animats

Whatever happened to Sansar?

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Not hearing much about Sansar lately. New World Notes points out that LL is trying to reposition it away from headset VR, after discovering that most users are on PCs. Other than that, almost no news. Anything going on over there?

The word from E3 is that VR is over in gaming. Both Microsoft and Nintendo have announced that they will not be supporting VR on their next generation consoles. Sony hasn't given up yet. Facebook has a different vision, with the Oculus Go, which is not about virtual worlds.

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I called VR the fad-of-the-day-that-will-die-a-quiet-death around about the time LL first announced Sansar. I remember commenting that I just don't know what they're thinking tailoring to a technology that's just not going to take-off, and if it did only the elite with lots of discretionary dollars to burn would have them and the systems needed to drive them.

As for what Sansar will become now? That's a good question because LL won't kill off SL (far too invested that it would be a really stupid business decision) and, yet, they have a lot of time, effort, and money already invested into Sansar development. I supposed for now it will just be the ugly step-child hidden in the closet until another Chunk comes along with a decent idea where it goes next.

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50 minutes ago, animats said:

Anything going on over there?

You could go over to the Project Stupid Forum site and ask one of the 15 people that use Project Stupid...

Almost nobody here really gives a damn...
 

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

As for what Sansar will become now? That's a good question because LL won't kill off SL (far too invested that it would be a really stupid business decision) and, yet, they have a lot of time, effort, and money already invested into Sansar development.

See Sunk Cost Fallacy. Having spent money on a failing business venture is not a reason to put in more money.

It's probably safe for LL to get out of Sansar now. For a while, VR was going to be the Next Big Thing. All the major pundits said so. The consumer electronics industry was desperately looking for a new product - PCs, laptops, tablets, and phones had all peaked. So much money was poured into VR. LL management had to get on board or be accused of Missing Out.

But now the hype has reversed. With Nintendo and Microsoft bailing, it's safe for LL management to dump Sansar. They won't be accused of making a bad management decision.

Basic problem with VR headsets - they're cool at first, not fun after an hour, and in the closet in a month.

This could work out. SL could profit from some of the better rendering technology used in Sansar. Sansar is way ahead in level of detail handling and frame rate. They have some good people, too.

Edited by animats
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I wonder why everyone believes to understand more about the business than the ones who actually run it... 

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4 hours ago, Fionalein said:

I wonder why everyone believes to understand more about the business than the ones who actually run it... 

I would never claim to understand how they run the business, though back in the old Philip days LL was an open book, pretty transparent about how everything under-the-hood worked. So I can claim to know a lot about that aspect (though not at nerdy dev-level, I can proclaim I'm knowledgeable enough to be mostly-not dangerous LOL)

I LOVE it when Residents tell LL what they must do for SL to survive. Some of those suggestions are pure comedic entertainment!

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Just now, Alyona Su said:

Some of those suggestions are pure comedic entertainment!

Isn't that what we all come to the forums for? To listen to the master comedians and somtimes entice them to even more hilarious acts?

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10 hours ago, animats said:

Anything going on over there?

I revisited it earlier this month and no, nothing seems to be going on over there.

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Figuratively speaking, LL showed up for the party too early. VR is still nothing more then marketing hype (a novelty) and they went all in.

 

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24 minutes ago, Chase01 said:

Figuratively speaking, LL showed up for the party too early. VR is still nothing more then marketing hype (a novelty) and they went all in.

I tend to agree.

Augmented reality is getting close to shipping. Discussion on Hacker News today. It's being demoed on cell phones; you see the real world on your phone with Pikachu inserted. Pokemon Go, the Next Generation. No need for headgear. That's likely to happen before VR, simply because it works on existing hardware.

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You seem to spend far to much time beating this drum, I'm really not sure what you hope to achieve beyond grumbling.

9 hours ago, animats said:

See Sunk Cost Fallacy. Having spent money on a failing business venture is not a reason to put in more money.

It's probably safe for LL to get out of Sansar now. For a while, VR was going to be the Next Big Thing. All the major pundits said so. The consumer electronics industry was desperately looking for a new product - PCs, laptops, tablets, and phones had all peaked. So much money was poured into VR. LL management had to get on board or be accused of Missing Out.

But now the hype has reversed. With Nintendo and Microsoft bailing, it's safe for LL management to dump Sansar. They won't be accused of making a bad management decision.

Basic problem with VR headsets - they're cool at first, not fun after an hour, and in the closet in a month.

This could work out. SL could profit from some of the better rendering technology used in Sansar. Sansar is way ahead in level of detail handling and frame rate. They have some good people, too.

Sansar isn't even close to being a production project, if anything we are getting to see how the sausage is made .. and if you are in any way familiar with software development of this type, then the iterations Sansar is going through are pretty much typical. Rome wasn't designed on paper and the rapidly assembled, although the lack of a real roadmap and vision from LL isn't really helping.

VR is not dead, not even close to being dead. The update of current generation hardware has been successful enough to demonstrate the technology and market, and now the iterative process of refinement begins. Better, faster and cheaper. To put this in tech terms, VR is currently at the Psion stage, it's great .. if somewhat limited and with niche appeal. We still have to see the Palm Pilot generation before we get even close to it's iPhone moment.

SL could not benefit from the rendering in Sansar, as we have tried to explain to you many times, they are entirely different beasts that operate based on very different assumptions. Stop looking at the trees and pay attention to the forest.

Sansar is not a victim of sunk-cost. It was always a multi year project.

If anything, IMO LL's misstep has been a lack of managing expectations and showing it off too early .. no one really likes to see how sausage is made. They should have made an investment push on SL at the same time announcing their new project, rather than announcing it almost as the nail in SL's coffin and pulling developers to work on it. Especially when the perception is that SL keeps the lights on at LL HQ and LL aren't pumping that money back into SL, a view that is certainly simplistic and not as black and white as people seem to think, neglecting the wheelbarrows of SL income LL spend on keeping SL online. Data-centers and cloud services for a product like SL are stupid expensive.

They continue to gather a lot of very valuable information from the community with most feedback being constructive. Give it a couple of years, Sansar has potential.

31 minutes ago, Chase01 said:

Figuratively speaking, LL showed up for the party too early. VR is still nothing more then marketing hype (a novelty) and they went all in.

If you're designing a product with solid VR support, you have to do it from day one, even if that is not your only eventual target platform. Not doing so risks the problems that crippled SL VR.

VR is deep in early adopter territory, but it is pretty much a given that it will be ubiquitous eventually. The future might not have us strapping LCD screens to our faces, but it will certainly include VR & AR, and to get there all the steps leading up to that have to be accomplished .. it's a tech tree, no different than the one that got us from organizers to palm pilots to iPhones.

 

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9 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

If you're designing a product with solid VR support, you have to do it from day one, even if that is not your only eventual target platform. Not doing so risks the problems that crippled SL VR.

VR is deep in early adopter territory, but it is pretty much a given that it will be ubiquitous eventually. The future might not have us strapping LCD screens to our faces, but it will certainly include VR & AR, and to get there all the steps leading up to that have to be accomplished .. it's a tech tree, no different than the one that got us from organizers to palm pilots to iPhones.

That is the point I am making. Regardless if it has to be designed as a VR platform from day-1, the tech and adoption is in infancy stages. Hence, they showed up to the party too soon. I am sure it will fill a niche for some users, but mass market appeal? Nope, not at all.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

You seem to spend far to much time beating this drum, I'm really not sure what you hope to achieve beyond grumbling.

I'd like to see the resources LL is wasting on Sansar applied to SL. SL could be improved a lot technically, especially in lag and ease of use, but it takes money, money being drained off for Sansar.

The problem with VR headsets is not technology. The current headsets aren't that bad. At last, you turn your head and the world updates fast enough that it looks right. This was not true of VR headsets of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, all of which I've tried. The HTC Vibe pretty much solves the big technical problems. They even have a cordless version now. It's fun playing a first person shooter with one. For a while.

Headset VR just isn't that good an experience. About 20% of the population gets nauseated. Few people like wearing the headset for more than an hour. It's just too much trouble. Headset VR is the next 3D TV - works fine, not that popular.

It's not LL's fault. They just hitched their wagon to what turned out to be a falling star.

Edited by animats
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, animats said:

I'd like to see the resources LL is wasting on Sansar applied to SL.

I'd like to see the resources you are wasting on region crossings spent on better mesh for your bikes... see where that gets us?

 

Edited by Fionalein
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2 hours ago, Fionalein said:

I'd like to see the resources you are wasting on region crossings spent on better mesh for your bikes... see where that gets us?

 

At least he’s not another basic troll!

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On 6/28/2018 at 1:17 PM, Alyona Su said:

As for what Sansar will become now? That's a good question because LL won't kill off SL (far too invested that it would be a really stupid business decision) and, yet, they have a lot of time, effort, and money already invested into Sansar development. I supposed for now it will just be the ugly step-child hidden in the closet until another Chunk comes along with a decent idea where it goes next.

Maybe the next LL CEO will make some better decisions about Sansar.

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Here are my 2 cents which are based on my sl experiences (over 10 years now) as well as legitimate marketing insight that I've gathered. I'm only writing this cause work is slow atm.

The main people who have heard about sansar thusfar, are those who are already on sl. Therefore, the market was limited right off the bat. Even with having known about it, I would find myself forgetting the name of it at first. It isn't as easy of a trigger as "second life".

Although the majority of second life users make higher than average income (based on google/facebook analytics), most of the people I meet aren't running very high capable gaming rigs. Second life, although technically sort of like a game, isn't really geared towards the gaming community. The type of audience of SL isn't really interested in Virtual Reality. It may be something many ponder about.. like... oh, my, that would be really cool! Only a percentage of those people continue onto the next step, which, which brings me to the next point...

Sansar requires VR headsets---this is like the opposite---for people REALLY into gaming. This is a MISS in the marketing department 100%. I'd be curious how many people in sl have VR headsets. I've had conversations with a few people who have wanted to get them, or some sort of wish, but VR headsets are a bit steep for a hobbyist. Unless you are already using VR headsets for other games, you probably will not pick one up just for Sansar. Ofc, you can play it without a VR headset, but...have you guys really enjoyed that experience anymore than being on sl?

This leaves a very small funnel of people at the end here. Now let's play Sansar.

It loads up--and what. 

Even with my rig, a gtx 1070 card, and an i7, I couldn't keep my normal overclock settings due to heat. I play many games on ultra + settings without this issue, so with Sansar, at least for me --- something was a bit off.

However, what does appeal to me as a creator is -- that the market is brand new. Also, it appears you can make clothing from MD and upload it directly onto their service. I haven't tried this out yet but that seems legit--like a built in rigging and cloth simulation system. That part, I like.

In short, I think it is a mismatch to their market, as well as having technical flaws.

Ok I'm out of time for today. Thanks for coming!

 

 

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1 hour ago, imacrabpinch said:

Although the majority of second life users make higher than average income (based on google/facebook analytics), most of the people I meet aren't running very high capable gaming rigs.

The problem with trying to use Arsebook analytics to determine anything is it only measures Arsebook users.

The facttyhat most people you meet in SL are apparently running older "potatoe" computers should have cued you into the fact that the results of Arsebook's analytics weren't worth a damn.

1 hour ago, imacrabpinch said:

However, what does appeal to me as a creator is -- that the market is brand new.

The market for hand carved cuckoo clocks made from Whale Cheese, by 12 year old Latverian peasant girls, is also 'brand new', but I doubt it's going to take off in a big way, bearing in mind the difficulty and inherent setup costs of collecting whale milk in quantities large enough to make whale cheese production practical, not to mention the inherent unsuitability of whale cheese as a medium for clock parts, and the general lack of consumer interest in wall clocks that smell like unwashed feet.

Yes, you can pay $50 a month to subscribe to MD, to make bad clothing for bad avatars in a "not-game" with concurrency figures of 15...

Who will you sell to?
 

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1 hour ago, imacrabpinch said:

Also, it appears you can make clothing from MD and upload it directly onto their service.

Along with PBR lighting, direct MD import is something I would like to see in SL, and far more then a few other projects.

Oh well, one can dream.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, animats said:

The problem with VR headsets is not technology. The current headsets aren't that bad.

The HTC Vibe pretty much solves the big technical problems.

I will have to disagree with you on this. The physical resolution of the displays is not high enough, especially for small details such as things in the distance or reading regular text. Even 200-300% super-sampling (which I use) doesn't fix that.

There's actually a Finnish company working on a VR headset with a hybrid resolution display, where the narrow center view has more than 2x (or 4x?) the pixel density compared to the peripheral.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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The problem isn't resolution .. plenty of people manage with less than 20/20 vision just fine, same with field of view .. ask anyone with strong glasses.

It's the optics of mapping a flat screen to your retinas from such a short distance. You're forced to relearn an innate skill; To look around, move your head and not your eyes.

 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

The problem isn't resolution .. plenty of people manage with less than 20/20 vision just fine, same with field of view .. ask anyone with strong glasses.

It's the optics of mapping a flat screen to your retinas from such a short distance. You're forced to relearn an innate skill; To look around, move your head and not your eyes.

That is a valid reason, but the resolution thing is still a big factor. When doing something as simple as reading text is difficult (and we're not talking about blurry, we're talking about a grainy/pixelated view that you can see sharply), you're gonna have a bad time unless you want to lift the headset off, walk over to your computer, read, walk back into your play area, and strap yourself back in. (Which is a bad time on its own.)

I'm speaking from the viewpoint of someone who actually has a VR headset and can/does play on it for hours even with limited room.

The Vive does offer a way to view your desktop in the headset, but it's almost entirely unusable at the default size because you can barely view it let alone click on anything with the controllers. Downloading a third-party addon and increasing the VR-desktop size to 400-800% is the only way to make it comfortably usable. (Then I could go into how typing in VR is awkward and the backspace doesn't really work outside of Steam..)

I like VR and I don't regret my purchase at all, but it's both a niche market and even the software is still not as polished as it should be.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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Posted (edited)
On 28/6/2018 at 7:09 PM, animats said:

Whatever happened to Sansar?

What happened to BlueMars is happening to Sansar. I just hope Sansar will take less time than BlueMars to permanently and definitely die and end up into oblivion .

Edited by OptimoMaximo
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People don't like to wear stuff on their heads, that's why 3d movies aren't more common. When they can figure out how to create a 3d monitor that requires nothing but you to look at it VR will take off.

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