Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sansar: Second Life's next generation VR platform

Well finally I hear some tidbits with a reasonable level of certainty about the 'second coming' of Second Life.

Here is what is on the horizon for what us in SL1 (current SL) are calling SL2 (next generation of SL) but whose official working-title name is Sansar.

I will highlight what I found to be the major points revealed in no particular order of importance.

1 - Core Economic Model for Sansar
 "Rather than making most of its money renting land, Linden would make land cheaper, but charge taxes on users’ revenues from in-world businesses once they’ve succeeded. This could open up the site to new kinds of businesses, Altberg says. 
“Some businesses in Second Life may not have the same success in Sansar,” Altberg says."

So I immediately think of how people might try to game the 'that' system. People may purposely keep their level of success low so as to avoid taxation and instead just create multiple small instances of their business or via different alts. But Sansar might attack the total $ going in and out of a persons account as a barometer of their business success. But yes, to be able to run a small business and be subsidized by a temporary tax-exempt status may spur new types of ventures.

Nice that it will be easier to own land. Not nice in that there will be every tom-dick-and-harry opening up a business. More competition. Harder to turn a profit. But good that more people will be able to maybe have a home or an SL presence, say for just being creative as in an artistic sim, and have more control over its management ala similar to Estate Management tools of today.

2 - Expected Performance Increases 
"The next-gen Project Sansar can already run at 75 frames per second—a speed unachievable in Second Life. Linden plans to accelerate Project Sansar to 90 frames per second to sync with specifications expected for the Oculus Rift", Altberg says.
Well this will be great, as long as we don't also step up resource usage to a point where we are back to lagging down our experience. As in, we get faster FPS so lets wear more scripted objects; ets allow 200 avis per sim instead of 100, lets load in more textures, de-throttle TPs, etc....

...as implied in this direct excerpt:
Altberg says the company is looking to scale up on a number of fronts, including the size of events that can be held in Project Sansar, the number of avatars participating, and the amount of money users can make through their projects.

3 - When will Sansar be in Alpha?
"Linden plans to begin alpha testing Project Sansar toward the end of July (2015?), by inviting in handpicked, skilled creators eager to build something in the new virtual reality medium, Altberg says. These guests—who won’t be employees—will use each other’s games and other invented environments, trade feedback, and tweak their own work, he says."
Good idea to tap into people who create 'all the time' and where it is 'what they do' as opposed to employees who create from a viewpoint of 'imagining how creation should be done'.

 I envisioned the best way to kick-start Sansar would be to start out with irresistible entry-level-incentives....FREE stuff, high-quality builds...easy build-tools, affordable entry experiencel, in place social-constructs, an easy way to TP in between SL1 and SL2 (Sansar), and last but not least...irresistible shoes and hairs :)).

4 - When will normal users first taste Sansar?
"Within about a year, Linden will begin inviting ordinary users to explore the ecosystem, with a more public beta testing phase around the first half of next year, Altberg says. A version 1.0 might be ready by the end of 2016."
Well finally I/we have a ballpark timetable to prepare a transition or parallel SLing. 

5 - On the subject of SL1 continuing on:
“It’s still very popular and very successful, so we have no plans to discontinue it,” Altberg says. Second Life now hosts about 900,000 active users a month—a bit lower than its peak of about a million years ago.

6 - Migration between Sl1 and Sansar

"Linden plans to make it easy for Second Life denizens to migrate their virtual activities to Project Sansar. But the alternate virtual world will have new features, and will operate by somewhat different rules."
This is a very important step in the whole process. It is just comforting to know they are giving it consideration.

7 - Reemphasis SL's educational benefits

"For example, Linden wants users to be able to make an unlimited number of “copies” of profitable constructs they’ve created. If an entrepreneur builds a virtual chemistry lab for a college class, that lab could also be sold to other colleges that want to teach chemistry, Altberg says."
 8 - Easy tools for creators
"Competition within the virtual community might heat up in Project Sansar, because Linden wants to lower the barriers to entry for creators and entrepreneurs. The company is working on tools to make it easier to build something for advanced virtual reality hardware without being a professional developer."

To access the full article: ==> http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2015/06/25/second-life-creator-linden-lab-prepares-to-test-parallel-vr-universe/