Sansar Still Doesn’t Look Like It Will Eat Second Life and That’s a Good Thing

Sindaria

Back in December 2015 I wrote; Project Sansar Won’t Eat Second Life. I still hold that view. A major bone of contention, that is still being raised today, was the probably infamous cannibalisation comment from Ebbe Altberg :

Yes, so this is the cannibalisation effect. It’s obviously real; and all I can say to that is, it’s better it’s us than someone else. Because it’s going to be someone, some day. and so we’ve decided it has to be us. It is a complex thing, and we want to make sure that we make it easy for users. Because in the beginning, Sansar might look all shiny and whatnot, but it’s not going to have the level of complexity and sophistication of Second Life, that’s been developed for almost 15 years now. It will take time for a lot of the things that you all love and do in Second Life to be something that you could completely do in Sansar.

Now something that gets somewhat overlooked here is that the cannibalisation comment was prompted by a question, which suggested that the team running Sansar have an interest in cannibalising Second Life.

Jenn

Another point to note is that Linden Lab have launched Sansar and it’s fair to say that it looks shiny but very definitely lacks the complexity of Second Life at this moment in time.

My early observations of Sansar also back up another of my beliefs regarding Sansar, it’s a different product, with some overlap, that will likely attract a different audience to Second Life. This isn’t just because of the technical differences, it’s also because of the format. Second Life is a virtual world, Sansar is a set of virtual experiences and with Sansar, the experience comes first, whereas in Second Life, it’s the virtual world that comes first.

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High Fidelity Roadmap Highlights New Currency And Content Protection

High Fidelity’s Philip Rosedale has published a couple of blog posts regarding High Fidelity’s roadmap for currency and content protection. The posts really need to be read in full to be fully appreciated and they are rather lengthy and technical, but I would certainly urge content creators to read them, there are some very interesting ideas and proposals at play here.

The first post, Roadmap: Currency and Content Protection, outlines plans for a new currency, HFC :

We are getting ready to deploy blockchain software to create a new currency for virtual worlds, called HFC. This currency will be a public blockchain with a consensus group made up of multiple parties, and ultimately independent of High Fidelity’s control.

That line about being independent of High Fidelity’s control is important for a few reasons, the glaring one being what would happen if High Fidelity went away, which is answered in the post :

Q: Will my money and digital assets survive if High Fidelity goes away?

A: Yes. Because the HFC blockchain is a public ledger, anyone can (and many will) make a backup of the data. If High Fidelity were to disappear, someone else will startup a new blockchain from that backup and provide the same service of accepting new blocks to write to the ledger. Also, both High Fidelity and the blockchain software we are using are open source.

There’s a lot more in the post, it covers security, privacy, wallets and stable exchange rates. The last point is relevant because it explains why High Fidelity want to create their own currency rather than using existing options. This is definitely worth reading.

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AltspaceVR Appears To Have Had A Last Minute Reprieve

I have just about avoiding suggesting that AltspaceVR is getting a Second Life, partially because that may have confused people as to what exactly is going on.

On July 28th a post appeared on the AltspaceVR blog; A Very Sad Goodbye :

It is with a tremendously heavy heart that we let you all know that we are closing down AltspaceVR on August 3rd, 7PM PDT. The company has run into unforeseen financial difficulty and we can’t afford to keep the virtual lights on anymore. This is surprising, disappointing, and frustrating for every one of us who have put our passion and our hopes into AltspaceVR. We know it will probably feel similarly for you.

AltspaceVR had received funding in 2015 and they thought that a deal for another round of funding had been secured, but that deal fell through and therefore AltspaceVR had no choice other than to shut their virtual doors.

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Creator David Hall Paves The Way For The Rise Of The Dwarves In Sansar

Dwarven Fortress

Elves may have their ears in Sansar but Dwarves have a fortress! Even better than that, and probably of far more interest to you, is the fact that the creator of The Dwarven Fortress, David Hall, has been featured in a Sansar Creator Profile video produced by Draxtor Despres.

Passage

The video is short and I’ll embed it at the end of this post but it gives a nice insight into a Sansar creator as well as some of the tools of the trade.

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Improbable Development is Possible By Listening to and Watching Developers

Improbable are an interesting company, they have a product called SpatialOS which comes with a blurb of :

Improbable’s SpatialOS platform gives you the power to seamlessly stitch together multiple servers and game engines like Unreal and Unity to power massive, persistent worlds with more players than ever before.

Worlds Adrift is the game that most gets mentioned when it comes to Improbable but they have a Games Innovation Program in conjunction with Google that may be worth a look for smaller developers.

An article on MCV by Improbable CTO Rob Whitehead caught my eye for a few reasons. One reason is that Rob Whitehead was once a teenage Second Life weapons seller. Another reason though is how Rob talks of the development process, which might go some way to explaining some of the thinking behind Linden Lab’s Sansar Creator Beta model :

When building a platform, one of the first challenges is persuading developers that experimenting with it is a good use of their time. The next challenge is learning from all the fantastically inventive ways developers find the edges of your tech.

This is an interesting approach which may explain why some features end users would like to see in different developing platforms appear later in the process.

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