Results of the Second RyanSchultz.com Reader Poll: What Social VR/Virtual World Do You Spend the Most Time In?

Image created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com

The reader poll I posted one week ago has now closed, and I can now share the results with you.

But before I do that, I want to show you my blog viewer statistics. Notice the HUGE spike in viewers for three consecutive days? Almost all of that traffic was to the original blogpost! I’ve never seen anything like it.

At first, I was excited. And then, I got suspicious. While that particular blogpost eventually got 5,456 views (making it my most-viewed blogpost of all time!), the actual number of votes in my poll did not see a corresponding spike (only 220 votes in total were cast).

I had deliberately designed my poll so that repeat voters were blocked by website cookie and IP address, so obviously, either I was getting a lot of repeat voters, or a lot of visitors were not submitting their vote. And that huge spike in traffic was from locations all over the world, but there were many viewers from a lot of countries that to date had not been frequent visitors before: Turkey, Brazil, Russia, Romania, Colombia. I suspect that my poll was hit by a swarm of bots.

It would appear that SOMEONE was trying to sway (or spoil) my poll. The surge in traffic to that particular blogpost ended almost as abruptly as it had begun. The question is: why would anyone bother?

Anyway, time to announce the results of my poll. A total of 220 votes were received:

POLL RESULTS: What Social VR/Virtual World Do You Spend the Most Time In?

  1. Sansar (43 votes)
  2. Second Life (38)
  3. OpenSim/Halcyon grids (23)
  4. Somnium Space (16)
  5. VRChat (15)
  6. High Fidelity (14)
  7. NeosVR (10)
  8. Occupy White Walls (8)
  9. Cryptovoxels (7)
  10. Sinespace (7)
  11. Engage (6)
  12. AltspaceVR (5)
  13. TheWaveVR (4)
  14. Anyland (2)
  15. Mozilla Hubs (2)
  16. Oculus Rooms (2)
  17. vTime XR (2)

The following platforms all got one vote each:

  • Active Worlds
  • Bigscreen
  • Hyperfair VR
  • JanusVR
  • 3DX Chat

And there were two unique write-in ballots*:

  • Anarchy Arcade: “It’s social not like chat, but by exploring people’s collections.”
  • Pix-Life (I have absolutely no idea what this is, and Google was no help. Does anybody know what this is?)

*Note to OpenSim/Halcyon fans: YOU DO NOT READ INSTRUCTIONS!!!! I simply added all your OpenSim write-ins to the OpenSim total above. Next time, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION. Your particular OpenSim/Halcyon grid is not a special, unique snowflake. Thank you.

Now, I am not going to read too much into these poll results. If anything, they are more a picture of my current blog readership (which tends to skew heavily towards Sansar and Second Life users). And I’m not going to kid myself: I’m sure a few platforms urged their users to vote in this poll. This is far from a scientific survey. I was a little surprised that Second Life did not get first place in my poll, though.

So, what do you think of the poll results? Please feel free to leave a comment below, thank you!

Advertisements

Exploring NeosVR: An Overlooked Gem in Social VR

It’s unusual for me to write as much as I have about a social VR platform such as NeosVR without actually visiting it (I can’t remember if I visited it when it first launched or not. I think I did. An occupational hazard of doing this sort of work is that, after a while, all the virtual worlds I covered tend to blend together and I have to stop and ask myself: did I see or do that in Sansar or in Sinespace, or somewhere else?)

Regardless, I decided it was time for me to strap on my Oculus Rift headset and pay a visit to NeosVR.

My first visit was late yesterday evening, only for about 20 minutes. NeosVR starts you off (very sensibly) with a set of five tutorial videos which explain how to use the menus and controls, among other things. The first thing that you need to know about NeosVR is that it is not designed so that you can just pick it up and use it without training. There is a learning curve associated with NeosVR, and it is a fairly steep one, especially if you want to take full advantage of all the commands at your fingertips (and most of them are incorporated in your hand controllers.).

Fortunately, when I arrived at the main hub, there were a couple of experienced avatars present who helped me learn the basic movements, how to select and visit an experience from a display, and how to choose an avatar from the many default selections. One of them pulled out a camera and took a picture of me, which you can see below:

Another thing you need to know about NeosVR is that it is essentially a single-person development team, Tomas Mariancik (Frooxius), as opposed to a whole company of developers. One-person development teams have the distinct advantage of being nimble in adding new features and fixing problems, but that very flexibility can sometimes make for a confusing user experience. For example, my two guides last night were debating which of two different ways to teach me how to save this photo to my hard drive—the “old way” and the “new way”. I understand that the client software is updated daily. This means that something that once was true can change from one version to the next. Documenting the quickly-changing world of NeosVR must be a nightmare of a challenge!

So, after last night’s excursion, I decided to go back in this morning and delve a little deeper into NeosVR. I went back to the futuristic main hub, designed to look like a staellite of Earth, where there was an atlas of experiences to visit:

The first one I picked was sort of a demonstration of the graphics abilities of NeosVR, and it was quite impressive (a mere photo hardly does it justice):

Then I visited a Van Gogh art exhibit, with a 3-dimensional recreation of one of his paintings. Again, the level of graphics was impressive:

I would strongly encourage you to come visit and explore NeosVR. Tomas Mariancik has created a wonderful and innovative space for developers to build VR experiences, and all the other social VR platforms should be taking notes. This project compares very favourably in terms of features with better-known platforms such as Sansar, High Fidelity, Sinespace and VRChat (with the latter probably being the one product to which NeosVR will be most often compared). NeosVR is an overlooked gem, and I plan to visit it much more often in future to see how it evolves.

(Note: I have confirmed from chatting with the developer on Reddit that you do not need to purchase Neos Credits, their in-world cryptocurrency, to use and enjoy NeosVR.)

NeosVR Has Released an Impressive-Looking Update

I haven’t written about NeosVR for quite some time. NeosVR has just released a major update to its social VR platform, and I must admit that it looks pretty good!

One new thing I have noticed is that they are doing an ICO (initial coin offering) on a new in-world cryptocurrency called Neos Credits. However, you don’t need to purchase cryptocurrency to participate.

NeosVR is available to download for free from Steam. They also have a Patreon page for the project. You can also follow the project on Twitter, YouTube, and Discord. There’s also a white paper.

The developer, Tomas Mariancik (a.k.a. Frooxius), has released a ton of YouTube videos on his progress. NeosVR seems to have come a long way already in a short time! Definitely, this is one product to keep an eye on.

NeosVR Has Launched Their Open Beta for Free on Steam

NeosVR 10 May 2018.png

In a recent announcement on Steam, NeosVR has announced that their open beta software is now available and free for everyone to use to build their own VR experiences:

Beta marks a big milestone for us. While we spent three years in the alpha stage, working on the fundamentals and building a solid foundation for a new kind of metaverse from the ground up in relative silence, in the beta you, the community, will be crucial to us.

With your help we’ll push this into a well-rounded solution for many different scenarios and build a lot of cool content. Currently Neos is probably mostly interesting to artists, creators, tinkerers and developers, but as we go on and expand on the content and user-friendly functionality, it’ll be more relevant to everyone.

We hope that you’ll join us on this journey and find Neos to be a useful and fun tool, no matter what you do.

Here are also some useful links:

Patreon [www.patreon.com] – support the development and get builds and content early!

Official website [neosvr.com]

Video Tutorials – Learn how to do all kinds of things in NeosVR!

Wiki [wiki.neosvr.com] – Work in progress, but may answer some questions

GitHub [github.com] – Report bugs and request new features

How can you help?

There are a few ways in which you can help!

  • Feedback – simply start using Neos and tell us what you think! What you like? What you don’t like?
  • Word of mouth – like Neos? Tell your friends! Make YouTube videos or Tweet. help us reach more people. Don’t like Neos? Share that too, maybe we can improve 🙂
  • Financial support – we need to eat! Also run some servers and our computers. We have launched a Patreon page [www.patreon.com] where you can support us and get some nice perks

Here’s one of the tutorial videos, where an interesting way to texture objects using a “material gun” is demonstrated:

It’s a very different approach to VR content creation! I’ll be looking forward to trying NeosVR now that the software is available via the Early Access Program on Steam.