As many know already Ebbe Linden CEO of Linden Lab spoke this week at the 9th Annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference 2016 talking about and answering questions on Project Sansar. Here are the latest updates that you need to know about including beta testing and building etc.
Recently Linden Lab have been playing a lot with the new VR hardware and trying to integrate it with Project Sansar. Linden Lab are working on integrating HTV Vive with Sansar with the addition of Steam VR at some point in the near future.
The good news is that Project Sansar is being built for Windows PCs, Oculus and Vive HMD which sounds great. The lab is working on Project Sansar for Android and IOS devices. I can’t wait for the launch of Project Sansar for Android. There will be a streaming solution for Project Sansar which is being worked on by third parties. Apparently a Mac viewer is being looked at currently and it could be launched at some point in the future.
Possible Exchange System
A few things I learnt is that Project Sansar will be for an age range of 13+ along with content ratings and that the Linden Dollar will probably not be used in Project Sansar. Ebbe Linden did mention that there will be an exchange system so you can transfer Linden Dollars to the Sansar currency (still early days yet).
Building in Sansar
In Project Sansar there will be many interesting building tools in Project Sansar and Linden Lab will support 3rd party tools. So that means you can use Maya or Blender to build stuff and import it. Ebbe Linden mentioned that there will be tools within Project Sansar including layout, terrain, object manipulation tools and more. Over time the lab will work on creation tools so you can build within Project Sansar.
Ebbe Linden said that Project Sansar will be nowhere near as feature rich as Second Life is now, many of things you depend on in Second Life will not be available at the beginning. Ebbe Linden mentions that when Project Sansar goes public many people will leave Second Life to have a look around however to find out they can not do the things they do in Second Life.
Ebbe has already experienced 360 video in Project Sansar and he has already used hand controllers to rearrange objects in Project Sansar. Project Sansar uses the baking progress meaning that you have to publish what you have built. This will allow the system to optimize lighting and performance better.
There will be no skill based gaming in Project Sansar at first but this may change in the near future due to it being very costly and requires a lot of time..
Firstly you will need Maya to work in Project Sansar, you will need be experienced in building etc and willing to give feedback to help test Project Sansar. It’s worth mentioning people who just want to snoop around is not what they are looking for. It’s better to wait until the opening planned for Q4 2016.
In May or June 2016 the lab will open up Beta access for Project Sansar to a set of creators. Linden Lab are very focused on creators for the rest of the year. From July until the end of the year the lab will invite more and more users to join.
The lab will start accepting applications from people who want to get involved in beta testing through an online signup page depending on your skills. Project Sansar will be opened to the public at the end of the year / early 2017.
There are no plans to migrate everyone from Second Life to Project Sansar for years to come and they remain different products.
New Previews of Project Sansar
During the past few months Linden Lab have published first still pictures of what’s possible in Project Sansar. Ebbe Linden mentioned in his speech that between now and June 2016 Linden Lab will be revealing new pictures along with Project Sansar in action via demos. During Q3 2016 even more will be revealed on Project Sansar which sounds very exciting indeed.
My Final Thoughts
I enjoyed listening to Ebbe Linden speech at VWBPE 2016 and it’s good to learn more about Project Sansar. From what I’m gathering most want to start beta testing and want to see new video demos/pictures. It’s still early days for sure and it’s going to be really good to hear more about Sansar in the months ahead.