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August 24, 2006

BusinessWeek On Virtual aloft

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While there's been a ton of amazing press (both online and off) about the virtual aloft project, if you're interested in learning more about the business goals and objectives, we highly recommend reading Rena Jana's terrific piece about the project for BusinessWeek.

It was just posted online and can be read here.

Posted by at 2:26 AM in Press | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) |

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"For Starwood, opening aloft in Second Life is a way to test-market the hotel's design and rapidly prototype the evolving concept. For instance, staffers will observe how people move through the space, what areas and types of furniture they gravitate towards, and what they ignore."

If this is the case, the developers should try and make the SL users experience as close to a RW experience as possible. I.e. make the hotel a "no fly" zone. Make people have to "check-in" before they can enter into hotel rooms, and be seated by a virtual maitre'd before they can sit in the restaurant. Elevators should be the preferred means of transport from floor to floor, instead of teleporting.

Lastly, if you are going for a hip, stylish atmosphere, you should be prepared for griefers. Nothing ruins a hotel stay like someone shooting your avatar or an obnoxious particle effect that won't go away.

Posted by: Rik Riel | August 24, 2006 6:39 PM

Hi Rik! Thanks for your comments!

One of the really cool things about aloft (the RL version) is that there's a lot of streamlining to the process of actually getting into your room - for example, they have a self-check-in counter right in the entryway (which we've duplicated in SL), and the restaurant, called Re:Fuel, is more of a communal kitchen/self-serve station - a few little touches that make the brand very easy to translate into SL. For the launch, we're going to have two guest rooms set up for people to check out, and if/when we expand to include more rooms, you bet that an elevator will be the way to get up to the higher floors.

As far as griefers, we've already made the island non-push and will more than likely set up the autoreturn feature for non-group to keep litter to a minimum...all things we SLer's have gotten used to doing on our own land for a while now ;)

Posted by: Cory Edo | August 25, 2006 1:49 PM

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