Will Wright is a long time friend of Second Life via multiple points of connection. In the latest issue he gives a long interview about his upcoming game Spore and touches on Second Life. Here are some interesting quotations with my comments:
Most forms of entertainment don’t get that kind of gestation period ordinarily. It has to be at least five years. And all of a sudden my daughter said to me, “Say, have you heard about this Second Life thing?”
WW: Yeah, it’s probably more like six or seven years… I think the first version launched in 2001. And the important part of that development wasn’t so much what Linden Labs did, it was the user community. In fact they were very careful to nurture the right of user community and it took them three or four years to do that, and then the community were really the ones who grew it from that point.
>> HW: Our internal estimates were 4-7 years until the community hit critical mass. A “game” doesn’t have that luxury, especially when it’s packaged software that only gets shelf-space for a limited amount of time. We actually went alpha in 2002, not 2001.
So what we need now is to be able to bring your Spore creature into Second Life.
WW: Well really, they’re both tools-based, so it’s a matter of can we create lower and lower function tools for people in those environments to use to then create a collective experience.
>> HW: At the lowest common denominator level it’s just skinning a Second Life avatar to look like a Spore creature. Carrying over the attributes properties of that creature, especially relative to other creatures, is what’s most challenging in the general purpose SL environment where these things aren’t hard-coded — i.e. if you wanted to support the notion that Spore A was built to fly higher than Spore B and this should maintained in SL.