Linden Labs has announced the development of a Second Life Android port, with the social MMO set to hit mobile platforms at an unknown time in the future. The announcement came in the form of a post on the game’s community forums, and a video showing what they’ve managed to achieve so far.
The video features several of the avatars of Linden Labs staff in different settings, and showed off a fairly basic user interface, as most features are still in development.
A Tricky Port
If you’ve ever seen Second Life in action, you’ll probably have seen that the UI is, extensive, to say the least, so fitting a large number of drop-downs into a smaller space sounds like quite a challenge for a UI developer.
The port will make use of the versatile Unity engine, a departure from the twenty-year-old platform’s base in the Havok engine.
Along with the short promotional video there’s a longer-form interview where several members of Linden Lab staff, or at least their avatars, discuss the port and development roadmap for the rest of the year.
Metaverse Before Meta
Second Life was launched all the way back in 2003, and, as you might expect, experienced a sizable drop in users over time. Some interest has returned to the platform in the last year or so as the concept of Metaverse platforms becomes a hot topic.
Newer platforms like VRChat and Facebook’s Metaverse seem to be attempting similar spaces to that of Second Life, with the addition of VR.
The work to bring the social space to new platforms might be a move to ride the wave of increased interest in virtual spaces, while appealing to everyone unwilling or unable to shell out for a VR headset.
Will it bring a huge new wave of players? Well, your mileage may vary. It’s a twenty-year-old platform, and sadly, you can tell.
Considering the initial release was only a couple of years after the first PlayStation Harry Potter game, we can’t be too harsh though. People love Old School RuneScape, so looking a bit retro shouldn’t entirely halt their chances.
Whether it ushers in a new golden age or not, the Second Life Android port will undoubtedly make its dedicated community happy.
Interested in hearing some more news from developers? Check out Droid Gamer’s coverage of this year’s GDC.