Tivoli Cloud VR (a Fork of the Old High Fidelity Social VR Platform) Is Now Available in Early Access!

This evening, Maki Deprez posted the following message to the announcements channel on the official Tivoli Cloud VR Discord server:

Tivoli is now available for early access!

Visit our updated website to try it out now! https://tivolicloud.com/

Keep in mind that this isn’t the finished product and lots of changes are still coming their way. Expect new things to come and old things to go. We’ve been so busy working on the HiFi codebase, reverse engineering and redesigning the metaverse API, ripping out all the crap we think are friction points to VR and redesigning core parts of the program optimized for speed and efficiency. We really want to create a truly awesome social VR platform that’s fun, exciting and easy to use. We want to get the technology out of the way and just give people what they want.

Keep in mind that our early access is mostly targeted towards artists and developers but everyone is welcome. We want your feedback as much as possible and we’re here to help on our Discord.

You can request features or report bugs on our road map: https://roadmap.tivolicloud.com/

Make sure you check out your Tivoli files as well: https://files.tivolicloud.com/

And here is our code base if you’d like to see: https://git.tivolicloud.com/tivolicloud

Thank you for being so patient!

In addition to Maki, other key people working on making Tivoli Cloud VR a reality are Caitlyn Meeks (the CEO) and Christina “XaosPrincess” Kinne (the CMO). But there are many people who are working on this project as volunteers as well.

So I paid a quick visit to Tivoli Cloud VR (you do have to set up a new account, by the way; I believe that your existing accounts on the old High Fidelity will not work). Your starting place is in the middle of a lush forest, with a pond and many little yellow ducklings wandering about!

You can pick up a free avatar from the Market, and I recognized many of them from my time in the old High Fidelity! I chose as my starter avatar the photorealistic Matthew male avatar (which, with a wizard’s hat, sort of became my standard avatar when filming episodes of the Metaverse Newscast in the old High Fidelity), and then I visited a stone temple world recreated via photogrammetry:

Looking pretty realistic! I have a good feeling about this project; it reminds me a lot of all the good things that happened in the old High Fidelity (and hopefully, without some of the technical, logistical, and organizational problems they encountered).

If you want to follow their progress on this enterprise, here is their blog. You can also join their Discord server or follow them on Twitter. If you want to contribute to the project, here is their GitLab and Roadmap.

Pictures from Today’s Lockdown Dance Party in High Fidelity, Presented by XaosPrincess and Tivoli Cloud VR!

The second Lockdown Dance Party in High Fidelity is now in full swing!

Caitlyn Meeks announced from the stage that the next Lockdown Dance Party will actually be held on alpha-test version of the Tivoli Cloud VR platform, a fork of the HiFi source code, instead of in High Fidelity itself. While this is exciting news, it is also a sad moment, as today’s event might very well be the last major event to happen on the now essentially closed-down social VR platform High Fidelity. It is truly the end of an era. (And here is news on what High Fidelity, the company, is planning to work on next.)

So here are a few pictures I took to commemorate the event, which is on now and running until 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time today, Saturday, May 16th, 2020, with DJ Kreolis and DJ BrainStormer spinning tunes. Here are step-by-step instructions to join the dance party!

I chat with XaosPrincess during the amazing light show by BrainStormer
Caitlyn and XaosPrincess address the crowd
Busting a move on the dancefloor to DJ Kreolis

This is also likely the last time I will ever see my customized High Fidelity avatar, which I created using the now-withdrawn Virtual You mobile app:

Of course, it wouldn’t be a HiFi dance party without Chocka dancing on the stage!

Like I said, the end of an era. The final picture is courtesy of XaosPrincess:

Join Us for a Lockdown Dance Party in High Fidelity, Presented by XaosPrincess and Tivoli Cloud VR, and Help Fight COVID-19!

If you miss the sometimes-raucous dance parties High Fidelity used to hold before they folded, are you in luck! The irrepressible XaosPrincess is throwing the second of her Lockdown Dance Parties, presented by Tivoli Cloud VR! (The first party had over 70 avatars in attendance.)

The festivities run from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday, May 16th, 2020:

Now, I did inquire, and I can confirm that the Lockdown Dance Party will take place in High Fidelity, on a private server hosted by Tivoli Cloud VR. This is because Tivoli Cloud VR has not yet launched their platform. Here are the complete instructions for those of you who are interested in attending (courtesy of XaosPrincess):


Follow these steps to join the LOCKDOWN DANCE PARTY on May 16th:
– Download and install the client for your OS
Windows:
https://tivolicloud.com/highfidelity/HighFidelity-Beta-Interface-latest.exe
MacOS:
https://tivolicloud.com/highfidelity/HighFidelity-Beta-Interface-latest.dmg
– If you are familiar with High Fidelity, fire up the interface
    and type “xaos.tivolicloud.com” into the GOTO
– If not, activate this link in your browser window: hifi://xaos.tivolicloud.com
    which will start the interface
– On the login screen click on “take me inworld!” in the bottom right corner
    to arrive on location in our club’s cloakroom where you can choose your avatar
– Toggle between the modes by pressing Ctrl 1 for desktop and Ctrl 2 for VR
– Have fun and dance the cabin fever away 
    while channeling cloud computing power to Covid-19 research 

Minimum system requirements:
– OS: Windows 10, 64-bit / MacOS High Sierra (10.13)
– CPU: Intel i5 equivalent or greater
– RAM: 8GB+
– GPU: NVIDIA GTX 970 equivalent or greater
– Internet Connection:  20 Mbps download / 5 Mbps upload
– tethered HMD for VR


XaosPrincess tells me:

Saturday’s party will run on the HiFi client version 0.86 – to be safe it’d be good to check this in your installed software Windows window.

So, if you already have that version of the High Fidelity client software sitting on your computer, you don’t need to download and install the client from Tivoli Vloud VR’s servers. When I asked if users could still create new user accounts on HiFi, her response was:

Yes – that works by clicking on “take me inworld!” in the bottom right corner of the login screen…It’ll take users in as “anonymous” while they’ll still be able to create a screen name to their liking.

Apparently, the High Fidelity servers might actually still be up and working for creating new user accounts, but obviously, they could be taken down at any time now.

And the best part is, your presence will actually help in the fight against coronavirus! Here’s the info from XaosPrincess’ page promoting the Lockdown Dance Party:

Donating computing power to fight coronavirus

While the psychological intention of our party is to offer a relieving, virtual remedy for the emotional distress of social isolation, we also want to contribute to the recovery of our physical world. And once again TIVOLI CLOUD VR is here to help us with a very charitable offer: 

When the LOCKDOWN DANCE PARTY is over, their server will continue to run! 

For every person attending the party, we are  going to donate $10 in cloud computing power to fight coronavirus via the distributed computing project FOLDING@HOME which is researching Covid-19 in order to create a vaccine and drugs to restrain the pandemic.

With our last party we have been able to gather $750 in cloud computing power, and we hope that we can outshine this result with an even larger crowd on May 16th. 

So come on out, meet some old and new friends, and help donate computing power to fight COVID-19. Thanks to Tivoli Cloud VR for their generous donation, and thanks to XaosPrincess for hosting this event. (By the way, Xaos now works for Tivoli Cloud VR. Congratulations!)

Tivoli Cloud VR: A Brief Introduction to a New Social VR Platform Based on the Open-Source High Fidelity Code

Tivoli Cloud, the company started by the former Strategic Evangelist and Director of Content at High Fidelity, Caitlyn Meeks, after HiFi’s abrupt pivot to enterprise users, has moved from San Francisco…to Adeje, on Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, off West Africa. Tenerife is dominated by Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano that is Spain’s tallest peak.

In a new blogpost titled Hello! We’re building a spatialized metaverse from a volcanic island, Caitlyn writes:

Unlike a super villain’s volcanic island lair from a James Bond film, ours doesn’t include an atomic doomsday laser, but does have shirtless German tourists and open air restaurants. It is from here, the volcanic island of Tenerife, that we started engineering a spatialized metaverse architecture.

By we, I mean Caitlyn Meeks, former chief evangelist at High Fidelity (that’s me), and my partner, our CTO and co-founder, Maki Deprez, an accomplished programmer and VR content creator. Together, we’re building a spatialized metaverse on the architectural foundations first laid by the open-source virtual reality company, High Fidelity. We believe this architecture, and its future progeny, will become the foundation of the spatial networking metaverse we’ve all been waiting for.

She goes on to explain what they hope to do with a fork of HiFi’s code:

Spring 2019 was a tough season for High Fidelity, when business circumstance pivoted the company away from the metaverse and production shifted towards a seemingly more commercially viable remote coworking product. The company’s virtual world servers were abruptly taken offline.  The metaverse project largely dropped off the radar. There’s a lot of theories about why the company decided to sunset its metaverse project, and I’ll not go into them here.  What’s important is that the company made core parts of the architecture open-source so it could survive exactly this kind of situation.

The Xerox Alto, first created in 1973, introduced the point and click desktop interface used everywhere today. It never went to market. Today, this interaction model is at the heart of every Macintosh and Windows computer. Similarly, we feel that the spatial computing architecture engineered at High Fidelity, and its progeny, will become the backbone of spatial computing for decades to come.

VR Winter is probably coming, but like the title says, we’ve been literally working from a volcano in the Canary Islands.  It’s keeping us warm and fired up.  To that end, we’re weaving together our own spatialized metaverse using some of the core architecture innovated at High Fidelity, Inc.

It is the small mammals that survived the ice age. We’re not a big company by any means, we’re just a plucky little startup who wants a metaverse. We’re haven’t got money to make sexy videos, our shares are currently worth way less than penny stock, we’re not going to have a flashy “initial land offering” on a blockchain. In fact, we’re going to stay away from using the blockchain for now. What we do have is more than enough server resources, donated to us by Amazon, Google and Digital Ocean via the WXR Accelerator and First Republic Bank.  What we do have is a groundbreaking open-source metaverse engine, seven years in the making. Most importantly, what we have is an understanding of what needs to be done to get people to actually use it, and perhaps even love it. And as far-fetched as it may sound, we think we’ve got just enough technical skill and moxie to do it.  

Caitlyn Meeks and Maki Deprez, the co-founders of Tivoli Cloud

If you want to follow their progress on this undertaking, here is their blog. You can also be among the first to follow the company on Twitter.