Looking Forward — The Rear View Mirror

We all know that Linden Lab will choose their own path for Sansar development in 2018, but here is one way of reading the pulse of the current creators who are a part of the Sansar Open Creator Beta.
To summarize the responses from this question: “What missing feature might influence you to consider leaving Sansar if it never gets implemented?”  Here is a look at what will be the deciding factors to make people leave Sansar. These answers may be a way to see into the hearts of those who will come into Sansar in the near future and what may stand as obstacles to visitor and creator retention.

5 — Animations

4 — Avatar Customization

2 — Desktop Mode Improvements

1 — Larger Fonts — (I am not sure if this was desktop Mode or VR mode)

1 — Escape key during Loading or Lookbook

1 — Payments through PayPal

1 — Lack of further improvements to API

1 — Adult Content

2— None or Blank



Below is what was written in the survey response field.

  • Avatar Manager
  • Full avatar customization. By this, I mean actually being able to swap out the human mesh and replace it with a different one of any stature or size (within reason). I should be be able to be a short penguin, or a very tall dragon. Other platforms like High Fidelity or VRChat already make this possible, but not Sansar! This is an essential feature to letting people identify how they wish in their virtual world.
  • Scaleable Avatar size
  • not having total control over your avatar appearance

 

  • Better desktop mode features
  • …DESKTOP INTERACTIVITY… for traditional roleplaying

 

  • While loading times you can’t do anything. Feels like I am waiting a lot. And I can’t stop process if I decide I wanna quit. Not in lookbook nor while loading an experience, there should be a function to quit without shut down.

 

  • Bigger font / readable UI.

 

  • Animations
  • Animation
  • Animation, and the ability to sit. It is direly needed.
  • Animation
  • Animation

 

  • Adult content

 

  • Payment through PayPal

 

  • none

 

  • API does not get any more features.
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Describe the one feature that you feel must be in place before Sansar leaves Beta and releases to the public.

This is not a scientific way to really determine the vital features that creators feel must be in place for a public opening. But it is a way to give creators a voice that might be heard. With 19 creators responding to the Feature Survey, here is what was written as answers to the question: “Describe the one feature that you feel must be in place before Sansar leaves Beta and releases to the public.”

At this time, all respondents identified themselves as creators.

The responses are grouped in  a way to be able to see similar responses together

  • a set of basic animations (sitting etc)
  • avatar animations such as sit, stand, dancing etc.
  • Improved avatar customization of face and body
  • Custom avatars
  • Skeletal Animation

 

  • replace Zendesk with a more functional and attractive solution for user forums. bug reports, and blogs.

 

  • LODs. We need to be able to set our own custom LODs for our meshes. I want to create massive worlds that will blow user’s minds yet I can’t!! Because there’s no way to optimize large distances without LODs. LODs are a basic feature that have existed in game engines for decades, they are not optional. We’re gonna need them in Sansar at some point.

 

  • Inventory management in Lookbook and for objects (Basic Inventory organization)
  • Organization….Folder Structure, Search Tools, Better inventory management

 

  • Correct smooth working VR, grabbing. moving , throwing.

 

  • Atlas that identifies how many people are in an experience.
  • The ability to find people in the world, a central hub perhaps. Right now its hard to find where people are at so it feels extremely empty.
  • Social Features
  • Communication between desktop and vr users

 

  •  Store
  • Create Complex Objects for Sale in the Store (models with scripts and lights embedded.
  • The way we can pay in and to Sansar. Paypal is very important. I would like to be able to buy S$ that way. Also payment in-world. To be able to buy from an inworld store and pay other residents.

 

  • A sense of progression or a clear goal. I feel that would bring more players into the game, and make them feel invested enough to stay.

 

  • improved terrain and water

A Visual Axis for Creators in Sansar

XYZ RGB Axis 2018 in Blender

A custom made axis to be used as an aid to Sansar Creators

There are those creators who stand on a virtual platform in Sansar and just start creating. They are the true artists of the virtual world. This is of course after they have created mesh in any one of a variety of 3D software. Once created and textured with materials, the mesh is then exported as an FBX file to their computer’s hard drive for temporary storage. Switching over to Sansar, they then import the mesh models into their inventory within Sansar and then they place the object onto the platform that I mentioned at the beginning.

Items that are organic in nature such as trees and rocks and water and grass can easily be arranged by pushing and dragging them wherever the artist thinks they look best. Setting an exact location or size of mesh models is not often critical when making a scene that looks like nature.

For those creators who make buildings and furniture and things we sometimes think of as the “built environment”, it often becomes a bit more critical to place things on a grid of sorts. We may never see the grid, but it is hidden in the exact placement as coordinates. It can even include the height above or below the platform we started with. This sort of creating is what I call building. And those who build things wish to know where those objects are in a more precise way than the organic artists that I mentioned earlier. The builders of virtual buildings arrange things is a precise way according to concepts learned from their Real World experiences. And for them I made the 3 axis arrows to help them see where they are going in a graphic way.

Still missing for these builders in Sansar is the ability to snap things to edges or vertices of adjacent objects. It would also be helpful to have a visible ruler that would allow us to snap things to precise coordinates without needing to calculate where we wish things to be placed and then entering those coordinates into the edit window using a numeric keypad.

For anyone who is interested in voting for features like this, please log into the Sansar forum and vote for  this feature request “Snap”. It was first posted on September 10, 2016 and at that time Widely Linden replied: “Yep. It’s on its way. In the mean time try toggling the “Surface Snap” option. It’s pretty handy!” Well, the “Surface Snap” only works when we first introduce a new object from our inventory into the scene. After that it does not function. and there is still no ruler.

Here we are 16 months after “Snap” was first requested and the focus of Linden Lab for 2018 will turn from creator tools toward user engagement and retention. All creators must join the chorus and gently remind the product team of the creator tools that are long overdue such as rulers and “Snap”.  Linden Lab has not said that all development of creator tools will stop, but we need to remind them of our expectations.

https://store.sansar.com/listings/cbd7c76b-5ae4-4aa1-aeec-add8fe0e1c38/xyz-axis-1-meter-rgb-2018

First Results on the Feature Survey

be1072d041d9abf7ef89ebb86c079ba6

Creators in Sansar Have a Wide View

After receiving 18 responses, and comparing this with recent comments from Linden Lab about the 2018 focus that Sansar will be taking, I think I can make one observation.  Creators in Sansar have a wide view of the big picture. They are not narrowly focused on just creating or just selling product in the Sansar Store. This also indicates that the Creators who are part of the Creator’s Open Beta share an understanding with Linden Lab about the many elements that it will take to be ready for a full opening to the public.

I will write more as additional responses comes in. I would also be interested in what questions Linden Lab might take the most interest in. Analyzing this data will be subject to my own bias and lack of training in developing surveys, but I will do my best to make these surveys a value to both those who responded and Linden Lab who is creating the Sansar platform.

For those of you who have not yet taken the survey, it is still open for additional responses.

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.

Feature Survey

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/355751318935175169/402899184572825600/be1072d041d9abf7ef89ebb86c079ba6.pngHere 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.

Ethos Erlanger

Sansar Feature Requests

clark-young-135435

665 Feature Requests on the Sansar website.

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.

Listen Carefully

pexels-photo-561870.jpegI had the opportunity today to review what was said by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at the CES 2018 keynote speech. At the point in his presentation when Brian begins to talk about Sansar, I found this statement to be both interesting and actually quite revealing: “We worked with Linden Labs to create a visual and sound experience that completely bridges the real and virtual worlds.”

I often find myself reading words into what was not said. The implication is that real and virtual can be bridged by just visual and sound. What was not included in this was anything related to physics or kinetics. I just think that his use of the word “completely” goes too far. I also think that the point in the keynote presentation when they walked back stage was prerecorded. It is an old magician’s trick. The art of illusion. It simply could not have been done live.

The reality of what was presented by Brian Krzanich is that this is entirely a step forward in entertainment for audiences just like motion pictures has done for more than 129 years. It is unlikely to ever achieve what I am hoping for. And that is the accurate modeling of a simulated physical world that includes the interaction between the avatar and virtual representations of the built environment such as the buildings and public spaces we all inhabit.

To test my suspicions, I visited the Intel experience in Sansar that represented the Intel booth at CES. I met one Intel representative who was in VR and we chatted briefly before he had to leave because his shift was over. I asked him about the space on the upper level that was an enclosed room with a glass door. There was no way to open this door and enter the room. The sum total of the presentation was a brief audio statement in a female voice. Currently, we can do this with a website or an online video. Walking around a convention booth and interactive via voice is one step further down the path, but it is simply entertainment that lacks substance. It is smoke and mirrors.