Sansar Product Meetings #9: interactivity

The Wednesday February 28th, 2018 Product Meeting

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Wednesday, February 28th. The subject for the meeting was Interactivity in Sansar, although more than this was covered. These notes are an attempt to bring together the key points of discussion from the meeting.

These weekly Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat. Dates and times are currently floating, so check the Meet-up Announcements and the Sansar Atlas events sections each week. Official notes, when published can be found here.

Bust a Move Release and Update

  • The Bust a Move (February) release was made subsequent to the meeting, which includes some of the updates indicated in the meeting – these have been noted below.
  • An update to the Bust a Move release was made on Friday, March 2nd, 2018, specifically aimed at fixing the issue of complex Marvelous Designer clothing items exploding briefly when entering cloth simulation mode.

Roadmap Notes – Interactivity

Aleks summarised the following as the key points for interactivity in Sansar the Lab has deployed , or is looking to, deploy and build on, over the coming months.

  • Keyframed motion type: introduced with the Bust a Move release on March 1st, which allows objects to be moved by object animations and certain script API functions.
    • This means that, while they are capable of movement, they are unaffected by gravity, cannot collide with static or keyframed objects, and can collide with dynamic objects and avatars, but are not moved by them.
    • Keyframed objects are useful for creating things like doors, that need to perform a specific motion reliably without adding unnecessary strain to the physics simulation.
    • It is acknowledged by the Lab that “keyframed” in this context is perhaps not the best descriptor for the functionality, and it may be changing to “scripted objects”.
  • A New Dynamic objects flag: used to determine if a dynamic object can be picked up or not.
  • Gravity / Centre of Mass:
    • Initial gravity scaling (0 through 5x “normal”) introduced with the Bust A Move release.This is straight up-and-down gravity.
    • Does not affect animations / locomotion, etc., at this time (a walk in 0 gee will be the same as in 1 gee, for example).
    • Ability to set centre of mass of objects and adjust the mass of objects via script will be coming.
    • Cylindrical and / or spherical gravity are not being worked on at this time.
    • Opens the case for avatar jumping / flying.
  • Friction and bounce controls to be made available for both terrain and objects surfaces. So ice will be slippery, a lead cannon ball many be set so it doesn’t bounce, but a rubber ball does, etc.
  • Scripted object interactions: this will allow creators to define what items  support interactivity, and how users can interact with them.
    • Will likely take the form of some kind of indicator which is visible when a mouse pointer (Desktop Mode) or hand (VR mode) is over the object, perhaps with a little tool-tip outlining the available interaction.
  • Manipulation abilities: the Lab is investigating how best to allow creators to define how items are held (e.g. a rifle and a hammer have different means of being held, one to the other) and for users to manipulate the objects they are holding (left hand? right hand? swapping between hands? etc).
  • Resource containers: objects that can be used to contain all of the sounds or animations or textures or rezzable which might be used in a scene, which can then be called via script as needed.
  • New interaction API: to provide abilities such as touching a button to change the colour or intensity or brightness of a light, or pull a lever, etc.
    • Again such capabilities will be introduced iteratively over time.
  • Scripted animation of textures: the ability to animation multiple textures on a surface, and potentially hook-in to a flipbook of textures.

Persistence Across Sessions

  • The Lab is looking at how to handle data persistence across sessions in Sansar (e.g. progress to date in a quest, or points scored in a game, etc.).
  • It’s not clear if this will be something handled internally with experiences, or by providing experience creators with some form of API, allowing them to create external mechanicals to store such data.
  • Seen as a capability which will be added once more in the way of game creation capabilities have been added to Sansar.

Particles

  • Not on the immediate  roadmap, and viewed as a “nice to have”, but not a priority at this point.
  • Are being considered with regards to emotes, e.g. type or say “smile” and a smiley pops up over your avatar or similar.
    • (Quite how this wouldn’t be as “immersion breaking” as having an unobtrusive voice indicator illuminate over an avatar’s head when voice is being used, as some at the lab claim, totally escapes me.)

Scripted Animation

  • Comprehensive scripted controls (start, stop, select a frame, change speed, etc.) for animations (and eventually leveraging the ability for .FBX files to contain multiple animations?) are being developed.
  • Initial work will be to provide scripted access to one animation on an object, rather than being able to control multiple animations.
  • The ability to swap between different sets of animations is acknowledged, but seen as “further out”.
  • This should allow for a range of NPC-style creations which can respond to avatar proximity.

Permissions System / Supply Chain

  • Still being worked on by the Lab.
  • Seen as a “sticking point” for many capabilities  / options within Sansar.
  • Currently prioritised is a script update system.
    • This won’t extend to objects, which will eventually have their own update mechanism.
    • It is not an automated update process (i.e. a new script is released and all previous versions are automatically updated).
  • Overall, the permissions system / supply chain is split into a number of areas, none of which is set for deployment in the near-term.

Performance Improvements

  • Voice is being revised so that when in an experience, only the voice data for those you can hear speaking is sent to the client, rather than voice data for all users in the experience, regardless of whether or not you can hear them.
  • Avatar LODs are also being looked at to help reduce the amount of avatar data being transferred to the client (do you really need to have every single tri in an avatar’s hair rendered when they are 300 metres away?).
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2018 SL UG updates #9/2: TPV Developer Meeting

Cece's Secret; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr Cece’s Secretblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 2nd 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps in the text below will open the video in a new tab at the relevant point of discussion. Not this was a foreshortened meeting (20 minutes), with some lengthy periods of silence.

SL Viewers

[1:27-2:53]

  • The Nalewka Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.2.512803 (dated February 23rd) was promoted to de facto release status on Thursday, March 1st, 2018.
  • The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 5.1.3.513005 on Friday, March 2nd, which incorporates KDU and other security improves and (I believe) brings it to parity with the new release viewer.

All other official viewers in the pipe remain as per the start of the week:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Media Update RC viewer, version 5.1.2.512574, February 15.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

An update to the Media update RC is anticipated to bring it to parity with the new release viewer, and a new update to the 360-snapshot viewer is also anticipated, which hopefully addresses the fuzziness / resolution issues inherent in the current version (see my hands-on overview – link above – for more on this).

Upcoming Viewers

Maintenance Viewer

[3:00-3:09] A new Maintenance RC view should be appearing in week #10 (week commencing Monday, March 5th, 2018).

Bakes on Mesh Project Viewer

[3:10-4:30] A Bakes on Mesh project viewer, suitable for use with Bakes on Mesh test regions on Aditi is with th Lab’s QA team, and may be appearing in week #10.

Bakes on Mesh is a project to extend the current avatar baking service to allow wearable textures (skins, tattoos, clothing) to be applied directly to mesh bodies as well as system avatars. It does so by allowing the faces on a mesh body / head to be defined in terms that the Baking Service can understand, allowing system layers to be applied to those faces, using 1024×1024 textures (rather than the 512×512 currently used by the Baking Service).

It’s important to note that the project viewer (with simulator-side support) is only the first phase of this project (essentially providing the 1024×1024 texture support), and there will still be much more to be done after the project viewer has been made available. Please refer to my Bakes on Mesh updates, which form a part of my weekly Content Creation User Group updates, for more specific information on this project.

Animesh Update

[7:56-9:06 – with audio break-up] The current focus remains:

  • Viewer-side bug fixes.
  • Performance profiling for Animesh complexity and LI costs.

The next step is to deploy updated simulator code in support of the limits so it can be put to the test.

DDoS Attack

[10:38-11:00] Some have experienced audio stream issues since the widespread amplified,UDP-based Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against memcached servers which took place across the Internet on Monday, February 26th / Tuesday, February 27th (memcached is a distributed memory caching system and is used to speed up dynamic database-driven websites and Internet-facing services by caching data and objects in RAM). As audio streams is handled by separate services (e.g. Shoutcast). It is possible they may have been suffering after-effects of the attack.

[11:05-11:56] The Lab has little to add to the blog post published by April Linden on the situation, other than they continue to harden systems and services. Overall, Second Life can come under frequent DDoS attack, but it myriad of parts are generally robust enough to withstand such attacks without them reaching the point of impacting users.

Off-Line IM Delivery Failures on Logging-in

[5:10-7:00] A project has been initiated to try to resolve problems with the viewer failing to receive all off-line IMs when a use logs in.

The cause appears to be that when a user logs-in, the simulator floods the viewer with UDP messages for the off-line IMs either before the viewer is ready to handle them, or as such a rate, messages are dropped.

To correct this, the Lab is making an API change in the simulator “in the next couple of weeks” and will be introducing a new viewer cap. Together, these will allow the viewer to indicate when it is ready to receive and handle off-line IMs, and ensure that the simulator correctly packages the messages for delivery, rather than simply sending a flood of items to the viewer.

These updates will hopefully be made available in a manner which allows TPVs to merge them relatively easily, rather than forming one part of a huge number of changes to the viewer.

In Brief

  • [4:35-4:53] Viewer Texture Memory Use: the Lab still plans to look at the question of texture memory use within the viewer, although it is noted this is turning into a “bit of a minefield”.
  • [12:02-13:05] Dullahan Linux: there have been requests for the Lab to provide a Linux Dulllahan build of the viewer (see this repository). Callum Linden has confirmed he’ll try to put further work into this before moving on to a new project, to at least leave it in a state others with more knowledge of Linux might be able to use.
  • [15:35-15:48] Disabling UDP inventory messaging: this is still being targeted for summer 2018, but there is currently no confirmed date.

This Weekend in Second Life Dance

Club eScape - February 28 2018

Hi there. R. Crap Mariner, your Dance Correspondent.

I’ll be posting dance performance schedules, similar to Inara’s posts about Seanchai Library readings. We’ll start with the weekend events for now.

Let’s get started, here’s the events that I had on the calendar as of press time…


(All times SLT)

FRIDAY MARCH 2

6:00PM – ELYSIUM CABARET

Elysium Cabaret – Welcome to the Weekend!

If it’s Friday, it’s Elysium Cabaret! Fancy some imagination? In The Empire Room at Copperhead Road, every Friday at 6pm SLT the dynamic performers of Elysium Cabaret take the stage to bring you a solid hour of entertainment! Featuring elaborate sets and choreography sequenced to an eclectic genre of music, Elysium Cabaret offers something for everyone. Grab your friends and get their early because the sim fills. Come celebrate Friday! Welcome to the weekend!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Copperhead%20Road/74/64/2754

Elysium Cabaret - February 23 2018

10:00PM – GUERILLA BURLESQUE

Guerilla Burlesque Revue show on the main stage!

One sensational hour of fast-paced original, live dance entertainment, the best of its kind on the grid. Dancers Guerilla Burlesque develop fresh dance interpretations of hit songs, build stage sets, choreograph animations, and costume avatars to provide you with an innovated live performance experience.

Doors open at 9 pm for the 10 pm show! Arrive early and invite your friends!

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Idle%20Rogue/107/189/33

Guerilla Burlesque - February 23 2018

SATURDAY MARCH 3

1:00PM – DEBAUCHE

This coming Saturday the 3rd March with curtains raising at 1pm SLT Debauche are so proud and honoured to be returning to Ville de Coeur.

We always receive such a great and warm-hearted  welcome here, the theatre is stunning and so are the local community.

Please come and share  with us the delights of Debauche in glorious surroundings as we do our very best to entertain you.

Please dress semi or full formal though please try to keep those scripts low

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Aquitaine%20Coeur%20Nord/125/16/23

Debauche - February 25 2018

3:00PM – CENTRE STAGE

Ryan Sawyer and his group return to the stage.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Nope/31/13/3006

3:00PM – GYPSY ROSE BURLESQUE

Grand opening of the Gypsy Rose Burlesque.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SkyBeam%20Stowaway/23/40/2000

6:00PM – WHYMSEE NOIR

Join us on Saturday, March 3, 2018, starting at 6 pm SLT, for Let’s Dance: Animals! I’ve got an animals-themed song set, I’ll make us a nice open playpen, and we’ll get all animalistic together! Come dressed in neko, furry, an animal avatar, or come as you are (bits and pieces covered, please!)…this animal show is all choreographed and designed with YOU in mind…’cause at the end of the day, we can’t do it without you!

For the Let’s Dance show, we trade in our sets for MORE dancing and LESS wait time between songs! There will be lots of wiggling, dancing, physics, and a little dazzle thrown in for good measure! Dance along with us or have a seat in our comfy chairs, we like it when you watch! No naked avatars, just dancing. Come to the show and see what all the fuss is about!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Whymsee/96/192/3286

7:00PM – PARAMOUNT GRAND THEATRE

Spring Into March! Paramount Grand Theatre’s brand new show for March. Come join us for an evening of classy but sassy entertainment as we the Paramount Players dance for you, March 3rd & 10th at 7pm SLT.

The Players are bringing the Irish, the Scottish, the Leprechauns and the Celts to Paramount. Maybe even some American marching may make an appearance!

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hell%20Lust/77/83/22

Paramount Grand Theatre - February 3 2018

SUNDAY MARCH 4

So, there’s a lot going on at noon…

12:00PM – SPIRIT LIGHT DANCE COMPANY

Spirit Light Dance Company Presents Showcase 2018

Once a year we encourage members of the company to stretch their wings and present a piece of their own work. Each entrant must choose their music, create the set, get it in a rezzer and on the stage. They either make or source their costumes for their dance. They run the dance HUD and often the mover as well, or if an operator is needed they must train the operator. In all cases they are encouraged and mentored by senior members of the company. This is not a competition but rather an opportunity to strive for personal excellence–to be the best that they can be.

We invite you to join this full cast presentation of 11 outstanding examples of choreographic skill and creative spirit.

We recommended that you arrive early to secure a seat and to cache the sets and the animations.

Please keep your scripts to 50 or below.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rockcliffe%20I/120/82/3602

Spirit Light Dance Company SLDC - September 24 2017

12:00PM – DESIRE ARTS

Sunday, February at 12pm SLT

Desire Arts Dancers doing their “after hours” show, but today we do it for a Sunday matinée! We bring you the performance quality at our Saturday shows, with more skin… little less costume. Some acts do contain adult content.

Also, Presentations of a controversial nature (including those involving sex, politics and/or religion) will be presented separately from the Dance Program.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hell%20Lust/174/78/21

12:00PM – KIKI’S BURLESQUE

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LORII%20CAPRONI%20ISLAND/106/174/24

Kiki - December 3 2017

12:00PM – OASIS DANCERS/DEBAUCHE

Debauche would like to invite you all to the Debauche home theatre to come and enjoy, to witness two of the very best dance troupes in Second Life sharing the stage in a combined show.

Last weekend both troupes shared the stage at the Oasis home theater. Had fantastic support and plaudits. Was truly a magnificent show.

Now its time of Debauche to return the favour, to extend our hospitality in what will surely be simply another wonderful show for everybody to enjoy.

Sunday 4th March, 12pm SLT, please come smart, smart casual with low scripts

Lets Rock this weekend.

Debauche  xxxx

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Champion%20Isle/71/126/2001


Usually, I see notices for Phoenix at 5PM on Saturday, Club Image at 6AM on Sunday, and Winds of the Sahara at 5PM on Sunday… oh well.

That’s why you should check with the Dance Queens event calendar for updates and additions to the weekend’s schedule, as well as the many events that happen during the week. Or, you can check out my experimental in-world floor calendar.

The huge calendar...