Want real-time feedback on your Sansar experience? You can connect directly with the Sansar team and fellow creators during weekly office hours — show us what you're working on! These meetings also include news and updates on current and future Sansar releases, as well as useful tips and tricks.
Hanging out at Kayle Matzerath's Village of Breeze
Among the Sansar team in attendance during the April 21 meeting were: Product Director Jason Gholston, Product Support Specialist Brianna Thomas, Product Support Engineer Damius Green, Software Engineer Nyx, Associate Product Manager Cara Canlas, Lead Community Manager Jennifer, and Senior Producer & Audio Artist Torley.
During the meeting, the team reviewed and gathered feedback on the latest Sansar release, which included several new features. You can review the latest Release Notes for more information on what’s new. The next release, tentatively due in early May, will feature object grouping, scene object filters, live audio previewing, new avatar outfits, and more. See the April 14 Meeting Notes for more information.
Here’s a summary of the key discussion topics at the April 21 meetings:
- “Safety Bubble” for Avatars - Each Sansar avatar currently has a moderate amount of surrounding space that allows for some personal comfort when in close proximity to other avatars, especially in VR with depth perception. However, you'll soon be able to set preferences that define the size of this space, including the eventual ability to allow people you trust closer than others.
- Animations & Non-Playable Characters - The Sansar team is working on support for animations and NPCs, both of which will allow for livelier interactions. Before these features are available, the team plans to streamline and simplify the workflow so that tools available to creators are fun and not just functional. Rather than just play canned animations, VR users will eventually also be able to capture their own body movements. For example, HTC recently announced that it will release additional sensors that you can attach to your body for DIY motion capturing. While these and other advanced motion sensors aim to better mirror VR and “real world” motion, some community members shared that they may want the ability to selectively filter which motions are actually displayed in VR. For example, if someone is resting their hands on a desk, they might not want their avatar to do the same. Further, the growing use of VR motion controllers might contribute to a gap between those who experience Sansar in VR vs. desktop mode (as desktop user avatars might appear less “alive” if they don't have the same diverse range of movements generated by motion controllers). We're working on bridging this gap whenever possible.
- The Sansar Store Permissions - Careful consideration is being given to edit permissions on items purchased on The Sansar Store. Creators should be able to determine what (if anything) is editable within the items they sell — even after the Material Editor is available. For example, a creator probably doesn't want a consumer to re-sell a modified version of their item without their permission.
- Streaming Media in Sansar - To stream music or video in Sansar you’ll need to apply the the “Media surface” shader onto an object. This will be an option when the material editor becomes available. Initially YouTube is the only streaming source that will be supported. However, there'll eventually be support for other external services.
- Gaming in Sansar - Some creators expressed interest in how Sansar will support combat and shooting games. We confirmed that we're focused on low lag and efficient ways of calculating "twitch gameplay" scenarios. As development continues, Sansar can support game creators as a turnkey multiplayer game engine option capable of these and other fluid experiences.
- Metal Effects - Until environment maps are released, creators will have a difficult time achieving chrome-like effects. However, metal finishes such as satin, brushed, sandblasted, etc. can be executed reasonably well with properly applied metal and roughness map (whiter is “rougher," while black is smoother like a "mirror", a “satin finish” rests somewhere in between). On the metalness map, make it white for a full metal effect, as it tells the renderer you want the specular highlights to be tinted.
Two impressive new experiences were toured, including:
SuperSecretBase by ESD
We checked out ESD's SuperSecretBase experience, which was inspired by the cyberpunk game Electric Highways.
The New World by Nexus
We also explored the futuristic The New World experience. This cyber spot features Tron-like neon blue visuals and an atmospheric soundtrack that spawned discussion of the importance of audio in VR. Torley shared the Sansar Audio FAQ and reiterated that creators can ask for help in the Slack channel #sansaraudio.