The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meetings held on Friday, October 6th. These meetings are held every Friday at 9:30am PDT and 4:00pm PDT, and are open to all. There is no set agenda (currently), and the meetings are a mix of voice and text. The official meeting notes are published in the week following each pair of meetings, while venues change on a weekly basis, and are announced in the Meet-up Announcements.
The October 6th meetings took place at Spinnervale, a creepy experience for Halloween by Debi Baskerville (and which I’ve reviewed here). Attending the meetings were Bjørn Laurin, the Lab’s VP of Product, and Cara and Boden from the Product team.
Discovery Release Update
The Discovery release was deployed on Wednesday, October 4th – see my overview on the release for core details. However, there were some post-deployment issues which required hot fixes and updates to be deployed as well. These have thus far comprised:
- Update 1 – October 5, 2017 – mainly addressing a major crashing issue that would trigger when an avatar enters an experience while other avatars are walking around.
- Update 2 – October 6, 2017 – allowing people to add scripts and other components to objects bought from the Sansar Store following issues in the wake of the initial Discovery deployment. However, as a side-effect of the fix, items that were edited between the initial deployment and the update may revert back to their default settings, with items properties that were edited in the time between the Discovery release deployment and the update were lost. This was originally reported as a “known issue” in the October 5th update.
There may be further updates to follow, addressing some remaining issues.
Supply Chain Release Error
The second of the two issues noted above was the result of the premature deployment of code for Sansar’s supply chain economy and permissions system within the Discovery release.
As Bjørn explained at the meeting, the supply chain economy will allow everyone to get properly recompensed for their creations howsoever they are used. However, the first element of the code to support this – designed to protect original content – was deployed with the Discovery release without some key supporting elements, resulting in the issues fixed by the October 6th update.
Deployment of the supply chain capabilities may be around the end of the first quarter / start of the second quarter of 2018.
Other Noted Issues
- Adding a metalness map to an object can cause it to dramatically change colour. This appears to be the unintended consequence of a fix for another issue.
- Some people are seeing old messages and notifications re-received, generally during logging-in; friend requests me be repeated multiple times; accepting a friend request can request in the system add you as your own friend – and you can message yourself (!).
- Some are seeing massively inflated audio emitters when working in Edit mode.
- There are reports that items taken in Desktop mode can be “grabbed” away, either by other avatars – or even other things in a scene.
- Some in Desktop mode have also reported that pressing and holding the mouse button to throw things doesn’t always result in a stronger throw; conversely, some in VR now have “superhuman” strength when throwing items.
- There is a report that going to free camera movement (aka flycam) by pressing F4 when in first-person view can allow the camera to pan when it is moved forwards / backwards. Although like a bug, a request was made for the feature to be retained.
- llcameraforward camera vector behaviour is still no longer consistently tracking camera movements in third-person view (although it is still working as expected in first-person). This has been reported previously, but has not been addressed, and appears worse following the Discovery release. This is also affecting projectile behaviours as well.
- The issue with objects appearing correctly positioned and aligned when editing a scene, and then appearing misaligned / out-of-place in the run-time experience (see here)may be related to a scaling issue, still to be fully investigated. One suggestion is that scaling using the Gizmo rather than the properties sliders can cause differences between the collision mesh and object mesh, which can cause the latter to be repositioned.
- There is an issue with the client Atlas search – it only seems to search based on the first 3 or 4 characters in the search string.
There were some intentional changes with the Discovery release which weren’t as well represented in the release notes as they might have been. Future release notes will drill down more deeply into changes and updates to hopefully avoid this happening again.
Rough Time Frame for the Next Releases
- The Friends release, focusing on social capabilities for Sansar will form the release following the Discovery release, and will likely be at the end of October / start of November.
- According to Bjørn at the morning Product Meeting, the release after that will be the Store release, and Boden indicated that this will likely be in mid-December, as the Lab tends to close for an end-of-year break over Christmas / the New Year period. Subject to confirmation, this release might be the first release of the clothing / fashion updates.
Feedback on the Sansar camera (when in third-person view) has identified points of annoyance, particularly for those used to dealing with Second Life. A couple of these can be summarised:
- Lack of orientation relative to the avatar: when a user arrives at a spawn point in an experience, their avatar may be oriented to face a specific direction – but their camera may not be (it can be off to one side, for example. This can cause confusion with the direction the user should be facing, and disorientation when the user walks “forward”, and their avatar move from (say) left-to-right across their screen (the camera eventually swings around behind the avatar), rather than the avatar turning to walk in the direction the camera is facing as some users might expect.
- When behind the avatar, the default third-person camera position suffers the Second Life error of being set too high above the avatar, which could potentially lead to issues of scale – again as is the case with Second Life.
Jenn and Bjørn have agreed to get someone who is working on the camera system to come along to a focus group meeting to talk through these kinds of concerns with people and determine what might be done to address them.