped buzzwords aside, SL is basically a 3D multi-user level editor.

Compared to Active Worlds (AW), SL is, generally, light years ahead. However, AW supports DirectX, OpenGL, and software rendering; SL only supports OpenGL. AW has better lighting (before SL 1.9.1 for the most part but AW still can do spot lights while SL can only do point lights). AW 4.1 has particle effects with more options than SL. AW allows external models while SL is limited to propietary primitive building (no vertex-polygon modelling). Any AW citizen can run a world (SL "simulator") which can be much larger than an SL sim at a fraction of the cost! Also, AW isn't run by a dictatoral, oppressive company as Linden Lab is who develops SL (though AW has had its share of stupid pet developer antics as documented on my AW history).

See how SL compares to other 3D games. See Links for another person's comparison.

News/Updates News/Updates


10/2: Fixed copyright registration link in 8/1/6 history entry yet again (what's so hard about the US copyright website putting a redirect?? Idiot web"masters"...).


8/11: Fixed copyright registration link in 8/1/6 history entry. Also, seems LL now has an F rating from the BBB--why am I not surprised? I'm just wondering why no one has brought a class-action lawsuit against LL yet still...


7/12: Put Links at bottom and reworded AW-SL comparison in intro.

6/28: Added Improvements > General > abuse/griefing > "suspension/banning" and put "PvP abuse report log..." under it. Added more info to Tips/Tricks notes.

6/25: Improvements > UI - particles - transparency/scale times.

6/24: Improvements > UI - various editor updates.

6/23: Improvements > UI - expanded Script Editor, added media controls and "multiple tabs" (to IM), tweaked Particle Editor. Updated fog for SL 1.10.

6/22: Improvements > Particle Editor redesign, Script Editor redesign (in-progress).

6/21: Improvements > Camera - expanded/renamed "vertical rotation while sitting on prim" to "sitting" and added "limb distortion" and "mouse control customization"; Tips/Tricks - "particle count increase"; Avatar - expanded "attachments" a bit and added "appearance"; Inventory - "gestures"; Script Editor - "'Script Search' window". Tweaked section/menu font formatting. Added SL Support/General Wiki to links.

6/20: Improvements > UI - Particle Editor, "text-entry field character counter"; Object Editor - added "Texture" and "Object" tabs and explained various things.

6/19: Improvements > UI > Object Editor - added "Features" tab, redid javascript table to separate top (edit mode) pane from tab pane, and added some details to "General" text.

6/14: Improvements > Building - added scaling to edit particles.

6/11: Improvements - restructured UI (and added inventory), IM - added some pix showing the current IM window (redesigns coming soon), added LOD, and spaced out more. More layout changes: moved links under news/updates, intro to very top, and another menu at the bottom.

6/10: Improvements > IM - updated "remove redundant toolbar".

6/9: History - added 3/5/6 quote and bolded dates.

6/8: Changed layout a bit.

6/6: OK, just tried the profile and object editor javascript effects in Internet Explorer and they're screwed; just get Firefox and be done with IE forever already! I no longer code for IE.

6/4: Inventory - added some original tab images to profile.

6/3: Inventory - renamed "fluff" to "animation", added image to object editor.

6/2: Added SL History Wiki to links (and fixed its anchor).

6/1: Added "increase flexible prim framerate" to tips/tricks.

5/13: Added "1st Life" to profile.

5/11: Added profile (in-progress) to UI.

5/3: Added patch benefits to bandwidth and "axis transform handles" redirect to building.

4/25: Tweaked news/updates spacing.

4/24: Improvements - Added better color example to map; "starting" fixed.

4/23: Improvements - Added "uploads" to bandwidth.

4/20: Improvements - Added Torley Linden's "starting" comment, camera reset (start/stop flying), fog, and today's Steve Linden light comment; minor alphabetical sorting correction.

4/18: Improvements - Added Yadweb Linden's UI comment.

4/12: Added counter (finally).

4/10: Added apparent SL core 3D engine developer, RealityPrime, to links.

4/7: Improvements - Added "integrated modeller" to building.

4/6: Improvements - Added Ageia to physics, "open-source" to "general", 3D Engine, "unsitting" to avatar, and various Linden comments about various things. Moved "client-side vs. server-side" to scripting and "lighting" to 3D Engine.

4/5: Fixed settings.ini parameters (should be "SelectionHighlight..." not "HighlightSelection..."). Improvements - Added more info to lighting.

4/4: Improvements - Added simulator, more info to lighting, and "flexible prims" to physics. Colored some Linden text (like in the forums) to make it easier to distinguish from normal text (italics just weren't working for me).

4/3: Improvements - Added avatar.

4/2: Improvements - Various things I don't particularly feel like mentioning specifically. I need a wiki or something... 3/30: Improvements - Updated camera FOV and added/edited other various things.

3/28: Improvements - Reworded IM's new message indicators and added a version for chat.

3/24-26: Improvements - added even yet still more ideas--when will it ever end?! Why, until they're implemented, of course. :)

3/23: Improvements - added even still more ideas, section links, and an icon.

3/22: Added still more ideas to Improvements; and split up, and added more, to Tips/Tricks; and added section links.

3/21: Added more ideas to, and renamed from "Feature Proposals, Improvements. Looks like I'm going to have to create another page just for them, eventually, like I did with Active Worlds' improvements.

3/19: Added Ideas subsection (and some ideas) to Feature Proposals.

3/14: Added Feature Proposals section.

3/10: Added Tips/Tricks section.

3/7: Added 3D Engine Database and another Gamasutra link. Tweaked news/updates section.


3/17: Reverse-sorted history.

2/26: Tweaked layout.

2/20: Added SL 3D game comparison link (still not officially added to 3D Game Comparison).

2/18: Created webpage.

History History


11/22: Well, well, well, it seems my wondering has become a reality and someone has finally filed a decent lawsuit against Linden Lab that may actually yield some results. Unfortunately, there is no option (yet) to get one's items back without having to sell them on the Marketplace (which will be a problem with full-permission items since then anyone can do anything they want with them instead of only the creator). I would prefer to have a third option of having everything transferred to an alternate account or, better yet, simply reinstate the original account which would allow full access to one's items, L$, and land. If you agree, please email info@secondlifesettlement.com and suggest these options.


8/10: I finally received a reply to my BBB complaint. Ginsu Yoon, Gen. Counsel (lawyer) for SL replied, saying my "account has been cancelled for numerous violations of the terms of service". However, no details as to WHICH supposed violations and no response to getting my content.

8/4: I called the US Copyright office and they said a tangible copy of my work is required--which could be a screenshot printed out. However, again, if I can't access my content, I can't get a screenshot of it. They told me to "work it out" with the company (LL). Shyea right...through a lawsuit, most likely!

8/3: Finally, I got ahold of someone at LL via voice. He (Mark? I don't remember the name) said I would be getting something in the (snail) mail about my suspension and that my account was under review for a permanent ban from SL (but that I should be back in SL--but that could've just been a canned response to make me feel better). However, no resolution to no responses from the abuse manager (which this Linden alluded to was male and that it was the abuse manager's discretion whether or not to reply to appeal emails). The whole appeal process is a joke and this Linden said that LL feels pretty confidant they can close accounts when they want. Sorry, but they can't--not when LL claims its users OWN its content and then denies access to that content. That is a lawsuit waiting to happen--and I'm going to make it happen--even if I get access to my account back. Why couldn't LL just email me saying I was going to receive something in the mail about my possible permanent ban--especially since my supposed 2-week suspension was over last Tuesday? Sheesh.

8/1: A suggestion from Marc Bragg to register a copyright (old dead link) of my SL content introduces more problems with submitting a copy or visual representation of my content if I can't even access it. :/

7/29: I filed a Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaint against LL. I urge anyone else who feels they were treated unfairly by LL to do the same. The more complaints against LL, the more likely the BBB will take action and a lawsuit can be built up against LL. So far, 2 other complaints have been filed against LL, according to its BBB Reliability Report.

7/28: I called LL yesterday but, of course, didn't actually get a live person so had to leave a message--at around 12:45PM (during normal business hours but they could've been on lunch). But, still, pretty sorry customer support that isn't available during the lunch hour. Another alt is locked out of the forums (and SL) that I never even posted a message with (as was my Eep Twin account which also had content and I will also be suing LL for) and was just monitoring some threads.

So I create yet another alt, log into SL (via a handy dandy MAC address randomizer to get past the silly computer hardware ID block), and ask Adam Linden for assistance (since I talked with him before when I was wrongly suspended from some in-SL abuse--and he removed my suspension) but didn't tell him who I was and was vague in what my situation is: just that LL has failed to reply to my email/voicemail and what else to do. He replied with the usual LL spiel to contact support (he failed to read what I initially wrote carefully enough, of course) then said he was sorry but he had to log me off--and with that I was ejected from SL and that alt account was suspended for an hour. What the hell, LL? Appeals are useless--in ANY form. It looks like a lawsuit is going to be the only way to deal with them.

Oh and it seems I'm not the only one getting unjustly suspended. Cristiano Midnight was suspended for 3 days just for bringing public attention to an exploit bug.

7/27: Welp, that's 2 weeks yet I still can't log into SL. I tried from another computer (since mine is banned) and got a message saying my account was inactive (or something) and to go to the SL website to activate my account (or something) which I can't do since my account's status is "on hold". Finally got a reply from Marc Bragg (see 7/15) and have emailed 3 other lawyers for a case evaluation.

7/24: From SL's IP Rights page:

    Linden Lab's Terms of Service agreement recognizes Residents' right to retain full intellectual property protection for the digital content they create in Second Life, including avatar characters, clothing, scripts, textures, objects and designs. This right is enforceable and applicable both in-world and offline, both for non-profit and commercial ventures. You create it, you own it – and it's yours to do with as you please.
Yet the TOS contradicts this statement in section 3: LICENSE AND TERMS AND OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TERMS, section:
    3.3 Linden Lab retains ownership of the account and related data, regardless of intellectual property rights you may have in content you create or otherwise own.

    You agree that even though you may retain certain copyright or other intellectual property rights with respect to Content you create while using the Service, you do not own the account you use to access the Service, nor do you own any data Linden Lab stores on Linden Lab servers (including without limitation any data representing or embodying any or all of your Content).

How can one have IP rights to own one's content if Linden Lab owns the "related data, regardless of intellectual property rights you may have in content you create or otherwise own"? Data is the content! That, I believe, is contestable in court.

7/20: Well, since the original Renaming the "History Wiki" thread has been removed due to resmod/Linden hacking to remove my and related posts (except resmods', of courses), I found it here now and there are posts by Strife and Elle that quote and refer to my posts but all of my posts (plus alts) are still gone, being the nazi-like Big Brother dictator LL is, of course. Since there is now no longer any evidence of what I did, LL doesn't have a case for why I've been suspended/banned. Oppression and censorship doesn't keep a company in business very long...

7/18: STILL no response from LL (aside from Beast Linden replying to a bug report I sent weeks ago--obviously LL's left hand doesn't know what it's right hand is doing). If you would like to join the growing lawsuit against LL for various issues: land dispute, witholding inventory contents a user creates and has a right to, and other unjustified bannings, suspensions, etc, email me. LL isn't god–-even of their own domain–-and are subject to laws in the society of which they are apart of: San Francisco, California, USA. They WILL be held accountable for their actions and cannot get away with these things.

7/15: No response from LL yet but I am attempting to seek counsel with Marc Bragg, a lawyer who has a lawsuit against LL over land. Perhaps the more people who combine into a single force against LL will curb its ridiculous dictatoral behavior towards its users. Other forum threads of interest: Linden owns us, can't access SL at all?, and appeals are useless, all posted by me, Eep Quirk, on alternate accounts. Instead of listening to reason, LL would rather ban all alts it finds (or wipe the evidence against them as Elle Pollack did as described below).

7/13: Linden Lab's rules are fucking ridiculous. Why the forums are explicitly linked to one's Second Life account I just don't understand (or accept). Obviously, discussion forums can and do become MUCH more heated than in SL. I can no longer even login to SL from my machine; it appears I've been banned from SL permanently but LL hasn't communicated anything to me about it other than the initial "disciplinary action" email 2-week suspension and permanent forum banning (at least on my main account, initially--alternate accounts have since been banned too as I've been trying to reply and defend myself. Elle Pollack (an apparent resident moderator), has removed all related posts from the aformentioned thread so it's like there's not even any history of this gross violation of my civil liberties--not even in a search. The only proof I now have is a reference to the thread in THIS thread and a total post count for my alternate account, Eep Orr in the forum profile.

Un-fucking-believable. LL is simply too dictatoral and tyrannical. I will be pursuing legal action against them if I cannot retrieve my content I have spent the last 1.5+ years creating and which *I* own the rights to explicitly. LL is not god--not even of their own domain. They still have to follow the rules and laws of the greater society of which they are a part of: the United States of America. I will fight this oppression as far and as long as it takes before I get justice. I don't believe I've done anything wrong and, hence, should not be treated like this by some power hungry Lindens and other residents who have a vendetta against me or whatever. This will NOT end well for LL, let me tell you this now. I live fairly close to LL and will go there physically if I have to.

7/12: I believe I'm just about done with Second Life. I've finally been banned from the forums (and suspended from SL for 2 weeks) for my replies in this thread simply because I decided to chat to Oz Spade about the direction of the SL History Wiki (which I've been banned from as well). Then Strife Onizuka (Blind Wanderer on the LSL Wiki, who was the main person who got me banned from there), being a forum moderator, had to, of course, chime in with his little preaching about even LINKING to a closed thread (which is supposedly a no-no despite the guidelines not explicitly mentioning that). Such fragile egos Oz Spade, Strife Onizuka, and Linden Lab (most likely Torley Linden since my latest suspensions have come right after he posted about the dictatorial forum guidelines nonsense) have--ridiculous. LL doesn't have a problem with people swearing up a storm but as soon as you try to engage someone in some "controversial" topic--OH NO! SUSPEND/BAN THEIR ASS SO THEY CAN'T CAUSE "TROUBLE". Stupid. LL has a LOT of growing up to do as a company if it thinks it will survive acting like this! All of this grief just isn't worth using SL any longer. Good luck surviving, SL.

6/22: Jesus fucking Christ--another 48-hour SL History Wiki suspension--for what?!?! God damn...

6/18: And still yet another suspension (7 days)--most likely from Torley Linden in this thread. Gee, I hope the other idiots got suspended too, but probably not. Getting sick of this Linden Lab dictatorship... Good thing I have my free alt. Wee...<eyeroll>

6/13: Seems the wiktators can't even count right; my ban was lifted after 60 hours, not 48. Idiots...

6/10: Welp, as I suspected, I've now been suspended by Eggy from the SL Histoy Wiki for 2 days. (He even suggested I'm autistic.) Ridiculous. At least my SL suspension is over though. <eyeroll>

6/9: You know, I'm getting REALLY sick of wiktators (wiki dictators). You know the kind: an egotistical wiki admin who feels the need to revert a person's edit because he doesn't agree with it, won't listen to logic, and just generally acts like an asshole. This is what's happening to my edits at the SL History Wiki lately and I tire of it. Oz Spade and Eggy Lippmann, 2 of the wiki's admins, want to expand the wiki's scope but obviously not to the extent of being THE SL Wiki (despite having expressed interest in doing so before I started adding so much CONTENT to the wiki). These guys don't know what the hell they want and should NOT be in charge of the wiki! It's bad enough their organization, spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills suck...

6/8: Yet another suspension--this time for "only" 3 days due to some supposed forum "spamming, trolling, flaming". I'm pretty sure it resulted from this thread after Torley replied to my reply about LL getting its act together in terms of bloatware SL updates wasting bandwidth. I was replying and went to preview it when I found out I no longer had "permission to access this page". Here's my reply:

    If there's a better way, by all means go for it, Torley, as I'm all out of patience. I've been bitching, moaning and, oh yes, complaining about SL's wasted bandwidth ever since I came to SL 1.5 years ago--AND IT HAS YET TO BE CHANGED. If you feel my reply violates the TOS/CS, I'm sorry you feel that way but I'm simply speaking my mind. If LL can't take criticism it shouldn't have an open forum and should instead be a dictatorship (good luck surviving then).
No reply from Torley in IMs so I filed an abuse report against him/her/it. Ridiculous. I've been suspended 3 times before for supposed "indecency" in PG sims but, since I wasn't naked, the only reason I can think of is my excessive swearing at griefers for, well, being griefers. Apparently, LL doesn't want residents to defend themselves against griefing but to just take it and tattletale on the griefer(s) like little babies. So now I just report them immediately after the first time and (usually) refrain from pushing them away (but not before some PG verbal abuse first). This dictatorial mentality has affected me a lot in the past day or so on: Wikipedia (certain pages deleted, formatting edits reverted due to some presupposd notion of what's correct), IRC (banned from #secondlfe in EFnet for who-knows-what by Belaya--however it's spelled), and Wiktionary ("wiktator" deleted and my account banned for adding the term back when I had no idea what happened to it since its history was also wiped). I'm getting REALLY sick of all the dictators around me lately! Perhaps I'm just rebelling against authority, or something, but I'm seriously getting annoyed by overzealous individuals who think they're holier than thou. They need to be put in their place.

5/15: Why I don't like preview testing:

  • coming back to the main grid only to find some objects missing
  • ~20MB updates every few days
  • having my stuff deleted in Morris for no reason given
  • database corruption which loses everything I've created and have been testing in the preview grid for the past month
I doubt I'll be testing preview versions in the future until these things are fixed.

3/10: Well, I'm sort of out of smurf mode...again--it comes and goes. Gus Plisskin was kind enough to let me keep a little smurf village in Montmartre for about a month but it will be gone in a few days as he begins Montmartre's redesign. Thanks, Gus!

3/5: ImFreakinBad Raymond: "this is a headache waiting to happen" (regarding my "tri-inverse rotating planar cut sphere axis" sculpture). :P

1/18: more smurf pix (smurf village1*)

1/16: Smurfs: house (added skylight, attic, "camoflauged" the portal--added hinge brackets--and skylight door outsides so they look like the mushroom texture, shortened hoist and tweaked its pivot point, made balcony opening look better), farm (field strips, fences, tools, etc), grass strips (small and large), forest tree (stump merged with it, another branch, vines hanging down, vine up trunk, hollowing), mushroom variation, bookcases, tall stool, closed book, cart (acorns), round table, village model, ax, water can, log, fixed nail sparkle, Painter Smurf av

1/8: Smurfs: lawnmower, fence, Poet's harp, the forest tree is branching out (literally), house hoist "tied down" and given a pivot so it swings, grass clump, Handy's tools (saw, more mallet variations), open book (added to tweaked podium), big tree stump (+ hollow), various furniture (stools, chairs, a couch), daisy flower

1/3: Smurfs: shovel, crutch, bandaged foot (lost in stupid SL crashes), millstone (in-progress), smurfberry juice, podium, dresser/nightstand, hoist for house, new bucket


12/28: Another smurf village and a smurf house closeup (which now has 3 windows, roof portal, a barrel, and a bed). Created cart and windmill and added a mushroom, 2nd branch, and some tall grass blades to the smurf forest tree.

12/18: I'm back into Smurf mode: working on a windmill and storehouse.

11/4: Yep, still working on particles and sculpture--tho more sculpture than particles lately. Besides the "standard" rotating stuff I tend to make, I'm also getting into animated primitive parameters, which makes for some cool dynamic stuff at the expense of causing server lag--too bad there's no client-side llSetPrimitiveParams function cuz the .2-second delay between calls really sucks!

8/18: Particles and sculpture, particles and sculpture, particles and sculpture--it seems that's all I ever work on anymore...oh and a warp core (ala Star Trek: The Next Generation), a pendant necklace, and a sapphire ring.

5/24: These past few weeks I haven't been focused on anything in particular though I guess LEGO stuff is the largest chunk of things I've made: mini-figures (generic, space) and some of their parts (baseball cap, hair--in progress, a wrench, walkie-talkie--in progress), some basic blocks (but still need to set the scale), and a 10m² baseplate. Other stuff include more UFO tweaks, an SL hand logo, and a monolith that resets its position/rotation (like the Linden domino). Today I tweaked the Smurf hat to look less like an Indian boy's turban and created a Clumsy Smurf head (oversized hat that covers his eyes partially).

5/4: Created appliances: washer (washing machine) and stove (both with opening/closing doors); counter, 64oz carton, and jointed hanging frying pan. Tweaked Pandora's swing so it would, er, swing. ;)

5/3: These past couple weeks I've mostly been tweaking Pandora Jensen's fishtank: aerated (bubbles) treasure chest with opening/closing lid, opening/closing clam shell, an aerated deepsea diver's helmet (with twitching hose), water filtration system (with aerated tube), a snail that moves back and forth, fish (so far 2 blue Tetras and a clownfish) that move mostly realistically (though still need tweaking), opening/closing tank lid, particle fish food flakes, etc. I've also been working on a house floorplan for Kitty.

3/17: These past couple weeks I've been working on a Stargate mostly, though I had started it a couple months ago after the creator of another Stargate didn't like my suggestion about how to improve his. More Smurf stuff: added a "deep" bottom, bucket, and torch to the Smurf well; created first sit-target on a Smurf log chair. Added random movement/particles to UFO (initially created a month or so ago). The chicken also now lays eggs with chicks that move/hop around randomly and sqeak.

3/3: Tweaked smurfberry bush to regenerate (grow) smurfberries once picked--still needs work. Created FedEx large box, tracker (in-progress), envelope, tube, medium box, and small box.

3/2: Added random parameters for sparkle (and other) particle's color, interval, size, etc. Textured diamond ring - double infinity.

2/24: Added script to stoplight (which I made a week or so ago) to make it keep the lights on for approximately correct amounts and want to add a sensor and multiple light states (blinking red light only, yellow light only).

2/21: Modified Cailyn Miller's chicken to lay eggs which turn into omeletes or hatch chicks when clicked. Created cave and crystals (which will be mineable--hit enough to break loose).

2/20: Created Grouchy, Miner, and Harmony smurfs; tweaked Smurfette's head. Modified dirt pile to emit dust when walked on based on my leaf pile's leaf poof effect when walked through.

2/?: Experimenting with simulating suction and repulsion/wind with buoyancy. Smurfs are born! A mushroom house, generic/normal smurf, Handy, Brainy, Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Greedy, Vanity, Grandpa, Hefty, and Lazy, so far! I plan to create an entire smurf village (ideally in its own smurf sim if I can find someone to back it)! :)

1/?: Learning particle effects and have created weather (rain, snow, hail, etc).


12/14/04: I joined SL and almost immediately began recreating some of my urban AW objects (the first being a pallet) and experimented with the physics engine.

Tips/Tricks Tips/Tricks

Note: Shut down SL before changing these or they will reset when SL exits. These changes will also be wiped each time SL is updated so make a backup of the changed affected files to copy over.

  • crosshair (smaller, hollow dot):

    UIImgCrosshairsUUID	1edfa815-30ba-e4c0-3d09-225efaec9e8e

  • flexible prim framerate increase:

    RenderFlexTimeFactor	3 (or more)

  • fog reduction:
    RenderFogRatio	40

  • particle count increase:
    RenderMaxPartCount	16384

  • selection highlight reduction: (forum post)

    SelectionHighlightThickness	.001
    SelectionHighlightAlpha		.5
  • invisible foot shadow: (source)

    foot_shadow.tga		44b45f4f-a5a9-6e2d-4956-60c37ad8b0e3
  • inventory folder arrow (smaller, 1/4-size):

    folder_arrow.tga	aa7529a4-178c-033f-d830-08130707b1d1
  • avatar map icons (smaller, 1/2-size):

    map_avatar_you_8.tga	cce9f781-b045-1c74-0d70-3035cf5ec17d
    map_avatar_8.tga	772b7f9a-96f7-8d05-0d98-a9d9e3f40a55
    map_avatar_16.tga	07818416-a17c-dad6-306d-8b073478631b

Improvements Improvements

Second Life has a lot of features Active Worlds doesn't but still lacks a few--and has many bugs/annoyances of its own that need improvement.


3D Engine

  • fog: SL's fog is annoying and can only be reduced to about half its distance because, stupidly, the "fog ratio" setting can only go to 4. It can be increased in settings.ini (see above) but any in-SL preference change will reset this back to 4, irritatingly (oddly, particle count is unaffected). The debug menu can disable fog completely but then the sky background color doesn't update with the day-night light cycle and clouds always remain fully white and bright (prelit/full-bright). SL needs an option to completely disable fog in preferences while still updating the sky background color and adjust cloud brightness relative to the world light source. Also, since SL 1.10, disabling fog no longer applies the sky background color and it's just white.

  • lighting: SL's lighting sucks (and since SL 1.7 it causes extreme lag on avatar attachments). The server lags in updating the light (and shadows) on the ground and, since SL 1.7, lighting barely even updates the ground anymore and other prims. Avatars don't reflect enough light to match the ground and prims. I don't see why other lighting types can't be implemented. Active Worlds' lights can fade, flicker, blink (on/off), and has different light types (cone, point, spot). Surely OpenGL (which AW also supports), and SL's 3D engine, is capable of these... The difference is: AW does everything client-side (see above for why lights should be client-side). SL's lighting model was redone in SL 1.9.1 but it still has problems: object-cast shadows no longer supported and vertex shaders aren't implemented completely.

  • LOD: SL's level of detail often causes SL to freeze more than if its LOD was just disabled (which there supposedly isn't a way to do). SL needs a way to completely disable LOD (in prefs, settings.ini, or the debug menu. Also, it would be nice to lock a prim/object's LOD.

  • sky (discuss): SL's sky, while nice, could use some improvement. The sun jumps across the sky every 10 seconds instead of smoothly panning (which could be interpolated client-side). The simulator's light source flickers every few seconds during sunrise/sunset. The twinkling stars are nice but SL could learn a lot from Morrowind/Oblivion's sky (and Gothic's with its occassional shooting stars).

  • Camera (View)


    Interface (Graphical User Interface: GUI)

    Building (Modelling)

    Scripting (LSL)



    Links Links

  • RealityPrime: SL's apparent original 3D engine core developer
  • Linden Scripting Language (LSL) Wiki
  • Second Life History Wiki
  • Second Life Support/General Wiki
  • Second Life Wiki: An attempt to merge the above wikis.
  • Gamasutra:
  • Enabling Player-Created Online Worlds with Grid Computing and Streaming: SL tech
  • Aviators, Moguls, Fashionistas and Barons: Economics and Ownership in Second Life
  • 3D Engine Database: Second Life
  • Virtual World Comparison: compares Active Worlds, Second Life, and There

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