Friday, May 27, 2011

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Is OpenSim's SL Competitor InWorldz Ready for Prime Time?

Inworldz Not Ready for Prime Time

InWorldz, an OpenSim-based virtual world, is garnering a fair amount of attention from Second Life users, especially those chafing at Linden Lab's exorbitant land fees. And while it definitely has a lot of potential, NWN alumnus Chestnut Rau isn't sure it's ready for prime time:

Nothing rezzes even when I wait a long time. I find it impossible to TP without hanging up or crashing. Textures, when they load at all, flicker in an epileptic fit inducing manner. I can barely walk without rubber banding or getting stuck totally. Seriously? SL in 2007 worked better for me.

Much more here. I haven't tried InWorldz yet myself, but I trust Ms. Rau's perspective implicitly. To be sure, InWorldz may have advantages over Second Life, growing pains aside.

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Adeon Writer

The only problem I have with other grids is the lone wolf feeling. The populations are small and everyone is usually busy with their own agenda. I like dropping in sims full of unique acatars chattering away and joining in the public conversation. You currently only find that on LL's grid.

Justin Clark-Casey

Just fyi Hamlet, to the best of my knowledge, InWorldz have developed their codebase separately from OpenSim's for quite some time now.

Since InWorldz code is not open source, it's impossible to say how much it still has in common with OpenSim.

Of course, OpenSim still has a very large number of bugs and oddities. I couldn't comment on the Inworldz experience as I haven't visited their grid.


Saxon

I have met Chestnut Rau and can attest that she is certainly no alumnus.

Conjugationally yours and with tongue firmly planted in cheek,

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Isn't that "declensionally yours"? Alumnus is a noun, not a verb.

Robert Graf

haven't visited Inworldz but have had multiple regions up in OSGrid since spring 2009. The developers working on opensim have been making major progress since then in getting things stable and moving in the right direction. I do things there that I will never be able to do on other grids including Inworldz and SL. The main one being that I am not paying tier and free to do my own thang so to speak... TP's work for me, building is awesome, objects/prims rez quickly, similar lag to what one experiences in SL. Ran across good ole Phil Linden in the Africa region in OSGrid the other day... Was wandering the sewers there and man... tried to engage him in conversation but he was all tied up... he wasn't looking so well... ;)_~~~

Ann Otoole InSL

dunno but lots of people want permission to take stuff to open sim and a new grid is stealing sims for $100 each. (there is no way to export an SL sim without felony network unauthorized access). But nobody cares. LL appears to not want customer money and has severe identity theft issues with the ridiculous outsourced to india company reps asking for images of credit cards back and front. Only a fucking dumbass would fall for this crap. Unless they were being paid to destroy LL.

Saffia Widdershins

I've found Inworldz has some hic-cups (your shoes disappearing on tp-ing for example) but it has been pretty stable for me and things have rezzed quickly and remained stable. So much so that we've filmed an episode of Designing Worlds there live - before we've filmed segments on other grids and inserted them into the shows, but we now feel Inworldz can cope with a live recording.

I'm sorry Chestnut had such a bad experience. I've visited the art sims and richly textured environments (such as Julia Hathor's sims over there) with no problems.

We're planning that our Summer issue of Prim Perfect (out in August) will be our vacation from Second Life issue - we'll be looking at three of the walled garden grids. And that will, I hope, give us an opportunity to ask grid owners about problems like the ones Chestnut had.

Mera Kranfel

Hahhahhaha I only say, it must be ages since miss Rau visited inWorldz =))

If you write postings about other worlds you really have to visit them yourself. People might have personal reasons to talk bad about competition and this is not objective....

Chestnut Rau

Mera I visited the day I posted and took the images you see here and on my blog. It was May 22, 2011. I posted the specs for my rig on my blog which should be more than adequate to run IW. I worked with IW users to see what the problem was, which we never were able to quite figure out. I still have issues with rez time, movement and crashing.

"It works for me" is not an adequate response to a bad user experience and does not help to grow the world -- any world.

Growth of VWsis hampered when users get defensive and attack people who dare to point out problems with the UI (hello LL?) or the stability of the world (hello IW.) My experience was real like it or not.

Rusalka Writer

InWorldz works fine for me. In fact, for most of the year it has worked better for me than SL. Less lag, better rezzing. It has been a pleasure to build in IW.

Astra Thorne

I invited you a long time ago to visit InWorldz Hamlet. Remember? Once again I extend the invitation. I personally think you should come to our grid and check it out for yourself. If you are not comfortable coming as Hamlet. Make an alt. :) (I promise not to cover you in coke machines like I did in SL):P Our residents are die hard supporters of the grid. That has to tell you something. They love being part of the 'growing process'. I admit, some people are not cut out for that sort of experience. Then again, remember the old days in SL when you can say now "I remember back in (insert year here) when that happened"? People will be able to say that about this grid for years to come. InWorldz is an experience that gets better every day and it is a pure joy watch the residents get excited about things like the Phlox Script Engine rolling out. There have been parties all over the grid celebrating it!! The community loves getting involved in helping test on the beta grid, main grid too. The Founders make sure that the residents are involved and have that feeling that they are needed and appreciated for being a part of the grid. If you want to have a feeling like you are part of a community and not lost in the crowd, I say give us a try... Happy day to you and yours.

Mera Kranfel

Ms Rau i wasnt referring to you when i said " you should visit the place before writing" i was referring to Hamlet as its his blog we are commenting now.

Chestnut Rau

Mera I was responding to your incorrect assertion that " it must be ages since miss Rau visited inWorldz." In fact, it was last week.

Ciaran Laval

Inworldz doesn't perform as badly for me as it does for Ms Rau, there again SL Viewer 2 was performing that poorly for me today that I logged in with Phoenix in the end to try and get things done.

I know SL isn't having major performance issues so it's something I need to look at.

Ener Hax

geez, be cool and take a breath when getting onto Mera. not everyone in the world is American nor is their command of English and its cultural idioms the same

Mera's words were misinterpreted - maybe next time instead of "correcting" Mera, you should ask her, in Swedish, what she means =)

Marx Dudek

I do think that, despite the fact that yes, Chestnut did step on some toes with her review, there has certainly been some near-evangelical reports from within the Inworldz community that may give some the impression that is hassle-free and less frustration-prone in performance than SL. And given that it's not, it's setting up a lot of hopeful new IW residents for disappointment.

Chestnut has been accused of having an axe to grind, and she has been accused of being an agent of Linden Lab after her review of Inworldz. It's precisely this sort of - let's call it what it is - drama that's going to hinder real discussion and critique.

Computer wars are so 1980. Let's just all put our swords away and like what we like. Inworldz has definitely made some substantial improvements, but there are a lot more that need to be made. Some very basic and essential ones, such as fast and smooth basic avatar movement and some issues concerning prim adjustments on attachments.

But I do think people need to calm down and realize that just because someone voices their personal issues with Inworldz, it doesn't mean that they have an agenda. If someone avoids IW simply because of a posting in a blog, then that's probably not the kind of potential resident that the owners of Inworldz are hoping to attract.

I'm there, and it's okay and it's fun and it's nice. But it's more of a social space for me than it is a space to build or create. And that it's that is perfectly okay with me. Inworldz is an exciting experiment, and the coders and the owners are very close to their community - so it's understandable that residents there are very defensive. But at the same time, it can paint a negative overall picture of IW as a haven for the LL-disaffected. And it shouldn't.

anotherdeadavatar

As someone who has spent a significant amount of time in IW, Rau's comments are dead on pretty much.

The whole show is mediocre at best, even with great hardware. Its just not there yet. But we must remember that IW does not operate with the big pockets (dwindling?) of LL.

It's not terrible but it's not great either.

Metacam Oh

The problem with these other grids are they all have their hardcore fanboys or what have you. They are like a lynch mob the minute you suggest their world has issues, they accuse you of working for the other grid, or vice versa, so it is hard to continually sift through the misinformation for the truth. When they complain about SL on the blogs or forums they usually will add their "plug" for their favorite Open Sim grid where of course their problem doesn't happen there.

Its because they are all fighting over the same group of people. The people disillusioned with SL or that cannot afford SL, and at the current moment that pool is very limited and only a fraction of the SL user base, which also isn't some great #. I would like to see one of these grids start looking outward and perhaps do some creative marketing to a user base that doesn't know what SL is. That is of course if they are ready for the concurrency, and that I have no idea about.

Julia Hathor

I'm in both SL AND InWorldz. Neither is perfect, by any means, and both can be fantastic special places that call to ones creativity and imagination! That said...

I've never had any of the problems that Ms. Rau has had(even back to last Summer when InWorldz was quite less developed then it is now.) When I am working in SL I am constantly crashing, cannot even do basic chat in groups, continually suffer warnings that the asset server is hic-cupping, and still don't see 'search' working. Usually I restart my sims twice a day or their performance starts to decline. With all the rolling restarts that go on EVERY week, I cannot say that it is a more stable or enjoyable experience. I could probably go into several paragraphs on the things I see or experience in SL that frustrate and discourage me everyday, but...I won't...we are all way to familiar with them, aren't we?

I don't crash much in InWorldz, my sims hardly ever need to be restarted, things rez about as well as things rez for me in SL (sometimes better, actually), building has been more pleasurable in InWorldz so I now build there and export to SL), & Lag has generally been less. If I rez or delete a prim it does it and I don't get the asset server telling me that its having a bad day- which is everyday. If I have a problem I know that I can get prompt assistance. What a promising start for a young world! I see it getting better with each passing day ~ something I cannot say about SL.

There are also some things that are priceless and rare: complaints from residents aren't swept under the rug, problems aren't ignored, the owners understand their product and appreciate their customers. The customers appreciate the hard work that the owners are doing to make it the best world they can. Both bounce ideas off of each other and discuss the path that InWorldz will take. THERE IS A SENSE OF PARTNERSHIP & RESPECT.

InWorldz isn't perfect, nor does it claim to be. It is, however, a young world with a bright hopeful future ~ one that was started on the foundation & dreams of SL~ but continues to build and improve on that through the passion of its owners & residents working together.

The world that Ms. Rau described isn't the one I've known for the last year. If anything, its been kinder to me & my 4 year old computer then SL has!

Robert Graf

Looks like the old LL/SL guard is feeling a little threatened by all these new competing grids. They want a return to the old days where they control who and what goes where... No Thanks... the genie is out of the bottle... adapt and get used to it... ;)_~~~

Astaroth

' "It works for me" is not an adequate response to a bad user experience and does not help to grow the world -- any world. '

LOL. This is what I had to tell any of my friends who visited SL, back when I was still trying to recruit people for SL.

Perhaps InWorldz isn't that awful, in that respect at least.

Addison

After reading all this fuss, I thought I would give InWorldz a try. Creating the account was buggy and unsatisfactory and took several attempts. Once I was able to log in I arrived to find myself greeted, which was nice. Except that the lag was unbearable and it crashed before I could actually finish typing a sentence, which was an exercise in futility itself the chat lag was so bad.

I might add I use a less than year-old, more-than-capable computer - I can run SL on Ultra setting with the draw distance up all the way and most of the time have no trouble at all.

Sorry InWorldz, not impressed. Chestnut, you are in the right on this one. Don't let the crazies get you down.

bodz

To be fair, from my experience the original post is a description of Inworldz about a year ago. It's much better than it was before.
That said, the poster talking about OSGrid is correct: my opinion is that OSGrid is better.
The reason I say that is that we're leaving SL because it's cheaper outside and that you have more freedom and less restrictions. On that score OSGrid is more free. You can bring your own grid up and connect it to OSGrid, just like you can bring your own webserver up on the internet. You can't do that either with SL nor with Inworldz.

In any case, the point is moot: the Opensim software with the best feature set hands down is Aurora.

For me personally, the ability to have server side NPCs in order to be able to play role-play with realistic NPCs as enemies is the only compelling reason to leave SL. Only Aurora has that. Nobody else is even close.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

InWorldz worked like a charm for me--on a laptop and on wireless. The same was true of Avination under similar conditions. They worked as well as anything recently in SL. Avination's search even worked.

I've no dog in either fight: I left SL not for those other closed grids but for the cheaper and open hypergrid more friendly to educators.

There's not denying that Chestnut had a bad experience in InWorldz, and she doesn't seem to be slamming the grid. But in many other cases, I'd agree with what Robert said: all too often the old guard sees new grids that function well emerge, and they attack.

In Chestnut's case, she did not mention the viewer used, whether she tweaked settings, etc.

beentheredonethat

IW has a long way to go before being made ready for primetime. Their staff might have good up front service but that is only because there are ever a few hundred people on at one time. A few hundred. Look yourself. Concurrency. Also. Physics are sorely lacking, the content in there is very poor still and people are stealing things from SL and taking them over there even a fellow Linden photographed the occurance uknowingly which is how it was even noticed. They have a long way to go before being taken seriously. Especially with the own agenda things going on. But what do I know.

Arcadia Codesmith

The InWorldz grid has been growing at a strong pace, and to an extent, may be victim of its own success (the landing area is prone to lag from overcrowding, for example).

There are also hiccups from a variety of third-party viewers trying to access a world with a non-standard code base.

My general experience with InWorldz is that land rates are reasonable, the staff is friendly and responsive, there are a good number of top-tier content creators (and a blossoming music scene) and if the service is less reliable than Second Life, well, so was Second Life a year or two from launch.

I think if I were looking to start a virtual business, I'd be much more interested in the emerging market of InWorldz than the super-saturated, cutthroat world of Second Life. It's a much nicer environment to operate in, warts and all.

Ted

I have years of experience in both SL, and working with opensim. I have a sim in Inworldz and cannot at all imagine the negative reviews after any sort of experience in SL. Sl doesn't run no where near as good as IW in terms of rezzing anything. And in fact, many SL sims don't hardly rezz at all.

If you want to have a negative opinion, that is your choice, however, it would pay to have both experience within SL and Inworldz, with the opensim platform, etc.,

I find Inworldz to do quite fine and the small team seem to be working diligently to provide a better experience. If they get the new Phlox engine working correctly (which is not completely the case yet), and continue with the current goals of implementing better physics (PhysX), I don't see any reason Inworldz cannot compete on a larger scale than they currently are.

I rather enjoy Inworldz. After running my own private opensim grid on the web, it's refreshing to just sit back and build, script, and enjoy what it's created for.

Why it is people are looking for an alternative to SL is beyond me. You either want SL or you don't. I doubt anyone will produce an exact duplicate of what SL is. At least we can hope not.

Ted

Solaris

For me Inworldz has been a wonderful experience and every day I am on it it gets even better. I think when you are looking at a new virtual world you have to keep in mind that it is going to be a "new" virtual world. the question shouldn't be 'are they there', but rather are you being listened to when you report them and 'are they getting fixed?' When it comes to LL I can answer that with a resounding NO. People have been having a myriad of problem with the new V2 coding and LL to my knowledge has done very little to fix it. I know in my personal experience since that new system has rolled out I have been forced to switch to alternative viewers just to be able to enter the world. And while I have settled mostly on phoenix and firestorm I still have major issues with loading taking forever, everything from Avatar to building appearing as grey indefinitely, massive lag, falling through the ground on SIM crossings, rolling restarts... and the list goes on.

Where as on inworldz I have experienced very little lag, No Sim crossing burials, have never witnessed a restart, and have noticed that when I do have a question or an issue the creators are more then willing to listen to me and help me with it. I find myself excited to see what the NVidia PhyX system will do, and excited to watch the world make itself into something amazing in a way that I can no longer bring myself to get excited for in SL. That quality I think is what will make Inworldz the competitor to watch. The extra something that the OS SIMs I have tried are lacking.

And for the record Inworldz is no longer using the open SIM coding, they have created a new engine called Pholox. And it was recently rolled out onto the grid. I do believe that initially it was using Open SIM but has since deviated from the program greatly.

I am in agreement with a few others on this blog who have said Try it and see for yourself. It likely won't fit everyone and that's okay but there is always the chance that it might be a fit for you and give you the experience you have been looking for in a Virtual World. I know I was surprised when I found that I loved it.

I think also that when this project is out of it's beta you will see features that differentiate Inworldz from being just another grid like second life, that leeches it's client based from SL and becomes a program that can stand alone and draw in it's own client base. This is my hope for it anyway and so far this is where I see it going.

And if you've tried it once keep checking back, as thing settle and fixes roll out you might be surprised with what you find and how quickly changes are being made and implemented.

Solaris

Oh and the last head count was 40,000 users and counting with over 900 SIMs open. There is also a massive spike expected to hit when the PhysX system is rolled out onto the grid. I know that when that happens I will be opening a few of my own SIMs there as well. Something I never did in SL.

Jeff Donald

See comments from people who have not visitied InWorldz. Here are verifyable comments from a person (myself) who spent 2 months there.

InWorldz has moved a touch from the OpenSim sournce with the following results being.
No physics. Want to drive, fly or boat around forget InWorldz.
llEjectFromLand sends avatar home
llTeleportAgentHome freezes all scripts on a region for 60 seconds
llAddToLandBanList also freezes all scripts for 60 seconds
An avatar can set home location anywhere they like. Perfect for a griefer. Griefer arrives at your land and immediately sets home location on your sex bed. You try and send home, eject or ban and the griefer can’t be shifted. Only way to get rid of griefer is a region restart. Estate managers boast there that’s all that needs to be done. Wait a minute, when are you estate owners online and able to do this for me?
In InWorldz if you ban an avatar wether it ban land or estate ban. Ithas no affect once the person sets home there. The server makes 1 and only 1 attempt to get rid of the griefer. Another thing, if the person does not have a home location or their region is down. The griefer can stay on your parcel of land, take a quick coffee break and continue to grief you.
Textures fail to load. Very frequent objects vanish and so do textures. Water also will vanish. Islands Those enjoying scenery may find the water surrounding island vanishing a tad disappointing.
HUD phantoms on screen blocking your ability to touch or edit. You must remove HUD and log off and back on to get rid of the phantoms.
LSL script events such as CHANGED_OWNER do not work nor does PARCEL_DETAILS_ID.
InWorldz, true they are moving away from opensim source. But, my golly, they sure have taken a large step backwards with very crippled crippled code for both scripters and creators of other things.
All physics functions denied, they just don’t work at all.
Land search has the same old bug opensim has had for years. When your parcel is advertised for “Show in search” the first time everything works fine. Once you play around with parcel subdivides, ie. Divide here and join there the whol database becomes quite screwed up. Your land, if it does manage to show in search will be none reachable. Example. It will list parcel name BUT not show details of what you have on offer or allow the interested person to teleport to you let alone, not even allow a ma view.
The same applies when selling land. Yes if you’re a hopeful estate owner wanting to make a killing on the land market. Forget it. Your land forsale will either not list at all, or if does, iimpossible to teleport to it.
I have given you just a very small touch of the problems.
I cannot help notice InWorldz boasted earlier 50,000 registered users. Sure soundsgood but are those 50,000 returning? No they go back to SecondLife where, although land may cost more, you do get value for money InWorldz is simply a good example of “You get what you paid for”
Be warned. The world has a very close and tight family who stick together. You will be made to feel very welcome when you arrive. After a while you will get the same feeling as I did. This feels very cult like and when you start business, watch your back. It is a very dangerous cult!

Er2914a

65,000 users 244 online. ok fact is this and I have convo's to back it. I have three alts in IW one is used for promotion and teahing RL students. The others are used for fun the one is a RL professor that brings his media class in. so if you know your stuff. and you want to do things dont go to the grid. I had my students run off trying to come in I have waited for them to come in from other grids to work on the media projects. when a over heated mentor ejects me for talking to a avi about a viewer issue.
To go in there with a great product just to be banned black listed by the founders old friends that have made strong groups. to have our root prim attached to how ?'
you know I thought it was me and I am sure it takes two but the fact is we push money that way we promote but they don't want you there . they just want a closed grid. 65,000 avi's and 244 online you see the return rate. well keeping running my class off and see what the students say because they are the future.

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