Here is a link to the first survey of Feature Requests for Sansar creators. In this survey I will begin by gathering information about the various categories that should be separate. This survey on the topic of Sansar Feature Requests is the individual effort of Ethos Erlanger.
NOTE: This survey is not affiliated with nor sponsored by Linden Lab. See the survey for more information.
This survey has 6 questions and may take you about 5 or 6 minutes.
Thank you for your participation.
I will admit that I have not read all of the Sansar Feature Requests. The Sansar website is challenging to use and the way the Feature Requests are managed makes me wonder how the staff at Linden Lab make use of that information.
Highest Votes for one request is 14
There is a way to vote for your feature requests and add your voice to the conversation. An upvote adds one and a downvote subtracts one from the vote count. You can also add your comments to the conversation. The highest number of votes received by one request is 14, and it is for one of the oldest requests from Ryan Schultz. In January of 2017, Ryan posted this request: Indicate how many avatars are in a particular experience on the Atlas page It would naturally fall under the category related to the Atlas and visitor experience. It is still valid today, and it should get your vote. And it makes us all wonder when if ever Linden Lab with get around to it. They do not have a road map for us to see, so some of the creators have grown weary waiting.
Here is one of the major issues with the Sansar Webpage where you can view the requests. The Feature Requests are not categorized. You can sort them by date, number of votes, and number of comments. But with 665 Feature Request posts there needs to be a way to see the posts that relate to a particular broad category. Those requests related to Content Creation for Sansar need to be separated from the requests related to visitor experience. There are a few other major categories I can think of such as the Atlas, Social and Community features, and the Sansar Store.
I will be looking at the 665 Feature Requests and trying to make some sense of them. I will be reporting on those requests, but I may also post a few polls here to gather feedback from my readers. Please comment if you have something to say on this subject.
The Hard Shell of the Nut
Let’s look at the feature requests on the Sansar Forum. Go ahead. Take a look. You will find about 480 requests or “posts”. A few of these posts are duplicates, or they are so similar that they will result in the same feature when Linden Lab implements them. I have been reading them from the first to the last. A few posts we could call void because the functionality is or was already in Sansar. There are not many of those. And only a couple of posts are marked as Completed. The Sansar Team driving the bus has not been using the forum as much as the creators have.
Have you voted?
When the creators vote either up or down, this give all the readers of the post an idea of the priority that creators place of the subject of the post. If you want to add your own voice to the conversation, you might write a few words in the comments, but that is your choice. At least vote for the ones that are of interest to you. You can ever sort the posts based on the number of votes.
Imagine taking a trip on a tour bus and the driver is being bombarded by a bunch of rowdy people on the bus shouting at him to “turn here, go there, hurry up.” They all got on the bus thinking it would take them for a nice ride to Virtual Reality. And the Feature Requests area of the Sansar Forum is like the Public Address system on the bus. The bus driver should use it constantly to keep the passengers informed of what is coming up on the road ahead.
By my own count, there are about 480 feature requests as of 9/17/17 and they are generally features that are by and for creators. But if you look at the top four vote-getters that have 10 or more votes, three of them are related to the social aspect of Sansar like: How Many Avatars In An Experience, Party Option To Avoid Instantiation, and Search In The People App. And look at the age of those requests. Three of the four are over Seven months old.
A hard case surrounding the kernel of nutritional help inside.
The hard shell of the nut. In spite of the tools available to Linden Lab in the Zendesk Forum, the posts and all the interest in them by the creators have no value when the tools are not being used. I filtered by Planned and Not Planned. Nothing is marked either way. Then I filtered for No Status and nearly all of the posts have not been marked with any status. There might not be so much interest in a road map if the Zendesk application was receiving more attention than it is. What is so hard about clicking a couple times to assign a status? Surely someone at linden lab know where we are going. After all, whenever we have meetings in an experience, the often heard request from the Sansar Team is that we should submit a feature request on the Forum.
Now, Get Out and Vote!
The highest vote-getter of the 480 posts has only 13 votes. This indicates lack of participation from the creators. So, using the Zendesk Forum to its fullest is a shared responsibility. We have to start somewhere to crack through the hard outer shell and get to the nutmeat inside. Voting for the posts that are the most important to us is the fasted way to get a Partial Roadmap using the tools we already have.
Written later… a Postscript
There are 135 Feature Requests that have no votes at all. So, the original author has not voted for his own feature request. We all have to get behind our own ideas and promote them by voting for them. Have you voted for your requests?
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.