New Sansar Thinking…

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.

Autumn Leaves Falling

Autumn Leaves Falling

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.

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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