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323starlight

What do we know about Project Sansar?

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Perrie Juran wrote:

He does have a vision....but how concrete it is only he can say.  We can extrapolate some ideas from the little he has said.

One thing that I don't think most people would argue with is that we need a new chalk board to draw on.  Sure there have been improvements to SL but it will only scale so far.  The question is who is going to step up and draw on the new board?  His vision as I see it is a more technically proficient creator /merchant class.  But those people are going to need customers if they are going to succeed. 

The cats meow would be if they could transfer all of SL to the new platform.  Then they could have their cake and eat it too.  But we know that ain't gonna happen.

Second Life is not only a technically complex beast .. it suffers from a unique problem called "Maturity". Over time, as happens even with us humans, SL has spread far and wide. Not only is there a massive amount of code in the body of the Virtual World portion of SL, but there are a massive number of side bits, support sites and ancilliary functions.

Just the Viewer itself is an example of this "spread". A goodly portion of the Viewer code is dedicated to touching all the different parts and interfaces that have accumulated over time. Of course they are all "critical functions" now because they've been in place so long, but they also make the Viewer much more "heavy" than a brand new one (for a brand new platform) would be.

Looking at the SL Monster from inside the Lab's walls, it is an easy decision to make .. not trying to replicate it. The old guard is gone, there are big chunks of it that no one understands or has even visited in years, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the existing LL staff hasn't got a good handle on how it works, what it does or why it's still a viable platform. They surely won't invest in re-making something they can't understand, don't understand, and don't really WANT to understand. (Besides, it ain't broken, why fix it? Money still comes in the door, it ain't broken.)

Of course the downside is that it takes more than a few well-meaning geeks in their basements to replicate what we have come to know as Second Life. Philip knew that when he first began selling his "Vision" all those years ago. He knew he needed a big staff, a stable staff, a PAID staff .. and a few years.

Those are things that Linden Lab could provide now, except they are also convinced that platforms like Second Life will never attain the profit margins that today's investors expect from web properties. Ebbe would either have to do a Philip-sized sales job .. plus! .. or he has to convince the people above him that HIS Vision for a new product is even better. (That assumes of course that he could even think "let's remake SL" without getting fired immediately.)

Ebbe faces a giant challenge. His Project Sansar has a massive amount of vapor and good intentions built into its body and its base. Apparently the people putting money into the project are still the type that get fascinated with shiny new tech gadgets and grand ideas. Also apparently he's done a good job selling that Vision to them.

But getting the money and the permission does not make it a success ... unless you only measure success by how long you last in a job before they decide you've failed too. And if that's Ebbe's measuring stick?

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Trying to explain McLuhan's theory by the second thing that comes up on Google is as inaccurate as explaining it with the first thing that comes up on Google, but that first thing (at least on my Google) does explain the most pertinent thing about it:

First, McLuhan was not concerned with providing consistent, linear meanings of the terms “hot” versus “cool” media. For him, it was the effect the medium had that he was trying to get at. McLuhan indicates this in chapter 2 ofUnderstanding Media where he writes:

The new electric structuring and configuring of life more and more encounters the old lineal and fragmentary procedures and tools of analysis from the mechanical age. More and more we turn from the content of messages to study total effect. . . . Concern with effect rather than meaning is a basic change of our electric time, for effect involves the total situation, and not a singe level of information movement. (26) [all emphases in original]

I can back that interpretation up with my experience as I was a student of McLuhan's at the University of Toronto in 1976. At that time there was a presidential election in the US between Carter and Ford. McLuhan divided up the class in half, half of us listened to Ford speak on the radio, and the other half watched Carter on TV. On the radio, Ford sounded more experienced and cerebral; on the TV, Carter, especially in his down-home commercials of the time showing him on a rocker on a porch, came across as popular and friendly. So each side could think their candidate had "won" in that media -- or not. Then they were switched. Carter won, of course, as TV trumped radio by then, as it had by the time of the JFK election when Nixon appeared on TV in a white shirt and stubble which made him look like a dirty criminal -- you have to wear blue on TV to make it come out white and not yellow.

What does all this have to do with Second Life? Nothing, because SL is by definition cool medium in that it is like TV, and hot medium only in that it has some "radio" like features but note that in McLuhan's list, voice can be "cool" too. It's not about "senses" as media doesn't have touch, taste, or smell. One could make various arguments about SL being more hot and emotional than WoW which is cool and detached or something but it's quite subjective.

Darrius and others are wailing and weeping because they think the new Sansar will be a soulless place with only the most skilled tekkies and designers delivering content from outside the platform and the rest of us turned into gawkers and rubes at the carnival. The esthetics for some will be low-brow as no one will be able to be creative freely at any end, high or low. 

But it's silly to make your own cultural critique of it from a place that is only a minority opinion even within your cohorts (the talented and skilled won't see it that way as it will be their playground) as an explanation then for its failure, and moan that they "didn't listen" to you as you had it all doped out and they are stupid.

The reality is, the Lindens run a real business, with real revenue and real costs in a real environment in ways that all but the tiniest minority of very high-end merchants can understand -- and not even then, as they don't have payroll tax, insurance, mortages, and even their own living wages to pay in their businesses.

Making a model human city with a diverse inworld economy -- what a lot of us wish we had in SL -- is not a business, but a university project or a hobby.

There are three kinds of people in these worlds: those who play war, those who play house, and those who play store. Even if you charge and earn real money and even if you live off that money to some extent, there is still a very high element of "play" and "hobby" to it becaues you don't have RL costs or for that matter benefits.  Those of us who like playing store get mad at all the way the Lindens mess up our game but they can't care as they have their own business to run.

In their world, they imagine that the masses being awed with the graphics cards and engines of war games like WoW are the bar they must meet and feel bad if they haven't; they feel to be "mass," they have to reach the "look good level" and stop trying to cross sim seams that will never be crossed.

Most people don't need to build or design in a virtual world, even to be creative, as decorating with others' content is creativity enough or participating in an experience like live music. People vote with their feet and likely they will want less laggy, prettier, less bothersome, cheaper content and hassle-free entertainment rather than suffer in Second Life. They aren't crass mass-taste Babbits and Wal-mart shoppers; among them might be neurosurgeons who just want time off, entertainment, distraction, and that's their right. And maybe they will get this desired product and maybe the Lindens will succeed.

Of course if they have a chance they will end the costly and troublesome server farm of 25,000 sims with old and not very good software and its collections of problems, including cranks on the forums. No other company would buy such a thing "as is" and they will be forced to wind it down if it doesn't pay for itself or is too costly in terms of staff, costs, reputational loss, whatever to keep going. One hopes they will then wind down this world-product with care and compassion and transfer their customers to their new shiny. But they may not and no one will care. You hope they will develop things like a formula to transfer sim "owners" and content "owners" but they may not.

The things that people value in the old Sansara (SL's first continent had that name, oddly enough) in terms of geographical contiguity, interactivity, inworld creativity and editability and community may not "transfer" into Sansar with its "not always on" sims and likely land barons that will become even more of a factor in virtual life; instead of the serendipity of hundreds of creators, among them morons with giant grass boards they stick on pretty ponds, making a "Mainland," you will have one mind designing a playground maybe many sims large in the same decor, who  might give you a square to put out your content in exchange for a one-time or ongoing fee. Many won't notice any difference and will be happy to have one good caretaker of their view instead of 100 bad ones.

Of course, it imight be that the inability to stick your virtual plow in the earth or mix it up with 100 mixed neighbours will be such a shock and such a loss that people will make the new world fail by not flocking to it but I hardly think so. Facebook didn't fail because Diaspora arrived and then one of the lead coders of Diaspora committed suicide. And so on. Silicon Valley is a brutal place and people are increasingly dependent on it.

People dont usually mention the Lindens' other failed projects in these discussions, but there's that to think of -- when Minecraft became wildly popular, Lindens made a kind of knock-off sort of like it that never took off; they made another thing that was kind of an Etch-a-Sketch; yet another thing that was a story-telling template/platform that was particularly niche-geeky -- none of these caught on. They may not have been meant to catch on. 

There's this, too: the more Sansar becomes a place of controlled but popular beauty and fun, the more old Sansara may be riddled with the griefers, copybotters and annoyances that won't be able to get a toehold in Sansar for whatever reason of cost, better mananagement, whatever. Then the Badlands of the Mainland may be come worse. I have a hunch there's a plan for Zindra that explains why there are certain land barons who have cornered the market there that may involve shunting people off to Zindra if they don't fit in Sansar. 

The reason Blue Mars failed for a lot of us was because there was nothing to do but go and stare at what Desmond Shang or some other developer found fund to do with extra-world tools and sims -- it was a Disney view-master or a postcard that served as a background to your chat. But if that's where your friends are, if that's where the newest clothes will be, if that is less laggy and griefy and most of all, less expensive, it will be compelling. 

If SL as it exists now has only 900,000 monthly uniques, with concurrency of only 70,000 let's say on a good night, it has no rationale to keep the old SL open if most of those people go to the new world -- the people who pay its bills are not small and medium business but big business. It's unlikely that even collectively, those smaller businesses will have the resources even to offer to buy this troubled world.

 

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I absolutely LOVE how you dismiss me and others as mere hobbyists because we run in-world businesses ...

And then base all your experience on your in-world business.

Prok, your perception of my opinion as being in the minority comes from the singular and insular nature of your experience and education. What you have promoted in these (and other) pages as being irrefutable truth has instead proven to be baseless poppycock that sits squarely in the realm of fantasy and paranoid ravings.

What I have said, and what I will continue to say, is that Linden Lab makes decisions that fly directly in the face of overwhelming evidence, examples and history .. and customer feedback. As evidence? I point to the steady decline of the platform as time has moved along.

Your precious Google that gave you the "Right" (although oddly the same just with more thomp factor) McLuhan quote, can also give you pages and pages of high-tech company biographies that point directly and firmly at "Failure to listen" as the primary cause of their demise. If you had actually played in the business market, had risked your own family's future on today's meeting .. or in any real manner stepped outside the walls of your self-built delusion .. you'd have learned that business is business .. only when it grows and not fails. When it fails, it's a mistake.

Linden Lab has been making a mistake for a long time now. But instead of fixing their mistake, they have (for several CEO iterations now) tried to bury their history and move to something else. Rodvik tried buying success. The guy before him tried hooking onto success in hopes of catching a free ride (social media interconnects) ... and now Ebbe wants to build a new success but based on something that apparently can't quite be described .. but it's gonna be NEAT!

You can trumpet that horn you love Prok. And you can make all the posts you want with all the fancy verbiage you want. But it won't change the fact that your claims fall flat. You do not understand to any depth the people, mechanisms or operations of which you speak. And you dang sure don't have a clue what people want.

Unless you define "people" as only those you let near you. In which case .. that's a very small sample.

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Darrius Gothly wrote
Ebbe faces a giant challenge. His Project Sansar...


Just to avoid a possible misunderstanding here: Sansar is not really "Ebbe's project." It was started long before he became the CEO of LL:

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Regardless of who put the key in the ignition, who fired up tthe engine or who put it in gear, he's the one at the wheel now. Any deviation into ditches, potholes or off cliffs won't blow back to the key guy, the engine guy or the gear guy.

So yeah .. it's Ebbe's Project .. now.

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That's because .. you tripped the ping pong ball ..

Yeah, I know it's a Pepsi ad .. what of it? Better than that Coca-cola stuff! (ducks and runs for cover)

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Regardless of who put the key in the ignition, who fired up tthe engine or who put it in gear, he's the one at the wheel now. Any deviation into ditches, potholes or off cliffs won't blow back to the key guy, the engine guy or the gear guy.

So yeah .. it's Ebbe's Project .. now.

You means he's accountable for what his predecessors and employees do too? Now, who gave you such a crazy idea???

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ChinRey wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:

Regardless of who put the key in the ignition, who fired up tthe engine or who put it in gear, he's the one at the wheel now. Any deviation into ditches, potholes or off cliffs won't blow back to the key guy, the engine guy or the gear guy.

So yeah .. it's Ebbe's Project .. now.

You means he's accountable for what his predecessors and employees do too? Now, who gave you such a crazy idea???

Mom.

Well .. and Dad too. But he phrased it as "Successes belong to the Privates. Failures belong to the General."

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Prokofy Neva wrote:

 I have a hunch there's a plan for Zindra that explains why there are certain land barons who have cornered the market there that may involve shunting people off to Zindra if they don't fit in Sansar

 

dunno if you will read this Prokofy but I was thinking about this for a few days now. Not so much the Zindra part, altho can't rule it out. It was the goings on of certain people who often foreshadow major moves that LL make

+

i was reading the notes Canary Beck made on the Lab Chat show (Drax Files) with Ebbe Linden

is here the notes: http://www.canarybeck.com/2015/11/20/the-linden-lab-chat-summarised-in-7-minutes/

is a she said he said thing at the mo bc I havent seen any transcript yet

but the note is:

"Linden Lab will offer something unique and special for customers in Second Life when it comes to access and cost in Sansar"

this was in answer to the question:

"What advantage can Linden Lab provide Second Life creators. How are they trying to take them with them to Sansar?"

the question was about creators. The answer tho seems to be inclusive of all customers (seems like)

I think the only thing that can ever be special and unique to SL customers that will induce them to go to Sansar is a deal on land (of whatever kind Sansar land might be)

+

so never know Prokofy, LL maybe have heard you about this. I hope so. bc not only is land special and unique to SL customers, is also important to the most people who pay the most money to LL

+

the thing is that if there is going to be deal on, then what/how/might that be

 

 

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irihapeti wrote:

i was reading the notes Canary Beck made on the Lab Chat show (Drax Files) with Ebbe Linden

is here the notes:

Better be a bit careful there. Canary Beck's notes are so simplified they can be highly misleading. Not her fault I have to say, you can't avoid serious data loss when you try to compress 94 minutes into 7. ;)

Here's the whole show:

http://draxfiles.com/2015/11/20/show-95-lab-chat/

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ChinRey wrote:


irihapeti wrote:

i was reading the notes Canary Beck made on the Lab Chat show (Drax Files) with Ebbe Linden

is here the notes:

Better be a bit careful there. Canary Beck's notes are so simplified they can be highly misleading. Not her fault I have to say, you can't avoid serious data loss when you try to compress 94 minutes into 7.
;)

Here's the whole show:


thanks for the link (:

+

a lossy encoding yes. So true

hoping the encoded message is not a misdirection then sources:  "sl users" "unique" "special" "access" "cost"

if narrow the field of expansion from the sources of the lossy encoding then potentials are:

1) a deal on land

2) base avatar that is wearable in both SL and Sansar

3) a free Sansar bear 

 

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Regardless of who put the key in the ignition, who fired up tthe engine or who put it in gear, he's the one at the wheel now. Any deviation into ditches, potholes or off cliffs won't blow back to the key guy, the engine guy or the gear guy.

So yeah .. it's Ebbe's Project .. now.

Which means that Sansar is going to be what Second Life would have been if Microsoft had developed it.

A bit like Vizact 2000 was the new Internet Explorer

***Call me if it EVER gets delivered

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ChinRey wrote:


irihapeti wrote:

3) a free Sansar bear 


Or even better: free Sansar
beer
!
^_^

Or even better:

3 free Sansar beers

***Call me whatever you like, I am not listening

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Kelli May wrote:


ChinRey wrote:


irihapeti wrote:

3) a free Sansar bear 


Or even better: free Sansar
beer
!
^_^

Mostly froth?

And probably warm too.

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Kelli May wrote:


ChinRey wrote:


irihapeti wrote:

3) a free Sansar bear 


Or even better: free Sansar
beer
!
^_^

Mostly froth?

And probably warm too.

jejejjee (:

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While doing some research I came across some interesting stuff;

First, theres a news post by Road to VR showcasing 2 screenshots in Project Sansar. I'll put the link here.

http://www.roadtovr.com/project-sansar-screenshots-linden-lab-virtual-world-next-gen-second-life/

 

Secondly, I came across another VR program being headed by a former member of Linden Labs called High Fidelity. From the looks of it, the program finds a way around the need to have monthly payments (likely used in SL to keep the servers running) by having your personal domain be maintained by your own computer's server. Its an interesting work around. The VR program hasn't been around for very long so the amount of content in the marketplace is very limited. But if you have the chance, go check it out. https://metaverse.highfidelity.com

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Darrius Gothly wrote:


ChinRey wrote:

I get this feeling
LL would rather not have Sansar flooded with content created by happy amateurs
so there may well be restrictions who is allowed to upload too.

And THERE is the death knell. The total failure to recognize what made Second Life grow, and what makes it thrive today. User created content.

Look at the gaming community. The games that fail to recognize the power and technical contributions of the Modding Community are failing overall .. rapidly. Those that allow modding, essentially user-created content, are growing in massive leaps.

Look at the history and current situation in Second Life? What is the source of 99% of all things in SL? Lab-built things? Or User Created Content?

So Sansar will do away with "content created by happy amateurs". And replace it with .. what? Content created by underpaid interns with no experience in-world?

They are going to wratchet up the technical requirements so high that only those with thousands of dollars in real-world money, hundreds of hours of experience and skills honed over years of OJT will be able to create content.

Something I just realized when looking back at Second Life. If you recall the tools provided for content creation were way to complex, even the scripting and HUD programming is complex. In short what you guys described is how content creation was during Second Life's early days. And now look, content creators adapted.

Assuming Linden Labs has learned from its mistakes, its likely the content creation tools that will be provided in Project Sansar will not only be a lot easier to use than in Second Life, but will also allow content creators to create better functioning, and better looking content. As long as the content creators actually put effort into it.

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323starlight wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:


ChinRey wrote:

I get this feeling
LL would rather not have Sansar flooded with content created by happy amateurs
so there may well be restrictions who is allowed to upload too.

And THERE is the death knell. The total failure to recognize what made Second Life grow, and what makes it thrive today. User created content.

Look at the gaming community. The games that fail to recognize the power and technical contributions of the Modding Community are failing overall .. rapidly. Those that allow modding, essentially user-created content, are growing in massive leaps.

Look at the history and current situation in Second Life? What is the source of 99% of all things in SL? Lab-built things? Or User Created Content?

So Sansar will do away with "content created by happy amateurs". And replace it with .. what? Content created by underpaid interns with no experience in-world?

They are going to wratchet up the technical requirements so high that only those with thousands of dollars in real-world money, hundreds of hours of experience and skills honed over years of OJT will be able to create content.

Something I just realized when looking back at Second Life. If you recall the tools provided for content creation were way to complex, even the scripting and HUD programming is complex. In short what you guys described is how content creation was during Second Life's early days. And now look, content creators adapted.

Assuming Linden Labs has learned from its mistakes, its likely the content creation tools that will be provided in Project Sansar will not only be a lot easier to use than in Second Life, but will also allow content creators to create better functioning, and better looking content. As long as the content creators actually put effort into it.

Well, let's take a single example:

Today I can use Paint Shop Pro (a very old but familiar image editing program) to create Textures, use Prims and editing tools to make shapes, and write programs in a simplified and fairly flexible language called LSL. If I want to extend into Mesh, I can use Blender (a fairly obtuse but freely available 3D modeling program).

Sansar will require Maya to create shapes and objects. Programming will be done in C# (a much more dense and formalized programming language).

I can throw a convex hull prim into a crowd and hit 100 people that can use GIMP and write in LSL. But I'd be lucky to hit one that had Maya on their computer (legally) and knew C# well enough to make a lamp light upon user touch.

No, I don't think it's a matter of us adapting to meet the inevitable growth in complexity. Rather I think it's a case of them setting a high bar in hopes that the result will be high quality products with high prices and thus high margins from which to extract higher fees.

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Well, let's take a single example:

Today I can use Paint Shop Pro (a very old but familiar image editing program) to create Textures, use Prims and editing tools to make shapes, and write programs in a simplified and fairly flexible language called LSL. If I want to extend into Mesh, I can use Blender (a fairly obtuse but freely available 3D modeling program).

Sansar will require Maya to create shapes and objects. Programming will be done in C# (a much more dense and formalized programming language).

I can throw a convex hull prim into a crowd and hit 100 people that can use GIMP and write in LSL. But I'd be lucky to hit one that had Maya on their computer (legally) and knew C# well enough to make a lamp light upon user touch.

No, I don't think it's a matter of us adapting to meet the inevitable growth in complexity. Rather I think it's a case of them setting a high bar in hopes that the result will be high quality products with high prices and thus high margins from which to extract higher fees.

You may be right. But right now, its just speculation. Until Linden Labs decides to release a video showcasing how content creation works in Project Sansar, all we can do is speculate.

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Okay, assuming we start there and call the scenario I laid out "speculation", let's further frame it as "cautionary speculation". On the order of "if you set the bar here, bad things will come to pass."

Agreed?

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Okay, assuming we start there and call the scenario I laid out "speculation", let's further frame it as "cautionary speculation". On the order of "if you set the bar here, bad things will come to pass."

Agreed?

Agreed.

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