Oz Linden: Second Life to get 24-hour days

Sailor's Delight Oz Linden confirmed today at SL12B that Linden Lab will be enabling an option to set environment settings to 24-hour days. Currently, the Second Life day runs on a 4-hour cycle; specifically, three hours of daytime and one hour of night, meaning that in a real-world 24-hour day, there are six Second Life days.

Ebbe Altberg has approved the feature for implementation, which Oz joked has been continuously requested by Jo Yardley (of 1920s Berlin) since Mr Altberg first got on the job 😉 Oz couldn’t confirm the timeline for implementation.


As an estate manager, I welcome this news with enthusiasm, and for reasons that are probably like Frau Yardley’s. I keep Basilique’s region settings set to a permanent windlight setting that evokes a Northern Italian atmosphere, mainly because I find it disconcerting for it to be night in Second Life, while the sun outside my flat in London is high in the sky.

Of course, I appreciate that one’s perspective of daytime entirely depends on one’s timezone, the weather in one’s location, and where in the world one is in terms of latitude. Still, I feel that if you are visiting the north of Italy, the time of day should reflect that location.

I yen for the day (no pun intended) that the passage of time in Second Life more closely mirrors the rising and setting of the sun in the physical world.

I’m curious if this setting will also enable us to choose between seasonal day lengths – since at least in the northern hemisphere, summer’s days are considerably longer than winter days – especially the farther north you are.

The weather at Basilique ;)
The weather at Basilique 😉

I’ve also wished for a setting that might enable us to choose a city’s weather pattern (as updated online), and mirror it with similar conditions in Second Life (partly cloudy, sunny, rainy, overcast). Personally, I’d choose a northern Italian city for Basilique – that I could easily override at any time, of course.

While precipitation is a challenge that has never been hurdled, clever creators have given us rain, snow and other atmospheric features through particle effects. I’ve heard that Linden Lab included precipitation as a feature in the very early days of Second Life, but shelved it because they couldn’t find a way to stop it from raining through buildings. On a weird side note, I also remember something about the ability to fly was a substitute for the more difficult animation requirements of climbing ladders.

I have no idea how hard or difficult adjusting the Second Life day cycle is to do, but this appears to me as yet another demonstration that Linden Lab – under Oz Linden’s technical direction – continues to develop Second Life; and in directions that more closely mirror the physical world it intends to simulate.

What are your thoughts? Do you welcome 24-hour day cycles? Do you wish we had simulated weather too? Or will you always run your own windlight settings, regardless of what estate managers intend?

16 thoughts on “Oz Linden: Second Life to get 24-hour days

  1. I’d love to see 24 hour time and the ability to sync or mirror some RL location for time, this may encourage a local-centric thinking and create experiences outside of the norm we’re used to in SL. Weather has always been a sore point for me and something that really breaks immersion for me (and I dare say many residents in the southern hemisphere). The annual blanket colour change to white for the snow of winter at Christmas is 180 degrees the opposite of my RL experience, its irritatingly hard to avoid, but perhaps the ability to sync daylight or simulate custom schedules will encourage thinking a bit more outside the box and following along with what most areas do.

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    1. That’s a fair point. I’ve have wondered how those south of the equator feel about the northern bias when it comes to seasonal changes in Second Life. I see regions like locations I visit, so if they have a specific type of weather, then I kind of flow with that groove, as if I’m there on holiday. But yes, I can imagine that it’s definitely a bit weird that your virtual world follows the opposite seasons as your physical world does. Interesting perspective!

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  2. Something crosses my mind though, about this planned 24-hour-length day cycle: What if someone wanted to simulate the actual length of, say, a day on Mars instead? Or on some fictional planet that has a 30-hour day? It would be neat if there was a way to accommodate that sort of thing, for those who wanted it, too.

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  3. I can only spoke about my experiences in osg grids, where i did set the regions to run on a 24h day cycle. It is useless if you don’t use default day cycle option in your viewer (some only newbies do) and also useless to the the default windlight settings choosed to recreate a day cycle as they are so dull.
    But if you dare to create a diff day cycle using much better windlight skys = ones that take full use of Alm and use of shadows, then the experience is amazing to feel. Still in a 4h day cycle youc an experience that juch faster then a full day one, so i do hope this will be only set as an option and that they will not force it, replacing the 4 hour’s day cycle.
    And again i feel some good step but a bit useless one, cause we all choose our windlight sky settings most of times.

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    1. I don’t think we *all* do anything in Second Life. Yes, some people choose their own personal windlights when taking photos or when the region’s windlight default is set to the 4-hour cycle (or another windlight that doesn’t suit one’s personal preference).

      Many, however, and it’s not just newbies – never touch those settings, and simply adjust to whatever windlights are presented to them. Even as someone who knows how to manipulate windlights, I like to give the region owner’s vision a chance before I automatically switch their windlight. To not do so, is the equivalent of refusing to take off my sunglasses at an art exhibition.

      As an estate manager, lighting is hugely important to me when setting the mood of my region – it is part of my creative expression and I would hope my visitors enjoyed my region in the windlight I specified. Of course, I can’t control that, but I would still wholly support a 24-hour day cycle with a choice of custom windlights – indeed, that would be the best of the possible options.

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      1. for most, is so natural and easy to change day or sky setting (quick tools button anyone?) that only the few newbies that use LL official viewer or some old users like me, know how more hard is to change a day cycle (ll viewer should really adapt that quick tools button for that).
        Sure, for all that use Sl to make trips, like sailing, biking, flying, we all love to see the sky changing as we travel, but on mainland and all connected regions, time needs to be the same, or travelling wil be insane (sailing for a sim that is on sun and then found out that you move to a midnight one).
        Therefore all this talk is useless for many, that enjoy mainland.
        And i guess LL keeps forgeting, and you as well, that if many wish to be always on the ame private closed region, one would be already on open sim (as more and more private owners are finding out) and forget that the only way to keep Sl striving is betting on mainland continents and the private states that are connected to them.

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  4. I think its very interesting and it shows that Linden lab is still interested in making second life a more realistic experience, perhaps a trickle down from their new development. If so i d say there are good things ahead as they bring new and innovative ideas to second life.

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  5. I love the idea of 24 hour days, but as soon as I think about it I then think of the next 20 questions. Does the server match everyone individual time zone or does the estate owner get to set it and suggest it if the users viewer is at sim default? If individual does that include seasonal weather, so someone from Australia would see a night of winter while I experienced a morning of summer. I really like the idea of “I, as the estate owner get to dictate it, and by default, everyone on this sim sees the same thing unless you have a real reason to change the defaults. It is similar to the real world, when we all go to Northern Italy at the same time, we all experience the same environment.

    Next we need to fix the bad transitions from region to region and the ability to allow if I set my settings on a certain time of the day, it save it by default as I move from region to region.

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