AvaStar 2.0 is out and supports the new Bento Avatar, or maybe we can call it Avatar 2.0. After all we have been talking about it long enough.
Actually, Bento doesn’t have all the changes we have been asking for in Avatar 2.0. Also, if we call it a number it should probably be 3 or 4 or something higher as there have apparently been other significant changes to the avatar over the years, before my time. But, this change does make it possible to get all the things we have been asking for or at least comes close.
If you read through the feedback thread, you’ll find a couple of people bent about the Lab not publicizing what they were working on. I pretty much expect that now. The Lab doesn’t say anything until they know they can complete the project. Some easy looking things turn into huge monstrous projects and get canceled. So, this one has gone far enough the Lab is certain they can pull it off.
The Lab did a good job of keeping it secret. Vir Linden says he did some work on the project in January but the project started in 2015 Spring. So, Vir may have been in on the planning stages and later in spring the engineers started writing code… Whatever, they did keep it quit.
First and most important, we did involve quite a few resident creators in this project from very early on – we could not have done what we have without them, and we very much appreciate their generous help.
What has happened to date was not a closed beta, it was the initial implementation – what we just started yesterday (12/16) was the beginning of the beta, and it’s wide open to everyone. As Vir has said, we may well make significant changes based on this beta (which is why none of this is on the main grid yet, so that we can make changes that are incompatible with what we have now).
As someone here has already suggested, when we begin a project that we consider to have significant risk we prefer not to discuss it externally because we don’t want to cause confusion or set inappropriate expectations. We’ve been working on this for several months – consider what it might have done to avatar and animation sales during that time if there were rampant rumors about how we might break everything, or even just that big improvements were coming. Since we could not be sure either what the final scope of what we could do would be or how long it would take, we didn’t want to cause that kind of disruption.
It wasn’t possible for us to keep the secret (which, surprisingly, we apparently did pretty well) without some limits on how many people we brought in. I’m sure that there are many more creators out there who could have contributed, and we look forward to getting their input now.
One small request … please actually get the Project Viewer and test how things work, and try the tools that are available to work with them (if there are other tools we can help to support these changes, we’re ready to help). In the course of this project we’ve tried to address a number of problems with how rigging and animation work, so you may find that old problems have been improved. We very much want your input on what we’ve done so far so that we can bring this to all of Second Life.
More pages, links below….