The Sansar team and community met again to discuss new and future Sansar features at the March 31 office hours. Among those in attendance were: Product Director Jason Gholston, QA Engineer Braden Steel, Lead Community Manager Jennifer, and Senior Producer & Audio Artist Torley.
This Month’s Release - Of primary interest was the latest Sansar release (that ended up debuting on April 3 after a slight delay), that finalized an improvement to optimize performance for lower bandwidth users. As mentioned in previous meetings, this release features some tweaks to the scripting APIs and adds the ability to get agent IDs. It also includes support for uploading ambisonics (360-degree surround sounds). Jason reaffirmed that this release is meant primarily to lay the groundwork for some significant features that will be available in the future, such as material editing. Check out the Release Notes for even more details.
Future Releases - Expect more user-facing features in future releases, including:
- Object Grouping - Creators will soon be able to develop more sophisticated content via the ability to group together objects to create more elaborate interactions. Jason shared the example of binding a real-time rendered spotlight to a 3D model of a flashlight, which can then be used to beam directional light in Sansar. Creators will soon be able to connect audio to objects, too. We're also hoping to support the ability to have more than one script added to each object, although we can't confirm this yet.
- Terrain Editor - A hybrid heightmap/voxel editor is in the works, according to Jason. This will allow creators to better customize their terrains to create more unique scenes. For example, creators will be able to punch holes in the side of a hill or dig caves on their terrains.
- Live Audio Preview - Soon, you’ll be able to press play and hear background sounds and emitters before publishing. You'll also be able to preview sounds in your inventory. Audio preview will also save your time iterating, since you can listen to relative volumes of different sounds before publishing.
- Other Features - There were several other features already mentioned in previous meetings, such as including global illumination and full body inverse kinematics (IK). Review the Meeting Notes archive for more information.
Other areas of discussion included:
- Creators Lounge - The Sansar team is considering development of a Creator Lounge that will be a hangout space for the Sansar creator community.
- New Creator Challenge? - Jennifer mentioned that another building contest may soon be in the works!
Tips & Tricks - Jason shared tips on how to convert a spherical sky image into a seamless cubical Sansar skybox using a 3D program, such as Maya. These instructions are available here.