The best sources of news for OpenSim are the OSGrid Site, OSGrid Blog, Twitter, JustinCC’s blog, the OSGrid 11:00 AM PT Tuesday, Meeting in Wright Plaza, and Hypergrid Business. I have regions in OSGrid, so I tend to pay attention. But, it is harder to keep up on OpenSim news and most of the news is rather geeky. The result is I find less interesting news to report. But, I came across a few things this week.
There is a firewall in place between programmers writing code for viewers and servers. It is a licensing thing. Work is in progress to remove that wall. While it remains programmers must wait six months before changing sides. They either write viewer or server code but not both. That slows down development.
Whether it is a matter of the wall getting smaller or just a timing thing, Nebadon Izumi and Snoopy Pfeffer are now contributing to the OpenSim code base. I think this is a really good thing.
Lots of computer games use Non-Player Characters (NPC). In SL we see people using bots. Bots are avatars spawned by a viewer-like program on a remote computer. They are not exactly the same thing as an NPC. In OpenSim NPC’s will be scripted characters.
For some time the functions that create and control an NPC have been work in progress. That is still true. But, work is being done on those fuctions.
The functions osNpcCreate() and osNpcMoveTo() are working better. They are not yet ready for prime time. Also the simulator configuration has been modified to require a region host to specifically enable NPC functions.
Yes. There are always but fixes. OsTeleportAgent(), autopilot, Flotsam cache, show region, and create region all have fixes or improvements.
Myst Like Builds & Stories
Several of the fans from Myst Online: Uru Live migrated to other games in 2008 when Uru Live closed. It is now open as a free-to-play MMO (link above). About 600 fans are in Second Life. Find the D’ni Refugees group. Several of us play in SL and OSGrid. Others are in In-Worldz and other OpenSim based worlds.
I somewhat keep up on Myst related things in OSGrid. The story tellers in OSGrid have a forum: Devokan Trust. You can find their regions in OSGrid grid around Devokan Tao. Use the world map to find it. There is a linking hub at the landing point. You can use the Myst-style links to teleport to other areas in the build. There are between 30 and 40 regions to explore, depending on whose regions are up or down. Several of the Devokan regions are commercially hosted and are up 24×7. The landing area is one of those. Mine are home hosted and down when I need the computer cycles.
Mesh in OSGrid
Several of the Myst fans are starting to work with mesh. Kirsten’s Viewer works with OSGrid for uploading mesh. OSGrid allows mesh in all regions and prim size is controlled by the person running the region. In general 100m to 256m prims are common. Also, teleporters are different from SL’s teleports. The teleport experience is in OSGrid is very different from SL, better. OSGrid is very much running on alpha version software. So, don’t expect another SL.
We’ll probably see mesh and 3D models appearing in both SL and OSGrid over the coming weeks.
Using SL or Kirsten’s Viewer for Mesh
Both SL’s and Kirsten’s viewers can be used in OpenSim. There are some problems. They are not 100% compatible, IMO. But they are usable. The trick is getting the viewers to log into OSGrid, or your preferred OpenSim grid. Last October I published a tutorial on how to change the viewers so one could use them on different grids. See: Mesh to OSGrid – Viewer Changes. I wrote this for the SLViewer. But, the same process works for Kirsten’s.
Read through the entire article before you start making changes and preferably BEFORE you install a project viewer. SL’s Mesh Project Viewer creates an install folder with a looong name, which creates problems as you try to build your icon for starting the viewer for log into OSGrid.
OpenSim gets better and improves every week. I’ve learned a lot about virtual worlds hosing my own regions. Google for instructions, if you want to setup a simulator. I have a how-to on setting a region up at OpenUru.org, which I made for Myst fans. Its old, March 2010.
The big problem with OpenSim is the low number of concurrent users. That is the primary reason that Linden Lab can charge what they do for hosting in Second Life. But, one cannot beat OSGrid for experimenting and learning.