Second Life

Anyone here playing this? It’s an odd world but I enjoy the experimental, artistic edge (rather than the working f**machines, sex beds, strip clubs and casinos!)… there are some fantastically creative and intresting projects in-world and they are a real joy to come across.

I’m working on an in-game MMORPG (you can read a bit about it in my blog) and there are some other good projects and people there.

Pirate Cotton is my name in game, give me a buzz if you play.

Oh, No sig of course, so here’s my blog:


Can you give a few examples of some of the cooler things people are making?

That’s a great point.
Ok, first up is my projct.

DarkLife uses the SL world as an environment to run a MMORPG in. We have been rented a sim (a server which is a square of land about… I dunno, 10 acres??) by a player and are currently filling this with the content required.

The 15,000 lines of code for the game are largely written by a guy i know in Denmark and now we’re just finishing the building (which is extensive). The zone we are using will have a village, a castle, a mine/temple to Cthulhu (hehe), a swamp and a graveyard to adventure in. Some pictures can be found at my blog.

DarkLife will work a lot like Diablo in that it’s fairly simple but still a lot of fun. We know it’s a real winner with players too as our first pass at this system got a LOT of attention.

A beautiful sim I visited last night, matched by an equally beautiful web page at Functional, beautiful, slightly minimalist and very nice. Not the huge busy arcades that seem to be everywhere else. Each of their limited range of products a real work of art.

It’s fascinating how much collaborative, almost corporate entities are springing up in Second Life. The STD team, me and Mark Busch, the people who built Sim Horror… and others.

Sim Horror
Check out my blog for a picture from this amazing amazing insallation. Two entire sims built to last just two weeks before they were torn down. The theme, halloween and a town where zombies have killed everyone and players must puzzle out how to stop it. The AMAZING look of this sim was largely missed by many people because getting past the maze was so hard.

The artist behind a lot of it all, Jimmy Thomson, creates custom textures for each wall, lights those textures as they will be in game and creates shadows to apply to objects that appropriately match what’s going on in-world. Oh, he’s also created a way to do waving grass. A real step-up in the look of the game and entirely player created.

Schizophrenia Simulator
Mentioned in my blog, this is a simulated hospital ward. As you walk through it you have an ‘insane’ badge on that produces all kinds of weird voices “kill yourself, you’re worthless”, similar to what schizophreniacs experience. Visual and other hallucinations take place as you walk through the ward and there are notes about each and the person who experienced them. Quite frightning but also, quite fascinating.

The XXX side of life
I should mention it because… it’s fruity! Not necesarily good, but it seems popular… Yes, SL has become the most adult game available. Custom animations mean that anything is possible! From home-made strip routines, to… Well let me explain. I wandered into a shopping district the other night and found a shop full of ‘adult’ material. From sex toys, to beds which would animate your body in… certain ways (much better if someone else is there to animate with of course)… through to A frames… erm… and other things to lie on that I don’t exactly have a name for. These things sometimes had other things that … well, ok, i sat on one of these to see what would happen and … it was disturbing!

One bed had colored balls (to indicate a position) for four different people. Argg!

Did I mention that you can buy ‘realistic’ naked skins and… erm… the appropriate genitalia to attach? Of course, this genitalia is scripted to ahem… repsond appropriately!

Other cool things. Cubbey Terra’s aircraft (beautiful and functional), roller coaster rides, ingame to out of world email possible (thus you can have in-game stuff feed through to a web page), import animations from Poser, if you don’t own land the game is a one-off $9.95, Skydiving - a sport generated from a love of going up high and falling: You can buy parachutes and sky boards that create custom animations while you fall… and on and on :)

If I remember other good stuff I will post it.


This thing is better than a wet dream. I simply love it.

The bad part is that it’s definitely unplayable without broadband and I’m cut out.

Sounds cool. I’m not so into making stuff, but I’m going to at least check out the free trial and see what other people have done.

Yeah, give it a go.
If you know people who like to stand around and chat online and dress up then it’s perfect for them too.

That’s not my thing, i like coming up with wild schemes and making things. It’s a good place to try out various game theories as well :)

And yes, you do really need broadband unless you don’t plan to travel much.

Make sure you refer me! :p


So this game is sort of like a graphical version of an old fashion text MUSH where the users can create their own content? I wasted a couple of years on TinyTim when I was in college.

How difficult is the scripting language?

Pretty much. The scripting language, LSL, is based on C with some … er… things to make it easier to use and more SL specific. I don’t know the details since I don’t touch code… but if you’re somewhat familiar with programing you’ll find it easy I am told.


Grrr, I love these things too much. Don’t speak anymore about it!

Well, not really for me. But I can see the appeal of the versatile scripting and content creation.

I did list you as the referrer. Don’t know if that gets you anything since I won’t be paying.

I think there’s a one-time $10 fee for an observer-only account. I would totally do this if I had any extra gaming time, which I don’t.

  • Alan

It’s not observer only, you can do anything and everything with that account, and it’s the account I am currently on since I own no land!

Their system has fees -entirely- based on how much land you own. I think it’s quite elegant.

What’s more, you get money from the developers for having popular attractions. It’s quite a nice system and surprisingly effective.

Ya 'all welcome to come look me up and hassle me for tips/help.


Sounds interesting, but when I play a game I just want to be entertained. How can Second Life compare in content (art, quests, size, items) to more commercial games like WoW and EQ?

Well, it does have the Orgy Bed…

I tried a trial account a while back and quite liked it, reminded me of… Virtual Worlds(?) which also let you grab a chunk of land and build what you wanted on it.

I don’t see Darklight putting the hurt on WoW anytime soon but there’s something attractive about these constructs which clearly seem to be attempts of what we’ve read in Gibson, Stephenson, etc… books - Darklight reminded me of a really really really early version of the fantasy world area in Tad Williams otherworld books…

Erm, I’ll take that as a compliment?

Nothing in game is fun unless a player has made it so. For me, that’s actually pretty cool :)

I find making stuff fun but there’s all sorts of little things to do, if you’re in game let know and I will take you on a tiki-tour (as they say where I’m from).


I don’t doubt that there’s something attractive about it – just reading about it intrigues me. There’s also something attractive about poetry, but there aren’t many poetry books that sell as many as 5000 copies.

If the game is a commercial flop, that doesn’t impugn its quality. I just think it sounds more like a research project a university should be running.

There are about 15,000 players I believe, which is good for a game of this type I imagine.


It sounds to me this way, it could be very effective as a training ground for programmers and as a way of artistic form.

I believe checking the 7 day trial is a minimum for trying this thing.


Right. I toyed with it for a month or so, and I wouldn’t really call it a game. It’s more like a hobby. A place where you get a 3D editor, a scripting language, and the freedom to do anything you like with those tools, with other people who like doing same.

It’s going to suffer by comparison with anything that’s a specialized “game”, simply because it’s made to be so open and free. You lose the linearity, the progress from A to B, when A is you and B can be something different every day. Definitely not for the attention span deficient…

I might sign up for that lifetime $10 account just to poke around. It’s been a while.

Here are some unadulterated, non-PR-provided, shots of SL. Long time ago, so who knows what exists of that anymore…keep in mind that EVERYTHING you see is player-made. How’s that for mind-blowing…

I think you hit the nail on the head Marcin :)

Also, check this guy out

His work to improve the graphical quality of the game is simply amazing!