Virtual worlds like IMVU and Avakin Life, which are highly popular with tweens and teens, have one strong advantage over Second Life; they can be played on mobile devices (tablets and smartphones), which are now ubiquitous technology in modern-day society. Although Linden Lab has made a few half-hearted forays into mobile clients for SL in the past, these projects never went very far before they were shut down. Second Life is still, after all these years, primarily a virtual world played on a computer desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux), which limits its potential audience somewhat.
Wagner James Au of the long-running Second Life blog New World Notes was the first to notice that Linden Lab is hiring a senior mobile engineer for Second Life. According to the position description:
Linden Lab is looking for an innovative mobile app engineer to deliver a compelling, responsive mobile interface into Second Life. If you’re passionate about the latest cross platform mobile technologies and would be psyched to wake up every morning knowing that your efforts will enhance the largest, most successful virtual world on the Internet then we want to hear from you!
- Expand and enhance access to Second Life – the most successful user-created Virtual World ever with tens of thousands of concurrent users.
- Collaborate with other engineers in an iterative, agile development environment with a passionate commitment to improving the Second Life experience.
- Participate in design and code reviews and discussions both within the web team and with other parts of Second Life development.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Results-oriented attitude and dedication to the user experience.
- Demonstrated proficiency working in a geographically distributed team.
- Experience developing consumer-oriented mobile applications for Android and IOS.
- Experience with distributed version control (git or mercurial).
- Experience with automated testing.
- Experience with AWS or other cloud-based deployment models, especially streaming cloud-based rendering.
- Demonstrated ability to accurately scope projects and negotiate deadlines within a flexible team structure.
- Deep familiarity with and enthusiasm for Second Life is a HUGE plus.
It would appear that they are interested in building Second Life mobile apps for both Apple (iOS) and Android devices, which is good news!
Also notable: Based on this job requirement, it looks like the company is planning to create a cloud-streaming version of SL for mobile:
Experience with AWS [i.e. Amazon Web Services] or other cloud-based deployment models, especially streaming cloud-based rendering.
Back in 2014, Linden Lab partnered with the now-defunct OnLive to do just that, so it’s good to know they’re going in that direction again.
[The] job is remote and “deep familiarity with and enthusiasm for Second Life is a HUGE plus”, so this could be a dream gig for SL’s many talented community developers. My recommendation, of course, is to hire Alina Lyvette, whose Lumiya viewer for Android has already sold well over 100,000 copies.
Along with High Fidelity’s recent announcement of an alpha version of an Android client for the platform, it looks like we’re going to see some interesting times ahead!