NeosVR Has Released an Impressive-Looking Update

I haven’t written about NeosVR for quite some time. NeosVR has just released a major update to its social VR platform, and I must admit that it looks pretty good!

One new thing I have noticed is that they are doing an ICO (initial coin offering) on a new in-world cryptocurrency called Neos Credits. However, you don’t need to purchase cryptocurrency to participate.

NeosVR is available to download for free from Steam. They also have a Patreon page for the project. You can also follow the project on Twitter, YouTube, and Discord. There’s also a white paper.

The developer, Tomas Mariancik (a.k.a. Frooxius), has released a ton of YouTube videos on his progress. NeosVR seems to have come a long way already in a short time! Definitely, this is one product to keep an eye on.

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Intolerance and Social Media

Today I had to ban the first troll from the official RyanSchultz.com Discord server, for posting racist and homophobic statements and then denying she had said anything wrong (i.e. gaslighting). I am getting truly fed up with the amount of hate and prejudice I am beginning to see on most social media, and I will not hesitate to pull out the banhammer if I see it erupt on my Discord. This person was banned and all her posts deleted.

My rules for the RyanSchultz.com Discord include the following statement which I essentially lifted verbatim from Linden Lab:

Intolerance: This server encourages social interactions between users across multiple countries. The use of derogatory or demeaning language or images based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation is prohibited. Actions that marginalize, belittle, or defame users or groups are similarly prohibited. Hate speech of any kind is prohibited.

I have frankly had enough of the toxic stew that many social media platforms have become. I have left Facebook, and Google+ will soon shut down. I have, for own sanity, blocked Donald Trump on Twitter, and I am spending a lot less time there (although I do still cross-post my blogposts there, and I will continue to do so). I feel like taking a good, long vacation from all social media, except my blog and my Discord. I may just do that.

I think we all need to stop and think hard about this monster we have all had a part in creating and sustaining, and what kind of negative impact it is having on society. Some people feel they now have a platform to spread misinformation, lies, and hatred with impunity, and we must all do our part to stand up, call them on their bullshit, and put a stop to it.

MATERIA.ONE Update

In my email today, I received an invitation to be one of the early beta testers of MATERIA.ONE, in exchange for filling out and signing a non-disclosure agreement, which I did.

If accepted, I will receive a Steam key to access the technical closed beta demo before the end of the month. I’m actually very surprised I was even asked, since I am not an investor in Staramba or an owner of any Staramba tokens, their in-world cryptocurrency. And, as any regular reader of my blog knows, I have been casting a rather skeptical eye at this project so far.

The NDA means that I will not be able to share anything I see or experience within MATERIA.ONE on this blog, sadly. (This is similar to the NDA that we had to agree to before Sansar officially opened its doors to the public on July 31st, 2017.)

So, wish me luck! If I am accepted, then I will be one of the first people to actually get to see what all the fuss is about. If not, well, no big deal.

In the meantime, I will maintain radio silence about the project.

UPDATED: Notes from Today’s Avatar Customization Product Meetup in Sansar

I decided to come in-world to report on this week’s important Sansar Product Meetup, which was entirely focused on Linden Lab’s plans for future avatar customization. This is an opportunity for Sansar users to hear LL’s plans and provide feedback on what features they would like to see. Nearly 60 avatars were present at the meeting, an over-capacity crowd which lead to people landing up in separate instances of the experience (something that Linden Lab really needs to address going forward).

People who could not attend today’s meeting can follow one of three livestreams. Two attendees are livestreaming today’s Product Meetup: Daisy Gator at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auVnsfdJ5jw and Ryzo-Rin at https://www.twitch.tv/ryzorin. The official Sansar Twitch stream can be found at https://www.twitch.tv/sansarofficial.

Cara reported that there will be more avatar sliders, first for the face and then the body. The new default human avatars will have maps on the body itself, and you will be able to use your mouse to click and drag to adjust your features. This would be a different way to adjust your face and body than using simple sliders, and it sounds exciting!

Linden Lab is considering adding an avatar height slider, and they are also looking at uniform scaling to make larger and smaller but still proportional avatars (e,g, giants and pixies).

Linden Lab also wants to push for more custom avatars on the marketplace. They are also looking at the ability to dress custom avatars using clothing created in Marvelous Designer within the next couple of releases of the client software, according to Cara. The AABB bounding box on the avatar will be expanded to allow for such things as larger wings, for example.


Cara and Lacie Address Questions from the Audience

They also want to add more avatar attachment points, and they also want to look at improving the accessories so you can adjust the item while wearing it.

High heels: not one of Linden Lab’s priorities at the moment. Many users want to have this ability though, sooner rather than later.

Custom skins: Linden Lab does want to open up the ability to upload and sell custom skins on the market.

The current humanoid skin type will be tintable (as hair and nails are now), but the next-generation avatar will have a skin type which will use subsurface scattering and shaders to look better, and will require a different way to tint it.

Animated attachments: not a current priority.

Hotswapping avatars (between saved looks in the Lookbook) is a feature that Linden Lab would like to set up for us to be able to use (i.e. not having to go into Lookbook to change an outfit but doing it instantly).

It was a very good meeting, short of actual delivery dates, but still giving us a glimpse of where avatar customization is going within Sansar. I think many of the people who attended the meeting were very pleased with the announcements that were made by Cara and Lacie.

UPDATE Feb. 15th: Inara Pey, who does a much better job of summarizing these weekly Product Meetups than I do, corrects a mistake I made:

“Hotswapping avatars (between saved looks in the Lookbook) is a feature that Linden Lab would like to set up for us to be able to use”

As a point of clarification, Cara actually said this is something the Lab is *unable* to support at the moment – and no indication was given that this is being looked at. What she did mention was that the idea of some kind of “personal inventory” of objects “carried” by an avatar is still under discussion at the Lab.

Thanks for the clarification, Inara! You can find her detailed report on the meeting here, including audio excerpts.