Community-Driven Crystal Frost Unity Viewer Project Will Continue

UPDATE, 9:00PM PT: Updated for weekend viewing fun!

BREAKING NOW: A prediction of mine that’s coming true this year sooner than I expected — an official native Second Life app for iOS and Android mobile devices.

Watch the announcement above, made “with joy and trepidation”! The latter probably because the project has been in the works for years and was unexpectedly postponed last year.

Curiously, an earlier version of this project was going to focus on chat and other utility functions, but now Linden Lab is focusing on avatar and beautiful scene rendering. (Though on this video, at least, the world’s draw distance appears quite low, and textures are similarly low res.)

However, Linden Lab says they intend for the mobile version to have “pretty much” all the functionality of the desktop version — eventually.

“Last half of this year” is the target release date for a limited beta which will also have avatar chat.

As regular readers know, Linden Lab’s SL viewer for Unity is actually the second one to be announced. For the last couple months, community creator Berry Bunny has been showing off her Crystal Frost project running on Unity. (I even wonder if Crystal Frost put a fire under Linden’s own project!)

In any case, Berry tells me, Crystal Frost development will continue:

“I’m not going to halt developing of Crystal Frost,” she puts it to me firmly. “It just means that there will soon be a Unity-based mobile viewer. I’m not going to stop working on Crystal Frost, however, and still intend on delivering a next gen viewer, or at least as next gen as is possible with Second Life. There’s only so much magic I can do when all the content is user generated.”

Based on previous interviews with Bunny, Crystal Frost has always been intended primarily as a stepping stone for a VR-enabled Second Life, her main goal. On that front, she’s still in the lead.

Patch Linden, by the way, teased this yesterday with a couple short clips on social media. Functionality definitely seems pretty bare bones!

I’ll be updating this post throughout the day! Please comment below, I’m hoping to add some reader feedback in the post.

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