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Braydon Randt

MESH in SL - Is cloud party going to push SL

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Well  ive just had a looky  at that new fangled Cloud Party doohicky,  and yes im impressed,  a full material system so normal mapes etc ..  better physics engine yadda yadda ...  the UI is total crud IMHO though,  I am an old hand with SL  so im staying put ,  but with this new competition made apprently by old lindens ....  will this push to improve the MESH system in Second LIfe ,  I know from whatI understand LL  wants to make sure that old content doesnt get broken   ..  but their we have the problem ....  we have content from 2003  yes NINE YEARS later ....  that we still have to accomidate for.  ok ok  ...  lets say thats fine for such things as Avatar 2,  but how can a competitor make something like SL ,  that runs in a browser ,  has normal maps ,  animations ,  scripting  superior physics engine ...  yet we .... can not have these things.

 

I was once told something ....  that is every country that is defeated in a war surpasses the country that defeated it ...  because they start from nothing ,  rather than clinging onto old tech ..  LINDENS!!!!  GIVE ME THE TOOLS!!! ,  if our customers leave to go to pretty land ...  then we have no money to reinvest into  SL ,  and i want SL to succedd ,  i dont want a replacement ...  i want to say " f**k old content ....  we are 9 years later ,  lets more forward"  if we have better mesh avatars  for example ,  we can retain the " old"  avatars ,  we can select what we want ,  rather than it fed to us . 

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In my opinion the most impressive thing about Cloud Party is that it just starts up. No OS-specific viewer to be installed and updated, no proprietary browser plug-ins such as Flash or Unity 3D, no Java... A plain web browser with WebGL capability is all it takes.

Of course CP is taking some shortcuts to make that happen. For example, there are no region crossing issues because there are no adjacent regions in the first place. Neighboring islands floating in the sky convey a sense of proximity although they are little more than fancy landmark icons (and replaceable with user-defined objects). Very clever. Avatars cannot collide with each other, and they also seem unable to push objects. This considerably reduces the amount of data sent by clients or neighboring regions and shared with other clients through the server, a major contributor to lag in SL.

Avatar geometry is very low-poly, but normal maps actually make the cloth wrinkles look better. The renderer even supports shadows. Remember how long we had to wait for those to arrive in SL?

CP is an impressive WebGL proof-of-concept and a wake-up call to Linden Lab.

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i've been there, It is still very basic. But building is amazingly easy. Importing mesh goes very smootthly. No costs at all.

UV mapping , heightmap , scripting, rigging, very nice physics, animations . All is possible. Not only imports collada but also obj. Could be a real challenge for SL in the future because it dont need any downloads/installing. Just loads in the browser (Chrome) . Looks like AMD graphic card does not support it though.

For people who have a hard time entering testgrids in SL this could be a good alternative.

IMHO second life is still far superior and interesting , but Lindens watch this one and hurry up to stay ahead !!  

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I think there is room for both SL and CP. Especially if CP stays locked to FB. Each world will raise awareness of VR in general.

 

As far as old SL content goes, it is SL's history. If you remove all that content, you get an empty world like CP. And all that CP has over SL right now(from a creators pov) are materials and object rigging(so far). Old SL content isn't holding us back either. Sure backwards compatibility challenges the Devs, but it's how web development has always worked. Ie: newest browsers can still view ancient web pages.

 

What CP doesn't have yet: governance, staff, safe harbor, permissions, economy, etc. etc. I figure they are working on stuff, but as we all know all too well, how these basic concepts are developed and applied will make all the difference.

 

Certainly interesting to watch, though.

 

(I think I could have used some more initials in this post. =P)

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I have to say that I have been having a good time exploring the creation tools in CP. Beyond that, it has that creative, friendly community feel that SL used to have in the early years. Of course, if they get massively big, that will fade like it does in every VW, but it is still nice to experience while it lasts.

At the end of the day, I do hope that the Lab looks at what can be done and notices the excitement that just the shader system alone has created. That isn't even counting the fact that you can bring in custom skeletons and animate rezzed objects. 

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Have you guys seen this post by Will Burns (aka Darian Knight): http://bit.ly/Lj28Nc ?

Quoting from his blog: "When it comes to these virtual worlds in a browser implementations, I always have a moment of immediate ennui that hits me. I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and my first thought whenever somebody tells me about a new browser based virtual environment is “This will be underwhelming at best.” He then goes into details.

I pretty much agree with him. Being able to enter a virtual world in seconds without installing a viewer is a great advantage but it also comes at the price of having limited control on how all the browsers out there will deal with your system, as all web developers know too well. I was in Cloud Party when one of the devs mentioned that a certain combination of keys caused havok with some browsers. WebGL is still cutting edge technology and not all browsers have caught up with it. As they grow I think they'll run into a number of issues.

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The big downside to me is it is entirely inside of facebook.

Old 'Cory LInden' is now a facebook employee so this things tied to facebook for good inseperably.

Yuck. Facebook is so creepy.

I don't want to be datamined, spied on, monitored, tracked and so on so I'm never gonna be logging into Cloud Party!

As soon as I saw Cloud Party, I started liking SL way more purely because it is not inside facebook.

Sort of renewed my love for SL in a way :cathappy:

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WADE1 Jya wrote:

Yuck. Facebook is so creepy.

I don't want to be datamined, spied on, monirored, tracked and so on so I'm never gonna be logging into Cloud Party!

How to join Cloud Party without giving up your privacy:

  1. If you are using Chrome, open a new incognito window.
  2. If you are using Firefox, switch to private browsing mode.
  3. Log into your Fakebook account (or create one now, using a throw-away email address).
  4. Launch Cloud Party and have fun.

To end your session, close the incognito window (Chrome) or drop out of private browsing mode (Firefox). This will wipe all of Facebook's tracking cookies as well as any other cookies that were set during the CP session.

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That's what i did, just made a bogus FB account so I could try it out. I went through several browsers before figuring out that Chrome worked.

I was really surprised at how fast it started up (once had the right browser), to move around, and the graphics. The tutorials are good. Even my friend who has never tried building in SL (only plays tourist and dress-up in SL) was willing to go through the building tutorial because it told her she would get a house, lol. She said "its so easy!" and I thought, it's easy in sl too! She's a big FB user. I think she spent longer in CP than she has ever spent in SL, and there's nothing in CP yet! Maybe cause she was thinking she could get all her FB friends to play and visit with her there.

Funny, all these new virtual world things coming out. Just about a week ago I signed up for Kitely cause they look like they are getting more up to snuff feature wise, but it's more like SL, using the regular viewers (just a lot cheaper and lots more prims, hehe).

I wonder how much CP will charge for islands. There are so many places now where merchants can sell their stuff!! especially if they do mesh. SL, Kitely, and CP all support mesh uploads and it looks like the new ones are getting good IP protections in place for merchants too.

Edit: duh. corrected "CB" to be "CP"

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well  tried to look at it again today ...  was in for 30 minutes ,  and that was after the 48th  attmept of being told " server not responding"  then i tried earlier ..  and apparently i have no facebook account connected with CP"   now im back to server not responding ..  so at this rate .. SL  is most definately more attractive.  

 

but i know LL doesnt pay the slightest bit of attention to this request

 

Lindens,  we have seen that it is possible to introduce a materials system,  even if it is on a circa 2003 Sl esque clone called cloud party , 

Please can we have materials ..........  so that the mesh we create looks like how we intended ,  rather than flat?

 

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copied from cp fb page :  Unfortunately some older video cards have been blacklisted by firefox or chrome due to WebGL instability. This is up to the browser, not us. Chrome has a different list than firefox, so you may have more luck with Chrome.

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Just wanted to add that when it comes to virtual worlds in a web browser, you end up being jack of all trades and master of none by default. That's usually the tradeoff, and ultimately why I've never been excited about that particular flavor of virtual world implementation.

Thanks for the mention, Indigo...

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