Sansar: Questing and Jumping update

The quest portal at the Social Hub in Sansar, which features two quest Agents

On Thursday, March 28th, Linden Lab released the Questing release, described “one of our biggest and best releases yet”. The full release notes are available, and highlights of the release key features might be summarised as:

  • Initial introduction of quests.
  • The ability for avatars to jump.
  • Avatar selection, editing, skin and clothing updates.
  • Content creation updates.
  • Teleporting improvements.

Initial Notes

As with the majority of Sansar deployments, this update requires the automatic download and installation of a client update, particularly as it involves changes affecting the Sansar avatar system.


The new Quest pop-up

Quests are a part of Sansar’s emerging game building / game play capabilities. Quests are seen as being both a means to help on-board new users to Sansar, by giving them things to do, and as a means of providing a capability that can allow greater gaming and questing in Sansar experiences as a whole, using common root functionality, thus helping to give a feeling of continuity between experiences.

For this initial pass of the system, quests can only be created by Linden Lab. However, over time, the capability will be opened up to experience creators.

The quest system is immediately obvious on logging-in to Sansar, with a Quest pop-up displayed as you arrive in your Home Space. Further, two initial quests are provided at the Social Hub.

The two Social Hub quests are fairly basic. Each offers a modest reward of S$10 for exploring the Social Hub area and either walking over, or touching (left-click in Desktop mode) objects located at various points. Each quest is triggered by touching one of two glowing stands (Agent Animus and Agent Forma) in the centre of the arrival area of the Hub.

Doing so triggers a pop-up describing the quest, which includes options to start the quest or defer it (Maybe Later) – shown below left. Starting the quest then switches the pop-up to display the required objectives and how to complete the “mission” (below right).

A Social Hub Quest – the initial description pop-up (l) and objective pop-up (r)

As objectives are achieved, thy are briefly highlighted, and the grey-out tick mark alongside them is illuminated. Neither of the quests is procedural (so you don’t have to complete the objectives in the listed order), and at walking pace they take about 3-5 minutes to complete.

With all objectives completed, returning to the initiating Agent and touching it will update the quest status and deliver your S$10 reward, together with a link to open the Sansar Store, should you want to buy something.

Currently, there is no limit to how many times you can take each quest, and one user I was with while trying things out claimed to have already gone through both a total of 10 times apiece.

Avatar Related Updates

The Quest and Jump release provides a number of avatar related updates and changes.

  • Jumping: Sansar avatars can now jump. I’ve no idea how this is triggered in VR mode because – at the time of writing this overview – the release notes started with the words “Questing. Jumping. Styling for your custom avatars”, then never actually mentioned how to jump. For those in Desktop mode, it’s a matter of pressing the keyboard space bar. The jump animation is basic, but it works.
  • Custom Avatar dressing: it is now possible to dress custom avatars from the Look Book – providing they have been built with this in mind.
  • Custom Avatars as starter avatars: new users can now opt to use one of a number of custom avatars (as well as the Sansar default avatars) when starting out.
  • Marvelous Designer library clothing: the Look Book inventory now includes a rang of Marvelous Designer clothing options – look for the yellow “M” tag.
The clothing library now includes adjustable MD clothing options (indicated by a yellow “M” tag). Use the VR controllers or CTRL-left- click and drag for Desktop mode to adjust when the clothing item is selected.
  • Skin colours / tones: more options to colour the skin’s base tone.
  • New functions to enable you to edit your avatar better:
    • Improved save options without being kicked out of the editor.
    • Better reset options to allow you to re-start adjustments from scratch.
    • Easier way of returning to the world and return to your previous position in world before you edited your character. (Saving user position in runtime).

Event Creation Changes

From this release, every event created will be tied to its own experience, based on a scene template, rather than being tied to an existing experience. This means:

  • Events can no longer be joined by finding an experience, it must be done via the event calendar, with the event itself a special copy (not an instance)  of the experience.
  • Active events are listed on a new Featured tab – Client Atlas only.
  • Event creators can change the scene tied to an event, customise the scene like any experience, and delete the experience if it’s no longer needed.

Teleporting Updates

  • When you choose to teleport to your friend, you will now spawn near them, unless the experience creator has opted to disable direct teleport and force you at the arrival point.
You can now create a portal from the Client Atlas entry for an experience without having to copy the URL; just click the button
  • You can now create Portals more easily with the new “Create Portal” button on the Atlas details page – Client Atlas only.

Creation Updates

  • Object parenting in the scene editor: objects can now have other objects as children. This means:
    • No more folders.  Existing folders are converted into parent objects.
    • Moving/Scaling a parent object will move/scale children along with it.
  • New functions to enable you to create your world better: scaling is no longer restricted to a slider between 0.1x to 10x. You can now use the Properties panel to:
    • Move/rotate/scale a selection of multiple objects at once.
    • Move/rotate a Light component.
  • List<> support in script parameters: allows passing multiple values to a script as a single parameter. This means that creators can now assign multiple values such as a sound, object, a position point to one parameter, eliminating the old behaviour that forces the creator to utilise a parameter per value.
  • Interaction behaviour on a per user basis: creators can now set interactions to update and change behaviour on a per-user basis. This enables creators to disable content once a user interacts with it. For example, a glowing chest in a treasure hunt could stop glowing once the user interacts with it.


It will be interesting to see how the quest toolset progresses. They are basic, but functional and were drawing a lot of attention following the release deployment.

The addition of the MD clothing to the library is a welcome update, but while the button for spawning teleport portals is a step forward, Sansar would benefit from a means for users to be able to add experiences to some form of client “favourites” then can quickly access without having to pull up the Atlas, search it, click on an experience description then click on the button to spawn the portal. This is, frankly, as clunky as having to do the same and then click the Copy URL button and paste the URL into chat.

For the list of known issues, please refer to the release notes. For scripting API updates, please refer to the API documentation.


Spring at La Virevolte in Second Life

La Virevolte; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrLa Virevolte – click any image for full size

Update: La Virevolte has closed, SLurls have therefore been removed from this article.

Iska (sablina) and ChimKama have returned La Virevolte (“the Twirl”) to the grid after the Homestead region on which it sits – Lemon Beach – spent time as Ponto Cabana (read here for more on that design), and are currently presenting it in a marvellous springtime rural design that carries hallmarks of central France in its look and feel.

To the east of the region sits a a rugged curtain of cliffs, a stream tumbling down the slope leading away from their feet to pass under a bridge that carries a narrow road away from a tunnel that appears to cut through them. Their presence suggests this is a headland somewhere, the tunnel cutting through their walls forming a link to the land beyond, while the water flanking the three remaining sides of the setting has the feel of being a great lake, the far shores of which are obscured by haze.

La Virevolte; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrLa Virevolte

Buildings lie to either side of the road as it runs down from the tunnel. Some of these – most notably the church-like stone-built gatehouse – indicating this place has been inhabited a long time. Other buildings, such as the auto shop – are of far more recent architectural design, and pointing to the longevity of occupation in this part of the land.

The road splits at the old gatehouse, one arm continuing south onto the headland’s finger, passing a small café where tables are set outside on a cobbled terrace and a Pétanque boules game overlooks the calm waters. This arm of the road ends at a small, slightly run-down farm, where dairy cows quietly graze, and which also offers a view out over the water towards the small island on which a painter’s retreat sits.

La Virevolte; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrLa Virevolte

The northern arm of the road crosses the little stream at a second bridge to form a relaxed loop around grassy tiers on which sit apple trees in their springtime blossom, and which are topped by a second farmhouse. Lantern-lit paths run along and around these tiers, while the road’s passage around them is marked by stone walls and wooden fencing.

A small shingle beach sits off the south side of this road, marked by the carcass of an old rowing boat that forlornly looks towards the little painter’s island. However, there is no water crossing to the latter – which doesn’t appear to be private – is provided; flying or wading seem to be the only way to reach its adobe walls with their Spanish looks.

La Virevolte; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrLa Virevolte

It offers a cosy terrace and flat roof, each with places to sit and pass the time, paintings stacked against walls, a fresh canvas occupying an easel on the roof, perhaps waiting for inspiration to strike the artist who sometimes occupies this little getaway.

Other places to sit can be found scattered throughout the region, and there is a wonderful and quite natural sense of age to this little village – and not just as a result of the presence of the more medieval buildings to be found here.  There is the tired-looking farm mentioned above and, not far from it, the yard alongside the auto repair shop, that looks for all the world like an abandoned playground.

La Virevolte; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrLa Virevolte

Which should not be taken to mean this is a place of ruin or decay; far from it. The beauty and appeal of La Virevolte is clear; what there is, is a perfect balance between natural beauty of setting and landscape and the careworn feel of places perhaps past their prime; a balance that can often be witnessed when passing through any town, village or hamlet.

Finished with a gentle and natural sound scape and framed under an ideal windlight complete with birds flying and wheeling overhead, this current iteration of La Virevolte makes for an engaging, photogenic springtime visit and is not to be missed.

La Virevolte; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrLa Virevolte

Yumi’s Art at the Lin C Gallery

Lin C Art Gallery: Yumi

The Lin C Art Gallery, curated by Lin Carlucci, has opened the doors on its April exhibition, featuring as its chosen artist Yumi (Yumanthi), with an official opening event on Wednesday, March 27th, 2019.

Entitled Yumi’s Art, the exhibition presents around 29 pieces, which might be broadly split into three areas, each of which reflects Yumi’s approach to her work.

I am in SL a lot to visit places for photo-shoots of landscapes, people and situations, and show them in my special View. I love to work with light and shadow and special and different colours I use from the viewer tools and other paint programmes.

I love to present my photos in my galleries and other places and am always glad when people enjoy them. I am learning a lot from great artists in SL and my art is a work in progress.

– Yumi, describing her art

Lin C Art Gallery: Yumi

The ground floor exhibition space is largely devoted to Yumi’s images of her Second Life travels, providing interesting and in place unusual views of the places she has visited. Above these, on the mezzanine level, is a selection of avatar studies, some of which might be deemed NSFW, and what I can only describe as a series of experiments in colour, some of which border on the abstract, and three of which, depicting scenes involving a mermaid, I found attractive in their bold use of colour and contrast.

An interesting and eclectic mix of images and styles, Yumi’s Art officially opens with music and dancing at 13:00 SLT on Wednesday, March 27th, and runs through until  Thursday, April 26th, 2019.

Lin C Art Gallery: Yumi

SLurl Details

2019 SL User Groups 13/1: Simulator User Group

Originalia; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrOriginaliablog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for updates and news.

  • There was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, March 26th, leaving it on server maintenance package 19# Previously deployed to BlueSteel and LeTigre, this update contains:
    • Internal fixes.
    • The Environment Enhancement Project code.
  • On Wednesday, March 27th, the BlueSteel and LeTigre RC channels should be updated with server maintenance package 19#, comprising:
    • Internal Fixes
    • Removal of UDP Asset message handling – see below
  • There is no planned deployment to the Magnum RC channel, which should remain on server maintenance package 19#, comprising:
  • The new operating system update.
  • The Environment Enhancement Project code and all bug fixes for it.

Removal of UDP Asset Message Handling

The BlueSteel and LeTigre RC deployment sees the removal of server-side support for asset (inventory) messaging via UDP. All maintained viewers should be using HTTP for all asset handling – and this has been the case for a good few years for several asset types, with the last few moving to HTTP in 2017; as such these viewers will not be impacted by this deployment.

However, it does mean that anyone using very old viewers still reliant on UDP messaging for assets will not be able to receive any updates on regions on either BlueSteel or LeTigre – this includes the two legacy viewers provided by Linden Lab, the Linux Spur viewer and the Obsolete platform viewer, neither of which contain all of the HTTP asset fetching code.

If you hear someone on a BlueSteel or LeTigre region complaining they are constantly a cloud on those region, suggest to them they check their viewer, and perhaps move to a more recent version.

SL Viewer

  • Bakes on Mesh reached RC status with the release of version on Tuesday, March 26th.
    • For those not familiar with this project, Bakes on Mesh is a new feature to allow system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments. Currently you need this viewer to use it.
  • The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version on Tuesday, March 26th.
  • The Estate Access Management RC viewer updated to version on Monday, March 25th.

The rest of the viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current Release version, formerly the BugSplat RC viewer February 13, promoted February 28 No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version, 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, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.


Copyright, the EU and user-generated content (2)

On Tuesday, March 26th, 2019, the European Parliament voted in favour of the EU’s new European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. As I noted in Copyright, the EU and user-generated content, this has proven a controversial piece of legislation. Although intended to help protect the rights of content providers / creators, aspects of the Directive – notably Articles 3, 11 and 13 – have been seen by opponents as potentially causing damage to the Internet.

These three articles are, in summary:

  • Article 3, relating to text and data mining, which could adversely hit genuine research organisations and things like tech start-ups in Europe (see Why The Copyright Directive Lacks (Artificial) Intelligence as an example).
  • Article 11, (colloquially referred to as “the link tax”) which could severely restrict how we can share links, and information found on European on-line sites.
  • Article 13 (the so-called “meme tax”, although its scope is far greater), which has drawn the heaviest criticism,which could do much to block or restrict the availability of user-generated content.

Article 13 – which is now, somewhat confusingly, Article 17 –  has been of particular concern, as it pushes the onus of rights protection aware from rights holders and pro-actively onto the shoulders content sharing platforms, which potentially causes issues, as I noted when writing on the topic at the start of March:

Aimed at the likes of Google (including YouTube), Facebook and the like, Article 13 could fundamentally impact any platform playing host to user-generated content (UGC), including Second Life, Sansar and other virtual worlds.

Under the Article, all such services are expected to pro-actively prevent any content that might violate the Directive from being uploaded. They are to do so through the use of “proportionate content recognition technologies” – that is, automated content filtering, designed to block anything that might by in violation of copyright. However, such systems a) may not be affordable to those required to implement them, and b) don’t actually work as advertised (as is the case with Google’s multi-million-dollar ContentID system, which has been shown to be far from successful).

Drawing the loudest criticism, Articles 11 and 13 (/ 17) have seen the Directive pass through a number of re-writes, and amendments were being put forward right up until February 2019. The final Parliamentary vote was subject to intense debate, but saw the Directive pass with 348 votes in favour, 274 against. A proposal to allow MEPs to debate and vote on individual amendments was rejected by just five votes*.

So now the vote has been taken, what does this mean?

Well, contrary to the more alarmist reactions, the Internet is not about to totally implode before the weekend arrives; nor are we going to see sudden changes to policies relating to content upload within Second Life. But the risk to EU based content creators, bloggers, vloggers, streamers, etc., is still very much there, and shouldn’t be sidelined; it’s just that there are some more steps the Directive must go through.

Julia Rada, former rapporteur of the EU’s Parliament’s review of the 2001 Copyright Directive referring to the new EU Copyright Directive as “a disaster for the Internet and a generation”

The first of these will come on April 9th, when the Directive is put to the European Council for adoption. Until recently, this looked like a foregone conclusion. However, despite being one of two countries responsible for the final wording of Article 13 (/ 17) in particular, it seems Germany is having something of a change of heart, with their Minister of Justice publicly opposing the idea of upload filters:

We think #Uploadfilter is the wrong Way to go about it. Dear Union, if You want to maintain a Spark of Credibility, You support our Motion in the European Parliament. How we can prevent Upload Filters.

– German Minister of Justice Katarina Barley on Article 13 via Twitter, March 23rd

This means Germany might still retract its support, particularly giving the depth of public opposition to Article 13 (/ 17) that has been voiced. While this seems unlikely (see the video above), it is still important because five other member states – the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, Italy, and Finland – have voiced public opposition to the Directive the vote. So should Germany, a key nation behind the legislation and of the EU, change its mind between now and April 9th, it would prevent a Council majority being reached. This would likely result in further negotiations n the Directive being required after the EU elections due to be held on May 26th, 2019 – elections which could see those determined to see the Directive passed over and above the many concerns raised, voted out of office.

And even if the Council pass the Directive, it will still take time to come into effect. EU nations (and probably the UK, despite Brexit), are theoretically allowed two years to transpose EU Directives into legislation; more often than not, it takes longer than this to be achieved. In the case of Article 13 (/ 17), the process could well be exacerbated by the fact  – and as I again noted in my March 5th article – it contains many holes which need to be dealt with. This in itself could result in a chaotic situation – something that activists in Germany and Poland, as well as concerned organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation are already taking up ahead of the April 9th EU Council meeting.

Despite potentially benefiting from the Directive and Article 13 (/ 17) Google, whose parent Alphabet has spent $100 million pursuing the development of content recognition filters, has joined with other major players within EDiMA, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Snap and Microsoft, in speaking out against the vote, noting the Copyright Directive stands at odds with other European legislation:

EDiMA, representing digital businesses and online platforms in Europe, regrets the lack of clarity and practicality of two key articles of the Directive.

Specifically, Article 11 of the Directive have been found to be ambiguous and will lead to the greater likelihood of litigation. Whilst Article 13 continues to be technically unworkable because it imposes a monitoring obligation on platforms, in conflict with the e-Commerce Directive which states that there should be none.

– from EDiMA reaction: EU Copyright Directive is not
fit for [the] Digital Era

The Computer & Communications Industry Association in Europe has similarly spoken out against the passage of the Directive, referring to it as a “missed opportunity” and commenting:

We regret the adoption by the EU Parliament of the #copyright directive. We fear that upload filters and the press publishers’ right will harm on-line innovation and restrict on-line freedoms.

Some hope that gentler language added to Article 13 (/ 17) after the September 2018 vote, and which talks of platforms putting the means in place for rights holders to more ready point to infringements in order to have them removed, might present a means to prevent the more dreaded impact of the Directive. But this is very far from certain.

As such, while a significant battle against the EU Copyright Directive has been lost, it is not unreasonable to say the war is now over – but it is going to be significantly harder to win for opponents of Articles 11 and 13 (/ 17) as the fight moves to a more national level in order to persuade governments and the Council of the Directive’s flaws.


* Ciaran Laval, via Twitter, informed me this was actually the result of an error: a group of Swedish MEPs apparently intended to vote in favour of allowing the debate on individual Articles, but pressed the wrong electronic buttons. Unfortunately, the vote stands as recorded, but the error has been noted.

User-to-user Mainland auctions now live

Mainland auctions opened to user-to-user auctions on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

After my February 26th oopsie (see Mainland land holders will soon be able to auction their land), Linden Lab confirmed on March 26th, 2019, that user-to-user Mainland auctions are now live.

The auction system leverages Second Life Place Pages as the medium for presenting land for auction and for placing bids, together with a new “cover page” listing available parcels up for auction, which can be found at

If you are not familiar with Place Pages, you can find out about them via my Place Pages tutorial. This will be updated to include the relevant information on setting a parcel for auction in the near future, once the service has been confirmed as being “live”. In the meantime, additional details on Mainland auctions can be found in the Second Life Knowledge base as follows:

Again, and for clarity, do please remember, the auction system is for Mainland only. Private regions or parcels cannot be offered through it.