2012 begins in advance for developers of third party viewers used by fans of Second Life. Phoenix Project (which besides Phoenix, derived from the original Linden Lab’s viewer 1.5, the “Snowglobe”, has also developed Firestorm, based instead on codes of the Linden Lab’s viewer 2) has announced the launch of a new release of Phoenix, number 22.214.171.1240, that fixes some “serious bugs” reported in the previous release 126.96.36.1991 and like the previous one (not downloadable anymore) allows the correct visualization of meshes used from some time in the Linden Lab’s platform, but above all it is better structured to dialogue with its users by establishing sessions of questions and answers, the first of which was held last December 17(with a transcript of the most important news emerged on Monday on the Phoenix Project’s blog).
From these questions and answers has emerged as “unofficially” Linden Lab has warned developers now want to disable the functionality of the server-side program that allowed you to use the “old” but still widely used viewer 1 (V1) and its derivatives, which also means, time, decreeing death of Phoenix and other viewers based on these codes, such as Kirsten Viewer. In this regard I remember you as KirstenLee Cinquetti has annunounced that has not been reached the target to raise enough funds to allow a new development of viewer and having to engage in a new job in RL, there will be no further development and the site dedicated to the viewer will be closed at year end.
Why Linden Lab has decided to declare the death of theviewers based on codes of V1 is not clear (initially there was talk of a “switch off” in early 2012) but seems to be because the cost is not insignificant compared to aminimum remuneration to say nothing to maintain the functionality of the server side needed to let the “old”viewer to survive further. So cost cutting and optimization of efforts to direct users on the viewerthat support the new graphics are the ingredients of the recipe that Linden Lab hopes to provide better support for further developments of the platform.
But the news does not stop there for the Californian company: in a post dedicated to the advances of 2012, the Linden Lab Ceo, Rodvik Humble, not only recalled the recent launch of the first “prototype game” developed into Second Life, Linden Realms, for which in the first quarter of 2012 will be made available a set of tools to allow users to further develop and enrich the contents,but also that 2012 will be the year in which Linden Lab will focus on the one hand to improve theserver-side of Second Life software (and therefore for the above “will kill” V1 and its brothers) to improve the performance perceived by users, and, last but not least new, will launch “a fewdifferent products completely unrelated to Second Life”.
A Linden Lab always less “one game company” and always more a company that intends to carve out a niche in the crowded and competitive world of games (related or not to the concept of the virtual worlds): the transformation from a company with “a great future behind its shoulders” to a hopeful “new Apple” continues.