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The end of DarkLife

May 10, 2011

Seven years ago I was in the UK and playing Second Life. Well, playing isn’t the right word, perhaps just exploring what was a new online space back then. It was seven years ago when I met Bram, a European comp-sci student, and suggested that SL was missing any kind of real game content. With this thought in mind we started building a fantasy MMO inside Second Life. We called it DarkLife and it was uniquely interesting content in a world that, at times, wasn’t very interactive. And seven years on, it’s closing.

From our little home DarkLife proved so popular with other Second Life players that we quickly moved to our own island (borrowed, and then bought) and for six years-or-so we owned and operated the island of Navora with DarkLife content covering every square inch. DarkLife let players level, chose skills, buy and sell weapons, items and armor, purchase spells and potions and battle a range of animated monsters. For Second Life, I think it was an awesome achievement and I’ve not heard of much that has matched it – or lasted as long. Almost all of the credit goes to Bram and Crash Adams; Bram programmed and Crash honed his increasingly awesome art skills on building the world, both of them battling with the code and art limitations of Second Life, and all of us battling with the lack of interest from SL devs in promoting the content of their players.

My involvement ended many years ago as I lacked either art of code skills and my interest in Second Life had generally faded as the developers failed to offer any kind of support to their own player “developers”. However, I maintained a close interest in what Crash and Bram got up to and it was fun to hear Crash’s ideas and hear of new features.

But I’ve been told the time has come to close DarkLife. Both Crash and Bram are busy with real life and after seven years the game would need a total re-write and more promotion work to be cost-neutral (or profitable). As a side-note, DarkLife was profitable from day 1 until very recently! Another awesome achievement, I reckon! Neither can face this task and so Navora island has been sold to Crash for some future projects and the game closed.

It as a fun ride and I’m very proud of Crash and Bram for what they’ve achieved, but all good things must come to an end one day, and so it is with DarkLife!

Oh, and a fan made a video saying goodbye!

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