Meeting Notes - February 17, 2017

During the Feb. 17 community meetings with Sansar creators, various members of the Sansar development and marketing teams updated the community on the latest Sansar news and improvements. Sansar team members participating in one or more of the meetings included: VP of Product Bjorn Laurin, Lead Community Manager Jennifer, Senior Director of Global Communications Peter Gray, QA Engineer Braden Steel, and Senior Producer & Audio Artist Torley.

Announcement Highlights:

  • The next release of Sansar will include some new features including:
    • Facial morphing for avatars - For the first time, and as the first step in a long-term roadmap for avatar customization, you'll be able to use facial sliders to personalize your avatar.
    • Easier login - There will be a new login checkbox that allows Sansar to remember your username and password, fulfilling a frequent community request.
    • Automatic updates - Sansar will auto-update, so you won’t have to manually download installers. This removes the friction of ensuring you're on the latest version, which has historically led to technical issues and confusion.

Image taken by Torley at Sunrise by David Hall.

The community had an opportunity to ask questions, report bugs and make feature requests to the Sansar team. Here are some highlights of those discussions:

  • Due to there being many participants in the morning session (40 avatars at one point), there were server disconnects related to high avatar concurrency. Braden indicated that they may know the cause, and the Sansar team is investigating.
  • Creators requested that a new search field be added to the Atlas, so that it'll be easier to find specific experiences. This has come up several times before during our "field trip" sessions, because it's becoming increasingly difficult to find an experience in an ever-growing list.
  • Creators and developers shared various Sansar tips to improve their experiences:
    • To avoid avatar congestion (being stacked up in piles) at an experience's entrance, creators can add multiple spawn points, which can be near or dispersed further away.
    • Adding dirt or grunge to textures helps an experience seem less sterile and more "lived-in". Consider what might've happened to an object before a visitor encounters it, and think about backstory of what you're creating and how to make it more believable (but not necessarily realistic).
    • There was a related discussion on how best to organize your Sansar inventory, including a request for sub-folders. Better tools are on the roadmap. A creator shared that she puts dates in the item names, so that she knows exactly when an item was uploaded. (This serves as an informal “versioning system”.)
  • Torley explained some ideas for future sound capabilities in Sansar, and cited aspirations for enhancements that will allow creators to vary and evolve audio emitter loops, so they don't repeat exactly the same way twice (since over-repetition is unnatural and fatigues ears, especially noticeable in VR). He also added that the Sansar team is investigating voice falloff issues, including improving how voices and sounds reverb/echo far further than intended. The Sansar team have also discussed the possibility of adding more sophisticated audio routing (e.g. repeaters, amplifiers).
  • Creators discussed the balance between advanced functionality versus simplicity in Sansar's user interface design, and the merits of quickly switching between modes. For example, if you're exploring experiences, you'd probably want a far more minimal UI than when creating.
  • Some creators suggested that Sansar should support “commoditized” items that are rare and/or limited in release, and perhaps some of them could be awarded to participants of early events. Similarly, creators would like to see support for achievements that can be unlocked and displayed on profiles, to reflect status and/or accomplishments. This could also have promotional benefits. For example, a user sees a badge on another user's profile that was earned from a game you've made, and is compelled to visit your experience.

All approved Sansar creator preview participants are welcome to attend future meetings! Check out Office Hour Announcements for opportunities to participate.


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