The SL Forum thread Linden Lab is building a NEW virtual world has continued to grow. It does seem to be slowing down. Ebbe Altberg (Ebbe Linden) has continued to respond to comments. But isn’t saying much over the weekend. He also seems to have started avoiding answers that are repetitious.
Since his comments are the only source of real information on the new Linden world, I collected them. You’ll find them with links into the forum for the post he responded to in each comment. It was too time consuming to copy the link for each post. Look in the thread list and you’ll find his post a line or two below.
You can search on Ebbe Linden in the SL Forum and get a listing of all his posts. But, the order there seems bizarre. I placed these in the order they appeared, most recent first.
Ebbe often quotes a post in his reply. I decided to leave out most of the quotes to keep the size of this post smaller. I have added some words to Ebbe’s posts so they make sense without the quote. You’ll see the [ ] with my words in the quotes. I’ve also added text, again in [ ] to give some idea of that Ebbe’s post is responding to. A simple ‘Thanks’ is meaningless for defining context, so added some.
In a couple of cases I have included the posts that lead up to Ebbe’s response. I’ve also corrected spelling. I’ve left grammar as is. I kept the list in a single page so, you can use your browsers FIND to search it. I’ve colored posts other than Ebbe’s silver.
The opening post in the thread is here: Linden Lab is building a NEW virtual world.
List of Ebbe Altberg Posts
Today Gaia Clary wrote this post that sums up what has been said this week. So, if you are going for the short version of the thread, her post is it.
> Mesh is ok (but with better lighting and other tech you may want to make tweaks)
So this will work.
> Animations will change (major improvements as we don’t currently do it the way it should be done)
You do not know to what he refers!
I think i know, and i think a conversion is possible provided you can import the original avatar (which is likely to be possible)
> Sculpts (TBD, but not as is, but maybe converted to Mesh?)
Conversion seems to be straight forward to me.
> Scripts (major improvement, so will change)
yes, i also do not see how scripts could be migrated
> Textures ok
So this will work
> Prims (TBD, but probably not as is)
“probably not as is” is not the same as “can’t convert” So this statement does imply nothing!
> Avatars will be radically improved as well so a lot TBD
This probably means the new system Avatar (should there be any) will work differently. But the import of legacy avatars should be possible, they are just another mesh character and can not participate in the new features. So… it could be done (see also my previous post)…
> Animation format will NOT be BVH but probably FBX
Actually i recall he said, the format was not decided yet… Anyways we can convert BVH to FBX, that is straight forward.
> skins , shapes and other avatar components will be totally different coz all avatars will be mesh avatars
Well, first of all all avatars are mesh, even the default SL Avatar is a mesh. And again, when you can import an SL Avatar as legacy character, then it can use its skins, its shape and its animations.
LL can access the data, they can easily convert the data into a form that will work in the new system, regardless of how it will be constructed (provided they support skeleton based animation and upload of custom meshes, which is highly probable)
So i am pretty sure that an on the fly migration is doable. But it might not be wanted. Maybe (hopefully) it is just not worth the effort because the new Avatar and its new featrues might be adorable
6/27 – Friday
Reply to Teager – view message
2014-06-27 06:41 PM
Thanks. That’s definitely our goal and we’ll make it easier than competitors will. We also don’t want to compromise on how good it can be because of it. Balancing act.
hmm, maybe I responded to another thread?
Kedehern Eiren wrote:
Ebbe, I have to ask….after reading this and other message boards you replied to, you have yet to answer the one burning question I have….what incentives will there be for people to migrate from SL1 to SL2? Other than it being “a new shiny SQUIRREL” type of thing?
That is so far out that we don’t have specific plans for it yet. All depends on when it reaches quality and experience that users want. We have years to see how it plays out.
And they will continue to work in SL, which, again, we have no plans to close down.
I did not state FBX as fact but a direction we’re leaning in. Not final.
And SL won’t change these things so you don’t have to worry. Only if you want to make things in the next gen product will you have to learn some new things and do some things differently. It’s up to you.
Vivienne Schell wrote:
“This one will take more time for us to figure out”
Are you sure that you are the CEO of a company which didn´t figure THIS out after 11 years?
Are you trying to influence me in some way? If not, then what are you trying to do?
So you assume we could have the same amount of resources regardless of how hard it is to compete or that all projects are equal in potential value? Working on some products have much higher cost and lower return on investment than others.
Just keep using SL. In the future you can decide what to do when you have other options.
So good news then that we will continue to improve SL and that we have no plans to shut it down. You can choose when you see it in the future.
We have no plans to disallow anything that’s going on in SL and is legal. We’re proud of the freedom we offer.
rather than “…going on in SL…” I could have said “…adheres to SL policy…”
So now you can have fun with that for a while…
1. We’re thinking C# but not final decision.
2. Next year, exact dates TBD…
No we didn’t. They will work in SL for many many years just fine. And then it will be a long time for you and anyone to decide to use next gen over a long period. By your suggestion nobody should ever by a phone.
We don’t have all those answers yet. I believe it’s important to support entrepreneurs that provides solutions that we can’t for various businesses, verticals, markets, languages, etc. etc. Clearly that will only succeed if they can add value and get rewarded for providing that value. We’re very early here, still dealing with low level technical stuff and don’t have business models etc. all figured out yet. We will bring our ideas forth as soon as we have something and meanwhile I’m all for hearing your ideas so that when the time is right we can start a good dialog.
You will be able to be in both [worlds] but you won’t have a shared inventory as some content can’t be the same across the two.
Hi, it’s very early as we’re still mostly dealing with a lot of lower level technical things right now and don’t yet have fully fleshed out business models etc. But there is no doubt that it will be important to enable entrepreneurs that provide services on top of our platform that solve things for certain communities, segments, markets, etc. I believe our success depends on it otherwise we won’t scale as well. There will be plenty of time to discuss these things and we look forward to doing that when we get a bit further along. It’s still very early…
Next is another Gaia post I think out lines things well.
2014-06-26 02:50 PM
So, here is a short summary of what we (a few enthusiasts) think about migration from SL1 to SL2. Maybe this can take away some of the fear that we see flooding around since a couple of days.
Prims: Are parametric meshes. That is: these meshes are defined by geometric parameters instead of vertices, edges and faces. From how these elements work i can imagine that some features might survive, others not. I have no idea if current features can be mapped to new features, but i guess that there will be at least a chance to get things ported “to some extent”. However there might be better ways than trying to move prims over to SL2 as they are.
Sculpts: Are meshes with a predefined flat mesh-topology (technically very similar to NURBS). And since they are regular meshes by all means, there is in principle nothing to worry about their migration to SL2, except their huge inefficiency (in most cases). The fact that they are cheaper than meshes regarding LI is not because they are more efficient but due to historical decisions.
Avatars: are meshes with associated Riggs. And Riggs will become much more customizable than what we have today. Custom riggs will most probably make it already possible to transfer the current avatar to SL2 including its UV textures. Where it becomes tricky is when it comes to Morph shapes. If we get Morph shapes, then it becomes possible in principle to migrate the legacy Avatar’s shape editor to SL2. Of course this highly depends on what capabilities the new system will have.
System Clothes: Are textures basically. It might become possible to migrate system clothes into textures and from there it is no problem to get them into SL2. And finally put on a legacy avatar if desired. I bet this will be mostly a matter of license policies (extract textures from the system cloth items and trasnfer these to the new system)
Scripts: will change dramatically i guess. So indeed scripts need to be mostly rewritten for the new system. So workload will come from here. But maybe that is not as bad as it sounds in first place.
Animations: Depending on the format that will be used internally and for transport into SL2 it will be no big issue to transfer old animations to the new system provided you play them on legacy avatars (see above). I suspect the transfer format will be either BVH or FBX (and we are capable to convert .bvh and .anim to these formats for that purpose)
Also the fact that we will get NPC’s will probably make the animators very excited. So i bet that many LSL based animations will be migrated to Bone based animations anyways …
Currency: This has already been answered: We will keep with Linden$. And that implies that the currency will remain stable during the transition phase… i believe…
I think that all questions about migration will be addressed and answered sooner or later by LL. How the migration will take place and how much effort tool makers will have to put into this, and how easy it will become for merchants and users…
Of course there is no answer yet for all of this. But from general assumptions i am very confident that a lot can be one
Correct. Why [limit animation armatures to] just avatars?
To make sense of the above comment by Ebbe I decided to include a couple of the posts that lead to it.
Sorry, different viewers you would have to run side by side.
This one will take more time for us to figure out. It won’t be trivial, or in some cases possible, to just do this on the fly. I think it will have to go through the creators to update/modify to make things (or users may get upset with us and the creator when things don’t work exactly as expected). So maybe a system that makes it easy for creators to know what items to update and redistribute to their existing customers is the way to go where the creators can decide how to charge for those updates (or not). I’m guessing this would be the direction to explore…
I mentioned earlier that we want creators to be able to create user defined skeletons, so it’s on the list.
Drake1 Nightfire wrote:
With animations and avatars changing “radically” will mesh clothing have to be re-rigged or will we be able to use the ones we already have?
Sorry, too early to know details on this.
I don’t exactly know yet…TBD
I included Gaia’s post simply because it provides a high degree of clarity to what will most probably be possible. She is thinking and has the technical background to understand what is possible.
Racheal Rexen wrote:
Hello Ebbe, thanks for taking the time to answer ours questions, My question is if the Adult Community will have a place in the new Virtual world?
We have no plans to disallow anything that’s going on in SL and is legal. We’re proud of the freedom we offer.
What do you want to know?
I did not say I was shutting anything down. Where did you get that? I said we’re going to invest in our future success in a major way. If you have long term interest in our (and your) success that should be good news to you. If you think I should have told you much later that we’re making that investment, when I would have more details, then ok, consider that a mistake I made. Many people want to know that we are doing that and are very happy to hear it. You did not want to know that now, but rather hear a more detailed plan say six months from now?
Again, I have not said there’s any end coming. We have made no plans for any SL shutdown. None.
We are simply working to make an even better product from the ground up. You will have plenty of time to evaluate it and decide.
Your identity and L$ will be the same for both so it will be easy to hop back and forth.
You will certainly be able keep your identity, social network and L$ and you can hop back and forth and decide for yourself where it makes sense to spend your time and energy.
Thank you Coby.
Below Ebbe is responding to Gaia’s post in which she is wondering why people have made so many negative assumptions about the announcement of a new and improved world. She points out that her development team expects they will be able to move their ideas and tools to the new world (AvaStar).
Her comment that she expects a sparkling experience is what I think draws the following Thanks from Ebbe.
You will be able to use your L$ in both SL and the next platform as you wish.
And SL will be around for a very long time.
I’ve included a Gaia Clary post here because it again provides a good summary.
From all that i learned today especially from Ebbe’s answers about the new world I now am rather confident that the following assumptions are fulfilled in one way or the other:
- We will get the ability to upload static meshes (furniture, houses…)
- We will get the ability to upload custom skeletons (rigged meshes)
- We will get the ability to upload animations for our custom skeletons
With these 3 assumptions in mind I predict:
We will be able to upload characters which are 100% compatible to what we have in Second Life now. We already can create these characters outside of SL since a long time. Importing them to the new world using FBX or Collada should not be a problem. So should this not be provided by Linden lab, we can do this.
Regarding shape editing we can currently not make any statement about whether this can be supported or not. That depends highly on how the new animation system will be implemented and if customizable shaping will be provided in some way.
Whatever format LL will support for animations, as long as the new format is specified we will most probably be able to convert .bvh and even .anim files into that format and get our legacy avatar uploads animated in the new system using the existing animations. I predict that bvh will be an accepted format (just by thinking about standards).
Sculpted Prims support
We will certainly be able to convert Sculpted Prims into efficient meshes with the help of conversion tools. we can read sculpty-maps and we can create the corresponding meshes since a long time. Upload to the new world should be no big issue as well. So again, should there be no tool provided by LL, we will have it.
So for now all is said from my side. I can now happily turn back to my daily work and wait for the specifications to show up.
@Ebbe: thank you very much for your answers. They helped us a LOT to make some preliminary decisions.
There is so much wrong here, speculation, suggesting things I said that I never said, or somehow suggesting that I, or the great people here are responsible for what happened five or ten years ago….but here we go, I’ll respond to some of this stuff, but I’ll skip all the stuff about problems in the past…that was the past…and by the way, all that “crazy” stuff has given us the best virtual world there has even been and still is. So somehow people here managed to do something right over the years…
Then you say:
Now, How could SL 1.0 be future-proofed?
Get the Lindens back inworld – I remember the Linden Village area, in-world meetings, Lindens just hanging around just talking to passersby. I haven’t seen a Linden since M was CEO and their in-world presence got cut back. It was reassuring to have staff in-world…proof they used the product they created.
Ebbe says: I removed the restriction that was in place for Lindens to be in-world. I’m not going to force people in there, but nothing is stopping them now. I go in as much as I can to hang out and chat with people.
Ditch the TPV’s – Figure out the best features of the various TPV’s and implement them in YOUR client and OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE, OPTIMIZE. There is no reason residents should need a TPV to get MORE features, higher FPS AND less crashes than the official client. Third party software should not hold back releases so they can implement features. If you really feel you need TPV’s, release new code even if it breaks their browsers and let them catch up. I use firestorm, but losing it would be a small price to pay for faster releases (not that we have to worry about that, SL1.0 being in maintenance mode and all).
Ebbe says: I don’t think doing that would be a meaningful difference in the success of SL.
Incremental Graphics and Infrastructure Upgrades – To use MMO’s for an example as they are the closest thing to SL, you could redo the graphics and optimize to fix the dated looks.. You could optimize the back end for current standards on a regular basis. Instead you decided to build a product to compete with your flagship product. This did NOT fill me with any degree of confidence or any great desire to remain a premium or use the Lindex.
Ebbe says: We have. SL is a lot better today than it was a couple of years ago. But there is a limit to how much better we can make it…and how much effort it takes to move forward incrementally.
If you did all the above, ESPECIALLY the Incremental upgrade of graphics and infrastructure, with gradual depreciation of things that just cannot be carried forward, I see no need for a 2.0 SL. We could get there by evolution rather than revolution.
Ebbe says: That is your opinion. But I know that the more distant future will have to go way beyond what incrementally can be done to SL. And it’s either us or someone else…
> We are going to do our best to make it smooth, but if we have to make a crappy product with crazy complexity and poor user experience to preserve some very specific content compatibility we don’t want to cause those problems.
Make it smooth, I really doubt you can, based on past rollouts of new features. If you need to depreciate various pieces of older content, do it and explain why. Don’t depreciate the entire world, which is what you are doing. Rewrite what you have to current standards. I’d rather lose a fraction of my inventory rather than 9+ years of collecting, outfits, and memories…and possibly my AV name.
Ebbe says: Again, your speculating a lot. You won’t lose your name. A lot of content will work fine. Some won’t. And that would be true regardless if we improved SL incrementally or started from scratch to get modern tech and capabilities done right.
> A lot of what you have will be possible to move across and more specifics will come through over time.
You should not have announced this until you have specifics. First it was no compatibility, maybe, now its a lot of compatibility. Make up your minds. It appears you announced early, shooting for some kind of PR boost, but all the vagueness and ‘we can’t answer that now’ has just destabilized things for many.
Ebbe says: I never said “no compatibility”. Where did you get that from? I said that we will not sacrifice how good a next generation virtual world can be due to backwards compatibility (something you say is ok to do).
Quite frankly, and this is strictly me speaking for me, I will be staying with SL 1.0 until you pull the plug, then I will find another home that does not involve giving money to LL. I have NO desire to have to rebuild my VR life and possessions in a ‘like SL, only better’ SL 2.0, not with LL’s track record.”
Ebbe says: Let’s see what you think when you see it. And sticking with SL is fine, it will be around for a very long time
Yes, spot on.
I pretty much only said these things:
We are embarking on a huge project to build a better virtual world from the ground up.
We are not going to constrain how good it can be by forcing some levels of backwards compatibility (Since then I’ve added some detail that identity and social connections and Lindens$ will come across and quite a bit of content as well, but with content we need more time to figure out exactly what will be backwards compatible, people will have plenty of time to see how this plays out and get a chance to try the new while still also hanging out in SL)
We will continue to invest in SL and keep improving and have no plans for any shutdown.
The rest is all speculation that has since then popped up.
You are jumping to all kinds of assumptions here. If you listen to the chat I had with the TPV crew you won’t hear me say what you’re suggesting I say or what you suggest it means.
Not sure what you mean by “tax issues”.
Yes, Lindens will go across just fine.
I wish you all the best.
Yes, it’s still to early to know those details.
Probably FBX, but again, early…
Goal is to empower creators to do any content we can (including skeleton), but again, early…
We will bring people in early but it’s too early now…I don’t even know exactly when we can, but it will be next year.
Thanks Loki. I can’t wait to see what you’ll create in SL and then I’m just totally drooling over what you will be able to create in the next gen product!
Thanks! You can explore SL with the Oculus today if you have an Oculus…
Wow, you are an angry person. Ok, so, why are you so angry?
Thanks! All I’m going to reply with here is that we’re not in the content business. Our customers are the creators of content and experiences. Without the creators SL and the future product/platform would be empty.
Thanks! Yes. And it seems like I’m certainly starting the conversation early enough, some of our customers suggesting maybe too early…
Thanks! That creative freedom and social connections is part of the magic. We just want you to be able to make even better cats and have even better social experiences and for you and others to be able to share those experiences with many more people…spirit of SL but better…and, again, it will take time, but if we wait until someone forces our hand it may be too late, so time to go for it is now.
I’m not sure what you are suggesting or asking. SL is doing great, it’s better than it’s ever been. And we want to make something that’s even greater, but to make it incredible there are areas where we just have to move forward and do some things in new ways and thus can’t guarantee 100% backwards compatibility. And it will be years.
1. Landscaping and building my parcel (Frank Lloyd Wright inspired “Falling Water”) has taken years and at least $1,000 to build and get right. Will I be able to move en masse this work and contents, or will LL make it just disappear?
2. Laptops with Intel graphics were purchased by many of my friends a few years ago, “the latest and greatest with longer battery life”. But they never worked with SL, which none of them realized in advance. Since they are not made of money, they simply left SL forever. Sad, eh? Will the new world finish off the rest of us without the kick-ass PCs your LL engineers all have?
3. What if the “new world” fails to draw people away from their HUGE investments in old SL? Remember, 80% of SL is CHAT with a wonderful community (now half the size it once was), with the world itself being fun but NOT the core of SL imho.
First, SL will be around for a long time. Years. Some things will be possible to move over, other things not. More details on this over time as we figure out more details. So no, it won’t just disappear.
We’re going to make the next generation faster so expect things to work equal or better with like for like content. But we’re also adding a lot of capabilities for content creators to create much cooler stuff that could decrease performance.
I’m not going to contemplate failure. The SL community is not half the size, not even close, maybe for your community but not in overall metrics. Still going strong. And we clearly want to move identities and communities forward as well as we can as that is core to the success today.
you said: You know why I use a TPV? It’s not for the bells and whistles. It’s because of a couple of simple little things that we repeatedly asked to be implemented in the Official Viewer that have been ignored for years.
Which little things? Thanks!
So you think SL can continue forever and still be competitive enough to matter in the future?
We are going to do our best to make it smooth, but if we have to make a crappy product with crazy complexity and poor user experience to preserve some very specific content compatibility we don’t want to cause those problems.
A lot of what you have will be possible to move across and more specifics will come through over time.
Agreed, just a bit early to be that specific. More to come….
Yep, we sure want to make it so your identity and connections and whatever else makes sense stay intact as you try the new thing.
Thanks. So FB/Oculus came out and said they are going to do a VW for a billoin people. I did not hear a peep from anyone here. How compatible will that world be? When will all users run over to that one? Should I invest in SL now that they are doing that…etc.
If all users move rather quickly from SL to our next gen then I assume things went very well. If few are, then I think we’d have more work to do and SL will keep on tickin until only the new one makes sense to operate…
I can’t give a clear path for exactly when and how this transition may or may not happen (could be that they are side by side for a very long time).
All I’ve said is that we’re doing it, we’re going to invest a lot to do it, and that from now on forward we’ll all be talking about it with more and more detail as time goes by. You’ll be along for the ride. Trying to hide it for a long period where we can answer all the questions by the time we do reveal it I don’t think would work because it would come out anyway and second, I want to have dialog with you all about it rather than come up with all the answers first (and then get yelled at for not including you sooner .
So, my recommendation is that if you have interest in VW then use the best product there is (SL) and as time goes on we will figure out how to make it worthwhile for you to stay with us and work through the transition over time . But none of us can predict what the world will look like 2 years from now (regardless of what we do or do not do).
I’m being honest and you don’t seem to like it. Ok. I did not say at all that everything will be obsolete. I have no idea where you get that from. What I did say is that we will not sacrifice how good the future product will be because we have to twist ourselves in knots to be 100% backwards compatible. Basically we are saying that a better product is more important than making sure everything is SL as you know it will continue unchanged. That could end up just being an upgrade rather than a major step forward.
It wasn’t totally planned but it was about to come out soon regardless…and I’m here talking to you (but don’t expect me to tell you all you want to know)
I’m here. Reading everything. But there are a lots questions I can’t (or won’t) answer at this time. And it’s also good to see you all talking amongst yourselves and I’ve already seen that dialog trend in a positive direction.
I’m not sure what you’re angry about….
I don’t understand what you mean. Anything we would do to collect money you can describe as a tax. No tax, no money, no business, no product…
Subscriptions, sales tax, property tax, feature unlocking, storage, transaction fees, utility bills…lots of ways…all I’ve said so far is that the property tax is too high (everybody agrees) and that I think sales tax (non in-world for example) is probably too low.
More speculation. Not sure a press release would stop any of that.
Some core elements have been worked on for a while. A major effort, including a lot of hiring, is more recent.
Not going to see some “modded version”…
I don’t think we can assume that the SL tech and experience as we know it can last forever and that something better will not come around some day. It’s either us or someone else. By letting you know that we are working on something I’ve already seen a lot of positives come out, and yes, some doomsday stuff, but there are always a group of people who dislike change (even for the better). So, in the future, you will move to something better, and we plan to provide that.
Why are you guessing that? I have not hinted that we would do that and have no intent to go in that direction.