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animats

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Everything posted by animats

  1. LL is behind video game technology, but still ahead in virtual worlds. Because nobody big was doing virtual worlds.
  2. I've been making somewhat similar points in the topic "The Metaverse and All That" for some time. More to raise awareness among SL users and LL staff. Key points: Four big companies, Facebook, Roblox, Epic, and Nvidia, each with billions of dollars and millions of users, have announced their intention to build "metaverses." All are hundreds or thousands of times bigger than Linden Lab and have track records of making large systems work. There's also the NFT branch of "metaverses". That is, so far, a sideshow, but might go somewhere. My main point has been that LL management no longer controls the pace of progress in this area. The relaxed pace of SL development may not be good enough any more. Linden Lab may be Left Behind.
  3. Um, yes. Same reason you don't want to use a Google service for anything that has to run for years. SL on Google Stadia comes to mind. (The basic problem with running games on remote clients, i.e. "game streaming" is that either it costs too much, or it's being sold at a loss to get market share until the price can be raised so that it costs too much. Although having SL on GeForce Now would be nice. There's a free tier, which lets you get an hour of connect time before you're kicked off and go to the end of the line. For those times when you really need to log in from a phone.)
  4. It's not that mobile. It doesn't have a cellular connection. It is, though, a rather capable machine for its size, and worth trying SL upon.
  5. We may be misunderstanding your problem. Your profile says you've been a SL user for 11 years. So this isn't a new user problem. Did you come back to a long-abandoned account? Or did something bad happen to your property? Or what?
  6. Interesting idea. There's a big market within China for historical dramas, and there are some big-budget ones you can watch online. And of course, there's wuxia. Is SL blocked in China?
  7. There's also the assumption that each sim has four neighbors. Adjacent sims of different sizes would need some viewer work. Not insurmountable, though. There are lots of technical fixes possible, all hard. Fix the idle-script problem. (That might actually happen.) Regions with heavy traffic could have extra CPUs devoted to them. Big win for events and clubs if you could order more compute power and get maybe 200 people in. You'd probably have to take a sim restart and move to a new server to get more compute, but that's the whole point of AWS. This is only useful with some of the following fixes. Support using multiple threads in a sim to run scripts. LSL could support this, because few calls both read and write world state without a delay. So you could run scripts based on world state at frame start, and then do all the system state updates at frame end. Any script which writes and then reads world state waits one sim frame at that point. Most calls which do that already have an official delay. Under that set of restrictions, concurrency is possible. Properly coded scripts should not break. Somewhere, though, it would break a badly coded script. Enable concurrency in Havok. It's supported, but SL doesn't use it. Although physics time for a sim is seldom high. May not be worth the trouble. The impact of an avatar entering a region is larger than it should be. Find out why and fix that. Inter-sim networking is faster than it used to be, and we see that for objects crossing region boundaries. But not, as yet, for avatars. Stop for double region crossings at corners, which just don't work. Don't let a second crossing start until the first has completed. Provide some automatic overlap for objects at the edge of prims. I'd suggest tying this to the navmesh updater, so that, on navmesh update, all walkable objects within a few meters of the sim edge get duplicated invisibly into the neighboring sim. Never fall through at a region crossing again. The effect would be that region sizes would matter less. If you needed more resources, you could buy them. All this requires about two more Simon Lindens.
  8. Marketplace needs better graphic design. This has been pretty much figured out for online commerce. Catalog (thumbnail) pages. Some kind of fountain on SL marketplace. Too much text, dim, murky picture. Text on images is unreadable in the small thumbnails. . Fountain from real-world shopping site. No text, brighter image, no clutter. You can see what you're buying. Or go for simplicity with a neutral background. Real-world shopping. Dim images are a curse of the SL marketplace. Raw screenshots of SL are dim for a number of reasons. Try to set the overall brightness of your image around 50%. The product thumbnails should be allowed a few short lines of descriptive text. That would encourage sellers to clean up their cluttered images. Small images must be clear, or you lose the whole effect. LL could put in a mouse-over so that when you put the cursor over the image, it gets bigger. That's common on shopping sites. Since the thumbnail is a smaller version of a larger picture, the images are already loaded. These are easy fixes. Fix in-world store links and move items from departed sellers to Marketplace Archives. If a seller doesn't log on for a year, their items should be moved to Marketplace Archives, so you know you're buying from a defunct brand. "See item in-world" should lead to the store at least 95% of the time. If you click on one of those links and find yourself falling from 3000m, Marketplace has failed you. There are various ways to automate that. The best would be to search the target location for the name of the uploaded item, and if it's not nearby, warn the seller. After 30 days, remove the "See item in-world" link. Next best is to look at parcel ownership history, and if it's changed since upload, send a message to the seller as above. Third best is a "Report store not there" button, like flagging something as "Permanently closed' on Yelp. Also, seller store pages should have a link to the in-world store, and a place for a picture of it.
  9. I'd like to have the ability to take an item, run the high detail model through better mesh reduction algorithms, and get back an object with the same perms but improved lower LODs. Since better mesh reduction algorithms are coming to the uploader (per Vir Linden at Creator User Group), that may become a real issue. Especially where the creator is long gone.
  10. Right. Texture animation overrides texture orientation, and animation applies to all layers (diffuse, specular, and normals). Does rotating the texture from the edit menu work?
  11. I hope not. A buyout by Roblox, though... I could see that. Roblox has an average user age of 13. Their users age out just about the time they get some buying power. SL, as a place to send Roblox users as they age out, could make sense for them.
  12. Right. Facebook did not mimic MySpace. It did crush it.
  13. At last, we've hidden the forest with a picture of a forest! I want LL to offer LL-operated islands of isolated parcels, and a free move and land swap, to people who have walls on mainland. They should be moved to regions that look like this: Build all the walls you want, and stay in your own square. This region is run by a private landlord. LL should have a product like this, for people who want to buy directly from LL.
  14. Facebook is going to try to do the Metaverse. Again. "Mark Zuckerberg has said that Facebook will “effectively transition from … being a social media company to being a metaverse company”. ... The metaverse, in Mr Zuckerberg’s vision, will be about “engag[ing] more naturally” with the behaviours we already exhibit – such as reaching for our smartphones immediately upon waking up. “We have these phones. They’re relatively small. A lot of the time that we’re spending, we’re basically mediating our lives and our communication through these small, glowing rectangles. I think that that’s not really how people are made to interact”, Mr Zuckerberg said, saying that technology should emulate “some shared sense of space in common”. "Mr Zuckerberg has made such comments before, hypothesizing that humans should “be teleporting, not transporting ourselves” into various environments through virtual and mixed reality environments. This could be through a number of devices, and while many people think of the metaverse in terms of virtual reality headsets, Mr Zuckerberg proposed that VR, AR (augmented, or mixed, reality), PCs, mobile devices, and game consoles would all be connected." Facebook's track record with Facebook Spaces and Facebook Horizon, plus the mess they made of Oculus, is not encouraging. But they have the money to fail every year until they get a hit. Anyway, there are now three companies with tens of billions of dollars, Facebook, Roblox, and Epic, aiming at SL's niche.
  15. Mainland lighting is about to get fixed. Ambient light level was set too low when EEP went in, and there was no tool to change the defaults for sims for large numbers of sims. That's supposed to be fixed in the next server rollout. See the notes from last Tuesday's server user group meeting. SL lighting vs skin is a shader limitation. If you don't have enough specular color on skin, you get dull, dead skin. If you have enough to get past that, you can see a shiny dot where the sun reflects off skin. The combination of this problem and SL mainland's lack of enough ambient illumination puts some SL avatars into the "uncanny valley". The "uncanny valley" effect kicks in when pictures of humans get close enough to reality that they get evaluated as human, rather than "cartoon". Then humans become very critical of flaws. Hollywood hit the bottom of the uncanny valley with "The Polar Express" (2004), which is widely considered "creepy". Hollywood got out of that with more advanced rendering techniques. Now you can't tell who's real and who's CG. Games then got stuck in the Uncanny Valley as the visuals got better. That was a problem for a while. One solution is giving everyone somewhat dark, tanned skin, which you see in the GTA series. AAA titles started getting past this problem around 2019, whith better rendering techniques. The real way out of this is adding a subsurface scattering layer, which SL does not support. Maybe someday. Meanwhile, stay out of the sun and tone skins down a bit.
  16. Yes. Yes. You have both a Linden dollar balance and a US dollar balance with LL, and you can see both when you're logged into the Second Life web site. The Linden dollar balance is for buying things in world, from the Second Life Marketplace or from vendors in world. Land is also usually sold for Linden dollars. Linden Lab's own membership charges and land charges ("tier") are in US dollars, and come from your "USD balance". If you don't have enough USD balance, your credit card is charged. You can buy Linden dollars with USD, or sell Linden dollars and get USD. Costs about 5% and the exchange rate is about L$250 = 1USD. But LL will not sell your Linden dollars to pay a USD charge. This is complicated because there are people doing business in Second Life, making money and withdrawing it. You can withdraw funds from your USD balance and get paid via PayPal, which has another 5% service charge. Here's the official policy. If you get into a past-due status with LL, getting things untangled is reportedly a major headache and involves lots of time on phone hold.
  17. It's easy, but not obvious. Build->Select Build Tool->Land Tool->Select Land. Point and click on the land of interest. This selects a square on the land. It will work across ban lines but not sim boundaries. Click "About Land". This will bring up the parcel info.
  18. Me either. However, if you don't like desert, getting out of Arizona is a good move.
  19. Check out the Amazon River roleplay area, which does that via an experience. They force you to load an anti-cheat script.
  20. I wasn't here for the telehub period, so I don't know what it was like back then. Double-click teleporting to avoid walking short distances may have made it too easy. I have that turned off. There are some things SL could do to make the sense of space in the world a bit more real. When teleporting, you should see something like what Google Earth and GTA V shows you. You get a view of the world map where you are, zoom out, pan over to where you're going, and zoom in again. (This also allows more time to load the assets for the new area, so more of the loading delay is hidden.) Parcels with privacy on ("Avatars on other parcels can see and chat with avatars on this parcel" unchecked) should not allow camming in. You have to go there. Right now, you can cam in, but can't see the avatars. On parcels with privacy on, you would not be allowed to sit or double-click teleport while camming. You have to walk there. This also means you can't "sit" through a wall, so locked doors offer some security. You can set the landing point for the parcel outside the house, so visitors appear at your front door, not inside. Smarten up camera control, so that the viewpoint is never on the other side of a wall from the avatar. Pull the viewpoint towards the avatar until there's no obstacle in between. Just sitting on a chair should never result in a viewpoint outside the wall. This reduces the need for camming.
  21. That's worth bringing up at Server User Group on Tuesday at noon.
  22. SL has a useful gesture system which isn't used much. The stock gestures are way overacted. Also, not bento. I have some bento gestures, but they, too, are overacted. I'd like to get a set of subtle conversational gestures - yes, no, smile, neutral, frown, bored, attentive, annoyed, angry - for general use during conversation. Anyone know of a good set?
  23. Exactly. It's another small thing which gives SL an unnecessarily bad new user experience.
  24. If someone did good gestures for Catwa heads, that would be a start. There are HUDs for facial expressions, but they're clunky, only useful for posing stills. Not for conversation. I've been looking at other virtual worlds, and most of the successful ones have lively looking groups in conversation. In comparison, SL looks dead.
  25. Probably. What struck me about that is the fluidity and expressiveness of the avatar expressions. SL has gestures, but they suck. They're over-acted, don't have a useful emotional vocabulary, and are hard to use. This is a good project for someone with acting and machima experience. Come up with a good gesture set for Second Life conversation. The machinery is all there. You can define gestures and bind them to keys. You can make animations. Now make gestures usable. Give us, say, 9 gestures useful in conversation and bind them to the keyboard's number pad. Offer a gesture acting class, or make a video.
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