Sansar: R26 – the thumbs-up release

The new avatar VR gesture and ability to hold objects correctly – parts of the R26 Thumbs Up release. Credit: Linden Lab

On Tuesday, October 9th, Linden Lab issues the October release for Sansar (R26). Called the thumbs-up release, it includes some significant updates and additions, not all of which I can review in-depth, simply because they are VR-oriented. However, the VR such is not perhaps the most significant element within the release – although it is impressive.

This article is designed to provide an illustrative summary of the release, but do note the lack of an VR headset and controller on my part means that any features described in detail here are looked at from the Desktop Mode.

The full release notes for R26 are available here.

Permissions / Licensing System

This is perhaps the most anticipated element within the release. With it, content creators can now set permissions against their goods, allowing them to be sold and re-sold via the Sansar Store.

Resale Price and Buyer’s Permissions

Sansar’s permissions system is built around the concept of the supply chain: creators can sell complete items “as is”, or they can create items – such as components as well as complete objects like a house or a suite of furniture, etc.,), expressly for other creators to use in their own creations which can also be sold on to consumers, with both the maker of the object and the creator of the original item receive payment.

This means, for example, a creator might make the engine and gearbox for use in cars and place them for sale / resale in the store for use in vehicle products built by others. When one of those vehicles is subsequently sold, the creator of the engine / gearbox receives a commission from the sale.  To achieve this, the permissions  / licensing system has two key elements:

  • The Resale Price: set by the original creator, it defines the price at which the item must be resold and is their commission on any re-sales of that item / any objects in which it is used. So using the car engine / gearbox example, if the resale price for these is set at S$400, then anyone building a car using them must factor this amount into their car price, as the engine / gearbox creator will receive S$400 from the sale of each car using the engine / gearbox.
  • The Buyers Permissions: set by the creator of an object sold via the Store, these define what purchasers can change with the object when they have bought it.
Creators can now set permissions on the elements in their objects purchasers can change, or they can opt to offer then with full permissions. Credit: Linden Lab.

There are some important concepts around resale prices and buyer’s permissions, so please read the official documents linked to above – particularly the small print.

Additional Notes On Permissions

  • Save to Inventory: Objects with edited properties or with additional components can now be saved from a scene in Edit mode back to inventory.
    • With this release, it is still not possible to join two objects together.
    • Note: Legacy items created by other store sellers cannot be saved back to the inventory.
  • Licensing: Any item uploaded to Sansar or saved back to inventory will not contain a basic license with information of the avatar uploading / saving it. This is part of the mechanism to allow items to be resold and commissions paid.
  • Disable materials editing: it is no longer possible to change the materials of legacy items purchased prior to this release. For new items, materials editing can be enabled by giving full editing permissions or limit it by setting it to property changes only.

Store Integration

With the September 2018 R25 release, Linden Lab took the first step towards integrating the Sansar Store into the client. At that time, users could browse the store from within the client, but when wishing to purchase an item would be transferred to the web version of the Store in their browser to complete their purchase.

With this release, purchases can now be completed within the client.

With R26, it is possible to browse the Sansar Store within the Sansar client and complete purchases from within it as well

VR Updates

Oculus Touch Gestures

With this release users with the Oculus Touch hand controllers can now employ: thumbs-up, OK signs, and finger-pointing  / guns. In addition, avatars in VR can also bend and crouch.

The new gestures can be viewed on their own avatars by Oculus users by pressing the right thumbstick button to enter third-person view. The video below, provided by Aleks from the Sansar team demonstrates the new gestures and movements, together with the new SL-like voice indicators that visually show who is talking when using voice in Sansar.


Credit: Linden Lab

Linden Lab note that they will be bringing these capabilities to the Vive Knuckles controllers in the future.

The Settings Window

The Runtime mode Settings options can now be accessed in VR mode.

Driver Update

The R26 release notes offer a reminder that Oculus is requiring the latest graphic drivers. So those wishing to try the new VR updates in this release will need to update their Nvidia graphics drivers if they haven’t already.

Editing Updates

  • Held object orientation: a new tool for experience creators that allows the orientation of an object to be set within a scene when a user interacts and grabs it.  See Defining Grab Points in the official documentation for more.
  • Keyframed object grabbing: similar to dynamic objects, except they won’t react to physics or gravity when let go.
  • Keyboard shortcut support: Press TAB to move between input fields on the properties panel.
  • Voice broadcast – Enable voice broadcasting in a scene by streaming it through the scene background sound or audio emitters.

Other Updates

  • The new Sansar voice indicator. Credit: Linden Lab

    Desktop users can now correctly use full screen with the client.

  • Chat App:
    • Revised look.
    • Support for SHIFT-ENTER to create a line return when typing and CTRL-A to select all text in the window.
    • Twitch Chat: when watching a Twitch stream in Samnsar, will display the Twitch chat for the stream in the Sansar Chat App. See Twitch Integration in the official documentation for more details.
  • Avatar voice indicator. An SL-like voice indicator displayed above an avatar’s head when they are using voice.
  • Voice broadcast voice can now be broadcast by streaming it through the scene background sound or audio emitters.
  • Script updates: refer to the R26 release notes for details.

Feedback

This should be a popular update, given the inclusion of the permissions / licensing elements and the improved avatar gestures and movement options available to VR users. Not a lot within it I’ve been able to play around with, but it will doubtless be the focus of discussion at the October 11th Product Meetup.

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