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Showing posts with label Project Sansar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Project Sansar. Show all posts

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sansar goes into open beta - Lacy Muircastle reporting...

Any opinions stated in this article are mine and not that of the owners and publishers of the SL Enquirer.

Are those of us who enjoy dabbling in virtual worlds, with virtual lives and experiences just suckers for virtually nothing?

Virtual life is an escape from reality is it not?  It’s a way of taking your dreams and making something of them.  It’s about socialisation in an increasingly isolating real world.

More and more of us work from home these days, which means that more and more of us will want to find ways of integrating into society in alternative forms.  Enter Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media applications.  They serve the purpose of keeping us connected, but I don’t believe that it’s the same as socialising.  Before the appearance of social media, there was Second Life.

I read an article which said that SL died when social media hit the scene.  Maybe it stalled, but it didn’t die.  Second Life is very much alive and well.  The fluidity of those who are resident is a constant, but it continues to offer the platform to be who you want to be and to be able to do what you want to do.

All the world’s a stage, and that goes for virtual worlds too.  Linden Lab, the company behind the virtual world Second Life, launched its alternative platform Sansar into open beta on the 31 July 2017.  This iteration of a virtual world or should that be worlds is built for the VR era. VR as in affixing a headset to your face…  Supposedly the much vaunted Sansar takes a new approach to virtual worlds.

Whereas Second Life was built as one single world, Sansar’s architecture is more like a platform. On it, “creators” can host virtual worlds and experiences for others to visit.

The creations are not placed in one continuous virtual space; instead, they are individual experiences which can be accessed by browsing the Atlas. Each experience or virtual world in Sansar is also its own entry point into the platform.

Linden Lab’s business model for Sansar is to let people visit worlds on the platform for free, but charge creators who want to host more than three experiences (virtual worlds).  Creators too will have mechanisms available to “sell, rent, or charge for access” to earn from their creations. Though still in Beta, Linden Lab is already offering paid tiers for hosted experiences starting at $10/month for five hosted experiences.
That’s a significant shift from Second Life’s business model where users rent a virtual real estate in the virtual world, allowing them to build in that area of the map.

The main difference between the way Sansar will function versus how Second Life operates will be in how Sansar makes its money. In Second Life, the price of a sim tended to be far too pricey, running users more than $100 per month for a full-sized sim space, while sales on the Marketplace and in-world see very little tax. With Sansar, Linden Lab plans to flip this model – allowing users to acquire space at a more reasonable price and taking more of a cut for user sales.

In previous articles, Linden Lab CEO, Ebbe Altberg described Sansar as a bit like WordPress for virtual reality with the goal to make creation easy and for spaces to gain followings of their own. Platforms like Sansar are trending towards the future of VR – where virtual reality isn’t just for gameplay, but for social interaction and experiences. But… That must still be some way down the line.  Yes, I know it’s still in Beta, which means if you thought you would be getting the endless social VR experiences Linden Lab touted at the outset of the project you'd have to wait a little longer.

I have downloaded Sansar and have been in to see it for myself. It was an excruciating experience in frustration.  I checked that my computer could handle the download and that I had enough bandwidth, but wow, what a total pain in the neck the process was.  But it took many; many goes before it worked.
Eventually, I managed to log in to one of the Sansar Studio experiences (in desktop mode.  I don’t own a headset,) but then what.  I’m not a gamer, so I didn’t instinctively know how to look around, walk around, etc.  Thankfully there was someone there who helped me find my feet.

So for those of you going in to explore Sansar, I’ve included the control instructions (desktop mode) from their help page.  Good luck and have fun.

Controls for visiting an experience:

Avatar controls

Use these controls to move your avatar in desktop mode:
Arrow keys: Move your avatar forward, backwards, left, and right.
WASD: Move your avatar forward, backwards, left, and right.
F3: Toggle between first person and third person view.
Use these controls to move your avatar in desktop mode only:
Hold CTRL: Select a teleport destination. 
Click the left mouse button while holding CTRL: Teleports your avatar to the selected location.
Scroll the middle mouse button while holding CTRL (prior to teleporting): Choose the direction your avatar faces upon completing the teleport.

Camera controls

Use these controls to control camera movement in desktop mode:

Hold the right mouse button + drag: Rotate camera to look around the environment.
F4: Enter free camera mode when not using a VR headset.
Arrow keys: Move camera forward, backwards, left, and right (free-camera mode).
WASD: Move camera forward, backwards, left, and right (free-camera mode).
E, C: Move the camera up and down.
NUMPAD+: Increase camera movement speed.
NUMPAD-: Decrease camera movement speed.
F3: Exit free camera mode.
Note: An extended keyboard's numeric keypad is needed for the above NUMPAD (numeric keypad) shortcuts to increase/decrease camera movement speed. It won't work on a tenkeyless or other small-form-factor keyboard. An add-on USB numeric keypad should work.

Chat controls

Use these controls with text on the Chat app in desktop mode:

CTRL + X: Cut text.
CTRL + C: Copy text.
CTRL + V: Paste text.
CTRL + A: Select all text.

Controls for edit mode

Camera Controls

Use these controls when editing a scene in desktop mode:

Arrow keys: Move the camera forward, backwards, left, and right.
W, A, S, D: Move the camera forward, backwards, left, and right.
E, C: Move the camera up and down.
NUMPAD+ and NUMPAD-: Increase and decrease camera speed.
Hold left mouse button and drag: Move the camera left and right.
Hold right mouse button and drag: Rotate the camera up, down, left, and right.
F1: Toggle VR mode.

Action buttons

Use these controls when editing objects placed in a scene:

CTRL + Z: Undo
CTRL + Y: Redo
CTRL + D: Duplicate
Delete button: Delete
Controls for avatar customization
Action buttons
Use these controls when editing objects placed in a scene:
CTRL + Z: Undo

CTRL + Y: Redo

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sansar democratising VR as a creative medium - Lacy Muircastle reporting...

Time and tide wait for no man, or avatar in this instance and Linden Lab have been beavering away for a while now (or in other words developing) a new platform for creating social VR experiences.  It is due for public release in early 2017.

 “When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself.”  Isak Dinesen

It’s with this tenacity that the team at Linden Lab who are working on the Sansar Project have applied themselves.

Yesterday Wednesday August 31, 2016 - Linden Lab® announced that the first invitations to the Sansar™ Creator Preview were being sent out this week. Select applicants will be invited to create their own social VR experiences within the new platform, slated for public release in early 2017.

It would appear that Sansar is now the official title of the new VR platform and the URL for the Sansar website has been updated to –

According to Linden Lab Sansar will democratise VR as a creative medium. It will empower people to easily create, share, and ultimately monetise their own interactive social experiences that can be enjoyed in VR with head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as well as via PCs and, later, other platforms. Sansar enables professional-level quality and performance, while also solving the complex engineering challenges that have previously made creating and publishing social VR experiences an extremely complex and costly endeavour.

“Since opening applications for our Creator Preview, more than 6,500 people have applied to use Sansar to create their own social VR experiences,” said Bjorn Laurin, VP of Product at Linden Lab. “To start, we’re inviting a select group of creators whose skills and projects are the best fit for Sansar’s capabilities today. As the platform matures, we’ll continue inviting more and more creators up until public release early next year. Feedback from this early community will help us improve the platform, and they’ll create a range of incredible social VR experiences that everyone can enjoy at Sansar’s public release.”

To apply to the Sansar Creator Preview programme, visit

Along with the press release, the lab have also opened a Flickr account for Sansar.  There are not many images available yet, but it will be a window into the progress of the look and feel of Sansar as it develops.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Are the changes in SL so drastic after all? Why is change important for growth? – Camury Reporting...

Since the first pixels emerged, so much has changed in Second Life. The changes, positive or negative, inevitably bring something new.  This creates the need for adaptation and causes a great impact on us because, in most cases, we cannot interfere with them.
Many people resist change for several reasons. These reasons may be related to a lack of confidence in the ability of adaptation that we can have.

Breaking into the unknown can force us out of our comfort zone and while it may seem uncertain and even uncomfortable, it opens up the opportunity to learn new things and for us to grow. However, it is precisely because of the uncertainty of the unknown that many end up resisting the changes.

There was a huge hullabaloo when the powers that be introduced mesh into Second Life, but now it is de rigueur.  Mesh bodies have arrived and soon a multitude of mesh heads and applicators will also be available. Many residents found themselves struggling to adapt to the new HUD systems.  Granted they can be confusing for many of us.   As a result a number of people still resist change and continue to look as if they were back in 2007.   However, this is a trend that is here to stay and most of us have adapted very well to it.

Are the changes in SL really that drastic?

 Mesh definitely revolutionized the way we present our avatars Inworld.  It offers more options to residents for custom creations.

As Second Life defiantly approaches its second decade, we have seen many projects emerge from Linden Lab and there will be more to come.   The big push for this year is Project Bento.  For those who are not aware of Project Bento, it’s to add ‘bones’ to our Second Life Avatar skeleton.  It will allow greater customization of our avatars. We will more than likely see other new projects emerge in the second half of 2016. The nature of innovations  is such that they pop up on a continuous basis.  If you want to know more about this subject, SL Enquirer published an article about Project Bento:

Linden Lab, also announced the Sansar Project, which is in beta testing. This is a new platform, created from the experiences gained in Second Life but that promises to make it easier for people to create and share their creations. The SL Enquirer also published an article on this subject:

The ability to accept, adapt and transform change into opportunity is what enables us to succeed not only in Second Life but also in various aspects of our actual lives. So let's look forward to seeing the best of the changes to come.

Additional Information:

Images taken from the official Linden Lab websites

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Geek Speak SL: If (or when?) Second Life disappears what will you do? Discussion March 5th at 12pm SLT

 Strong communities have formed in SL, people who would never have found each other in RL have become good friends in SL.  Some of us, for various reasons, find meeting people and enjoying life easier in SL than in RL. 

 What will happen to us as SL residents when Second Life is replaced by Project Sansar or when LL goes bankrupt?  Will you give up living in a virtual world and return to RL?

Or will you move to another virtual world?  Will that feel like moving to another country, or another universe, where all the rules are different? Will SL communities form again in other worlds?  Will you be the same person?  Is it time for a 'universal avatar' so that you can always be the same person in any world?  Should we start preparing now for the end of SL?  How would we prepare?  By making mailing lists?

Come and talk to us about the first great virtual refugee crisis on the internet.

Join host Erik Goff for a discussion on these questions.

Geek Speak is a science and technology discussion platform where residents across the grid can join in on a variety of topics every week!

Your spaceship awaits:

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Jalopy in Second Life

After 12 years of experience with the implementation of Second Life, Linden Lab is testing its new platform: "The Sansar Project". The word Sansar means "World" in the Hindi language.
A group of designers were invited to help with the tests and, at the moment, they are experimenting with this new concept.

The new platform promises to be more democratic, making it easier for people to create and share their creations. With reduced barriers for these creations, the Sansar project aims to target a wide range of people who may have interest and are trained to develop professional quality and more realistic ideas.

The new platform also intends to expand its capability and hopes to be available not only for gaming and entertainment, but also for education, architecture, business meetings, and other purposes.

Sansar will enable users to immerse in a 3D experience with more realistic motion, better sound quality and lighting.

The reason why Linden Lab chose to create a new platform is because any improvement that can be currently made in second life, cannot embrace the new technologies available. The best thing to do or the easiest way to go, in technological terms, is to create a new platform, compatible with all existing tools.

 Linden Lab aims to provide this new platform  in 2016.

The question we all have is: Will Second Life still exist after Project Sansar?

When asked about this issue, Linden Lab said it doesn’t have plans to discontinue Second Life. So the answer is yes, it is believed that  SL will live after the project Sansar open its doors as a parallel universe. What is not known is whether the same name will be retained.

I talked to some residents to learn about what they think about Sansar project:

Camury: "What are your concerns and fears about the Sansar Project coming in 2016".

Joymell resident: "I think the SL will continue. Even with the limits for the absorption of new technologies, many changes have occurred in the last two years. I have no worries or fears, I am anxious to know is how is this new project. I imagine that this new platform should provide more tools to users. "

Brenda Jac resident: "I know the new project and my fear is having to change my avatar. I would not want to lose it. I just hope we can migrate all we have to Sansar, if the SL cease to exist. "

Pryamel resident:. "I did not know about this new project of Linden Lab Anyway, if  Linden Lab chose to create a new platform many changes must take place soon. I am optimistic and I think the changes are for the better. Maybe we'll have SIMS with no lag, right? :-) "

Dinodasilvasauro resident: “I am a little worried about paying issues. A game with this size is not cheap. There are big chances for it to have an entering fee, or just be free at the beginning and you have to pay for everything else. I’m afraid it won’t be as open as they say. But, let’s hope I’m wrong.”

Baudrillard (somnabulist): “oh right i heard something about sl2 awhile ago...i have spent many hours developing photography techniques, so would be a challenge to have to adapt to a new viewer...heres my big concern: the phrase "monetize"... this is what happens on facebook, to target people for advertising...i think monetizing is dangerous for creativity...also will i need a new computer to get a decent viewing experience, seems like this 3d occulus is a central feature and i for one,  am not going to buy an occulus... im not interested…”

The fact is that Second Life is still very popular, housing about 900,000 active users per month and generating a significant amount of resources with e-commerce. The platform, when it was created, innovated in many different fields, such as: virtual reality, user-generated content, e-commerce and virtual currencies. Many new ideas have emerged from this experience and will just get better.

Whether you remain in Second Life or move on to Sansar is up to you!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

What Will Become of Second Life When Project Sansar Opens it's Glorious Gates in 2016?- Lanai Jarrico Reporting...

For a decade plus two years, Second Life has been a place of great promise, creativity, global culture and a virtual community like no other. It’s a distraction from the negatives in the world in which we live. With virtual culture comes great uncertainty. Having the ability to create our own paths in a virtual world, the tension of everyday life is soothed by our fantasies of what a perfect world could be. We have shared ideas, we’ve built, gained friendships, felt love and great loss. Can we survive more change?

On the other hand change is required to advance technology, or should that be to keep up with the advancement of technology.  We may be nothing but pixels in our virtual world, but we are very much human behind the screen.  Being human means that we will do our utmost to resist change.

Leadership is about leading, but it’s also about implementing change and this is where Linden Labs comes into the picture. While many people like to joke that the only constant in life is change, change has an interesting way of affecting people that can often result in resistance. This resistance can range from fairly subtle, such as avoidance or passive aggressive behavior, all the way to outright defiance, hostility, and sabotage. The best way to avoid resistance to change? Seek to uncover potential resistance prior to implementing change.  In the Linden interviews at SL12B, Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Labs made a commitment to have a monthly ‘Question Time’ with the Lindens, which does not appear to have transpired and so the resistance to change continues to gather momentum.

The culture of our virtual world is one that cannot be easily defined or provide one voice or perspective. For each of us, it tells a unique story, one that cannot be repeated in exact detail. Time is the only thing we all share as we spread out across the grid and into our own interests. None of us knows what the future holds but we all share in the uncertainty of what will become of us. We are a culture like no other. We’ve grown alongside technological advances and what the virtual world can do in the midst of this great computer age. Possibilities are endless, creativity is infinite but the end of a virtual world era, might be close at hand.  Perhaps for a few or thousands. For others there is promise of greater things to come in another virtual world; Sansar.

But do we willingly sacrifice all we have done, put our tools and creations down, and set our sights on a new virtual world built off the backs of everyone who has made Second Life what it is today? On the promise of what oculus rift has to offer?  A more immersive technology that grants us the ability to wear goggles to experience a virtual world we have struggled  to keep afloat? Is that enough?

How do we start over without repercussion, or giving up what we already have? I’ve witnessed mass exodus from one virtual world to another before, and the bonds of community and a unique culture were lost forever. How do we know this will not happen again and take years to rebuild? Nothing comes without a price and as for the approaching future of change,the price of our time will be unaffordable. It cannot be reimbursed or returned. How do we trust the promise of something greater when we have struggled with the same unfixable issues for over 12 years? Lag, Trolls, drama, greed and disrespect for others.  These will follow us into the next world only repeating the same issues we already fight against in Second Life. Does it make sense to even make an effort anymore?  We will really have to start from scratch all over again

To quote Mr. Ebbe Altberg from a recent interview in Variety -  (link to full interview at the bottom of this article)

“However, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg believes that Project Sansar can eclipse Second Life. “Second Life hit the ceiling at the hobbyist level,” he said during a recent interview, explaining that it once had slightly more than 1 million monthly active users, while still attracting just below 900,000 monthly users in 2015. Sansar isn’t just supposed to one day become bigger, but also much more instrumental to the success of virtual reality itself.”

He continued further on:

“But the most fundamental difference between Second Life and Project Sansar is a lot more conceptual: Second Life has always been first and foremost about Second Life itself. Sansar will be about individual VR experiences, powered by Linden Lab’s technology.
Project Sansar will allow brands and other developers to build their own VR experiences, and then deep-link to them from their websites or third-party apps. Users will still have to have the Project Sansar software installed to use them, but it will feel a lot more like custom experiences. “Second Life is a platform dressed as a product,” said Altberg. Project Sansar will be a platform that will allow others to build products. “The experience is the primary brand,” he said.”
So do we trust Linden Labs to lead us in the right direction?  The very ones who seem to have shown us abandonment for the promise of something better? Do we fall to our knees and praise words from those who moved on to other projects they are not 100% sure will succeed? Everything about virtual world advancement is based on speculation and words of a few. What power do they hold over our time and creativity? The power to pull the plug if they so desire?  What is our incentive to trust?

What about the media? Should we trust them? The free agents who spend their time involved in the community and share the happenings across the grid ( without influence from the Lindens as far as we know) They are the ones that have a greater understanding of what is going on within our virtual community and hear the concerns of residents.

The media who do their utmost to keep the community informed of what is happening in and around SL receive very little credit for their efforts.  This then causes rumour mongering while everyone chases their tails trying to figure out what the Lindens will do next. Linden Labs need to recognise that the SL Media can give them a voice much louder than just a few postings on the forums found on the dashboard of our accounts. That’s why I was so encouraged to read about the promise that Ebbe Altberg made to Jo Yardley and Saffia Widdershins about “Question Time”with the Lindens, which appears to be a non starter.

When was the last time a Linden showed interest in what you do unless you are making them thousands of dollars? Everything else is domestic issues and not of concern to them. Although apparently Xiola Linden is responsible for community engagement, whatever that means and I understand that Ebbe Altberg does walkabouts in SL at times and is even alleged to have a SL home somewhere too.

Sim Owners above all have special advantages because they pay huge fees and do all the leg work to provide a place for those who can only afford a parcel to rent. The ones who lose the most are venue owners who pay not only for the land they rent but also for the entertainment they provide visitors, who in turn rarely tip the venues or the musical talent. It is an uneven economy that is consumed with inside politics.

If and when these Land Barons move on to Sansar will they reach the same success as they have in SL or fall to the bottom of the totem pole only to claw their way to the top and repeat the same unfortunate events? That’s highly unlikely since it has been touted that everyone will be given land on signing up for SANSAR, so the need for residential estates will be negated, or is that just a rumour?

Much can be said for the creators of products in Second Life. With so many stores selling fashion, accessories, furniture and other necessities, the market is so saturated and spread thin it is nearly impossible to make a real world living for everyone. The lucky ones have found a niche in the market but the time they spend chasing new ideas and creating new products is traded in for having less of a personal real life that holds the same amount of value. They are forced to weigh the importance of making money and spending a lot of time in SL and being less present in their real world.

But wait! If the rumor that land will be free in Sansar and creators cannot transfer their products into the new world is true, where will that leave the competing creators and landlords when and if a mass exodus takes place? The speculation and unknowns have me wondering if it is even worth giving up everything for a new grid or even live a virtual life, when our real one is more important.

Only time will answer all these questions. My options are to wait to make my final decision and continue to write about Second Life, the virtual world I once loved so greatly and have invested 10 years in, or I can cut my loses and jump ship now.

What will you do?

*Special Thanks to Lacy Muircastle for her insight and contributions to this article

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Linden Lab confirms project name for new virtual experience platform

Project Sansar is the internal code name Linden Lab has been using for the new platform, and they plan to use the name externally in its early stages (like the invite-only alpha they begin this summer). However, this is just the project name, and LL anticipate changing it prior to launching the platform to everyone.

This twitter was tweeted on the 5th of May 2015.

Also posted in Inara Pey's blog Living in a Modemworld.