Sansar 2018 Product Meetings #50

The following notes were taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, December 13th, the last such Product Meeting for 2018. As usual, Eliot, the Sansar Community Manager hosted the meeting, with Ebbe, Landon, Aleks, Leslie, Kelly and Julia from the Lab.

High-Level Outlook for 2019

Plans are still being finalised for 2019 and Sansar, so there is some reluctance to talk in-depth about what is likely to be coming and when, however, some high-level bullet points for the platform mentioned in the meeting were:

  • Avatar improvements (e.g. face sliders, custom skins.
  • World (experience) creation easier.
  • Making it easier for people to collaborate and group themselves around “things”.
  • Improving the ability to make interactive content and games.
  • See Sansar be more event-driven.
  • Continue to ship updates at a high rate (the average for 2018 being one update per month).
  • Accelerate the rate of change that is being made with updates, as per that last three releases of 2018.
  • Continue to be responsive to feedback to updates and changes.

A major review of plans is taking place over the final working week of 2018, so early 2019 should see the Lab in a better position to offer some insight into what the year may be bringing to Sansar.

Attending Events

Sansar recently hosted its first ticketed event (sadly at a time far too late for most of us in Europe – hint, hint, Linden Lab) – Comedy Gladiators, hosted by Steven Hofstetter (read more here).  The event apparently went well, with the audience spawning multiple instances and able to see the activities on stage. However, one problem did arise in that people wishing to attend the same instance of the event at times found they couldn’t. The Lab is aware of this and looking to make changes that will allow people access the same instance of a popular event like this, and enjoy it together.

One idea is a “party up” system, that allows a party of named individuals access an instance together. This could be extended to things like team-based games / puzzles / activities, where you need to work as a group and / or work best with limited numbers – so each party of players accessing the game / experience would be delivered to a different instance, thus avoiding interfering with others who already have a game in progress.

In Brief

  • Sansar / Steam Desktop mode issue: there is an issue running Sansar via Steam in Desktop Mode that leaves the audio sliders in Settings non-responsive. This is being investigated by the Lab.
  • Improved camera(s) for 2019? a frequent request through 2018 has been better camera options for filming in Sansar. Idea put forwards include a true “flycam” mode that allows for free filming and avatar movement of the part of the person filming; the ability to create multiple (scripted) camera objects within a scene for filming (and the ability to cut between them when recording); having “flyable” scripted cameras, etc. Such ideas are being discussed by the Lab with no commitment (at present) on what might be delivered or when.
  • Freecamming when using a Sit Point: it is not currently possible to freecam (F4) when seated using the Sit point capability introduced with R28. This will be fixed.
  • “Bigger” Experiences: currently, the upper limit on experiences is 4km on a side (the equivalent area to 256 SL regions). There are currently no plans to expand beyond this, as it is the limit at which the physics aspects of the engine start to break down, and the Lab does not want to get into a Second Life scenario with having to work out how to stitch scenes / experiences together and cater for physically crossing being them.
    • Even working to the 4km upper limit is questionable at present, as Sansar does not have any means of LOD (level of detail) handling within it.
  • Finding Sticky Grab: the new “sticky grab” option introduced with R28 to prevent people picking up guns and then throwing them, rather than firing them (left mouse click), is currently a little obscure when setting it in Edit mode, so it is liable to be better surfaced in an upcoming release.
  • Improved Moderation: an upcoming point release (possibly to appear before Christmas) should allow user-to-user blocking (so not only can a troublemaker be muted, they can be blocked and vanish from your view  – and you vanish from their view).
  • In-client Store Improvements: it is hoped that 2019 will see the in-client Sansar Store achieve parity with the web version of the store (filters and filter options, etc).
  • Steam “Fall-off”: A lot has been made about the fall-off in incoming numbers of users from Steam. This was in some way expected, as at the launch on Steam, Sansar was featured on the Early Access home page (actually how I saw it had been launched), and also on the Steam VR section home page. Since the launch, Sansar is no longer front-and-centre on either page.
  • Avatar Rig: this will likely see changes in 2019. Work is already in hand to try to simplify it; other improvements will be made over time.

 

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Sansar R28, the Ready, Aim, Fire! Release

Sitting in my Home Space – one of the new elements in Sansar

On Tuesday, December 11th, Linden Lab issued the Ready, Aim, Fire! (aka R28) update for Sansar, the last planned release for 2018.

Interaction is very much a theme for this release, as is helping new users feel more at home, as well as providing a point of entry when logging-in to Sansar at the start of a session. The release also includes a very long list of scripting updates, some of which are to support the new interactivity functions.

This article is designed to provide an illustrative summary of the release, but do note the lack of an VR headset and controller on my part means that any features described in detail here are looked at from the Desktop Mode.

At the time of writing, there were no release notes available, only a release blog post. Whether this actually constitutes the release notes or not, I’m not sure – so a check on the Sansar Help page might be in order to see of any release notes appear. Similarly, in checking the scripting API documentation, it appeared this documentation was also awaiting update. so again, a check should be made for the addition of information on the new API elements and script updates.

Initial Notes

  • As with the majority of Sansar deployments, this update requires the automatic download and installation of a client update.
  • Updates in this release mean that on logging-in for the first time following the update, users will be placed in their Home Space after selecting their updated avatar.

Home Space

I’ll start with Home Space, a new “home location” so to speak. All users are dropped into Home Space, which resembles an open-plan skybox like apartment with three “rooms”, either when logging-in to Sansar for the first time or at the start of a new session (so in the latter regard it both appears as the back-drop image when logging-in to Sansar and replaces being dropped into the Atlas at the end of the log-in process).

As a physical environment, you can walk around your Home Space, sit on the chairs (albeit it using the teleport > /sit “cheat” and – for new users in particular – offers a starting point for the new UI tutorial (see below for more on this).

Images of the new Home Space taken in Sansar’s new “mouse look” view, showing the various areas. Note the “under construction” teleport portal, also shown enlarged in the last image, that will link Home Spaces to an upcoming new social hub experience. click on any image to view slide show

Note that Home Space is only accessible (for the time being?) when logging-in to Sansar at the start of a session; there’s no option to go back to it once you’re entered an experience, unless you re-log. Should you edit your avatar’s appearance (Create > Style My Avatar) from within an experience, you will still go to look Book and then back to the spawn point for the experience at the spawn point, as per previous Look Book behaviour.

Within The Home Space there is a hint of things to come: on one wall, and marked as “under construction” is the entranceway to the upcoming “Social Hub”. Reached via automatic teleport, this will be a new experience people can jump to and mingle, again with the intent to make it easier for newcomers to meet others. Some of the objects in the Home Space can also be grabbed, allowing basic interactivity to be tried – although the random nature of the tutorial pop-ups perhaps makes this a little hit-and-miss.

UI Tutorial

The new UI Tutorial is designed to help new users start to understand the Sansar Client UI (although it will also display for existing users logging-in to R28 for the first time). The tutorial comprises a selection of pop-up displays to controls and yellow hover tips that are displayed within the client. These can be displayed in both the Home Space and within initial experiences a new user visits.

Some of the UI tutorial pop-up (left) and tool tips displayed for new users. The pop-ups appear at the bottom centre of the UI window

The tutorial – while a good idea – seemed to be somewhat random. It’s wasn’t until my fourth log-in, for example, that I saw the pop-up for grabbing items. While not vital, given there are objects in the Home Space that can be grabbed, making this a little more predictable (coming up with the Walk and Teleport pop-ups, perhaps?) would perhaps be more useful.

Emote Menu and Emotes

New to both Desktop and VR modes for Sansar is the Avatar Emote menu. Access via the Socialise button (or CTRL-E in Desktop Mode), this displays a “dial” pop-up, with the available emotes (aka gestures or animations) on the right, and any emotes you may have already used in your current log-in session displayed on the left (if you have not used any emotes, this area will display an alarm clock like icon).

The new Emotes Menu. Note that Recent Emotes (on the left), are only displayed if you have used one or more emotes in the current session

Emotes are selected from the right of the menu, by scrolling up / down through them and clicking on the desired option. Recent emotes (if displayed) are accessed the same way. For VR users, an added bonus is that moving your head or arms will no longer cancel a playing emote (just walk forward, as per Desktop mode).

Note that the chat commands (“/sit”, etc.) are still fully supported, as is the ability to assign custom emotes to replace the default options.

Continue reading “Sansar R28, the Ready, Aim, Fire! Release”

Sansar 2018 Product Meetings #48: Steam and release 28

LOOT Interactive NASA Apollo Museum

The following notes were taken from the Sansar Community Feedback hour held on Thursday, November 29th. A video of the meeting is available on the official Sansar Twitch channel, and timestamps referencing that video are provided in the text below.

Note that the entire discussion is not summarised here – general questions from the 47 minute point onwards are not included – please refer to the video for these. The focus of this article is the upcoming availability of Sansar on Steam and the the December R28 release.

Sansar On Steam

[3:00-5:44] If all goes according to plan, Sansar will be available on Steam from the end of week #49 (week commencing Monday, December 3rd). The platform has already gained initial approval from Steam, and should gain final approval during the early part of the week.

As I’ve previously noted, Sansar will be on Steam as an Early Access programme. As well as the client being available, there will be a dedicated forum and group on Steam.

Reminder: SandeX Closing

A reminder that as a part of making Sansar available on Steam, the SandeX will be closing on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018, and S$ to USD conversions will move to a fixed conversion rate model.

Please refer to Sansar extends to Steam; Lab to end SandeX for more on this.

“Sokoban” Puzzle Challenge

[5:48-8:40] To mark December, the Sansar team is going to be running a series of challenges through the month. These are intended to be fun items, rather than anything to be taken too seriously, and the first up is the Ugly Christmas Sweater Challenge. As the make implies, this is for clothing creators to make an ugly Christmas sweater and upload it to the Sansar Store. For those who can’t make clothing, some sweater templates may be placed on the Sansar Store that can be obtained, textured and used as entries.

Some of the Ugly Christmas Sweater challenge entries

[9:31-12:00] The second challenge is the Sokoban Puzzle Challenge.

Sokoban (“warehouse keeper”) is a puzzle video game in which the player pushes boxes or crates around in a warehouse, trying to get them to storage locations. An experience based on the game has already been created in Sansar, and users are being asked to create and submit their own levels t add to the experience – read Make A Sokoban Challenge for full details, including how to design and submit levels.

Upcoming Features for the R28 (December) Release

The following updates should be part of the R28 Sansar release, which is currently scheduled for some time between the 10th and 13th December 2018 – so it will be available after the Steam launch.

Teleport to a Friend

[15:59-17:35] This is being updated so that it will not work when trying to teleport to a friend in an unpublished experience, and will not show the experience name if you are in an unpublished experience and someone tries to teleport to you.  These fixes are temporary in nature, as they will not scale, so the Lab will be looking to make further changes to Teleport to a Friend in the future to prevent stalking.

Remember, this feature will teleport your avatar to the spawn point of the same experience as a friend, not directly to that friend.

Chat Updates

[17:39-19:00]

  • Nearby Chat and direct messaging (IMs) will have timestamps with the next release.
  • It will be possible to start a direct message (IM) with a friend from the Chat App without having to open the People App.
  • Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian and more will also be supported when typing.

[19:03-19:35] Some in VR have noticed the Chat App panel is “too far away” for them to comfortably reach and grab, forcing them to lean forward when trying to manipulate it.

Home Spaces

[22:24-23:35] The room in which avatars are placed when entering Look Book is to become a Home Space, and will include some light customisation options. The Home Space option will be developed over time to present users with a friendlier environment than the Atlas.

The Look Book “room” is set to become more of a Home Space environment with the next Sansar release, with some initial light customisation options

New User Experience

[24:09-25:28]  The next release will include some client UI “tutorialisation” for new users. This will include various call-outs identifying various parts of the client UI, but these will also be visible to established users the first time the client is run after the release has been deployed.

For the rest of on-boarding, new users will be dropped into the Home Space in the default grey avatar, and will have a list of recommended experiences (based on population within the experiences) they can be sent to.

Continue reading “Sansar 2018 Product Meetings #48: Steam and release 28”

2018 Sansar Product Meetings #45: Look At Me release

Nirvania

Look At Me Release Feedback

  • Typing indicator:
    • Requests have been made to remove the box around the dots and just have the flashing dots when someone is typing.
    • It was also requested that the indicator not pop-up when typing “/” commands for emotes – but as was pointed out, the system has no way of knowing what is being typed until after it has been sent, making it difficult for the indicator to ignore “/” when input.
    • Other UI interactions can also incorrectly cause the typing indicator to appear over an avatar, which the Lab are looking to refine.
  • VR virtual keyboard:
    • Enhancements are already being planned – such as a “emote wheel” to make selection of emotes easier and not reliant on the commands being typed.
    • The Lab would like further feedback on the keyboard and how it might be improved, or options that might be added, if some of the keys should be re-organised, etc.
    • There have been instances where people opening the VR virtual keyboard in (first person view) have found their avatars unexpected walking forward without any of the keyboard buttons being touched.
  • Voice Reset issue: along with the new options to test microphone levels, there is an option to reset the voice stream. However, reports are that when used, the voice stream fails to reconnect.
  • Settings: it’s been noted that in VR, Settings > Control, no longer displays the VR controller options; users only get the desktop keyboard options.
  • UI Buttons:
    • Requests have been made to make them switchable between the left and right sides of the client window, depending on individual user preference.
    • There have also been concerns raised that on very high-resolution (e.g. 4K) screens, the buttons are very small and hard to see.
  • First person avatar view in VR: a preference for seeing the avatar hands an arms when using things like the revised client button set on the left wrist  has been voiced. Eliot noted that the default blue hands are used to cater for avatars that do not have hands and arms (e.g. they have tentacles), so they have a frame of reference when tying to use menus, etc.
  • Hi-Res Texture Streaming: a request was put forward to allow users to select whether or not they want to use the hi-res texture streaming when loading an experience. The point here being that some games – those against the clock, for example – might be dependent upon the scene being fully loaded and ready to go when the user is placed within it.
    • The lab noted there are some tweaks to make to the texture loading, and that in general, there is more to be done to the scene loading to improve load times.
  • Crash issues: there have been a number of crash issues associated with the release (and experienced at the start of the meeting). The Lab is gathering logs, etc., and investigating causes.

Custom Emote Issues

This is something the Lab is aware of. It’s also complex to describe but easy to witness. if someone has a custom animation enters an experience, other avatars of the same gender that are already using the same emote, or attempting to use the same emote, will adopt the same custom animation as playing on the new arrival.

So, for example, if a female avatar enters a room with a “floating” animation they’ve assigned to the “/sit” gesture, any other female avatar using “/sit” will also start to float, even if they previously had their own custom animation assigned to “/sit”. The effect is also cumulative: avatars will switch to play the last custom animation assigned to the emote, until such time as they reset through Look Book.

It’s been suggested that whatever bug causes this be annotated so that in future it might show how animations might be shared in certain situation (such as a “dance bomb” in a club hat could be triggered by (say) the DJ to get everyone doing the same dance – the Time Warp, anyone?).

Other Discussion Points

Avatar Deformations

People in VR are experiencing issues with their avatars being deformed in certain situations. For example, a tall male using the female avatar can find the avatar deform or adopts odd shapes, even after the height has been adjusted, almost as if the avatar is “too small” for the person using it. Another seems to give avatars massively broad shoulders, resolved by re-logging. The Lab is aware of these issues and investigating them. If anyone does encounter such issues, the request is to make clear notes on what they were doing  (steps taken) when the problem occurred and file a bug report.

Animation Preview

It’s been noted that there are some glitches with the animation preview capability, such as preview recordings now always playing back on the Sansar Store, or the entire preview playback glitches while playing.

New User Experience

The new default avatars

A part of the new user experience was deployed with this release. In short this:

  • Automatically assigns a unique account ID (seen after the @ symbol in name tags), base on the avatar name + a numeric sequence.
  • Delivers new users directly to a populated experience with a new default grey avatar.

It was mentioned at the meeting that new users will receive a tutorial on the client to get them started when first entering Sansar.

However, it was not clear in the discussion as to whether or not the tutorial aspect has been deployed with the Look At Me release. My own testing suggests it has not: while I was delivered to a populated experience with the new default avatar (see image, right), there was no associated tutorial. While I have reached out to LL to try to confirm the tutorial’s status, at the time of publishing these notes, I had not received any reply.

In Brief

  • Will Sansar support full body tracking? In time, yes, but not on the immediate horizon. The Vive trackers are helping with this, allowing data on hip and foot movements to be collected for use with IK, but Oculus is some way behind in their tracking systems.
  • Currently, when the Chat App is opened and there is available text, it will default to the top of the text (i.e. the oldest comment), rather than scrolling to the bottom of the chat and the most recently made comments. This is a known issue, and part of a number of bugs in the App the Lab will be addressing.
  • Rotating rigged and animated meshes: again requested, to help with bringing NPCs to life. This is apparently “on the list” but seen as a big task.

 

Sansar: November 2018 Look at Me release

Legend of Wysterra (WIP)

On Tuesday, November 7th, Linden Lab issued the Look At Me release for Sansar. It is perhaps one of the most radical changes to the platform’s client since the public beta opened in 2017, incorporating both an overhauled user interface and revised controls for both VR and Desktop mode.

This article is designed to provide an illustrative summary of the release, but do note the lack of an VR headset and controller on my part means that any features described in detail here are looked at from the Desktop Mode.

The full release notes for the update are available here.

Initial Notes

  • As is generally the case with Sansar deployments, this update requires the automatic download and installation of a client update.
  • Updates in this release mean that on logging-in for the first time following the update, users will be placed in the Look Book (Avatar App).

Client UI Updates

As a part of getting ready for the release of Sansar on Steam (see here for more), as well as to make the UI easier to understand in general, this release sees a complete redesign of the client UI controls, which is perhaps the most immediately visible part of the update.

Log-in Options Revised

The first noticeable change on launching the updated UI is the revised log-in display. This is now more compact and presents a more clear-cut set of options:

  • Log-in using your Sansar credentials.
  • Log-in using your Twitch credentials (if you are a Twitch user registered with Sansar).
  • Create a Sansar account.

It’s a small change, but it does make the client look cleaner on start-up.

New UI Buttons and Layout

The next obvious change to the UI seen after logging in is with the UI buttons. These have been both moved to the left side of the client window and revised to group options together more logically, provide better ease of access to options and tools, and generally be more intuitive without intruding too much into a scene.

Excluding the microphone toggle button, there are five function buttons. A neutral grey when not in use, they will turn blue when the mouse pointer is moved close to them or hovered over them. Hover over a specific button, and it will display a label: Go; Socialize; Create; Shop; and More options. Click on a label, and it will display a menu of options.

For those familiar with Sansar, it’s worth studying these menus, as they do see some options renamed and / or moved. For example:

  • The Atlas is now more generically referred to as Find Experiences (Atlas) under Go.
  • Go also includes the Events option (previously a separate button)
  • The Create button brings together the Look Book option (previously a separate button),  and adds the options to create an experience or an event, rather than restricting these to buttons in the Atlas and Event panels.
  • The Snapshot option is relocated from the old More Options drop-down to the new Socialise button.
The new UI buttons and their sub-menus (click for full size, if required)

In addition, there are some new options, such as Favourite Places under the Go button, which opens the Favourites tab in the Atlas; or the Learn to Build option under the Create button, which opens the knowledge base table of contents page  Creating in Sansar, in a web browser tab.

The new buttons are also visible in VR mode, but are now displayed on a menu over the left wrist.

The new UI buttons as they appear in Sansar’s VR mode. Credit: Linden Lab

Revised Keyboard and Controller Options / Buttons

The Look at Me release sees a number of revisions to keyboard and controller commands.

  • The updated help / reporting options (via F1)

    Desktop Controls

    • Hold Left Shift to Sprint (was double tap WASD) – configure in Settings to choose between “Hold Left Shift” or “Toggle Left Shift“ for Sprint.
    • Hold Spacebar to bring up teleport GUI, and release to teleport to target location (was Hold Shift) – mouse wheel button is still assigned to quick teleport.
    • Press F1 to bring up the new help & reporting window.
  • Oculus Touch Controls (VR)
    • Teleport moved to the A and X buttons (was Left and Right Trigger)
    • Pressing Y will still open the VR menu, but it now appears on your left wrist (see above).
    • “Toggle Sprint” is now an option in settings.
  • Vive Controllers (VR)
    • “Toggle Sprint” is now an option in settings.
  • Camera Controls
    • Hold “Left Shift + WASD” to temporarily increase camera movement speed while held.
    • Hold “Left Ctrl + WASD” to temporarily decrease camera movement speed while held.
    • Tap “+” to increase camera movement speed. (In addition to Numpad +)
    • Tap “-” to decrease camera movement speed. (In addition to Numpad -)
  • Edit Mode Controls
    • Press Backspace to delete an object (in addition to Delete)
  • Improved 3rd person camera
    • Over-the-shoulder camera now has object avoidance. The camera will not go through walls in desktop or in VR.
    • Scrolling the mouse wheel in desktop mode will allow the user to zoom in/out, even to the point of going into first person and back out to third person again.

Continue reading “Sansar: November 2018 Look at Me release”

2018 Sansar Product Meetings #44: Steam – with audio

Wurfi’s Little Gallery – blog post

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, November 1st. These Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat.

Given the recent announcement concerning expanding Sansar’s availability to Steam, the meeting focused on questions, comments and feedback related to this. Notes:

  • While some more general topics were raised, in a desire to abbreviate the length of this update, I’ve intentionally skipped topics were specific answers weren’t available in favour of focusing on the Steam feedback.
  • The order of these notes does not match the order of discussion in the meeting; topics have been grouped together for ease of reference.
  • Audio extracts from the meeting on the Steam change are included. But again, please note they concatenate comments made at different points in the meeting in an attempt to present them in a more concise order for easier digestion.
  • For those who prefer, the entire meeting can be viewed via Twitch.

On Steam

Why Steam?

  • LL believe that given the improvements made thus far, coupled with the remaining 2018 releases, will make Sansar an attractive proposition on Steam.
  • In being out at physical world events, Lab has hit the question of where people can “find” Sansar – with most asking the question pointing to Steam. Thus, Steam is seen as the place to be.
  • Also, Steam is – as the official blog post indicates – where the highest density of people with hardware that can meet Sansar’s requirements tend to be
    • As noted in my article on the decision, this is regardless as to whether Steam users are VR enabled or not, given Sansar’s Desktop mode.
    •  This is not to say that LL isn’t working to reduce the minimum hardware specs to run Sansar, however these are currently tied somewhat to the state of tethered VR, and may not be changing that much in the foreseeable future.
  • Some reports had headlined the Steam change as a “move”, implying Sansar will only be available through Stream. This is incorrect (hence why I referred to the change as “expanding” to Steam).
    • Sansar will still be available for download from the Sansar.com.
    • Linden Lab is in discussions with Oculus VR to make Sansar available through the Oculus Store.
  • The decision to use Steam is about trying to grow the Sansar audience and gain a much broader cross-section of feedback on how the platform could be improved.
  • With the launch of Sansar on Steam there will be a significant amount of ad spend to help promote Sansar and raise awareness of the platform.
    • There will also likely be new attractions in Sansar to encourage Steam users into the platform.
    • Closer to the launch date effort will be put into establishing a Sansar community on Steam, again to raise awareness that Sansar is coming to the service.
    • Sansar will be on Steam as an Early Access programme, which will hopefully set expectations among Steam users and help mitigate negative reviews.
  • There are no current plans to integrate Sansar with the Steamworks SDK.

Sandex, Fees and Transactions

  • SandeX is to be discontinued in order to achieve compliance with Valve’s requirements for Sansar to appear on Steam.
    • In short, the SandeX floating exchange rate for S$ purchases is too volatile for Stream, and the Lab’s position as a mediator did not fit with Steam’s model.
    • This means the Lab has to switch its position to selling S$ directly to users, who can then spend them within the platform.
    • Creators can then come back to Linden Lab to convert their S$ to fiat currency through the existing credit process.
  • Sansar Dollar purchases, conversion rates and fees:
    • The conversion rate for buying Sansar dollars will remain at 100/1 (100 Sansar Dollars for US $1.00).
    • The 250/1 (or legacy 143/1) rates will be applied to converting S$ back to USD when cashing out.
    • The legacy rate will be available through until at least December 31st, 2019, which is regarded as being the checkpoint date at which it might be changed.
  • Item sales fees:
    • The 15% transaction fee on the sale of items through the Sansar Store will be removed.
    • The transaction fee on gifting will remain.

  • The credit process for creators cashing out of Sansar will remain more-or-less the same as it is at present.
    • Steam will not be a part of this process.
    • It will not be possible for creators to convert S$ they have purchased back into US $ (so only amounts earned through the sale of goods can be converted).
    • The current fees involved in the credit process will be retained to cover charges the Lab faces in allowing cashing-out as a money transmitter.
  • Sansar Dollar purchases:
    • Buying Sansar Dollars through Stream will see a 30% fee charged by Steam in addition to the Lab’s fees.
    • The Lab’s fee on S$ purchases will also be 30%.
    • Buying Sansar Dollars directly through Sansar.com via credit card will not be subject to the 30% Steam fee.
  • The 30-day request period in credit processing is being introduced to meet with Steam’s transaction processing requirements. In short:
    • A consumer can purchase $S through Steam and immediately use them to buy items on Sansar.
    • Currently, the creator(s) receiving the S$ can then cash out in some 5 days.
    • However, LL will not receive any payment from Steam for the original S$ purchase for 30-60 days.
    • Therefore, the 30-day request period is being introduced to offer a balance between LL paying out to creators and receiving income via Steam from consumer purchases of S$.

There have been mixed feelings over the fee changes, with some creators feeling they are being hit with additional purchase fees and longer credit processing lead times. Others feel that overall, the move will be a net gain when considering the abolition of the 15% sales transaction fee plus the potential for a greater volume of users passing through Sansar and making purchases.

There was some confusion on the use of “eligible creators” in the blog post. The term was intended to indicate there will be no change in who can cash out from the current situation.

Goods Pricing

There was a brief discussion on whether the changes for Steam such have creators increasing their prices.

  • The legacy conversion rate of 143/1 (S$143 to the US dollar) is intended to match the current exchange rate for converting S$ to USD, and so creators shouldn’t need to feel an immediate need to alter pricing.
  • However, with the licensing system fixing the amount of royalties creators can obtain in perpetuity  on their licensed products once sold – and given at some point the S$ to USD conversion rate will become S$250 to the dollar – some creators might opt to alter their pricing structures now so as to compensate any loss of revenue as a result of the future change in the conversion rate.

Continue reading “2018 Sansar Product Meetings #44: Steam – with audio”