The following notes were taken from the Sansar Community Feedback hour held on Thursday, November 29th. A video of the meeting is available on the official Sansar Twitch channel, and timestamps referencing that video are provided in the text below.
Note that the entire discussion is not summarised here – general questions from the 47 minute point onwards are not included – please refer to the video for these. The focus of this article is the upcoming availability of Sansar on Steam and the the December R28 release.
Sansar On Steam
[3:00-5:44] If all goes according to plan, Sansar will be available on Steam from the end of week #49 (week commencing Monday, December 3rd). The platform has already gained initial approval from Steam, and should gain final approval during the early part of the week.
As I’ve previously noted, Sansar will be on Steam as an Early Access programme. As well as the client being available, there will be a dedicated forum and group on Steam.
Reminder: SandeX Closing
A reminder that as a part of making Sansar available on Steam, the SandeX will be closing on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018, and S$ to USD conversions will move to a fixed conversion rate model.
Please refer to Sansar extends to Steam; Lab to end SandeX for more on this.
“Sokoban” Puzzle Challenge
[5:48-8:40] To mark December, the Sansar team is going to be running a series of challenges through the month. These are intended to be fun items, rather than anything to be taken too seriously, and the first up is the Ugly Christmas Sweater Challenge. As the make implies, this is for clothing creators to make an ugly Christmas sweater and upload it to the Sansar Store. For those who can’t make clothing, some sweater templates may be placed on the Sansar Store that can be obtained, textured and used as entries.
[9:31-12:00] The second challenge is the Sokoban Puzzle Challenge.
Sokoban (“warehouse keeper”) is a puzzle video game in which the player pushes boxes or crates around in a warehouse, trying to get them to storage locations. An experience based on the game has already been created in Sansar, and users are being asked to create and submit their own levels t add to the experience – read Make A Sokoban Challenge for full details, including how to design and submit levels.
Upcoming Features for the R28 (December) Release
The following updates should be part of the R28 Sansar release, which is currently scheduled for some time between the 10th and 13th December 2018 – so it will be available after the Steam launch.
Teleport to a Friend
[15:59-17:35] This is being updated so that it will not work when trying to teleport to a friend in an unpublished experience, and will not show the experience name if you are in an unpublished experience and someone tries to teleport to you. These fixes are temporary in nature, as they will not scale, so the Lab will be looking to make further changes to Teleport to a Friend in the future to prevent stalking.
Remember, this feature will teleport your avatar to the spawn point of the same experience as a friend, not directly to that friend.
- Nearby Chat and direct messaging (IMs) will have timestamps with the next release.
- It will be possible to start a direct message (IM) with a friend from the Chat App without having to open the People App.
- Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian and more will also be supported when typing.
[19:03-19:35] Some in VR have noticed the Chat App panel is “too far away” for them to comfortably reach and grab, forcing them to lean forward when trying to manipulate it.
[22:24-23:35] The room in which avatars are placed when entering Look Book is to become a Home Space, and will include some light customisation options. The Home Space option will be developed over time to present users with a friendlier environment than the Atlas.
New User Experience
[24:09-25:28] The next release will include some client UI “tutorialisation” for new users. This will include various call-outs identifying various parts of the client UI, but these will also be visible to established users the first time the client is run after the release has been deployed.
For the rest of on-boarding, new users will be dropped into the Home Space in the default grey avatar, and will have a list of recommended experiences (based on population within the experiences) they can be sent to.
[28:02-29:08] This is the Lab’s internal name for allowing scripts to be tied to the VR controller triggers, so it will be possible to shoot weapons, etc., using the trigger buttons.
Alongside of this will be a new option to have “mouselook” in Desktop mode. This means that the current right-click and drag to move the camera around will become a toggle on / off option, and when off, the camera viewing angle can be changed just by moving the mouse around.
New Emotes UI
[29:20-30:40] Emotes will gain a new UI. This will display all the available emote, allowing them to be selected without having to type the emote command in chat (e.g. “/sit”). The menu will be available from the Socialise button / menu, and in Desktop mode by using CTRL-E, or in VR from the wrist control. Also, moving your arms in VR mode will no longer cancel the emote playback (so someone in VR will be able to use the “/sit” emote, but still be able to articulate their avatar’s arms without cancelling the sit).
[30:57-34:19] Sit Points will operate in a similar way to grab point on objects – but will allow avatars to use a basic sit pose on chairs, etc.
- Animations for Sit point will not initially be supported.
- Sit Points with the release will only work on static objects.
- The ability to add Sit Points to either dynamic or keyframed objects will hopefully be delivered during one of the Q1 2019 releases.
It is believed that for VR users, as with emote animations, upper body movement will not break the sit pose.
[35:03-37:35] The December release will all allow the use of “script assemblies”. This essentially allows collections of C# scripts that have common elements (static variables, common code, etc), to be grouped together within a JSON wrapper, thus reducing their overall memory footprint (they only need to be called once for all instances of a scene, rather than multiple times).
Script assemblies also means that the supplied Simple Scripts (Simple Mover, Simple light, etc.), will be grouped together as a single object, which can be used multiple times within a scene, with the desired script function simply being selected and applied. This again improves the memory footprint of the scripts, and also reduces they overall inventory footprint (no need to store 100s of scripts, just a single object).
[37:44-39:35] Also with the next release, dragging and dropping a script into an object already containing a script will not see the former replace the latter, but will simply add the script to the object, avoiding the need to manually edit objects to add a script to them. However, as currently proposed, this change in functionality will not allows scripts in an object to be updated simply by dragging and dropping a script with the same name as one already in the object (and replacing it), as can be done at present.
Cancel An Experience Load
[40:08-40:30] R28 will include the ability for a user to cancel the loading of an experience (e.g. if they select the wrong one from the Atlas, or if the load time is excessively long), rather than having to wait for the experience to load / time-out.
- [8:40-9:10] Avatar / Avatar Skeleton: while it is anticipated the avatar / avatar skeleton will be enhanced, there are no immediate plans to do so.
- [12:25-13:05] Comedy Gladiators – a new “live” Sansar series: a series hosted by comedian Steven Hofstetter, and which will début on December 10th. You can read more in my post:US comedians in line-up for new Sansar series.
- [19:37-22:15] Gizmo Issues: some are still finding it hard to locate the Gizmo tool when trying to move / rotated very large objects due to the transparency set on the Gizmo, and trying to lock the camera on the object doesn’t help, simply because of its size. One suggestion is to break up large objects into smaller units.
- This will also help with rendering, as very large objects can be held by the renderer, simply because they are never fully out of the field of view, so breaking them into smaller units means only the unit in the current field of view is rendered, rather than the entire object.
- [45:25-46:09] Store Updates / Redeliveries: the ability to update an item on the store with a newer version and have it delivered to customers has been a long-standing request (currently scripts can be updated). It is something the Lab plan to provide, but it isn’t as yet on the “immediate” roadmap, but the hope is to have it some time in 2019.