OnLive launch in-world support group for SL Go

SL go logoImportant note: The SL Go service is to be shut down on April 30th, 2015. For more information, please read this report.

OnLive, the providers of the Second Life streaming service, SL Go, which allows users to run Second Life from a low-end PC or Mac or and Android tablet or iPad (using a TPV based on the official SL viewer) or on a low-end PC or Mac using a version of the Firestorm Viewer, have launched an in-world support group for their users.

The idea for such a group was first discussed at the special Firestorm Q&A meeting held in December 2014 following the release of  Firestorm on SL Go (see my review of Firestorm on SL Go here). At the time, Dennis Harper, OnLive’s Product Manager for SL Go. indicated the idea was a good one, which he would follow-up back at the office.

On Friday, January 16th, Dennis contacted me in-world during the Third-Party Developer Meeting to let me know the group is now up and running, and open to anyone to join.

The SL Go Support Group is intended to provide in-world support for users of the service
The SL Go Support Group is intended to provide in-world support for users of the service

If you are an SL Go user, and which to join the group, you will find it listed as SL Go by OnLive using the viewer’s search, or you can view the web profile for the group. A number of Firestorm support staff are helping with providing cover within the group, so enquiries on either the SL Go SL Viewer (SLV) and Firestorm for SL Go viewers can be asked through it.

In passing the details to me, Dennis said, “It’s been quite a ride for us since the Firestorm release, and we’re very pleased to be able to offer in-world support to our users as a part of our growing commitment to Second Life.”

30 thoughts on “OnLive launch in-world support group for SL Go

    1. Oh nice. The concept is great, but the camera angle makes it unusable, and the version of the viewer is out of date, cant view profiles. Will check out the group to see about making some recommendations.

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      1. I’ve already mentioned the camera angle issue in (a href=”http://monaeberhardt.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/so-how-does-sl-go-measure-up-in-the-field/”>my own review back in April. It’s disappointing that they did nothing to change it.

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      2. Odd, I view profiles in SLGo all the time. Are you perhaps using SLV and not Firestorm?
        Some real oddities DO pop up in SLGo – last night. I couldn’t bring up the blue box to control my character’s wings, today they’re fine.
        But SLGo DO seem very proactive on correcting complaints – I spoke about mouselook not working in FS in the SL feeds’ SLGo forum a few days ago and – SHAZAM! – it began working not long after that. It’s nice to know they’re on the case when something comes up (other players’ mileage may vary).

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      3. Regarding camera angles. Hold your control key and/or shift key while moving the scroll wheel on your mouse. Those are default camera position modifiers. To go back to default camera position press Shift-Esc.

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      4. Firestorm/Phoenixviewer have a great tutorial out on video on how to adjust your default camera angle using mouse and shift key. Unfortunately, for those of us with RL-normal height avatars (less than 1.93 m/6′ tall for women) the default HEIGHT doesn’t really work. I’ve tried adjusting that while holding the Shift key down, with no permanent result. But camera ANGLE is a fixable thing.

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  1. SL Go is fantastic! What a way to turn a slow laptop into a first rate SL experience!

    There are some issues to work out, to be sure. For me, my (USB) mouse is slightly laggy on SL Go, I wouldn’t attempt to do any building using SL Go. The other issue is my desktop computer has a 1280 x 1024 monitor (native resolution). This causes SL Go to use only part of the screen, whereas native Firestorm is more flexible. Although there is no lag and 40 fps video on ULTRA, the images are kind of fuzzy.

    Everything else works fine on SL Go with Firestorm set to Phoenix interface.

    Good job, OnLive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you’re enjoying the SL Go experience!

      The fuzziness is is generally due to a couple of things: the first is that SL Go streams at 720p, slightly below the resolution of your monitor; if you run the client in a window, rather than full screen, you might see a slight improvement. The other is the adaptive nature of the streaming – if the OnLive servers detect a possible issue on the network between them and your client, they automatically adjust the streaming rate to reduce the risk of large numbers of lost packets, and this can be seen as the image getting slightly fuzzy.

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    2. Agreed. I’m an SLGo evangelist when friends in SL tell me their systems are having graphics and other usability issues… and when friends in dance clubs and other hi-lag venues ask why I’m not crashing every few minutes any longer. A good friend of mine asked me why Linden Labs didn’t provide this service directly, and I asked her “Do you really want something like this on THEIR servers?” I’m just now learning the little tricks to use to get “lost” prims to show up in my inventory, which I consider an LL server issue – but I can live with it, now that I know the name of that tune.

      Apart from which, I’m a refugee from Utherverse, which I like to think of as the Cold War, behind-the-Iron Curtain version of Second Life – everything’s managed from the top down, right down to the sex your cartoons have in-world and the accessories your avatars are allowed to carry in public (“no swords or Neko outfits, please, they scare the newbs…”), everything that SL has now – like REAL, terraformable outdoor terrain (it’s all a congeries of sky boxes there last time I checked) – is “coming soon”, but in four years, it never seemed to arrive.

      As much as I kicked and screamed when I heard SL was migrating to an Oculus Rift environment, I’m calm with it now – it’ll work or it won’t.

      I cherish the model LL has embraced of letting the USERS create Second Life, and not dictating every little detail, with a full-time force of “cops” to enforce an ever-growing list of ordinances for everyone to follow. It almost seems a reflex to complain about Linden Labs this and Second Life that, but SLGo is proof that they’re actually proactive in trying to make things livable for us, without turning the place into a socialist nightmare like Utherverse.

      Someone who can maintain servers and figure out how to run SL viewers on them, then stream the resulting video back to users got with LL and offered a service which I, for one, am very grateful to have. It ought to increase Second Life’s market share considerably if more people just knew it existed.

      Someone ought to consider sending new ad copy explaining how SLGo works out where all the “we already knew that” Second Life ads are on the Web. It’d pay Linden Labs to do so….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I use SLGo on a 2003-vintage Dell laptop (2GHz Core Duo CPU, 2Gb RAM, Intel integrated graphics) and find that it’s WONDERFUL! I’d have to invest about US$400-$500 into a new laptop to get this sort of performance just running Firestorm on the system itself.

    My only observation (not really a complaint) is that it’s a bandwidth hog for PCs. I’ve found that if local wi-fi bandwidth is 5 Mbps or lower it’s pretty easy to start having “dropouts” in the stream that degrade image quality, and even to be kicked off by SLGo once it detects that your local bandwidth won’t support their stream (and please, someone correct me if there’s a fix for this).

    But otherwise – wow! This alone justifies my otherwise foolish investment in a 25Mbps Comcast account at home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OnLive’s minimum requirement for their services is 5 Mbps. If your wi-fi is dropping below this, then you’ll likely hit issues. As noted in an earlier comment, they do use adaptive streaming to combat issues along the server / client connection route (hence the fuzziness at times, even if your local connection seems strong), but obviously that can only go so far in helping matters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the insight into the matter, Inara.

        SLGo doesn’t exactly advertise its bandwidth requirements in the sign-up process, which may lead folks who bought AT&T’s “high speed internet” offered here (3 Mbps) or the “high speed Wi-fi” a large chain of extended stay hotels offers (you pay $14.99 a week for that same 3 Mbps) to have a bad time. Information folks might want to have.

        I actually spent a week in the aforementioned extended stay hotel, paid for the increase from 300 Kbps (in which SLGo almost ran) to a verified 3 Mbps, and got more fuzziness than not most of the time. (Oddly, in another room in that same hotel, I WAS getting acceptably good performance running at the base 300 Kbps speed with Firestorm WITHOUT SLGo a month earlier, but I was four doors down the hall from their Wi-fi/server closet, too).

        But I only was thrown off SLGo about every hour or two for insufficient bandwidth, which is STILL better performance that I got in high-lag venues running Firestorm in my machine at home (where I have 25 Mbps Internet) – every five minute-ly crashes were the reason I went with SLGo in the first place.

        And I’m totally a happy camper with SLGo almost everywhere I have connectivity at all.

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    1. This might be a good time to connect with your local legislator while the details of the National Broadband Network are still being worked out, and inform him or her that “you know, there’s this way of really leveraging available bandwidth for virtual presence… “.

      I seem to remember Monash University having a big SL presence once upon a time. It seems to me that SL would be an excellent way for Australians in specialized interest groups to meet on a regular basis, and SLGo to be the best way for Australians to use SLGo – if the necessary broadband infrastructure exists for Australians to use it.

      And I’m not slamming Australia, by the way. The “official” definition of “broadband” here in the United States of America is still down around 5Mbps, whiich I’ve found from experience doesn’t allow a very good SLGo experience.

      If you want (as I do) plenty of bandwidth for yourself and guests, you have to pay for it, and pay quite a bit. My 25Mbps service costs are, between the base bandwidth rate and router/cable modem rental, over US$70/month. If I weren’t heavily invested in a digital lifestyle, I’d have better uses for the money.

      You Australians are still in a position to negotiate the definition of “broadband Internet access,” what it ought to cost subscribers, and how available it is. This is your time to have your legislators get the best deal for you all possible.

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      1. reword:
        “I seem to remember Monash University having a big SL presence once upon a time. It seems to me that SL would be an excellent way for Australians in specialized interest groups to meet on a regular basis, and SLGo to be the best way for Australians to use Second Life (it supports iPad, Android, and older PCs and Macs) – if the necessary broadband infrastructure exists for Australians to use it.”

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      2. The issue with Australia is not broadband speed, per se, but rather in the fact that OnLive do not have a presence their. Without a presence there, and suitable hosting facilities, it makes it extremely hard for them to provision a reliable streaming service (OnLive’s European services, for example, are provisioned through their data centre in the UK).

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  3. OK…..Everyone seems to rave….and, it seems like a GREAT idea…but…..
    I tried the 7-day free trial and dropped it after the 2nd day. The support was completely lacking from their techies. I never did even figure out how to get the thing installed. I guess if you have a degree in computer programming, it’s OK..but..how about us ‘regular joes’ that aren’t as tech-savvy. The ‘instructions’ are a but lacking as far as I can see. I’d love to be able to crank up my graphics and see other avies beyond the end of my nose…but..the question remains…..please…simplify as to exactly HOW to even get it onto my old lappy..please?

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    1. Fred,

      Assuming you’re signed-up to SL Go and your free trial period has not expired, you should be able to get up and running as follows:

      1. Download the OnLive client – just click on the required option on the download page. Once downloaded, locate the installer file (called Onlive_Setup) in your download folder, virus scan it and then double-click on it to install the client software.
      2. When the client software is installed, run it, and log-in to it using your OnLive account details (not your SL account details).
      3. If SL Go is the only OnLive service to which you are subscribed, The client should log you in and display a screen offering you a choice of using either the SL viewer (SLV) or Firestorm.
      4. Click on your preferred choice to launch the viewer, and then log-in as you would “normally” with SL.
      5. If you have subscribed to other OnLive services, you may have to search for SL Go and add your choice of viewer to your My Games tab in the client.

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  4. My primary interest is in SL photography. Despite the fact that I can use Ultra High graphics settings, I cannot save a photo to my hard drive. This is a serious deficiency for me. Secondly, I have tested both SLGO and my Desktop Firestorm viewer and find that, often as not, performance problems come from the SL server and so there is no particular advantage in using SLGO during such moments.

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    1. Because the viewer is actually running on an OnLive server, and streamed to your computer, there is currently no way for it to access your hard drive – hence why you cannot save snapshots locally. You can, however, use the snapshots to e-mail capability of the viewer, and obtain pictures that way.

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  5. Advice to those of us who have monthly downloaded content limits – either from our Internet providers or our cellular service providers – and use SLGo: check your download levels. Check them NOW. The alternative in my case was getting a phone call from my ISP, Comcast, saying I was THIS CLOSE to exceeding my 300 Gb monthly limit on downloaded Internet content. That’s an average of just under 10 gigs a day for the previous month.

    I did throttle back on my SLGo use since getting that phone call, but have a question: has anyone else seen this, or is it just “Comcast and me” thing?

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    1. In fairness, I downloaded 47 Gb of Internet content a month before using SLGo (YouTube video, mainly), which puts the SLGo contribution to my downloaded content at about 250 Gb. Still more than I expected.

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  6. Hi Inara,

    Your post’s great by the way…

    But why can’t one ever get consistent information on the internet!!!!

    Every forum I visit techies say mobile devices don’t have nearly enough system resources (like bandwith) to support a descent virtual world experience.

    Then I come on here and everyone says they’ve got SL running on Android, iPad, …and even ancient laptops.

    What gives? Can or can’t they?

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    1. On their own, Android and iOS devices cannot run the “full” viewer. However, SL Go was a streamed service (now defunct), which allowed the viewer and Second Life to be streamed to such devices, bypassing the need for them to have a significant investment in terms of high-powered graphics and processing, thus allowing people to run Second Life on them.

      Currently, the only way to access SL through Android or iOS is via lightweight clients, most of which do not render the in-world view. The exception to this is Lumiya for Android. However, a new streaming / cloud service – Bright Canopy – is in development and will hopefully fill the void left by SL Go.

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  7. Thanks for clearing that up Inara.

    Hey, have you heard of Utherverse’s Virtual World Web? It’s huge! But they don’t seem to be making the news. They launched since 2009, but their home page says they’re still in Alpha testing mode (I don’t get that part) They claim to have 9million users, with 100,000 inter-connected virtual worlds, but I visited their search engine app (called Curio), the live user number update figures weren’t very impressive.

    You know on SL if you’ve got too many avatars rendered in the same region, you’ll get lag, well they’ve got patented tech that lets them render an infinite no. of avatars in any world region.

    They market themselves as a 3D web browser, and positioned themselves to accommodate the entire earth’s internet community, but I guess someone forgot to remind them that virtual worlds are a niche market! 🙂 You should investigate!

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