Kitely offers world-to-world teleports, expanded Viewer support

When I reviewed Kitely, the on-demand virtual world mid-month, I commented on the lack of world-to-world teleports and a couple of problems I encountered with the Viewer plug-in. The ever-vigilant (and ever-helpful) Ilan Tochner from Kitely contacted me to let me know that both a new version of the plug-in and world-to-world teleports were in the pipeline and would be available “soon”.

Little did I realise that by “soon” he meant before the end of the month!

Yesterday, Kitely’s Oren Hurvitz announced that both world-to-world teleports and a new Viewer plug-in, complete with expanded Viewer support had been rolled out. The blog announcement reads in part:

Teleport Between Kitely Worlds

Teleporting between Kitely worlds finally works! If you try to teleport to a world that is online then you’ll be teleported to it immediately. If you try to teleport to a world that is offline then the world will be started; you’ll remain active in the world you are currently in; and once the destination world is ready you’ll be teleported to it automatically.

Teleport options include:

  • Pressing the Enter World button on the World page for your desired destination
  • Clicking on a region in your viewer’s grid map
  • Searching for regions inside your viewer and requesting to teleport to one of them
  • Opening a Landmark from your inventory and using it to teleport to the landmarked location
  • Accepting a teleport offer from another user.

This is an excellent move, and one that many have been waiting for. However, it’s probably fair to say that even more welcome is the news that the Viewer plug-in has been overhauled and provides both new features and expanded Viewer support.

Required Upgrade

The new plug-in is a required update, and the process is very smooth. If a Kitely user hasn’t updated, they’ll be informed they must do so, together with a concise 4-step set of instructions, when they click the ENTER WORLD button on any World page. The steps comprise:

  • Downloading the plug-in
  • Closing all  browser windows
  • Installing the plug-in
  • Re-starting their browser

Simples!

The new plug-in now automatically supports some of the most popular Viewers available:

  • Catznip Viewer
  • Dolphin Viewer
  • Exodus Viewer
  • Firestorm
  • Imprudence
  • Kokua Viewer
  • Nirans Viewer
  • Restrained Love Viewer
  • Second Life Viewer

Firestorm Default

The Kitely default Viewer has also changed. for those who have no Viewer installed on their computer when they attempt to enter a world, Firestorm will now be downloaded, replacing Imprudence as the default. There are very logical reasons for this: Firestorm supports both mesh and media-on-a-prim, both of which are seen as important tools for in-world use. It’s also fair to say that with the latest release, Firestorm offers potentially the most flexible UI of any Viewer, and should sit well with those users who like the V1-style UI (available through the “Phoenix” mode) or a customised V3.2 UI. I spent some

I certainly applaud the team for the move – and for expanding the list of supported Viewers to include the other top TPVs, allowing users a very wide choice which includes potentially the best two Viewers for photography and / or machinima: Exodus and Niran’s.

Change Your Viewer from the Settings Page

Your choice of Viewer can now be easily changed from your Kitely Settings page:

Change Viewer through the Settings page

Accessing Kitely Directly from a Viewer’s Grid Manager

With these updates, it is now possible to start Kitely directly from a Viewer – although you will still have to ensure the world itself is running first via its World page.

Details on configuring a Viewer’s Grid Manager can be found on the Kitely website (which also includes instructions for configuring Viewers without a Grid Manager).  Once this has been done, the steps to enter a world are:

  1. Go to a World Page and click “Enter World”.
  2. Once the world is ready, you’ll be asked to start your viewer.
  3. Start your viewer; select Kitely in the grid manager; enter your login information.
  4. Click “Login” to log-in to Kitely and your selected world.

These changes bring new flexibility and new capabilities to Kitely, and have been warmly received by users.

Related Links

Direct Delivery: Restrained Love and Dolphin with Merchant Outbox

Update April 1st: Dolphin Viewer has been updated to 3.3.1.23706. Percipal updates comprise the Kokua mesh uploader (Nicky Perian), Firestorm’s ability to attach a short message to avatar-to-avatar payments, and some fixes to the gstreamer audio playback and client-side AO.

This week sees the Restrained Life Viewer and Dolphin Viewer gain Merchant Outbox functionality for Direct Delivery.

Restrained Love 2.8.3.1

The V3.2-based standalone version of Marine Kelley’s Restrained Love Viewer is built on the standard V3.2 code, with a number of UI improvements. Marine develops the Windows version, with Kitten Ninetails maintaining the Mac and Linux versions.

As well as the arrival of the Merchant Outbox, this version sees a number of updates and fixes to the Restrained Love capabilities within the Viewer, all of which can be found listed on Marine’s blog. In testing the Merchant Outbox on the Windows version, I found it worked without any problems, while the revision to the position of the draw distance slider helps make this more usable.

Dolphin 3.3.0.27000

This release brings with it support for the Merchant Outbox for Windows, Mac and Linux. In addition, as an added and welcome tweak, Lance has doubled the length timeout on the Outbox so disconnects should be less frequent than may be experienced in other Viewers.

The remaining updates comprise:

  • The “RLV Height offset” slider is now wide enough to be properly functional, and has a reset button.
  • A checkbox to disable rendering of attached light sources has been added in Preferences->Dolphin Viewer 3->Graphics.
  • A fix for scripted sounds from FireStorm has been imported that makes scripted sounds play correctly the first time.
  • Codebase has been updated to official 3.3.1 source from SnowStorm.
  • RLV has been updated to 2.08.03.01.

Performance

Both of these Viewers are using the latest 3.3.1 code release from LL, which has yielded some stunning results on my “regular” system. Together with the latest SL Viewer (3.3.0 (251182)), I experienced the following frame rates on my home sim with 4 others present on the same region:

  • Average fps, no-deferred / no shadows, @ 390m: 45fps
  • Average fps, no-deferred / no shadows, @ ground level: 36fps
  • Average fps, deferred / shadows active, @ 390m: 20fps
  • Average fps, deferred / shadows active, @ ground level: 18fps

While visiting a popular store (Graves main store), with seven other avatars present, my frames rates were: 32 fps with deferred rendering / shadows off, and 14fps with deferred rendering and shadows on. Taken together and in terms of running with lighting / shadows enabled, these figure represent the best results I’ve had for any Viewer running on my PC, and leave me hoping that similar improvements will be seen in other Viewers as they cut over to the 3.3.1 code.

Related Links