Second Life VR Door Closed?

No Oculus Rift

No Oculus Rift

Oz Linden has spoken. See Oculus Rift – CV1 Support.

 ‎2016-07-07 12:14 PM

Thank you for experimenting with our Oculus Rift Project Viewer and offering your feedback. Unfortunately, the Project Viewer that we recently made available didn’t meet our standards for quality, and so we’ve now removed it from the Alternate Viewers page.

By definition, Project Viewers aren’t ready for primetime. The purpose of these experimental Viewers is to share with you the earliest possible version of what we’re working on, so that you can see what we’re up to, help discover problems, and provide feedback. In this case, though, we’re not ready for that, as those of you who tried it have seen.

We can’t say at this point when or even if we may release another Project Viewer for experimenting with the Oculus Rift in SL.

We want to prioritize our development efforts around initiatives that we know will improve the virtual world and bring more value to SL Residents, and due to some inherent limitations with SL, it may well not be possible to achieve the performance needed for a good VR experience. (In fact, this is one reason why we’re creating Project Sansar a new, separate platform optimized for VR).

We greatly appreciate the interest in trying SL with the Oculus Rift and are grateful that several of you took the time to try the Project Viewer. We regret that the quality was not up to our standards, and we will of course keep the community posted if we release a new Project Viewer for VR in the future.

Jo Yardley caught the post and published it on her site. Many of us are disappointed. But… 

Recently, since the announcement of Project Sansar, the Lab has been clearly focused on providing the things Second Life™ users want. In some cases these are things that have been in the feature request cue for years. They have made their choice for which projects to work on based on which projects will touch the most people and are quickly doable.

They don’t use a single criteria, like popularity. But, it is a significant factor. In one instance the Linux viewer was discontinued because they did not have the people, time, or funds to support development for the small number of people using Linux. The ‘return on investment’ couldn’t be justified.

We may see something like this happening with Oculus support. We can see people were not treating the Project Viewer as a Project Viewer. Read the forum thread. Users were ripping on the Lab for putting out a “project” quality viewer not ready for prime time. Well, DUH!

The changes from SDK2 to CV1 are supposedly significant. Both tech and horse power requirements have changed. The Rift’s performance has improved increasing performance and new video cards are adding support for VR and improving performance. But, a strong gaming machine is still needed.

Meeting the new requirements degraded the viewer’s performance. SL viewers aren’t designed to provide support for the Rift, it is sort of tacked on. People were/are understandably unhappy. But, the entitlement mentality and lack of understanding of the tech problems produced a continuous and annoying, unfair, criticism of the Lindens. One has to wonder if it ever occurred to any of those people what the Lab’s reaction would be to their complaints?

You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Not that we haven’t seen this behavior before, we have. Hamlet has written about how users often badger the Lindens to the detriment of the users. So, have I and others. Getting the Lindens running for cover is not the best tactic.

More pages… links below.

6 thoughts on “Second Life VR Door Closed?

  1. IMHO any virtual world with unconstrained or minimally constrained user generated content will have great difficulty supporting VR. Just too much stuff that would never pass muster in a controlled commercially environment lagging the system.
    Imagine walking into a shop and being confronted with someone’s blimp-size mesh head! Disorienting enough in 2D.
    Of course, you never know, the internet as a whole and the LL network specifically could, some day, become MUCH faster; in which case anything is possible. 🙂

    • I think it’s important to be clear, here;

      The issue is not that SL allows users to create whatever content they imagine. The problem is not users being disoriented on the off chance they see someone with an oversized head.

      The issue is that LL not only fails to encourage the optimization of content uploaded to the grid, but actively discourages such optimization through a myriad of issues with SL and the content creation tools. This is why SL has such poor framerates, and why a person who is aware of these issues can take steps to drastically increase their framerates in their own personal corners of the grid with only a small amount of effort.

      In a world where the Lindens were smarter about content creation we’d see just as much creative freedom, but also be enjoying much better performance and a much easier transition towards VR headset integration.

      If people want to criticize LL, that should be the focus of their criticism.

      • Using the idea of ‘encourage’ and ‘discourage’ can imply planned and/or deliberate action. In the case of the Lab what we now see as inadequate ‘encouragement’ appears to have been a part of the learning curve. As SL has developed creative freedom and the novice creator support were more important than content optimization. In hindsight that may have been a mistake.

        Recent efforts have been toward pushing residents to optimize. Land Impact was a significant step. Now Avatar Complexity. So, they are moving in the right direction.

        In Sansar we will see how the Lab has learned its lessons.

  2. I could not say what LL does or does not want to do with VR at this point (as far as Second Life is concerned) but as much as first-party support would be very much appreciated I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to deliver a true VR experience to users of the current hardware/runtime/SDK, etc. and I don’t think it has to be limited to just one type of HMD either.

    Third parties have been creating viewers since the dawn of time and the invention of hyperbole. What’s stopping someone other than LL from creating a viewer that is VR capable? Hurdles? Yes! Not just how well it will handle the technical (and community) demands of performance but it will have to comply with all of the legal stuff we don’t care about as users that will allow it to be used with LL and Oculus Home (or whatever other platform will be necessary – I’m looking at you, Steam VR!) So it would be a challenging undertaking… seems to not have stopped others from being able to pull off some amazing stuff. I recall using the Singularity viewer to check out SL in anaglyphic 3D. It’s a visual concept that a third party was able to release years before anyone got a DK1. Despite what the complaints on the community forum were about, if you used the viewer you know that the head tracking worked…

    My point is that even if LL leaves us all in the dust with SL-VR it wouldn’t be a tragedy. It would only be a tragedy to find that no one cared enough about it to make a third-party solution that at least made a go of it.

  3. Linden Lab is not “the hand that feeds us”, it’s a company and we are their customers. Linden Lab, the company, advertised Second Life’s VR capability for years. They set up a VR section in their destination guide. Linden Lab’s customers trusted the company on their promises to make Second Life work with the Oculus Rift. Some of them invested money in equipment based on that promise. You write “Users were ripping on the Lab for putting out a project quality viewer not ready for prime time” – but you are mistaken here. The viewer was not just unpolished or “not ready for prime time”, it was a huge step back from version 3.7 which worked. 4.1 did not work at all, even for users with 3 years of experience in making VR applications work.

  4. Pingback: Infinite VR Corridor – Really!?! | Nalates' Things & StuffNalates’ Things & Stuff

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