Editorial: 1867 Luxembourg, After Moving from Second Life to Sansar, Moves from Sansar to Roblox: Is This a Sign That Platform Loyalty Is Coming to an End?

In November 2018, I reported that the 1867 Luxembourg sims (also known as Pfaffenthal 1867) moved from Second Life to Sansar. This was one of the first major moves from SL to Sansar by a roleplaying community, no doubt helped along by the fact that Sansar had lots of free space available for building. Not having to pay Linden Lab for seven sims in Second Life would have been a strong incentive to move.

Well, it would appear that the creators have packed up yet again, and moved from Sansar to Roblox! Here is the trailer for the new 1867 Luxembourg:

I have explored the new Roblox version of 1867 in my VR headset, and it does have some interesting features, such as sudden downpours of rain (keep that umbrella in your backpack handy, you’re gonna need it!) and the cycling of day to night, which feel quite natural. Overall, the texturing and lighting, while not as high-quality as Sansar, is still very convincing. It’s beautiful work, and it definitely stands out among the more cartoon-like fare hosted by Roblox.

But what I don’t understand is how the project manages to hold on to their userbase! In hopping from Second Life to Sansar to Roblox, they must have lost a few users along the way. According to a comment attributed to 1867 Luxembourg community leader Hauptmann “Cyberpiper” Weyder, in Wagner James Au’s coverage of the move on his blog New World Notes:

Sansar has been a disappointment. We managed to do a whole street eventually, but had to start over because of too much lag, trying to figure out ways of more efficient texturing or building. Also Sansar had promised mobile development, which was then taken off the roadmap, a big disappointment for us.  And… we all know it… no traffic in Sansar… for now…

So we have put Sansar development on the backburner, and decided to develop our own MMORPG, starting off by developing a ‘childrens version’ on ROBLOX…. 

This is a loss for Sansar that could not have come at a worse time. It reminds me of how the MetaMovie project moved from High Fidelity to NeosVR earlier this year. Perhaps now, in our “winter of discontent” for social VR (or, as Caitlyn Meeks puts it even more succinctly, “VR Winter“), we can expect more such moves by projects in search of platforms that meet their needs better.

It would appear that there is less platform loyalty out there than before. This might even be a good thing—if the platforms losing projects get the message that they need to pull up their socks. (I’m not holding my breath. I honestly don’t expect to see any major new developments to come out of either High Fidelity or Sansar for the forseeable future, as both companies seem to be hunkering down and focusing on survival mode until we reach our “VR Spring”.)

It will be interesting to see how the 1867 Luxembourg project develops over time. Will they eventually give up on Roblox, too, if another platform beckons? You can follow the ongoing saga via their Twitter feed. And you can pay a visit to their new Roblox build here. I wish them well, and I give them one piece of advice: pick a place and STAY PUT FOR A WHILE. 😉

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Sansar Store Spotlight: Custom Female Avatars by FULLSpectrum

FULLSpectrum is a brand operated by Medhue and Bagnaria, specializing in custom male and female Sansar avatars created using their FULLSpectrum Avatar Kit 2.0 (which works with Blender 2.8, and is available for sale from the Medhue Animations website):

The Male Avatar Kit is US25.00, the Female Avatar Kit is US$35.00, and you can buy both kits together for US$55.00.

The latest custom female avatar for sale by FULLSpectrum is the beautiful, fair-skinned Lou, feauring 2K skin textures, blue-green eyes, and red fingernails and toenails. She is available for S$899 on the Sansar Store.

Here’s what Lou looks like all dressed up:

Another FULLSpectrum custom female avatar I own is Audrey, which features 4K skin textures, a curvy body, and warm brown eyes (she is also L$899 on the Sansar Store). She is so detailed that you can even see the pores on her skin! Stunning work.

Here is what Audrey looks like all dressed up:

(Please note that Lou and Audrey are both custom avatars, which means that you cannot make any adjustments to the head or face features, as you can with the new default Sansar Avatar 2.0 human avatars.)

Lou and Audrey are just two of the many custom avatars available for sale from the FULLSpectrum Store in Sansar. In addition to male and female custom avatars, Bagnaria and Medhue sell animated mesh objects such as parrots, palm trees, deer, polar bears and elephants!

An Updated Comparison Chart of Sixteen Social VR Platforms (Updated and Expanded Draft, November 2019)

Have you joined the RyanSchultz.com Discord yet? You’re invited to be a part of the first ever cross-worlds discussion group, with over 300 people participating from every social VR platform and virtual world! More details here


I haven’t published an update to my popular November 2018 comparison chart of twelve social VR platforms for quite some time. There never seems to be a perfect time to update. At first, I wanted to wait until the Oculus Quest was released. And then, I was wondering whether or not I should wait until Facebook releases the Oculus Link update to the Oculus Quest (which means, theoretically, that Oculus Quest users can use a custom cable connected to their VR-ready Windows computer to view content originally intended for the Oculus Rift).

In the end, I decided to go ahead and publish a first draft of the updated comparison chart now, get feedback from my readers, and update the chart as necessary. So here is that first draft.

I removed two of the 12 platforms in last year’s comparison chart: both Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms were shut down by Facebook on October 25th, 2019, in preparation for the launch of Facebook Horizon sometime in 2020. I have not added Facebook Horizon to this chart (yet) because we still know so little about this new social VR platform. And I decided to add six more social VR platforms to the chart: Anyland, Cryptovoxels, Engage, JanusVR, Mozilla Hubs, and NeosVR.

Rather than publish the chart as an image to Flickr, as I did last year, I decided to create a spreadsheet using Google Drive, and publish it to the web here:

Comparison Chart of 16 Social VR Platforms (Updated and Expanded Draft © Ryan Schultz, November 13th, 2019).

Please leave me a comment with any suggestions, corrections or edits, and I will update this new comparison chart accordingly. You can also reach me on the RyanSchultz.com Discord server, or any other virtual world Discord that I might belong to (my handle is always the same, RyanSchultz). You can also use the contact form on my blog.

UPDATE 3:48 p.m.: I’ve had a request to add userbase figures to this chart, but I am not going to do that for a very good reason: there’s absolutely no way I can get accurate figures from the various companies, many of whom want to keep that information private. And even ranking them using a scale like low, medium, and high would just be guesses on my part, misleading to a lot of people, and liable to lead to a lot of arguments. Sorry! I will leave it up to you to check Steam statistics for those platforms which are on Steam (which, again, may or may not be an accurate measure of the actual level of usage of any platform).

UPDATE Nov. 13th: I’d like to thank Frooxius (of NeosVR), Artur Sychov (of Somnium Space) and Jin for their corrections and suggestions. Any updates to this table are shown in real-time, which is a unexpected bonus to publishing a spreadsheet directly to the web from Google Drive! I should have thought of doing it this way last year.

And it would appear that there is a great deal of disagreement of what constitutes “in-world building tools”. I am referring to the ability to create complex objects entirely within the platform itself, and not using external tools such as Blender or Unity and then importing the externally-created objects into the platform. For example, High Fidelity has very rudimentary “prim-building” tools in-world, which are not often used by creators, who prefer to import mesh objects created in tools like Blender, Maya, or 3ds Max instead. To give another example, Somnium Space now offers a completely in-world tool for constructing buildings on your purchased virtual land. Sansar has no such tools for in-world building, although you can assemble premade, externally-created objects into a world by using their Scene Editor (which is something completely different from what I am talking about here).

One reader had suggested adding in a few more columns to this chart to include various technical aspects of these social VR platforms: game engine used, open/closed source, support for scripting, etc. Using the table provided to me by Enrico Speranza (a.k.a. Vytek), I have now added three more columns to the original comparison table: architecture/game engine, open/closed source, and scripting. Thank you for the suggestion, Vytek!

Please keep your suggestions, corrections and edits coming, thanks!

Video: I Take Vbunny on a Guided Tour of Sansar

I had mentioned earlier on this blog that I had taken a YouTuber and VR game vlogger/livestreamer named Vbunny on a guided tour of Sansar.

Well, Vbunny has posted a 15-minute video of her experience in Sansar:

It was posted just 18 hours ago and it already has 828 views, which is pretty impressive! Enjoy.