It’s only natural to want to compare two of the newer, VR-capable social virtual worlds: High Fidelity (founded in 2013 by Philip Rosedale), and Sansar by Linden Lab (the company founded in 1999, also by Philip Rosedale, before he left to start HiFi; the current CEO is Ebbe Altberg). With similar roots, the two virtual worlds have a lot in common, but there are still some significant differences between them. Earlier this year, I recently posted an infographic comparing the two platforms (which I probably need to update).
Now, my preferred virtual world happens to be Sansar, but there are some areas where High Fidelity still has an edge over Sansar, at least right now:
Making friends: You can “shake hands” with another avatar and they are automatically added to your friends list in HiFi. Very natural and very cool.
Paying an avatar: You can pay or “tip” an avatar directly from the tablet UI in High Fidelity, something you can’t do in Sansar.
Spectator Cam: This is a very useful and fun tool. The Spectator Camera is a camera you can use, along with recording software such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), to record or livestream what you and your friends do in High Fidelity. They even had a film festival in HiFi consisting entirely of videos recorded using this device! I went to the premiere, it was great fun!
Blockchain: High Fidelity stores currency, object information, and identity on the blockchain. It’s a new, relatively untested technology which some feel is problematic, but Philip Rosedale has embraced it boldly. Sansar has decided to go in a different direction with a commerce system very similar to its flagship product, Second Life.
In-World Building Tools: High Fidelity does offer you the option of building items in-world, in a way very similar to the “prim building” in Second Life. It’s still a crude tool, but it works. There’s no such ability in Sansar, nor is one planned as far as I know. Most content creators in HiFi and Sansar do decide to use external tools such as Blender or Maya (or even Windows Paint 3D!) to create content, then import it.
Have I missed any other advantages to High Fidelity over Sansar? Please let me know in the comments, thanks!
UPDATE 7:32 p.m. Alezia Kurdis on the HiFi user forums reminded me of one thing that High Fidelity has that Sansar doesn’t—your avatar can fly! Thanks, Alezia!
UPDATE May 15th: Expert HiFi avatar creator Menithal comments on another feature that High Fidelity has that Sansar currently lacks—custom-rigged avatars! (Sansar has decided to go in another direction with avatar customization with its integration with Marvelous Designer, but you cannot design, create, rig and script customized avatars like you can in High Fidelity and VRChat):
You also have a lot more control over custom avatars;
- On the fly Scripting and scripts that can run only on your client
- CUSTOM avatars, not just customizable ones with attachments
- In-world freedom to do things
Let me give some examples:
You can manipulate object behavior on the fly, instead of relying on things to occur: Like in this silly video where i just experimented with Attaching a camera to the end of a stick, then making it physical. I also bound my track pad to change my emotion state on the fly while in the HMD.
Avatars can also be, honestly a lot more expressive, in HiFi compared to Sansar, due to the ability to have completely custom shapes instead of attachments, which also are completely doable (my coat is an attachment I can change on the fly)
There also is quite alot of flexibility of creation of addons: like the clap script, allowing you to clap while in HMD. Scripting it self extends the possibilities to be quite large:
Or even cast a spell using gestures and vocal control, if you have the scripting know-how. This also demonstrates me switching out my attachments via a script.
Or if you have an avatar with many bones, you can create an avatar specific customizer
This ofcourse has gone even further and allowed the use of flow bones in High Fidelity, where bones are simulated as well by others touching them.
Then there is
And everything can be done while in HMD, without having to jump on and off it. A lot of the features are way deeper than the surface.
Thanks, Menithal! Although I must note that you can indeed run in Sansar…but flying would be nice to have *sigh*