Second Life & Sansar: What did we learn?

0:11:50 – Inara Pey and Crap Mariner ask about ‘server/network issue warnings’. Last weekend SL was having serious sequential problems. There used to be in-world warnings when there were problems. Watching the Grid Status page while in-world is not practical. So, will the Lab provide in-world warnings?



0:13:06 – Ebbe pointed out that to warn in-world one has to be sure the warning doesn’t use the broken part. If it does it won’t make to the users. This last set of problems were from Amazon’s cloud and a warning would not have made it through. But, Oz is said to be looking and thinking about what can be done to alert in-world users.

Also, time is tricky. At first the problem is identifying what is wrong. Then everyone is busy trying to fit it. Also, depending on when it goes down, there may be very few people working. So, getting the word out is a matter of resource limits, functioning hardware and available people.

15:40 – What about faster processing of credit cards and payout through PayPal? Is there any update?

Ebbe points out PayPal is an independent company. There is nothing the Lab can do about what PayPal does. It takes about 4 days for the Lab to make sure a payment is legitimate. Plus there are lots of legal compliance requirements they have to meet. The Lab’s the automatic processing is improving. Once that is working with certainty the Lab’s side for lots of people will happen within hours. That still leaves PayPal and other third party processing time.

They have thought of white listing some users. That would mean even faster processing for them.

We should see the new automated process roll out in weeks. But, they are deciding if they will charge for the faster processing. They are thinking about it as a way to reduce land cost.

0:21:40 – Q&A turns to Project Sansar

Is Sansar to be more of a place to visit, like an amusement park, while Second Life will remain a place to live? Ebbe says, yes. But, SL is both now, a day-trip place and a home. When community support is ready for Sansar Ebbe believes it will be the same in Sansar. But, in Sansar it will be very much what creators choose to create. So, some experiences would be nice places to live. Others would only be suitable for short visits.

22:00 – How will avatars work in Sansar? One experience to the next?

Some experiences will want to you be you. Think night clubs. Others like a space experience will want you as an astronaut. You can’t show up as a funky chicken. Think about the experience creator trying to make a spacesuit for a chicken.

Within experiences avatar appearance has a lot of gray areas. How much of your appearance can you keep going into the space experience as an astronaut? Keep your face? What about the chicken beak? Obviously this get really complex. How does the system know you are a chicken?

In SL we can see you and know you are a chicken. It is a matter of whether you being there as a chicken breaks your immersion. But, we can’t script the game to recognize that you are a chicken or dragon. Doing so would add considerable complexity.

They currently plan to solve the be yourself and experience dictates scenarios and get them working. They are going to figure out the in between scenarios as they go a long. This suggests to me experience developers and users are going to have a lot of input as to how these in between scenarios should work. The gray area is way too complex to arbitrarily impose a simple solution.

25:30 – When entering an experience how will avatar changes be handled? Is it just done to you or do you have choices?

Ebbe says it depends on how the experience designer creates the experience. He/she/they may give you a set of choices to enter with. Or the creator may force you into first person and a specific avatar, think astronaut. And that is it for that experience. Others may give a choice of clothes. Think 1920’s Berlin. Or they may require a humanoid avatar.

It is up to whoever builds the experience. It is up to you to accept or refuse their terms. I gather that at some point in the entry to the experience you grant permission to change your avatar. If you don’t, you won’t get permission to enter. Nothing is forced on anyone.

Jo talks about how they handle clothes in 1920’s Berlin. But, she has little to enforce her will in SL.

29:00 – Will there be a universal avatar? One for all experiences? Will we be able to take our Sansar inventory into multiple experiences?

Ebbe says they will start with humanoid avatars. I assume there will be a default avatar common to all experiences. In the future they will support more types of creatures. There will be some avatar shaping. They are working on how to make clothes fit and easier to wear and change. But, on day one there will seem to be less choice in Sansar than in SL. But, the system is being designed to allow more choice and easier clothing changes than in SL.

Ebbe is a bit vague about Sansar inventory compatibly across experiences. I didn’t get that he was avoiding answering as much as it is something not yet solidly decided. He thinks some inventory may be applicable to just one experience. But, basically your inventory is transportable between experiences. But, ultimately the experience creator will be able to decide what inventory you can have in their experience.

So, that BFG won’t available in a 1600’s med-evil experience. When you go back to the Doom experience you can rez your BFG. Also, there are things now that are part of an experience in Sl that never become part of your inventory. I expect somethings will work that way in Sansar.

35:00 – In-world building: How will it be similar or different from SL?

Ebbe says they are currently focused on layout in-world. Layout is about where you put prims and how to line them up. Starting out things will be made in Maya/Blender and imported.

Ultimately, there will be some mesh editing in-world. At that point one could start with a cube and edit that to whatever shape they want. But, probably not on opening day.

The will be supporting more and more external tools like Maya and Blender. It will be after June that they start to look more at in-world mesh editing tools. But, we will be mostly dependent on external tools this year (2016). We will only have layout and positioning tools for in-world.

More pages, links below…

3 thoughts on “Second Life & Sansar: What did we learn?

  1. Pingback: Lab Chat episode 2 audio on the Drax Files Radio Hour | Daniel Voyager's Blog

  2. Hm. Not as much info here as I would like for an ambitious project apparently only half a year from beta, and just one year from release. Seems like they’re still sorting a lot out.

    I have no idea how they’re expecting to properly categorize what will eventually end up being a very large variety of items, to have them integrate fluidly with various experience inventory rulesets. The only potential way I can see it working really well is with a crowd sourced tagging system of some sort. But if they do, it could be really great.

    • The Lab is not providing a ton of new information. What they are making clear is that many of the answers people want can only be answered by the designers building new places using Sansar.

      I agree on the sorting. Much of what they are building will use new ways of doing old things. I phrase it as they know what was done in SL and understand what is needed, but they are experimenting with new ways.

      Categorizing… everyone does it differently. I expect the Lab to provide the means to categorize, but I think the content creators will likely decide the categories. While that won’t be crowd funded, it will be the group of content creators making decisions.

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