I first came to Second Life in August of 2005, in the midst of the big publicity push. Initially it was the name itself that attracted me, an alternative to the endless work-eat-sleep-repeat rut I was stuck in. When I discovered that I could “own” land and build what and how I wanted, I was hooked. As time went on I became more and more involved with the SL community, making friends and enjoying the social aspects of the virtual world I was inhabiting.
One thing that has only gotten worse since those early days is the love/hate interdependency between the residents and Linden Lab. They really have little understanding of the society within the virtual world they enable. A while back they announced that they would be developing other projects in addition to Second Life. I viewed this then, and I still see it as an important move. A diverse and profitable Linden Lab can only increase the long term security of the Second Life platform.
When they offered me a discounted preview of Patterns I leapt at the chance, especially since they promoted it as a “sandbox-building game and 3D space“ and “it’s your universe to shape” (sounds like your world your imagination?).
I must be way outside the target audience they are directing this game at. I find it to be more of a puzzle game than a building game. The building blocks given are much like a box of Dungeons & Dragons dice. They fit together in strange and unexpected ways if they fit at all. It is not unusual for things like a long ramp to not match with the “ground” at it’s destination. Even the wheel they show being made in their promotional video is not truly a complete 360 degree build, the final 2 pieces do not quite join.
Admittedly Patterns is still in alpha, there will be many more shapes to work with in time, but I still see it more as a 3D puzzle than a real building environment.
I hope it is a success and I will continue to monitor it’s progress, but it does not come close to SL as a creative environment.
May you live in interesting times.