2020 Simulator User Group week #28 summary

The Woods of Whimsy, May 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken during the Simulator User Group meeting of Tuesday, July 7th, 2020.

Simulator Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for news and updates:

  • There was not main channel deployment on Tuesday, July 7th, leaving the servers on server release 543526, comprising further infrastructure updates to support Group chat improvements / support of the cloud uplift work.
  • On Wednesday, July 8th, the RC channels should be updated with server release 544419, which should resolve issues with off-line inventory offers and group notice attachments
    • Note that this requires a viewer-side update, which should currently be in all the Viewer RC versions.

SL Viewer

  • The Arrack Maintenance RC viewer updated to version on July 6th.
  • The Tools Update RC viewer updated to version on July 7th.

The rest of the current range of official viewers remains as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF RC viewer – 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:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version, June 30.
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version, June 11.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.

Region Restarts and Region Crossings

The server deployment threads generally reference rolling restarts being performed if channels have been running for 10 days or longer, regardless as to whether there is an accompanying deployment (e.g. so at least once every 14 days).

However, during the Simulator User Group meeting, comments from the Lab suggest this is not an absolute. For example, if agents (avatar or scripted) are in a region, a restart may not occur. As it is, there is currently a fair number of mainland and private regions that have not seen a restart in 2-3 weeks.

This is causing some consternation among road vehicle users who see region restarts as (currently) the main panacea for their region crossing woes; there may well be fair mileage in this – no pun intended; but equally, there are reasons why restarts may not resolve issues, but as they are a non-trivial matter, could be disruptive to other users, requiring a balance to be struck.

The fact is the physical region crossings involving vehicles are a complicated issue. There is no single point of failure – and issues can be exacerbated by factors external to SL; it might even be argued that as script load plays a role in bad region crossings, loading vehicles up with scripts to monitor / log crossings could actually exacerbate the problems being encountered by those using said scripts. However, Given that rolling restarts are expected every 14 days, regardless of deployments, it might not be a bad idea to try to ensure this is a regimen that is more rigorously held to, in that restarts can be seen as calming region crossing issues.

Rock Your Rack 2020: blogger & entertainment registrations

via Rock Your Rack

Rock Your Rack, the annual fund-raiser organised by Models Giving Back (MGB) in aid of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), will again take place between Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 18th, 2020, inclusive.

Officially endorsed by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Rock your Rack celebrates its eighth year of fund-raising in Second Life. Each year it brings together music, art and entertainment into a 14-day event that both raises for for, and awareness of the work carried out by, the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Activities at the event include designer booths, fashion shows, entertainment, an art show, and auctions and hunts.

I’ve previously covered applications for creators / designers (see: Rock Your Rack 2020: theme and designer registrations) – which I’ll just noted are open through the end of July 2020.

In the meantime, on Tuesday, July 7th, the organiser put out a call for bloggers interested in covering the event. However, those applying should take the time to read the blogging requirements ahead of any application, because as the organisers note:

Rock Your Rack is a little different event than your typical fashion event. Therefore, the expectations for bloggers is a little bit different than most events. We expect our bloggers to help get the word out for our musical events, press releases and other things which will not require you to style or set up a shot etc. So please understand this when you see the number of posts we are expecting. It may seems like a lot for a two week event, but some of the posts are given to you and all you have to do is post it as is. Be sure to read all of the information before you blog for our event. Those that are accepted and do not post the early press releases will be dropped before the blogger list is given to the designers to send items out.

Once read and understood, the application from can be found by clicking on the link at the top of the blogger requirements page.

Rock Your Rack 2018

Entertainment Registrations

Registrations are also open for live entertainers and DJs wishing to participate in the Rock Your Rack 2020 entertainment activities.

Those interested in participating should follow the links below:

Note that applications for both also close at the end of July 2020 – so if you’re interested, be sure to hop over to the Rock Your Rack website sooner rather than later.

About Rock Your Rack and Models Giving Back

Rock Your Rack is the annual fund-raiser started in October of 2012 by Jamee Sandalwood and the team at Models Giving Back. MGB is the grid leader in trusted charity events. Jamee takes care of everything from Designers, to bloggers, to musicians, to models. This way any confusion is avoided and no one has to wait to check with anyone else before things are getting done. Rock Your Rack provides full transparency: all of the event’s documentation from screenshot totals, to Lindex transactions, to donation receipts account for every penny that was earned and donated all being posted to the Rock Your Rack website. The event has also, in previous years, obtained formal approval from the NBCF – see the 2018 approval letter for 2018 as an example.

Models Giving Back is the professional team of elite models in Second Life who have dedicated themselves to supporting the efforts of verified RL charities. This team of models gives tirelessly to the events we are involved with always giving of their time and talents to promote those designers involved in our events. For more information on Models Giving Back an how you can become a part of the team, visit the Models Giving Back Facebook Page for information about casting dates and times.

Related Links

Sansar and VRJAM: of Lost Horizon and music festivals

Lost Horizon: Nomad Stage, Saturday, July 4th, 2020

Friday July 3rd and Saturday July 4th, 2020 marked the Glastonbury Shangri-La music festival in Sansar, my observations of which appear in Glastonbury in Sansar: post event observations. Others have also written about the event, but what most of us appeared to miss in the run-up to it, is that just a few days ahead of the event a press release was made by Wookey Technologies and UK-based VRJAM that revealed the event’s title, Lost Horizon, is intended to be a “wrapper” for a long-term partnership between the two companies, aimed at making the Lost Horizon name (brand?) “the world’s first turnkey VR festival venue.”

In particular, the press release, which I caught via Businesswire over the weekend, noted:

Lost Horizon, which kicks off July 3 and 4 with the largest arts and music festival in virtual reality, will continue to host live events and festivals this year – allowing countless artists the opportunity to monetize their performances through ticketing, tipping, and the sale of virtual merchandise.

– via Businesswire, June 29th, 2020

It’s not clear at this point in time what other events will be held under the Lost Horizon banner, but speaking to EDMIdentity, Robin Collings, founding director of Glastonbury Shangri-La, and one of the driving forces behind Lost Horizon itself, intimated that as well as purely digital / virtual events, Lost Horizon could in the future (presumably post-pandemic) add physical events in the mix:

We’d really like to tour a project next year and mix Virtual and Physical events in real-time… and we have some more really exciting events in the Lost Horizon world lined up! Watch this space! 

– Robin Collings, talking to EDM Identity

Wookey Technology Products website lists Sansar as a “subsidiary”, rather than a “product”, which potentially raises some interesting questions for future consideration

How such a mixing pans out remains to be seen. In the meantime, the press release also helps to understand just how broad in scope developing and executing Lost Horizon Shangri-La actually was:

For the inaugural show, VRJAM has utilised a team of 80+ people in 12 countries to deliver performances by over 70 music artists and a virtual reality music experience of unparalleled beauty and detail. The effort marks the first time a VR event will engage multiple A-list music artists simultaneously.

– via Businesswire, June 29th, 2020

The Sansar mobile app lets users view events from cameras positioned around the stage(s).

Another point of interest within the press release, relates to the the Sansar app (iOS and Android, and released just ahead of the Shangri-La event) and the direction planned for it – and potentially how central it may become to audience attraction.

Built using the Agora real-time engagement platform, the app is currently geared towards streaming events from Sansar to consumers. However, over time it will evolve to allow deeper levels of interaction, including chatting with other event attendees (watchers?), and (eventually) avatar creation – and thus, presumably, direct access into events from mobile devices.

This latter point clearly interesting: what capabilities will they have? How will they be managed? Sansar already requires some hefty computing capabilities; it’s hard to see mobile devices handling that kind of ompf directly – so might it be that Sansar may offer some form of back-end streaming capability, a-la SL Go (to offer a Second Life parallel)? If so, might this in turn open other opportunities for Sansar.

But even outside of such future considerations, offering direct, camera-based streaming out of Sansar venues (as seen with the Shangri-La event) could do much to leverage audience viewing of events, perhaps tied to some nominal fee for doing so, to help monetise things.

As mentioned above, there do not appear to be any further VRJAM related events in the Sansar calendar right now (or at least, none bearing the VRJAM logo); which is not to say there are no further “live” music events planned.  A glance at the Codex/Atlas page reveals a mix of music events in with the rest, including Monstercat’s on-going Call of the Wild sessions (which seem to be registering less in the way of advanced interest in the past, but I’ve no idea of actual attendance, not having been to one since last October(ish).

According to the Sansar app, some of these events will be offered for streaming – such as the July 17th/18th (or 18th/19th for those in time zones equating to AEST) “@ the Inaverse!” event. This will feature Dutch-Australian trace DJ Marlo Hoogstraten in what is being described as a “new virtual world”, suggesting these “@ the Inaverse” events will be a new regular Sansar feature.

In the meantime, those wishing to get a journalist’s view on the Lost Horizon Shangri-La event should check out Kyle Melnick’s write-up for VR Scout, or watch his video, below.

My thanks to Loki Eliot for the pointer to the EDM Identity interview with Robin Collings.