2020 Sansar Product Meetings week #5: R39 and more

The Bridge of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701, The Original Series)

The following notes were taken from the January 30th (week #5) Sansar Product Meeting, the video of which is embedded at the end of this report.

Upcoming R39: Event Instances and New Avatar Looks

The opening of the meeting included a short video demonstrating the upcoming instance picker. When a world or event is running more than one instance, this allows users to pick the instance they want to access and / or offer to friends to access as well (individual avatar numbers per instance allowing). With it:

  • An instance of a world / even can be selected.
  • The URL for that instance can be shared (e.g. via chat, when in-world with others).
  • A portal can be dropped based on a select instance.

When released, this will be the first iteration of the instance picker, and further refinement will follow (e.g. a count of avatars in each instance. potentially see which instance(s) of a an event friends are already in (and then join that instance). Such enhancement will depend on feedback from users once the initial release has been made.

The same video also revealed one of the new looks that the Sansar Studios team is providing for default avatars.  These should be available in the upcoming R39 both within the avatar carousel for new users joining the platform and within the Look Book for other users.

As noted in the my week #3 notes, the R39 release will likely also include:

  • A new emote system that will include the ability to assign emotes to the number row keys on -the-fly – no need to access the Look Book, including purchasing an emote from the Store and applying on the fly.
  • New Twitch integration specifically aimed at events and streaming events by users.
  • A further round of bugs fixes.
    • One of these (as an R39 point release) will be the ability to copy / paste entire vectors (X, Y, Z , rotation, colour) between objects in Edit Mode

R39 is being targeted for a Tuesday, February 4th release.

Events News

New Music Genres for Events

Sansar partner events have thus far focused on the electronic dance music (EDM) market. However, this should be broadening in 2020 to include other opportunities / genres. In particular, Galileo, the Sansar Community Manager mentioned that company is working with a heavy metal band. This includes both designing a world for them to play in and coding the avatars to “play” instruments, etc.

This heavy metal event is seen as an opportunity for creators to provide items that might be included in collections related to it. In this respect, it is noted that the band in question (no name given) has a strong fantasy lean, with orcs, etc., a feature in their work / look.

Web Events Update

A web update was released on Wednesday, January 29th, specifically for event creators / hosts. This should resolve the issue of the modal popping up claiming an event couldn’t be updated without an image when trying to update the access list. Also, when looking at your own My World list on the web, it should now be possible to more easily differentiate between event worlds and actually worlds where there are multiple versions of an experience.

COMET News

The COMmunity Even Team (COMET) have earned sufficient points for the entire community to gain a reward, and this should be appearing in people’s Backpacks soon.

Q&A Session Summary

Th Q&A session commences at the 15 minute mark in the video. Note that not all questions are reflected below, just those that could be responded to with details.

  • Will music genres other than EDM and heavy meal be supported? Classical, jazz, blues? Yes. And suggestions for possible acts should be passed on the the Sansar team.
  • Can blocking another user include local chat? Being worked on.
  • Will the UI overhaul include Edit Modes and offer things like inventory folders? No. The first cut of the UI overhaul completely ignores Edit Mode. A future (“not soon”) follow-up will look at Edit Mode at some point.
  • Fees for cashing out have do not appear to have remained fixed for long-term creators as promised (through until the end of 2020). Is this being fixed? Yes – the fix should be available very soon.
  • Backpack related:
    • Can the Backpack be adjusted so that items rezzed from it are persistent – such as furniture in your own space? The idea is to expand the Backpack so that each scene can define the contents of the the backpack (so the contents change as a user moves from world-to-world, depending on on the local rules), and to allow scripted control of the backpack, thus given world creators complete control over what can be used from the backpack, when it can be used and how long it might remain within a world (if relevant).
    • Will there be limits on how many items the Backpack can contain? Will it support folders for organising things? There isn’t currently a limit on the number of items the Backpack can contain, but one may be added, depending on how creators make use of it. There are no plans to add folders to the backpack, as the idea is to keep it as simple and easy to use as possible.
    • Will the ability for world creators limit the number of items a user can rez from their Backpack at any one time? Possibly.
  • Marvelous Designer™ is about to issue a fix for zippers and buttons not working at anticipated. When released, will this be integrated in to Sansar’s MD support? Yes, either within a release or a point release.
  • Is it possible to have a means to test and amend scripts without having to build an entire scene? Sort answer: not at present, although this is a pain point for the Sansar Studio team as well. Suggestions are to:
    • a) build a simple scene where scripts can be more easily tested.
    • b) If the above isn’t feasible, disable things like GI and audio reverb to speed the scene building process, test and adjust scripts as required and then re-enable options that have been turned off when done.
  • Can support for custom avatar heads using the deformation system be provided:  requires rigging to around 200 bones, and while some creators could handle it, it is seen as not something the Lab wants to make user-facing at this point. It would also require an extensive overhaul of import system to support it. As such, not currently a priority,
  • What is the status of full body deformation? No-one working on it, and not on the immediate schedule for work.

Rose’s Feelings at Nitroglobus

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Feelings

Currently open at Dido Haas’ Nitroglobus Roof Gallery is Feelings, a selection of self-portraits presented by RoseHanry. It’s a evocative series of 12 images, each one of which has a deceptively simple presentation that nevertheless encompasses a wealth of care, and eye for detail and narrative to offer a startlingly life-like finish that richly imbues each image with Rose’s own life and vitality.

This is something Rose notes herself in discussing her art, stating:

Second Life is more than a game and the avatar is more than a pretty doll. There’s a human behind the keyboard, who experiences feelings and hopes, has a Real Life with the normal issues that life offers, Some are good and some are not so good. Real Life is not detached from Second Life as most people think, or want to make us believe.

In this exhibition I try to show that an avatar is very natural and can show feelings as in Real Life.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Feelings

And so it is that each of the twelve images within this exhibition offer an emotional depth that is stunning; expression, pose and lighting allow us to see far beyond the avatar. Many not as posed shots, but as candid captures that record a passing and quite natural moment in time (vis: … a beating heart of stone …, … when I wake up, I see you with me …, … when I wake up, I see you with me …, and … maybe if I’d skim the stone …), when the subject is caught by the camera without being aware it was watching.

In others, while as candid, there is a sense that the subject was aware of the camera’s eye, so took a moment to respond to its stare with a deliberate look intended to tease or flirt (… another one bites the dust …) or with a natural response to being caught (as with …2am…, with the defensive drawn-up knees).

Thus, throughout the collection we are presented with images that each has a tale to tell; a tale furthered by Rose’s inclusion of a link to be found in the lower right-hand corner of each image. Clicking on most of these will present you with a note card containing song lyrics reflective of the image and mood, and with a link to the song on You Tube (one simply offers a link to the song itself).

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Feelings

For me, the defining element of each picture lies in the eyes. We’re probably all familiar with the old saying, the eyes are the windows of the soul. Here, it is the case that the avatar’s eyes are the windows to the the avatar’s owner herself. Through them, we can perhaps capture the riches of each pictures’ story, even without reference to the accompanying note cards – and I would recommend viewing and considering each picture first before turning to the the note card giver.

A truly fascinating exhibition. One – as with all of those at Nitroglobus – that should not be missed.

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