The following notes were taken from my recording of the August 8th (week #32) Sansar Product Meeting, which has a focus on questing and avatar 2.0. Note that there were questions that had to be referred back to the Lab for answers, or were related to individual issues encountered by creators, and which are not necessarily included in the notes below. Please refer to the meeting video, also embedded below.
Quest Update 2 – August 7th
A second Quest update was made on August 7th, 2019, which included both quest and non-quest related improvements.
- It is now possible to set objectives to address avatars by name, using the new [Player Name] token, which is automatically replaced by the avatar’s name.
- For example, a quest giver could be set up as “Greetings, [Player Name]! Do you wish to embark on The Magical Mystery Tour?”
- Then, when Joe Schmoe touches the quest giver, he sees, “Greetings, Joe Schmoe! Do you wish to embark on The Magical Mystery Tour?”
- The quest panel has been updated to be more informative for users.
- Sansar Store: it is now possible for creators to add “hidden listings” in the store. These can be used to give items directly to selected people by the creator giving the item URL directly to those they wish to be able to obtain the item. See Hidden Store Listings in the Sansar documentation for more.
- New “Visibility” simple script:
- Sansar > Client > ScriptApi > Examples > ScriptLibrary > Scene > ScriptLibrary.json.
- At the time of writing, this is currently not integrated in the Scene Editor. You will have to import it in Sansar yourself.
- General improvements: please refer to the release notes.
Official Documentation – Recap
- New avatars. New possibilities – published July 9th, updated August 1st: introduces the Avatar 2.0 update.
- FAQ post – published July 7th, 2019.
- Get Started: Avatar 2.0 Creator Programme – published August 1st, 2019. Announcing the August creator programme to allow creators to prepare for the transition to Avatar 2.0. This includes links to:
- The Avatar 2.0 reference files. Note these are a first pass release, intended to be serviceable for the purposes of creating / testing wearable items. They are still being refined to provide smoother support for 3D tools like blender.
- Step-by-step instructions on submitting items created using the Avatar 2.0 skeleton for testing by the Lab.
- A link to the submission portal.
- Make sure Submit avatar looks item for review is selected from the portal’s initial drop-down.
Avatar 2.0 Creator Programme – What Is It? – Recap
- The Avatar 2.0 creator programme is designed to allow creators who create avatars, avatar wearables, accessories, etc to have their content tested by the Lab ahead of the avatar support being added to the client.
- The Lab may only initially be reviewing around 2-4 items per creator. Additional items submitted will only be reviewed once all creators making submissions have been seen.
- Creators are obviously free to test their items in their own 3D editor of choice, if preferred, and wait until the launch of Avatar 2.0 to make any necessary adjustments.
- The programme will be discontinued once Avatar 2.0 has been released, when creators will be able to test their items directly in the client.
Avatar 2.0 Q&A
- Creators have started availing themselves of the Avatar 2.0 creator programme, and feedback is being supplied to them.
- It’s been reported that there are rigging issues in the avatar reference files and these are in the process of being reported to the Lab.
- The initial release of avatar 2.0 will allow greater customisation of the avatar face.
- Greater body customisation via deformation will be available in a future update to the release.
- Concern has been raised that this will effectively lead to two classes of human avatar: one based on the Avatar 2.0 skeleton and the Lab’s own blend shapes / deformation options, and a second for custom avatars, again built using Avatar 2.0 outside of Sansar and which use fully custom blend shapes / deformations that behave differently.
- Because of this, it has been suggested it would be better to rig more bones on the skeleton (e.g. the breast bones), so it doesn’t matter if the avatar is a system avatar or a fully customised avatar made outside of Sansar: he same set of deformations will work across both.
- The alternative to this would be for creators to be able to create custom human avatars directly from within Sansar, then save them to inventory and then (if they wish) sell them on the Store. This is already the plan with avatar heads / faces with Avatar 2.0.
- The Lab is working with Blender 2.8 for Avatar 2.0, and the avatar reference files documentation has been updated to reflect this.
- Will Avatar 2.0 support users applying skins / eyes, etc., that they’ve bought from the Store? Not in the initial release, but something that is seen as a priority for adding in a subsequent update to Avatar 2.0.
- Can the quest system be have a means to automatically record who threw / fired something within an objective (e.g. if two people are shooting at a set of targets, having a means for the target to record who hit it last)? This currently has to be manually scripted and an automated means of recording would ease the quest authoring / development. The Lab will take this on-board.
- Can the quest panel be updated to not pop-up and start nagging as soon as a user with in progress quests logs-in? Possibly.
- If a quest creator revises a quest and removes / changes objectives, it is possible for people who have already started the quest to be unable to complete it. This comes back to the idea of the creator (or the quest system) to provide a means for participants to reset the quest for themselves.
- Testing / debugging quests needs an ability within the tools to reset individual objectives as well as the entire quest (which is currently provided). This is on the roadmap.
- The usual four:
- 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.
- Can users be given volume controls for other avatars? Right now if someone has their mic open or too loud or set too low, they have to be asked to close it or turn it down / up. For the latter it would be preferable if users simply had access to individual volume controls for other avatars so they can adjust the volume to suit their own needs. This has been requested numerous times, and will again be taken back to the Lab for consideration.
- Can push-to-talk be implemented? Microphones can be toggled via the M key (but this needs to be added to the keyboard short cuts documentation)
- Can the F4 ability to freecam and improved lighting be added to the Look Book / Home Space so that it is possible to test new clothes and footwear, take images for use with Store listings, etc., without having to view them in an experience, thus adding a further step to the development cycle? Will be looked into; lighting is being improved.
- Will two people ever be able to hold the same object? Not on the roadmap.
- Can creators have an option to turn off the ability for people to “steal” an object held by someone else by clicking on it (e.g. to prevent people disrupting things like shooting games by simple “click stealing” the guns of other participants in the game)? Will be looked at.
- Can skirts / dresses / togas conform more naturally to the body position when sitting? Not easily, as this requires real-time cloth deformation, which is performance intensive.