Sansar and the Scary Game Squad Are Having a Scary World Contest for Halloween!

Someone posted the following YouTube video to the Sansar section of the new VirtualVerse.one forums (formerly known as SLUniverse):

The video description states:

This Halloween you get to scare us! We’re teaming up with Project Sansar to showcase awesome user generated content that is in the VR horror world. Built in the spirit of social VR worlds like Second Life (?) and VRChat, here you can construct your very own land of terror. Winners will be on the ground floor of the hotel and we’ll be playing them! Now it says VR, but don’t worry, you don’t need VR in order to do any of this. Download Sansar for free, join the Scary Game Squad hub, and get to creating!

Now, I do not consider Second Life “social VR” (since you can’t experience it in a VR headset), but that’s a minor quibble with the announcement.

The contest runs between now and Oct. 31st. The 10 winners will get 1,000 Sansar dollars and will have their experiences directly linked to this scary hotel experience. You must include the hashtag #SGS in the Sansar experience title, so that the Scary Game Squad knows it’s a contest entry.

The Scary Game Squad (founded by gamer and comedian Jesse Cox, who has almost a million YouTube subscribers to his videos) is a group that exists to play scary games. It makes perfect sense for them to team up with Sansar to promote a scary experience contest! Hopefully, we will get a lot of creative—and scary!—entries.

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Linden Lab Issues a Major Update to the Sansar Client, Including Hand Gestures in VR and a New Permissions System!

Sansar logo

This evening, Linden Lab launched what they are calling the Body Language release of Sansar. Among the highlights of this major client software update are:

  • Avatars in VR can now utilise the full range of hand gestures that the Oculus Touch hand controllers provide — thumbs up, okay signs, and finger guns. Avatars in VR can also now bend at their torsos and crouch. More information is in this article. (Apparently, HTC Vive users are going to have to wait a little while for feature parity with Oculus Rift/Touch users.) Please note that you will only be able to see your own hand gestures when in third-person mode in VR (you have to click down once on the right-hand Oculus Touch thumbstick to switch between first-person mode and third-person mode when in VR). Here’s a short video demonstrating this very cool new feature, created by Linden Lab employee Aleks:
  • The long-awaited and frequently requested permissions system is finally here! This enables a broad range of capabilities for content creators, especially those interested in selling items in the Sansar Store. See the new Linden Lab articles Allowing resale of store items and Buyer’s Permissions for more information. When editing a listing for one of your items in the Sansar Store, you can now choose to allow buyers to resell your item, either on its own or as part of one of their creations. When you choose to allow this, you must set a minimum resale price. Then, whenever someone resells your creation, you receive the resale price as a commission! (Note that legacy Store items default to no resale, since the option wasn’t there for the creators to choose from. If you made the item, you should be able to change it to resellable. If you didn’t make it, the creator will have to relist the item on the Sansar Store.)
  • And to make that even easier to sell all of your items, the Sansar Store is now fully integrated into Sansar! You can do all your shopping in Sansar without having to open the web store. (It’s still not the same as having in-world stores like Second Life, High Fidelity, and Sinespace do, though.)
  • When working with an object in a scene, you can now add grab points, which define the position and orientation of the object in an avatar’s hand when they pick it up in VR or desktop mode. This is helpful for ensuring that handheld objects such as weapons, tools, and other handheld accessories snap into the correct orientation as soon as they’re held. For more information, see this article.
  • There’s a new voice indicator which makes it easier for you to tell who’s speaking (this can be turned on or off as you wish):
    voiceindicator.gif
  • The in-client chat app has a new look as well as a few new features, including supporting SHIFT+ENTER to make a new line, and CTRL+A to select all text (Yay!).
  • Voice broadcast: You can now enable voice broadcasting in your scene by streaming it through the scene background sound or audio emitters. This is a significant upgrade for live events in Sansar!

And these are just the highlights! There’s much more! Here’s the complete list of new features. Congratulations to Ebbe Altberg and his team for the impressive amount of work they put into this new release!

Sansar Pick of the Day: Value in the Virtual at ArkDes

Value in the Virtual at ArkDes 1 27 Sept 2018.png

A real-world art exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden has a virtual counterpart in Sansar. The Architect’s Newspaper reports:

…Value in the Virtual, an exhibit by London-based Space Popular, blossoms with a polychrome array of signs, patterns, and symbols. The show has just opened at Sweden’s national center for architecture and design, ArkDes, under its new director Kieran Long. A new feature of the museum is a smaller gallery space—Boxen, a steel box designed by local practice Dehlin Brattgård—inside one of the two main exhibition halls. It is intended for fast-paced architecture shows curated by former ArchDaily editor James Taylor-Foster, and Value in the Virtual is the first display of work by a contemporary design practice in the new setup.

Entering the exhibition space, you are invited to take your shoes off (to experience the printed carpets on the floors), and once inside, to put on a pair of virtual reality goggles. They are a window into Voxen, a parallel version of the same gallery space produced for Sansar, a social virtual reality platform. During the press preview, an online visitor had already found his way there for a peek. The avatar, dressed in a black bodysuit and a Daft Punk motorcycle helmet, showed up out of nowhere, mumbled a distorted “nice to meet you,” and soon disappeared.

In this realm, you get 3-D views of some of Space Popular’s scenarios: one is a version of Stockholm where public art is updated by the minute; in another the allegorical wall mosaics of the Nobel Prize venue are adjusted to tout recent scientific achievements; and in another a selective nightclub bouncer might actually let you in after all, if you upgrade to a nicer-looking “skin.”

The Sansar experience still seems to be under construction; there is a large empty area in the back. But there is already much to see and appreciate here.

The experience description in the Sansar Atlas reads as follows:

Welcome to the virtual experience of Space Popular’s exhibition at ArkDes in Stockholm.

The exhibition “Value in the Virtual” explores the challenges and possibilities for architecture, design and city planning as buildings and cities will soon get virtual layers when VR and AR devices are increasingly used in pubic.

Visitors can see the physical exhibition at in the gallery BOXEN at ArkDes in Stockholm between the 19h of September – 18th of November. Through the physical exhibition visitors can also visit the virtual exhibition through a headset available in the centre of the space creating the possibility for cross reality interaction.

ArkDes is Sweden’s national centre for architecture and design. It is a museum, a study centre and an arena for debate and discussion about the future of architecture, design and citizenship.

Space Popular is based in London and led by Architects Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg.

Here’s a link to the Value in the Virtual at ArkDes experience.

National Cyber Security Awareness Events in Sansar

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. Maya, the Information Security Director for Linden Lab (the creators of Second Life and Sansar), invited me to meet with her in her new experience, a recreation of the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, India:

TheTaj 29 Sept 2018.jpg

She explained that this beautiful experience is the setting for a series of cyber security events taking place in Sansar, as part of National Cyber Security Awareness month.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (the organization behind National Cyber Security Awareness month), a non-profit founded in 2001, is a public-private partnership, working with the  U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), private sector sponsors (founding sponsors included Symantec, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and McAfee), and nonprofit collaborators to promote cybersecurity awareness for home users, small and medium-sized businesses, and primary and secondary education. For more information and tips on how you can improve your cybersecurity, please visit the Stop. Think. Connect. website.

The first event is on October 1st at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time at The Taj experience, with a panel of speakers on cyber security. Everyone is welcome! Here is Maya’s tweet promoting the event.

Linden Lab Issues the Shop, Gift and Spend Release of Sansar

The latest update to the Sansar client software, dubbed the Shop, Gift and Spend Release, came out on Sept. 10th. Among the new features is the ability to pay another avatar in-world, a long-awaited feature that will encourage music performers and other types of jobs in Sansar.

Click avatar to send.png

With today’s update, we are now adding the ability for you to gift Sansar Dollars to another user. You will find the option to to this in the same menu where you can add someone as a friend, or mute someone. It is also available on a user’s profile through the People tool, which can be opened from Chat.

Sansar Dollar Gifting will start a default value of 100 and can be increased or decreased in increments of 10 and 1. There will also be a transaction fee of 15% for any amount of Sansar Dollars gifted (to a minimum of S$1). This is in preparation of (eventually) being able to gift objects, to prevent users from circumventing the Store.

For more information, please see the Gifting Sansar Dollars document.

In addition, you can now browse the Sansar Store from within the client. However, you will still be taken to the Sansar Store website to actually make a purchase.

Also, users in VR headsets will no longer have to take them off to style their avatar in Lookbook!

VR users will no longer have to edit their Avatar in desktop mode. You can now edit your Avatar in VR and you can enjoy adjusting Marvelous Designer clothes by simply reaching out and grabbing them.

And (in an answer to builders’ prayers), Linden Lab has finally added a Folders feature to Edit Mode. You can find this option in the Scene Objects windows. I’m sure I’m not the only builder whose inventory was getting rather unwieldy!

You can see the full list of new features and bug fixes here.

Unfortunately, as Inara Pey reported on last Friday’s Product Meetup, the eagerly-awaited permissions and licensing system in Sansar was not part of this release. due to some last-minute problems that still need to be addressed. Maybe next release.

Sansar Pick of the Day: Galen’s Fountain

One thing that Sansar still lacks is a particle system like Second Life’s. But we’re getting closer! Today’s Pick of the Day is Galen’s clever demonstration of an object rezzer he scripted, a sort of fountain with cubes instead of water:

In his experience description he writes:

Demonstration of a recycling rezzer acting as a physical particle system. Once it gets warmed up, you’ll see it “rezzing” 200 particles per second, way beyond the technical limit of 16 per second.

Note that initial tests show the scene is touchy. It and/or your client may crash when trying to get here or leaving the scene.

Here’s the link to visit Galen’s Fountain. You can learn more about Galen’s scripts at his Metaverse Machines website. You can also visit his new Reflex4 Workshop, where he has further demonstrations of his Sansar C# scripting.

Sansar Pick of the Day: Greenwall VR, and the Sansar Lounge Contest

I’ll be honest. I’m not a big fan of computer games (except for the mind-bending, puzzle-solving kind like Myst and Obduction). That’s why I am rather mystified by the whole esports craze. I don’t get the appeal of watching other people competitively playing videogames. But I can confirm that esports viewing is a bandwagon that Linden Lab wants to get on, and a growing market of which it wants to be a part.

Linden Lab recently teamed up with OpTic Gaming (a professional esports gaming organization) and Greenwall (OpTic’s fanbase) to create an esports viewing lounge, called Greenwall VR:

Explore the Greenwall VR experience from OpTic Gaming.

Stream matches, hang out with other fans, and play games while you wait – shuffleboard, throw pong, and more!

Greenwall 1 1 Sept 2018Greenwall 2 1 Sept 2018Greenwall 3 1 Sept 2018

And, in order to promote the creation of even more Twitch, YouTube, and Vimeo livestream viewing lounges, Linden Lab has announced a new contest. The Sansar Lounge Contest runs until September 30th, and three prizes of 5,000 Sansar dollars (approximately US$50) plus an Oculus Rift VR headset with Touch controllers (estimated value US$399) will be awarded to the best Sansar lounge experience featuring streaming media in each of the following three categories:

  • Sports
  • Anime-Inspired
  • Pets

Here’s the official contest rules and conditions in all their glorious legalese.