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Thursday, December 17, 2009


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Myf McMahon

Hrmm, I may have to get around to having another look at this. I mucked around with Blue Mars briefly during the early stages of the closed beta, but found I had major issues with most aspects of the interface.

It'll be interesting to see how the open beta goes, as success or failure at this phase is what's going to determine it's long term course. Personal feeling is it's not going to challenge SL in any real way. Honestly, the content creation aspect of it is what's going to hurt it. By billing itself as being open to user created content, it will attract a similar crowd as does SL. When those folks get there, only to discover that actually making stuff requires familiarity with professional level 3d and game design tools and that there's no in-world basic building kit, they're not going to stay.

Ordinal Malaprop

I have to say - and I hope that this is not taken the wrong way here, I am sure that Mr Sink is a fine chap - that the most interesting aspect of Flash in a virtual world is not "you can do things inworld that you could do in a browser!"

The most interesting aspect is how it could give virtual world developers a free-er hand in how to develop user interfaces - avatars can use Flash controls which then feed back to the virtual world. Say, dragging sliders and ticking boxes in a Flash application, which saves the details in a database, which is then accessed by a Blue Mars system to build a customised vehicle. The ease of augmenting the client UI is the main part - and I would hope that Blue Mars was also planning to fully implement interactive HTML as well for this.

Rodion Resistance

I wonder exactly how many Second Life users have computers powerful enough to experience Blue Mars "to the fullest"? The Crytek Engine is great, but it's a pretty major investment (for some people, esp. outside United States and Europe) in terms of hardware to get Blue Mars the way you want it.



im a mac

Robustus Hax

Congrats to Mr Sink and Avatar Reality team, very excited to see where the Blue Mars platform takes us.

Tristin M

@ Loki gawd dude.... I'm SSOOO sorry ;-)
No really I am hehe

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Avatar Reality seems to have backed away from having only vetted content from approved creators appear in-world. That does improve the picture somewhat. The pro-level content-creation tools, however reduce students and most educators to "tourists."

I'm hoping to give BM a try on a high-end Windows box to see how in-world games work (I'm on a Mac and ain't comin' back, dude :P). But I don't think it would be of much use to the edu crowd except for very advanced courses in certain departments with some serious PC horsepower.

Still, good luck with all that! The more competition for LL, the better.

Sioban McMahon

I tried Blue Mars, but I won't be back until they have an actual Mac viewer.

Arcadia Codesmith

"The pro-level content-creation tools, however reduce students and most educators to 'tourists'"

That's always been my biggest gripe with Blue Mars. I like having the option to bring in the big guns for complex models, but for most purposes it's overkill.

The ability to tweak objects on the fly within the world is very much taken for granted until you no longer have it.

Is the archetecture flexible enough to allow 3rd-party coders to integrate building functionality directly into the interface? If not, I don't see any real future here. They're not hitting critical mass without the "make stuff" component built in.

Melanie Aluveaux

I tried Blue Mars from my university computer, and it will not run. My graphics card is "unsupported". It seems that more expensive hardware is needed. Oh well, back to SL for my education applications!

Helene Zuili aka Clara Young

When Blue Mars published this great movie at the beginning of the year, i was really amazed and willing to try it. Unfortunately Blue Mars is not developped for mac, so I could not try it. Last week end, I decided to equip my powerful mac with great video car with Windows 7 under Fusion, and first thing I did was to install Blue Mars. Installing was no real problem and the interface looks rather simple and intuitive. Unfortunately, that was all i could see since rezzing was just terrible. I could see only shadows and chat bubbles, and the experiment was reduced and made me think about SL 4 years ago. What a frutration !


Up until yesterday I have not bothered with BM. Blue Mars initiated an in world economy today. Now BM is a player.

Took less than 10 minutes for me to download the new client, install, and download 2 maps, and log in.

The lag is less than in a Linden Home sim on my under specs system (technically I should not be able to run BM) Perhaps due to running on quad core 64 bit Vista.

The sims are like literally miles across lol.

Movement sucks unless the map is programmed for proper WASD style movement so there's a key. They have a lot of work to do.

Avatars are just ugly. I estimate a year before BM is acceptable for actual use but at the rate LL is alienating customers the migration may happen despite the fuglies.

Seriously the thing LL has going in it's favor is that which the LL devs have fought against: Complex Avatars and large ktris/fr on the avatars. Like good hair and jewelry. That is what SL has going in it's favor now lmao. Cruel Irony.

Pics don't do it justice. You have to log in.

LL might want to self evaluate it's nepotism and plutocracy aspects. Oh and if LL thinks a "minimized UI" like BM is good then they need to log in over there and use it for a while to get a feel for how lousy it is. MMORPGs all have complex user interfaces for a reason.

If you want an iphone app fine go build it but leave the real 3D world to people that want it. Oh and BTW in a year you will have a stereoscopic 3D interface or be toast.

Arcadian Vanalten

I'm intrigued. The idea of a sim that's miles across is interesting to me; I really hate zipping along in a car, airship, or wingset, just getting into my cruise to hit a sim border.

My initial reaction to the build gripe was "So? Not all of us are all that hooked on playing w/ blocks." Then I considered that while I"m indifferent to building myself, I DO enjoy zipping around to check out all the nifty spiffies everyone else has concocted.

When you talk about needing outside software, are we talking Gimp or some other open-source thing that can be obtained fairly reasonably, or some ungodly $600 CAD/CAM program to whip up anything there?

Gwyneth Llewelyn

I personally think it's very encouraging to see people seriously adopting Blue Mars in this trial period; I can believe that BM starts with more users and developed areas than Second Life did in June 2003. That's a good sign for sure. Comparisons will fail at this stage just because you can only compare engines — so the techies will love the difference (assuming they have good enough computers, of course, like Ann's quad core 64 bit Vista :) ). For the rest of the world the question will be how quickly BM becomes community-focused (which will boost its economy, and thus decide the level of success of BM as a "SL alternative") instead of merely technically focused. Still, SL survived several years by just being a techie playground, and even today, we still get a fraction of the most active population being very sorry that "things are not as before". They'll have a good time enjoying playing with BM until it becomes mainstream.

Of course, personally, I'll be out of any serious use of BM for several years — CryEngine2 does not support the Mac and will very likely never support it. I guess it'll take Apple to grow to 50% market share to have all those anti-Mac platforms start thinking of supporting the hundreds of millions of Mac users out there :) ... but Apple hasn't had a 50% market share since the mid-1970s, so I guess I'll have to be patient and wait.

@Arcadian, mostly some "ungodly $600 CAD/CAM program" but you ought to be able to use things like free and open source Blender too... or even SketchUp, with lots of luck and enough tweaking :) And, of course, there is Google Warehouse for millions of free meshes out there — although experimenting with the ones that actually work should keep anyone busy for several weeks :)

Arcadian Vanalten

OK, so I loaded BM on my system and poked around in it for a bit. It was...weird. Could be that I'm just too used to SL, but I found the interface to be kinda annoying. The rendering seems pretty, but it's really, really hard to navigate, and I didn't see much to do. WHich sounds a lot like what you hear from the anti-SL crowd, so I'm open to the idea that maybe I just didn't have a very good experience immediately, but I was fascinated by SL almost instantly, even though it was far less pretty at my initial rezzdate in 2006 than BM is nowadays (although I think WindLight tips the prettiness quotient in favor of SL nowadays).

Arcadian Vanalten

I'm refraining from grumbling about the lack of content; as it's a new platform, it just doesn't seem fair to pick on it about that just yet. And I've only checked out that one city, which was unoccupied at the time. But I couldn't find anything to do there, and if there was a map of features in the city or a way of searching for stuff to do, I didn't find it. Near as I can tell, it's luck of the draw for what you happen to stumble across.

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