Lab announces Second Life Halloween 2016 Creepy Crawl

Via Linden Lab
Via Linden Lab

Following their invitation for people to submit destinations for the Second Life Halloween Creepy Crawl / Linden Lab meet-up, Xiola Lab has now blogged details of the event, which is to be combined with a costume contest with a prize pool of L$50,000 on offer in prizes to be given at each stage of the Crawl around Halloween-theme locations in Second Life.

The 2016 event will take place – when else? – Monday, October 31st, from 10:00 through 15:00 SLT. Ten locations have been selected, and Second Life residents are invited to join staff from the Lab as they hop from place to place, or rendezvous with them at a given time and location, depending on personal schedules.

Commenting on the costume contest, Xiola notes:

Costumes are strongly encouraged for this event – so come out and show off your best and you could win big! This year, at EVERY stop on our crawl, we will be giving away L$5,000 to one lucky winner whose costume catches our eye. That’s 10 stops, 10 winners, and a total of L$50,000 in prizes! Just keep in mind that this event is for General and Moderate audiences when perfecting your look. For full contest rules please visit the wiki. If you still need a costume or three – check out the Shop ’til You Drop event for your one stop Halloween party shopping.

There’s also a special gift from Boudoir of a wearable pumpkin pile available (one per avatar),  which will be available via kiosks at each of the selected stops on the Crawl.

The schedule for the event is (all times SLT, all rated Moderate, unless otherwise stated) is as follows:

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Inside Sansar with the Wall Street Journal

Ebbe Altberg moving virtual furniture around in Sansar, demonstrating some of the platform's capabilities at the WSJ.D Live conference, October 24th-26th
Ebbe Altberg moving virtual furniture around in Sansar, demonstrating some of the platform’s capabilities at the WSJ.D Live conference, October 24th-26th. Credit: Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal WSJ.D Live conference has just wrapped up for 2016, having taken place in Laguna Beach, California.

Attending the event, Linden Lab CEO demonstrated using VR headset and controllers within a Sansar scene, showing how the controllers can be used to manipulate objects. The video is available of the WSJ YouTube channel, and I’ve embedded it at the end of this article. The Sansar scene itself is relatively simple, and the aim appears to be just to show how reasonably easy it is to move content around when defining a space, rather than any in-depth look at the fidelity of the platform’s graphics.

As we know, the actual editing environment in Sansar is quite separate from the run-time environment. While the latter doesn’t permit “in-world” building, it has been indicated that users will be able to move content around within in – thus allowing them to personalise spaces and arrange scenes; however, I have it on good authority (Ebbe himself), that the scene shown in the demo was using the edit mode.

The video includes brief shot of the in-world controller / menu, but motion is such that determining anything of import from it is difficult.

Angel investor Benjamin Rohé was at the presentation, and Tweeted a short video of Sansar avatars. As we know from Lab Chat sessions, these are liable to be going through further development as Sansar progresses, so it’s hard to judge how close these are to the looks those stepping through the doors when Sansar allows public admission from early 2017, but I’m guessing it’s not too face off base. What will be interesting is to see just how customisable they will become.

Sansar avatars at WSJ.D Live. Credit: Benjamin Rohé
Sansar avatars at WSJ.D Live.The red thing is a more other-worldly avatar form! Credit: Benjamin Rohé

Beyond the look, nothing really new is said about the platform – numbers of users engaged with it through the closed alpha and the Creator Preview have reached “few hundred”, and the public release is still looked at in terms of Q1 2017.

In addition,  presentation hosts Geoffrey Fowler and Joanna Stern Tweeted pictures of themselves as Sansar avatars.

Joanna Stern and Geoffrey Fowler (seen in the inset image) and as they appear as Sansar avatars. Credits: Geoffrey R. Fowler / WSJ Live
Joanna Stern and Geoffrey Fowler (seen in the inset image) and as they appear as Sansar avatars. Credits: Geoffrey R. Fowler / WSJ Live

The video leaves a lot of unanswered questions – how are tasks like walking and running handled, for example, when using Sansar via HMD? Will it be point-and-hop, which others will see and a fluid walking motion (remember that they’ll be seeing your avatar, whereas you won’t)? Will those entering Sansar without VR headsets, etc., be able to see their own avatar in third-person as we’re accustomed to doing in Second life (and which is actually part of the attraction of spaces like SL)? And more besides. So judging the platform on the strength of clips like this might not be entirely fair.

But it does add to the list of questions for the nest set of lab Chats!

Updated to reflect the fact the demonstration shows Sansar in Edit mode, with thanks to Ebbe Altberg for the clarification, and to add the avatar image of Joanna Stern and Geoffrey Fowler. 

2016 SL project updates 43/1: Server, viewer

A panoramic image of Holly Kai Park's pavilion, captured in the news 360-degree snapshot viewer - see below
A panoramic image of Holly Kai Park’s events pavilion, captured in the news 360-degree snapshot viewer – click on the image to view in 360 via Flickr, and see my article here

Server Deployment

The RC deployment in week #42 introduced a bug, so there was no Main (SLS) channel deployment on Tuesday, October 25th.

The three RC all received the same server maintenance package, comprising: a fix for the bug introduced in week #42 – see BUG-40735 “Paying an object with [slgaming] in the object name (most skill game machines) fails on the RC 16.10.14.320687”; two fixes for issues with the new llSit function for Experiences, and additional internal updates.

SL Viewer

360 Snapshot Viewer

The new 360-degree snapshot project viewer arrived on Wednesday, October 26th, with the release of the first iteration of the project viewer, version 4.1.2.320965. There is an accompanying wiki page for the viewer, and I have a hands-on look.

Other than this, the viewer pipeline remains as per my TPV Developer meeting summary of October 21st:

  • Current Release version: 4.1.1.320331 (dated October 4), promoted October 10 – formerly the VLC media plug-in for Windows RC
  • Release candidates:
    • Project Bento  RC (avatar skeleton extensions), version 5.0.0.320815, dated October 20th
    • Maintenance RC viewer, version 4.1.2.320804 dated October 20th
  • Project viewers:
    • None.
  • 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.

Aditi Weekend Issues

Some people trying to access Aditi, the beta grid, encountered problems over the weekend of the 22nd / 23rd October after a database for that grid failed. As Aditi doesn’t have either the same level of redundancy or the same urgency of repair that Agni (the main grid) has, the database didn’t get sorted out until Monday, October 24th.