New Sansar Thinking…

…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?

Sansar Login Screen - Sept 2015

Sansar Login Screen – Sept 2015

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.

Quoting Ebbe:

“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.

Esperando tu llamada , que me alegra todo el dia......

Esperando tu llamada , que me alegra todo el dia…… Waiting for your call, I’m glad all day ……

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.

Links to pages below…

2 thoughts on “New Sansar Thinking…

  1. I wanted to continue the comment discussion on the CTRL-ALT viewer and SL rift support all week-end but didn’t find the time. But this article is also well suited for the message that I have in mind:

    I think that the consumer version of the oculus rift is approaching fast. So far, Oculus only says Q1 2016 which could be 3 to 6 months. This is my pure speculation but I am convinced that Oculus aims at a release very early in Q1.

    The Software Development Kit 1.0 for the consumer version will be released in December 2015:

    Experience from earler SDK updates show, that software publishers need 2-4 weeks to update to a new SDK version. So the software would be ready in January 2016.

    Also the first the first headset has already rolled off of the production line in September 2015. They are currently optimizing the process but the production line is more or less ready:

    If I am right and the Oculus Rift starts shipping in January 2016, then LL has +/- 12 weeks to get Project Sansar to Open Beta status. This is impossible. I really hope that they are not trying to rush things. They will need to make a lot of design decissions and they haven’t even opened up their Alpha to an application stage.

    That’s also the reason why I was so surprised to read at your and David Rowe’s blog that the Lab is thinking of adding a rift support to SL. We are only weeks away from the consumer version of the Oculus Rift shipping and LL hasn’t even any concrete plans when this feature will be put into their development circle? No wonder that I was (kind of still am) thinking that LL doesn’t plan rift support for SL…

    • ….ummmm…. Do you know that the Lab has an Oculus Rift Viewer out? And has for several months… You’ll find it on the Alternate Viewers page.

      There is also the CtrlAltStudio Viewer built on Firestorm that one can get.

      VR Headset support for SL is currently a viewer thing. That viewer support has already been added. The server side support for VR is mostly about performance. That is an ongoing battle for SL. Because supporting the VR level of performance is incompatible with the basic philosophy of keeping SL backward compatible Project Sansar was started. So, since how much VR support can be added to SL is limited, I don’t see them adding that much more, that is VR specific. I do expect they will do all they can to improve performance. Both Sansar and SL developers will learn from each other in that regard.

      Sansar is in Alpha with a select group of people playing with and testing it. A couple of weekends ago the Lab hosted a VR meeting and while attendees had to sign a NDA the speculation is Sansar was demo’d at that meeting as a focus of what was coming for VR. Because there was and is a login page for Sansar the speculation gained credibility. With less support is the idea the Lab was showing off what can be done with VR using the Lab’s platform for VR: Sansar.

      I doubt the Lab is panic rushing, but I do believe they are feeling pressure to meet a time line. For some time they have talked of their release schedule. I think one has to put a little salt with what they say to distinguish how much is wishful and realistic.

      While we will have the ability to use VR headsets, I am not sure how much stuff their will be to support them. Because of that I expect early adopters to visit SL. The lag for all but those with high end machines is going to be a problem. Sansar will be way better in that regard, but it will be an obvious beta and lack the variety of SL.

      There will VERY likely be unforeseen problems with Oculus and other headsets. It is going to be a chaotic start for VR. Lots of people will be polishing. In that respect the Lab has a huge head start because of their experience with SL. And the smaller SL team has the Sansar’s team to draw on.

      If you click the tag Sansar at the bottom of this article you can pull up all the articles with Sansar information.

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