I have great empathy for Linden Lab as they labor to roll out Sansar to the consuming public. I have been to a few meetups and one question I hear is: “Can we see the roadmap?”
I am sure that there are at least two distinct reasons that LL does not share the roadmap with creators except when they answer specific question like: “is it on the roadmap”. They surely do not want competitors having access to their roadmap, and they do not want to set false expectations for their creators and visitors.
Developing a new product does not always have a well paved road to travel. It can be rough and bumpy and it is often SLOW!
So, let’s look back at the feature requests that are visible to us on the Sansar Forum. The first requests prior to 7/31/2017 were all from the creators who were a part of the closed creator’s beta. Then after 7/31, the Sansar creator’s beta was open to the general public and the presumptions is that most of the people who have signed up are creators. From these assumptions, I think all of the feature requests are from creators of many different skill levels.
I have begun reading every feature request beginning with the first one dated 9/7/2016 from a creator who asked for something that was already in the program. But it got the dialog going.
I saw a few requests in September of 2016 and I think one or two of them have been implemented. And as I read forward to the end of 2016 there are still some important creator’s tools that are very desirable and yet they are not yet implemented. Today the count of posts in the Feature Requests stands at 472. In future blog posts I will distill these requests and perhaps create a little support for the creators tools that we all would appreciate having.
Some of the features that are on my mind include:
- Grouping Objects – This will be vital to the creators who offer products in the Sansar Store. [Requested 9/10/2016 to which Widely Linden commented: ‘Very useful.’]
- Snap to Grid – originally simply just called ‘Snap‘ by the requester on 9/10/2016 to which Widely Linden enthusiastically replied: ‘Yep. It’s on its way. In the mean time try toggling the “Surface Snap” option. It’s pretty handy!’
- Scale by Axis – who wouldn’t want this? We might say that the object or model should be built to scale in the 3D application where it was created, but organic things like rocks and trees can take a little bit of stretching before they appear distorted. [Requested 12/21/2016 and Jason commented: ‘…We’ll be adding it in the future.’]
- Vertex Snapping was part of a multi-item request dated 12/21/2016. [Jason’s comment included the phrase: ‘…on the list.’] – I really want this one combined with the other snapping mentioned previously.
- A User/LL Collaboration Wiki [Requested 12/25/2016 when Boden’s comment included this: ‘…and we will be discussing how to provide our creators with sufficient documentation.’] I thought my request was original until I went back to the beginning and find I am not such an original thinker after all. I am not shy and I have personally requested adds/changes/corrections to the current documentation.
- Inventory Improvements was first brought up on 12/25/16 and it seems that it is about the same now as it was then. This is one that hurts productivity for all creators. There are a number of possible improvements to the inventory, so I will just leave it at that. [Boden’s comment at the time was non-committal]
- Voxel Terrain First requested 12/30/2016. The ability to create/manage/edit/ terrain while working in Sansar is still something all creators are interested in. I do not know enough about Voxel to be the one specifying what I want or need, so I will leave it to other creators to add their input. In Mid-July we were told that Linden Lab is working on a terrain editor. In mid-August 2017, it was announced by Bjorn Laurin, VP of Product that terrain editing would be in the next release which may be imminent as I write this blog post.
- Water and Buoyancy [Requested 1/4/2017 to which Boden replied: ‘We are currently considering including this at some point in the future.’] We need water to bring our scenes to life, and we need buoyancy to bring our interaction with various environments to life. The one environment that I always wanted to see with less gravity and very slow motion is the Moon.
- Link Objects – another name for Grouping [Requested 1-5-2017 with no comment from LL]
I will close this post for now and return to add more of my favorite creator’s feature requests from 2017 in a new post. I also plan to focus some attention on the Sansar Store and related issues of marketing and delivery of product to fellow creators and buyers.
Future posts will allow me to bring attention to the avatar modification and animation, as well as the virtual fashion industry.