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Chic Aeon

Sansar - Timeline, Open Beta and Creation

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While waiting for company to arrive last eve I did a little research on the status of Sansar. Since the first wave of creators were invited in August, it has been relatively quiet. A few comments by testers were found sprinkled here and there, but silence has been the rule since we can assume NDAs are in force. 

 

After checking with my goto sources who had no news, I let Google lend a helping hand and found a few recent articles. One in particular actually had some news. 

 

Since a second wave of content creators had -- from the quietness standpoint -- not appeared on the scene I was suspecting that the opening originally slated for next month, then later into January had indeed moved further out.  An article (a long one) appears to confirm that. Here are a few of the most important points -- in my mind anyway.

 

"Sansar has been slowly inviting creators to build VR experiences since last year, and it will begin taking users in a larger beta early next year, with plans to officially launch soon after."

So no need to break away from holiday shopping it seems. 

"Its avatars have the same bland, glossy prettiness of Second Life residents, but they’re far more detailed. Lips move in time with your real voice, and walking in real space will cause the avatar to take a few steps as well."

This using VR gear. The "far more detailed" comment was nice to hear. 

*****************************

And for content creators, a bit of actual news. 

"But the majority of Sansar’s editing capabilities exist outside VR, on a piece of desktop software that people will use to place lights, add props, or perform other relatively complex tasks."

This is sounding a bit like a Unity experience and I can see how this relates to the "building a whole experience" comment made on these forums a few weeks ago that didn't make all that much sense at the time. 

Personally, this is not making my heart pitter patter, but perhaps for some will work. 

 

Here is the complete article.

 

 

 

 

 

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In before some guy who makes second-rate animations or scripted dongs complains that LL have not recognized his skills and invited him to Sansar.

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Well sort of. 

 

To my knowledge I wasn't thrown out of GCG. I was just there this last week looking in my inventory. Maybe you know something I don't know.  :D

 

No regrets.

 

And yes I LOOOOOOVED Cloud Party. Was hoping Sansar was going to be similar - and maybe it will be but that's not my take from the comments I have heard. 

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sirhc DeSantis wrote:

This from the chick who loved CP,

Who was thrown out of GCG

Who is all over G+?

 

Love ya - really

 

 

And this is relevant to Chic's post how?  People are allowed to use whatever grid, program or internet site they want to. 

Seems pretty mean spirited and an attempt to just spread dirt.  You also seem to have spread false information about her. 

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i don't know if someone has asked this before, but can Sansar only be played with a VR gear? Or will we be able to use it the "classic" way too, like with a viewer, similar to SL?

 

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According to the reports I have read (many official) Sansar can be used without VR gear but is optimized for VR gear and certainly being MARKETED that way.  Lots of comments about it (pro and con the wiseness of the choice), but I guess most of us won't know how it will work for US until the doors opens. It is certainly being PRESENTED  in all the videos as a VR environment.  

So for example I am playing Obsession (the Myst folks) in the old fashioned point and click version but I also have the ability to play in VR if I had the gear. That's my thinking from the comments I have read. 

 

Since the content creators over there are reportedly under Non-disclosure agreements we only have bits of info and slips of the "tongue" here and there to go by. 

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I suspect many people are like myself, waiting for the prices to come down in VR gear.  It's a bit too steep for me now, but like all tech it should come down considerably in price as time goes on.  I'm not even sure I want it.  I'd have to try it out first, which I haven't the opportunity to do yet.  They sell them in my local stores but every time I've been there, other people are trying them and I am just not at the point that I'll wait for them since I'm not interested in buying one now.

The other question is which gear would it support?  There are a lot of different ones on the market and I'm not sure that they would all be compatible.   It may be that one technology will win in the long run like VCR won out over Beta years ago.

There is also the fact that a percentage of people who have tried VR gear say it mays them sick.  Kind of like motion sickness.

For these reasons LL would be foolish to just support VR gear rather than also support the traditional way. 

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

There is also the fact that a percentage of people who have tried VR gear say it mays them sick.  Kind of like motion sickness.

There are two reasons why people get "seasick" with VR headsets. One is the frame rate. The closer you get to the image, the more sensible you re to the switches between the frames. You can try that in SL actually. Walk around a bit in regular mode and then switch to mouselook and you'll notice how much "jerkier" everything seem. It isn't really, it's jsut that the frame rate becomes so much more noticeable in mouselook. With a VR headset you are even clsoer tot he action so you get even more sensitive to frame rate. 90 fps seems to be the minimum requriement for safe VR headset viewing and that is a lot faster than you'll ever get in SL. That means mroe efficient software but, above all, more efficient content. That is probably the real reason why we are told we can't transfer SL content to Sansar. Mesh is mesh and sculpts and prims are mesh too so there shouldn't be any serious technical problems converting them from oen platform to another. But converting the typical high poly SL items coated with high resolution SL textures into lean and mean and fast game style content, that may be asking for too much. LL seems to be on top of that challenge although it is of course impossible for anybody to know for sure before the first full load test with an open access Sansar.

The other reason for "VR sickness", however, is much harder to handle. It's about conflicting messages from your sensory organs: your eyes, looking at the VR display may say you're upside down but your balance organs say you're sitting perfectly straight and the poor brain doesn't know which one to believe. There's no technological solution to this of course, at least not without an enormous amount of hardware, and that may well turn out to be the limiting factor for the success of VR headsets in vitural environments. Some people won't have much problems with this at all, some will get used to it eventually but some will never be able to handle it.

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Agreed and that is one of the main negative arguments. I think we have to assume Sansar tech is looking as far ahead into the future as it can and trying to build for down the road. 

 

For me it isn't the price, it is the clumsiness of most of the gear. When things look like driving gloves and regular sunglasses I will be there. Until then the idea of MORE technology isn't working for me. I am very happy with Second Life. 

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There is a contingent in SL -- most of whom I suspect no longer log in to SL -- that lobby for more realism. The devs, being devs, listen to them. 

Nothing wrong with realism, but SL is a playground, and as with all playgrounds, we use our imaginations to fill in the blanks. Legos and Minecraft are not realistic, but they are great creative tools for those with imaginations. 

I have always thought SL looked very nice. Even when it didn't.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

There is a contingent in SL -- most of whom I suspect no longer log in to SL -- that lobby for more realism. The devs, being devs, listen to them. 

Nothing wrong with realism, but SL is a playground, and as with all playgrounds, we use our imaginations to fill in the blanks. Legos and Minecraft are not realistic, but they are great creative tools for those with imaginations. 

I have always thought SL looked very nice. Even when it didn't.

Exactly.   The people who constantly bombarded the various LL CEOs and other LL staff with comparisons to games they played and other platform, they kept pushing and pushing.  Wanting better looking avatars, clothes, land, etc.  The Lab listened to them, and probably many at LL were the same.  But, that's not their market.  It's not the reason people log into SL.  

 

People log into SL to socialize and create.  The lack of better basics was an opportunity for creators!  People immediately started creating work-arounds, ways to improve the 'look' of things.  That was part of the fun.  Whole industries rose out of products to solve things for people. Creativity flourished.

 

But, LL has never understood what they have as a product.  So, they started trying to fix things and make it so people logging in are able to do less, unless they use outside software.  Building and clothing creation, to do well, needs outside software.  

 

The joy of joining SL,  clicking on the land, rezzing a cube, and learning to build fantastic things...has diminished.  As the joy goes, so do the users.   LL constantly tried to define the product, instead of letting the customer define it.  

 

Sansa is being promoted under the guise of user experience. (LL pretends to have listened)  But, the whole thing is carefully crafted by LL, to limit what a person can do.  By setting up so many parameters, the choices for users are less. The beta, with hand-picked creators, is a mistake.  It's the same mistake that LL made when focusing on SL.  They cater to a select few trees, and can't see the forest of customers. 

 

 

 

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It's not only the problems associated with using VR, it's the actual gameplay method I am also not impressed with.

Since you really can't 'walk' around physically, most games make you click to move, much like one of those point-and-click older photo-based Myst-copy games, or you're just standing there shooting at stuff that comes at you, and the game is moving you about.

Unimpressive. Sickening. Headache inducing.

Pretty fun gimmick though.

Back to the big screen or the large monitor for serious gaming though.. WASD to move about, Mouse to click, select and shoot.. Ahh, yes much more immersive and fun.

If LL is seriously still considering this, it should be a plan to implement over the next 5 years or so, probably will be perfect in 10 years (with walkable tread surfaces, but expensive).

Much like the hilarious "Minority Report"-style monitors, cool looking, but utterly inefficient and rotator-cuff-injury-inducing full arm movements, using a mouse is still much more efficient.

 

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I'm not especially eager for VR, but I am impressed that the Lumiya viewer for SL on Android now has a Cardboard VR mode. Because I already have a Pixel XL, Lumiya's VR mode may be just enough impetus for me to spring for the Daydream View, once Daydream has full Cardboard app compatibility.

Meanwhile, I'm not completely ruling out Sansar. I mean, it's supposed to have a full-featured client for mobile devices, which is, what? maybe 1000 times as large a market as VR's projections over the next decade or so. (They still needed to do VR, though, to get any press at all. Even such complete lossage as High Fidelity can get VR hype.)

But I'm not at all convinced of the viability of Sansar's model of a bunch of disjoint indy-developed "experiences" in place of any spatially cohesive virtual world. I suppose objectively that's not all that different from SL estate islands, but it sure sounds depressingly Blue Mars-esque to me.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

There is a contingent in SL -- most of whom I suspect no longer log in to SL -- that lobby for more realism.

It depends on what you mean by "realism". I think most people who use SL want it to be more real, not necessarily more like real life but rather the same way a good book or movie feels real when you read/watch it.

But yes, there seem to be a number of quite verbal people who lobby for more detailed and better graphics in SL because they want more realism. They are wrong anyway because there are four major factors that limit SL's realism (regardless of how we define that word) and the amount of visual details is not one of them.

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Celestiall Nightfire wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

There is a contingent in SL -- most of whom I suspect no longer log in to SL -- that lobby for more realism. The devs, being devs, listen to them. 

Nothing wrong with realism, but SL is a playground, and as with all playgrounds, we use our imaginations to fill in the blanks. Legos and Minecraft are not realistic, but they are great creative tools for those with imaginations. 

I have always thought SL looked very nice. Even when it didn't.

Exactly.   The people who constantly bombarded the various LL CEOs and other LL staff with comparisons to games they played and other platform, they kept pushing and pushing.  Wanting better looking avatars, clothes, land, etc.  The Lab listened to them, and probably many at LL were the same.  But, that's
not
their market.  It's not the
reason
people log into SL.  

 

People log into SL to socialize and create.  The lack of better basics was an
opportunity
for creators!  People immediately started creating work-arounds, ways to improve the 'look' of things.  That was part of the fun.  Whole industries rose out of products to solve things for people. Creativity flourished.

 

But, LL has never understood what they have as a product.  So, they started trying to fix things and make it so people logging in are able to do less, unless they use outside software.  Building and clothing creation, to do well, needs outside software.  

 

The joy of joining SL,  clicking on the land, rezzing a cube, and learning to build fantastic things...has diminished.  As the joy goes, so do the users.   LL constantly tried to define the product, instead of letting the customer define it.  

 

Sansa is being promoted under the guise of user experience. (LL pretends to have listened)  But, the whole thing is carefully crafted by LL, to limit what a person can do.  By setting up so many parameters, the choices for users are less. The beta, with hand-picked creators, is a mistake.  It's the same mistake that LL made when focusing on SL.  They cater to a select few trees, and can't see the forest of customers. 

 

 

 

I agree. LL got better more realistic content but at a high cost. What a shame.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

I'm not especially eager for VR, but
I am impressed that
. Because I already have a Pixel XL, Lumiya's VR mode may be just enough impetus for me to spring for the Daydream View, once Daydream has full Cardboard app compatibility.

oh! I will try that tonight. As far as I've been able to work out getting cardboard compatibility is as simple as turning off NFC on the Pixel. 

But half an hour with the Daydream VR strapped t omy face and I am feeling very nauseous, and my phone is running very hot - to the point it's likely warned me about overheating.

Be a fun test - how long can I be in SL for before I throw up, or my Pixel XL turns into a Samsung clone and catches fire xD

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I'll be very interested in your experience with it.

I don't know how familiar you are with (non-VR) Lumiya. It's impressive, but not a full viewer in unexpected ways. I keep forgetting what it doesn't see... particles, I think, and advanced lighting maybe... and I don't think the clickable URIs in chat history show up. Not sure what it does with audio, voice, media. But it sure beats a text client.

If I understand Inara's blog piece correctly, the VR version does chat by speech recognition, and being Cardboard instead of Daydream I suppose it doesn't (yet?) know from the Daydream View wand controller thingy.

Still, it seems like it would be fun to see what some SL spaces "feel" like in VR.

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It almost works and would actually be quite a enjoyable way to play the game for some people.

You need to find a Daydream QR code as Daydream can't truely run cardboard apps. I used 



You also need to disable NFC.

There was no 3D effect, it was a 2D VR experience, but this could be the fault of that QR code. Additionally the cardboard button is pressed down solid, so where you look you walk. And that was the only fault - I couldn't stand still and just look, I was always walking.

I really do now hope that Lumiya adds Daydream support properly, which according to my understanding of the API isn't overly hard.

Looking around the world by moving your head and using the daydream controller to walk + google speech recognition for words would be enjoyable - based on the cardboard hack.

 

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