I can’t believe it’s my 12th Rez Day in Second Life today and wow what an exciting journey it’s been so far. I’m still active inworld sharing my adventures every month via Flickr and blogging about the things that matter.
My blog followers has increased over recent years to 722 which is incredible and I really appreciate all the support from all over the community. I was the second runner up for best news blog thanks to the 2018 bloggies awards. My blog surpassed the 630, 000 hits milestone earlier this month.
It would be great to reach my 15th Rez Day celebrations in a couple of years time in Second Life because that would be a great milestone for me. I can’t wait to see what the year ahead brings bugs bunny and now it’s time to celebrate.
Linden Lab has made a major announcement today that Sansar will be moving over to the popular gaming platform Steam in early 2019. Linden Lab will be discontinuing the SandeX exchange as of 4th December 2018. After that date the lab plans on moving to a fixed conversion rate model.
It’s important to mention that Second Life didn’t work out very well on Steam back in 2012. It’s going to be interesting to see what impact this will have on Sansar’s user usage and revenue during 2019. The lab are gambling on a huge influx of new users with cash to spend to make Sansar more successful in the years ahead.
Here is the full blog announcement on the changes coming up soon for Sansar…
Sansar has come a long way since we started the project. In 2018 we have devoted an enormous amount of effort to improving the end-user experience, and will continue to do so.
Given those improvements, we believe we are quickly approaching the point where we want to start bringing a large number of users onto the platform. This is an important milestone for us and especially our creators. One of the foundational principles of Sansar is that creators must be able to profit from their creations. For us to make that a reality, we need to give our creators a large audience of customers.
The cornerstone of our growth effort will be to put Sansar on Steam. Steam is where more than half of the VR market goes to find software. It also is a huge pool of users who are interested in our space and are likely to have the hardware required to run Sansar. We anticipate being able to get onto Steam by the end of this year. This is a huge step for us and we’re excited to be able introduce Sansar to an even wider audience.
In order to do this, we are obligated to make significant changes to how Sansar works, especially in how the Sansar Dollar and process credit system work. These changes, will also make the credit process for Creators far more consistent and predictable. The first change is that we will be discontinuing the Sandex as of December 4, 2018.
After that date, we will be moving to a fixed conversion rate model. Creators will continue to be able to sell their work for Sansar Dollars on the Store (and soon in experiences!). Eligible creators may convert some or all of their earned Sansar Dollar balance to US dollars at a rate of S$250 to $1, and then request a USD credit to be processed in 30 days. This matches Steam’s payment timeline.
We understand that this may have an impact on the amount of revenue returned to creators compared to the Sandex. However, we believe that in the long run our creators will significantly benefit from having access to the larger Steam user base. In addition, anyone who has created their Sansar account before December 31, 2018 will receive a legacy conversion rate of S$143 to $1 until December 31, 2019, after which the conversion rate for all accounts will be S$250 to $1.
Our automated Sansar Dollar Conversion page will not be available until January 2019. In the interim, we are committed to working with our Creators to manually process credit requests of Sansar Dollars through an email process, the details of which will soon follow.
We are excited about our move onto Steam and the migration to a fixed-rate model. It is a momentous change for our platform and our community. The changes outlined here will make Sansar accessible to a larger audience, while also make processing credits more consistent and predictable. Thank you for your support with these changes. They will help Sansar grow as huge as we all know it can be.
If you have any questions about this change or the manual credit requests, feel free to contact us via Twitter, Facebook, or on Discord. You can also attend our next Product Meetup on Friday Nov. 2nd at 11am PDT. If you can’t make it into Sansar for the Product Meetup, you can join us through our live Twitch stream. Further events to discuss these changes will be made available at the community’s request.
The new Islandz grid has been under development during the past few months since the closure of the former InWorldz grid back in late July 2018. There has been a lot of good progress made in recent weeks. It’s been interesting following the all the latest updates through the Islandz Discord channel.
According to Jim Tarber this week user accounts opting in and new user registrations could happen in just a few days time which would be great news for the community. Region sales are a couple of weeks away. When the new grid opens there will be a big party.
The new Islandz grid will be running on Halcyon which will have mesh apparently. Hopefully the new Islandz grid will be open to the public in early November 2018 or sooner.
No set date has been announced yet.
The wait is almost over. I will post more updates soon.
Jason Gholston has officially left Sansar and Linden Lab this month after six years. Jason has started his new job as a creative director at Speech Graphics in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jason will be working on providing accurate avatar lip-syncing and facial animations which sounds very interesting indeed.
In Second Life
Jason joined Linden Lab back in April 2012 and led the Second Life maintenance engineering team with a main focus on customer retention and quality of service. Jason worked on managing the Oculus Rift integration with Second Life.
Jason then worked on Sansar developing social VR experiences on the Sansar platform for clients like Intel and Warner Bros. He worked on creating the Unity prototypes used to greenlight the development of Sansar.
Jason was the product manager at Sansar and he was responsible for management of the monthly releases of Sansar. From the engine, rendering, audio, level editor, terrain editor, VR level editor, avatar simulation and content pipeline teams. Jason hosted weekly VR meetups at the beginning in Sansar with the community to gather feedback, help troubleshoot issues and provide tutorials.
Jason Initiated and negotiated unique tech partnerships and content commissions valued over $2 million.