…or Project Sansar in the news. Geek Dad has posted an interview with Linden Lab CEO, Ebbe Altberg: Project Sansar: Giving Virtual Reality a Second Life. Now… isn’t that a catchy title?
While there isn’t much new information, the author Derrick Schneider sees things differently than most. So, whether he asked different questions or just heard Ebbe’s talking points in new ways, I can’t be sure. But, I took some new thinking away from the article.
“We do say that it’s [Sansar] in the spirit of [Second Life], but that’s where we stop. We don’t think of this as a 2.0. Sansar is its own thing. Some things will be similar, some will be completely different.”
“With Sansar, we explicitly said, the creator is king, and the creator is the customer.”
While we have repeatedly heard the creator is the primary target market for Project Sansar, how ‘creator’ is defined is likely different than we may be thinking. Ebbe gives us clear statements that ‘creators’ are not just those making 3D models with Maya or Blender. For Ebbe a person that furnishes a home is creating. While they didn’t necessarily build any of the things they bring into the home, they still built their living environment. So, to Ebbe such people are ‘creators’ too. It is this broader group of creative people that Ebbe is considering his target demographic. It is tools for them that he is building first.
That is probably a bit of a change from what many have been thinking about who the Lab is targeting and we will be able to do in Sansar. I know it moves me away from thinking initial design work on Sansar is all directed at Maya users. I now think it more toward those that use the Build Panel for prims in SL.
There is also the LAG Thing. Put more people in a virtual area and things slow down, lag. In this article Derrick Schneider, the author, points out the Lab has advertised for and hired people with Amazon Web Services experience. These are the people that are familiar with scaling web technology. This suggests that as more people inter a virtual area, more servers will come online to support them. So, a web site running in a single server with 50 concurrent visitors is about the limit for most web sites, those with more concurrent users run in numerous servers.
In 2012 Skype had 45 million concurrent users. Amazon and others build scalable systems to they can automatically add more servers as they are needed. Derrick is pointing out this is likely what Linden Lab is planning for Sansar.
Stay with this idea when you read Derrick writing about Texas A&M’s chemistry lab in Second Life. Built in SL that is the only place you can see it and A&M has no good way to sell copies of that chem lab. In Sansar they will be able to sell copies of the lab. So, just as a web site can be copied and run in numerous servers for delivery to thousands of people, the same will be true of builds in Sansar.
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