As you would expect, numerous articles are popping up about Sansar™.
- VR Focus: Create Your Own Social VR Experience As Sansar Beta Goes Live.
- Engadget: The VR successor to ‘Second Life’ is now in public beta
- VR Scout: Second Life studio Linden Lab launches open beta for Sansar, a VR world where you build and monetize your own VR content.
What you learn from reading all that…
For VR HTC Vive or Rift are your options. Otherwise, it is a 2D PC thing. A viewer is needed.
2,000 people have been in the closed Beta.
At about 35-50 avatars the system instances the experience. If you have played in games with shards, you understand instancing. Drax and Maxwell were playing with instancing to see how it worked. I’m not sure they figured it out.
Drax had enough people coming into 114 Harvest, his experience, to likely have the experience instanced.
IKinema’s inverse kinematics is used to allow avatars to mimic their user’s movements. Presumably, those avatars walking around with stiff arms are related to kinematics kicking in and having no input.
Speech Graphics provides the technology that allows the avatar face to sync with voice. Apparently, this only works if you have a head set. Someone was talking to Maxwell or Drax, I forget, and the one with the headset could see lips moving. The one without a headset couldn’t. …and that may have been a glitch from 114 being crowded.
Experiences in Sansar have a unique ‘link’ that can be shared… wherever, so people can come into an experience. We will see those popping up on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I have yet to try a link and see what happens. Do they work if you don’t have a viewer installed? I would guess not. If that is the case, this is a big block to casual user acceptance.
There are no Linden dollars, only Sansar dollars (S$). Will we be able to transfer L$ inside the Linden system to buy S$? I’ll have to experiment.
There is an opening week of events. Buzz Aldrin will appear in the Apollo Space museum. There will be curated tours by Egyptologists of the Lost Tombs of Tomanokin. And a free throw tournament with an NBA star.
There are free and paid levels of participation. They are:
- The free level gets you 3 experiences and email support.
- The next level up is named ‘Creator’. It costs US$9.99 per month and provides 5 experiences and a max 48 hours response time to email.
- Next is ‘Super Creator’, 48 hr email, live chat, and 10 experiences for $29.99/mo.
- Last is ‘Professional’, 48 hr email, live chat, phone, and 20 experiences for $99.99 per month.
There are hundreds of experiences, all free. They range from post card like picture experiences to full games with stories.
The Lab is working on a way for creators to charge entrance fees. These will be a one-time entrance fee for a ‘show’, a subscription (reoccurring billing), or a membership. I suspect the Lab will be taking a cut.
Engadget relates Facebook’s VR App Spaces to Sansar but, considers Sansar a ‘deeper’ experience.
VR Scout considers building in Sansar easy… OK. Their take away is that Sansar is creator friendly for all levels of creators, from noob to pro.
Building experiences being related are all from VR users. In other games, I have used my Gear VR and Controller to move stuff. In one it was huge stone blocks. It is pretty fun. I just have to get my Samsung stuff working with Steam, as that is the connection Sansar seems to try to make to my Gear VR.
It is pointed out that building for free in Sansar allows you to publish the game/experience for free and do it easily. I can build an Unreal game, but then I have to find a way to host or another way to distribute the game. Think Steam. It is looking like Sansar has provides a simple path to building and publishing a game all in one stop.
A block to VR in Second Life™ is the inability to build while in VR mode, per Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab CEO.
A model of Stonehenge at natural scale is available for US$5. OK, that is neat.
TurboSquid has made hundreds of additional high-quality 3D models available in the Sansar store.
Of course, pictures are showing up in Flickr. There are groups for Sansar users.
- Sansar Experiences (Travels)
- Sansar Official
- Sansar Experiences
- Sansar News
- Sansarian Delight
- Monocle Man
So, Sansar is impressive. If you are a builder, neat. But, for others there is little to do, plenty to see.
If you have an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift then more of Sansar is open to you. If you are visiting without a VR headset, lots of stuff isn’t there. It is still pretty awesome.
This is still an EARLY beta.