Hot Summer Nights Party Happening July 8th, 2020 in Sinespace!

This Wednesday evening, July 8th, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time/8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, come join us for a 1950-themed party in Sinespace!

According to your hostess, Mimi Marie:

Have you reserved your parking spot yet? Route 69 is almost ready!! Save the Date: July 8th 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EST. If you’re looking for fresh inspirations, check the Sinespace shop for some timeless looks waiting to be worn! Our creators and designers have been busy for this special themed Event.. colors, playful looks and more! Guys and girls fashions! Be sure and get your souvenir dated themed event shirt! Route 69 will be the place to be seen!

This ladies’ top and neckscarf set is by Monks, and comes in seven different colours, with the party logo on the back. It is available for only 25 Gold (or 5,000 Silver) each on the Sinespace Shop. There are also matching poodle skirts for only 50 Gold each (you can see the red one in a couple of the pictures below).

Monks is also giving away a men’s retro bowling shirt on the Sinespace Shop for free, which comes in seven different colours, and also has the party logo on the back:

Cindy Bolero had created an amazingly detailed recreation of a 1950s diner!

See you at the Route 69 Diner this Wednesday evening! Just click on the Explore button in your Sinespace viewer and search for “hot summer nights” to find the world! Bring a nickel for the jukebox 😉

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will need to be running the latest PREVIEW (2b) version of the Sinespace client to be able to attend this party. I tried to get in with earlier versions of the client, including the latest release build, 2019.1b44 r8076, and I could not get into the world created for this event (they couldn’t even teleport me in!).

Download the latest preview version of the Sinespace client here, and when you run the installer, be sure to pick the Preview build, which at the time of this writing is 2019.2b52 r9334, and NOT the Release build:


This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here). 

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Sinespace Pick of the Day: Wonder Art Gallery

Please note that I am taking a vacation from the blog for the next two to three weeks, except for sponsored blogposts (with the occasional exception).


Today’s Sinespace Pick of the Day was submitted by Konstantin Startchev (a.k.a Kokostar), and was taken in his region, called the Wonder Art Gallery. He says:

The picture is from my region (Wonder Art Gallery) where the Swiss artist Isis Sangaré just started.

Konstantin wins 500 Gold (Sinespace’s in-game currency). You can win some money, too!

Here are The Sinespace Pick of the Day photo contest rules:

  1. Pictures must have been taken by you, of a region within Sinespace. It must be a picture primarily of a region, not an avatar (although you can certainly include avatars in your picture). You may submit a picture of your own region, or of a region created by somebody else.
  2. All pictures must be of high quality, and high resolution, but no larger than 2.1 MB in size (otherwise, they will have to be resized to fit on the official Sinespace blog, and then they will then have to be reduced in quality).
  3. IMPORTANT: You must email 1) the picture to ryanschultz [at] gmail [dot] com, along with 2) your avatar name (for the photo credit), and 3) the name of the region where you took the picture. If you do not include all three items in your email, your entry will not be considered for the contest.
  4. Creative use of the built-in Snapshot tool in the Sinespace client is encouraged! Here are a few examples to give you an idea of what you can do

If I select and run your submitted picture (on the RyanSchultz.com blog and/or the official Sinespace blog), you win a prize of 500 Gold to spend as you please on the Sinespace Shop!

So let’s get creative, and showcase some of the beautiful worlds in Sinespace!


This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here). 

Sinespace Pick of the Day: Neon Tiger

Today’s Sinespace Pick of the Day was submitted by Mimi Marie, and was taken in the Neon Tiger Club!

Mimi Marie wins 500 Gold (Sinespace’s in-game currency). You can win some money, too!

Here are The Sinespace Pick of the Day photo contest rules:

  1. Pictures must have been taken by you, of a region within Sinespace. It must be a picture primarily of a region, not an avatar (although you can certainly include avatars in your picture). You may submit a picture of your own region, or of a region created by somebody else.
  2. All pictures must be of high quality, and high resolution, but no larger than 2.1 MB in size (otherwise, they will have to be resized to fit on the official Sinespace blog, and then they will then have to be reduced in quality).
  3. IMPORTANT: You must email 1) the picture to ryanschultz [at] gmail [dot] com, along with 2) your avatar name (for the photo credit), and 3) the name of the region where you took the picture. If you do not include all three items in your email, your entry will not be considered for the contest.
  4. Creative use of the built-in Snapshot tool in the Sinespace client is encouraged! Here are a few examples to give you an idea of what you can do

If I select and run your submitted picture (on the RyanSchultz.com blog and/or the official Sinespace blog), you win a prize of 500 Gold to spend as you please on the Sinespace Shop!

So let’s get creative, and showcase some of the beautiful worlds in Sinespace!


This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here). 

Editorial: Why Conferences Held in AltspaceVR and VirBELA Have Been So Successful—And What Lessons Other Social VR Platforms and Virtual Worlds Can Learn from Their Success

Please note that I am taking a vacation from the blog for the next two to three weeks, except for sponsored blogposts (and the occasional editorial such as this).


The coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of hundreds of real-life conferences, and led to a surge in business for platforms catering to virtual conferences, such as VirBELA and AltspaceVR (Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash).

This week, I have been attending various presentations and events at the Immersive Learning Research Network’s 2020 virtual conference. Most of the sessions are taking place in a white-label* version of the virtual world VirBELA, and it would appear that this world will remain in place after the iLRN 2020 conference ends, as a meeting place for various groups of researchers.

The iLRN 2020 organizers are also using FRAME (a VirBELA project) for virtual poster sessions: smaller group gatherings around particular research topics. These poster sessions were accessible right from a browser on desktop, mobile, or even in virtual reality (more information on that can be found here).

The popular success of this conference in VirBELA (with well over 200 people in-world at any given time), plus the associated social events taking place in AltspaceVR, has got me thinking about another highly successful conference which I attended (and presented at) back in February 2020, the first-ever Educators in VR 2020 International Summit. In that case, most of the conference sessions were held in AltspaceVR, and the Educators in VR conference was really an opportunity for the platform to shine (there were also events taking place in ENGAGE, rumii, Mozilla Hubs, and Somnium Space, with livestreaming to other platforms).

What were the factors that led to such successful virtual conferences in AltspaceVR and in VirBELA?

  1. Scalability of the Platform: In both cases, you could pack a large number of people into a shared virtual space. This was especially notable in the case of VirBELA, where the simple (but still highly customizable) avatars, coupled with many possible graphics quality settings in the client software, meant that you could have well north of a hundred avatars attending a single session without noticeable performance issues. And AltspaceVR’s cartoony avatars serve an important purpose: making the platform much easier to render on less powerful computers and devices.
  2. Broader Device Support: VirBELA offers both Windows and Mac clients, and their Intercom Apps are compatible with iPhone, iPad, and even iPod touch! And AltspaceVR boasts support for a wide array of devices: when I last compiled my comparison chart of 16 social VR platforms last November, the list included Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows MR, Gear VR, and Google Daydream (please see the image below, taken from their website).
  3. Better Features: VirBELA is stuffed to the brim with useful features which make hosting a conference a breeze (e.g. the ability to quickly shift focus to one of three different presentation screens, or the podium/stage). AltspaceVR has also had a whole bunch of new features added to make holding events much easier (such as the ability to mute the audience, a raise your hand feature to ask questions, etc.).
  4. Responsive Support: It’s very clear that, in the cases of both the Educators in VR and iLRN 2020 conferences, that the platforms were heavily involved in providing support and troubleshooting to the conference organizers. Such support, often offered in real time, is critical to the success of any virtual conference.

So, what lessons can other social VR platforms and virtual worlds learn from these successes, as they seek out new customers in the pandemic-fueled boom in virtual conferences?

First: You need to find ways to work around the technical limits in the number of people who can gather in a virtual space. For example, Sansar is absolutely gorgeous, and I could see it being used for conferences—if you could get more than 30 avatars into a single world! (However, Sansar does allow for multiple broadcast instances as a way to get around that limit.)

Second Life also has significant technical limitations on the number of avatars you can pack onto one sim before it heaves in protest (again, for major events such as the Live Stage at the SL 17th Birthday celebrations, a stage is located at the intersection of four sims to allow a larger audience).

In March 2018, I wrote an earlier blogpost about simultaneous avatar capacity per region in various virtual worlds here (this information is now probably out of date, though). VirBELA’s and AltspaceVR’s low-poly avatars make it much easier to gather a larger crowd at events in a single region than the beautiful but high-poly, poorly-optimized mesh avatars of Second Life. Sinespace’s Breakroom offers users the choice of dressable, higher-poly avatars or one-piece, non-customizable lower-poly avatars, which I presume will render better.

To summarize this first point: the more users you can bring together, the better.

Second: The more devices and means of access you can support, the more likely your platform will appeal to a larger number of people. As the team developing Sansar and the old High Fidelity learned to their chagrin, betting the farm on high-powered, PC VR users was a tactical error. The majority of people attending these conferences do not have a VR headset, using desktop computers with flatscreen monitors and even in some cases mobile devices like tablets and cellphones. You need to meet the users wherever they are.

Third: If you expect to attract the conferences, you will need to offer the features that conference organizers are looking for. Breakroom is an example of a product which offers a wide variety of features targeted to business, education, and conference customers. There is nothing worse than to try a jerry-rig workarounds for the limitations of a platform, trust me.

Finally: You need to provide real-time, responsive customer support. This is one area where many platforms simply fail to deliver the level of concierge support required to host conferences. For example, both of the recent Blockdown virtual crypto conferences (which were held in a special, white-label version of Sinespace) were well-staffed with Sinespace employees and volunteers to ensure that things ran smoothly. It’s a cost of doing business if you want to attract business.

If you were to hold a conference in Sansar (which you wouldn’t, because of the limitations outlined in points 1, 2, and 3 above), and if something were to go wrong, you would probably have some trouble getting the real-time support you needed from the team at Wookey (although I assume it will be an all-hands-on-deck situation for the upcoming Lost Horizon festival; Sansar simply cannot afford to fumble this opportunity to showcase their platform to the world).

For example, the Lost World Global Music Festivals two-day event (which has the great misfortune to be scheduled the exact same weekend as the Lost Horizon event), is having some trouble getting the word out, and frankly, Wookey-owned Sansar should be providing assistance in both promotion and technical support of events held on their platform, instead of relying on unpaid and overworked volunteers (I would hope that at least someone at Wookey is tasked with tech support if something goes wrong that weekend, but I suspect that the company’s entire focus will be on the Lost Horison festival, instead of the competing Lost World event).

In short, bare-bones customer support sends a message: you’re on your own. Corporate users such as conference organizers expect a higher standard of service, otherwise they will take their business elsewhere.

For example, ENGAGE has landed lucrative business with HTC (including a partnership as part of the Vive XR Suite) as a direct result of the successful HTC Vive Ecosystem virtual conference held on that platform in March this year. Sinespace also seems to be well-attuned to the needs of the business and conference market with their new Breakroom product (and, of course, their support for white-label corporate and conference use of their flagship Sinespace product).

The success of platforms such as AltspaceVR and VirBELA leads to positive word of mouth among the conference attendees, who can see the potential applications, and which naturally leads to increased business opportunities; it’s a virtuous circle.

The question is: will Sansar and other social VR platforms and virtual worlds pay attention to the lessons being taught by the highly successful and popular virtual conferences held this year by a number of platforms?


*White labeling is when a product or service removes their brand and logo from the end product and instead uses the branding requested by the purchaser. Recent examples include the iLRN 2020 conference (held in a white-label version of VirBELA) and the Blockdown series of conferences (hosted in a white-label version of Sinespace). This is a feature that is attractive to corporate and conference customers, which is not offered by many social VR platforms and virtual worlds to date.