Sansar Product Meetings week #30: more on quests

The first release of the new quest system was made on Tuesday, July 23rd

The following notes were taken from my recording of the July 25th (week #30) Product Meeting. Once again, this meeting had a focus on the new quest system, with some additional questions. As with these meetings, a lot of general feedback was given to be “taken back to the Lab” for consideration, and as such, aren’t reflected in the notes below – please refer to the meeting video, which is embedded at the end of this article.

Quests

  • The first pass of the quest system was released on Tuesday, July 23rd – see Sansar: user-generated quests release: an overview for more.
  • The Lab is working on some “best practices for quests” documentation, based on their own experience building quests, and on quest games in general.
  • Some time in around 2-4 weeks, there will be a special in-world questing tutorial event.

Quest Authoring Q&A

  • How does it work? Quest creation comprises two parts a) creating the quest data itself, using the authoring tool. This can be created and revised as often as required; b) using objects in scenes (experiences) that are directly linked to the quest and use / present the quest data.
    • The quest can be tested by the creator in the unpublished scene (by building and saving the scene).
    • The quest becomes public when the scene is published as an experience.
  • Quests are linear at present: start, objective A, objective B, etc. Can branches be offered (e.g. do objective A then choose either objective B or C)?
    • Possibly via custom scripting.
    • However, in the future it will be possible to author quest “storylines”, allowing multiple quests to be linked, and to be dependent one upon the last, thus offering a level of “branching”.
  • Will future updates to the quest system break what has been deployed? No. Features and a capabilities will be added, but will not break the established functionality. So, quests can be enhanced as new capabilities are added.
  • Can experiences with quests be made more readily identifiable in the Atlas? Not exactly, but the Lab is considering tools for monitoring how quests are being used (how many people participate, how many complete, etc.), and providing that information to creators.
    • Short-term this may be a manual system with reports curated by LL and made via Discord.
    • Longer term it should be more automated. This might also be built out to include the Atlas to show available quest experiences.

Badge System vs. Experience Points System

Since the week #29 Product Meeting, when the quest tools, rewards and the upcoming experience (XP) system  were announced, a badge system that could be used by individual experience creators, rather than having a global XP system as proposed, as this is seen by some as being more flexible.

  • The Lab views a global XP / level system as being more immediately understandable by users, as they can earn XP points and level up no matter what they are doing or how they participate in Sansar – there is no dependency on visiting specific experiences or having to complete specific tasks.
  • In time the XP system will be expanded beyond quests, but the first pass will be focused on questing.
  • However: the Lab is looking at a badge system, and see it differently to any kind of XP system, as badges can be used to show what a user has specifically done – i.e. a creator can gain various badges to mark their achievements as a creator, while a gamer who is good with shoot-em-ups, etc., can earn badges to reflect what they’ve achieved through that interest, etc.
    • These types of achievements would likely be made available through user profiles.

General Q&A

  • The usual trio:
    • High heels for avatars: not on the roadmap at present.
    • 3D mouse support: not on the roadmap, will more likely be a general project to support game pads, joysticks, etc., if done.
    • Wiki: the more user-submitted guides that are made to the forum public documentation area, the more weight is given to the case for the Lab creating and offering / managing a wiki.
  • Persistence: the Sansar devs would love documented requirements on where and how persistence might be needed / used, particularly as persistence is under consideration at the moment.
  • There is an issue with scripts failing to execute in experience instance with high numbers of avatars. The Lab has already started tweaking scripts within their own event instances, but are requesting more bug reports on where creators are seeing issues.

Streaming Sansar

Apparently, LL are in discussions with a number of streaming service providers about providing Sansar as a streamed (consumer?) option they could be delivered to a range of devices. No time frames on when this might surface (not in 2019), if it goes ahead.

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