Participants in Sansar’s Creator Preview learned more about forthcoming Sansar releases at the March 24 office hours. Among those in attendance were: Product Director Jason Gholston, VP of Product Bjorn Laurin, Senior Director of Global Communications Peter Gray, Lead Community Manager Jennifer, and Senior Producer & Audio Artist Torley.
This Month’s Release - While we expect future releases to have more user-facing new features, the next release (due by the end of March) will mostly feature bug fixes, according to Jason and Bjorn. In addition, it'll include some tweaks to the scripting APIs and add the ability to get agent IDs. It'll also include support for uploading ambisonics (360-degree surround sounds). As usual, when the new release arrives, check the Release Notes for specifics.
Future Releases - There are lots of big new features coming from the Sansar team, including:
- Object Grouping - Expect improvements to object editing, including the ability for creators to group together objects to create more elaborate interactions. For example, you could bind a realtime rendered spotlight to a 3D model of a flashlight, and use it to beam directional light in Sansar.
- A Mobile App - A companion app will enable you to chat with your friends while on the go, as well as other features.
- Desktop Mode Enhancements - You'll be able to teleport and the grab objects when not in VR. No specific timeline has been announced yet.
- Avatar Enhancements - Expect more lifelike avatars and animations, according to Bjorn. Specific improvements include improvements to eyes, as well as improved idle animations.
- Other Features - We briefly discussed several other new features, including global illumination and full body inverse kinematics (IK). These features were also discussed during previous meetings, and can be reviewed in the Meeting Notes archive.
Here’s a summary of what else we covered:
- Feature Requests - Creators made several feature requests, including support for improved interactivity and scripting (for the creation of puzzles and games); improved camera controls; the ability to cancel loading of an Atlas location; and more.
- Voice Chat Setting - Many creators have previously requested that the microphone default be set to "off", so that you must choose to click a button to enable your mic — versus the current default, which is that the mic is automatically always set to "on" upon logging in, and has led to unintentional background noise disrupting office hours. The Sansar team is considering the option to remember your last voice chat on/off state across logins.
- Roadblocks to Creation - Jennifer inquired about what the Sansar team could do to help reduce roadblocks that prevent creators from realizing their creative visions in Sansar. In response, a couple of creators indicated that they are waiting for Sansar improvements that help with workflow efficiency. They both indicated a desire to create experiences and objects much more quickly in the future. Jason indicated that the future addition of an improved object editing and a material editor in Sansar will help with speed and efficiency. Another creator indicated that multitasking with Sansar and third-party 3D tools (such as Maya) can strain even powerful CPUs and compromise performance. We're continuing to optimize.
- Experiences vs. Scenes - Jason clarified the differences between experiences and scenes. More info is in Managing your Scenes and Experiences.
- An experience represents the unique address pointing to a particular scene in Sansar. Each experience consists of a unique name, a thumbnail image, information about the experience, and a link to a scene layout. Experiences are how potential visitors can find your content in the Atlas, a public listing of experiences in Sansar.
- A scene is a virtual space you have created in Sansar, including the ground, sky, and any imported objects in the scene. This is the world visitors see when they visit your experience.
- Bing Gordon Added to Board of Directors - Pete shared news that gaming veteran Bing Gordon has joined the Linden Lab Board of Directors. See our press release.
During these office hours, we had fun visiting the epic structures of David Hall's "Nameless WIP" (shown above), then toured his "Honeybadger" lodge. We also played lillani's giant checkers and chess.