New Linden Homes Preview

New Linden Homes preview – available until Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Friday, March 15th marked the opening of the 2019 Home and Garden Expo in support of Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.

I’ll have a report on this year’s event coming up soon, but for this article I’m focusing on a special element within the event: the preview region for the new Linden Homes continent that will be débuting very soon for Premium members (Patch linden indicated it is just “weeks” away now) as a long awaiting “upgrade” to (and eventual replacement of)  the old 512 sq metre parcel Linden Homes.

I hopped over to the preview region – which is presented just as one of the regions in the new continent will look – as Patch Linden and members of the Linden Department of Public Works were available and taking questions. Rather than go on at great length, I’ve attempted to summarise the key points below.

Note that the preview region will remain open until the end of the Home and Garden Expo on Sunday, April 7th, 2019.

New Linden Homes preview

Launch and Availability

  • No precise launch date has been announced, but Patch indicated it is now “weeks” away for the initial deployment.
  • When launched, the new Linden Homes will be available to all Premium members, and will not be tied to any new Premium tier option.
  • Obtaining a new Linden Home will follow similar lines to the current Linden homes – using a web page to make an initial choice of home type, before selecting the style of house when in-world.
  • Premium users will be able to swap between house types, just as they can with current Linden Homes.
  • When launched, the new Linden homes will be made available on a new continent  – apparently to be called  Bellisseria (according to the covenant).
    • This continent will form a “bridge” between two of the existing Mainland continents (which continents has yet to be announced) to form “a larger contiguous continent”.
  • In time, as take-up of the new Linden Homes increases, the existing Linden Homes mini-continents will be retired and removed from the grid, with those remaining on them rather than obtaining a new linden Home being encouraged to move.
The new Linden homes include houseboat options, couple with moorings for boats

Parcels and Houses

  • Linden Homes (and houseboats) will be provided on 1024 sq m parcels.
    • Premium members must have 1024 sq m of available tier to obtain a home.
    • Premium members are limited to one Linden Home per Premium account.
    • Parcels will have a total of 351 LI for use by those using them (houses and houseboats do not count towards the total).
  • Parcels will be made available in themed areas, and house types will be in keeping with the theme.
    • Parcel terraforming is not permitted.
  • Each parcel will be managed by a mailbox, which will offer four house styles in keeping with the overall theme / type.
    • Houses may not be removed, modified, exchanged, set or deeded to group, or transferred.
    • All of the house styles are deigned to provide garden / yard space.
    • Houseboats include moorings for boats.
  • Additional buildings or structures are allowed as long as they are in theme and meet the height restrictions.
    • Privacy walls or fences should match the theme and extend no more than 4m above ground level.
    • All other structures should not extend higher than 15m above ground level or sea level, whichever is higher.
    • Note that house styles are presented with boundary walls / hedgerows / both for privacy
  • The interiors of Linden Homes can be decorated to residents’ likings. The exteriors should always remain in theme.
  • Types and styles of houses / houseboats include interior / exterior décor options, working curtains / blinds and house control system.
  • Skyboxes are permitted, providing they are above 2000m altitude.
Individual house styles (4) for a given type can be selected from the mailbox associated with a parcel

There is also a new covenant for these linden home, that can be viewed via About Land when visiting the preview region.

General Impressions

The new houses are well presented and offer a good choice of style  – unsurprisingly a good step up from the very long-in-the-tooth current batch of Linden Homes (first introduced in 2010), and I’m personally quite enamoured of the houseboats with their moorings.

Providing infrastructure to the new regions – roads, parks, coastline, beaches, rivers, etc., will hopefully help build more of a community feel to the new Linden Homes than the approach taken with the first series, and in this, providing houses that sit within their parcels and with privacy boundaries (walls / hedgerows) to me both increases the sense of ownership and also the look and feel of these developments being a residential development. True, the privacy is only visual (you’ll need parcel privacy) and the shape of the houseboat parcels tended to make these feel a little crowded, but on the whole, the layout appears to work.

Patch’s indication that the new homes will be part of a “bridge” between two existing continents came as a surprise, and seems to suggest the SSP regions where Linden home development work is being done may be relocated prior to the new Homes starting to be offered.

The Linden Homes preview offers some hints as to the landscaping found within the new continent regions

SLurl Details

Sansar Product Meetings week #11: R31 and avatars

Sansar Studios: Colossus Rising

The following notes were taken from my recording of the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, March 14tth. The full official video of the meeting is available here. The topic of the meeting was that of the upcoming R31 release due at the end of March, and the Sansar avatar. In attendance from the Lab were community manager Galileo, with Landon MacDowell, the Lab’s CPO, and Sansar project manager Cara, together with Nibz, Nyx, SeanT, Harley, Lacie, Stretch, EagleCat and Stanley.

R31 Release

Avatar Updates

Skin, clothing and Custom Avatars
  • The next release should see the default Sansar avatar have skin tinting enabled. If I was understanding this correctly, the skin will have six basic swatches of colour, which can then be adjusted to allow users to generate a wide range of skin tones.
  • It will be possible to dress custom avatars (until now, these have had to be supplied with clothing that cannot be removed or altered or added to).
    • This option is regarded as a beta release.
    • It will allow custom avatars to be dressed, use hair and accessories and wear clothing developed in Marvelous Designer (MD).
    • The adjust clothing option for MD clothing within the Look Book should work with custom avatars, and the Lab is working to make this capability easier to use in Desktop mode.
    • Dressing custom avatars will probably not work well with items rigged to fit the default avatars, and the Lab would appreciate feedback on this, and to how to improve the system, what problems are encountered. etc.
    • Obviously, the closer a custom avatar is to the default avatar, the better things are likely to work.
  • Future updates to follow this initial release will include:
    • Adjusting rigged accessories to correctly fit custom avatars will be a future iteration for the system.
    • Attachment points (e.g. select a right hand to add a watch).
    • Allow MD clothing to be moved, rotated, uniformly scaled, etc.
Avatar Editor Changes
  • The Save and “return to world” functions are being separated into their own buttons.
  • The Save function will allow users to save their changes to the current avatar or as a new avatar look in the Look Book.
  • A reset button will be added to the adjust clothing capability for MD clothing, to overcome issues of things being “dropped”.
  • There are a number of cosmetic updates to the avatar editor UI.

New User Flow

  • The new user on-boarding flow will be extended to include a selection of custom avatars as well as the existing default avatar set.
  • It will also be possible for users with the Grey avatar to be able to dress them until they decide on an avatar.

Animation Updates and Improvements

  • Jumping is almost ready for release.
  • Different heights of jump can be achieved when using the jump button / key, and jumping will be gravity sensitive  (the lower the gravity in an experience, the further / higher the jump).
  • It is hoped jumping will open up the opportunity for platform style game experiences.
  • Future updates to this might include:
    • Scripted control of jumps (e.g. gain a “power up” in a game to jump higher / further).
    • Adding an animation override for custom jump animations.
  • A “falling” animation will also be released with jumping (so if you step off a wall or cliff, the avatar will fall, for example).
Walking / Running
  • The default walking and running speeds are to be increased.
  • The animation graphs supporting these may also be opened to scripted adjustment in the future, depending on feedback.
VR Animation Improvements
  • Work is being done to improve the sensation of being “grounded” (more connected to the virtual ground) when moving around in VR.
  • Work is also being carried out to better handle arm and hand positioning when in VR (e.g. so removing a headset in VR doesn’t result in the avatar’s hand being weirdly positioned or its arms going through its body).

General R31 Updates

  • Users will be able to see their bodies when in Desktop first-person view (this won’t include seeing weapons correctly held in the first pass, so carry on shooting yourself in the foot for now in Desktop mode 🙂 ).
  • Save current location: when you go to Look Book within an experience, you will be returned to the last “safe” location you occupied in the experience, rather than being forced back to a spawn point (“safe” as in not being spawned in mid-air if you were travelling on a moving surface when you entered Look Book, for example).
  • Teleport to friend will be updated so:
    • If you are in a different experience on teleporting, you will teleport to them in the scene they are in, and not to the experience spawn point.
    • If you are in the same experience when using teleport to a friend, the experience load screen will not longer be displayed.
    • “Safe” locations for teleporting will apply in both cases.
    • Creators of game-type experiences or similar that require a specific spawn point, and who do not want people randomly popping-up in their experiences will be able to set a flag to override this and divert teleports to their assigned spawn point.
  • Grabbing objects in VR should not longer display the blue beams, but allow users to naturally reach and take objects.
    • The object’s outline will still be highlighted.
    • A grabbed object should stick in the hand a lot better.

Beyond R31

Other work in progress for future releases includes:

  • Uniform scaling of avatars: users will be able to uniformly scale avatars up / down (precise range still to be decided), and will include automatic scaling of clothing and attachments.
    • Also TBD with this is whether or not the avatar capsule should scale as well, whether or not walk / run speeds should scale, etc.
    • Scaling will see foot placement and grounding in VR mode correctly adjusted as well.
  • More parity between Desktop and VR when grabbing / throwing objects.
    • These updates will include a “throwing beam” for desktop users so they can see the trajectory of an object were they to throw it, and then adjust it.
  • Work is continuing to the default avatar 2.0 (greater customisation, etc.).
  • Full body tracking in VR is being investigated (e.g. using the additional trackers for the HTC Vive). This could open Sansar for a lot of performance related activities.
  • Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) gear, etc., should work better with the next release. However, this is a user-generated fix, and it shouldn’t be taken to mean Linden Lab are supporting WMR, etc.).