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Dan Olson's crypto & NFT long form video essay, "Line Goes Up", dropped Jan 21st this year and has almost 6.5 million views to date. It's required watching on the subject matter at this point and has a lot to do with the reversal of NFT's fortunes.
As I posted on the forums .. Presumably we have been paying this sales tax for years already. So really, this is a price hike with finger pointing.
To add to what Dee said about avatars. We don't need "starter avatars". We need a socially acceptable open source mesh body with head, made by LL, fully supported with sliders and whatnot in the viewer, documented with open dev kits for Blender etc. It needs to be trivial for clothing designers to work that "standard body" into their product workflows. Accessibility to new clothing creators is a hugely important factor and will help a whole new generation of clothing designers get started (most mesh bodies have private dev kits available by application only). I fear with the lab's recent announcement for clothing creators to join LDPW, they are going to miss the mark yet again and just rinse and repeat a tried and tested bad solution. Off the shelf starter avatars, only now with dress up options. .. yaaaaaay Starter avatars are not socially acceptable. They have no purpose after newbie island, and no matter how many dress up options there are, you wont get any user older than a week sporting one. The socially acceptable part is something the lab consistently miss, because very few of them are active in SL socially. Most of the LL staff avatars are over a decade old. They made one once and then called it job done. That is not how the rest of us use SL. An avatar isn't a means to an ends, it's a deeply personal statement of self, which like your actual self .. should own more than one shirt. Writing this with Lab Gab going in the background .. At least Strawberry has made an effort. Philip's avatar might be described as "iconic" .. but really were being kind. If that was anyone else .. no one in SL would give him the time of day.
The mesh models aren't the problem, sure there are lots of triangles but it's 2022 and a modern GPU can throw those around in it's sleep. The problem with SL's avatars is more nuanced. Every rigged mesh (and one attachment can be several meshes), has to be animated individually every single frame. The only thing they share is the position of the bones after all the animations have been resolved. This scales linearly, and is why SL grinds to a crawl in a crowd. The more time each frame the CPU spends animating avatars, the less time it spends rezzing textures and the longer the GPU has to wait for the next frame to be drawn. Games get around this by limiting the number of individual meshes that need animating and limiting the number of animations in play at any given moment. There are all kinds of tricks to allow avatar dress up that results in a single mesh at run time, see your local MMO for examples. This is also why other virtual world platforms tend to have single mesh fully dressed avatars. These avatar would work in SL, however they run counter to the entire history of Second Life fashion, avatars and dress up. As far as mesh bodies goes .. yes they are bad. But not for the reasons commonly cited. A mesh in SL can only have 8 faces (a hang up from prim days). If you want a mesh body that uses a HUD to "alpha out" sections to prevent clipping, then you need a new mesh for every 8 sections. Count up how many sections your body has, divide by 8, then multiply that number by how many onion layers you have. Tada! That's a lot of meshes that need to be independently animated each frame. The fix is to switch to a body that ONLY uses BOM and does not provide a HUD to alpha out sections. LL could extend objects to have a lot more than 8 faces, then we could have the best of both worlds. There are lots of little changes like this that LL could make to remove legacy limitations, that in turn would mean creators aren't making a mess to get around those limitations. Can Philip fix this? Oh hell no. He (like much of LL) do not use the product recreationally. Does not shop. Does not play dress up & has no idea what we've been up to the last 15 years. His "name recognition and leadership caliber" will evaporate the moment he tries to lecture SL residents on avatars, him famously only having changed his twice ... the second make over wasn't even his own work.
Every decision that went into Sansar was a direct result of lessons leant from Second Life. It's almost like they created a list of everything that made SL look and feel janky and set out to do the opposite. Technically it was fine .. released too early and then developed in a meandering noncommittal way as is the Lab's forte. The problem's ran far deeper than the obvious mistakes or missing features. When it was released and SL users piled on, the immediate reaction was visceral. This is hot garbage, there is no way we (SL users) are going to use that over SL. The Lab seemed to sagely nod and imply that was intentional. So yet again .. another white elephant product chasing new customers (who very much shouldn't be those weirdos from SL). The strict PG rating was a huge problem. Not because there should have been explicitly adult content, but in order for a social platform to thrive it needs to permit social content on broad spectrum. Setting a hard cap on personal expression right out the gate limits that, and even if 99% of what two users might want to do together is perfectly acceptable, they wont even try which makes answering more fundamental questions harder. Virtual worlds are not games, they don't come with purpose wrapped in a gift box and presented neatly on gilded platter. The user has to answer the question "Why am I here?". The mistake comes when platform operators think a simple one dimensional answer to that fundamental question is sufficient. A music event isn't a goal in it's own right, it's the backdrop to interpersonal interactions .. which can't happen when the platform has stuck a sign over the door that says FAMILY FRIENDLY.
(reposted here from reddit) The romanticized contiguous world nature of SL is its Achilles heel. It bottlenecks content delivery, presents tons of data to the viewer which then blindly renders all of it while trying (and failing) to work out which items are of most importance and should get textures first. Flying over mainland doesn't work and can't ever work, after a few moments the world all but vanishes as content streaming and unpacking fails to keep up, there is no way to look ahead and send data. Region crossing are not, and can never be, seamless. It encourages the very worst environment design decisions There is a reason no one else does this. They don't do it because it's easier not to, they do it to maintain a performant player focused experience. Game dev 101 - Don't have the player loading content they aren't going to see. Telehubs were a disaster, they got gamed and turned into malls and mazes you couldn't escape from. If Philip used SL recreationally and not as a superstar game god, he would have known that. Lots of "grown ups" play minecraft .. who do you think makes all the content, mods, games, packs, mega builds, server components and so on. Kids aren't up to their elbows in Java, and if they aren't on public servers they are likely playing with adult family members. Roblox is the same, kids can and do developer stuff, but a lot of the content is made by adults. SL's interface isn't "complex". SL as a platform has depth, depth requires high level tools. "Death" in SL combat teleports the player home. Where-ever on the grid that might be. This is hard coded in and is why no combat systems in SL use the built in avatar health system. Players getting "teleported" in and out of a region is also a pinch point for region load, doing this frequently in a game setting seriously impact performance for all other players. SL as an antidote to engagement based systems like Facebook precisely underscores why SL has been in the doldrums for over a decade and everyone uses facebook. Virtual worlds MUST be engaging. LOL .. Philip finding people in world suddenly polite and apologetic .. If the game god walks up to you, be nice. Be super frikin nice. Build and they will come is NOT TRUE. Not even a little bit. For every hundred great engaging SL builds, there is one that actually has more than 3 people at it half the day. Philip is out of touch with how SL operates technically. The lag we had in 2004 is not the lag we have today. The problem isn't attracting brand new people, the problem is getting people to stay or return. The new grid new engine idea was Sansar. No one used it. It crashed and burnt. SL needs fundamental platform advancement. If that means old content dies, then it dies. SL must be a living world, not a mausoleum. Active users will replace everything that is lost, and if they don't, maybe it wasn't actually that important.
I'm hopeful that he will keep the Lab away from any sketchy crypto nft dreams they might be having.. as for the future of SL .. well, his job hasn't ever been to make it better, it's been to make it look better .. the question is to whom. *Adds 'LL sells out to bigger metaverse player in 2022' to her bingo card*
The problem with prims is they are comparatively expensive to place vs mesh objects, are substantially less detailed, and not done any favors with the lighting model. They look ... well .. primitive. Placement of prims is also fiddly, MC has everything on a very rigid fixed grid, SL just doesn't. The skills used to work with prims don't directly translate to external tools like blender, and while FS does let you export them as a mesh, most users then immediately reimport that same mesh which is chock full of hidden geometry. So it's lose lose and lose again. Prims were fine when that was all we had, now .. it's reserved for legacy content and occasionally making in world mockups that can be exported and used as a guide to take some of the proportional guesswork out of working in blender. As an aside you can make minecraft pixel-art style blocks in SL .. if you go to great lengths to create specialist hacky geometry and UV mapping in blender, I've brought this up with LL devs and while the solution (per face texture filtering options) is simple, it's not likely to happen anytime soon (tm).
SL isn't designed with a mobile device's capabilities in mind, not at all. A full fat SL true mobile experience is not going to happen, even if one was created for iOS, it's not something anyone is going to want to use without tethering their device to the mains (and doing that obliterates battery longevity, leads to swelling, etc - hence some of the app store rules). LL appear to be working on a different idea, avatars are loaded up on special 'mobile client only' regions with no attachments, no local build and no local communication. You can be next to hundreds of other avatars and never know it. We can realistically expect a full suite of IM chat tools, friend lists and (big maybe) group chatter. It's unlikely there will be a big local chat room with all the other nearby mobile users as regular avatars wouldn't be able to participate and you might never see the same person twice - it would also end up like twitch chat due to size of local population and be functionally useless). A mobile avatar viewer is also a possibility and should IMO be a priority feature. We might not be able to see the world, but being able to see our own and other avatars would be a big deal, toss in some photo tools, selectable backgrounds and ability to play poses from inventory .. and we have a solid basis for generating social media content. This does impose some problems as attachments that animate the avatar wont function and dress up (which is predominantly dependent on HUDs) is probably also off the table (due to no scripts and usability issues). Not a showstopper. Exploring the world or attending events like regular avatars, probably not going to happen. But this doesn't exclude the possibility for some events (like live music) shared with a groups mobile users being possible. The only real wish I have right now (and it's not in the alpha client) is that it be possible for avatars in world to be able to tell when someone is logged in mobile.
This also assumes you have the xbox kinect adapter to connect the device to a PC (roughly $25)
If only SL could have this .. or any of the other technologies developed by HiFi .. or even any of the stuff developed by LL for Sansar.
Only you can't put SL community events front and center. WHAT HAPPENS IF MORE THAN 40 PEOPLE DECIDE TO SHOW UP
@Joey1058 Tim Sweeny has been very vocal about his metaverse dreams, I would just rather it didn't happen in Fortnite .. which is looking more and more like a social platform and cash shop with a game tacked on the side.
SL users and, more importantly, it's developers need to play more games. There is a shocking disconnect when switching between SL and modern games (even 7 year old games like GTA5). By comparism, SL barely runs, fundamentally fails to operate as a social platform the moment you get a few people in the same location (or try to converse in group IM), lags to hell and back, and it's users have been conditioned to blame each other for the overall poor experience. A little gaming makes it very apparent that SL's technical woes are not caused by that one person who dared to wear those shoes with that hair, happened to have a scripted attachment, or had the audacity to load slowly. "SL is not a game" has been a handy excuse to gloss over it being architecturally stuck in the days of single core processors. While it's very true that the dynamic nature of the beast makes many game optimizations impossible, it doesn't block everything accomplished in 15 years of technical progress (or negative the need for innovation). If SL were seen as a game, at least by it's creators, then perhaps we would have seen more time and money devoted to advancing and developing the platform. Perhaps skipping the whole Sansar debacle (it's not a game either!) It's no accident that SL's early explosive growth was during the time LL were pushing the boundaries of the sandbox formula, and likewise no accident it's been in slow decline for a decade as the focus switched to reinforcing the boundaries. At the start, the argument could be made that SL wasn't a game, it was the metaverse, a whole new internet. Today .. it's absolutely a game, whose users routinely slam into the sandbox's walls.
Seem's the Linden's did indeed do the thing .. just didn't mention doing the thing till the thing was spotted and people started testing to see if the thing was real.
.... and in typical SL fashion, why have just one person make it weird when you can have two.
Um ... Linked In is a public site indexed by Google independent of anything posted here or elsewhere. Torley wrote everything on that page himself and published it. On purpose. Try it yourself, type "Torley linkedin" into Google.
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Feb 26, 2020