The first diagram is one year’s worth of statistics, showing the daily and monthly average of concurrent Sansar users. There is a noticable spike in users around the time of the Steam launch on both graphs:
Gindipple also shared the following graph, saying:
Of particular interest is this graph that shows the last 2 weeks. The spikes are the comedy event and a product meetup.
The news from both sets of graphs is about the same. Both show a noticeable spike in Sansar usage due to the Steam launch, but unfortunately, many of those users did not seem to stick around. However, there does seem to be a small uptick in the total number of simultaneous Sansar users overall, comparing the periods before and after the Steam launch.
Also, both Galen’s and Gindipple’s statistics show that Sansar is now hitting up to 80 concurrent users at a time, mostly due to events such as the stand-up comedy series. This is a definite improvement, although I’m quite sure that Linden Lab wants much higher numbers than that.
So, the struggle continues. And Linden Lab is far from alone in trying to figure out the magic formula that will bring users in—and make them come back. The only social VR platform which is still consistently packing the users in is VRChat (with Rec Room a distant second).
I decided to come in-world to report on this week’s important Sansar Product Meetup, which was entirely focused on Linden Lab’s plans for future avatar customization. This is an opportunity for Sansar users to hear LL’s plans and provide feedback on what features they would like to see. Nearly 60 avatars were present at the meeting, an over-capacity crowd which lead to people landing up in separate instances of the experience (something that Linden Lab really needs to address going forward).
Cara reported that there will be more avatar sliders, first for the face and then the body. The new default human avatars will have maps on the body itself, and you will be able to use your mouse to click and drag to adjust your features. This would be a different way to adjust your face and body than using simple sliders, and it sounds exciting!
Linden Lab is considering adding an avatar height slider, and they are also looking at uniform scaling to make larger and smaller but still proportional avatars (e,g, giants and pixies).
Linden Lab also wants to push for more custom avatars on the marketplace. They are also looking at the ability to dress custom avatars using clothing created in Marvelous Designer within the next couple of releases of the client software, according to Cara. The AABB bounding box on the avatar will be expanded to allow for such things as larger wings, for example.
They also want to add more avatar attachment points, and they also want to look at improving the accessories so you can adjust the item while wearing it.
High heels: not one of Linden Lab’s priorities at the moment. Many users want to have this ability though, sooner rather than later.
Custom skins: Linden Lab does want to open up the ability to upload and sell custom skins on the market.
The current humanoid skin type will be tintable (as hair and nails are now), but the next-generation avatar will have a skin type which will use subsurface scattering and shaders to look better, and will require a different way to tint it.
Animated attachments: not a current priority.
Hotswapping avatars (between saved looks in the Lookbook) is a feature that Linden Lab would like to set up for us to be able to use (i.e. not having to go into Lookbook to change an outfit but doing it instantly).
It was a very good meeting, short of actual delivery dates, but still giving us a glimpse of where avatar customization is going within Sansar. I think many of the people who attended the meeting were very pleased with the announcements that were made by Cara and Lacie.
UPDATE Feb. 15th: Inara Pey, who does a much better job of summarizing these weekly Product Meetups than I do, corrects a mistake I made:
“Hotswapping avatars (between saved looks in the Lookbook) is a feature that Linden Lab would like to set up for us to be able to use”
As a point of clarification, Cara actually said this is something the Lab is *unable* to support at the moment – and no indication was given that this is being looked at. What she did mention was that the idea of some kind of “personal inventory” of objects “carried” by an avatar is still under discussion at the Lab.
This Thursday, which also happens to be Valentine’s Day, there will be a special Product Meetup focusing on avatar customization. Lacie Sansar (who appears to be the acting community manager for Sansar while Linden Lab is searching to fill the position after Eliot left) has posted the following message to the announcements channel on the official Sansar Discord:
I’m *extremely* excited to announce our *Special Edition* of our Product Meetup this upcoming Thursday.
We will focus on discussing the highly requested upcoming features for even **more** Avatar Customization & we want to hear your feedback.
Without further ado…*lets get customizable* this **Thursday, February 14th** at **11AM PST**
We’re already got endless customization of such things as hair, clothing, and accessories, but I am still really happy to see this announcement because I and others have been badgering Linden Lab for months now to address several issues related to customization for the default human avatars:
more face sliders and the addition of body sliders (height, weight, etc.)
customized skins which can be bought and sold on the Sansar Store
So if, like me, you are keenly interested in these sorts of topics, we get an opportunity to tell Linden Lab what we want to see!