The elusive Spirit of Second Life

…… [Sansar] will be in the spirit of Second Life, an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they can imagine and content creators are king.   -Ebbe Altberg-

I submitted a question for the recent LabChat. It was accepted and at the event Ebbe responded.
The question:

Ebbe, would you please discuss in-world building in Sansar.
How will it be similar or different from building in-world in Second Life?
Will we be, for example, building with voxels? prims? or something completely new?
Will there be a built in way to create or edit Mesh in-world?
Thank You in advance for enlightening us.
The response:
Currently, we’re focusing mostly on layout and great support for importing of objects from the outside, so that you could use whatever tool of choice to do your mesh work, and then just import it into Sansar and then lay it out with great tools to lay out and scale and position things within the world.
We’re also working on terrain tools, where there will also probably be some kind of mix of voxel and height map tech to try to stitch things together.
At some point, yes; like why should I have to completely go back to an external tool just so I can poke at an object to reshape it or tweak it to some degree, and then you get into editing. And at some point, when you have some of those basic capabilities to just shape objects, then you could also start with the option of people just dropping in basic shapes directly from in-world. You can just drop a cube on the ground and start poking at it to reshape it.
So, I think there will be a progression. Pretty much right now we’re specifically focused on by June, getting it so that you have really powerful layout capabilities, and maybe the ability to import. Maybe we’ll just start with .FBX or something like that, so that you can import objects from the outside world and lay them out in Sansar.
And then over time we’ll see if we’ll support additional file formats, and then over time we’ll also get into more and more, as we start to see what users need, how much editing we need to support in-world.
I mean, we do not want to be the superset of tools that everybody wants; there are so many tools out there from Maya to Blender to 3D Max. And then you have architecture, where there’s like huge suites of tools, that we’ll never try to be better than any one of them, and certainly not to some of those. So we want to make sure that you can use all of those tools, and bring content in, and then do the final positioning and layout of things as smoothly and easily inside.
And then after that, like I said, we’ll see where we start to allow for more direct manipulation of shaping things inside .
JY: But you are planning to eventually have some sort of in-world building tool? Because I personally think that’s essential, especially for people who are not very experienced with outside software.
I’m pretty sure we’ll get there too, in some way; but I just don’t know that we’ll get there this year. For starters, you might have to be 100% dependent on some external tools to create your objects.
My Take:
Second Life began as a sandbox world; it still is in many respects, although increasingly the work of building has moved to external programs. It now seems that Sansar will not be a sandbox at all, at least to start. I think this is a mistake but, my confidence in the long term viability of Second Life has increased as a result.
There are possible work-arounds. One might be Voxel Farm (a Second Life plug-in?) which exports in the .fbx format Ebbe mentioned. While I have no personal experience with it, what I see on YouTube looks very much like prim building (on steroids?). Since it is not free, I will wait on word from the Lab about compatibility and limitations.


On the topic of In-world Grid Status Notifications:
As Ebbe points out, it just won’t work, there is a reasonable expectation that a problem would effect the notification system. What would work would be a separate program (a Growl app?) that would alarm when the grid status page is changed, whether we were in world or not. This would probably be best done by the Lab in order to ensure the interoperability of the app and the web page.

Leave a comment

Filed under LabChat, Linden Lab, Sansar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s