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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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Amanda Dallin

Both virtual worlds look good in those pics. The avatars on the Space flckr do not look particularly good but they are better than anything I've seen from Sansar or HiFi. I assume all three will improve over time as they have in SL. The problem is that like SL, people make their judgments from those early looks. The creators of these worlds don't seem to understand how important avatars are to their customers. Avatar appearance is just as important and in some ways more important than the environment.

Deborah

Problem here is that SPACE is allowing very limited number of triangles per avatar or any accessory/clothing he/she wears. They say that with normalmaps you can achieve a lot! In other words - try to create anything that is not bulky and requires small separate details - no luck in this department :(
Unfortunately dress-me-up fashion lovers will soon notice that this platform is not delivering as well as SL currently does. Good luck, hope this changes! :)

JohnC

I think the "dress-me-up fashion lovers" will find that SL, and OS, will be pretty much the last VR worlds to cater for the massively excessive high poly over dressing of avatars. This does not mean you do not create the high poly version of your clothing item, but once created you bake a normal map from it and use that to show all the small detail on a low poly avatar in game. I am guessing that Sansar and Hi Fidelity will have to follow this course as well or they will never meet the strict rendering costs that VR imposes.

Deborah

Yes, if you have your small items on bulky ones, then normal mapping is the key! But if small items are all alone all over.. apart from the bulky main object? And there is no place to bake them onto?

I wonder what happened to this technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00gAbgBu8R4

Adam

Just poking my head in quickly -- small details can be done. There's two tools you can use to bypass our poly count limits.

1- LOD. If you're using LOD to disable small details at distance, those don't count towards our polycount limits. (Check the Review Policies page on the wiki)

2- Tessellation. We support Tessellation shaders - we're going to announce some more stuff about those soon; but those let you have ultra smooth, high detail surfaces without the performance cost that would normally impose. The best part about them is they're pretty easy to work with (require very minimal extra work to apply), and deliver fantastic quality results. Ideally you combine those with a baked normal+height map for best results.

The big reason we impose those limits though are to ensure a good experience for everyone - we don't want to get into the situation where we have to rely on awful hacks like replacing avatars with neutral templates if they have too much clothing on.

Happy to chat whenever about this stuff - if you're in the creator beta I'm active in the group chat most of the day.

JohnC

No one wants to take a step down. If you are at all interested in attracting SL users to Space, then your Avatars must "at the very least" be as good looking as the best SL has to offer. Simple humans do not understand technical details. Space is better than SL in so many ways, but as Amanda pointed out at the start of this, Avatar customization and appearance rules in the eyes of most SL users. And if you cannot dominate in that area then you will have no chance in attracting SL or even OS users away from SL,

Adam

JohnC: Agree absolutely.

We're still working up to getting a decent base library of content in place, but the technical constraints do allow for it; and allow you to go much further. What we're in the process of doing at the moment is working with some creators to prove it, so you're not just taking me on my word.

JohnC

In some ways I feel that you were kind of forced to release Space a little early due to all the Sansar, Hi Fi hype. Sansar is like the last player in the game to reveal it's hand. When we finally see what it has to offer, then we will all be in a far better position to make a choice as to where our futures lay. Most likely Sansar and Hi Fi will end up being "experience" creators for Headset users. Then SL users will be left with a choice. Stay with an outdated engine, or move on to a platform with a future.

Adam

With the release - we're still technically in beta (and probably will be for a while yet); the problem is a lot of issues don't really make themselves known until you've got a wider audience of creators/users using the platform.

That's certainly been our experience - in the space of the last month or so, our avatars have gone from:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sinewavespace/31144746376/in/pool-sinewavespace/

to:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/144994874@N05/30512112114/in/pool-sinewavespace/

Some of that is creators holding us to account and making us fix things (we fix things when people tell us they're broken!), some of it is just inputting better content into the system; but in either case - we've had to go through the process of getting actual real creators and users to be able to advance and get better.

One of the things we can claim though is we're built on a really solid foundation -- the graphics and quality potential that Unity brings to the table is nowhere near tapped. I expect the screenshots will improve by similar orders of magnitude.

There's definitely still work we need to do to improve various features (Chat/IM is my personal bugbear at the moment) - but we're all virtual worlds enthusiasts in-house (about half our salaried staff were recruited via and from existing virtual worlds), so you can be sure when you know something isn't right - we know it too, and are working on it.

JohnC

Very much appreciate your openness, thankyou :)

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Wagner James Au VR MMO blog New World Notes
Sinespace virtual world Summer event
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