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Cloud Party - Facebooks newest venture to kill SL?


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A bit too early to say if it will be any good, so far I wasn't very impressed and I can't see myself building and managing something like 1920s Berlin there any time soon.

And for me that is the only reason to be in any kind of virtual world.

But it has potential and hopefully it will make LL think about how they can 'fight' this.

I would love it if LL bought Cloud party and turned it into a light way to interact with SL.

Imagine all the facebook people being able to visit your SL place trough their browser.

That would not just be awesome, it would also give SL a whole new life and lotsa cash.

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

Checked it out. Looks very much like IMVU to me. Dorky cartoon avatars. Not much going on there unless you want to chat.  No animations to speak of.  You can get a house and funish it, but it looks like eveyone elses.  You can't use the furniture, its just decoration.

Of course all this may change if they manage to attract content creators and a market for their creations.   However, I doubt you'll see a mass exodus from SL to CP.anytime soon.  I was bored after 5 minutes.

SL's avatars look dorky in their own unique way. However, Cloud Party avatars are just mesh assets, i.e. they are fully customizable, unlike SL where the "Ruth" base mesh is always there and needs to be hidden with alpha maps. In CP you can even replace the entire bone structure with something else. Add the superior material system to the mix, and you're in for some serious eye candy.

I predict that Cloud Party will become the preferred platform for virtual music performances.

Remember those Chouchou concerts? The ones you could hardly attend because the regions filled up within a second after opening? And if you were lucky enough to get in, it would be a laggy mess, and your viewer would crash right in the middle of your favorite song?

Cloud Party will fix that.

CP of course is subject to the same physical hardware constraints as SL. The number of avatars in a CP region is currently limited to 25. That's rather low, but it doesn't mean you will ever see a "region full" message, because CP will launch copies of a region if necessary. So you'll have 25 people in the first shard, 25 people in the second one, and so on.

Now you may wonder how the band's avatars can "perform" in multiple shards at the same time. Here's how (I think) it'll work:

CP doesn't know prims, only meshes, and there are a lot of features shared between mesh avatars and mesh objects. For example, avatars and objects in CP are animated the same way, using skeletons. This means you can create an object that not only looks like an avatar but also moves like one. Now all you need is a script (sort of like an AO) that triggers animations according to a stream of control information coming from a remote website. Install this fake avatar on a stage in your region, and it will appear in all the shards and do exactly the same moves.

Add audio streaming to this, and your virtual performance is complete. It will be less laggy, it will reach more people, and it will be easy to join because no special viewer or plugin is required.

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It would be great with some proper competition to SL though it wont happen until many embrace this competition at once. If the user base trickles in the first ones most likely will get bored before more join and when later ones join the first have left making it hard to get proper numbers.

Many users is the key. Maybe they'll get it trough Facebook. But Facebook will be the reason I wont try it.

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As far as the article cited (the one in NWN), you have to keep in mind that Hamlet has been forcasting doom and gloom for SL pretty much forever.  His position, which he repeatedly states, is that SL is on the verge of disappearing and that its only hope lies in adopting the buzzword of the day.

In other words, his doomcasting is just a habit. It's isn't new, and it's not usually noteworthy.

There is a much more informed and interesting article on Cloud Party here:

http://gwynethllewelyn.net/2012/06/25/not-yet-a-party-but-soon/

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Ossian wrote:

There is a much more informed and interesting article on Cloud Party here:


Good article. However, Gwyneth got one thing wrong:

"For example, when a Cloud Party island reaches the 25-avatar-limit, it gets sharded — a clever way to allow many more people to see the same content! — but obviously that means that the next 25 avatars will not see the first 25. They will be on separate islands. If you’re planning to do a mega-event with 400 avatars on the same location, you won’t be looking for Cloud Party to host it."

Cloud Party's friends list is designed so that you can easily switch to another shard if your friends are there. Or invite them to your shard. Each of your friends has a set of tracking coordinates that include the shard number. Your own coordinates appear in the URL bar, so if you pass that URL to your friends via IM, they will log in exactly where you are. Last but not least, you can enter multiple islands and shards at once, simply by opening more browser tabs.

These things make Cloud Party perfect for hosting a mega-event with 400 avatars. Or even 4000 avatars. There is just no point in drawing all those avatars on the screen at once. It would make region-wide open chat utterly useless.

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As several have pointed out, Cloud Party is not the first threat. According to several people it is not that much of a threat in any sense of the word. But, we can hope that it motives the Lab to make some changes before CP fails.

A good analysis of Virtual Worlds and the possiblities for CP is covered in Gwyneth Llewelyn's article: 

Not yet a party but soon?

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Nalates Urriah wrote:

As several have pointed out, Cloud Party is not the first threat. According to several people it is not that much of a threat in any sense of the word. But, we can hope that it motives the Lab to make some changes before CP fails.

A good analysis of Virtual Worlds and the possiblities for CP is covered in 
Gwyneth Llewelyn's article: 


:)

There, now that article is linked four times on this page.

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We are about to find out what happens if you jump off of a floating island...

edge 

You will be happy to know that after hovering in beautiful blue skies momentarily, you are gently placed back on the sim

sim

http://its.cloudpartytime.com

I also discovered F11 gives you full screen and that if you log on many avatars, the changes you made last, to any of them, is how you appear when you log in next time :)

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Pandorah Ashdene wrote:

Hello Medhue (/me waves),

I am not so sure about your remark "It is all mesh based, so they are never going to see the massive overuse of polygons and textures that plagues SL." - what makes you think that?

As far as I could see there are no polylimits or any accounting (like LI) in place as of yet, and the texture size limit is 1024x1024, - same as SL; so it should not be too hard to upload pretty 'heavy' meshs ploywise, with a bunch of materials, each of them overlaoded with a 1024.

Hey Pandorah!!

Yep, you are totally right. I should have elaborated. See there is a big difference between object made with prims and sculpties and a mesh. Each new sculpty requires a texture, and many have really high poly counts for what they actually are. A mesh of the same sculpty could easily be 1/10th. With prims, you need to use many to get a complicated shape, and the more you twist and distort a prim the more polys you get. A prim can also have 6 different textures on it. Plus, even a mesh box can be less polys than an SL cube, and it will only have 1 texture, even if every side is different.

Now, when you compare this to a mesh. There is a much higher learning curve to making it. This means, that generally more people will understand not to go crazy with polygons if you don't need to. When you combine this with the fact that a mesh has an editable UV Map, the total texture data saving can be crazy. I've put whole animal skins on 1 1024 x 1024 texture. People put whole building on 1 texture. Just in total texture data alone, you are talking a massive amount of texture data savings.

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Yep, any1 dissing it, I don't think, really understands all the dynamics. If CP can put out a rig that works in more programs, they are really going to attract a good portion of the creative community. If CP treats their merchants right and give them the tools to expand, they will definitely thrive. On, and a good search engine. It will be really interesting to see what they do with a marketplace. Being that all items get created into prefads with picture labels, I can see those simply having a check box to sell it, with just a simple price input and maybe a descrption and permissions.

I bet it is going to be really weird there in a while, cause both world will start to look more and more the same, with only 2 different ways to do things, and completely different interfaces.

Will also be interesting to see what happens when land pricing is announced, and if this will force LL to lower their prices. I doubt CP will be anywhere near the cost of a equal sim in SL.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:


Pandorah Ashdene wrote:

Hello Medhue (/me waves),

I am not so sure about your remark "It is all mesh based, so they are never going to see the massive overuse of polygons and textures that plagues SL." - what makes you think that?

As far as I could see there are no polylimits or any accounting (like LI) in place as of yet, and the texture size limit is 1024x1024, - same as SL; so it should not be too hard to upload pretty 'heavy' meshs ploywise, with a bunch of materials, each of them overlaoded with a 1024.

Hey Pandorah!!

Yep, you are totally right. I should have elaborated. See there is a big difference between object made with prims and sculpties and a mesh. Each new sculpty requires a texture, and many have really high poly counts for what they actually are. A mesh of the same sculpty could easily be 1/10th. With prims, you need to use many to get a complicated shape, and the more you twist and distort a prim the more polys you get. A prim can also have 6 different textures on it. Plus, even a mesh box can be less polys than an SL cube, and it will only have 1 texture, even if every side is different.

Now, when you compare this to a mesh. There is a much higher learning curve to making it. This means, that generally more people will understand not to go crazy with polygons if you don't need to. When you combine this with the fact that a mesh has an editable UV Map, the total texture data saving can be crazy. I've put whole animal skins on 1 1024 x 1024 texture. People put whole building on 1 texture. Just in total texture data alone, you are talking a massive amount of texture data savings.

Thanks for clarifying you point of view.

And having had a few discussions with you, when mesh was still on Aditi, I know that you are a conscious builder and take all those aspects into consideration; I know that YOU know how to make effective mesh content.

I could even lengthen your list of bad building practice, especialy with sculpts, where I have even seen people use 1024x1024 sculpt maps, lol, - but I did not question whether mesh CAN be used more efficient than legacy prims or sculpts;

The issue I have with your statement "It is all mesh based, so they are never going to see the massive overuse of polygons and textures that plagues SL.", is that you imply, that the fact, that all content is only mesh there will be "no overuse of polygons and textures".

Right now the biggest question for me as builder is "What will be the 'accounting' of builds/meshs?" - what I mean by that, is right now as far as I could see you can upload pretty much anything and rezz it; in SL the upload costs and to a much higher degree the landimpact 'encourage' you to a certain degree to be effective, at least regarding the polycount (you can still slap eight 1024s on the materials, which is roughly a 32MB download for the object);

Mesh content without the implementation of an 'incentive' is NOT going to be necesarily 'effective', not if we talk about "user created content"; not if you think of the users that are beginners or hobbyists, that often arent even aware of the 'problem';

CloudParty will have to put a lid on 'usage' in some way - otherwise you can be sure that people will upload & rezz meshs that bring your computer on its knees - and that 'lid' will enforce 'effectiveness'; mesh per se does not guarantee low-lag content or prevent abuse.

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:

The simple fact that in order to gain full use of it's features you have to sign up through Facebook is enough to keep me away.  Dresden Ceriano is the persona I use for all my online social activities for a reason.  The last thing I want is to be able to be looked up and bombarded by old friends and family members, then have to spend all my time telling them about my boring life... my online time is for me to get away from all of that. 
Plus, I simply have no interest in getting in touch with people from my RL whom I've stopped talking to ages ago... I stopped talking to them for a reason.


I like how you think, Dresden :)  One of the things that soured me on FB was being constantly bombarded with "you may know these people" - and I'm talking pages of them.  Some of these people "I may know" included: my estranged bio-dad (estranged for a reason), a woman I knew in college who chased my then-fiance and was upset he wasn't engaged to her (yeah, I really wanted to be reminded of her again), two people who couldn't take the time to answer emails I sent but who were among the first to want to "friend" me on FB, a cousin's husband who, since the death of my cousin I really have no inclination to continue any relationship with, etc.  WHY does FB want to push these people in my face, with the ones I mentioned bringing up some bad memories?

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MizDeMeanor Morpork wrote:

I think you've made the most viable point of all this.  The intrusiveness of facebook and programs like it. <snip>

Please excuse my rant, as I rarely make sense to anyone but myself.  I just feel its all so intrusive, and yes facebook..If I had wanted to speak to someone I hadn't seen in ten years; you would be the last people I would use to contact that person. Facebook is the epitome of self-centered indulgence harboring on Andy Warhal's 15 minutes of fame idea.

I like how you think as well, MizDeMeanor.  And I didn't think you rambled at all!  :)

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Charolotte Caxton wrote:


Coby Foden wrote:


Charolotte Caxton wrote:

Lol, I customized my self
:)

Wow!  Amazing job Charolotte.  So cute.  :heart:  :smileywink: 

Thanks! We think so :smileylol:

Cloud Party Yay!


Ok, that's just scary.  Kind of like looking in one of those fun house mirrors where you see a crowd of yourself. :smileysurprised:

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