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I have a question about performance versus creative tools/opportunity. (especially for the new platform)

It worries me that the new platform will require the users to have a more powerful system. While we can all see the minimum requirements for Second Life, more or less an off the shelf office computer from 2005, we all know you need a superior system to that to have a pleasant if not bearable experience. Brand new high end computers struggle with SL how it is in many places.

I love the ability to be able to build whatever we want, but my obvious concerns when mesh was introduced, as well as the new materials, were confirmed the very first second. While both these changes allow us to build more efficiently, they are abused to no end. We all know the objects (especially wearable ones) with millions of polygons, objects with 1024x1024 maps in every slot available (the number of those is also more or less unlimited with the "right" setup). LL changing the base avatars is (to me) and indication that mesh avatars shouldn't be promoted. To paint a picture: I have a mesh avatar that pretty much halves my framerate. It's not the most popular one (for various reasons), but it's widely used nonetheless.

The same problems we have with scripts. There simply is no limit.

So my question is this: How will this issue be handled on the new platform? If the standard is already higher (in impact on ones system), should we worry that only the highest of the highest spec computers will be able to allow us to have a normal experience?

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DistortedDreams wrote:

Will we ever see an improved/quicker cashout/processing credit system?

Yes, during the interview he did with us at SL12B, he mentioned that the goal ultimately is to make cashouts a lot faster.

 

The last thing you said about cashing out. You’ve said before that you want to speed that up. [do you have] any idea when this is going to happen, or how is the progress to that?

 

[0:04:39] The progress is good. We’ve now managed to automate a lot of things so that we can see what percentage we would be willing to pay out rapidly in an automated fashion. We’re still tuning the rules as to who we would trust to pay out; to make sure that we’re 100% certain that people who would be paid out should be paid out. And we continue to increase that percentage by continuing to dial the rules and make tweaks,

 

When we get to a significant enough percentage, then we should be able to start automating the process as well. not just the data saying we could, but we actually will pay out. I don’t have a date for exactly when we can turn that on; but it’s our goal for the vast majority of people that we have a trusted relationship with, to be able to pay within 24 hours or something.

 

I mean, there’s obviously external processes a well, that we’re not 100% in control of; but on our end, when someone clicks the button that says, “I want to be paid out”, we hope to, within 24 hours, to be able to automatically say, “start the process”, and then like I say, there’s actually some external dependencies for how quickly that actually takes place.

http://modemworld.me/2015/06/27/sl12b-ebbe-altberg-on-second-life-sansar-transcript-and-video/

 

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Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

So my question is this: How will this issue be handled on the new platform? If the standard is already higher (in impact on ones system), should we worry that only the highest of the highest spec computers will be able to allow us to have a normal experience?

Now, that is perhaps the most important question still unanswered: who is Sansar for? Is it for the high end gaming computer crowd or is it supposed to be the platform for the "10s and 100s of millions of people."?

Either option is great but the two are mutually exlusive and any attempt to do both at the same time is doomed. There simply won't be millions of people buying high end computers just for the sake of visiting a virtual world. They'll try to use the trusty ol box they have for other purposes and if that doesn't work, they'll leave and never return.

I think many people will agree with me when I say immersion is vital to a virtual environment. It doesn't have to be realistic, it can be pure fantasy. But just like a good book or movie, it has to feel real while you're in it.

Over time lots of visitors to my build at Coniston have commented that it feels more real than most places in Second Life. For long I couldn't understand that because it's actually a fairly simple build and even today still unfinished and full of holes. But I think I now have identified the six main factors determining how real a virtual reality can feel - how easy it is to immerse yourself into it:

  1. Lag: Especially rendering lag. How often do you go to a place in Real Life and then wait for a minute for the scene to render? I think that's the main illusion breaker in Second Life and will remain so in the foreseeable future.
  2. Point of View: The default birdseye view of Second Life encourages us to be spectators rather than participants. Tools like the Oculus Rift will help there of course but don't expect millions of people to be willing to buy them just for the sake of Sansar. Besides, we know many people simply can't use the Rift without getting seriously seasick. A default camera position closer to the avatar, similar to what modern computer games have, will actually be almost as good and come with no negative side effects.
  3. User interface: The time you spend looking for and fiddling with the menus, buttons and keyboard shortcuts is time you spend distancing yourself from the scene. The Second Life viewer 2/3 interface was probably really good when it first arrived but over time it's become more and more bloated and disorganized while software interfaces in general have improved immensely in terms of user friendliness.
  4. Context: In virtual reality as in real life we spend very little time examining specific objects in detail. what we actually see, is the scene as a whole. There have been countless scientific studies and articles about how we really see our environment - here's one fairly random example: http://www3.scienceblog.com/community/older/2000/D/200003073.html. As content creators we have to be aware of this. We have to know which details to keep, which to leave out, which to highlight - and even which to exaggerate. Unfortunately all content creators have a tendency to be so focused on that little bit we're working on at the moment we tend to forget the whole. That's an occupational hazard and can never be completely avoided, we just have to try to fight it the best we can. In Second Life we've been fortunate enough to have two (at least) great and very prolific builders who were masters of this, Eric Call/Eric Linden and Aley/Arcadia Asylum. Their builds are often quite simple and even a bit crude if we study them in detail but they always have exactly the right details, the ones they need to work in context. We should all study and learn from them. This is of course the content creators' responsibility. All Linden Lab can do is encourage and perhaps show good examples like the early Content Lindens and early Moles did for Second Life.
  5. Movement: Real Life is hardly ever static. It changes all the time. Virtual reality is far too often reduced to still pictures. What mechanisms will we have to create a dynamic Sansar? Will we have shadows that move over time? Will we have a way to make animals and vehicles move smoothly across the ground the way they rarely do in SL? Oh, and will we have mirrors and other truly reflecting surfaces?
  6. Graphics quality: Well, obviously. But! Even though it's on the list, it's definitely no. 6 and can often distract from and even interfere with the more important factors. We're also dangerously close to the uncanny valley now and once we enter that, improved graphics will become a liability rather than an advantage for a while. We better beware there.

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BlueTrianon wrote:

I'm so sorry, but I just would like to confirm that it is substances as in Allegorithmic's Substances that will be supported?  If so, this is very exciting news.

We intend to support the idea of substances in regards to rendering physics and audio in some way. We have not ruled out supporting that product and are fans but may solve it some other way. 

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ChinRey wrote:

Ebbe Linden wrote:

Sansar will have a new marketplace with new tech and user experience. 

That of course brings up the question what will happen to the Second Life Marketplace. Are there any plans to upgrade it to modern standards with better search listing ranking, grouped listings, a more user friendly merchant interface, autmatic removal of expired listings, and better protection against illegal, TOS violating and unethical wares and marketing practices?

 

It will be improved but we'll have to wait on more details here. 

 

Ebbe Linden wrote:

Yes, we have support for physically based materials with spec, smoothness, "metalness" and normal maps. 

Will there be support for displacement maps?

When the plans for Sansar were first made public, there was quite a lot of talk about voxels. Have these plans been abandoned?

 

Yes, we will support displacement maps. 

We continue to experiment with voxels... 

 

Jo Yardley wrote:

When will we get the 24 hour day cycles?

Sorry, couldn't resist
;)

 

Oh no, we don't want that! With four hour days we get six times as many of them so we all get six times as much done! Ummm... or... am I getting something wrong here?

 

The idea is that you can set your own cycle for your own region. Some want 24, some want 3. 

 

 

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Tyr Rozenblum wrote:

Hi Ebbe and your fellow Lindens! So two questions,

 

I spoke with fellow creators and a few others with invested interest in sl like me!  We were working out ideas (think of it like fantasy football with out all the sportsing) for things that might be beneficial to boost the amount of land purchased in SL.

I know our current system is hugely flawed, and its probably hard to change it because it's been so ingrained now for 12 years.

But would the lindens consider ever offering a fourth type of sim? one that was considerably cheaper and could be purchased as both mainland and private? 

The idea was a social sim, the same prims as a regular sim, with the caveat that no business, gaming, or residential could be on it. It would be a sim purely for emmersive roleplay, parks, art, and other social settings. While privately owned and ran (think of how current rp sims are managed), they would have to stay totally open to the general public.

I know the idea is kind of simplified, for lower cost, in addition to business, skill gaming, and residential sims, we could see a lot more fun sims to add to the experience.

As it is now, a lot of these sims are short lived, or they have to be attached to a business.

My other question was about project sansar, first let me say I love the idea of a tax, and lower land for residents and new users. I want new users to have a more affordable experience that will keep them around longer. But I was told a lot of quotes from reddit ar actually wrong about the 5% tax. I was curious if you guys know the number yet? I'll admit I'm alittle afraid of Sansar going the route of IMVU and gauging too high for it to be profitable for both creators and LL.

 

Thank you for reading

Tyr Rozenblum

 

ADDED:

1. I was curious also about the possiblity about morphs and head sliders. With the growing popularity of mesh bodies and heads, I was wondering if we would ever get to use the head morphs/sliders in the future? It would probably benefit head creators, as well as those wishing to have a little more HD experience.

 

We will build a highly flexibly avatar system. Not clear that user created avatars will be able to take advantage of our simple avatar customization UI. It's something we would like to find solutions to but is a very hard problem. 

 

2. Animated mesh: I know that I have helped contribute to many users fall im frame rate (sorry guys you know ILU), doing mesh creatures with my partner Nina. The problem is saving frame for frame and over lapping mesh using alpha is just, not a responsible way to do things. Yes we still do it, but its the only way to have any kind of animated pets and animals via mesh. Is there plans in the future to add ACTUAL ways to do animated creatures? You know without killing your friends and loved one's frame rate. 

 

Yes, we plan to support custom skeletons. 

 

 

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Ebbe,

I see you answered TYR's addtional questions, but the main focus of her post was around if linden lab is interested in sponsoring projects that provide "non business" related fun experiences.   Currently sims that want to create fun experiences need to create revenue and often face financial issues because of this.

I'm also interested if this is a path linden lab would want to go down to promote new user engagement and logitivity of experiences that retain users.

Mike

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seanabrady wrote:

Thanks for all these continued responses. On Second Life, I think that the changes over the last several years have been fantastic and I look forward to the new things which have been mentioned. I dont know that there is much more to say other than to continue to do the best you can with the platform. I have a couple of questions on Sansar though.

1)  Will the land/terrain system be sufficiently advanced to allow for the creation of caves? 

Yes. 

 

2)  Will there be better tools for managing and visualizing inventory? One of the biggest challenges in SL today is effectivly organzing an inventory you cannot quickly see. I would love to see transaction data fed into a web based inventory management system when purchases can be visualized, sorted and tagged.

We need more time to figure this one out completely. 

 

In the idea of Mainland, while I can apprciate the ideas behind mainland and thing that the community and especially the vehicle aspects are exceedingly important, as a landowner I simply don't want to compete with LL. I think that mainland type communities should be enabled, and that different landowners should continue to feel free to connect distributed regions into a larger whole. I would prefer to see this done without the direct invovlement of land payments to LL. Priced right, with sufficicient size I can see small groups coming together to create realms like the Blake Sea. In fact, I can envision the new regions being modern enough to allow for vast amounts of sailable/flyable water without greatly increasing the processing power needed.

Sounds great to us. 

 

Thanks again for taking the time to answer these...and hope I am not to late.

 

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Mike Denneny wrote:

Ebbe,

I see you answered her addtional questions, but the main focus of her post was around if linden lab is interested in sponsoring projects that provide "non business" related fun experiences.   Currently sims that want to create games need to create revenue and often face financial issues because of this.

I'm also interested if this is a path linden lab would want to go down to promote new user engagement and logitivity of experiences that retain users.

Mike

We're thinking of cheaper and larger land supporting more scalable experiences. This will make it easier to create and successfully operate these types of experiences. 

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"We're thinking of cheaper and larger land supporting more scalable experiences. This will make it easier to create and successfully operate these types of experiences. "

When you mention "cheaper/ more scalable land" are you talking about project sansar  or  the second life platform?

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A question I have is in regards to user engagement/ influence on secondlife platform.

Currently in secondlife there are three user groups that meet on a weekly basis, but are pretty much free-for-all conversations around technical issues.   I'm wondering if the linden lab team is interested in composing a team of dedicated "Power Users/ Creators" that can articulate themselves well while having an influence in secondlife and large connections to communities/ user base.

I believe a focused team like this could be very useful in helping linden lab make decisions in prioritising projects/tasks and having a more immediate understanding of the impact of those decisions.   I feel right now there is a lot of grey area between users and the lab.  Though there are certainly pipelines that can be taken, I've experienced first hand how easily ideas can get shot down with disengaging responses due to limited capacity.  This can be improved by offloading some of that required capacity/ effort to dedicated users.  

Please advise,

Mike

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Cerise Sorbet wrote:

I've got the impression that the whole idea of region crossings would be alien to this new platform.

That is probably where some of the anxiety about a mainland kind of experience comes from. While seamless crossings have obviously been too problematic to try again any time soon, some kind of way to smooth over the edges, something like a fog or tunnel you can walk (or riode a vehicle) through to get between experiences that want to allow that, might go some way toward keeping that kind of imersion alive.

Will Sansar be able to suport something like that?

Something like this is what we have in mind. 

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Jo Yardley wrote:

I know LL is thinking about changning the region options in SL, wanting to offer more different kinds of region to buy in stead of just one giant one.

I would like to know if you're thinking about lowering or removing the setup fees for regions and homesteads.

I know 1000 bucks is a lot of money to let users keep but I am sure it would also encourage more people to buy (new) regions.

In general we will lower the cost of land. 

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Ebbe Linden wrote:


Jo Yardley wrote:

I know LL is thinking about changning the region options in SL, wanting to offer more different kinds of region to buy in stead of just one giant one.

I would like to know if you're thinking about lowering or removing the setup fees for regions and homesteads.

I know 1000 bucks is a lot of money to let users keep but I am sure it would also encourage more people to buy (new) regions.

In general we will lower the cost of land. 

In SL?

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JPG0809 wrote:

Thank you for starting and answering in this thread!

 

-Has the lab thought about prepaid cards?

 

If I remember correctly, I believe LL decided on accepting teen users. Though I do believe some may have credit cards, I don't think many do and the those that do would'nt be comfortable giving their info out. I remember for certain MMOs, instead of using my credit card, I would pay $10 or $25 on a prepaid card for a certain game company and on the back of the card was a code you would type in on their site to redeem in-game credit. Though I don't think the traditional way of buying currency with a credit card is a bad idea, I do think that maybe buying Lindens this way may help those who would like an alternative though I'm not sure if Sansar will even have the same currency or a fluctuating economy and how that would all work.

Not sure. Too soon to tell. 

 

-Will Sansar support wireless more efficiently rather than relying heavily on a wired set-up for Internet connection?

 

Yes, Sansar will be more efficient over the network. 

 

 


 

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Danger Linden wrote:

o Community Gateways - we're starting (re-starting) a trail program to allow specific communiies to attract, register, and on-board new users themselves.

 

I am a volunteer in
 and I would like more information about this program.

Thank you

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Jo Yardley wrote:

Ebbe Linden wrote:

Jo Yardley wrote:

I know LL is thinking about changning the region options in SL, wanting to offer more different kinds of region to buy in stead of just one giant one.

I would like to know if you're thinking about lowering or removing the setup fees for regions and homesteads.

I know 1000 bucks is a lot of money to let users keep but I am sure it would also encourage more people to buy (new) regions.

In general we will lower the cost of land. 

In SL?

For Project Sansar. We continue to look at optins for SL but I can't promise any changes there.  

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"... high end gaming computer crowd or .... "10s and 100s of millions of people."? ...the two are mutually exclusive and any attempt to do both at the same time is doomed."

I'd like to suggest an alternative view. My impression is based on a perceived distinction between the "experience creators" invariably discussed in the context of Sansar and the familiar "content creators" we are used to in SL. It must be a major, probably overriding, aim of Sansar to achieve end-user numbers higher than SL's by orders of magnitude. A prerequisite for this is escape from the constraints of the direct LL-to-user relationship, most explicit in mainland and Linden homes. That is where the experience creators come in. They are the necessary middleman between LL and the end user. Their role will have to be be higher level, more complex and more integrated than even the most sophisticated content creators in SL. The wider set of skills required in that role will mean they are more likely to be organised groups than individuals, ranging from informal groups to formal companies.

To create experiences with the required level of autonomy, the experience creators will need to be provided with controls much more fine-grained and much wider in scope than those available in SL. Among those could be controls over acceptable rendering, physics and script processing demands of content. In that case,  the opportunity would be there for the creation of different experiences with very different demands on client hardware. The success or failure of those experiences would then depend on, and respond to, the spectrum of hardware available to the potential clients of those experiences, as it varies geographically, demographically and over time - evolution by natural selection.

It is easy for those of us who are comfortable in SL, to lament the potential demise of our favourite features envisaged here, be that the anarchic creativity of mainland, the role of the individualist content creator, or whatever. However, we cannot be the target audience for Sansar. If it were to appeal only to the SL diehards, it would be a failure. If Sansar does succeed in providing sufficient scope and flexibility for experience creators, there is no reason why they should not produce an analogue of mainland, that would live or die according to its success in attracting users, or experiences that gave users the same sort of content-creation opportunities presented by SL, or ....

The success of any such endeavours, as well as that of other experiences, will also depend on one important set of answers to Danger's question about mainland, the perception of responsibility, trust and reliability of the experience providers. For me this is the crucial attraction, among many, of mainland. It avoids the middleman. If it is true that Sansar will be dominated by experiences provided by middlemen, then establishment of these virtues among them will be crucial for success. That may be the hardest problem of all.

 

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the hardest problem for residents in SL is continuation of community ownership when that community is estate-based parcel-wise

and  I hope that Sansar will address this

i think it will have to, if there was to be no LL-provided Sansar mainland as we know it in SL

+

some assumptions and some questions

from what Ebbe, Danger have said so far then I get that the current thinking for Sansar land model will be baronesque ish.

can understand this. given that if is to be scalable to 100s millions then customer support-wise the barons can help their tenants with this themselves, in return for the loot they will make (potentially). If so then seems fair to me this

so assume there is no residential mainland (meaning Linden Homes style, or old mainland). Assume there is some public LL-provided sandboxes and town halls (which was mentioned earlier) and thats it. The rest is up to the residents to make it how they wish

+

leads to my next assumption with onboarding a new account

when we log in for the first time then we will log in to a "New Resident" Experience yes. Can pick the LL one, or a Baron one from the start menu

then to go other places there will be portals in the Experience. And/or in the UI similar to teleport landmarks / Destinations, etc ?

pretty much how SL works now (or used to work with Community Gateways)

if so then assume that there are no "rooms" for new not-yet-paying customers

+

my next assumption is about community building

assume that the core Sansar mechanism of community-building is Group

that members are invited to Group. The Group owns the Experience. The members can contribute their "Tier" to the community-owned Experience. Same as is now in SL pretty much

a issue at the moment in SL is when a Founder RL disappears and none of the other members has "Owner" status. The Group is crippled

the issue is similar to when a Estate Baron disappears (meaning the tiers dont get paid) and all the tenants are summarily ejected from their own self-created SL home/experience

+

so questions for Ebbe Danger:

Q: when the Sansar Founder (?baron) of a Experience just RL disappears from the Sansar world, will it be possible for the Group Experience to continue under new leadership. Meaning will it be possible (will there be a process?) for the Group to nominate (?vote) a new "Owner" so that the community-paid Group experience can continue uncrippled ?

in a 100s millions world I am not sure that it would good to not have some mechanic  like this

+

next question which is kinda related (in practical terms) when a location-based Experience dissolves (for any reason):

Q: will we be able to OAR our Experience?

like pack it into a box/folder, so that we can move it to some other place

(a benefit of this also are Experience Merchants being able to sell it as a packaged experience)

 

 

 

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

To create experiences with the required level of autonomy, the experience creators will need to be provided with controls much more fine-grained and much wider in scope than those available in SL. Among those could be controls over acceptable rendering, physics and script processing demands of content. In that case,  the opportunity would be there for the creation of different experiences with very different demands on client hardware.

Very good point, Drongle.

So the questions then are:

  1. Will it be possible to create a virtual enivronment with graphics quality similar to Second Life but with considerably less client side cpu and gpu load?
  2. Will LL provide sufficient documentation how to do so - that is how much lag (server side, network and client side) the various features causes?
  3. Will the viewer interface be simple and intuitive enough an old granny who's never used her computer for anything but check her bank account and read emails from her grandchildren can log on for the first time and cruise around within minutes?

I think those are the fundamental requirements for a virtual reality with a broader appeal than Second Life.

 

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" I would prefer to see this done without the direct invovlement of land payments to LL."

Paying directly to LL is a major advantage of the Mainland, no middleman, no wondering if the landlord will abandon SL or decide your activities/builds do not fit with their vision. Nothing against the land barons, I just have no desire to deal with them.

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Thanks for distilling out those questions. The second is so important that I want to repeat it. Lack of clear documentation, and the variable quality of what is available, especially concerning efficiency of resource consumption, has been a significant disadvantage to SL. Critical documentation can be an effective way to uncover hidden points of weakness before they become fixed. Can we be assured that LL will focus sufficient resource on documentation for Sansar, preferably from the beginning?

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

Thanks for distilling out those questions. The second is so important that I want to repeat it. Lack of clear documentation, and the variable quality of what is available, especially concerning efficiency of resource consumption, has been a significant disadvantage to SL.
Critical documentation can be an effective way to uncover hidden points of weakness before they become fixed. Can we be assured that LL will focus sufficient resource on documentation for Sansar, preferably from the beginning?

Thanks Chin and Drongle for bringing this up -- there has been near total absence of documentation of mesh best practices as well as, for example, the meaning of error messages. The mesh forum is our only hope of teasing out the mysteries of SL uploading and Land Impact (eg "Why is my simple arched wall 8,000 Land Impact?"). 

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