Lab confirms Sansar’s title and issues first Creator Preview invites

Sansar Screen Shot, Linden Lab, August 2016, on Flickr Sansar (TM) Screen Shot, Linden Lab, August 2016, on Flickr

On Wednesday, August 31st, Linden Lab issued a press release indicating they have issued the first of the invitations to successful applicants to join the Sansar Creator Preview programme. This has been picked-up by various media and blogs – but what I’ve found particularly interesting (and others seem to have missed) is that the press release confirms the new platform is to simply be called “Sansar”.

Until now, Linden Lab has referred to their new platform as “Project Sansar” (see their press releases from April 2016 and August 2015 as examples). However, in the press release, the Lab refer to it as “Sansar“, suggesting this may now be the platform’s official name, thus:

Linden Lab® today announced that the first invitations to the Sansar™ Creator Preview are being sent this week. Select applicants will be invited to create their own social VR experiences with the new platform, slated for public release in early 2017.

As further indicators that Sansar is now the official title, the press release included a new logo, and the URL for the Sansar website has been updated to “www.sansar.com”.

The new Sansar logo (courtesy of Linden Lab)
The new Sansar logo (courtesy of Linden Lab)

When I contacted Peter Gray, the Lab’s Director of Global Communications to ask if the terminology was deliberate and a reflection of the platform’s official title, he replied with two words:

Good eye 😉

So I’m taking that as a “yes” 🙂 .

The new name shouldn’t really be a surprise – after a year or so of referring to it as “project Sansar”, to the media and the VR public, changing the platform’s name to “Sansar” is a lot easier and less confusing than trying to effectively rebrand the platform, even if it hasn’t yet been formally launched.

Sansar Screen Shot, Linden Lab, August 2016, on Flickr Sansar (TM)  Screen Shot, Linden Lab, August 2016, on Flickr

In terms of the Creator Preview applications Bjorn Laurin (Bjorn Linden), the company’s Vice President of Product, indicates in the press release that over 6,500 people / groups / organisations applied to join the Creator Preview – which remains open to applications. How many of these are content creators / designers based in Second Life is unknown, nor is the number of people admitted in this first round.

avatars
A closer look at the Sansar Avatars (courtesy of Linden Lab)

Those initially invited into Sansar are people whose skills and projects are the best fit for Sansar’s capabilities as they stand at the moment, and who can best provide feedback on the platform and its capabilities which will help the Lab with its development. As Sansar evolves and the capabilities are extended, the Lab plan to broad the scope of those being invited into the preview programme.

To go alongside the press release, the lab have also opened a Flickr account for Sansar, which, at  the time of writing, was populated with four new images – presumably more will be added as Sansar’s content grows, with the Flickr group presumably being a reference point for media outlets requesting images from the platform.

One of these new images features  Sansar avatars, and has been reproduced and enlarged on the right – again, remember that avatar work in Sansar is still in the preliminary stages, and so images like this should be taken as indicative of the “final” Sansar avatar look. Nevertheless as a yardstick, they offer us something a feel for the new platform.

I’ll have more on Sansar in future articles.

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2016 SL project updates 35 (1): server, viewer

Crystal Gardens; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Crystal Gardensblog post

Server Deployments

There are no scheduled deployment for week #35. If you have a region you believe is experiencing issues, the advice is to contact support and request a restart or, for specific issues, file a bug report.

It is expected that the current dearth of simulator deployments will be coming to an end in the near future, as the current round of infrastructure / operating system updates comes to an end and the summer vacation season winds down.

SL Viewer

As expected, the Visual Outfits browser RC viewer was updated to version 4.0.8.319143 on Tuesday, August 30th, largely to correct an elevated crashed rate, as reported in my last TPV Developer meeting update. The VLC Media plugin view is also expected to receive a further RC update for the same reason. Until it does, the current list of the remaining official viewers remains as:

  • Current Release version 4.0.7.318301, dated August 8th promoted August 11th – formerly the Maintenance RC viewer
  • Release Candidate viewers (refer to my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • VLC Media Plugin RC viewer, version 4.1.1.318504, dated August 15th – replaces the QuickTime media plugin for the Windows version of the viewer with one based on LibVLC
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Bento (avatar skeleton extensions), version 5.0.0.318969, dated August 25th – final updates and tweaks prior to a move to RC status
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

SL Wiki

As noted under a separate article, the SL wiki remains locked for general editing by users.