Sansar, a virtual world platform from the creators of Second Life, will open its doors to everyone in the first half of 2017. Developer Linden Lab explains their new approach to virtual worlds, and the many ways they plan to enable creators to make money with compelling virtual experiences.

Not Second Life 2

Having launched Second Life more than 10 years ago—a virtual world that in 2016 alone had a GDP of some $500 million—Linden Lab has deep expertise in world worlds that goes back long before the recent rebirth of consumer virtual reality hardware. And now the company is building a new virtual world platform, Sansar, to serve the next generation. But this is no Second Life 2.

Sansar takes a fundamentally different approach than Second Life. While the Second Life model was about running a persistent virtual world that existed in one massive virtual space, Sansar’s aim is to be more of a platform than a singular virtual world. I recently spoke with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg at the company’s offices in San Francisco where he told me about Sansar’s new approach.

“Between the Creator and the Consumer, Second Life never really settled on which was our primary customer,” Altberg said.

With Sansar, Linden Lab’s focus is firmly on the Creator. The company wants to make it easy for creators to make discrete virtual worlds and experiences. Linden Lab envisions its success as helping creators easily build and monetize virtual experiences (and taking a cut from successful creators). Virtual spaces built on Sansar will be self-contained experiences that users jump around to, rather than one big virtual world that could be traversed continuously from end to end. Instead of ‘traveling’ from one place to another, like in Second Life, you’ll just hop in and out of experience at will, like jumping from one webpage to another with links.

SEE ALSO
Sansar Content Creation Experience Unveiled Showing Impressive Results

Platform vs. World

sansar linden lab (1)Overall, Sansar aims to be more like an app store or a platform (Altberg compared it to WordPress, the web platform that’s the foundation of many major websites) than one big virtual world. That solves a number of key problems that the company has identified with Second Life’s model, Altberg told me. One of the biggest of which is ‘discovery’. Second Life is (and is marketed like) one big virtual world. There’s an incredible variety of things to do in Second Life that appeal to different people who want different things. But because it’s all contained inside one giant virtual world, it’s challenging and inefficient to market the entire world to those who might just want one particular thing from it.

Imagine if YouTube tried to get you to use their platform by saying “we have 80 million videos! Come see them!”… that’s neat, but lacks a specific appeal because I’m only going to watch a fraction of those videos, and who knows if any of them in particular interest me? But, if a friend links me to one funny or interesting video, that’s much more likely to get me onto YouTube.

Sansar is built and structured so that the individual experiences are like (using our metaphor above) individual videos on YouTube. They are entry points which the creators themselves can market to a specific audience, without needing to market the broader universe of Sansar.

How Creators Will Monetize

sansar linden lab (3)Linden Lab plans to give Sansar creators a number of options to monetize their content, all of which will vary drastically from Second Life’s ‘property tax’ model (where users paid to simulate virtual land, which entitled them to own it).

SEE ALSO
New 'Sansar' Video Glimpses More Virtual Worlds Made on the Social VR Platform

For one, consumers will be able to buy 3D models to customize their own virtual spaces and avatars. It’ll be possible for creators to charge entry fees to particular experiences. There’s also expected to be options for membership fees to access certain places. And the company is brainstorming more monetization options still, like the ability for consumers to pay money to a virtual object which would hold the money and pay it out to its owner at regular intervals. That could open the door to functional objects that execute their function for a fee (in the real world you can imagine objects like that—arcade machines, pool table, washing machines, vending machines).

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  • Foreign Devil

    Really looking forward to Sansar and building a place in that universe.

  • Graham J ⭐️

    Looking forward to checking this out. Pretty graphics and social features are a must but if this is to be a development platform it’s going to need solid dev tools too. What language does it use? Where are apps served from? Can we integrate our own services? Lots of questions.

    • If SL is anything to go off then the development tools are basic enough to get you somewhere average but you often had to use a professional 3D Artist who used tools outside SL to really stand out.

      A steeper learning curve initially but much more powerful in the long term would be to support Blender as the official modelling tool and provide free plugins to import/export to Sansar along with a host of video tutorials to get you started. This way they can concentrate on providing a solid user platform and not bother reinventing the wheel for CAD design toolsets.

      The scripting when I played with it was Linden Scripting Language or LSL. Hope they have chosen to use a highly documented language like Javascript instead. No point using an old system (Based on C I think) when it comes to scripting but I would hazard a guess that if they want to target the masses they will use a completely GUI orientated approach, e.g. state machines in Unity3D or node trees much like Unreal engine uses called Blueprints. They are very quick to learn the basics and can get very advanced if you need them to. Not the freedom of say C++ or C# but 95% of the way there for most.

      But yes, still a lot of questions remaining and fears going around that Sansar is just SL with an updated graphics engine on top of outdated legacy foundations. The fact the Physics engine is not great at this stage is worrying though, maybe they just want to create everything in house when perfectly good physics engines already exist like havok and bullet.

      • Sarah A

        “The scripting when I played with it was Linden Scripting Language or LSL.”

        Are you talking about Sansar?

        • No, I was talking about Second Life then. I have not used Sansar but want to. I assume Sansar is under NDA so all most can do is speculate about it at this stage.

          Ps. Ahh, this would explain your little leak above ;)

          • Sarah A

            Mh.

      • Graham J ⭐️

        Good thoughts, thanks! I never tried SL but have played with Unity for a VR project and it seems to me what’s talked about here is sort of like Unity with an SDK and maybe a simpler interface. Guess I’ll see once it’s available.

      • Sarah A

        D3Pixel? Reply?

  • Robbie Cartwright

    Again shall I say

    To everyone’s woe,

    I’m calling it now

    The game SAO.

  • flavortang

    As a VR enthusiast that’s been fairly disappointed with the early content that’s comprised mostly of wave shooter video games, it’s Project Sansar that gives me hope for the future and indicates a not-so-distant horizon where hopefully VR develops into a communication platform that really is the parallel universe simulator that the medium has the capacity to deliver.

    A tech journalist on another site said this but it’s something I’ve echoed previously and it’s that VR is developing in a very interesting, almost serendipitous, moment in history where human labor is becoming more and more outmoded and industry is becoming more automated. More and more people are steering towards the virtual/the Internet for ways to earn income and I think VR is how entire new markets will emerge to compensate for our growing obsolescence in the physical labor markets.

    Even if you look at stuff like Team Fortress 2 where some people make six figure income by making little digital hats that you don’t even see yourself during gameplay, imagine BEING your avatar in a fully realized stereoscopic 3D world and becoming engaged with this digital form you’re inhabiting to the point that you’re emotionally attached to it. Accumulation of virtual goods is how find some purpose in VR and our worlds will become entirely personalized, unlike the objective reality we live in that we have to assimilate to.

    The future is going to be a bit scary, but also very exciting and full of opportunity for those willing to take chances. I can’t wait to exist in these limitless virtual environments where we can be anyone, go anywhere and do anything.

    • Try as the industry might to “unify” the end user experience, I’m starting to realize that there will always be different platforms solely for the sake of entertainment value and monetization. My battlecry is becoming “standardize the inventory system so we may pick and choose how we may use our digital purchases anywhere”.

      • flavortang

        YES. There has to be some kind of permanence of virtual identity that’s retained across multiple sites/programs/vendors(not even a word for disparate virtual locales) for people to feel truly engaged in the experience.

        It’s like in the real world, when I go out, I’m me and regardless of where I go there’s a permanence of identity that shapes my reality. In “virtual” reality it’d be nice to have that.

        It’s kind of mind-boggling to consider the potential for a market of virtual goods once VR enables us to plug into parallel worlds of either our own making or others’ making that are in no way restricted by the laws of nature or physics. It’s going to be so crazy.

        • Exactly. Until they do that, it’ll pick clean the predators themselves. Sansar looks like it’s trying to be the second life for VR with the same models that do not work, the same constraints the sent open grid/sim higher up the ranks and competing grids figuring out a better way.

          I love VR and its potential but there needs to be a standard here – like jpg pdg mp3 mov – for all things virtual and not one company dictating how it can and can’t be used while taking real money for it.

          • flavortang

            Agreed on all points. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. Trillions of dollars over the next few decades will be up for grabs.

          • Sarah A

            Far away from “agreed on all points” on my side. Sorry.

          • flavortang

            *shrug*

          • Sarah A

            Happens

          • FBX format comes close to a universal modern CAD description format that is interchangeable between platforms and softwares that allows for much more data than say OBJ, DAE etc.

            Totally agree that it would be great to have my own avatar as fbx that I can simply upload into any game / social experience and there I am. FBX supports binary and text format and has a C++ SDK for those that want to support it in their toolkits like many already do. Hell you could even use Daz Studio (free) to allow end users to create more complex avatars and export as FBX.

            I think somebody will do this sooner rather than later as the tools already exist just nobody has implemented it into their social / game yet.

          • Sarah A

            Collada (DAE) can hold the same amount of data as FBX. With different SDK versions on FBX you run fast into big problems. Personally I’d prefer Collada over any other 3d file format (which is btw the current format supported by SecondLife). The switch over to FBX in Sansar is a bit confusing.

            Please be also aware of the fact, that DAZ does not allow to import their model (Victoria etc.) into virtual worlds.

          • Are you sure DAE can hold the same as FBX? FBX SDK is constantly maintained to support new features like current rigging/skinning standards etc and has a 2016/2017 version whereas DAE’s last revision was in 2008? so doubt DAE has the same features as it has not been updated for the last 8 years. Maybe that is why the switch.

            As to Daz studio not supporting anything that can make a profit is a bit annoying, buried deep in their pages was an old link to a indy license for $500 but it gave very little info on it and maybe was before it went free. I emailed them to find out about using Genesis characters in Unity3D to see what they say.

          • Sarah A

            I am very sure yes. Collada and FBX are feature complete. I am a creator. I talked long with DAZ about having Victoria4/Genesis in SecondLife, there is no chance that will happen. That is same with most 3D sites where you can buy content. It is only for closed enviornments. So lets laugh about it: RockStar could buy a license for 50 bucks and make it to GTA6 but us virtual worlders are left out.

          • @Sarah, I think we will have to agree to disagree on FBX vs DAE for now :) As to characters, maybe you could use http://www.makehuman.org/ for your characters if needed as they seem to be very relaxed on their terms of use. Should be quicker than modelling and rigging manually.

            Funny enough Daz got back to me, they were very helpful and said 3 words….”read the EULA” which I did, all 10 pages of legal script that could mean they own my DNA for all I could gather. So thats them dumped from my toolset.

            PS. I am a Technical 3D Artist for the last 25 ish years but alas not on the Sansar beta. I will apply though as I sometimes get interested clients in SL as a platform so would be good to see what it has to offer early and test it out.

          • Sarah A

            Yepp :) makehuman is chilled :)

      • Konchu

        I agree a unified experience is as must, but I think un-centralized is also needed. I do like the approach of high fidelity or Janus VR with the worlds being decentralized and see hints they may be doing this too to some extent. But if a company completely controls the content they lose the ability to embrace fandom and creative freedom to an extent.

        Most Fandom, from Fan art to dressing up as your favorite Character in Real life is a Gray area. People often have avatar images of their favorite characters and let us not forget Meme’s all potential gray areas. So i think this separation is crucial for this to exist or maintain the blind eye that is turned to these media’s in general.

        So I think Social VR places need to the the equivalent of a web page no one entity owns them with maybe an overlaid communications app like a virtual cell phone to tie me to my friends easily in VR with integration for avatar customization(I imagine a Skyrim/Mii character designer on crack, with cosmetic items that could be sold) and item plugins (a pluggin for example could be a card game you could play in Sansar, Altspace etc., or you favorite fan made VR hangout)

  • DaKangaroo

    I’ve been using SL for 8 years. I’ve owned a region there for 7. Do not take anything LL says at their word, doubt everything they say.

    “It’ll be possible for creators to charge entry fees to particular experiences. There’s also expected to be options for membership fees to access certain places.”

    You can most certainly already do this in SL. And I have never ever encountered a region which does so, because NO ONE is going to pay an entry fee to access a region. It’s hard enough convincing people to pay for 3D content to modify their avatars with, most new users are so cheap they won’t use anything but free stuff.

    “For one, consumers will be able to buy 3D models to customize their own virtual spaces and avatars.”

    Again, you can ALREADY do this in SL. It’s the entire basis of the SL economy!

    “One space I saw had a bean bag toss game set up, but the physics weren’t refined enough yet to practically play it. Altberg says a soon to release update is going to massively tighten up the physics interactions such that games like bean bag toss would really be enjoyable. I hope so, because I love bean bag toss.”

    Don’t count on it. They’re over promising. You should see how bad the physics are in SL.

    “As we explored the tomb’s hieroglyphic-covered corridors together it became apparent that Sansar has 3D positional audio built it, allowing me to easily tell where Altberg was even when I wasn’t looking at him.”

    SL already has 3D positional audio.

    “it’ll be much easier to tell who’s talking (which is also helped by automatic lip syncing).”

    Again, SL has this too.

    “The screen was streaming a video from YouTube and the audio was playing throughout the entire space.”

    Again, SL already has that too.

    So basically, Sansar is a recreation of all the features in SL, restructured into a new business model, retuned to make them more money, and probably give creators even less power over what they create.

    Probably with a much tighter TOS too, one which strictly forbids the kind of content and activities which SL has become known for..

    • I imagine they will just take a cut from any sale of an asset (much like the Apple Store). Rather than charging creators for expensive land they will push asset creation as a priority with an updated engine that supports VR. Very worrying that something as fundamental as the physics is not sorted yet though.

      • DaKangaroo

        But they already take a cut of any sale in SL when anything is sold through the SL Marketplace website. It’s only if you sell your items directly to other users in world can you dodge that. Which is probably something they intend to remove too.

        • If they keep the same sales model then I agree, it won’t work in the long term.

          They need to ditch the god awful modelling tools as other free packages out there (e.g. Blender) are superior and they should monetize on smaller micro payments from those willing to shed a little on the marketplace.

          Land, or in this case a link should be free. If you make money from their service then you pay a percentage of sales back to them making it win/win with no risk to creators. Like youtube they could even introduce ads into areas which you as a content developer could pay to remove if you don’t like them.

          Plenty of ways to make it fun for visitors, worldwide accessible and profitable for LL and content creators without asking for fees up front putting all risk on the land owner.

          • Sarah A

            Because everybody loves Blender right? (ok I personally do but I know most hate the Blender shortcuts)

          • I gave Blender as an example because it is free to use and can produce some great results using cycles. I personally use 3DSMax for my business and have done since the days of MS DOS but then I doubt the average Sansar creator can justify that cost.

          • Sarah A

            Ok, yes makes sense.

          • D3Pixel, if they don’t include built-in modeling tools, I certainly won’t create anything in-world and neither will a lot of others. I don’t have the patience for programs like Blender, and I don’t have the money for programs like 3DSMax, so I guess you’re arguing for Sansar to be something where only the very elite can create things. Sorry, but that’s crap. Mesh is what killed Second Life, and now you’re arguing to ONLY be able to do things that way in Sansar.

            Blender is the worst software layout I’ve ever seen and ever used. If there are no in-world creation tools, I honestly probably won’t even use Sansar.

            People need to be able to make very basic items like we could in Second Life. If we can’t even do basic things without spending 10 hours just figuring out how to create a sphere or a cube with some textures on it, why would anyone create anything unless it was for money? Or is that the angle? That everyone in Sansar is there to make money? If that’s the angle, it WILL fail.

          • I can not speak for what modelling tools will be in Sansar as I do not know but an article on Engadget suggests that Linden Labs recommend that content creators should keep using their existing tools like Maya to make content and a simple drag n drop system will be in place for hobbyists at a later date. I agree too, why dilute their new shiny system with places made from stacked cubes. You have Minecraft for that.

            As to Blender, it is designed for speed so you don’t get all the nice eye candy icons you do in Max, Maya, Cinema 4D etc. Once you understand the UI Views and how the 3D cursor works (the biggest newbie hurdles) it becomes very fast to work in and with Cycles it produces quality to rival other packages out there, for free. I have just done a 2000 frame animation for a client who loves the result. They do not know I switched from 3DSMax to Blender several weeks ago. 10 hours? come on! A cube in Blender takes about 3 seconds to make. And a textured UV Mapped cube takes about 12 seconds to make. You really should read the manual as getting past the initial interface is, as you have discovered a big barrier.

            Whatever Sansar becomes, I think they are aiming for high quality worlds that people want to visit, hang out in and buy or sell in their marketplace. So in my opinion, if you want to create content in this century then bite the bullet and start learning a fully featured 3D tool. If I were a beginner content creator on a tiny budget I would get Blender and Substance Painter (Indy) and learn how to make simple but high quality assets, about a weeks hard work (and lots of YouTube) to nail the workflow from knowing nothing at the start. Sell your quality assets on multiple marketplaces. After that initial tough week you would be churning out new assets on a daily basis.

          • D3Pixel, to suggest that everything that was made in SL before they had mesh was like Minecraft is pretty messed up. There were great things that people built in-world. If people want simpler shapes, why not be able to build them in-world?

            And that’s “nice” that you know how to use Blender. That’s nice. Many people don’t have hours to spend learning how to do simple things like moving the camera around an object, how to cut into an object to make another shape, how to change the size of an object, and all the keyboard shortcuts they don’t tell you about that you’re supposed to learn about through help forums where you get told that you’re stupid for not knowing basic things.

            No thanks. Seriously, no thanks. Blender is probably the worst interface for a program that I’ve ever seen. They might as well have people type in commands in a CLI. That’s how non-intuitive it is. Sure, maybe you’re used to the bigger programs like 3DSMax, but most aren’t. Most just want to make simple things in-world to start off… but if they can’t do that, they WILL NEVER START to create things.

            If Blender or very expensive software is required just to create a sphere, or a cylinder, then creating in Sansar will be for the very elite, like YOU, and I’m guessing that makes you happy because it means less competition.

          • Kizzume, If you read around the news on Sansar you will see that you will be able to drag n drop stuff to build up your own area using pre-made assets. No doubt there will be a primitive pack with cubes, cones, spheres etc that you can get creative with. Also trees, chairs, benches and any other manner of assets that creators will publish for people who have no interest in making the content themselves. And I wish I was elite :) I am far from it, just average like thousands of others.

      • IMVU does this now.

      • Sarah A

        Are you the author of that article? Sorry but I am deep inside Sansar. What you share here is mostly bollocks. Forgive me but it is true.

        • Eh? No am not the author. I didn’t share anything in that article either.

    • Sarah A

      I die my hair [pick a color] if Sansar is open for public in first half of 2017.

      • DaKangaroo
        • Sarah A

          Well won’t happen or at least IF it happens (what I doubt)… No competitor to SL.

        • Sarah A

          Ok promised :)

      • Semblance OfSanity

        Yeah , I have been hearing how it will be open to the public “sometime next year” since 2015

        • KillCrit

          heh i was promised beta access, some 9 months ago saying, we are close to letting you in… no peep since, but itll be open to public within two months thats left in first half?

  • Actually, Second Life never allowed anybody to own anything. Paying hundreds of dollars a month for land or outright for a region did not entail ownership. It was always a rental. There was zero way to export *our* land and its content to *our* hard drive and use it anywhere else.

    Same with content. I spent several thousand dollars purchasing content that I thought belonged to me but soon found out the hard way I didn’t own squat. I paid money for virtual goods, they took my real money and spent it on real items but I couldn’t do anything with my virtual content. I couldn’t make copies of them for back ups in most cases, couldn’t modify them to my liking, couldn’t share them with anyone else, couldn’t export any of it to my HD and take it to another grid.

    It sounds like more of the same with sansar.

    If I create a video – that video belongs to me. You Tube might tell me I can’t put it up there on their platform but You Tube can’t stop me from putting it anywhere else I choose, or editing it, or modifying it or giving it away or selling it or whatever.

    Sansar seems to want to be able to still claim ultimate ownership and control of user content…if I use sansar to build a virtual experience, using assets I paid for, I’d only be able to share it with other sansar users. I couldn’t use it in some other platform or have independent control over it.

    Linden Lab doesn’t understand why Second Life has tanked.

    If we pay real money for virtual products, digital products – we OWN that content as a product. We should have the same rights to do with it what we choose as we do physical merchandise. Trade it, sell it, modify it, make a copy of it, take it with us.

    • You could export your work, you just had to use a different front end and be the owner. It takes awhile though and sometimes you may as well just remodel the simpler stuff.

      • I’m not referring to stuff I create. I’m referring to stuff I purchase. If I walk into Walmart and buy a pair of shoes with real money, I own the shoes, I wear them where I want, when I want. If I want to turn them into a craft project and sell them, that’s my right to do…because I own them.

        And if I spend money on an mp3 I’ll make all the copies I want.

        What I won’t do is try to pawn off on people I made the song or the shoes.

        But if I pay money, I own it.

        Same in virtual space. If I buy a skin you made, I’m not interested in telling anyone I made it. If I pay you my real money, then I damn well expect to own it – and that means I can wear it on any grid, change it, modify it, make copies of it, transfer it to an alt or export it to the HD for backup.

        I think the way it needs to work is – if we pay real money, we have real ownership – full perms across the board save but obviously passing it off as our own. Otherwise, you deserve no more than virtual money that has exactly the same restrictions.

        And until these uppity content creators get it through their heads, they’ll be at risk of copybots, same as people rip cds for music, movies and software and pass it around…why should the creators have the benefit while everyone else has limited use or functionality?

        I understand how it works just fine. I disagree with it and support sharing and ripping until these people figure out they’re on the losing end with their short sighted oblivion and greed. :)

    • TribeGadgets

      With respect, your use of YouTube as a comparison rather undermines the rest.

      A ten year SLer (so still new) I decided around 5 years ago to concentrate on making stuff for myself. So thats scripts, textures, models (inc mesh now) etc. Took some learning (still ongoing) but very satisfying and the tools out there are – well, extraordinary and for the most part OS too. To that extent, I would guess that 90% of stuff I live in, wear, sit on, drive, fly and enjoy are my own work. The rest is made up of those bits I have not yet got to a stage that isn’t quite good enough – yet :) Which is why my hair is a little outdated and I tend to travel bald…

      So I can (and do) move my stuff between grids at will where I can (and do) use them, sell them or give them away. Even to completely different platforms and markets.

      Yes I still pay for a region in SL and if any other comparable grid offered me the same flexibility with the same concurrency and possibilities at a cheaper price – I would switch and barely miss a thing in terms of ‘stuff’. But they don’t and I have been around the hyperverse and to the closed ones too.

      Sansar? I will check it out and register my handle (if thats even possible) in the same way as I try a lot of ‘new’ grids. Always have. At the same time I am starting to incorporate some of my stuff in Unity and Godot engine driven things. Great fun and even possible to sell.

      Apart from ‘land’ (which is a luxury that gives me enough ongoing enjoyment to justify on a tight budget) I don’t feel content shackled in any way. All it takes is a bit of practice and exploration.

      Its also given me more or less (via a little cross platforming and judicious use of the digital equivalent of duct tape) pretty much a universal avatar – at least in any place worth having one.

    • Kyle Hicks

      And you don’t seem to understand what a service is and what it entails. The terms of service you find there are not a new phenomenon or one simply focused on SL alone. YouTube has them too. If Google wanted to, they could shut YouTube down tomorrow and there’s not a damned thing you could do about any lost revenue. I play Star Trek Online. Same thing-I’ve spent hundreds on microtransactions in that game and can’t do anything about it legally if they decided to pull the plug for good on the servers tomorrow. So being I don’t own anything I paid to use on the STO server, being I don’t own that copy of whatever video I uploaded into the YouTube server, why in God’s green earth would SL be any different? If you upload data into the SL server, they own that server and thus can claim ownership of the contents thereof. So as a result, this isn’t why SL tanked. SL tanked because of poor management and people just getting bored and tired of an outdated engine that the grid runs on. But legally, on SL, you don’t technically own anything, INCLUDING your account. But here’s the thing-so long as you keep the original copy of, say, that mesh couch you made in Blender, SL can’t do anything about it if you decide to also upload a copy of that couch into an OS grid. What they’re more worried about is you downloading mesh items that HAVE already been uploaded to their server, as TribeGadgets said.

  • Will definitely give this a look to see what it can offer my clients over bespoke apps created with Unity3D. it will be more limited but offer RAD and have decent hosted multiplayer services. I just hope the costs are not as expensive as private SL landmass rent which put me off previously.

  • user

    very smart. the creators charge the users and when a creator decides to quit then linden lab cant be hold responsible and sued because the user no longer has access to the content. sucks for customers who will have to deal with many creators which they dont know.

  • The sansar scenes I tried last night were pretty bland. Static scenes with no sound.
    I tried it as a viewer only… no editing/building from me.

    • PK

      the scenes sansar themselves have built aren’t so bland, and have better sound design than any social world so far, that’s one of their strengths imho.

  • Seems a very interesting project and thanks to their experience with Second Life I’m sure that they’ll make something good… but as always with VR, I want to try it before giving an opinion…

  • beestee

    OASIS!…but not really.

  • Ash

    They keep talking about VR (headsets) but I want to know what the virtual world offers without VR headsets. I think without VR it will just be a better looking version of SL. But VR is extremely expensive and won’t reach prices affordable enough for most people to buy it just for the novelty factor because there is very little content on VR and little incentive to get it. It will be another 5 years before it becomes commonplace. So in the 5 years until VR headsets become widespread, Sansar will be filled with non-VR experiences and VR experiences with a very small population.

    • DaKangaroo

      Agreed, and I’d add, VR is something which requires a very well tuned high performance 3D engine to handle.

      Now look at SL. It’s not just old, it was poorly written and had terrible performance even when it came out. It’s better now, but it’s still no where near as good as other engines.

      I can run GTA V at 4k with most of the settings on max or close to it and get 60fps on my GPU/CPU combo, I can run VR games at great quality with no stutters, but SL I can barely maintain 30fps, it’s fps bounces up and down like it’s based on a random number generator. And that’s at just 1080p with the settings on ‘high’, not ‘ultra’. If I go anywhere in SL with more than 10 people in it, and a building, I can’t get 60fps unless I turn every setting down to the lowest option available, and even then it sometimes dips down to 30fps. The software itself seems very CPU bound too. Yet for all these problems getting SL to run smoothly, the virtual world itself looks worse frankly rubbish compared to modern video game graphics.

      And LL reckon they can make a 3D engine which can simulate a virtual world online with other people at high enough fps to handle VR?… I’ll believe that when I see it with my own eyes.

      • Sarah A

        You need a 6,000 USD PC to run it VR. The specs are so bad. And it is just windows supported. Many ppl dont see things. But in my opinion.. Sansar is early Alpha. Can drop in 2019. Even 2018 would suprise me.

        • Wolkenreiter

          I’m not buying you’re an actual Sansar user. With the amount of sh*t Sansar’s announcement has stired up among the SL community, it’s just a 100 times more likely you’re just a random troll trying to badmouth the new platform.
          That nonsense statement above alone is proof enough: There’s just no “6000USD PC” that would perform better than a $2000 PC under practical conditions…
          Feel free to prove me wrong by giving actual credible insider information or screenshots that haven’t been published over and over again, shouldn’t be too much of an issue, since you’ve already risked violating the NDA you’re likely under…

          • Sarah A

            Even I wished :(

          • Sarah A

            I am not a troll. Just disappointed.

    • Q13E5

      Well I was able to afford 2 gtx980s from EVGA. and no dakangaroo, Even older games with the VR hack are able to work well.

    • Kyle Hicks

      There is a huge issue with this being VR based though. They have effectively forced people who want into Sansar to have a VR capable computer-which means that Sansar would either force people to go back to an SL like experience surrounded by mesh that likes to lag and crash on lower end PCs unless you have a higher end one, or to go out and buy at the very least a close-to-$2000 computer just to get onto Sansar.

      No thanks.

      • thugnation

        You are on a VR site buddy.

        • Kyle Hicks

          Ah, I realize that. Still doesn’t change my point though-not in the slightest. What they’re wanting to do here with this is force people to play a virtual reality on a computer that is leaps and bounds beyond what I see being sensible for a grid that is like Second Life in nature, which could probably run on a potato. Now, if Linden Lab were making a game that was sensibly designed for VR that was open world like a GTA type game for a VR headset or a Star Trek game in which you take command of a starship, then I’d be thinking totally differently here. But what they want to do is bring essentially the same thing that currently is accessible to millions upon millions of people internationally and shrink their userbase for this new platform to maybe 25% of that, and I’m being generous-I seriously doubt Sansar will take off like they hope it will now and hope this is the nail in the coffin for Linden Lab, who have been giving customers the bird for some time now.

      • towblerone
        • Kyle Hicks

          Tell me why I should. Not everyone WANTS to go out and have to buy a whole new computer simply to get on a grid when the one they have to get on SL at present works wonderfully. I am one of those. Which is why I’m hoping the use of VR as is the specs given earlier here are untrue and that I can run it on my laptop I write this to you on.

          • towblerone

            “Tell me why I should.” I don’t care what you do.

  • Augure

    So hopefully, a Drag’n’Drop 3D Scene creation app? That’s a HUGE necessity for content creation and expression, and let’s say bluntly: most 3D software are awful unusable messes that made a whole generation for whom 3D is the new thing just abandon so much these 20 years tools haven’t evolved shit, nowhere near todays GUI/interaction standards and productivity demand.

    Right now, most 2D banners, posters, graphics, arts should be done in 3D, and creatives certainly want to. Even in the late 80s/early 90s it became a huge standard because software tools were adapted to the demand (and time) context. But C4D/3DSMax and even Unreal/Unity are these big bulky steam machines that have to be operated by several mechanical engineers if you want to achieve anything precise, creative or expressive enough.

    Hope Sansar can provide a solution for simple but easily manipulated and customised scenes in 3D or VR (and why not WebGL?).

    • woah!

      3D creation software has advanced massively since 20 years ago. 3D Studio was written in DOS for starters and had separate interfaces like the Shaper and the Lofter. Now, it is a single unified interface in Max, just like all the other pro packages because it just works. We don’t want a constantly changing GUI which hampers production everytime there is an update. It takes years to learn all the tools in 3DSMax / Maya to an efficient level so any major UI change is often met with anger from the artists that use it daily.

      You mention that all 2D art should be done in 3D. I don’t understand what you mean? Graphic designers most certainly do not want to use 3D tools to create 2D artwork. Why should they be done in 3D? Print is not 3D, adverts and banners are 99% not 3D so why use 3D tools to create something that is created in only the x and y? when superior 2D tools already exist? 2D features in 3D apps are very lacking because that is not the right tool for the job. Maybe if you want to animate the 2D then using a 3D tool makes sense but otherwise just no.

      As to the tools not being drag n drop. Drag n Drop is a limiting system that it is often used to make something technical less-technical e.g. Blueprints in Unreal to replace programming in C++ and State Machines in Unity like Playmaker so you do not have to touch a line of code or there are node editors used in Max’s Particle flow and material editor. Drag n Drop is a constraining system but that is not to say it doesn’t work, it is also a way to get non-technical artists diving into areas they would normally avoid.

      If you are a traditional artist then you will feel more comfortable with something like Mudbox or ZBrush that allows a more traditional approach to 3D art using a stylus. There will always be a technical element to it and this does hamper the traditional artist I agree but this is digital art so expect some technical challenges.

      Unity3D have announced a VR version of their editor where you put the HMD on and build scenes while inside the scene. Maybe that is what you are hoping for?

      As to WebGL it is dire and fails to work half the time. Even Unity’s export of WebGL is flakey. Have you ever built a half complex WebGL 3D scene and tested it on multiple browsers? I have, I had to delve into javascript and fix all sorts of browser related issues, re-export multiple times to get things barely working and the amount of everyday expected features it does not support is huge. Not worth designing for until it gets a lot more love as the time it takes to make something look good takes a huge amount of trickery.

      Sansar will I imagine allow scenes to be built while in VR, just like the Unity VR Editor. You will no doubt get primitives like cubes, cylinders and spheres to allow you to drag n drop them to build something and you might even get poly editing tools too. It is possible. Tilt Brush has shown just how nice it can be to have creative artistic freedom in VR so your complaints will be addressed soon I am sure.

      • Lucidfer

        1. I can’t disagree more. Saying “it takes years to learn 3DSMax/C4D so GUI shouldn’t change” is a HUGE contradiction and a terrible things to state: if it takes years to lear these, it means they’re shit and haven’t evolve toward a simplification and by that I mean a better conception of the GUI for years. The result is you have this small base of “studio” producers with vast complicated skills that are…stalling instead of getting better, more intuitive and optimised, while newcomer, students and artists are having more and more trouble getting into it. This is killing 3D…

        2. Because this the major visual trend of these years and upcoming ones. We have been evolved in a 2D paradigm wether in design, web or expression, but now not only for the 90s nostalgia, the novelty but also the more sense it makes from a creative but also software standpoint (VR, anyone?), 3D is in very high…interest but very low demand so much it’s expensive, because there as so few people who can produce it because…the tools are shit relative to the evolution of the context. I have never seen so many youngsters and creatives wanting to get into 3D but just…giving up so much the barrier of entry and the actual empowerment from these tools is limited.

        3. But basically what you are saying is that there should be no smartphone, and we should all be using some sort of mecanical portable dial-up, modem, physical keyboard, extruding camera, controller machine with a code-line based interface rather than touch-screen apps instead because that’s what’s available to do all this things but making them more conceptually sensical would not be as precise as it was.

        4. WebGL is EXACLTY what 3DSMax/C4D are, except no-one bothers because it’s new. YES, it’s horrible, it doesn’t work and is not reliable, yet if you push through the horribly conceptualised framework and code, there are still people who know how to use it and do. Does it means it suddenly “valid” or good? Nope. Then it’s the same for most 3D software: the fact that they are the only softwares, that they are standards, or have exist but not evolved for 10-15 years but just “do the job” still if you “know how to use it” after years and years as you said, they are relatively still very crappy tools that fails to meet today’s interactive interface standards and thus new accelerating demand for 3D. Again I’ve never seen so many people abandon a new trend because of how, not just complicated, but vastly inefficient the software is.

        5. The problem with Tilt Brush is that it’s a gadget not a tool. But a great gadget of expression for those who use it within the confine of it’s possibility and result. In fact extremely easy to use if you know how to paint, so it falls at the other end of the software spectrum: super limited and unprecise but extremely intuitive, efficient and thus productive. C4D/Maya/Unreal fall at the extreme opposite: relatively precise and almost unlimited but extremely inefficient, messy and unproductive.

        • Ok, we disagree on a lot, so does the industry I work in apparently. Touch screen interfaces??? Oh come on, finger painting is for kids and will never be precise enough for anything even remotely serious in 3D design, have you actually used one for any length of time? Trying to model on a touch screen is a nightmare, and yes I have one. If that is your basis for a modern UI in the professional market then good luck lol.

          • Lucidfer

            Nope, this is not for the same reason screen and keyboard are limited too: 3D is for VR. And when we have precise enough tools like a VR pen, then it’ll be better to draw. But it won’t change anything at how incredibly crappy these softwares are, that nobody from this generations wants to use and is going to pass beside.

  • Riggy Diggy

    I don’t know why they are trying so hard to say that it’s not Second Life 2 (or would it be called Third Life?). It’s literally the exact same as Second life except it has a new business model so I guess they are using it as an advertisement strategy as well. All people do in Second Life is farm and buy money to make expensive mansions, buildings, worlds and then invite people to chill out. That’s exactly what this is except a better version with more stuff to do in the said worlds.

  • KatsyK

    From what i have understood, Sansar is geared toward VR but VR is not required to be used. That’s my understanding of the program. also, I’m surprised they are going to result to charging creators for creating catalog items, I personally think its a great way to make other aspects cheaper or free all together though i HIGHLY doubt free. lol There are multiple video interviews involving the lindens and LL staff from wheat I have seen(heard from their interviews) Sansar will be a lot like SL just way more advanced, they are even trying to make it possible that we can access Sansar from other points of the internet not just logging through a viewer.

  • Asimia

    What Altberg identifies as a “failing” of Second Life is actually a failing of Linden Labs in both marketing and communications. For years the company has been helmed by CEOs focused on users of the video game market, which is NOT the dominant nor most rapidly growing demographic in Second Life, and also NOT the demographic most likely to spend money with in-world creators and designers. Users have been asked for and given solid recommendations, and they’ve all fallen on deaf ears. Altberg has been clear in that he expects Sansar to “cannibalize” Second Life and that while SL won’t go away immediately, the goal of the company is to put all of their eggs into the Sansar basket. Which, personally, I think is dramatically short-sighted and not likely to end well, but we shall see. Creators already complain about the costs involved in mesh creation and upload to SL, I’m sure they’re going to be delighted once Linden Labs starts taking a cut of their income as well.