Sansar Pick of the Day: Visit the Star Trek Memorabilia Exhibit at the Roddenberry Nexus

Roddenberry Nexus is a brand-new Star Trek exhibit in Sansar created by Roddenberry Entertainment, which is also hosting the official Star Trek 2018 convention running from August 1st to 5th in Las Vegas, Nevada:

 On September 8th 1966, Gene Roddenberry launched a television phenomenon that would forever change the face of science fiction. Star Trek: The Original Series followed the 23rd-century, interstellar adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew of the Federation Starship, Enterprise. 21 years after its first airing of The Original Series, Gene Roddenberry amazed audiences by re-launching the franchise with its most successful series to date: Star Trek: The Next Generation. Fifty years after its initial airing, the Star Trek franchise includes five live-action television shows, one animated series and thirteen feature-length films.

Linden Lab has a booth at the Star Trek convention, and they are giving people demos of this Sansar experience. In this picture, my avatar is standing in front of the Gene Roddenberry Action Figure Prototype display:

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Roddenberry Nexus

There are many displays featuring items, such as communications devices and weapons, which you can pick up and inspect:

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There is a comprehensive timeline display of Star Trek insignia, emblems, symbols, and seals, by Brad Wilder, creator of the Star Trek Design Project website:

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When I first visited, the elevator wasn’t working (I’m sure it will be fixed soon). There are a second floor and a third floor with displays of costumes and storyboards from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. (I took these pictures by using the fly-cam mode; please click on each image to see it in a larger size):

 

There are more details in this VR Focus article: Learn Star Trek’s 52-Year History At The Roddenberry Nexus:

Star Trek fans might be enjoying some gameplay sessions on Star Trek: Bridge Crew The Next Generation DLC at the moment, but those interested in learning about its history can do so in a new immersive way today. Sansar and Roddenberry Entertainment have collaborated on the Roddenberry Nexus, a portal into the Star Trek universe where fans can see the best of Roddenberry’s science fiction properties.

The Roddenberry Nexus houses a treasure trove of Star Trek memorabilia, including never-before-seen art and artifacts from Star Trek’s fifty-two-year history and new stories such as the short film Instant.

Looking to further involve fans in the history and lore of the TV shows and films fans now have virtual access to its archives, from anywhere in the world whilst providing a hangout space that will serve as a venue for future Roddenberry events and fan meet-ups.

“Roddenberry Entertainment always strives to be on the forefront of innovation, going where no one has gone before,” said Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment in a statement. “Sansar Studios is a leader in VR development and we are proud to partner with them on this new initiative, combining the history and legacy of Roddenberry with their groundbreaking technology.”

If you’re a die-hard Trekkie, this exhibition is a must-see!

NOTE: You can install the Sansar software client, if you don’t already have it, at https://www.sansar.com/download. And then you can visit and explore this experience by searching for “Roddenberry Nexus” in the Sansar Atlas, or just by clicking this link: Roddenberry Nexus.

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A Review of Virtual Universe

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am choosing to participate in the Virtual Universe (VU) Initial Coin Offering Partner Program. Why? Two reasons:

  1. After my recent guided tour of VU, I feel very strongly that this is going to be a successful and popular virtual world/MMO hybrid platform, and I want to be a part of it when VU launches their beta this summer. This is the very first blockchain-based virtual world that I actually feel excited about!
  2. As a Canadian citizen, I reside in one of the three countries where I am currently legally forbidden from purchasing VU tokens (the other two are the United States and China). This means that the only way I can legitimately earn VU tokens to use in this social VR space before the beta launch is via the VU ICO Partner Program.

I want you to know this up front: this blogpost is a promotion for VU, in exchange for VU tokens.  You can follow on this webpage to see how many VU tokens I have earned by completing tasks in this Partner Program if you wish (right now, I am at number two on the VU Token Leaderboard). There’s nothing stopping you from participating in this Partner Program yourself, and earning some VU tokens!

IMPORTANT: VU Tokens are not a real currency. They are ERC-20 based blockchain tokens intended to permit players of Virtual Universe exclusive access to digital assets within a VR game known as Virtual Universe (VU). They are a form of in-game virtual currency.  Virtual value attributed to the VU Token will be as a result of in-game efforts by players, and no future value is represented or guaranteed.


The private beta launch of Virtual Universe has been pushed back from July to the final quarter of this year, according to a recent message from Jeroen Van den Bosch, VU’s Chief Creative Officer and co-founder, posted to the official Virtual Universe Discord server. (By the way, the Discord server is a good way to find out what is going on with the project. Use the link provided above to join the Discord server and chat with the developers and other interested users!)

VU is still looking for people to join their beta test. You can register for the private beta at this link. Please note that you do have to have to be a Pioneer member to sign up for the closed beta. To become a Pioneer member, you must purchase VU tokens, or you must be a part of the VU Token Partner Program and complete tasks in their Earn & Win program to promote the platform (like this blogpost!).

If you haven’t seen what Virtual Universe has to offer yet, I suggest you take a look at my half-hour guided tour of VU with Jeroen Van den Bosch. There’s also a second tour you can watch here. And there’s a third tour here:

In addition to the tour videos, which give you a good sense of the platform, there’s already lots of information about the project on the Virtual Universe website, so you might want to explore that to pick up the backstory of the game and look at some of the artwork.

The first set of apartments and penthouses for VU users has already sold out completely, but there will be more apartments built, including some super-luxurious homes for the high rollers! You will also be able to set up and run your own business in Virtual Universe. The game will be free to play, and you can earn VU tokens by doing daily quests, so it does not cost anything to take part (although obviously, VU wants you to buy in-game tokens since this is one of the primary ways they will earn money).

Former InWorldz Staff Plan to Start Up a Separate Grid from “InWorldz II”

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The InWorldz saga continues…

Talla Adam of the blog Metaverse Traveller reports that a team of former InWorldz staff members is planning to set up their own grid, separate from Beth Reischl’s team, which is working to set up “InWorldz II”, an as-yet-unnamed replacement grid for the now-closed InWorldz:

In the wake of the InWorldz shut down, the exodus of refugees to Opensim grids and the declared aim of Beth Reischl (Elenia Llewellyn) and those close to her to launch InWorldz II, other ex-InWorldz staff members say they plan to launch a new grid as well and they intend to port the best of Halcyon code to their Open Simulator version. The grid is called Infiniti and the slogan being toyed with is “Infinite Dreams, Infinite Possibilities – Yours at Infiniti Grid”

Legion Heinrichs (John Arnolde), Lecktor, and April Chung were part of the original six founders of InWorldz along with Beth Reischl and two others who Lecktor says he has lost contact with. He said, “Over the years, Beth’s strong type A personality, managed to alienate all of us. As time went on she added David and Jim to her team as technical folks.” Neither David (Tranquillity Dexler), former CTO who left in 2016, or Jim Tarber, who says he won’t be involved with InWorldz any longer after helping to recover content, are involved in the Infiniti project.

Lecktor continued “It is with great sadness and pain that we’ve watched InWorldz deteriorate over the years and what motivates us to this project. We are all excited however with the prospect of helping the Opensim/InWorldz community heal from the hurt.”

It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. I think it will be especially difficult to attract content creators to any InWorldz spin-off grid, given what has happened. As they say: once bitten, twice shy!

Six Months of Average Sansar User Concurrency Statistics

Gindipple has recently released a snapshot of average user concurrency statistics for Sansar over the past six months or so, automatically scraped from the figures of how many avatars are in what experiences from the Sansar Atlas listing. Please click on the image to load it in a larger size:

The upper part of the diagram shows daily average concurrent Sansar users over the past year. There are a lot of peaks and valleys in the data, but what’s disappointing is that the figure never rises above 20 average concurrent users. Now, I have been to events in Sansar that have had up to 35 avatars present (such as the popular Product Meetups), but you have to keep in mind that these are daily averages, so they would be lower.

The smoother data on the bottom of the diagram is monthly average concurrent Sansar users. Notice that there was a slight dip over June, then it rises again.

What’s clear is that the average number of Sansar users is not rising over time; it’s staying flat. So how can Linden Lab attract more people to Sansar, and keep them coming back?

Well, I would argue that adding new features such as custom avatars is a big step toward providing the kind of platform that attracts content creators, who in turn will attract consumers. Bumping up the number of free experiences you can create from 3 to 20 was also a good step in fostering creativity. Finally, I know that a permissions/licensing system for content creators (which Landon told us would be coming sooner rather than later) will also attract new investment in the platform.

What do you think Linden Lab needs to do to attract and keep new users? Should they list Sansar on Steam and the Oculus store? Sound off in the comments, thanks!