Sinespace Unveils a New User Interface in a Client Update

Wagner James Au of the blog New World Notes reports that the virtual world Sinespace has updated their client software with a completely new user interface, so I decided to download the latest version of the software and give it a try.

The New Sinespace User Interface

I quite like the new user interface. It’s noticeably less cluttered than the previous version. There’s a pop-up in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen that reminds you how to use your keyboard and mouse (something I appreciated, since I don’t sign into Sinespace often enough to have “muscle memory” like I do in Second Life).

There’s also a new set of portals at the Welcome Centre, which teleport you to various locations, such as this one called Lowpolia Highlands, one of several destinations with a low-poly aesthetic:

I need to come back and explore Sinespace a bit more. (That’s one of the problems with trying to cover so many virtual worlds; you never really get to spend a lot of time in each one!)

Thank you to Wagner for the news tip!

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The MetaMovie Project is Moving from High Fidelity to NeosVR

You might remember that in episode 7 of the Metaverse Newscast we interviewed Jason Moore about his MetaMovie project, creating immersive, interactive entertainment experiences in virtual reality. The project had a successful Kickstarter campaign, reaching its goal of US$10,000.

Jason has announced that, after he has completed work on his current production, The Heist, he will be moving the MetaMovie project from High Fidelity to the indie social VR platform NeosVR:

Hi Ryan, my plan is to keep The Heist on High Fidelity and run it several more times this summer and by September put it down for good. I’ll keep the domain up and running and might consider some one-time performances, but yeah, for my next MetaMovie, Alien Rescue, I’m 95% sure I’m going to NeosVR. I like their powerful engine and the vibe is more artist and creator focused than VRChat, and while I like Sansar, I am most intrigued by the possibilities in NeosVR. Just need to have one more in-depth conversation with the guys over there to make sure I have accounted for all the tech issues. I’m super excited about Alien Rescue and can’t wait to put YOU through it! It’s going to be special.

…after speaking more with Mr. MegaTronic at NeosVR (I think he’s on the team, handling marketing stuff), I learned they are implementing a plan to offer hosted domains for members at Patreon and Pro levels, which is great and seals it for me: Alien Rescue will be on NeosVR. He also explained their vision for the future (feature parity with other platforms, and then even more). I think NeosVR is a social VR platform to watch. I describe it as the Vimeo to VRChat’s YouTube: more aimed at content creators BUT also cool and inviting and welcoming to the user base… They are designing a powerful engine and creating a warm and friendly environment. According to Chris McBride, only NeosVR can give him the tools to make the types of avatars I require for Alien Rescue (my goal is to help Chris create some of the most original and interesting avatars in the metaverse!).

Poster for Alien Rescue, the Next MetaMovie Project

This is a win-win situation for both parties: NeosVR can nimbly meet any special requests for features needed by MetaMovie, and MetaMovie will no doubt bring in more users to NeosVR and showcase the platform. Congratulations to both Jason Moore and his MetaMovie players and to Tomáš Mariančík and his team at NeosVR! I’m quite looking forward to seeing their next production in their new home.

UPDATE 8:57 a.m.: Jason further explains the reasoning behind his decision to change platforms:

NeosVR is an exciting new platform that has a lot to offer. The engine itself is incredibly powerful and we feel it offers us the most options for building complex, beautiful virtual worlds. Their approach to avatar design is also really progressive. On Alien Rescue we are really pushing the envelope of avatar design – wild, weird and wooly alien creatures – and my avatar designer, Chris McBride, has said he feels that only NeosVR has the toolset to accomplish what we are trying to do. Alien Rescue will be three to four times as complex as The Heist, and we need a close relationship with the platform’s development team if we are going to pull this off. The entire team at NeosVR is highly skilled, incredibly friendly, and they get things done. Finally, the vibe in NeosVR is just right: they are focused on giving content creators the tools they need to do amazing stuff, but non-builders are just as welcomed and the atmosphere, as I think you’ve noticed yourself, is fun, playful, and welcoming. I have learned so much from running the first two MetaMovies in High Fidelity, and for the last 3 years or so have benefitted greatly from their platform and community. I will keep my New New York domain up and running and public in High Fidelity, and I am certainly not abandoning that platform. I really hope that the new direction they are going in – which isn’t really a good fit for my project – will allow them to find some financial footing so they can continue their great work, and if and when they return to a more social VR direction, I will absolutely run another MetaMovie there. But for where this project is going, I need a social VR platform with great tools, a responsive dev team, and a growing user base of friendly and cool people. That’s NeosVR in a nutshell and I am thrilled to be taking the project there.