You may have heard that over the past few years, in addition to continually improving Second Life (Bento anyone?), Linden Lab has also had a team developing a brand new platform that runs separately from SL.
That platform is called Sansar, and it’s designed to enable people to easily create, share, and ultimately sell their own social VR experiences, which can be used on PCs as well as with head-mounted displays (HMDs) like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Though there are some conceptual similarities with SL, Sansar’s been built from the ground up with very different approaches in many areas, including scale, discovery, performance, design and ease of use, and the platform’s business model to name just a few. Sansar is very different from Second Life, and it’s not a sequel nor a replacement.
Over the past months, the Sansar team has run a limited “creator preview” program, and some of SL’s most talented creators have been among those invited to test the platform. They’ve created some amazing experiences - from immersive artworks to narrative experiences, educational spaces, games, fantasy words, sci-fi scenes, roleplaying environments, and much more. Today, Sansar’s creator beta opens to everyone, which means you can create your own experiences with Sansar, list virtual items for sale in the Store, and explore the creations others have published.
If that sounds interesting, you can sign up for free at Sansar.com right now. A few things to bear in mind:
You don’t have to have an HMD to use Sansar. You can create and explore in desktop mode - but the VR experience is highly recommended.
It’s free. Free to join, free to create your own experiences, free to explore.
It’s a beta. It’s a big step for the new platform, and it’s also just the beginning. Many Second Life Residents - especially those interested in VR - will love what they can do with Sansar today. But there are still many features and capabilities yet to be added. Just as SL has dramatically improved with new additions over time (remember the days before voice? before Windlight? before mesh?), there’s a lot the team is looking forward to quickly adding to Sansar.
Only you can use your SL name as your Sansar avatar ID. Sansar’s name system is different than SL’s. Everyone has a unique “avatar ID” (like a username) and an avatar name, which doesn’t need to be unique (like a display name). If you’re JohnDoe Resident in SL, no one else can use JohnDoe-Resident as their Sansar avatar ID. Stay tuned for info on how to claim your avatar ID; for now, if you try to use an SL name as a Sansar avatar ID you’ll get a ‘not available’ error.
Second Life Is Here to Stay!
We want to be very clear that the opening of Sansar’s beta does not at all change our love of and dedication to SL.
We are continuing to invest in Second Life, and the SL team (which is separate from the team developing Sansar) remains absolutely dedicated to Second Life and all of its Residents. We’re working hard on some new projects to make Second Life even better, and we won’t be stopping. As always, keep an eye on this blog for updates on exciting upcoming SL developments.