I’m rather slow to the party, but I’ve just found out that HippoTech, the system I used for in-world vendors, in-range weapon dispensers and firing range updates, is no more. And this leaves me with three problems.
In World Vendors
Obviously the old HippoVend vendors no longer work and I’m in the process of replacing them with CasperVend vendors. If you’ve recently bought a firing range from an in-world vendor and not received it, please let me know. I’ve sent out some replacement ranges today, but I might have missed some people.
If you want to buy a range before the new vendors are online, please visit my store at the marketplace.
In-Range Gun and Bow Dispensers
The gun and bow dispenser built in to the firing ranges will no longer work as it relies on the HippoUpdate system. I will update the ranges as soon as I can to use a replacement system, but in the mean time you can use any collision based from a quality weapon.
Firing Range Update System
The firing range update system is by far the biggest problem. With HippoUpdate offline the built in update scripts will no longer work and with the complete loss of customer data from HippoVend, I have no way of sending out updates to customers. I’m trying to figure out what to do about this, but I’m pretty short of ideas right now.
Please watch this space for updates.
I’ve had some questions regarding Linden Lab’s new gaming policy and if or how it affects TalTECH firing ranges so I hope to answer any questions range owners may have about the issue.
First off, all current existing firing ranges (Single Player, Multi Player or Pay To Play) were designed, constructed and coded to comply with LL’s terms and conditions that prohibited any form of gambling. None of the range types pay out money to any player except the Pay To Play range and that only refunds incorrect payments or payments where the player doesn’t start the game within a set period of time.
Linden Lab’s Skill Gaming Policy defines a “Skill Game” as:
“Skill Game” or “Skill Gaming” shall mean a game, implemented through an Inworld object: 1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance; 2) requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play; 3) provides a payout in Linden Dollars; and 4) is legally authorized by applicable United States and international law. Games in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy. “Skill Games” are not intended to include and shall not include “gambling” as defined by applicable United States and international law.
Since none of my ranges, including the Pay To Play range, offer the ability to pay out a prize they do not fall under the jurisdiction of the new Skill Gaming policy and are fine to continue using as-is. However, if you have a Pay To Play range and want to disable the payment system, simply re-rez the base and refuse debit permission when prompted. The range will operate as a Multi Player range until rezed again.
Finally, I have considered the possibility of creating a version of the firing ranges that offer a payout to be used under the new skill gaming rules, however the cost of becoming a registered creator (including getting a written lawyers opinion on the ranges! and unspecified quarterly fees) with no guaranteed return is just too much for me right now. So I currently have no plans to produce a payout range.
It saddens me to say that I will very shortly be closing the TalTECH Weapons store on the VLS sim. Sadly the weapons business just isn’t what it once was and I am unable to either support a full sim from just the profits of the store or out of my own pocket.
That said, TalTECH itself is not going away, I will still be selling and supporting my firing ranges and associated products. You can, as always, buy them from the marketplace or visit my new mini-store on Oxymoron (and while your there, check out Graves Leather, well worth a visit).
Are you interested in designing a firing range for TalTECH?
Many of the firing ranges currently on sale have styles created by third parties, and we’re looking for new designers to add fresh ideas to our portfolio. A designer receives a percentage of sales of all types of the range style created and there is no need to have any scripting skills, the scripted base, packaging, sales and support are all handled for you by TalTECH. We’re specifically looking for people with ideas for mesh range styles.
If your interested, give me (Talwyn Mills) an IM in Second Life and I’ll send you the details.
A customer has recently expressed their disappointment of the need of Pay To Play versions of my firing ranges to be granted debit permissions. I thought I would address these issues here in the hope of clarifying the situation for others that may have the same questions.
Debit permissions allow an object to pay money from the owners Linden Dollar (L$) balance to people other than the owner of that object. Many people will be familiar with vendors that require this permission to allow split payments or refunds to a customer, but granting debit permissions to a firing range will not cause it to turn in to a vendor. My firing ranges have no way of selling other copies of themselves and they won’t bug your users to buy them. They simply require debit permissions to be able to pay money to someone else.
So why does a pay to play firing range require the ability to send money to someone else? The simple answer is a refund. I am a great believer that people should get what they pay for and in the case of a pay to play firing range they are paying for a round on the range. There are a number of cases where a user may receive a refund form a firing range, some of these are:
- If the firing range is full and they pay it anyway.
- If they pay the wrong amount (which shouldn’t be possible without a hacked client, and they don’t get to play a round in this case)
- If they pay then don’t start a game within a set time(for example if they crash)
In any case, the firing range will only ever pay out the exact amount paid by the user. No money is ever sent anywhere else, ever.
So is a pay to play range useless if you don’t want to grant debit permissions? No, a pay to play range will operate as a competitive range without debit permissions but it will not be able to charge L$’s for games. If you haven’t already bought a range the don’t want to allow debit permissions, your probably best buying the cheaper competitive version.
So in summary:
- Debit permission is required in pay to play ranges to accept payment for rounds.
- Pay to play ranges can be used without debit permissions but your probably better off buying a competitive range in that case.
- L$ will only be paid out in cases where a user doesn’t play on the range, and only the amount the user paid.
- No money is sent anywhere else, ever.
- The range doesn’t turn in to a vendor or otherwise annoy your customers to buy it.
I hope that clears some things up for everyone.