Exclusive Video: A Guided Tour of Virtual Universe with Jeroen Van den Bosch

Virtual Universe 28 Apr 2018
A scene from Virtual Universe, with AI-controlled bluebirds

I have recently blogged twice about the new social VR space/virtual world/MMO hybrid called Virtual Universe, first as an introduction and then looking at the creator toolset.

On Saturday afternoon I was fortunate enough to be given a half-hour guided tour of Virtual Universe (VU), conducted by Jeroen Van den Bosch, VU’s Chief Creative Officer and co-founder. Darin the cameraman accompanied us and videotaped our tour so I can share it with you exclusively! (Yes, I have explicit permission to share this video.)

I was amazed by what I saw and experienced in VU, even in its alpha state, and I think you will be too, when you watch this video! I definitely want to be among the first people to try this new platform out when they launch the beta sometime this summer.

The people building VU are the same ones who created the popular Grand Canyon VR Experience. The overall graphics quality of VU is, in my opinion, second only to Sansar (and that’s still high praise). The virtual water is among the best and most realistic I have ever seen in any virtual world. The AI-controlled animals—rabbits, birds, lizards, even individual INSECTS!—is astoundingly lifelike. You can use tools similar to those in the VR experience Nature Treks VR to arrange rocks and plant trees. The transitions when you teleport from one experience to another reminded me of the sci-fi movie The Matrix. I could go on and on, but I think I will just post the 30-minute video and let you judge for yourself (you can click on the icon in the bottom right-hand corner to make the video larger):

You’ll notice that the current iteration of VU is intended for room-scale VR. There is currently no way to play this game by sitting in a chair—you need to be able to physically turn your body in the direction where you want to go! As someone who habitually uses VR in a seated position in a rather cramped space, this took some getting used to, but you quickly become accustomed to it. You can walk (at a slow pace), or you can pull up a personal hovercraft that takes you places faster.

In their whitepaper, VU is described as “part game, part social network, and part social creation platform, blending elements of Minecraft, Second Life and Simcity with innovative artificial-intelligence technologies that drive engagement”, and that is an excellent description of what it tries to be. It’s an intriguing mix of virtual world and MMO/MMORPG where you can collect wood, chop it up, and start a fire, feed worms to the bluebirds, or just explore your surroundings and interact with other users.

It still has lots of rough spots, which is normal for alpha software, but Virtual Universe is a social VR platform/MMO well worth keeping an eye on. I came away feeling excited about the possibilities and looking forward to taking part in their future beta release.

Indeed, the future is going to be very interesting!

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600 Blogposts!

I just realized that I have made 600 blogposts to RyanSchultz.com (formerly known as the Sansar Newsblog).

600-pages

Six hundred blogposts in 271 days (since July 31st, 2017 when I launched the Sansar Newsblog) works out to a little over two blogposts a day!

You might be interested to know what my Top Ten most popular blogposts so far have been. They are:

  1. Pick of the Day: Aech’s Garage, the Ready Player One Movie Experience in Sansar (January 8th, 2018)
  2. VRChat Pick of the Day: Club Transcendia (March 11th, 2018)
  3. UPDATED: More Details on the Upcoming Ability to Change Your User Name in Second Life (March 22nd, 2018)
  4. Virtual Reality Vs. Real Reality (January 2nd, 2018)
  5. Why Women Don’t Like Social VR: Interview with Jessica Outlaw (February 17th, 2018)
  6. A Few (Second) Thoughts About the Sudden Popularity of VRChat (January 4th, 2018)
  7. Second Life Versus Sansar: Why Linden Lab Can’t Win, No Matter What They Do (March 9th, 2018)
  8. Which Virtual World Boasts the Highest Avatar Capacity? (March 13th, 2018)
  9. Linden Lab Announces a Mainland Price Decrease in Second Life (March 14th, 2018)
  10. The Idea of the Universal Avatar (November 28th, 2017)

See you at 700!

Atlas Hopping, Episode 35

(Note: I actually wrote a whole blogpost and then WordPress ate it, and I lost everything! This is an abbreviated version of that first lost post.)

Instead of our regular atlas hopping, we all gathered in the basement of 114 Harvest to watch the TV set, where Drax was teaching Strawberry how to build a Sansar experience. It was both a hilarious and an educational episode!

Watching Berry and Drax Build 28 Apr 2018

We wrapped it up by visiting the newly-constructed Berry’s Toy Box, and playing a game of hide and seek in it! I haven’t laughed so hard in ages! Then we visited the Treehouse Overlook, by Shack Dougall, a truly wonderful experience picked at random from the Sansar Atlas.

Here’s Strawberry’s livestream of the event:

And here’s Drax’s:

Sansar Store Spotlight: Hair by Cora

As Sansar’s first, and so far only (with the exception of a single blogpost by Strawberry Singh) fashion blogger, I scan the Sansar Store daily for new things to show you.

One of the things that has surprised me is that there are still so few people making hair for Sansar avatars. Among those creators is Cora, and I would like to show you a few of her beautifully textured hair designs, all of which can be endlessly recoloured using the hair tab in Lookbook.

First up is her newest release, the Kim braided updo bun hair for S$150 (click on each picture to see in a larger size):

Cora also sells the beautiful brown eyes I am wearing for FREE. (They attach on the ear slot, so you can wear them with glasses which use the eye slot.)

Here’s another of her hair designs I love, the Andrea long wavy hairstyle:

Cora Hair 3 28 Apr 2018.png

Finally, we have the Kelsey messy bob hairstyle (which also comes in a men’s version):

Cora Hair 4 28 Apr 2018.png

There are several more hairstyles available on Cora’s store in the Sansar Store, so be sure to check them out!