Monthly Archives: November 2011

Public Worlds, Maturity Ratings and Making Public Worlds Affordable

We’ve updated our service with several highly-requested features which should help create a more unified Kitely community. These new features will enable you to easily find other Kitely users who are currently online and explore the worlds that they’ve built.

Public Worlds

We added a directory of all the public worlds that you can visit. The Public Worlds tab now lists all the worlds whose access permissions allow everyone to visit them.

This has been a frequently requested feature for a very long time, and we’re very excited to have finally implemented it. The Public Worlds tab will enable you to easily discover new worlds to visit, and find where other Kitely users are currently hanging out.

Within the list of public worlds, worlds are sorted as follows:

  • Worlds that are currently being visited by many users are listed before worlds that have fewer users visiting them.
  • When several worlds have the same number of visitors, worlds where the world manager covers the visitors’ fees are listed before worlds where visitors cover their own fees (we explain more about this later).

It is possible to search for worlds using keywords. In addition, we provide a few quick-search links for common categories of virtual worlds: shopping, education, etc. In order to get your world to appear in these quick searches, include in the world name or description keywords related to those terms. For example, worlds that include the words “buy” or “shopping” will appear when the “Shopping” link is clicked.

Maturity Ratings

Our terms of service permit users of all ages. However, as not all content is appropriate for children, we’ve added maturity ratings to Kitely in order to prevent users from viewing worlds that are inappropriate for their age. Each world and each user have a maturity rating; users are prevented from viewing worlds whose maturity rating is higher than their own.

Our system uses the following maturity ratings:

  • General: worlds which are family safe. Age limit: none.
  • Moderate: worlds which contain non-adult content and activities. Age limit: 13 and up.
  • Adult: worlds with nudity, violence, or other adult activities. Age limit: 18 and up.

World managers are responsible for setting the appropriate maturity rating for their worlds. If they mislabel their world you can report it by pressing the “Report” link that is now included in all World Pages.

The default maturity rating for users is Moderate. Users who want to raise their maturity rating to Adult need to enable us to access their birthday on Facebook, so that we can verify that they are over 18.

Maturity ratings have the following effects:

  • A user can’t visit worlds whose maturity rating is higher than his or her own maturity rating. They can’t even see the world’s World Page, because the World Page might contain text or pictures that are inappropriate for their age.
  • In the Public Worlds tab, a user won’t see worlds with a higher maturity rating than his or her own maturity rating.
  • In the Public Worlds tab, if a user’s maturity rating is set to Adult then he or she will see one more quick-search link: “Adult”.
  • A user can’t create, edit, copy or export worlds with a higher maturity rating than his or her own maturity rating.

Report a World for Violating Kitely’s Terms of Service

Each world’s World Page now displays the maturity rating of that world, and a link to report the world if it contains unlicensed or age-inappropriate content. If we receive reports about mislabeled worlds, and we find that they are justified, then we will first contact the world manager and ask him or her to fix the problem (e.g., by raising the world’s maturity rating). If our request does not lead to the desired results then we may disable the world, or even the world manager’s entire account.

Making Public Worlds Affordable

Until now world managers always paid the world visit fees for all the visitors to their worlds. This caused some people to fear that if they made their worlds public it may end up costing them a lot of Kitely Credits. We’ve therefore made it possible for world managers to choose who will pay the world visit fees: the world manager or the visitor.

In order to support this feature, each world now has a list of access permissions. The world manager adds to this list all the types of users that are allowed to visit that world. For each group of users, the world manager chooses whether the users will pay the fee for their visit, or the world manager will pay the fee for them. This is done by setting Visitor Cost / Minute:

  • Free – 1 KC will be deducted from the world manager’s balance each minute.
  • 1 KC – 1 KC will be deducted from the visitor’s balance each minute. The world manager will pay nothing.

For example:

In this example:

  • You pay 1 KC for your visits. This is a standard fee and can’t be changed.
  • Your Facebook friends can visit the world at your expense.
  • People who belong to the Facebook group “Immersive Education” can visit the world at their own expense.
  • Anyone who doesn’t belong to either of these categories can’t visit this world.

The Public Worlds tab shows only worlds where the visitor category “Everyone Else” is set to allow such users to visit the world. Within the list of public worlds, when several worlds have the same number of visitors, worlds where the world manager pays for everyone’s visits appear before worlds where the visitors pay for themselves.

When you view a World Page you will now be able to see the price of visiting that world below the “Enter World” button. Worlds which you can enter at the world manager’s expense will display this:

Worlds which you can enter at your own expense will display this:

Kick Users from a World

If the world manager changes the access controls for a world then users that are no longer included in the new permissions are removed from that world immediately. You can use this feature to kick everyone out of one of your worlds by deleting all of the visitors from that world’s access permissions.

Note: if you change the price of visiting a world then this change only affects visitors that enter the world after the price has changed. This doesn’t affect visitors already in the world. However, as mentioned above, you can have those users removed from your world. If you then edit the world’s access permissions to allow them to re-enter the world then they will be able to do so using the new price that you’ve set.

Shopping Scripts Support for Freebies

We’ve enabled limited economy support in Kitely so that shopping scripts will work for freebies (items that have a cost of 0 L$). This means that you can start building your in-world vendor reputation even before we add commerce support to our service.

To see an example of how this works, visit the Linda Kellie Designs world which is already using such scripts. While you’re there you’ll be able to pick up hundreds of free skins, clothing, buildings, and other items that are perfect for giving your avatar and worlds a more professional look.