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.

 

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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 move 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”

2018 Sansar Product Meetings #43: October release preview

The Art of Drew Struzan: The Studio Experience

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, October 25th. These Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat.

Native Sit Capability

The Sansar team is working on a native sit capability. This would allow avatars to (finally) sit on objects properly in Sansar (rather than using the awkward teleport + “/sit” command.

  • Will likely initially comprise defining a sit point and exit point on an object to allow sitting / standing using (initially) a basic male or female sit pose.
  • This would work on both static and dynamic objects, although it would potentially means that a chair (and its occupant) could be picked-up and thrown / tossed around, something the Lab is a little cautious about allowing.
  • However, the precise mechanism has yet to be determined.

Avatar / Avatar VR  Interactions

A further capability being developed in for users in VR to directly interact with one another via fist bumps and high fives and sense the feedback through their VR controllers.

October Release Preview

Note: although referred to as the October release, the next release for Sansar is now likely to be early in November 2018.

VR Updates

Button Remapping: The next release will see some of the buttons in VR realigned; the teleport function will no longer be a trigger button, but will be moved to the lower thumb button on each controller. This is to start exposing the trigger buttons for use to fire guns, potentially with the upper thumb button being used as a “reload” button, thus increasing the number of buttons being used by Sansar. Within the Sansar team, this work is being called “Project Pew! Pew!”.

IK Updates: the IK movement capabilities in Sansar have been improvements over the last couple of releases, so that avatars closely follow physical movements. These will continue with release #27, which will also allow VR users to see their own avatars in first-person view. The first version view does cause some clipping of the head, depending on how they are rigged. To help reduce this, the October will include documentation to provide guidance on rigging custom avatars.

Hand Gestures: the upcoming will allow hand gestures to be seen in the blue VR hands in third-version views, and the hands will show with custom avatars. So, if some in 1st person is looking down at their hands in VR, they will see the blue hands for manipulation (useful for avatars which may have things like tentacles are longer than the avatar arm). In the future it should be possible to hide the blue hands altogether, such as when a custom avatar’s hands are correctly rigged.

VR menus: the menus displayed in VR are being resized so they don’t dominate the scene when open.

VR keyboard: VR users will be able to call up a VR keyboard and type chat and direct messages, search the Atlas, etc. This will apparently include Swedish characters!

Custom Animations

The October release will allow creators to upload and sell custom animations. Initially, the capability will not include the ability to designate the emote command, so the existing emotes will have to be re-mapped to use  any custom animations on a per-avatar basis.

  • When purchased, the animation will appear in a new emotes library in the character editor, and the user can re-map an emote to use the animation from there. For example, if a custom dance is uploaded, it can be re-mapped to play using one of the existing dance emotes
  • Although this doesn’t mean emotes can only be used for similar animations, any of the emotes can be remapped to use any custom animation.
  • However, as this is on a per-avatar basis, emotes must be re-mapped if the avatar type is swapped from one gender to the other.

The Desktop Mode Menu

The Desktop Mode menu will change to the left side of the screen, and will offer fewer buttons, as the options have been distilled down to logical groupings. So, for example, Go will offer a sub-menu for the Atlas, Events, etc.

  • This is being done to make the UI more user friendly for new users.
  • There are no plans at this time to make the button positions configurable (e.g. left or right, top or bottom of the screen).

New User Experience Update

Starting with the October release, new users will be taken to an experience on logging-in to Sansar for the first time, and have a default avatar. The experience will be one of those currently populated with other people, the idea being to get new users interaction with other users as quickly as possible.

Which experience a new user is sent to will depend on a number of factors: whether it is public; how many are already in it (to avoid sending new users to an experience nearing its capacity and the possibility they may be re-directed to an empty instance); and those experiences that present a heavy  / long load time will also be avoided.

Permissions / Licensing

There will likely not be any changes to the permissions / licensing system in the next release.

Other Items

  • Additional dance emotes: “dance5″ and” will be added to Sansar with the next release, these will also be available for re-mapping to use custom animations.
  • Avatar skin sub-shader: this will initially only be applicable to custom avatars, not the Sansar system avatars – that will come in time. This will eventually allow people to change the skin of their avatars.
  • New typing indicator: this will be displayed in a similar manner to the speaking indicator, above those using text chat when they are typing. The indicator will be shown in both Desktop and VR modes.
  • New emissive shader.
  • Keyboard language options: Sansar will support a broader range of keyboard layouts beyond the English QWERTY layout, with support for around 20 languages.
  • Updates to Chat and People Apps, including working copy / paste of chat.
  • Client settings: new microphone / voice check option
  • Script updates:
    • scripted raycasting.
    • “motions of interia” API to prevent things like spinning gyroscopes toppling over.

In Planning

The Lab is still working on:

  • Providing more sliders for avatar customisation.
  • Offering the means to change attachment points, but there will not necessarily be an increase in the number of attachment points.

2018 Sansar Product Meetings week #42: licensing changes

Courtesy of Linden Lab

Note: This should have been a Product Meeting summary for week #42 2018. Unfortunately, my PC blue screened on me, some 45 minutes into the meeting, and I lost all audio to that point. As such, these notes focus only on the licensing  / permissions changes as reported in the official blog, with some additional notes from the meeting.

Licensing and Permissions

Following the R26 Thumbs Up release on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 and the feedback provided, Linden Lab are making changes to the new Licensing and Permissions system. The full details can be found in the official blog post, and summarised below:

  • All items uploaded prior to the R26 Thumbs Up release are re-designated “Unlicensed” objects.
    • Unlicensed items will once again be editable as they were prior to the R26 release. This includes editing values in scripts, editing materials and all other object properties.
    • Unlicensed items can be combined and saved back to inventory, but they cannot be uploaded to the store and sold.
  • All items uploaded after the R26 deployment are designed as “Licensed” objects.
    • These will have fully editable properties  – including materials (so items no longer have to be set to Full Permissions in order to have their materials editable).
    • Unlicensed items can be combined with Licensed objects (e.g. an unlicensed script can be included in a licensed object) and saved back to inventory. However, the combined object cannot be uploaded to the Store for sale.

These changes will come into effect with a Sansar point release due on or around Thursday, October 18th, 2018.

An important point to note with the changes is that all objects uploaded since the R26 release will, by default have materials editing enabled by default as Licensed objects. Therefore, those items for which the creator does not wish to have materials editing enabled will have to be modified after the update has deployed.

Sample of updates properties editing on Licensed and Unlicensed objects. This was a work-in-progress at the time the images were captured, and the final design may be different on release. Credit: Linden Lab

Additional notes:

  • The official blog post on licensing also includes an FAQ that was a WIP at the time of writing this update, therefore please refer to that post for further updates.
  • There will be a further licensing / permissions update (most likely R28 in November) to surface what is, and what is not, an editable parameter on an object.or combined object.
  • As a reminder: all of the above, and the licensing / permissions system in general, only applied to “in scene” objects, Clothing and worn accessories are currently not a part of the licensing / permissions system, but will be added in the future.
  • To become Licensed products, any objects uploaded prior to R26 must be re-uploaded into order to enabled the ownership / license tracking on it.

 

 

 

 

2018 Sansar Product Meetings week #41

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, October 11th. These Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat. Dates and times are currently floating, so check the Sansar Atlas events sections each week. The meeting was hosted by Eliot, and well attended by members of the Sansar product team, with Ebbe also dropping in.

Release Process Flow: Overview

The various teams working on Sansar are developing and refining multiple features and aspects of the platform, and periodically, a feature freeze is called.

  • This occurs roughly 2-weeks from the planned deployment date for the next release.
  • At this point the decision is made on which features are developed and stable enough to include in that release, and no additional features tend to be added to the release after the feature freeze.
  • Those features assigned to the release then go through extensive testing and bug squashing.
  • The amount of bug fixing, etc, required determines whether the release ships on the target date or slips.

While dates are not set in stone, this cycle means that for the next release, R27, the feature freeze date in October 17th, 2018, and the planned release date in October 31st, 2018.

Release 26: Thumbs Up

General Points

  • New VR hand gestures: the current Vive controller will support the hand clenching gesture; however, as noted in the release notes and my R26 overview, full Vive support for all of the new hand gestures will likely come with support for the new Vive hand controllers.
  • Galen has developed two scripted elements to support the new broadcast capability:
    • The first is a simple trigger volume that can be used for things like stage settings, etc. An avatar standing in the trigger volume will have their voice automatically broadcast throughout the experience.
    • The second is a broadcast script that can be configured to work as required within a scene.
    • Linden lab will be providing simple scripts to support broadcasting as well.
  • Panel readability in VR: there have been requests that the various client panels now visible in VR (e.g. chat, settings) be given a transparent background so they don’t block the world view so much.  However, these requests are countered by those who felt that having the chat panel fairly transparent (as it was during the initial release) made reading text difficult. For their part, the Lab believe what they have with the panels may be the best solution.
  • There appears to be a bug in the scene object drop-down that can lead to something other than the desired object being selected. This has been noted by the Lab, but at the time of the meeting the status of any fix was unknown.
  • A major under-the-hood change made in R26 is to the way the camera’s focus is handled. While this is now much improved, there are edge-cases that need to be tweaked. Examples of this:
    • If an avatar’s name tag is displayed by hovering over it, and an attempt is made to right-click and drag the camera around when the mouse pointer is over the name tag, the camera may not actually move.
    • When selecting objects in the scene-object drop-down, it can be possible to point to one object, but actually select another on clicking.
    • When renaming an object, clicking the anchor the cursor in the text entry field may result in the rename dialogue vanishing.
    • As there is no mechanism to push updates to customers, items updated in this way must be re-purchased at present.
  • Chat copy / paste has been lost in both VR and Desktop mode, this should be corrected in the next release.

Permissions Licensing

  • Materials editing: the decisions to disable in-scene materials editing on purchased legacy objects and the need to make new objects full perm in order to allow in-scene materials editing have both been criticised. Both decisions may yet be subject to revision.
  • Some creators have already started re-listed their items on the store to enable the save to inventory capability introduced with R26.
    • Only re-listing is required to enable this; items do not have to be completely re-uploaded and listing.
    • The process is put the item into a scene, take in to inventory, set the permissions against it, then upload it to the store.
  • It been requested that the Lab provide a means of flagging or tagging items on the Store (and in inventory – which might be harder) to indicate they are legacy (and therefore outside of the new permissions / licensing system). For example, a tag on Store listings to say “legacy Content” or similar, and / or legacy items in inventory appearing in a different colour – e.g. red.

R27 Release (October)

Not many details as yet, as the freeze features date hasn’t been reached. However, the release will hopefully include:

  • Sprint set via settings button.
  • Custom animations upload.

Other Items

  • A point release is being worked on. This may include a fix for an issue whereby assets added to a legacy scene can inherit legacy permissions (those enforced prior to the R26 release).  This release may also include fixes related to the use of folders in scene editing and  other fixes.
  • Twitch channels: when watching a Twitch channel from within Sansar, all avatars watching the stream count as individuals on the stream count.
  • IK issues in VR: when using VR it is still possible to end up with an avatar looking like it is a professional contortionist (or trying to impersonate a pretzel). The Lab is still working on the IK system to prevent this.
  • Setting avatar height / reach arm length: a recent change was to introduce an “arm stretch” movement that is tied to the scaling of an avatar. The result is intended to have the avatar’s height, reach, arm length more close match the user’s actual height, reach and arm length.
    • This help ensures a naturally sense of proportion between user and avatar, for comfort of movement, etc.
    • It has specifically been done to allow avatar scaling in the future – so movements will continue to feel natural in whatever size of avatar is being used, and arm reach will appear correctly proportioned to body size, etc.
    • It does mean there will be a difference in perspective: when inside an experience with a small avatar, the space will appear to be much larger than when using a big avatar.
    • A side issue with this is that the stretch movement has to be performed whenever a headset is worn.The Lab is looking to improve on this, so the movement only has to be performed once, or in specific situation (e.g. when seated or standing).
  • Private messaging. Currently, to find out who is sending a private message, all private messages must be opened. This has been reported and a fix is in the works.
  • Exporting own models: currently, it is not possible to export models from Sansar. With the introduction of the licensing system with R26, it may in the future be possible for creators to export their own models they’ve uploaded to Sansar to help deal with issues of local loss of creations, etc. This currently isn’t a priority for the Lab to develop.
  • Materials editing on uploaded clothing: this has been requested so as to avoid the need to repeatedly upload an item when making adjustments to it. The request will be looked into.
  • The desktop throw animation has been tweaked, and now makes it difficult to simply drop an object after picking it up, and is proving somewhat unpopular.
  • Combining multiple objects into a single unit for resale: how this will work is still under consideration at the Lab. The idea currently being considered is to utilise a folders based approach: saving multiple items (complete with all the local transforms and scripts and associations they have) and extract that back to inventory, then offer the folder on for sale through the Store. People buying the folder would then be able to place it in their scene and see the objects exactly as they were when “packaged”.

2018 Sansar Product Meetings week #35: release R25 preview

Horizon Maze – that’s me, bottom centre, for a sense of scale – blog post

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, August 28th. These Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat. Dates and times are currently floating, so check the Sansar Atlas events sections each week.

Attending this meeting were  Nyx, Derrick, Aleks, Torley and Ebbe. Unfortunately, I was AFK for part of the meeting, and while I was gone, my client disconnected from the meeting location, so I missed some 25 minutes of discussion.

Next Release

At the meeting, Cara confirmed that Permissions / Licensing will not be part of the next release (R25), due to some last-minute issues that need to be addressed. However, items slated to appear include (note this is a limited list, due to my being disconnected from the meeting whilst AFK):

Commerce

  • The initial release of the Sansar Store within the client.
    • The Client version of the store will allow items to be browsed. However, for purchasing, the user will be transferred from the client version of the Store to the web version in their browser.
    • The ability to purchase goods from within the client will be added in a future update.
  • A shopping cart capability in the Sansar Store on the web.
  • The gifting of Sansar Dollars to another avatar will be possible with the next release, although it is be subject to the 15% commission payment to LL – so a gift of S$100 from one avatar to another will in fact be S$115 for the avatar making the gift. The 15% commission charge serves a dual purpose:
    • It is in line with the Lab generating revenue through transactions.
    • More importantly, it prevents users avoiding paying any commission to the Lab by paying one another directly for goods and services.
    • Gifting of goods will be possible in a future release.

Events

  • The next release will allow custom images to be added to people’s events, rather than having to use the experience image.

General

  • A teleport sound will be added, allowing those within an experience to hear when someone has teleported.
  • Avatar-to-avatar collisions will be turned off. This should hopefully prevent narrow passages, doorways, etc., from being blocked by an avatar standing in / in front of a confined space.

Permissions / Licensing

Although it will not be part of the next release, Nyx provided more insight into the permissions that will be available when the system is deployed. These will comprise:

  • Permission for content to be resold, including how much money should be earned by the creator, whether the item is directly re-sold or used as a component within another creator’s item.
    • Included in this is the ability to specify what properties within an object can be further modified by a purchaser. This will allow purchasers to set properties within an object without the creator having to give up the right to earn from any re-sale of the object.
  • Full permissions on an item – essentially an open-source licence for the object and its contents to by used howsoever a buyer wishes, including claiming it as their own, so that no further income is earned by the original creator.
  • There is apparently one further permissions category to be added, and may follow the initial deployment of the permissions system when it happens. However, Nyx did not go into specifics on this.

CDN Asset Distribution

It is hoped that asset delivery for experiences will be moving to CDN (Content Delivery Network) distribution / delivery will be happening in the very near future. This means that rather than having all the data for an experience being delivered from the Amazon services, content assets could be delivered from a “local” CDN cache. It is the approach currently used for asset delivery within Second Life. It is hoped that this move will reduce the load times for those experiences that have had their assets previously cached within a “local” CDN node.

General Discussion

Store

  • There have been further requests for additional store categories (e.g. “Trees and plants”), with ideas being requested. The Lab fully intends to keep adding to the categories list as it become clear what is needed.
  • It has been requested that sub-categories are better surfaced. For example, being able to mouse over the Avatar category, and have the category list expand to show all of the avatar sub-categories, rather than have to go to the Avatar category list, then click for a drop-down of sub-categories. The Lab had been working on something similar to this, but the work was sidelined; it may be resumed.
  • Work is proceeding on making notifications visible to VR users, although this will not be in a forthcoming release.

Edit Server Issues

Some issues have arisen with the move to the Edit Server infrastructure. These include scene settings failing to persist, and scenes reporting as being saved when they have not. One issue with settings failing to persist is the sky being set to 0 – so everything is black when entering the scene in Edit mode. The way to fix this is to go to the scene settings and adjust the sky distance. The Lab has been trying to reproduce the issue with scene settings failing to persist, but so far have not been able to do so.

People having specific, repeated issues with scene settings can made a copy of the scene and contact the Lab, who will take the copy and run it on their test environment for further investigation.

In Brief

  • Support for Nvidia RTX: not currently being planned.
  • Improvements are being made to the Chat App, including quality of life improvements for viewing chat, and (hopefully) timestamps again chat items.
  • Support for custom avatar animations, including the ability to sell them, is planned for the R26 release.
  • Work is progressing on customisable controller options for VR handset – no release date as yet.
  • A virtual keyboard for VR users is also being developed, but not details on how it will work as yet.
  • Disabling capabilities in run-time: this has come up on a few occasions. There is concerns that if there is not a simple, direct way to inform users as to what is / is not permitted in an experience (e.g. having teleports allowed in one experience, but disabled in another), they could become confused when hopping between different experiences.
  • Cancelling an experience load: an option will be coming to allow users to abort loading an experience which is taking – for them – too long.
  • Consideration is being given to changing the Atlas in terms of how experiences are listed (is concurrency the best approach?). This may include providing categories under which experiences can be listed (e.e. Games, Educational, etc.), to make searching and listing experiences easier.