Cloud Party: island rentals, search and more

As per their promise at the start of the beta, Cloud Party have started offering island for rent.

Two island types have been initially offered, the wording of the FAQ suggesting more may be in the pipeline. These are termed “Private” and “Deluxe” and have the following specs:

Cloud Party islands

Each island comes with its own URL – allowing you to access it directly from any web-browser (logging-in to CP in the process). Currently,  there is no access control for islands – they are open to anyone using the navigation option or who “bubble hops”, although access controls are a promised future feature. This point aside, island rental does give you:

  • “Full” control within the bubble surrounding the island, so you can alter the colour / direction of the light, change the time of day and the look of the sky in general
  • The ability to remove the default island itself and replace it with something you’ve uploaded, such as a space station or “underwater base” or whatever captures your imagination.
  • Build rights, and the ability (as of July 4th) to define who else has build rights on your island (see below for further details).

Additionally, deluxe islands have the option to rework the external mesh of the bubble itself from the default transparent sphere.

The football and the balloon are not objects stuck in the sky – they are actually deluxe islands with exterior meshes

Give the volumes quoted for the islands would appear to refer to the bubbles surrounding them rather than the actual sizes of the islands themselves, it’s hard to get a grip on the physical surface area available with each type of island. However, I’d estimate a private island has a surface area of around 6,000 sq metres and a deluxe at around 190,000 sq metres.

I base both calculations on the maximum circular area available within each sphere (again, taking the quoted sizes of 100 and 500 metres as diameters, rather than radii) and then allowing for a small “gap” between the islands and the sphere boundary and making an allowance for the irregular shape of both islands. The “gap” allowance seems reasonable  given it is possible to “fall off” the edge of an island rather than hitting the sphere boundary  (you get returned to the middle of the sphere if you do, presumably after “hitting” the boundary of the sphere).

Promotional shot of a private island in Cloud Party, with a standard “system” house

Even at 6,000 sq metres, the private island would seem to provide enough room to establish a comfortable home and should suit most personal requirements. The deluxe island appears to be around the same size as the residential islands that were rolled out at the start of the beta, and which offer individual homes available to those with Facebook accounts. As such, they do provide an appreciable amount of space that could be put to a wide variety of uses.

Tree-top view of a deluxe island – not the comparative land area around the house (same model of house) in this image and the one above

Each island type includes a set of quota for building. This is defined in three ways: objects, dynamic objects and triangles. Mesh elements can comprise up to four material faces, each of which itself actually counts as a single “object”. So while it may appear to be a single object, it comprises a material face count (just like an SL linkset comprises prims and sculpts), and it is the material face count that impacts an island’s object quota, not the mesh object itself (just like the objects in a linkset count towards land impact in SL, not the linkset per se).

Displaying information on objects is potentially confusing at present. Right-clicking on an in-world object and displaying an information pop-up for it, for example, only reveals the triangle count. Going to the Build mode, however, does provide counts for triangles, objects and dynamic objects – but also introduces a further category, that of “large objects”. Quite how this relates to the primary object count is unclear, and as I don’t have build rights myself in CP, it is not something I’ve been able to investigate in any real detail.

Build mode showing objects counts for a private island (with thanks to Botgirl Questi)

It’ll be interesting to see how objects and goods are defined when the Cloud Party marketplace is rolled out. From a purely lay perspective, one would suggest that the baseline measure should be “material faces”, as this seems to be the most accurate means of comparing actual content with the object allowances of each island type. However, it is probably fair to say that triangle counts may also be a contender from a technical perspective.

Search and Build Permissions Updates

In introducing the rental islands, CP have also updated the Navigation option of the Cellphone to include a basic search option, allowing you to search for locations either by name or user name.

On July 4th, Cloud Party added the capability for those renting islands to let friends build on their island. This can be enabled via the island information page (Cellphone->Navigation-> Personal Tab->Current Island->Edit Info button). This now includes a Build Permissions: Edit button. Clicking this displays a list of Facebook friends with Cloud Party accounts, and names can be dragged to the FULL ACCESS box. This allows them to build on your island, and they can move / delete anything you have placed on your island. They cannot, however, edit or duplicate objects. Further information on CP’s permissioning system will apparently be announced “Once the marketplace is closer”.

Command Line Options

Something that hasn’t appeared to have been widely covered in blogging about Cloud Party is the availability of command line options. Whether this is because they are a new feature or not, I’ve no idea, but they provide a range of interesting options. Commands can be entered in chat and are preceded by “/”. Entering a single letter after the slash (e.g. “/a”) displays a list of commands starting with that letter. While visiting Claudia222 Jewell I had a play with a few of the commands, including the avatar rescaling, which allows you to instantly alter your avatar’s size (between 1.5 times and 0.5 time the default size).

Playing with avatar heights: Claudia222 at the default avatar size, I scale to 0.5

So rentals are now available within Cloud Party. How popular they prove to be after the initial “curiosity rush” has passed remains to be seen. As others have stated, the platform has a good way to go before it can be considered a serious contender in the VW ring – and I still remain unconvinced on building a platform purely around a land revenue model. I’ll be continuing to watch developments as best I can as they are announced / rolled-out and allowing for the fact there is still – as yet – nothing within Cloud party sufficient enough for me to sign-up with Facebook in any capacity whatsoever.

With thanks to Botgirl Questi.

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10 thoughts on “Cloud Party: island rentals, search and more

  1. People complain about SL prices – but these prices are worse.
    $14.95 for 300,000 triangles (tris) – that’s equal to less than 150 sculpties (a sculptie is 2048 tris).
    A 512 land plot in Second Life allows 117 prims… if sculpties = 239616 tris for $9.95 a month (plus a Premium account gets 300 ld a week and other benefits/gifts).

    Like

    1. Oh excellent comparison! Thanks for those calculations, I was a bit confused about how things would relate to each other… now I know 🙂

      It’s curious how Cloud Party seems to be so sure of themselves that they’re willing to charge more than SL does. Perhaps they know something we don’t? 🙂

      As a side note, does anyone know how meshes are priced on commercial OpenSim grids? Since the only one I use (and maintain 🙂 ) has everything for free, I have no idea…

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      1. … on the other hand, that explains why LL is thinking about applying Land Impact calculations on sculpties and tortured prims 🙂 Then we might need to compare prices again…

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        1. The day LL applies land impact calculations to scupties and tortured prims, that will run the land market through the heart and kill the content creation market standing behind it. Mark my words.

          -ls/cm

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          1. LL are already applying those calculations to prims in some cases. If you link sculptie or prims to a mesh they become part of that LI impact. In some instances it can make a huge difference. I had a tortured Torii (tortured into a long curly piece of string)…as a cylinder attached to mesh = 2 prims. As the Torii attached to mesh = 11 prims.
            I read subsequently if I had hollowed the Torii – it meant LI would rise to 69.
            There are some ways to alleviate the problem (setting child prims to different physics models) but not always a good result.

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    2. Coming to this late, but thought it would be interesting to add:

      Maxwell Graf, commenting on a Metareality potcast points out that early-on during the Mesh Beta a Linden (he thinks it may have been Nyx) gave a suggested polygon count for an entire sim as being 260,000 triangles with 16,000-25,000 per avatar. The numbers were apparently given as very rough guidelines for performance. You can hear Maxwell’s comments starting at some 17:40 into the podcast. As Saffia Widdershins comments in the same podcast, it would be interesting to see how that translates in to the average sim…

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    3. That only takes in account the amount of tris. A 512 is a really small plot of land, for the avatar size, and it is usually packed with lots of other 512 around it. As compared to a cloudparty private flyland, it has lots more space and no weird neighbours that are directly on top of you. That might be worth the extra 5 bucks for some people.

      I think the perceived value of the size will count for a lot.

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  2. Ok… I poked my nose in yesterday. Had to use my laptop cuz it has Google, won’t run on IE9. I had all those unpleasant feelings of being a newbie, but I have to admit it might be nice to prance around using a browser. I’m not sure I’d pay money for any of it though, but I’m pretty sure a lot of people who love the FB experience might.

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  3. Coupla other considerations. The island is a mesh. You can replace it with your own mesh if you want. You’ve got 1,000,000 cubic meters to play with. If your mesh is big enough and you use texture blending on it, you can replace the entire island with a multi level structure – for a single large object. Very different way of counting. Triangle count will depend on the complexity of your land surface – use flat floors and cull internal walls and you could get away with < 1000 triangles.

    Likewise there are no silly size limits on objects. Want a road network? Build it offline and upload it as a single mesh. If it's all one texture, that's 1 object – even if it's 90m x 90m x 90m with roads and ramps and whatever. If it's 3 textures, that's still only 3 large objects. And, as you control the mesh editor, it's up to you how many triangles are in each mesh (just watch out for objects you import).

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