This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my new role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here).
You Second Life users might have heard about Sinespace, but may not have had a chance to visit yet. So for this step-by-step tutorial, I am going to assume that you already have some familiarity with Second Life, but that you know little or nothing about Sinespace.
First, a bit of background: Sinespace is a relatively new virtual world based on the popular Unity game engine (unlike Second Life, where Linden Lab built their own game engine from scratch). This use of Unity allows Sinespace to take advantage of many modern features that are not available in Second Life. As an example, take a look at the in-world, real-time cloth physics on the dress this avatar is wearing:
The company behind the product is called Sine Wave Entertainment, which is headquartered in London, England. The chief software developer behind Sinespace, Adam Frisby, is well-known for his previous work in both Second Life and OpenSim. Adam ran a highly successful SL land rental company called Azure Islands, as well as working for the Sine Wave Animations company in Second Life.
Step 1: Set Up an Account and Download the Client Software
Go to the Sinespace website, and click on the pink Sign Up button:
Select one of the six starter avatars from the carousel (don’t worry; you can always change it later). Select a username (it has to be between 4 and 12 characters, and you can use any alphanumeric characters, spaces, underscores and dashes). Enter a valid email address and a password, and click the Join Now button:
You will be taken to a software download page, where you can select which Sinespace client you want to use.
You have several options for a Sinespace client (note that unlike Second Life, Sinespace supports users on iOS and Android mobile devices):
- Android (requires a mid-to-high-end phone manufactured within the past 3 years, running Android 4.3 or higher)
- an iPhone/iPad client is not yet in general distribution, but is coming soon (it requires a iPhone 6 or iPad Air 2, or newer)
Note that Sinespace also supports users in virtual reality headsets.
There is also an experimental web browser version of Sinespace available, which requires a modern 64-bit web browser, but if you receive errors about insufficient memory, Sinespace recommends using one of the desktop viewers instead.
Download the executable file, and click it to install the client:
Step 2: Running the Sinespace Client
Find and double-click on the pink square Sinespace icon on your desktop to start the client. In the upper right-hand corner of the client, there is a drop-down menu to select your language preference: English, French, Chinese, or Japanese:
Enter the user name and password you selected earlier, and click the Login button (note that you do not need to verify your email address before you do this, but there will be an email message in your in box, with a special link to click to verify your email):
When you first log in, you will arrive at the Welcome Centre, which looks like this:
You can use the arrow keys or the WASD keys (just as you can in Second Life) to walk around. There are numbered panels to your immediate left which tell you what keys to use:
- W or Up Arrow: Move forwards
- S or Down Arrow: Move backwards
- A or Left Arrow: Move left
- D or Right Arrow: Move right
- F, R, and C: Fly, up and down.
The controls to look around differ a bit from Second Life, so you might need to practice them.
- Use your right mouse button and drag to rotate your camera.
- Use the right mouse button and the Shift key to pan the camera in and out.
- Use the mousewheel to zoom the camera in and out.
If you get stuck or confused, pressing one of arrow keys or WASD keys will usually re-orient you, and you can try again. There’s also a handy pop-up menu with a list of commands you can use in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen (see image):
The four icons underneath that pop-up menu are (in order): your user settings panel; online help; a button to enable and disable voice chat; and a button to turn the music stream on and off.
Step 3: Changing How You Look
Making changes to your avatar shape and style is easy! Start by clicking on the Outfit button along the bottom row of blue buttons:
This is the main Outfit screen, where you adjust your avatar body and select clothing:
Use the Male and Female buttons in the upper left-hand corner of the Outfit window to create a new avatar. You will prompted to enter an outfit name. Click on the Wearing button to the left (with the picture of a wardrobe) to get a list of what your avatar is currently wearing, with the option to remove any items you don’t want to use.
Click the Head button on the left to make changes to your avatar’s head: ethnicity, head shape and size, face shape, cheeks and jaw, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and neck:
Click the Body button on the left to make changes to your avatar’s body: body shape, arms, hands, torso, rear end, legs, and feet:
You can adjust your avatar skin’s tint, shininess, bumpiness, and age using the options under the Skins button (yes, you can even set the age of your skin!):
On the right hand side are buttons with a small selection of starter clothing. Try clicking through all the options to see what’s available:
Note that one significant difference between Second Life and Sinespace is that the clothing automatically fits any size and shape of avatar you choose; you do not need to fuss and bother with finding clothing that fits a particular brand of mesh avatar body, like you do in Second Life!
Once you’re happy with your finished look, click on the Save & Close button in the bottom right-hand corner of the Outfit window:
Et voilà! A whole new look!
For more information about how to change your avatar gender, see here. For more information about changing outfits, there is a complete wiki page, including a section on buying clothes.
Sinespace has started you off with 30,000 silver (one of the two in-world currencies), which you can use right away to go shopping for skins, hair and clothes for your avatar! Just click the Shop button to get started.
Step 4: Go Explore!
Now that you know how to move around and you have a look you like, you’re ready to go exploring!
At the Welcome Centre there is a large sign titled What’s On in Sinespace?, which lists upcoming events. All times on this board are automatically converted to your local time, so you don’t need to calculate time zones! (There’s also a listing when you click on the Community button in the row of blue buttons along the bottom of your screen.)
At the bottom of your Sinespace client is a row of blue buttons. One of them, the third from the left, is called Explore:
Click on it, and you will pull up the Explore window. You can do a keyword search for the name of the region you are looking for, or browse the available regions in four different ways using the tabs along the top:
- Featured regions (ones Sinespace recommends you visit);
- Busy regions (places where there are other avatars right now);
- Popular regions (a list of the most-visited worlds); and
- Friends’ regions (as you add friends, their worlds will appear here).
Note that what Second Life calls “sims”, Sinespace calls regions. Sinespace regions can be much larger in size than the 256 m by 256 m Second Life sims; the Grand Canyon region (Sinespace’s largest region) is about 40 km by 20 km in size! There is lots more room to wander around in!
So there you have it: four easy steps to get started in Sinespace! Please feel free to leave a comment below if you found this tutorial helpful, or if there are some areas that could use some improvement. Thanks, and we’ll see you in Sinespace!