This week the podcast is interesting. Lots of opinions are voiced and lots of SL news is touched on. There is not a lot of what I think of as hard news. But, you’ll gain an idea of where some things are headed and probably some insights.
I’ve provided time marks and my take on the discussion. I have not tried to relate the opinions, I would likely get that wrong and I see that as unfair to the MetaReality cast. So, listen to the audio to get the opinions and apply your own personalized interpolations.
MetaReality Podcast: Healthy Competition
00:00 to 02:15 – Introductions
02:30 – Review Mesh Deformer developments.
06:30 – Max adds his opinion. Max just wants a deformer that works. He is looking for something that reduces the work load on developers.
08:20 – Gianna summarizes and speculates on the Mesh Deformer problem and solution.
13:00 – Saffia Widdershins comments on the need for a good Linden communications channel.
14:40 – Mesh UG and a review of the drama around the Collision-Bone deformation process, which I usually call the alternate deformer. The segment morphs into discussion about the new Content Improvement user group.
17:00 – Max brings up some history on what poly limits for building in Second Life®. Regions were targeted260k sim 16k avatar
19:30 – Publishing hardware information obtained by Linden Lab was suggested in CCIIUG, but is likely to ever happen. Discussion about poly counts and performance.
22:30 – Discussion on mesh/texture and how they are used in game design. Discussion on how it is is reducing the number of clothing designers in SL. I’m not at all sure that it is accurate to say mesh is reducing the number of clothes designers. But, Max may be right. I haven’t found an objective way to check.
25:00 – Saffia is seeing people closing stores and relying on the Market Place. Max feels the complexity of making mesh is removing people from the creative process. They spend more time learning and getting things to work.
26:00 – Draxtor gives a good counter point that land pricing is driving stores to the Market Place.
28:30 – Blackbox
28:45 – Gianna points out Phillip’s avoidance of mesh to keep people involved in the shared in-world building experience.
31:30 – Gianna believed mesh would be more expensive. This would leave a market from the prim builders. But, mesh has come in much cheaper.
34:15 – Draxtor talks about free market voting with your dollars and how it affects markets.
36:40 – Project Shining discussion starts. Is Hamlet’s idea that Shining is like the war on drugs. Is he right? Draxtor and several of us are optimistic Shining will improve things. Lots of discussion about computers and SL performance. Basically most people are not knowledgeable about computers.
43:00 – Linden Lab needs to do something with SL to get it running well in many of the new computers.
44:30 – The Linden Survey. Have you logged in more than once?
46:30 – Cloud Party – Lots of people interested. Some saying it is the ‘next big thing’. Currency is active. Market Place is being added. Private islands are being leased. Price points are apparently considered very completive.
49:00 – Cloud Party privacy. CP now has the ability to change user name away from your Facebook name.
52:30 – Draxtor on Cloud Party ease of entry.
54:00 – Gianna on Cloud Party and wondering how they are going to attract FB users. Lots of land but lots of limits. Gianna points out the difference between CP LIMITS verse SL goals.
57:00 – SL Communities form and join regions for larger communities. Rustica joins Winterfell. CP seems to sort of being heading that direction.
1:01:50 – Relay for Life. 41 regions for final annual event.
1:10:30 – In the personal promotions section Max comes up with a book he is reading: My Avatar Won’t Rez, It’s Fifty Shades of Gray…
1:13:00 – Remember Designing Worlds shows. I enjoy them.
1:14:00 – The Skins DMCA drama which reveals the abuse built into the DCMA system’s overriding of Innocent Until Proven Guilty, which is causing problems for individuals. There is a fund raiser going on to RL fight the abuse. Unfortunately there are more of these laws that favor large corporations and government at the expense of individual freedoms.
See: Gala Phoenix Legal Situation and Update from Gala.
1:17:20 – End
We still have a problem with the Mesh Deformer being stalled. I am convinced the Lab is not doing anything but waiting on Karl. They may have bounced some ideas around. Oz Linden seems to be leaving it up to Nyx Linden who has may be talked to some in the Lab that know more about the avatar. But, as best I can tell there is no 3D avatar expert on staff at the Lab. So, this has very much become a community project, which in many ways is a good thing. The free market always comes up with the best solutions on how to do something. The annoying part of the free market is the time line. Solutions happen when market pressures demand a solution and various solutions compete. Unfortunately we don’t have a completely free market. We are dependent on the Lab to implement parts of any solution we have.
The result is we have political issues to resolve. We can’t know how much better the Mesh Deformer is with the new normals-math until Karl completes that code and it comes out in a viewer, TPV or LL Project viewer.
The Collision-Bone process, or Alternate Deformer, by Redpoly can’t go anywhere until the Lab decides whether they are going to add some bones. It is also held back by problems in Blender. I suspect we can get the weighting to work so we are not working blind within Blender. But, that is going to involve some complex work with a new skeleton. So, that is likely to be either a pay-for-solution or one that is off some distance into the future.
This is a holiday week so some Lindens have been off. But, until either the Lab moves or Karl moves the deformer projects are stalled. Other than sending some emails asking people to ‘do something’, there isn’t much to be done.
Regarding LL – there is an engineer who is the avatar specialist (primarily rigging and animation). My suspicion is that he’s working on multiple projects, possibly Shining, and can’t make the progress everyone’s expecting. Stuff takes time and they’re not necessarily going to be giving regular updates (with good reason). Remember when everyone thought karl was going to have the deformer done in a few weeks? That was the beginning of December, iirc. Stuff takes time.