Metareality Podcast 2013-3

Yay! We have another podcast released this week. Karl Stiefvater (Qarl Fizz, formerly Qarl Linden) talks about the Mesh Deformer. This week’s podcast is titled: Transformational Change. They should have added a dash and the word NOT.

Metareality Podcasts

Metareality Podcasts

The cast only runs 45 minutes or so, if you want to listen to it. Otherwise, check out my summary of the podcast.

As always I write my take on what was said, which may have nothing to do with what was actually said. So, if you react negatively to something you read, listen to the audio.

01:00 – Steam-Valve-Console-PC – Reed off playing Xbox…

02:30 – Feedback – Lots of people reacted to last weeks podcast. Many have commented they are glad to see the Podcasts back. It makes the week for many of us.

03:00 – There was reaction to Gianna’s comments that SL is not going to be the transformational and mass market Metaverse many hoped for. Some optimists see SL moving from the trough of disillusionment into enlightenment. That idea comes from technology and game adoption throey on user stats.

04:45 – In general it appears virtual worlds are not to be the transformational change that was expected years ago.

06:00 – Karl thinks virtual worlds (VW) may still provide a transformational change to social interaction. It’s a perceptual thing in his opinion. Skyrim and other games are in effect a virtual world. Karl believes someone will come up with a hook that provides mass appeal for the use of VW.

08:00 – Gianna in talking with people that have played Skyrim find that when she asks if they could do things in Skyrim that we do in SL, people get excited and think it a great idea.

09:30 – For more on people’s idea about VW check out the comments on last week’s podcast. It is in those comments that Valiant Westland points to his blog and prediction of the following idea.

10:30 – A prediction by Valiant is Amazon will take over the Market Place and buy SL. Right. But ,see: Is Amazon Destined to Replace Marketplace and Buy SL? and decide for yourself. I have range of thoughts on this. Mostly that it isn’t going to happen in 2013. I personally think Valiant is confusing the use of cloud storage and Amazon marketing. See the Amazon Web Services (AWS) user case: AWS Case Study: Linden Lab, which AWS uses as a promo for their services.

12:30 – Google tried the 3D Warehouse for selling virtual goods and the project failed to provide the needed ROI for Google and was sold off.  A company named Trimble took it over. I think that suggests that the 3D virtual goods market is far too shallow a market for large companies like Google and Amazon to find interesting.

13:40 – Versu and what it is supposed to be. This game looks to be single player and currently has no game save option. Since the game is not out yet, that likely has to come from beta tester leaks.

17:00 – Hamlet’s New World Notes – mostly fashion now. Karl’s impression is Hamlet is wearing out on SL. I think there just isn’t anything that exciting going on in SL at the level NWN normally covers. Right now SL news is mostly just technical details, something Hamlet tends to avoid for his audience.

18:00 – A topic of conversation about SL for the few months is the deceasing number of private region’s in SL. Many think this is mostly due to the SL Market Place eliminating the need for in-world stores. Why pay tier when one can have a free Market Place Store? There is lots of discussion on the topic in the podcast. Gianna and Qarl think the MP has an affect but is not the sole reason or necessarily the main reason.

22:20 – Some have decided the solution to region loss is to place limits on the Market Place so that one must own land to sell over say 10 products. Gianna thinks this is the dumbest idea ever. Karl was glad he didn’t have to say that, but agrees. I do too. I don’t see how limiting a free market improves anything. But, our world is so full of people that do not understand free market dynamics we keep getting these dumb ideas that deal with only a single aspect of an issue.

26:30 – There are some polls that show reducing tier is the top recommendation for increasing land sales. Gianna and Qarl discuss why cutting tier is unlikely to work. I agree with them.

When you start considering other worlds and only compare owning a ‘region,’ an entire region, then SL is very costly. But, if you want to run a small shop in-world land can be very cheap. Especially when you consider the difference in the customer base you have access to in SL.

28:00 – Cloud Party allows 500x500x500m for $100/month. Qarl and Gianna are not that into CP. Nor am I. I check it out now and then.

29:45 – Discussing the Lab’s experiment with cutting set up cost. When the Lab did a deal on new land without the setup cost they got a boom and land sales. But, most of those regions are gone now. So, that idea has little effect.

32:00 – Instagram… yadda, yadda… they are discussing…. Never mind.

37:00 – Mesh Deformer, what’s going on with it? Qarl left a comment in STORM-1716 that confused lots of people new to the discussion and project.

Karl has stepped back from the Mesh Deformer Project. His work is done. So, that makes sense.

The Deformer works as well as it could for what it can do. So when Qarl responded in the JIRA to the late comers that don’t understand computers, he was annoyed. People are wanting the ‘Deformer’ to do things a computer simply cannot do. Karl went with that and took it to an extreme.

But, some of the late comers didn’t get that he was being satirical. Those that have been following the Deformer development mostly seemed to think it was funny, apparently including some Lindens. At the time I thought it was going over too many heads. But, what else can one say to the uneducated?

41:30 – Karl says the Deformer is complete as it is now. Obviously that is from his perspective, but I agree with him as do some of the others active in the project from the beginning. What needs to happen next is the Lab needs to decide to implement it. Karl is not clear on what decision process within the Lab is that has to be completed for that to happen.

I suggest you read Mesh Deformer Update 2013-2 if you haven’t already. I think that is about as complete an answer as is currently available.

43:00 – Karl sees the Lab policies (Viewer Policy Change) as the main reason for the delay in the release of the Deformer. I personally am surprised that more Third Party Viewer Developers are not pushing to get the Deformer running in OpenSim viewers. I would think this would be something the OpenSim side would welcome.

45:15 – Karl summarizes. There are two groups of people interested in the Mesh Deformer – Those that have no clue what it is supposed to do and are having problems and insane concerns. The other group understands its limits and what it is supposed to do and have legitimate problems and concerns. The latter group is excited to get it released as soon as possible. The first group thinks until Deformer can solve all ‘their’ design problems it should be held back… which while they don’t know it, will be forever.

The current Deformer is about as good as it gets. While it may be possible at this point to tweak something to fix a given problem, the tweaks would make other problems worse.  Some things are just mutually exclusive. We are at what is probably the best balance point. So, it is time to stop talking about changes and additions and just get it rolled out. Accept it for what it is.

47:15 – Sim Death Watch – Gianna is sad about some of the current region losses…

Karl wanted to see a year of user concurrency stats. I just happen to have that data. I’ll eventually get around to doing a 2012 stats report and publish it.

5 thoughts on “Metareality Podcast 2013-3

  1. SL is transformational for social interaction I think ……… but in certain areas.

    For one thing, SL has a higher female than male user base I believe …….. women interact more emotionally and form social groups in SL and are dedicated users in SL I think more than men for that reason.

    I have a number of houses and parcels I rent out and every single renter bar one is female ….. and the exception is a male and female couple who rent.

    The flying and sailing groups in SL are also strong dedicated users and social users too …….. look at the Blake Sea.

    I love SL because it gives me what I like and need in these areas …….. perhaps LL should look a little more closely at who its users are?

    ……… the other thing I’d wish for is tier charged simply on a pro rata basis …… the tier jumps are just too large when you get into the higher brackets – it’s stupid to me that buying a small extra piece of land of as little as 16 sq m can put your tier up with LL by US$35 when your land exceeds 8,192 sq m.

  2. Looking on this post it says the Deformer is finished and ready for release.. but on another post it says it could be another year or two..I’m a little confussed as to which it is.. is it done and ready to be released.. not ready for another year or so.. or have I just miss read it all.. lol

    • Yeah, you’re missing context… there is CODE that is the Mesh Deformer. That code is about as complete as it is going to get. Many of us would be happy if they just put it in the viewer now, as is.

      The Mesh Deformer PROJECT may take more time if the Lindens decide to roll it into a more comprehensive avatar upgrade project. Some of the complaints about how the Deformer deforms user meshes are only going to be fixed by changing the avatar. My concern is that if the Lindens decide it is not that important an immediate issue for the community, they may well decide to try a ‘single’ comprehensive upgrade.

      Since there are many voices from novice modelers complaining and wanting something more, it may well look from the Linden side like a comprehensive solution that can improve the novices experience would be better.

      • Oh ok.. and yeah.. I’m one of those that would be happy if they put it in the viewer now as it is.. so hope all the Third party viewers start putting presure on LL it get it out.

        • That idea is where the 2012 policy change on enforcing Lab policy regarding third party viewers kicks in. There is no way for them to put pressure on the Lab. They can ask them to do something. But, they can’t put the Deformer in their main release viewers. That would break the ‘shared experience’ rule.

          I would like to see the Deformer appear on OpenSIm grids. I think that is about as much pressure as could be applied.

          It might be possible to put the Deformer in EXPERIMENTAL versions and see how many start using that version. But, that is asking a lot of the TPV Dev’s.

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