Attendance at the Sansar community office hours continues to grow...and last week’s meetings had the largest participation yet! Many in attendance asked questions about the future roadmap for Sansar and provided feedback on the latest release, which was made available on July 10.
Last week’s meeting was held in the Monkey Temple, created by UNIT9.
The community had lots to say about the many new features introduced in the latest release, which included a new materials editor, global illumination, custom media surfaces (such as streaming video), new scripting capabilities, and an improved character editor for better avatar customization. Product Director Jason Gholston and Associate Product Manager Cara Canlas fielded questions and gathered feedback in separate meetings from creators about these and possible future feature additions to Sansar.
Here are some highlights of feedback on the most recent Sansar release:
- Character Editor: Attendees expressed excitement over the increased number of avatar customization options...and asked for even more!
- Materials Editor: There was generally good feedback on the new materials editor. For example, one user was happy that they were able to now set the textures within Sansar as files are uploaded. Jason reiterated that there will soon be a showcase “Creator Academy” experience in Sansar that will allow creators to better see how the materials editor works. The showcase will include a “Hall of Materials” that features displays of objects with different settings in action on different materials so that creators can see and experience (rather than just read about) how the materials editor works inside Sansar.
- Media Surfaces: Many creators are just starting to test the new media surfaces feature. While most feedback is positive, a few people have found some unexpected behavior. Our developers are investigating and gathering feedback for future enhancements.
- Teleporting in Desktop Mode: Many in the community were happy to see the introduction of teleporting in desktop mode. There are now three different ways to teleport (which allows you to move around any experience or scene more quickly). One option is to hold down the CTRL key and then adjust the blue teleport beam in Sansar to your desired location. Then, click your mouse button to teleport. Another option is to hold down the middle mouse button and then align the blue beam to where you want to go and let go of the mouse button to teleport. Finally, you can use an Xbox controller to teleport. Hold the right trigger to bring up the teleport beam then release it to teleport.
In the next release, expect lots of bug fixes in anticipation of the first public creator beta release.
Sansar adventurers explored the jungles and relics of the Monkey Temple.
In addition to feedback on the most recent release, there were several general questions that the Sansar team answered. Hot topics included documentation, The Sansar Store and best practices in building.
Here’s a summary of some of the questions asked:
What building blocks do we need in order to manipulate textures using scripts?
We still have a parameter graph system that needs to get built out so that as a creator you can choose what parameters on a given object are exposed during runtime. Then, you will be able to hook into those with a script. Jason reminded attendees that Sansar is currently different than Second Life in that there is not real-time editability and content gets locked down in runtime. The parameter graph system will be important in that it will introduce a balance that helps with performance while adding some real-time edibility. However, we’ll first need to establish which parameters will be accessible to creators. We want to make it as flexible as reasonable.
Will there be a terrain editor - and will it have voxel?
“We are working on a terrain editor right now where you can sculpt the terrain,” said Jason. “With it, the need for templates (for example, a highlands template) will be reduced. It’s a heightmap right now, but we’re adding voxel in time. We’re trying to build a hybrid one so you can punch within a mountain and make a cave.”
Is the bug reporting system accessible/readable to the Sansar community?
The community is encouraged to use the Bug Reports forum. The Sansar team reviews all posts, which are also readable by the Sansar community. Many of these submissions are also entered into our internal bug reporting tool, which is not accessible to the general public. Users are encouraged to check release notes for information on resolved bugs.
How will people be able to purchase items for Sansar in the future? Will it just be on the web via The Sansar Store?
In addition to the web-based version of The Sansar Store, you will also soon be able to shop within the Sansar client (accessible via both desktop and VR mode).
Will there be a way to know who makes a purchase (and when) so that the customer can be contacted for future updates?
In the future, we'd like to give users a store merchant dashboard to track their items and provide information on their sales. Another feature under consideration is enabling the ability for sellers to contact their customers about updates.
Will alt names be allowed so that you can have different identities in different experiences?
We understand that there may be times where you want to have different identities as you explore various scenes and experiences in Sansar. This option has been discussed and various forms of implementation are under consideration. We do eventually expect to allow multiple avatars under the same master account, according to Jenn and Cara.
Will adult content be allowed in Sansar?
Adult content is not allowed in the short-term since age restriction support is not yet in place. While no policy has been set for longer-term adult content policies, Sansar ultimately aims to give creators control over the type of content that they create and consume.
Creators in the afternoon session also visited RUNE by Maxwell Graf.
The submission deadline is fast approaching for the Creator Challenge, which includes over $36,000 (USD) in prizes including a $10,000 award for the best Sansar overall experience! Visit Sansar.com to learn more (including rules and guidelines). The contest ends July 24.