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CEO Rodvik Humble Shares What's New in Second Life


Jo Yardley
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I may have overlooked it, but I couldn't find a topic about it yet.

Yes, Humble has spoken!

And I for one am very excited.

Again it all sounds positive and he seems to know what he is talking about and what is happening.

Especially this bit;

Over the next few months (with testing most likely starting in December), we will be rolling out a series of more advanced features. These will make the creation of artificial life and artificial people much smoother. For starters, we'll unveil a new, robust pathfinding system that will allow objects to intelligently navigate around the world avoiding obstacles. Imagine being able to create advanced pets, creatures or even a living town where non-player characters are walking about. Combined with the experience tools I mentioned above, it should soon be possible to create more advanced MMORPG’s or interactive experiences which use AI right within Second Life.

Of course I hear a voice in my head shout "Imagine the lag this will cause!" but I love the idea of being able to create a living, populated even  busy sim with artificial people.

Not to mention the orchestra, chorus line of pretty girls on stage, soldiers marching, etc, etc.

Those things that are very difficult to find people for can now be performed all the time.

Anyway, what do you think about his post?

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Jo Yardley wrote:

Anyway, what do you think about his post?

My long time building partner in SL has been doing AI in both RL and SL for sometime.  I also know know several scripters who have worked on some fairly good AI systems inworld, but currently,  there were so many limitations. 

This news from from Rodvik is fantastic, and perfect timing to open new areas of opportunity!   

(Plus, I start my online Princeton Intro to AI class on Oct 10th, so this news is serendipitous : )    http://www.ai-class.com/

 

 

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Well imagine you want to build a big busy city (like me) or some other location that in real life is always busy, for instance a big old station.

Lets say I want to give visitors an idea of what Victoria Station in London looked like one afternoon in 1911.

I can rebuild it, fill it with trains and sounds, but then what?

Hope 50 people show up, wear the Edwardian clothing and hang out there all day?

Or do I show visitors an empty station?

If these 'robots' are going to work out like I hope they will (not much lag, not many prims, not counting as avatars like bots) we could fill our station with them.

Now imagine the station... you are still all alone there, no other avatars but you walk in and there is a boy selling newspapers, a couple saying goodbye at the platform, a stationmaster keeping an eye on things, there are passengers in the train, someone carrying luggage, etc, etc.

You could create a more active and living display or show.

A bit like a living museum.

My sim is a neighbourhood in a busy city, in real life there should be lots of people there, traffic, etc.

In SL we still do pretty good visitor traffic wise but it will never be as busy as it would have been in RL.

I look forward to adding cars driving around, beggers, people shopping, etc, etc.

Just add some atmosphere, make things appear a bit busier.

And you can also just put 10 of these robots in cute dresses and make them dance the charleston on stage :0

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Yes, everything that Jo said and more! 

More realistic SL animals and creatures of all sorts!  Pets, that interact more like real animals.

Monsters, Zombies, and Dragons!   Orcs that have the scary factor of as LOTR movie, (well almost : )  

Plus, the AI paths can be used for non-humanoid, non-creature features too.   Pamela you could have cups, saucers and household furniture that dance a la Disney's Beauty and Beast.   AIs could be used to guide space ships, and vehicles in SL.   So, "intelligent" vehicles could be programed to do more than just travel SL roadways and get stuck.. *laughing*

The most obvious usage is what Jo is describing though.  Role Play sims can have what is known as NPC's (Non-Player Characters) that add realism and interaction. 

I totally forgot to add that this will be excellent for battle and combat sims!  Imagine having scripted AI enemies and targets in a combat zone!   (or allies)  This is similar to what RL military training is doing, they are using programed targets and AI's for more than just targets, they are becoming soldier replacements.   Send in a drone, instead of a human.  It's possible that things learned in SL, and on Open Sim, will in some small way aid RL military operations.  It's no coincidence that RL military has a presence in SL and on Open Sim.  (with goal being to reduce human fallibility and liability )

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Lag up, inworld employment/spending/economy down?

Until LL fix their internal problems and start to perform at a level of competency that at least matches a high-school hobbiest's extra-credit project, I find it difficult to get excited about new developments.  It's just more stuff to screw up, to screw existing stuff up with, to make promises about fixing, and then to be abandoned in a glitch-ridden deployed state while LL chase after the rabbit next to it.....rinse and repeat.

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Anaiya Arnold wrote:

Lag up, inworld employment/spending/economy down?

Until LL fix their internal problems and start to perform at a level of competency that at least matches a high-school hobbiest's extra-credit project, I find it difficult to get excited about new developments.  It's just more stuff to screw up, to screw existing stuff up with, to make promises about fixing, and then to be abandoned in a glitch-ridden deployed state while LL chase after the rabbit next to it.....rinse and repeat.

Robots were not high on my Wishlist, no. I feel like I am in a wheelchair and I get a trampoline. Not that I have anything against trampolines, but woud like to concentrate on being able to walk first.

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As the one who posted on Rodvik's feed asking him to update us I'm happy that he responded but, I'm also a bit underwhelmed by what I read. I guess being able to deploy hordes of NPCs in RP and combat sims is good in some ways but, wouldn't it be better to have those areas filled with real (possibly paying) customers? If all I want to do is click on stuff and shoot NPC "rats" I can log off SL and fire up a single player FPS with much better graphics, no lag, fewer bugs, a decent UI, etc. I come to SL to interact with people, not AIs.

I was honestly hoping to hear a bit more about the future of the viewer, in particular, the UI changes Rodvik spoke about in his SLCC keynote. Hopefully more details will emerge this winter.

Here's hoping that the Lab follows through on the promise of improving customer support and giving us premium residents more value for what we're paying.

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Yes I'd rather have 100 real avatars running around my city 24 hours a day, but it won't happen and if it did the server would blow up with lag overdose.

Mind you, they won't be for shooting in our sim, only the cops have guns here.

In Berlin I'd just use them to make the city seem more alive, busier.

Shopkeepers, playing children, cars driving around, etc.

Because even with a sim that is doing very well and has plenty of people taking part in events, it would be even cooler if it was even busier.

Just for the atmosphere.

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Hehehe good point.

More busy may be a better way to describe it.

At the moment we have hidden sounds in backstreets, a couple fighting, a baby crying, a dog barking, cars driving by.

And bots just sit there mumbling now and then.

Bit more action would be fun!

Mind you... Germany 1920s... robots... I think Metropolis... :)

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Jo Yardley wrote:

For starters, we'll unveil a new, robust pathfinding system that will allow objects to intelligently navigate around the world avoiding obstacles.

 

If this is at all based on Anne O'Toole's autonomous vehicles then don't expect much.  I can't imagine any of the other features will be that exciting either.  Fingers crossed though, I can understand the uses.  The only applicable new functions for scripting I can think of are the smooth-movement and animation ones.  WE NEED TO KNOW MORE LL!!

What interests me most is that they're getting rid of Basic Mode, thank the gods for that!  I am amused that binning the brainless is hyped as "you will see us merge the Basic and Advanced modes, which will eliminate the need to switch" - so, just like it was before then?

However, I'm still a fan of Rodvik.  Not keen on the continued lack of communication (except to twit-face) but at least what he communicates makes more sense than we've heard from the lab in recent years.  Some of it even happens.

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Hi, no ones talking about the other things.

Merging the 2 modes. Sounds to me like getting rid of that silly beginners mode ! Great.

@Dilbert: Having a bot host is allready done and doing alot more like guinding people through museum or more... (even using voice and do small talk)

I´m not interested in avatars as targets or whatever but moving objects a bit more real sounds cool. Having an automated bus system or taxi that doesn´t get pushed around on a path with the very limited physics methods is one thing i will look forward to.

Rolling out mesh and add more and more features while the bug-list isn´t any shorter hmmmm

A "crowded" city would be defo cool because people feel more welcome. Running around a great designed sim with no one else is kinda boring. Having an automated parade! Yay that sounds so amazing and there is no interaction with real people needed.

Monti

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I think the automatic people, animals and vehicles will be good for making cartoon strips or animated videos, where the maker can control the environment they're using.  

I'm guessing that in a few years time the average computer and broadband plus LL's servers will all be able to handle all this stuff with no lag but we're not there yet!

 

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1. If we can't increase the number of new human residents to SL, let's make artifical ones, and include them in concurrency.

2. One former SEO said: SL is not growing because we made a mistake trying to push too many things an once.

They are making the same mistake again. If you wanna do a thing right, focus only on that one thing.

Let's hope I'm wrong about all this. Good luck to us all! :) 

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AI agents, bots, pets, NPCs - great stuff

But just like all the other good things that the Lab are doing, mesh etc, these features will fall on stoney ground.

Tier costs are so high hardly anyone can afford the sims  to put their bots, pets, NPCs on.

And there is some irony in the fact that LL are making artificially intelligent characters possible when the concurrency numbers for REAL human players is slowly decreasing

It's strange that Rodvik reports August being the best ever month for new users, yet concurrency is not changing, in fact concurrency is very weak - not a good sign.

But not to worry we can replace real users with AI replacements. Soon LL won't need us at all and all the AI characters can pay tier !

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PeterCanessa Oh wrote:

If this is at all based on Anne O'Toole's autonomous vehicles then don't expect much.  ..

 

That would be AnnMarie Otoole's zombie cars. I have nothing to do with them.

 

If people are worried about npc lag then head on over to turbosquid and search for monsters. There are some free low poly "game ready" models you can study to see how it is done.

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Celestiall Nightfire wrote:

(Plus, I start my online Princeton Intro to AI class on Oct 10th, so this news is serendipitous : )   


 

Thanks for that - I started the Machine Learning class.  Doing the intro-week videos I've had to calculate some maths though (they're already online for that class) :-( I'm a software developer, the computer's meant to do the maths, not me!

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