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This is going backward. I think it was 2004 when I proposed a tiered upload model for textures to promote efficient texture use. Uploading 1024x1024 textures for use on things like flower petals killed video card memory and efficiency. Imagine if it had cost L$5 for a 128x128, L$20 for a 256x256, L$80 for a 512x512 and L$320 for a 1024x1024; content creators would have a financial incentive to combat lag by being efficient. Being good neighbors in this aspect would help fight lag. And double the cost if there's an alpha channel!
This is totally anecdotal evidence, but there appear to be a mammoth amount of new Beat Saber players in multiplayer since the holidays. On Expert level, most players in November were about the same level of skill. I'd regularly finished anywhere from 1 to 5 depending. These days, I regularly finish most songs in first place, due to the flood of inexperienced players. Where previously almost all players would score SS, S, or A level, we're now seeing a lot of B, C, D, E, and Fs. It appears there are a *lot* more Beat Saber players than there were just a few months ago.
Thanks for another year of coverage... another year of fairly substantial change, while so much still feels the same. We lost a true believer in Ebbe.
Has anyone had luck getting this running on the Valve Index without horrible texture flickering? I’d love to know the settings.
Hey folks! Just a few things to clarify. - SLBoutique and SecondServer never had Linden dollar exchanges. - Second Server, IIRC, was shut down by Adam Zaius before any purchase. - The reasons for the Linden Lab purchase of shop.onrez (SLBoutique was re-branded) was after my involvement had ended. I'm sure there were many reasons. - Light sources were set on a prim - the setting is stored on a server. The rendering lag happened on the client side. In the old light box days, these could make an entire sim useless, and they would need to be rendered on all clients within view distance, even if not in view. I forget the exact setting, but debug mode had a way to show these light sources. It was refined over time. This was such a huge problem that the "full bright" feature was eventually introduced. @Summer, I tried to make it clear that I have no clue how things work these days, and was talking about "the early days of SL." The original article was referencing events from 15 years ago. My apologies if I didn't make that clear enough.
Disclaimer: I was the founder and coder of, one of the original web-based SL marketplaces. I eventually sold it to an in-world company, that in turn, sold it to Linden Lab to become part of the current SL Marketplace. Some of the impetus behind the original marketplaces (SLExchange, SecondServer, and SLBoutique) was to counteract the "scourge" of in-world malls. There were many complaints in the early days of SL about in-world shopping areas (and clubs) creating massive lag, being eye sores, and generally not being aesthetically pleasing. Resources were especially precious back then, and malls with every box set to be a light source with scripts in them could bring a sim to a crawl. Someone with a 512 square meter plot could tank and entire sim - and not maliciously, just with a badly built shop. I also wasn't aware that anything had "killed" SL. I haven't been an active resident in years, but it still seems to be quite a vibrant world to me, unlike Multiverse, Blue Mars, and Entropia. Second Life has succeeded where very few have: Second Life is coming up on being operational for TWO DECADES. That's pretty incredible.
It is good to see Jim doing well - he's always been incredibly friendly and gracious. I was lucky enough to get a tour of London from him years ago, including a visit to the London Science Museum to see the Difference Engine!
Second Life managed to achieve the ultimate blank canvas in a way that nothing I have experienced in technology before - or since - quite has. It was a shared canvas for us, a dreamscape, if you will. Some of the creativity I witnessed in the early years with a limited toolbox was truly breathtaking. There are very few experiences in my life that I can say significantly changed *who I am*, but being involved in Second Life in the early days was one of those experiences. I owe a great debt for that to those who made up that community, including the author of this blog. Leonard Nimoy's final tweet comes to mind: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"
That CrowCatcher fellow is very talented. Nicely done, sir.
This is really bizarre, because it has been next to impossible to get a Valve Index or Oculus Quest - the best PC unit and the best standalone. There just not inventory. Is it some kind of supply chain problem? I've had several colleagues ask about getting united since the pandemic started, and if they're not gamers, I recommend the Quest since they don't have gaming PCs. But it has been sold out. The Quest is still mostly sold out or backordered, even months later: And the Valve Index you order today will arrive in a few months: "Notice: Due to high demand your current estimated ship date is more than 8 weeks." Something doesn't add up.
Interestingly, most VR units have been sold out since the pandemic started. I think that may be a short-term bump in people who had been waiting to get one, but we'll see. There are few better ways to simulate being outside and exercising than VR. I'd be 20 pounds heavier if it wasn't for my Valve Index coupled with arm and leg weights; it has replaced cycling as my go-to exercise regime during the lockdown. And being able to hang out by a waterfall in the woods in Skyrim VR ain't bad for the sanity either!
Nick has always been awesome. He was one of the first folks I met back in 2003, and one of the reasons I stuck around for a few years!
The headset fires up, but the viewfield is completely jittery and flickery so you can't see anything. Kind of like a broken monitor? It is hard to describe. Thanks for looking into it, amig0!
You know, I was wondering the same thing... why a boring old clubby club? I didn't quite have flashbacks to Club Elite in Federal with BigJohn Jade, but still. :) When watching Apple TV, the screen savers often seem superior to the channels that stream (looking at you, cable news). Sansar sometimes feels the same - they have this amazing portal teleport astral plane you're in while scenes load... it is often better than where you end up! But credit where credit is due, this is the first time I've hung out in Sansar for more than a few minutes, maybe they're finding their niche. Here's hoping there are more reasons to in the near future!
Has anyone been able to get SineSpace working with the Valve Index? I tried few about an hour a couple of weeks ago, but no dice.
I checked it out - I love Fatboy Slim, and it was a lot of fun to see him. It was pretty impressive - the avatar moved in real-time, with the movements matching what was shown on the video screen. Things have come a long, long way since the "U2 in SL" days. Wookey had set up a ton of NPCs, so it was hard to get a good count, but from folks I was talking to in the area, probably about 50 folks hanging out. Fatboy Slim brought his daughter up to help spin at one point, it was pretty sweet. He was closing with Right Here, Right Now... but the stream got messed up and cut in and out. So we missed the grand final, but all in all, pretty darn cool. I was in my Valve Index and the immersion and audio were great. Here are a few screenshots I took on my monitor: All in all, it was really nice to feel immersed in a music performance. I regularly see live music in first life, and I've missed it during the lock down. I'll probably check out more in the future.
I'm really glad I bought an Index long before the Alyx announcement, back in November. Three colleagues of mine had to wait months to get theirs, and one of the three is still waiting. Don't forget, Valve didn't spend that investment just developing Alyx. They've developed a new SDK (including libraries, API, and hardware controls) for future games. There's nothing on the market anywhere close to the level as immersion one can experience in Alyx (Skyrim VR with mods that took the community thousands of hours to develop is the closest), and that will pay future dividends in other games. That's what made the investment worthwhile: a toolbox for future development, an amazing proof of concept on what is possible in VR, and a huge marketing boost for the platform.
SL's various systems have been upgraded in place throughout the years. There isn't a single "god engine" that powers the entire thing. MySQL powers the backend database (all hail the central asset server); Havok 2 was the physics engine for years (remember the clamoring to upgrade to Havok 4?); OpenGL 2 was the rendering layer. All of these components have been (and could be) upgraded and changed individually. Many of us decried the lack of incentive to force creators to build and create efficiently. As early as 2003, we could see our framerates take a nosedive when certain avatars or items would appear in world. There was sometimes an attitude of, "screw your framework as long as *I* look good." An early example was creators not understanding texture rendering costs. Until I learned better, I was as guilty of this as anyone. Uploading a 1024x1024 texture with an alpha (transparency) layer for a small surface that didn't need to be transparent was a regular occurrence. There should have been some kind of training wheels: for example, it should have cost L$10 to upload a 128x128 texture, L$40 to upload a 256x256 texture, L$160 to upload a 512x512 texture, and L$640 to upload a 1024x1024 texture. Triple the amount to add an alpha layer. This would teach people to be efficient with their textures really quickly, and as those textures spread throughout the world, the lag wouldn't spread with them. Similar systems could have been implemented in the early days for prim count attachments, and later, for mesh upload polygon counts. These "training wheels" wouldn't put the blame on anyone, or create finger pointing; instead, they'd be a natural way for residents to make efficient building another vertex of creativity, while creating a framework that doesn't bring the different systems crunching zeroes and ones to their knees. It is pretty amazing SL renders the amateur created content (mine included) as well as it does... but with a few restrictive systems, it could have been so much better.
Valve is really dropping the ball. I’ve had two friends on the wait list for the Valve Index since December. You still can’t buy one, even if you wanted to. As the best VR rig available, I understand people waiting for them to become available, but Valve better rank up production to match demand. People won’t wait forever.
Two of my colleagues currently have the PSVR and are now on the waiting list to get the Valve Index. It seems to be a good first taste experience for immersive VR, I'd love to see the price cut.
I don't get why they keep it as a flat rate. Back in the days when I created SLBoutique, one of the things I did was give creators incentives to lower their rate. IIRC, the commission started around 8%, but creators could get it down to 2% if they listed enough items, and provided enough freebies for the community. It encouraged creators to participate, and help out the community.
I get excited when my watch automatically unlocks my laptop, and when I hit "Approve" in my two-factor auth app and it logs me in. My teenage self thought we'd be so further along as a species by now, and would be incredibly disappointed in me. I'll never slag someone for dreaming big in public and not quite making it, because it takes a lot of guts to dream big.
I wouldn't buy anything Oculus makes, specifically because of the FB association. I had an original HTC Vive, and recently upgraded to the Valve Index. I do have an account with Oculus, however; to play exclusives like Vader Immortal through Revive: Get LastPass or 1Password, and avoid using third-party login whenever and wherever possible.
It's nice to see a genuine take from someone without an agenda. Thanks for sharing the story. I bought an HTC Vive last year, and somewhat to my surprise, I've used it enough to upgrade to a Valve Index this year. Friends love it too. I use it just about every morning to work out: Beat Saber with wrist and leg weights is a hell of a lot more fun than the gym. My VR rig has definitely not been collecting dust. It is also nice to see Catherine is still hanging about! Hi Catherine!
Best of luck to Michael in his future endeavors. He was always a nice, friendly, patient fellow, with a sly sense of humor as well.