Linden Lab have published a press release regarding Project Sansar; Linden Lab Invites First Virtual Experience Creators to Project Sansar Testing. I’m not going to publish the press release in full, but I will quote parts of it, starting with :
SAN FRANCISCO – August 18, 2015 – Linden Lab®, the creators of Second Life®, today announced that a small number of creators have been exclusively invited to be the first to help test its new platform for virtual experiences, codenamed Project Sansar.
Slated for general availability in 2016, Project Sansar will democratize virtual reality as a creative medium. It will empower people to easily create, share, and monetize their own multi-user, interactive virtual experiences, without requiring engineering resources. The platform will enable professional-level quality and performance with exceptional visual fidelity, 3D audio, and physics simulation. Experiences created with Project Sansar will be optimized for VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, but also accessible via PCs and (at consumer launch) mobile devices. Users can explore and socialize within Project Sansar experiences through advanced expressive avatars, using text and voice chat.
This isn’t surprising news. Linden Lab have stated for some time that a small number of hand picked creators would be invited to test Project Sansar. The early users are expected to be people who can create architecture and have access to Autodesk Maya, as that’s the software Linden Lab seem to have been using inhouse.
The use of Maya as a tool in Project Sansar was discussed by Ebbe Altberg recently in a video interview with UploadVR :
UploadVR: What does that workflow look like for Sansar?
Ebbe Altberg: For starters, it will be quite technical, you will register, you will log-in, you’ll install this application which includes some add-ons for Maya, and you’ll use Maya to create the content. You’ll create a full scene, very large scenes, and you just publish that and we host that on our servers, and then that experience you can send links out to, and people follow the links and walk into that experience.
UploadVR: Just like that, straight from Maya?
Ebbe Altberg: Straight from Maya, push a button, and then you have a virtual environment that you can share.
People should not get too concerned about this. Project Sansar is in the very early Alpha stage, things can and probably will, change quite dramatically before it’s in beta, or even open Alpha if they have one. At the moment Linden Lab are going with what they know works, which at this stage is Maya.