Derrick and Ebbe go over the issue of discovery… meaning in SL we download the client (our viewer), figure out how to log in and use the viewer then wonder around the world looking for stuff and people. Discovery is really difficult. With Sansar the idea is to change that. I am less and less sure that the initial Sansar experience is going to be any different than what we have today. Disappointing. But, there is hope.
What Derrick took away from the interview is that a web site, yep just a plain old everyday web site, on Mayan Temples, his example, would have a link to a VR experience of the temple that resides in Sansar. By clicking it a viewer would load and you would arrive in the experience just as clicking a link to a video today loads Flash or some player and you see the video.
YouTube and web developers in general have been working to eliminate the need for Flash and other third party players and viewers. They are a major security weakness. But, the state of the art is not yet where a VR world like Sansar can be displayed on your computer without special software. Maybe someday, but not this decade.
Again this is an area where things are fuzzy. Understanding exactly what the Lab is planning or when they will implement what is undefined, at least publically. But we have parts of it. For one we know that Lab is building a viewer, which will have to be downloaded and installed. We know that they EVENTUALLY plan to support mobile devices and web browsers, which might eliminate the need for a download and install. The most interesting part we know now is login will go away for tourists… those just visiting. So, click, install player (presumably automatically) and see the VR world open. If you want to build something then login would be required.
Eliminating login may seem trivial. But, it is huge. Any step that can eliminated in the journey to a goal has a major impact on the number of people achieving the goal.
TTP = Time To Penis (Urban Dictionary)… in the gaming industry this is an actual design consideration… factor. The Lab is going to require that things be clearly rated at the start so that adult sexual content can be filtered. Derrick and I think most of us recognize that freedom means people will quickly use whatever for whatever they choose and some number of people will choose sex and porn. You can eliminate porn, well maybe not, by giving up your freedom. Not what I consider a reason trade.
An interesting point that struck Derrick is Ebbe plans to allow those building in Sansar to filter their visitors too. A point new to me was made. Ebbe says one could require visitors to an underwater area be in SCUBA gear. With the idea of SL’s Experience Tools extended to Sansar a designer could build in automatically attaching SCUBA gear.
The economy is to be modeled on the app financial models of Apple, Google, and Facebook. That is a new way of describing it.
We also learn that Ebbe wants a Sansar beta ready by the Oculus Rift’s retail release. 2016. Also, it is desktops that are being targeted for that release. But, iOS and Android compatibility is being kept in mind as design proceeds.
Derrick points out a couple of other novel ideas. What if you build an area that maxed out at one user? Like a retreat or yoga meditation center. Thousands could be peacefully alone in separate shards. We have no idea how many shards could be fit in a server. So, this might be very practical cost and resource wise.
He also like me sees the current VR headsets, in his words, as today’s clunky precursor of what is to come. I agree. Things have to change. Either the headsets or our hair.