2020 Sansar Product Meetings week #3: looking at 2020

The Nexus, January 2020

The following notes were taken from the Twitch stream recording of the January 16th (week #53) Sansar Product Meeting.

Upcoming R39 Release and Beyond

The upcoming R39 release will include.

Updated Emote (Gestures/ Animations) System

  • A new emote system that will initially allow users to:
    • Find an emote on the Store and immediately use it without having to go to the character editor to assign it.
    • Allow emotes to be assigned to short cut keys in Desktop mode, so they do not have to be selected as played via the emotes wheel.
  • For VR use, the system will present a new panel for emote selection, but will not allow specific emotes to be tied to controller buttons.
    • When assigning an emote, it will automatically switch to 3rd person view allowing the user to check to see what the emote actually does to their avatar.
    • Thereafter, the emote can be toggled on / off via the panel.
  • Subsequent releases will expose the system to manipulation via script for use by creators to assign animations to users engaged in their worlds / games / quests.
    • As it is driven by the server, it will mean they may be some delay in emoted running which might impact certain types of animation playback (e.g. sword swings and the like).
    • However it should allow for actions such as pulling levers, opening doors, synchronising dancing among a group of avatars, etc.

Instance Picker

  • Where more than one instance of a world / event is running, will:
    • Make it easy for users to see the instances and join them
    • Give the ability to share the instance URL with friends who can use it to access the instance.
  • Will be updated in subsequent releases to allow:
    • Users to see how many are active within each instance of a world / event.
    • Possibly see which instance of a world their friends are in and more easily access that instance (subject to capacity) to join them.

Other Items Planned for R39

  • Updated Starter Avatar Carousel: intended to offer new users better define an avatar and build a look using free (I assume) items from the Store.
  • New Twitch integration specifically aimed at events and streaming events by users.
  • A further round of bugs fixes.

Beyond R39

The following updates are planned for after R39, but potentially within a 2020 Q1 release time frame:

  • Scene-based Backpack improvements: extending the Backpack functionality to provide creators with an API that allows them to add / remove items from the backpack of users visiting their worlds, and which can be used at specific points in a scene. For example:
    • In a quest, a user finds a sword, and the sword is added to their backpack and is available for use when they need it.
    • In a game, a user finds a “power pack” then can use once, after which it is removed.
    • At an event, a DJ hits a button and all attendees receive an object they can wear  / use within the event, or have the items in their backpack change to match whatever music is being played.
  • Moderation Tools:
    • These will initially be enhanced for the Lab, then offered to world creators and will likely include: easier means of muting people, removing them from a world, etc.
    • They will also likely be matched by in-client improvements to managing whitelists, etc., and for raising tickets.
  • In-world social activity improvements:
    • Making it easier to find / add friends and communicate with them.
    • Introducing the notion of group travel and group chat.

UI Re-design

As per the last Product Meeting of 2019, a “comprehensive” client UI redesign is in the works for 2020 to make accessing capabilities in the client easier and provide more intuitive controls over some functions (e.g. adjusting the volume at which you hear other individuals talking), etc.

Some of this work, such as individual voice volume controls for other avatars, may be surfaced in 2020 Q2 (April-June).

Q&A Session Summary

Why is Collaborative World Building Hard to Implement?

Collaborative world building – people working together to build a world together – has been a constant request, and one promised as “coming”. However, it is proving hard to implement.

  • Edit Mode was original client-side, and thus hard to implement on a collaborative basis.
  • It was moved to being server-side with the intent to make offering collaborative editing in a single server space possible.
  • However, the Edit Server system also has to handle aspects of licensing and edit process validation, and managing this when when several people are working on a single scene has proven difficult to achieve.

General Questions

  • Will it be possible to see the total number of people in Sansar, including those in Edit Mode and / or in non-public worlds, at any given time?
    • Has been discussed at LL, but has not seen any move to implement.
    • Will be added back to the list for further internal discussion.
  • Will it be possible for creators to limit the number of people accessing an individual instance of a world (e.g. a team game / quest that is best played by a defined number of users without risk of other wandering around spoiling things, or to simply to maintain a good level of performance within a complex environment)?
    • No plans at present to limit the number of people accessing worlds below that set by LL.
    • There are issues in doing so. For example: instances incurs cost. If a game is limited to 10 players but is very popular among users, resulting in dozens (or more) instances at any given time, who meets the cost of AWS provisioning and running all those instances?
  • When will a) custom skin texture uploads and b) full body avatar deformation be made available?
    • a) Custom skin textures may appear before the end of 2020 Q1, but may not be immediately made available to creators at that time.
    • b) Full body sliders are still considered to be “further out, for sure”, with no defined time frame.
  • What is the official stance on the invisible avatars available in the Store being used to eavesdrop on others, particularly as they are hard to detect?
    • No official policy at present, and currently down to individual world creators to determine how to respond to the use of such avatars.
    • LL have encountered them being used for griefing / trolling in worlds, and have moderated (banned?) on this basis.
    • The Nearby panel can be used to see who is nearby in a scene, and in VR there is is the “person person who” for a list of people in the world with you.
  • Financial / revenue:
    • Will the percentages taken by Linden Lab on cashing-out from Sansar be reduced in 2020? No plans to do so.
    • Will tipping be possible in Sansar? This is being explored, but no firm decisions as to how it might work or when it might be introduced. If / when such a capability is introduced, it will likely include the option for users to cash-out what they have earned, although a fee may apply.
  • Will it be possible for VR users to remain in VR when their avatar is seated? Eventually, yes.
    • However there are issues to be resolved (e.g. what happens to the avatar when you physically turn in your chair?).
    • Hopefully, whatever is implemented will also take into consideration full body tracking as well, and deal with current issues of VR hand placement.
  • Will it ever be possible for creators to develop their own websites where visitors can sign-up / access Sansar directly, without having to go via Sansar.com? This is not something on the roadmap at this time.
  • What is the status of Try Before You Buy?
    • Still being discussed, and unlikely to appear until much later in 2020.
    • Ideally, LL would like to have this available in both Edit Mode and the Look Book:
      • In Edit Mode it would allow a creator to build a scene using items from the store they can place out and test in their scene, then prior to publishing, be presented with a breakdown of the third-party items and their cost, together with an option to buy them, which must them be accepted in order to the scene to be published with all of the items included (which are added to the creator’s inventory).
      • In the Look Book, it would allow a user to outfit their avatar with clothing and accessories from the Store and then being presented with a breakdown of the items and their cost, and an option to buy them when saving the avatar.
  • “Joint” system: mentioned in 2019, this would allow avatars to be linked to objects (e.g. a vehicle), objects to avatars, object to other objects etc. It is not currently being worked on, but is something the Sansar team would like to get back to in 2020, possibly in Q2.
  • Facial expressions: something the Lab would like to implement, possibly akin to the emotes system and using user-generated emotes alongside some basic options, but still discussing best approach (should expressions be selectable from a panel, a-la the current emotes system? Should emotes trigger an expression (e.g. give a thumbs-up and the avatar smiles)? Should they be triggered via a text chat keyword in a similar manner to SL gestures?, etc).
  • What about the ability to just recompile scripts in Edit Mode without having to re-bake an entire scene? Has been requested numerous times and is something the Sansar Studios team would like as well, but no indication on when it might be provided.
    • One idea being considered is to have a “test” option of some description that allows a “limited” bake of a scene for repaid testing / iteration when building a scene.
  • Will clothing layering be added to Sansar?
    • Marvelous Designer® supports this, and a mechanism to make the ability visible / usable in Sansar needs to be added.
      • For now in MD, items overlaying others can be achieved using the clothing simulation option (e.g. wear a shirt and then a jacket, and use the simulation tools to select the jacket and shape it so it properly lays over the shirt).
    • For rigged clothing the issue is harder to solve.

Sansar Product Meetings week #51

Bryn Oh, Handblog post

The following notes were taken from the Twitch stream recording of the December 19th (week #51) Sansar Product Meeting.

Point Releases for R38

There have been three point releases for the R38 “Rediscover the Party” since December10th, none of which have had release notes posted to the Sansar website.  The core element of these point releases was bug fixes and performance improvements.

Linden Lab and IP

There has apparently been a lot of discussion about (and confusion over) the Lab’s approach to IP protection on Sansar. As a result, Lacie Linden has published A Word About IP on the Sansar blog. This specifically references Linden Lab’s

Both of which can be found on the Lab’s corporate website, and which apply equally to all of the Lab’s platforms.

Plans for 2020

Emotes

  • Updated emote (gestures/ animations) system coming “soon”. This will include the ability to obtain an emote from the Sansar Store and immediately use it and assign a keyboard short-cut to it.
  • Emotes will also be per account in the future, not per avatar – a move intended to remove the need to re-apply emotes to each avatar a user creates.
  • A downside of this is that when first introduced, the new emote system will mean script will no longer be able to access the number keys without triggering an emote.
    • However, a means for users to re-bind keys to whatever they want will be provided, so scripts will not longer be pointing at a specific key, but rather an identifier, which can have any key assigned to it.

Animations

  • Synchronised dancing for music events – probably built into the dance floor, which they set avatars dancing, rather than using emotes.
    • API will allow for both full body and upper body looping and / or single play. This won’t interfere with people wanting to use their own dances.
    • This system will also support other uses with animations.
  • The default idle animation is to be improved.

Backpack

The Backpack is to be extended so that individual scenes (worlds) can define what the Backpack contains. This will include a scripting API to define the state / content of the Backpack at different points in a world (e.g. reach a point in a quest where you have obtained an item, and it is unlocked in the Backpack and available for use).

New User Experience / First 10 Minutes in Sansar

This is to be entirely re-thought, with changes to the initial on-boarding quest experience. This is to align the on-boarding experience more with music and live events – the current focus for Sansar development and audience acquisition.

Moderation Tools

These are to be enhanced, initially for Lab staff but then for world creators – e.g. muting people more easily, removing them from a world, etc. Together with in-client improvements to managing whitelists, etc., and for raising tickets.

Avatar

  • The ability to upload and use custom skins will hopefully be one of the first early avatar updates for 2020.
  • A lot of work has been completed on the full body deformation capability, but it is not clear where the work sits in the work order for 2020.

UI Re-design

There will likely be a “comprehensive” client UI redesign in 2020, aimed at things like reducing the number of clicks required to get to certain capabilities, improving the information available in certain panels (e.g. local chat), with options to use this information to access other panels (e.g. access a user’s Profile from local chat and then adjust the volume at which you hear their voice chat).

This work is forming the “tail end” of a lot of “other, bigger changes”.

Q&A Session Summary

  • There have been reports of issues with the Look Book – items not updating what changing an avatar; saving updates taking a long time. There has been some work going on with the look Book, and this may have caused a few bugs, which are being / have been addressed by the Sansar team.
  • Nexus sounds: the background sounds (referred to as the “old sounds” are interfering with the music, etc.. These are to be removed.
  • The bug by which a blocked individual can continue to harass in local text chat is being investigated.
  • The Sansar team is looking at a lot of the pain points within the content creation process in order to try to smooth the process end-to-end and make it easier for content to be brought into Sansar and used to create scenes and worlds. This work may encompass things like UI improvements and allowing creators to version their worlds.
  • Will there be an AFK indicator when people are absent their computer? Being considered, but not clear if this will be SL-like or something like returning an avatar to their Home Space after a certain amount of time inactive has passed.
  • Tipping: is also being looked at, but may be driven from tipping “official” performers rather than a generic person-to-person exchange of Sansar Dollars.
  • A Sansar mobile client is still on the road map, but no significant updates at the moment other than it is being worked on.
  • Why is is still necessary to run events in a copy of a world, rather than the original? This actually goes back to the way in which the ticketing system works – and this is frustrating for the Lab and world creators, as it is still inward-facing (creators cannot as yet make use of it for generating revenue off of their own events).

Sansar R38 release overview

A Victorian Christmas

On Tuesday, December 10th, Linden Lab deployed the Sansar R38 release, entitled “Rediscover the Party” release. It’s again something of a comparatively small update, but brings with it changes that have been requested by users and creators.

Key updates with this release that are covered in this article comprise:

  • Changes on logging-in.
  • Codex improvements to help world discovery.
  • Events changes.

As always, please refer to the formal release notes for full details of all the updates in R38.

Changes on Logging-In

With this update, existing users are no longer channelled to the Nexus by default (forcing them to cancel the world launch in order to reach their Home Space or Go Home from the Nexus). Instead, existing users are delivered to their Home Space directly on logging-in.

Also, with this release, the Quest Log is closed by default when logging in (as per multiple user requests). It will open automatically on accepting a new quest or can be re-opened manually via Go → Quests.

The Codex and Discovering Worlds

Since the introduction of the Nexus and Prime Portal with the R36 release (see: Sansar: R36 – Avatar 2.0 the Nexus, the Codex and more) there has been concern that forcing users to go to the Nexus and visit the Prime Portal in order to discover new worlds was causing a bottleneck on users willingness to discover new worlds and explore, and simply stick to those within their Codex.

At the time of the R36 release, Linden Lab stated they would monitor the situation and make changes as and when they felt it necessary. With this release, and following the voiced concern and their own tracking of user behaviour, the functionality found in the client version of the Codex has been updated to shift the Prime Portal functionality to the Codex with the Lab noting:

We (and you) found that after the change to make the Prime Portal in the Nexus the hub of all travel we noticed that it was actually much more difficult and confusing, especially for newer players, to find new interesting and populated Worlds to explore.

We’re bringing back the old view which we used to call the Atlas; where all published Worlds were always available from the Explore menu. There’s no longer a requirement to travel to the Nexus and interact with the Prime Portal in order to find new Worlds to explore and people to meet.

The new-look Codex – avoids the need for users to go to the Nexus and the Prime Portal to discover new worlds

As such, the updated Codex now resembles the Prime Portal panel. By default, it will open on the Explore tabs that offers:

  • A list of events ordered by time and date, with the most recent first.
    • Hovering the mouse over a thumbnail will bring up the Interested button (adds the event to your calendar) or transfer you to the event if it is about to start.
    • Alternatively, clicking on an event thumbnail will display more information about it.
  • Worlds ordered in terms of Popular (visitors at the time the Codex was opened); Featured (those selected by the Sansar team for special highlighting); Community Favourites (worlds that have previously enjoyed a high level of activity by users); New (worlds recently published) Recently Updated (self-explanatory).

Further:

  • In all cases of the above, a full list of events or worlds in each category can be accessed by clicking the See All buttons associated with each category.
    • Note that clicking See All from the Popular list will open a page of ALL published worlds.
  • Tabs at the top of the Codex allow for easy movement between the Explore page and those for Events, and worlds the users has: marked as a favourite; visited; or created.
  • The search and sort options from the Codex remain as per R36.

These changes have been welcomed by users and creators on Sansar Discord.

Events Update

Users can now see the level of interest in an event (web Atlas event page shown)

One of the problem with events – in terms of getting together with other users – is actually seeing how popular an event might be with others ahead of time, rather than on arrival.

To help with this, Sansar R38 introduces a count of those who have registered an interest in an event. This is displayed on the event detail page on the web Atlas or within the Codex / Prime Portal.

However, there is a slight issue with this in the initial release: the number of those interested in attending an event is not registering / updating in the Codex or Prime Portal event details pages.

Feedback

Another small updated compared to R36, but one that responds to multiple requests from users and creators, and which hopefully encourage exploration of worlds by users. I admit that since the introduction of the Prime Portal as the means for discovering worlds, I’ve actually been using the web version of the Atlas in preference to going to the Nexus / Prime Portal, so I’ll be interested to see how the new Codex changes my behaviour in future.  Hopefully the events interest indicator on the Codex  / Prime Portal will be fixed in an upcoming point release.

Sansar: of backpacks and vehicles

Playing with the Backpack in Sansar

On Tuesday, November 19th, the second Sansar R37 point release was made (oddly dated “November 11th” in the release notes), containing the first pass of a much-requested capability. Also on the same day, a short video was dropped on Twitter previewing the first cut towards providing another oft-requested feature at some point in the future.

R37 Release Update 2 – The Backpack

Critiques levelled at Sansar by users and creators is the lack of the ability for using items from their inventory in-world, or to have a means of conveniently carrying multiple items they can then call upon when needed without necessarily having them attached to their avatar all the time.

These requests have typically revolved around the idea of a “backpack” that can be used to store such items (perhaps even collected from within a world, during the course of a quest for example), and from which they can be drawn and used when needed.

The R37 Release Update 2 offers the first pass at trying to address at least some of the functionality for such a “backpack”. However, rather than being an item worn directly by the avatar, the Backpack takes the form of a new UI element that is only active in worlds where its use has been allowed. With this initial release, the Backpack comes with 6 items:

  • 3 items that automatically attach to the avatar (right hand): two light wands and a light disc / frisbee
  • 3 dynamic objects that can be dropped in-world, picked up, pushed around, etc: a die, a beach ball, a balloon.

It is used by clicking on the UI button, then clicking on the the required item’s image. Those that can be worn are attached directly to the avatar; those that can be dropped in-world spawn directly in front of the avatar. All six items can be be thrown, pushed, dropped or picked up, and can also (with this release at least) be “shared” between avatars: if avatar A drops a ball in world, Avatar B can push it around or pick it up.

The Sansar Backpack UI element and the initial 6 default items within it

These objects are perhaps not intended to be useful (although the light wands and disc would likely find use when dancing), but appear to be geared more towards simple demonstrations of what the Backpack can initially do.

Further key points with the Backpack are:

  • With this initial release, the Backpack has been enabled throughout all public worlds in Sansar by default. World creators can opt to disable (or re-enable) it via Scene Settings → Backpack → Item Source setting.
  • There is currently no means to “return” an item to the Backpack – items can only be spawned / dropped in a world.
  • Concerns have been raised over the impact (visual / performance) in having Backpack items littering a scene. However, a time-out of approximately 4 minutes is enforced on items spawn (either in-world or held by an avatar) is enforced.
  • As per the week #46 Product Meeting, a future iteration on the Back will allow world creators to define a list of objects that can be spawned within their world(s).

Other Items in the Update

In addition to the Backpack, the R37 Update 2 introduces Valve Index Headset and Controller tracking (finger tracking is not yet supported). There has also been a minor tweak the to Nexus teleport portal seen in the Home Space, and a number of bug fixes – see the release notes for more.

Vehicles in Sansar

Another long-time request for Sansar has been the ability for avatars to correctly operate (“drive”, etc.) vehicles. Again, it is a capability that Linden Lab has indicated it is a capability they would like to introduce to Sansar at some point.

During the week #46 Sansar Product Meeting, it was indicated that the Sansar team were experimenting with the idea of “jointing” or “sticking” avatars to dynamic objects such as vehicles, and on November 19th, a video showing some of this experimentation was tweeted via the @SansarOfficial Twitter feed, and is reproduced below (note that this video is looped).

This doesn’t necessarily mean the drivable vehicles are about to become a “thing” with Sansar – the video seems to indicate the system is still very rough around the edges and in need of further refinement – but it does show that vehicles (at least land vehicles) could be something Sansar may be on the way to getting.

The R37 Update 2 point release and the video might go some small way to countering some of the perception that, as a result of the switch in focus to live events, LL are “pausing” Sansar development in other areas – although admittedly, it will only be through the course of further major releases to the platform that we’ll really have insight into how LL will continue to enhance the platform with significant capabilities and options beyond supporting “live” virtual events.

Sansar Product Meetings week #46: feedback session

The Nexus – changing coming

The following notes were taken from the Twitch stream recording of the November 14th (week #46) Sansar Product Meeting. This meeting provided the opportunity for general feedback following the recent R37 release.

Note: As always, the Q&A session included questions on very specific issues individual creators have encountered and which may not be common across Sansar, and for which a clear-cut answer could not be given at the meeting. Such questions do not form a part of this summary, and interested parties are referred to the Twitch video.

General Items of Discussion

Individual Volume Controls

A long standing request for Sansar has been to provide users with a means to adjust the volume at which they hear other individual users on voice. It’s a request that LL have said they will address at some point without giving a firm commitment as to when. Because of this, users have taken to carrying signs spelling out the request.

Volume control placards – somewhat mindful of early SL protests by users

So to start the meeting, the Sansar team indicated they are now working on such an individual avatar voice control slider, and sought feedback in terms of:

  • Where should the control appear? Should it be a slider in the avatar tag that’s displayed when mousing over / pointing to another user? Should it be a UI control embedded in a panel? If the latter, then where – the People panel or the avatar Profile panel, or both?, etc.
  • Once set, should it persist between sessions / worlds?

The general feedback would be to have the control as easily accessible as possible, and to not have it persist between sessions.

Pilot Programme: Event Hosting

With the focus for Sansar now on events, LL is looking to try to offer incentives for world creators to host events of their own. As a part of this, they are looking to run what they are calling a “modular” events programme, starting with an initial pilot that they hope to launch soon.

  • Details on this are sketchy, and appear to be more in a realm of discussions with individual world creators at present, rather than a more formal, open discussion.
  • Most of what LL appear to be looking for at the moment is feedback on what they can do to help world creators to host events, and what incentives creators would like to see on offer for doing so.
  • It is anticipated that “open recruitment” for the pilot programme will commence some time in the next month, with more details provided ahead of time.

Sansar Discord Contest Channel

There is a new Contests channel on the Sansar Discord server, and world creators are welcome to use that to announce any contests they are running.

Nexus Reversal?

Since the introduction of the Nexus and Codex, users have had to visit the Nexus and the the Prime Portal in order to visit worlds than have not previously visited. Linden Lab now appear to be preparing to revise this at some point and re-introduce Atlas-style accessibility to all public worlds.

When is a good question, but we are moving in the direction of – if you remember what the Atlas was  – more like that. Basically, everything that’s [publicly] available in Sansar will be immediately at your finger tips through what is now the Codex, rather than requiring you to go to the Prime Portal at the Nexus to find new stuff.

… Basically, anything that you can access through the Prime Portal now will just be natively available through your Codex in the very near future.

– Zaius Linden (video 41:50-42-50)

Spawning from Inventory In-world

Ability allow users to spawn items from their inventory directly into a world.

  • The first part of this will be the ability to spawn a series of toys that LL provide.
  • The follow-up will be for creators to define a list of objects that can be spawned within their world.
  • Both will include a scripted means for such objects to be removed from the world when no longer required.

R37 Point Release

There was a point release for R37 (“release update 1“) on Wednesday, November 13th. This included:

  • A new scripted ability that has been implemented in readiness for an upcoming feature. It allows (say) store creators to create a “dressing room door” portal that takes users directly to their Look Book where they can try purchased items (and use the Return to World button to go back to the store if they wish).
  • A “pre-release” for data persistence capabilities – utilises an HTTP API to allow key value persistence for things like checkpoints in quests, etc. Regarded as a “pre-release”, as currently no supporting documentation is available for it, and it is recognised this and some simple scripting support is required.
    • Those interested in learning more are invited to attend the Scripting Office Hours on Friday, November 22nd, when it is hoped more information will be available.

Q&A Session

  • Avatar texture LOD system: as well as being defined by a memory cap, the avatar texture LOD (level of detail) is also defined by distance from the camera. There has been a request to set this parameter higher or to allow the user some control over it, as currently, simply trying to get a full-body snapshot of an avatar can lead to a degree of LOD degradation.
  • Will the camera scripts be further enhanced be LL providing camera simple scripts? Not currently – however, contributed scripts on the subject are welcome via github.
  • Can there be an “upcoming events” information board in the Nexus? Yes – LL is working on refinements to the Nexus that include more portals (including to community built worlds), event boards, etc. No time frame on delivery was given, but the changes were described as making it more like a “Times Square” in terms of available information.
  • What is the strategy to get more than just LL staff and “Sansar regulars” attending events, and to bring new users into the platform?
    • “Long term” approach, with part of the focus on running events that keep the current users engaged in the platform and encourage other creators to run their own events, further adding to retention.
    • Partnerships are seen as both raising Sansar’s visibility among audiences and helping partners to raise their visibility with potentially new audiences.
      • An example of this is Monstercat being able to use Sansar to extend their reach into streaming content providers like Twitch.
    • Partnerships also raise product / platform awareness among the respective parties own audiences.
    • Events hep produce promotional material Linden Lab can use to both promote the platform to the media, etc., and use to encourage other potential corporate partners (and potential clients?) into trying the platform.
    • The longer term goal is to generate a lot more general interest among people involved in various forms of activity and entertainment that can be translated into Sansar events, and encourage them both to attend and to further explore Sansar (by participating in quests, attending community events, etc.), so that they might convert from visitors to engaged users.
  • Will it be possible to change the UI size for those on bigger / very high resolution monitors? This is a known issue the Lab intends to address – but no time frame on when.
  • Will there be a local clear cache option in the client? No on the immediate road map. Ideally, LL would like a system where the cache could be cleared without user intervention (e.g. when installing a client update) or to make the cache location selectable by the user (so they can place it on a much larger drive partition, for example).
  • Will it be possible to link and avatar to a keyframed or dynamic object? Something LL want to get to. Currently experimenting with “jointing” – “sticking” to arbitrary things together (e.g. and object linked to an avatar’s arm that allows the avatar to sit on a roller coaster). No time frame on if / when this might be surfaced as a feature / capability.
    • LL would also like to get to a point were animations in objects will drive the avatar (e.g. so when using a baseball bat, the bat will automatically drive the avatar’s swinging motion / body animation when using it to strike a ball).

Sansar R37 release overview

The Sansar Space Squad Shooting Gallery

On Thursday, November 7th, Linden Lab deployed the Sansar R37 release, entitled “The Party Won’t Stop Release”. This is a smaller release than the October R36, but includes a series of much-requested updates, including:

  • Improvements to events management.
  • Avatar system updates.
  • Scene creation improvements.

As always, full details of the update can be found in the official release notes. The following is just a summary.

Events Updates

Events are no longer linked to scenes, but to published worlds. When creating an event, a copy of the selected published world and which is visited by those attending the event. However, the original version of the world is added to addendees Codex, allowing them the re-visit the world after the event has concluded and the event version is no longer available, while traffic for the event is added to the original world’s traffic numbers.

In addition:

  • R37 adds a new event notification capability to the client. This sends notices to those who have expressed an interest in the event when access is possible to the event version of the world, and when the event starts.
  • Creators can now link to specific spawn point coordinates – see below for more.

Avatar Updates

R37 provides support for uploading custom avatars with premorphed skeletons. This allows creators to adjust the bones of the reference base skeleton to make taller or shorter avatars with different bone structures. For best results, the avatar should be in the A pose when modifying. Note that these updates do not include bone rotation or scaling.

The avatar Axis Aligned Bounding Box (AABB) limits have been adjusted:

  • Max AABB – 2.3m tall, .05m below the ground plane, 1.2m left and right, .4m front, 1.1m back
  • Min AABB – .9m tall, .25m left and right, .06m front to back

Avatar Editing Freecam

It is now possible to freecam within the Avatar Editor (Look Book). Pressing F4 or clicking the Camera button in the bottom left of the Avatar Editor screen. When active, zooming in/out and panning up / down is possible using the standard camera control keys.

The Avatar Editor camera button

Avatar texture LOD

R37 includes the first release of a new avatar texture LOD system which will adjust avatar visual quality based on certain parameters to maintain product performance.

This will load up to 100MB of texture data per avatar. Any texture data in excess of 100MB will be down-sampled until it falls to 100MB. This means that the visual quality of an avatar may be reduced on some occasions. The limit may be adjusted for large events, which may affect the visual quality of an avatar further.

Scene Editing Improvements

Custom Spawn Points

It is now possible to add spawn points as a component on objects in a scene. This means that specific spawn points within scene other than the primary spawn point can be assigned (so, for example, if a portal is set within a scene to transport avatars to another scene, and can return to that portal rather than the main spawn point in a world when “returning”).

Defined spawn points can also be specified in the URL for a world using the #, allowing users to be directed to a specific spawn point within a world from a web page. For example: atlas.sansar.com/experiences/[creatorname]/[experience]#spawnpointname. See Object Editing for more.

Camera Object Component

The camera can also be added as a component on objects, which can be activated and controlled by scripts. They can be positioned and oriented like any other object in the scene, and can be copied as a reference and pasted on a camera script parameter.

Other Scene Editing Updates

  • New Grid section under Scene Settings that allows you to enable Snap to Grid on/off and set the snapping distance coordinates. This works with move, rotate, and planar tools.
  • Texture memory counter added to the Object stats Tool.
  • The colour picker panel can now be moved around the editor to any desired location on the screen.
  • Desktop aim improvements: a new “aim at cursor” property (optional) for the Grab Point component. When set, the avatar will hold the object so that it points towards the direction or object the mouse cursor is hovering over. In mouse-look mode, it will point towards wherever the reticle is pointed at.

In-Client Store Updates

The in-client store has been updated to include:

  • New filters to allow avatar clothing and accessories to filtered by male, female or all genders and / or by Marvelous Designer, Rigged or Static (Accessories).
The in-client store now includes new filters for avatar clothing and accessories (e.g. filter clothing by gender – shown)
  • Clickable item tags, allowing you to look at a filtered list based on that tag.
  • Creator names are now clickable and will take you to the creator’s store.
In-client updates: clicking a creator’s name will display their store (1); the copy URL button (2) allows you to copy the URL for a specific item and share in it chat in the client (as a clickable link) use in a web page, etc.
  • New copy URL button on the item details page to enables you to share direct URLs to specific store items.
    • This option is not available in the client for items that are hidden. Creators who are interested in grabbing a hidden item’s link may do so on web from the manage listings page.
    • Pasting item links in nearby or direct chat will open the item in the store.
  • Resale information and price are now exposed in the item details page.
  • Hyperlinks within store listing description will resolve into clickable links. [IN CLIENT ONLY].
    • Valid experience links can be visited to and from within the description itself.
    • Product listing links will open within client itself.
    • External links will open in browser.

Other updates

  • R37 includes an extensive list of script system updates, including the camera and spawn point updates noted above. Please refer to the release notes for details.
  • With R37, it is now possible to abandon quests you are no longer interested in.
    • Open the Quest panel.
    • Click on the quest you wish to abandon.
    • Click the Abandon Quest button on the Quest Info tab of the panel.