« THE SOUND OF ONE MIND CLAPPING | Main | SUBDIVISIONS »

Monday, November 21, 2005

KILLING PRIMMIES

Primmies, winner of the 2005 Second Life Game Developer Contest, is the delightful strategy/puzzle/action game that resembles a multiplayer, three-dimensional Lemmings, challenging you to navigate your adorable tribes of Primmies across treacherous terrain, while preventing them from marching suicidally off the edge of the randomly generated maps which appear from a whirling vortex. In naming it the overall winner, veteran game developer and contest judge Doug Church praised it as "a focused and self-contained game... a game sandbox to play in," full of nice details that provide "a fun closure to it."

There's really just one problem with Primmies. Primmies is dead.

Co-creator Jeffrey Gomez discovered this shortly after the recent release of SL version 1.7, when he returned to the land he'd won from the contest, and fired his game up. The thing of it was (without overgeeking on the particulars) Linden Lab had just changed with 1.7 the way objects in the world handled collision detection. "Everything works but the Primmies themselves now," Gomez told me. "Who either collide with one another now (bad) or don't collide at all (worse)."

Or as Gomez surmises it, "Let's just say the cows have come home to roost."

For in his eyes, this was a sign of larger issues for scripters like him, as they attempt ever more ambitious projects that require months of development, through several updates. "[Y]ou had asked why big production games don't work in Second Life," he tells be. "That's why. The commands are just too subject to change at the higher levels... The higher-function stuffs, collisions especially, are changed pretty often." (In this particular case, an element in the collision system that would somtimes cause regions to crash was fixed, and in the fixing, Primmies was broken.) "It's tough working with code no one really understands enough to follow out to every logical conclusion," Gomez reasons. "Makes stuff impossible to predict."

Unsurprisingly, LL development coordinator Chris Linden sees it differently, pointing to Preview, which as the name suggests, is a pre-release version of Second Life where Resident developers and builders can test how the upcoming upgrade might impact projects they have in the works. "What is frustrating from our perspective," he e-mails me, "is that we advertise the Preview grid months before we launched 1.7. Jeffrey could easily have come to Preview and tested Primmies and discovered the problem and contacted us. If done early enough, there is a good chance we could have done something."

"The devs have been very supportive of fixing it..." Jeffrey acknowledges. "It's really not the fault of the coders. Or Preview grid. Or anything. It's a logical fallacy at the systems level. That being, when a new update goes live, it goes live everywhere. Contrast this with most systems builders and designers, who know it might break stuff, and basically give people the option to upgrade."

He explains his perspective in systemic terms, in comparison to the Internet itself.

"Current assumptions by the [Second Life] system:

1) Linden Lab controls all data.
2) LL employees are human beings, hence, they make mistakes.
3) All patches are final and happen everywhere at once, due to point 1.

Compare this with the way the Internet works:

1) No one controls all data.
2) People screw up.
3) Any changes to the system happen ONLY WHEN ADOPTED."

If there's anything to be gained from the inadvertant death of Primmies, perhaps it's Jeffrey Gomez's exhaustive white paper on where he believes the future of metaverse development should go. Read it all here.

Posted at 06:47 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341ccd9653ef00e5505502c48834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference KILLING PRIMMIES:

» Michael Wilbon: Wizards Still Alive from on Sunday. The
in that the offense is free-flowing and artistic, but the defense is close to nonexistent. [Read More]

Tracked on May 19, 2006 2:15:33 AM

» News Release from Technosim
ITmedia Mobile i ASCII24@nifty FMOBILE Watch. ి... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 2, 2006 7:14:28 PM

» News Online from JapanHorse
Features weekly articles, archives to past issues, and timelines of scientific importance. [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 2, 2006 8:48:09 PM

» Durham, North Carolina to Host Faith-Based Arts Conference from of gifted authors
of gifted authors currently publishing in the Christian and Inspirational Fiction arena. (PRWEB Jun 8, 2006) [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 11, 2006 2:32:55 PM

» Aston Martin Rapide Concept sits pretty for the camera from production version
aimed at the ber wealthy, is able to interest a far greater number of people [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 16, 2006 3:44:18 AM

» Medical Dictionary from Bestbarrel
Searchable dictionary created by Dr. ALFRED. [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 24, 2006 9:27:17 AM

» ALL Themes from Invision Power Board
He has set up a test blog so you can check it out - it’s great work. ... Note to all theme authors: In order to be considered for the competition, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 24, 2006 4:32:51 PM

» acupuncture allergy from Medicine Words
Medicine Dictionaries and Word References Emergency Medical Technology ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 26, 2006 6:36:15 PM

» People Search in Internet 2006 from Plot Summary for Words
Words - Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussion, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Photos, Showtimes, Link to Official Site, Fan Sites. [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 31, 2006 4:32:16 PM

» Wiki: Search Results from MostDor
Search Results · WelcomeVisitors . . . . . . WhatIsWiki WhatIsWiki . . . . . . WhatIsWiki. 2 pages found out of 22 pages searched. ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 3, 2006 11:24:15 AM

» Bvlgari from Bvlgari Watches
Great Saving On Bvlgari Watches Bulgari Watch Bvlgari Assioma, Bulgari Zero1, Bulgari Watch Tubagas, Bvlgari Diagono Aluminium, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 4, 2006 7:34:57 AM

» burberry from Burberry Perfume
Buy Burberry perfumes and aftershaves from the best UK shops online. Click on one of the products listed below to compare prices to find the best price to ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 4, 2006 8:04:55 AM

Comments

Yeek! Page isn't finished yet, so I've left a note to that effect. Given it was 70% done or so, I guess it's fair to open the floodgates.

Also, the person in many of the screenshots is my partner in crime, Alan Beckett. The man who made the original Primmies design in the first place. About time he got some press. :)

Posted by: Jeffrey Gomez at Nov 22, 2005 6:58:27 AM

Also, a slight correction based on new information. I had talked with Andrew Linden on the change to the collision problem and was essentially told it had been broken prematurely due to a change that wasn't realized on the main development "trunk."


In the fallout since 1.7, there've been about three changes that have made the process extremely difficult:

1) Collision Changes (see above)
2) Object-to-Object Inventory (fixed; see article here on the subject)
3) Script Scheduling Problems (currently my bane)


Now, as pointed out, the problem isn't that these changes went into the new version. I consider a few of them to have been good at face value.

Rather, it's that they were imposed on everyone at once. To quote Mark Wallace from the linked article, "the gods had spoken, the new laws had been passed down."

Posted by: Jeffrey Gomez at Nov 22, 2005 7:14:41 AM

Thanks for the article Jeffrey. Even if it's mostly done, I've found it to be quite interesting; Reminds me of the Latus project (aka Something Else) that Cyan was last working on.

Much more to comment, but I'll backtrack it to here once I've got it more organized...

--Alan

Posted by: Alan_Kiesler at Nov 22, 2005 7:04:12 PM

Jeffrey, this is awful. And you're taking it like a man. But you should squawk more, because it's indicative. First, can you tell us - yes or no -- did you go in the Preview -- yes or no? Just to strip away that rationalization the Lindens are putting forth.

Next, how could you have patches that anyone could opt into or not? On this or that sim? Then you wouldn't be able to fly around the world. I don't see how you could have an interconnected world that way.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Nov 26, 2005 12:55:45 PM

amazon co uk straight outta lynwood music weird al yankovic artistopia music eve selis fanfare kentucky music festival june

Posted by: genesis record at Jul 19, 2007 4:29:36 AM

kijsb nbeigps rdvqjb krewhgsn shgkdzw ilvkx pruti

Posted by: nqmva eoxmg at Jul 22, 2007 6:19:57 PM

atzd vwauc otwde yfwjkh nglpu ovhufrk lqnjc mkjtzpr lfwhgvb

Posted by: arnpcoh lapmzubw at Jul 22, 2007 6:22:05 PM

Very good site. Thank you.
Jcpennys Catolog
Medical Billing And Coding Certificate
Calculator Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Countrywide Home Loan Xxasdf Mortgage Rate Calculator
Gmac Mortgage Career

Posted by: Countrywide Mortgage Services at Jul 25, 2007 7:26:22 AM

Good site. Thank you:-)
Money Magazine Home Morgage Calculator
Vanderbilt Morgage
Bankrupcy House Finance The Uk
What Is Valtrex Used For Besides Herpes
What Is Zoloft

Posted by: Northern District Illinois Bankrupcy at Jul 25, 2007 9:31:57 AM

Cool site. Thanks:-)
Starbucks Espresso Maker
Alarm Brinks Home
ADT Yard Sign
ADT Alarm Security System
Oxy Cotton Side Effects

Posted by: ADT Security Career at Jul 25, 2007 10:53:43 PM

Nice site. Thank you!
Maui Jim Kala Sunglasses
Serengeti Large Aviator Sunglasses
Oversize Aviator Sunglasses Ashlee Simpson
Bolle Spiral Sunglasses
Revo Python Sunglasses

Posted by: Maui Jim Sunglasses Shoreline at Jul 26, 2007 5:00:20 AM

Nice site. Thank you!
Maui Jim Kala Sunglasses
Serengeti Large Aviator Sunglasses
Oversize Aviator Sunglasses Ashlee Simpson
Bolle Spiral Sunglasses
Revo Python Sunglasses

Posted by: Maui Jim Sunglasses Shoreline at Jul 26, 2007 5:01:46 AM

Good site. Thank you!
Gnc Xenical
Nicorette Zyban
Tenuate Cod
Diflucan In Pregnancy
Unreleased Air Jordans

Posted by: Air By Force Jordans Nikes One at Jul 26, 2007 3:07:33 PM

Very good site. Thanks!!!
America Bank Foreclosure

Posted by: Arizona Bank Foreclosure at Jul 27, 2007 8:58:56 PM

Nice site. Thanks.
Code Coupon Jc Penneys

Posted by: Jc Optical Penney at Jul 28, 2007 2:17:32 AM

Nice site. Thank you:-)
Jcpenneys

Posted by: Jcpenney Catalog at Jul 28, 2007 4:20:03 AM

Nice site. Thanks:-)
Search Jcpenney

Posted by: Jcpenney Coupons at Jul 28, 2007 5:55:46 AM

Very good site. Thanks!
Medical Billing And Coding Degree

Posted by: Medical Billing Coding Specialist at Jul 28, 2007 10:31:04 PM

Nice site. Thanks:-)
Homeowners Insurance California

Posted by: Homeowners Insurance Leads at Jul 29, 2007 12:31:01 AM

Thank's for the very informative site, these sites are some I would recommend.

For Online Casino slots and online casino try this La Isla Casino, for more online casino slots and online slots try Slots Kings.

If Bingo is your thing try Bingo Online News for online bingo and internet bingo, internet casino slots and slots information to be found

on Slots Online News. If you like to play bingo online Red7Bingo is the best internet bingo to be found on a online bingo site. For online poker

we recommend Nett Poker. Street Slots is the leading site for Slots, Video Slots and Online Slots. Nett Casino have all the info on casino poker

and many other online casino games in a Norwegian Casino Portal about online casino. Craps is a game of fun and excitement, play craps in CrapsRoom.com

the number one website for online craps.

online casino slot machine online casino slot machine Hope you enjoy them.

Posted by: slots at Aug 29, 2007 5:34:41 AM

If you have to do it, you might as well do it right

Posted by: viagra at May 14, 2009 2:54:20 PM

very nice post keep it up

Posted by: Viagra Cialis at Nov 25, 2009 8:32:49 AM

hello friend excellent information about KILLING PRIMMIES!! thanks for sharing!!!

Posted by: Generic Viagra at Dec 3, 2009 2:04:28 PM

hey bro!! nice and useful blog about KILLING PRIMMIES

Posted by: generic viagra prescription at Dec 16, 2009 12:42:23 PM

great blog about KILLING PRIMMIES thanks for sharing!!

Posted by: Viagra Online Prescription at Dec 18, 2009 9:53:03 AM