A-Life (artificial life simulation – a specialised subset of bots) was one of Second Life’s earliest features, featuring an ecosystem of plants and animals. Some of the remnants of that code still exists in the Second Life code-base and has never been entirely cleared out. Despite no longer being a supported part of Second Life, A-Life systems have – for years – been a part of some of Second Life’s popular activities and some of its historic destinations.

Linden Lab’s CEO, Rod Humble, indicated today that A-Life support features are on the table for an upcoming release.

At present, the majority of A-Life systems in Second Life are reliant on external systems, with much of the work offloaded to external servers. The rest – breedable pets, self-driving vehicles and small ecosystem projects – are natively-based, but tend to draw the ire of some users due to the resource inefficiencies of performing some quite common tasks.

It seems that the latter category is what Linden Lab is aiming for here, reducing the resource-hogging associated with frequent tasks like 3D path-finding – an intensive sort of process which is probably least well done in Second Life’s native scripting system.

Early betas for A-Life support features are anticipated to be (but not promised to be) in the vicinity of December.

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