Sinespace Launches Virtual Reality Beta

Sinespace has launched their virtual reality beta. As I wrote about earlier, the last time I tried out their VR client using my Oculus Rift, it was still too buggy for me. But maybe you’ll have better luck. If you do, please let me know.

Sinespace VR beta 18 Mar 2018

You can download their OpenVR viewer for Windows here.


More Snapshots from Sinespace!

I couldn’t resist! Here are a few more pictures taken using Sinespace’s in-world Snapshot tool, using a variety of photo filters, avatar poses, camera angles, and overlays/underlays:

Screenshot 2018-3-16-07-09-58Screenshot 2018-3-16-07-10-57Screenshot 2018-3-16-07-11-25Screenshot 2018-3-16-07-12-54Screenshot 2018-3-16-07-17-37Screenshot 2018-3-16-07-19-27Screenshot 2018-3-16-07-21-55Screenshot 2018-3-16-07-26-48.jpg

It’s a very easy and fun tool to use! Did I mention that you also have the option to capture the image as an animated GIF, or as a 360-degree image? It’s a very cool feature to have.


A Postcard from Sinespace

Screenshot 2018-3-15-17-30-34.jpg

I took the following picture using the Snapshot tool within Sinespace, and added the postcard foreground overlay. The Snapshot tool allows you to use a variety of avatar poses and photo effects, and it’s definitely fun and easy to use! Strawberry Singh told me about it.

Note also that Sinespace is the first newer social VR space/virtual world which allows me to adjust my avatar body sliders to look more like the heavier, older person I am in real life. (The hair colour is wrong, but that’s just me being picky.)

Two questions for the team at Linden Lab:

  1. When are you going to add in-world photo and video tools to Sansar?
  2. When are you going to add avatar body sliders so we can adjust our shapes?

I’d love to know where those items are on the development roadmap, please.


Which Virtual World Boasts the Highest Avatar Capacity?

Photo of Pamplona’s annual Running of the Bulls by Ethan Weil on Unsplash

Avatar capacity limits are the bane of all virtual worlds. They impact how many avatars can attend and participate in events, such as concerts and conferences. Everybody has experienced the frustration of trying to get into an overcrowded region, and how laggy an experience can be when it is packed to capacity.

Second Life sim limits are pretty straightforward:

  • Full regions:  100 avatars maximum
  • Homesteads: 20 avatars
  • Open spaces: 10 avatars

Of course, event planners in Second Life use such tricks as creating “in the round” stages at the intersection of four adjoining sims in order to increase potential crowd capacity.

Last year, Second Life rolled out a perk to Premium users which allows them to enter already-full sims which are at the posted limits, within reason (for example, up to 10 Premium avatars can theoretically get into a packed Full region sim). I have used this feature myself when trying to get into popular events like the annual Skin Fair!

So, I wondered, what are the avatar capacity limits of the newer virtual worlds? How many avatars can you pack onto a Sansar experience, a High Fidelity domain, or a Sinespace region? Are there limits in place for AltspaceVR and VRChat? So I went out to ask some questions of the various companies.

I posted my question on the official Sansar Discord channel, the official Sinespace Skype group, the High Fidelity user forums, and the official VRChat Discord server. (AltspaceVR has an unofficial Discord server I also posted to. I’m actually rather surprised that they don’t have any sort of official user forum.)

Galen tells me the limit for Sansar is 30+ avatars, but that they can always fit a few extra Lindens in. That would fit well with my own personal experience, where we’ve had almost 35 avatars in some experiences for Atlas Hopping.

Most VRChat worlds are limited to 30 avatars in a single instance. I’ve been told on the official VRChat Discord server that “the hard cap is twice the number they put”. A member of the VRChat Events Discord server named Gallium says:

I’ve been in instances with 40+ users. As for limits, theoretical max, not sure. I’m sure VRChat has a max possible users per instance but I don’t know what that is. When you make a world and upload it you set the max users, last I heard this is a soft cap. Say 32. Once it hits that nobody can join from the Worlds menu, but they can join friends who are in there via the social tab. Eventually the hard cap, which is double the soft cap, will hit and then I think it diverts people to the next instance.

In AltspaceVR, they have boasted about getting a crowd of more than 1,200 people at a Reggie Watts show, but this involved broadcasting across multiple instances. It’s not clear how many avatars you can pack into a single AltspaceVR area, but given the relative simplicity of the avatars, I would expect it to be a fairly high number. I’ve been told by someone on the unofficial AltspaceVR Discord server that the limit at the central Campfire is 40, which corresponds to my own experience. But someone else added the caveat, “except that those limits can be pushed by joining through friends or getting invited”.

The limits of Facebook Spaces and vTime are hard-coded: a maximum of four avatars can be in one space together. But then they’re meant more for intimate chat than hosting events.

But the clear winners here seem to be High Fidelity and Sinespace. High Fidelity blogged about getting 90 avatars together in one domain way back in February 2017. And XaosPrincess, a user on their forums, states, “In last year’s stress tests, up to 160 avatars (all in HMD) were hosted in Zaru”. That’s pretty impressive.

But Sinespace seems to have topped even 160. Digvijay from the Sinespace Skype group told me, “Theoretically about 200 [in Sinespace]; but 100 should be a safe number without any lag, etc.”. Adam Frisby himself says:

Officially 100; tests indicate we can do 200 safely. We have regions like Struktura with 700+ avatars using our NPC system that perform well. We’re thinking of doing another load test done to try [and] hit 200.

Over 700?!?? I’m not sure how Sinespace NPCs differ from real avatars in terms of server load, so I’ll accept the 200 figure. So Sinespace seems to be the current winner in this particular “Space Race”, with High Fidelity not too far behind! It will be interesting to watch how the various social VR spaces and virtual worlds will handle increased avatar capacity, especially as they may experience the kind of surge in popularity that VRChat recently experienced.

UPDATE 8:54 a.m.: Naticus from VRChat tells me in a comment, “The current soft cap max at VRChat is 40 and the hard cap is twice that at 80.” Thanks Naticus!


Strawberry and Drax Tour Sinespace

Very early this morning my time, Strawberry Singh and Draxtor Despres paid a visit to Adam Frisby in Sinespace. I wasn’t there (still sleeping), but Strawberry did a livestream of the event:

Among the many Sinespace regions they visited was one which I had profiled earlier on the blog, Sudin.

Another region they all visited was Race Meet – Winter Mountain, a wintertime raceway where they drove dune buggies which Adam created. The vehicle physics in Sinespace are quite good!

It’s a great video and I learned a few things about the Sinespace user interface I didn’t know before. Looks like they had a lot of fun too! They were chatting in Skype while they were in-world (there’s no voice chat in Sinespace yet).

Here’s a list of Sinespace regions they visited, according to Adam:

UPDATE March 6th: It turns out that Sinespace does have voice chat, but some regions have that ability turned off, which is why they used Skype in the livestream.


Strawberry Singh is Branching Out to New Virtual Worlds!

Strawberry Singh covers Sinespace 28 Feb 2018

Strawberry Singh, one of the best-known Second Life (and Sansar) bloggers, has just made her first post about Sinespace. She says:

… I am not leaving Second Life, it is my first love and I have no intention of leaving it any time soon. I’ve just been in a mood to explore other social VR worlds these days. I also wanted to show and tell you more about Sinespace. In the next few weeks I plan to cover some more social VR worlds like HiFi and VRChat, so stay tuned! I will also randomly stream myself exploring these different virtual worlds to both my YouTube and Twitch channels.

Sounds like Strawberry and I are thinking along the same lines, in breaking out of our comfort zones and exploring other social VR experiences and virtual worlds. I am very happy to hear this news! Strawberry is someone whose enthusiasm and dedication to her work as a blogger and vlogger are an inspiration to me, and I have really enjoyed getting to know her as we take part in Sansar Atlas Hopping adventures every Saturday!

And I’m glad to see that Sinespace is getting some more attention, too. The sudden surge of interest in VRChat has attracted new people to social VR and open-ended virtual worlds, people who just might be interested in exploring Sansar, High Fidelity, Sinespace, and other platforms over time. As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats”.


Sinespace Pick of the Day: Sudin

I am expanding my “Pick of the Day” to cover other virtual worlds. Today’s Pick of the Day is from Sinespace, it’s a sci-fi urban region called Sudin, created by Adam Frisby. Much like Sansar’s 2077 experience by C3rb3rus, it reminds me of the movie Blade Runner. There’s a suitably ominous, pulsating, futuristic soundtrack.

Screenshot 2018-2-24-09-18-39.jpg

Sudin 2 24 Feb 2018.png

Sudin 1 24 Feb 2018

To explore Sinespace, you can download the client software here. Once installed, click on the Explore tab at the bottom of the screen, search for “Sudin” in the search box up top, and select it from the search results. Here’s the Sinespace Explore page for Sudin.