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.
You can download their OpenVR viewer for Windows here.
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:
When are you going to add in-world photo and video tools to Sansar?
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.
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.
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.
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!