Project Sansar Update

Anticipating who else… that is tough. The Lab is usually fair within their self-interest parameters. So, I expect some large and small designers to be invited. May be even some novice designers, but, I doubt that. Novices will probably be brought in to test all aspects of the user interface, at least I hope so. But, those people will be in the office or a facility where their actions can be recorded and videotaped for study.

2016 Beta – I am curious how many of us the Lab will let in. I think a guide is the current RC channels and RC viewer testers. With 900k users per month the RC server channels make up about 20% of the grid to get what the Lab believes is a good test sample. Theoretically that means about 180,000 users.

Karma is a shark named Bruce

Karma is a shark named Bruce by Kaelyn Alecto, on Flickr

Bloggers – Beta testers are likely going to have to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Until the Lab is ready to start building promotional hype expect the NDA’s to stay in place. I’m not big on signing NDA’s. I have and likely will again. But, these days there has to be a really good reason for me and easily defined area of what can and cannot be said. I’ve been burned for making good guesses and/or  reporting information from outside sources.

Frames per Second – I believe this is the primary failing of Second Life. The changes needed to provide a minimum frame rate of 90 FPS were so great SL needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. Ebbe uses the analogy of replacing a ship’s hull while in transit, exceptionally difficult.

I suspect 90 FPS is going to be an interesting challenge. We know that the Lab plans to deliver Sansar to multiple types of devices. That would seem to suggest it should be able to handle older hardware too. Older in this case may mean Intel Duo Core chips, not Pentiums. Dell and others are still selling new computers with those chips. So, limiting Sansar to the newer iCore chips (i3, i5, i7) seems unlikely to me. However, the iCore (2010 release) with its enhanced video processing is a possibility.

Moving from SL to Sansar – We have discussed this move thing in detail. Take this to mean we can move currency between SL and Sansar. I can take my US$ to Mexico and spend them.

This isn’t about taking our favorite sculpty hair with a render weight of 200k to Sansar.

Different Rules – Oh wow! Now there is one to speculate on. Does this mean a better or worse for us (the user) ToS?

Will this handle the texture ownership issues that prevent us from using most commercially available textures in SL? While I hope so, I seriously doubt it.

Earn More – How will creators earn more? Since the Lab is changing to a financial model of taxing our income rather than renting land, it is in their immediate financial interest for us to get rich. We will have to see if the powers that decide understand the Laffer Curve and free market incentives.

We will likely have new ways of selling experiences. Or think of it as selling games. SL was intended to be a game development platform somewhat like Unreal or Unity. There is a similar thought for Sansar. A new easy way for novices with ideas to build them into something others can use. May be we will see someone make a new successful Minecraft type game developed in Sansar.

I expect the 3D models we see coming into SL will be a facet of Sansar. Depending on what they do to encourage building of optimized content, we may see Sansar original models going to other games. That would give us new markets to sell into.

There are other possibilities. We have no idea what all Ebbe and others at the Lab have thought of.

Tools – In an effort to lower entry barriers and improve content the Lab is building in new tools. I have been of mixed opinion on whether they would build in some type of mesh editing tool. Now we know they are building something. Will we have voxels? Parametric primitives? I think so. I think we will see tools like what Cloud Party was developing.

Of course import from 3D Max, Maya, Blender, and others will be possible too.

Barriers – This a composite thing. A number of previous items are part of this one; land cost, building tools, etc. This more of a statement of the Lab’s intention and plan.

Once Successful – This an other interesting point to speculate on. Does this mean new creators will be tax free until sales reach some level? We see New York trying to complete with Ohio, Texas, and other Republican run states by providing 10 years free  of New York’s high taxes if a business will locate in New York. Is Ebbe going to use the same idea? Will the eventual tax rates be Laffer indexed or business killers like New York’s? Only time will tell.


I think we learned a bit more about Sansar.

I suspect the end of July date for first alpha/beta testers coming in is accurate. I t might slide a month or two. But, I’ll be surprised if it does.

More testers by end of year… that is a date more likely to slide. However, I am betting Ebbe is really serious about getting Sansar out as close to Oculus release as possible.

All in all Sansar is sounding good.


3 thoughts on “Project Sansar Update

  1. Overall i see some direct problems with something like Sansar. They need to keep it open to work with non VR or they will have a very small market among other things. There are some other points but this one is the largest since VR is still massively in it’s infancy banking purely on it would be utterly asinine and suicide of the product before it launches.

  2. It might appear, at least to me, that they can’t fix the .exe driven system that they have. Failures tend to lead to new projects, that with the same mindset, lead to continued failure. Virtual worlds is a prime example. Pull the pin on a grenade and it will go off, why bother?

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