The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, October 25th. These Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat.
Native Sit Capability
The Sansar team is working on a native sit capability. This would allow avatars to (finally) sit on objects properly in Sansar (rather than using the awkward teleport + “/sit” command.
- Will likely initially comprise defining a sit point and exit point on an object to allow sitting / standing using (initially) a basic male or female sit pose.
- This would work on both static and dynamic objects, although it would potentially means that a chair (and its occupant) could be picked-up and thrown / tossed around, something the Lab is a little cautious about allowing.
- However, the precise mechanism has yet to be determined.
Avatar / Avatar VR Interactions
A further capability being developed in for users in VR to directly interact with one another via fist bumps and high fives and sense the feedback through their VR controllers.
October Release Preview
Note: although referred to as the October release, the next release for Sansar is now likely to be early in November 2018.
Button Remapping: The next release will see some of the buttons in VR realigned; the teleport function will no longer be a trigger button, but will be moved to the lower thumb button on each controller. This is to start exposing the trigger buttons for use to fire guns, potentially with the upper thumb button being used as a “reload” button, thus increasing the number of buttons being used by Sansar. Within the Sansar team, this work is being called “Project Pew! Pew!”.
IK Updates: the IK movement capabilities in Sansar have been improvements over the last couple of releases, so that avatars closely follow physical movements. These will continue with release #27, which will also allow VR users to see their own avatars in first-person view. The first version view does cause some clipping of the head, depending on how they are rigged. To help reduce this, the October will include documentation to provide guidance on rigging custom avatars.
Hand Gestures: the upcoming will allow hand gestures to be seen in the blue VR hands in third-version views, and the hands will show with custom avatars. So, if some in 1st person is looking down at their hands in VR, they will see the blue hands for manipulation (useful for avatars which may have things like tentacles are longer than the avatar arm). In the future it should be possible to hide the blue hands altogether, such as when a custom avatar’s hands are correctly rigged.
VR menus: the menus displayed in VR are being resized so they don’t dominate the scene when open.
VR keyboard: VR users will be able to call up a VR keyboard and type chat and direct messages, search the Atlas, etc. This will apparently include Swedish characters!
The October release will allow creators to upload and sell custom animations. Initially, the capability will not include the ability to designate the emote command, so the existing emotes will have to be re-mapped to use any custom animations on a per-avatar basis.
- When purchased, the animation will appear in a new emotes library in the character editor, and the user can re-map an emote to use the animation from there. For example, if a custom dance is uploaded, it can be re-mapped to play using one of the existing dance emotes
- Although this doesn’t mean emotes can only be used for similar animations, any of the emotes can be remapped to use any custom animation.
- However, as this is on a per-avatar basis, emotes must be re-mapped if the avatar type is swapped from one gender to the other.
The Desktop Mode Menu
The Desktop Mode menu will change to the left side of the screen, and will offer fewer buttons, as the options have been distilled down to logical groupings. So, for example, Go will offer a sub-menu for the Atlas, Events, etc.
- This is being done to make the UI more user friendly for new users.
- There are no plans at this time to make the button positions configurable (e.g. left or right, top or bottom of the screen).
New User Experience Update
Starting with the October release, new users will be taken to an experience on logging-in to Sansar for the first time, and have a default avatar. The experience will be one of those currently populated with other people, the idea being to get new users interaction with other users as quickly as possible.
Which experience a new user is sent to will depend on a number of factors: whether it is public; how many are already in it (to avoid sending new users to an experience nearing its capacity and the possibility they may be re-directed to an empty instance); and those experiences that present a heavy / long load time will also be avoided.
Permissions / Licensing
There will likely not be any changes to the permissions / licensing system in the next release.
- Additional dance emotes: “dance5″ and” will be added to Sansar with the next release, these will also be available for re-mapping to use custom animations.
- Avatar skin sub-shader: this will initially only be applicable to custom avatars, not the Sansar system avatars – that will come in time. This will eventually allow people to change the skin of their avatars.
- New typing indicator: this will be displayed in a similar manner to the speaking indicator, above those using text chat when they are typing. The indicator will be shown in both Desktop and VR modes.
- New emissive shader.
- Keyboard language options: Sansar will support a broader range of keyboard layouts beyond the English QWERTY layout, with support for around 20 languages.
- Updates to Chat and People Apps, including working copy / paste of chat.
- Client settings: new microphone / voice check option
- Script updates:
- scripted raycasting.
- “motions of interia” API to prevent things like spinning gyroscopes toppling over.
The Lab is still working on:
- Providing more sliders for avatar customisation.
- Offering the means to change attachment points, but there will not necessarily be an increase in the number of attachment points.