Scientists have announced that they have found “The closest twin to earth outside the solar system“. The name of the planet is Kepler 452b and it’s considered Earth’s older and bigger cousin. However that’s not really what this blog post is about. No, this blog post is about me finding “The closest article to the article I found yesterday about Project Sansar, outside this blog“.
I have discovered the article at none other than Variety. The article in question is Second Life Maker Linden Lab Wants to Build the WordPress of Virtual Reality by Janko Roettgers, Senior Silicon Valley Correspondent for Variety.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, yesterday I blogged Ebbe Altberg And Peter Gray Talk To MMORPG About The Future Of Online Experiences, which was based on an article on MMORPG by Neilie Johnson entitled “Linden Lab Looks to the Future of Online Experiences“.
The article in Variety covers a lot of the same ground but it also has some additional and rather interesting information, for example, when it comes to how many people may be able to visit a build in Project Sansar, the Variety article states :
Why spend a lot of money to build a presence in Second Life if it could only be visited by only 70 people at a time? Project Sansar wants to solve this issue by allowing for unlimited copies of an experience. In other words, instead of just opening one restaurant, McDonalds could open hundreds or even thousands of eateries in the new virtual world, and open and close them based on customer demand.
This does indeed mean instancing! Now if you’re not familiar with instancing, imagine a Second Life region that is full. Instancing would address this by creating pretty much a copy of that region on demand, to allow more people to enter the experience. The obvious issue there is that you may not be in the same instance of the region as your friends, but we can worry about things like that later because instancing is a bloody brilliant concept.
Then we move onto something that I’ve actually talked about in the past, but it does suggest a difference between the way Linden Lab have approached Second Life and how they are approaching Project Sansar in terms of branding :
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.
Now this is interesting. I’m taking this to mean that instead of people heading off to Project Sansar, as they do with Second Life, they will instead be heading off to the experience. So for example people would go to, let’s say, The Wastelands or Remnants Of Earth. Whereas these areas, in a Project Sansar environment, would be running on Linden Lab technology, the brand of the location would be the talking point. Then in the background, in the technical areas of the forums, the more geeky of us would be discussing Linden Lab’s technology that powers these brands.
In the Variety post and the MMORPG post, the issue of WordPress came up and that seems even more relevant now. Now I use WordPress, so do Inara Pey, Nalates Urriah and Canary Beck. Now we are all different sites, although we can interact via the WordPress software with avatars, likes etc. WordPress is the technology and allows us to get up and running, but the brand is the site itself.
I could of course be getting this arse about face, I haven’t talked to Linden Lab about this, but this sounds like the direction they are heading in. We have to be patient with these things and see what actually transpires, but speculating is exciting!
One more thing from the article, it looks as if Linden Lab are looking at a public beta of early 2016, around the time a consumer version of Oculus Rift hits the shelves. I must admit that this sounds a bit too soon to me. I would have thought public beta would be later in 2016, but we’ll see what happens.
I would advise people to read the article on Variety, there’s a lot I haven’t covered and the article is a good read. However the really big question is one that won’t be answered for some time, but it does bring me back to the start of the article. Second Life and Project Sansar will be virtual world cousins, which one will fit the role of Earth and which one will fit the role of the bigger cousin, Kepler 452b?