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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

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Arcadia Codesmith

$15/month sounds like a price point I can live with, and access through Facebook is a plus for certain projects.

Valiant Westland

Paying less for inferior products/services is no bargain. When/If a competitor offers => function for <, It might impact SL pricing and give me a reason to consider migrating.

Ezra

Very pleased with those price points.

But, the issue with Facebook only authentication is made even more apparent a problem now though for 2 reasons that come to mind.

1. My most immediate hesitancy in buying an island myself is, how am I going to convince my closest Second Life friends to log in with Facebook? Some will do it, some won't. Maybe most will but most instead of all is unnecessary divisiveness, and I care more about them logging in than my family and friends on Facebook who aren't all into virtual worlds or anything game-like at all.

2. Of the Facebook logins Cloud Party has right now, most I see are obviously pseudonyms if not actual Second Life avatar names. Some of these might be the new 'Display Names' but it was this way before that feature. It worries me for the platform if people are violating Facebook policy and buying islands when in an instant someone at Facebook could decide to specifically target Cloud Party as a source of accounts using fake names and do something about it.

If they're ever going to solve the Facebook-only authentication issue, they need to now. It blemishes otherwise increasingly great news coming out of Cloud Party.

Cube Republic

I think the price point for the big islands is a little high to attract many. I know it's five times as big, however the object and triangle count are not to this ratio. Also it's still $100 which is a lot of cash for a video game even if you're a content creator. Would be nice to see a midway point between the two sizes also. Purchasing an island is a doddle and you can rename it straight away. Big-up to cloud party for making this possible, I've got to say it's awesome and has a lot of potential for interesting content and people telling their own stories. As far as content creation goes it really does offer a lot of advantages if you've embraced mesh in SL. I'm enjoying the fact that you can monitor your triangle counts as you build in your app, instead of using prim equivalents. Also no need to model subsequent LOD meshes and physics cages, so this removes a substantial amount of the creation process.

Cake

Fifteen bucks is awesome, and it's cool this is on FB. But, like I've said elsewhere--it was hard for me to get into Cloud Party because I have no SL friends on my rl FB account. So, I'm basically tp'ing around on my own and it's really weird.

shockwave yareach

4 times the square meters for 1/3 the price? That makes the cost only 1/12 per square meter as SL has!

The time has come to create my avatar's FB account. Threats be danged; this looks great!

Amanda Dallin

There's no world there. Just a bunch of isolated islands.

shockwave yareach

@Amanda - take a look at all those private islands in SL sometime. There are 5 times the number of private sims as there are mainland sims. And while yes, it would be nice to be able to combine islands to form a bigger land mass, that's not a show stopper for most people, especially if the island has the same land area as 4 SL islands combined.

Not being able to afford LL's prices though, that IS a showstopper.

Nalates Urriah

I suppose it is just a matter of time until someone leasing a $100/mo island gets kicked from FB for pseudonym use.

Then CP will have to figure out the naming privacy thing.

I'm not sure CP is that much better than OpenSim and the price points and limits certainly aren't. So, once the new wears off, like Blue Mars, we'll see how it works for people.

itsgettingrealnow

A shot across the bow? Oh I think yes.

Iggy

@Amanda, drive SL's mainland roads soon to see how an empty "world" might just as well be a set of islands. People, not contiguous land mass, make a world.

Jo Yardley

So how many prims do you get?
Or server impact or whatever?

Still, until we get the options we have in SL, it is still to early to even consider moving.

Pussycat Catnap

Needs to solve the facespam issue.

Funny that the screenshot is a house - when that it the LAST THING you should think of rezzing here: personal space.

This might be ok for RL business use only, if you can convince an employer not to lol at you and show you the door for treating a "video game" like it was 'srs bsns'...

I'd rather come to work in a fursuit... or in bondage leather straps...
- which is what using this would amount to.

Even if you use it for 'education' and non-game purposes... you're dreaming if you expect 'regular folks' to see you as any different from this guy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3d_fqDcN1s

So linking this to the RL identity... not good.

Look at how violently (and I mean the word violent) World of Warcraft users reacted when Blizzard threatened to start posting their real names.

Ask yourself why? I mean, everyone knows that's a harmless video game. No furries, BDSM, ageplay, zindra, or any of that there. So why did the users care so much?

Because people still face a stigma for being attached to a virtual world - or for taking the friends they meet there seriously.

Tell someone "my best friend lives in [country X], we've never physically met, but we're best mates and hang out all the time" and you might as well have just chased them down the block in a bondage fursuit wielding a whip and a fuzzy stuffed carrot...

Tell em you do 'virtual art' and they'll ask you if they can take a copy home... and then look at you as they slowly back away when you say its all on computers only...

Tell you do online education and they'll ask if you've ever taught in a 'real class', you know - one that actually teaches 'real stuff'...

Put that on your resume.

We on the inside know this is not that. That this bias is ignorance (at best).

But the 'folks on the street' think we're freaks... They think those MMO folks are freaks, and we're in an even worse camp than they are. At least they are halfway into the mainstream...

Pussycat Catnap

Some would rightly counter my above point with reference to all of the RL businesses that came into SL in 2006-07, and so on, lingering until they mostly left.

But that's just it.

They left.

Virtual Worlds became Disco.

Nobody gets points for saying they do disco. Everybody pretends they 'always knew it was weird, it was the other guy who liked it.'

Even 'Dungeons and Dragons' was cool... for about a year, in the early 80s... before it became for freaks in black that shoot up schools (despite being 100% untrue, factually... to this day people still associate these immersive games with detached sociopaths).

Hamlet Au

Pussycat, if that's true, why are about 300 million people on Facebook pretending to take care of virtual farms, build virtual cities, customize fashionista avatars, play in RPGs and virtual worlds, etc. etc. every month, not only with their real names associated with their play time, but often, with wall updates *which tell their friends about it*?

Seven Overdrive

Not sure why Linden Lab thought they would be able to charge 300 dollars per month for server space forever. Guess they really should get with the times and figure out how to bring their costs down so sim prices can drop as well.

Part of that will mean they will need to end the whole estate baron business that is a factor in keeping prices high for the average customer because of the inevitable and unnecessary mark-up in price and bemoaning whenever a special is offered on sims. Maybe it is time to lay off 100 more Lindens and, this time, pass the savings on to everyone and not just the top tier payers that only pocket the savings without passing them along.

Cloud Party seems to be doing things right. Now all they have to do is allow people to sign up without Facebook.

Ezra

@Hamlet

I'll never get the anger against Facebook some have, but I do get the argument choice is best. I see pseudonymity as a feature, one that Cloud Party lacks. Just like real identity is a feature, one that Second Life supports via First Life tab.

EhrmanDigfoot

Normally I dismiss most of the privacy concerns people raise with Facebook, but I'm with PussyCat 100 percent on this one. VW's that want to build a 3D asset marketplace like Cloud Party and SL need to attract mature and professional 3D hobbyists, not only the type of people who play Zynga games every day. Farmville is a ridiculous and quite possibly the lowest comparison one could make when we consider the type of community I think most of us would like to build. I can remember the day I deleted all my games from Facebook. I never went back. Everything I do on FB has professional repercussions, more than LinkedIn or any other platform. No amount of privacy options will ever lessen that anxiety. As comfortable and excited as I am by CloudParty, I'm staying away for now.

Masami Kuramoto

@Nalates:
"I suppose it is just a matter of time until someone leasing a $100/mo island gets kicked from FB for pseudonym use. Then CP will have to figure out the naming privacy thing."

They already figured that out and added the option to recover CP accounts by their stored email addresses.

"I'm not sure CP is that much better than OpenSim and the price points and limits certainly aren't. So, once the new wears off, like Blue Mars, we'll see how it works for people."

One of the reasons for lag in SL/OpenSim is the concept of "prim count", which is utterly useless as a metric to determine the weight of a scene. CP uses triangle and material count instead, which actually makes sense. The fact that SL's system can be gamed on paper (by multiplying prim count with the maximum possible triangle count per prim) makes it worse, not better.

The other advantage of CP is its use of web technologies instead of viewers or plugins. No other virtual world can be logged into so easily.

Sure, some features have yet to be added (e.g. body shape sliders, group permissions, asset transfer, marketplace), but none of these is particularly hard to figure out. Bringing the client into the browser was the hardest part.

Masami Kuramoto

@Ezra:
"I see pseudonymity as a feature, one that Cloud Party lacks."

Currently CP is giving you these options:

- Use your real FB account and name.
- Use your real FB account with a pseudonymous display name.
- Use a fake FB account with a pseudonymous display name.

No matter what you do, the email-based recovery option is always available. So I really don't see what the problem is. You can be as anonymous/pseudonymous in CP as you like.

Ezra

@Masami

"- Use your real FB account with a pseudonymous display name."

There's still "View Facebook profile..." in all our contacts.

Even if that were gone, there's still a missing guarantee from Cloud Party on not flipping a switch a certain way to remove pseudonymity again.

Pseudonymity as a feature is a guarantee, not something incidental of playing with options.


"- Use a fake FB account with a pseudonymous display name."

The problem with this is the fact anyone would consider this an 'option' Cloud Party is providing.

If you believe it's an option they're providing, what stops Facebook from thinking the same that Cloud Party is complicit in violation of their policies?

Endangering Facebook accounts, creations in Cloud Party, and possibly endangering the platform itself isn't proper support of pseudonymity.


"They already figured that out and added the option to recover CP accounts by their stored email addresses."

To what end? Not like you can log in with your CP account even if you can be associated with it without Facebook Connect.

But it is very good news they're at least storing one-half of what's needed for authentication now. Now, they just need to support password authentication through those emails without Facebook, and signing up in the first place without Facebook.

Hamlet Au

"Farmville is a ridiculous and quite possibly the lowest comparison"

It's also sort of an outdated comparison, because FarmVille hasn't been the most popular Facebook game in years. Draw Something is more popular than FarmVille now, number 5 overall, and it's all about user-generated art.

DBDigital Epsilon

It is odd that I can run SL without issues and Cloud Party I can't even get into the door. And no this computer is not old it is much younger than the laptops they are "testing/designing" on.

And I second they need a log in system separate from facebook as many of us don't have "real" accounts on facebook (as they may delete them, they don't take the name in the first place, or just don't want to be assimilated by the facebook borg) and only have "business accounts" to create facebook pages for specific uses.

Timo Gufler

The concept of floating islands is fascinating, but where are the beaches and where can I rez my sailboat?

Hitomi Tiponi

The object and triangle limits make this nowhere near as attractive as it sounds at first. Limitations of WebGL, lack of features, community or social aspects and the need to be attractive as the new player probably means this is pitched about right. But it is far from being a bargain, and at the moment I would see many OpenSim-based offerings providing a better value alternative.

Hitomi Tiponi

@Hamlet - I agree about Draw Something being a better comparison. Trouble is that anyone can quickly create with that app, it has great immediacy - few want to have to learn how to use a specialist design tool first. In a way Second Life bridged that gap with prim building, as inefficient as that may be.

Masami Kuramoto

@Ezra:

Yes, CP is giving you the option to use fake FB accounts. They do so by providing a way to re-associate your CP identity with another fake FB account in case the previous one gets deleted.

"what stops Facebook from thinking the same that Cloud Party is complicit in violation of their policies?"

The first rule of Fight Club.

Orca Flotta


@Amanda, drive SL's mainland roads soon to see how an empty "world" might just as well be a set of islands. People, not contiguous land mass, make a world.

Posted by: Iggy | Tuesday, July 03, 2012 at 03:11 PM
-----------------

Haha, Iggy, you just contradicted yourself! I rather drive down mainland roads and see vast plains of devastated land than having no mainland at all. I even think the lonelier that place the better. No people = no griefers = no chatterboxes = no weirdos = no bling and script tards = no lag!

Heck a world without mainland is a showstopper, no matter if there's anybody living on it.

Second, only access with FB account? Flock that! No, I'm not concerned about my privacy, I just find FB a totally crappy product for all the wrong people. I don't wanna have any affiliation with that.

Thirdly, do they even have physics? I mean in order to sail a boat, drive a car, fly a plane or ride a motorbike we need some physics, not?

So, until CP becomes a real virtual world, I give it a pass. It's nothing more than a conceptually wrong prototype.

Masami Kuramoto

@Hitomi:
"The object and triangle limits make this nowhere near as attractive as it sounds at first."

Are you suggesting they should drop the triangle limits and allow CP to become as laggy as SL?

"Limitations of WebGL"

Thanks to the "limitations" of WebGL, CP has:

- a web-based client
- a multitexture material system
- skeletal animation support for every object

SL, after nine years of development, has none of these things and will likely never get them.

Masami Kuramoto

@Orca:
"I rather drive down mainland roads and see vast plains of devastated land"

It would be nice if we could actually do that in SL for any significant period of time without crashing or getting stuck at a sim boundary.

Iggy

@Orca, I often contradict myself. I need to keep my second personality in check before he hands the keys to #3 or #4. In any case, my point for Amanda should have been clearer:

Let's talk metaphors for a second. After all, didn't Neal Stephenson's characters talk about the absolute need to avoid "breaking the metaphor" in Snow Crash?

If you mean "world" in a planetary sense, Linden Lab invented one: continents of contiguous parcels and an archipelago of islands. But if no one is there, how is that a "world" in the sense of its social meaning, unless you wish to RP last-avatar-on-earth adventures?

An irony of SL now is that if you do want to mingle with others, you usually have to TP to find a crowd, so it might as well have CP's metaphors of islands.

Those who prefer playing under a nym need SL's sort of environment. Many educators don't: our RL names are just fine on a CP or OpenSim avatar.

A few have invented pseudonymous FB accounts for CP because they really cannot have their RL identity linked to anything called "Party" at FB, even though their RL data is in their SL profiles. FB labors under stereotypes as pernicious as SL's: college kids posting drunk party pictures.

@Masami, try another ride in SL. I'm going to do so again with a favorite vehicle and all the options ticked for good photos. Right now, things for a low-lag avatar in a low-lag vehicle show vast improvements over my last outing.

Hitomi Tiponi

@Masami - the limitations are more to do with the speed of anything complex running using WebGL. And I think they are right to impose such limits - it is necessary because of their architecture.

CP may have all those things but as you knowlacks loads that Second Life already has. People pointed to the extra features Blue Mars had when it launched, but when you come to the party late you have to be exceptional to become the party host of choice.

foneco zuzu

All i know is my personal experience!
That tells me, that now, Sl is an amazing place tob e, due to the much better cross sims, conbined with new generation viewers that makes it look amazing!
That let me host 7!!! full sims of each 45000 prims, for 0 ZERO USD month, easly, stable and with much more content and options to create new one that any other, OSGRID!
That Kitely allow Me to load and host 1 of my OSgrid regions, for free to any to visit as well!
That i dont need to be on facebook to log in in any of these worlds!
And that there are easy ways for any to have its own virtual World for free, see Diva distro, Sim on a stick, New worlds!
So Welcome to the metaverse Cloud, but make sure you do not forget that if your target is facebook users then you just lost a possible client already!

Orca Flotta

@ Iggy: I've never read Snow Crash, so please excuse my ignorance in that regard. But for me, a world is not made of ppl, it is first made of contigous land. Else we won't have roads to experience the absence of ppl and the lag. That was my whole point. And the downfall of SL isn't the mainlands but only their bad management. People moved to islands because mainland was too bad for them, in the first place. And some for other reasons but let's not worry about them.

Fact is, at least for me, 90% of my time I spend on mainland. That's where my community is, that where the water is, that's where the roads are. I'd be botred outta my mind if I was restricted to one sim and can only leave by TP. That's no life!

I TP like 2 or 3 times a day, and that's mostly to get to another continent. All the other commuting I do as it was intended. I use a boat or a bike.

Can I do that on CP?

You were right in your answer to Masami tho. The grid became much better lately, and when slowing down a bit at sim borders, it's mostly not a problem anymore to cover quite some distances now on Linden routes. Waterways are no problem neither.

I wrote some articles about biking on mainland, just check my bloggy: http://orcasl.blogspot.com/

foneco zuzu

What Orca's say is the best secret of Second Life and hopeful still one!
That there is a place called mainland, where any can rezz a bike and ride, rezz a boat and sail and so on!
In a way i wish to see a lot more enjoying those simple pleasures!
In a way i wish to still see those places, free of all the stupid and there are 2many of them, users that only think of Second Life as a place to make some bucks!

Masami Kuramoto

@Hitomi:
"the limitations are more to do with the speed of anything complex running using WebGL. And I think they are right to impose such limits - it is necessary because of their architecture."

The fact that CP is considered inferior because it imposes polygon limits is absurd. SL wouldn't crawl along with single-digit frame rates for so many people if similar limits were imposed there. We all know that the prim count/land impact metric can be abused, but the result is not a better-looking world. The result is that many people keep their pre-mesh viewers and refuse to upgrade, because all the high-detail eye candy is useless at 5 fps.

With the current polygon budget of a $15 Cloud Party island an experienced game level designer could build an entire city - and it would look better than anything in SL.

Masami Kuramoto

I find it interesting that people rediscover their love for SL mainland slums just the moment that CP introduces affordable islands for everyone. If mainland is that great, why is so much of it unused? Why are mainland parcels so dirt cheap?

I think the real reason is that those people have invested a lot in their SL, and now they are getting their knickers in a twist over the fact that SL suddenly has a competitor with a superior technical foundation and without legacy cruft keeping it in the stone age.

These are interesting times for sure.

Ezra

@Hitomi

What exactly is your measuring bar on judging whether Cloud Party's triangle limit is broad or limited?

Land Impact in Second Life makes sure a $295/month region 100% composed of mesh would fall in the hundreds of thousands of triangles range exactly similar to Cloud Party's $15/month offering.

Mesh aside, you could rez 15,000 sculpties in Second Life I suppose and get 15 million triangles. If you consider that a good thing then yes, Second Life wins there no contest.

If it's a mesh vs. mesh comparison though, Cloud Party has a ton of interesting advantages and probably edges Second Life out in allowed triangles per comparable landmass. Definitely edges out Second Life in square meters of land and triangles per square meter of land for one's dollar.

Mike McKay/Professor Merryman

*hammers hand on the bar, stands, and attempts to enunciate*
No anonymity!
Islands in the sky? I'm too grounded for that.
Who runs this app...Facebook?
How long will it be around? Funded by whoooom? How much?
Should I invest and make the same mistakes I made in Blue Mars?
What's my incentive for getting in now? Can I be a "Pioneer?" I'm a pirate, I am.
Cloud Credits? You don't deserve a currency. You're not close to being a country.
Got my interest with ease of entry, lost me and my friends at applying a texture to a, what do you call it, mish mash?
VOICE CHAT?!
*sits down and checks comments on his phone*

Pathfinder

@Orca and @Iggy

I believe a "world" is always made up of two things. People and Places.

And as for metaphors, it's not about breaking them. It's about knowing they can bend.

Ada Radius

I'm looking at Kitely as well as Cloud Party, trying to figure out where my bucks should go. Kitely seems cheaper. Cloud Party is talked about more lately. Is there a Cloud Party feature I'm missing that Kitely doesn't have?

String

@Ada

I have to tell you that some Cloud Party's new features will be beyond everybody's imagination, as long as creators move in and learn to use the tools properly...wow...I can't wait to see the future of this virtual world!

(but as far as I know, those features are still in progress...) need to be patient.

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