Sansar: new Creator Preview video as preview invites ramp-up

(courtesy of Linden Lab)

On Thursday, July 6th, Linden Lab released a further Sansar preview video focusing on the work of a content creator – Ria, which I’ve embedded at the end of this article

Given we’re now not that far away from the doors to Sansar opening to a wider audience in the “creator beta” (or whatever the Lab finally calls it), the video can be seen as a further ratcheting of things  – alongside recent media articles – ready for the opening. At the same time, the past week has seen a further batch of invited into the Creator Preview find their way to those who have applied to access Sansar.

Further invites to join Sansar have been issued in the last week by the Lab

At 99 seconds in length, the video is an engaging enough piece, Ria’s experience from both within and without, which takes the form of an immersive story involving a little girl and her toys, utilising three locations linked by teleports. Kudos to Drax for presenting a means of suggesting the potential of VR immersion by overlaying images from within the game with shots of Ria looking around her creation while using a HMD. It may not be as immersive as “the real thing”, but it’s a lot better that intercut views of heads with HMDs strapped to them bobbing and weaving in front of computer screens we’ve seen in the past.

Those looking for details on Sansar are going to be disappointed however – this is a promotional video after all. That said, there are some interesting shots of the edit environment and what appears to be the fully realised run-time space. Again, given it is a promo video, reading too much into what “is” or “isn’t” said would be a mistake.

Some have found a couple of statements in the video objectionable. The first is the idea that “there is nothing even remotely like Sansar out there” – and I admit to finding it questionable myself.While it may not be as deeply immersive as a “true” VR experience, the fact remains that SL offers pretty much everything Sansar promises, and has done for a good while now. And just because it doesn’t support headsets doesn’t change that. And in terms of VR, there is High Fidelity to consider as well…

The second is that Sansar will achieve “broad appeal” when launched. This has been pooh-poohed on the basis that VR itself has yet to achieve a significant market share. However, “broad appeal” needn’t necessarily mean “mass market” – and the two seem to be getting conflated.

Inside Ria’s Sansar Experience

I personally don’t think VR (and by extension Sansar) will be “mass market”. However, as I’ve oft said, there are markets were VR could have a significant role, and Sansar could be ideally positioned to leverage them. Design, architecture, training, simulation, education, healthcare, for example; plus, as friend and content creator Dassni pointed out to me in a lengthy conversation, it might even appeal to indie game / game modding enthusiasts.  Taken together, these could facilitate the kind of “broad appeal” for Sansar to generate a comfortable level of revenue for the Lab – in time.

How much time? Well, therein lies the rub. Sansar itself is going to need a lot more development work once the gates open to a wider audience, and even among the markets already looking at VR, the preference might be to wait until headsets have improved in capability and looks and come down in price – something which could be around 2-3 years away.

 

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5 thoughts on “Sansar: new Creator Preview video as preview invites ramp-up

  1. While Sansar may be nice, having a Second Life that worked would be nicer. Sansar is apparently aimed at the VR crowd which is ‘way above my pay grade. I have to wonder what will happen when Sansar is finally out and competing with Second Life – will our SL slowly be allowed to fade away with deferred maintenance and other Corporate methods of getting rid of an older product and forcing people to use the new one? There are a lot of people (myself included) for whom Second Life allows us to “live” a relatively normal, undamaged life (something we can’t do IRL) but can’t afford the VR toys that Sansar appears to be aimed toward.
    I have heard that Second Life will continue to run as long as it shows a profit. I’ve heard that line before, and believe me there are ways Corporate bookkeeping can make profits disappear in one project and magically appear in another. Another method of devaluing an older product is to simply not keep it upgraded or properly maintained, and that is already beginning to happen in Second Life. Some unoccupied sims on continents are no longer accessible. They look like they are there but you can’t get in and there is no listed owner outside of Linden Maintenance.
    No, I do not like Sansar. Second LIfe could be upgraded to Sansar levels but it won’t be because it is easier to start with code for 2015 machines than to bring up the code for 2004 machines up to 2015 levels. Further, having to start all over (since Sansar won’t support Second Life items) will turn a lot of established, paying customers completely off.
    Does Linden Labs care? Sansar certainly doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While there will always been limits on where and how SL can be improved, the fact remains that the core technical and product teams responsible for it remain committed to driving that improvement and enhancing capabilities wherever they can. There’s a lot of work going on right night “under the hood” which, although not visible to the majority of users, is very much geared towards improving capabilities and performance and offering additional / improved functionality and in trying to make it easier to bring an audience into the platform.

      As SL is – and will remain for some time to come – the only source of significant revenue for Linden Research, it’s frankly in their best interest to drive the platform forward through such improvements and in keeping users engaged. That’s unlikely to change for a good few years to come – and if it does change, it will be down to the users making the choice, not the Lab. What’s more it’s a choice that could come about whether or not Sansar exists. Just because the likes of Blue Mars and Cloud Party didn’t really gain broad traction among SL user doesn’t mean that another product or products won’t in the future.

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  2. Competing? But Sansar is in no way like Second Life, it’s not attempting to be SLv2. Comparing Sansar with Second Life is like comparing a bicycle with a car.
    And it’s nowhere near being of a state for public use yet anyway.

    Unless a person has actually been in Sansar and seen for themself at first hand what it is and what it’s capabilities ‘might’ be, how can anyone say they do not like it?
    It’s perfectly possible to be in Sansar without the VR headsets etc. If you have a reasonably competent PC you’ll be able to access Sansar.

    Do Linden Lab care? Personally I think they are more than proving themselves to be very caring and to be upgrading SL as much as is possible without breaking content.

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