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Thursday, September 09, 2010


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Adeon Writer

Good to know someone in the know will be advising them. I hope you press for in-world modeling tools. :)

I'm sure things like World Builder http://bit.ly/eAiYi are the future feel of virtual worlds, and among many things wrong, SL got it right. Any virtual world that doesn't allow it has a dim future.

William Gide

Running Bootcamp or Parallels is more than a few tweaks — that's a very disingenuous way to describe it.

Henri Beauchamp

As long as Blue Mars can't run natively and properly on Linux, it's not an option for me...

Ari Blackthorne

The simple fact is: Blue Mrs is Windows-only. Stating that it runs on a Macintosh "with a few tweaks" is disningenuous spin at best, an outright lie at worse (and let us be clear: the Mac DOES run Windows, even natively inside OS-X, however in the Blue Mars FAQ, the question is does Blue Mars run natively in OS X.)

I should not have to "tweak" anything to run software. hence, the Macintosh OS X question regarding Blue Mars is, in truthful fact: NO.

The primary problem the for the company is that they are relying on a third-party technology, and thus are slave to that other company with regard to OS X support ever coming.

Can anyone say "Adobe Flash" applications with regard to latest OS features?

Dale Innis


Can we not call the server-side rendering idea "cloud"? Cloud Computing is really something entirely different. I suspect the reason for this misnomer is that Clouds tend to contain lots of computers, and server-side rendering will require LOTS of computers (more than anyone's likely to be able to afford, imho, except for press demos).

And I'd like to second the suggestions that BM runs on Macs "with a few tweaks". In fact it doesn't run natively at all, and running it via an emulator, while rumored to work, is UNSUPPORTED by Avatar Reality. So let's not tout that too heavily, eh?

(Hm, maybe this explains the bizarre "SL needs a progress bat" post the other day, heh heh.)

Dale Innis

(A sentence got mangled there. I meant I'd like to second the motion that it's disingenuous to suggest that BM runs on Macs "with a few tweaks".)

Ajax Manatiso

Comparing Blue Mars to SL is like comparing a Commodore 64 to a current-day Quad-Core. To even walk, you have to click on the spot you want to walk to. That makes exploring counter-intuitive as you already have to spec out the spot before you can go there. And to "tp" from one place to another -- rediculous! You have to download the entire new sim, install it on your computer, verify the installation, and THEN FINALLY go there -- only to find it is also boring and there is absolutely no one else there besides yourself.

Ziki Questi

I concur with Ari and Dale. I have three Macs, and I wouldn't bother to run any of them in Boot Camp or emulation mode to run Blue Mars. (Plus, I'd have to go out and buy a copy of Windows to accomplish either option! Pfft.)

Sandor Balczo

Perhaps I tend to be very pessimistic (and I am generally correct in my predictions, unfortunately), but the departure from Second Life by one of its earliest and longest-time supporters (until the return of Philip Rosedale to a CEO position) does not seem to be good evidence in favor of the survival of Linden Lab and its virtual world. The pattern is there before our very eyes: ironically, the more people leaving Second Life, the better and the less leggy it is becoming.

Lyndzay Meili

Yeah I agree installing parallels / boot camp is not "a tweak".

But I look forward to your reports so I can at least keep up with what is happening in BM

Vesper Kling

haaaa Sandor dont think so. Rather LL will be sim stacking them selves to he**l....

Congrats Hamlet this is exciting news! I will follow your diving into the blue =))

Bettina Tizzy

Hamlet, congrats to you and Iris and the rest of your team! This is spectacular news for the growth of virtual worlds.

And yes, I do think that Second Life is dying a bit every day. What's holding it together is its community. And the community is the only reason I ever log in anymore.

Quite right, Sandor.

@William @Henri @Ari @Dale @Ziki - If you don't like the fact that Crytek doesn't support Macs, tell them so. You are leaders of the metaverse. If enough people contact them in a persuasive manner, they will listen.

And yeah, I don't like the big download for Blue Mars. And yeah, it's nowhere near as much fun as Second Life right now because there's not much to look at and do, the UI sucks and our communities aren't there yet, but I'm still betting that Blue Mars is going to set a gold standard for virtual worlds.

It's still in beta. They JUST hired a UI guy. What do you expect?

Here's one thing you don't have to deal with in Blue Mars: Linden Lab. And that's alright by me.

Cloud-based version. Mmmmm.


So, when will Jcool, ph0x and Arabella Steadham develop an Emerald Viewer for Blue Mars?

(It's impossible to lie in Martian, you know.)

Louise Thompson

Congrats on the news! Seems like a good opportunity, but glad you won't be abandoning Second Life and the amazing stories you can find in there.


Good to see you aboard Hamlet! I've been in Blue Mars Open Beta for over a year and the progress, albeit slow, has been fun to watch and participate in. It still has a frontier feel to it and everyone seems to know everyone else, especially at the Welcome Area. I look forward to seeing you there and maybe showing you around.

Oh, one of the best parts is the lack of Mac and Linux whiners, well at least until the Cloud arrives.

Marianne McCann

Like others have said, saying "Blue Mars runs on Macs" is laughable. Running Bootcamp (or Parallels) and Windows just to run Blue Mars is not "Running Blue Mars on a Mac"

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Good luck with your new gig, Hamlet.

When they roll out the cloud client, I'll see you over there.

GoSpeed, calling Mac and Linux users "whiners" really makes me want to friend you when I get over there...yeah, right.

Valentina Kendal

congrats Hamlet (and Iris)! that's cool - and cute spinoff on the blog name. However I have to agree with everyone else - Blue Mars does not love us Mac users, so we are unlikely to come visit - that's your first message to get across to them ;)


$175-$200 for a legal copy of Windows7 so I can try some Beta software not designed to be compatible with my preferred hardware. Sorry, no. Good luck, though, Hamlet. Maybe I'll see you there after the Virtual World Wars get sorted in a couple years.

Sandor Balczo

I second the other residents' opinion that something that requires Windows to be run on a Mac is NOT Mac-compatible.

I tried Blue Mars a few months ago. There is no doubt it is appealing from a graphic standpoint but it is cold and when you do meet someone, they look like people with cerebral palsy.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Mac users...stop whining. You make me think GoSpeed is right!

If BM does not play well on your machine, vote with your keyboards. Like I said, the cloud client will let me give it a go and I promise no whining.

Snarky remarks, however, will continue wherever I go, and they have little to do with one's OS. Poking fun is platform-agnostic.

William Gide

I'm not whining about Blue Mars not running on Mac — most things don't, I knew that when I got the thing. Mostly I do editing, and mostly I'm a unix geek. The match is good. I do get irritated, however, when people claim that something runs on Mac, when in fact it does not, or does so badly (the EVE Mac client is very... off).

I don't want my Mac whining to detract too much from the main point of this post, though. I've been keeping my eye on various virtual world projects for years now, so I'm interested in seeing how Blue Mars pushes things. So far, nothing has really been able to compete with SL, and nothing I've heard about Blue Mars so far makes it seem much like it will, either. Everything I've heard so far indicates that it has a *long* way to go.

nexus burbclave

Congrats on your new position Hamlet. You have a lot of insights in this space that would be a boon to anyone developing for it. I see Blue Mars as an interesting implementation. I look forward to hearing more about it and trying it out when the cloud implementation is available.

It sounds like Avatar Reality are finally taking the cross-platform issue seriously, and I am glad to hear it. A fractured social graph is a critical bug for a social application... particularly one aimed at a broad market. Would Facebook or WoW be the giants that they are without being cross platform compatible? I imagine not, because when you create a social application, universal adoption potential is what allows applications to leverage existing social networks for promotion. That is why mac and linux "whiners" are so adamant about this issue. When this issue is resolved, I will definitely check the place out. Purchasing and running a second operating system (bootcamp gives you the ability to run other OSes, not a license for those OSes) is definitely more than a minor tweak. Native Windows, OSX, and Linux support is the gold standard (The platinum standard probably includes mobile given the rapid growth of Iphone and Android markets).

I'm also excited about the focus you have chosen for NWN regarding Second Life. Like you, I believe that much of the magic that remains in Second Life comes from its users.

Ann Otoole InSL

Buh bye. Go clicky click on ground to move like a retard. And take all the ugly child-like avatar fashion with you. (why do people want to be in a world where the avatars all look like junior high kids anyway?) Don't bother covering SL anymore. we don't want your fascist virtual world governance where everyone must reveal their rl identity and open their bank accounts to the hackers. Who, as it turns out already went to BM to get busy.

When things don't take off because BM is not UGC and never will be then please do us a favor and don't come crawling back. Traitors are what they are. Your kind.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Ann, please do not hold back in this forum. It's not good for your blood pressure to do so.

Alisha Matova

BM has no inworld creation tools.  To change even a texture repeat, one must fiddle with the city files and reupload the whole bundle.  There will be no rezzing or collaboration inworld.  To me, this oversite removes BM's chance at being a "world".  Lowering it to group of separated preprogrammed experiences.


Adric Antfarm


Amalia Broome

I tried to download Blue Mars and it failed numerous times. I have a new computer that is compatible so it wasn't that. Then when I finally got in, I found the world difficult to manuever around. Downloading new places to go just clogs the system..what happens when we have to down load 1000 new places? My computer won't be able to handle it. For now, I wish you luck. But I'm not going to be joining that world any time soon.

Amalia Broome

I tried to download Blue Mars and it failed numerous times. I have a new computer that is compatible so it wasn't that. Then when I finally got in, I found the world difficult to manuever around. Downloading new places to go just clogs the system..what happens when we have to down load 1000 new places? My computer won't be able to handle it. For now, I wish you luck. But I'm not going to be joining that world any time soon.

Hamlet Au

Thanks all! I apologize if "a few tweaks" isn't accurate to what it takes to run Blue Mars on a Mac -- I'm not a Mac guy, so I'm unable to describe the effort first-hand. However, I can definitely say I'll be making every effort to make Mac users feel welcome to Blue Mars.

Nalates Urriah

Congrats and have fun.

I suppose if the intent is to put BM in the cloud and use the new render abilities nVidia provides for server side, they could do away with the huge user downloads and add Mac compatibility in one stroke. Plus it would make delivery to the iPhone/Droid crowd possible. That makes more sense than the current set up.

The current lash up does not seem to be competition for SL. A move to the cloud could change that. But, that leaves the question of sex. Whether one looks at the Internet or SL the largest growth and most money spent is in adult entertainment. BM seems to be working hard to keep sex out.

I think LL has shown the cost of SL is too much for educational and non-adult business clients. I don't see BM being competitive in that demographic. So, they may be making a mistake similar to LL's Enterprise.

Time will tell. I look forward to your coverage.

Cory Edo

I've explored Blue Mars and feel that it holds a lot of promise for specific applications - like organized creation teams working on a closed and more controllable environment than what SL can currently offer. For certain goals I can easily see how Blue Mars could provide a better platform than SL, and I wish them all luck towards that purpose, but I don't see currently how they're gearing towards competing with SL in terms of a thriving economy and userbase. The live changes and inworld building tools alone separate the two scenarios pretty neatly.


Ann persists in calling me a liar when I tell her that *I* create content in Blue Mars - a lot of it - and I am a user.

And there are several movement options, WASD, arrow keys, follow cam, etc. It's not perfect, no one is saying that, but to claim click the ground is the only way to move is just plain untrue.

When you hear people badmouth Blue Mars, consider the tribal human need to talk down the "other team", fear of change, and fear of loss of business for those who have SL businesses. And also consider if their review is based on a real test of the world, or 5 minutes in the welcome area and not bothering to read the help page ( http://www.bluemars.com/tutorials/index.html ).

Fogwoman Gray

To everyone who tried Blue Mars a month or more ago, be aware this is RAPIDLY evolving. AR is rolling out tweaks and upgrades literally weekly. And they LISTEN to their customers (remember what that was like?). So a lot of what you think you know is wrong.
But for those with no tolerance for Beta, then wait until it is done before making judgements.
But I suggest that if you have ideas on how this particular virtual world could be better, there are actually folks creating it who value your input.
Just sayin'

Fogwoman Gray

p.s. You can use your arrow keys to move in Blue Mars now.


Congratulations on the new gig Hamlet, I actually read the news first on Dean Takahashi's blog.

This is quite a PR coup for Blue Mars; the writer most associated with Second Life now also freelancing/consulting for a major SL rival.

One small suggestion: if you're going to have a Blog on their site in something called Community, it ought to have commenting enabled!

CronoCloud Creeggan

Bettina says: It's still in beta. They JUST hired a UI guy. What do you expect?

That's the problem, it's been in beta for how long now? And the UI makes SL 2.1.1 look like a work of art.

SL is the Queen of virtual worlds, destroyed all comers, and Blue Mars isn't even a match to 2006 era SL in usability. Blue Mars might be great for walled garden "Corporate worlds", but it's no SL. It can't even run on hardware that SL can, and they won't be able to get people to use it if it doesn't. And no, "Blue Mars will take off when it will run on everything in a few years when hardware catches up and even $500 hardware would handle it" isn't an answer. People aren't upgrading their machines as often.

And there's no Linux client. Linux folks tend to be early adopters, a Linux client should be a high priority.

They've had SL as an example of what to do and not do and they STILL can't get it right.

Hamlet Au

Kanomi, I'm checking with the Blue Mars folks, comments on the blog should be enabled...

Metacam Oh

congrats Hamlet, please advise them to fix the avatar movements, way too clunky and not fun to explore. space navigator support also would be great.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

No native Linux version, and no reason to believe that the "cloud" version won't require some Windows-only plugin? No thanks.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

No native Linux version, and no reason to believe that the "cloud" version won't require some Windows-only plugin? No thanks.

Hamlet Au

Definitely, Metacam!

Kanomi, looks like Comments are working -- you may need to click the permalink to see and add to them.

Hitomi Tiponi

Best of luck in your future ventures - however let's critically analyse your key points:

- Cloud Bound: Blue Mars Deploying a Cloud-Based Version Soon

I agree this is important but the great thing is that SL will benefit more from the cloud than Blue Mars as the 'data down the pipe' will be greater there. And do you really think that LL are not planning a cloud implementation as well with Mitch Kapor around!?

- File Portability: Blue Mars Already Uses COLLADA-Compatible 3D Meshes

Long before Blue Mars gains any critical mass SL will have meshes as well - and an eager community to purchase them.

- Content Creator Friendly: Blue Mars Has a Well-Planned Content Protection System

But does that really protect content? If/when Blue Mars gains a decent community size it will still be possible for anonymous alts with spoofed IPs to set up quick profit shops as in SL.

- Fun Advantage: The Blue Mars Team Has a Deep Background in Game Design

Sadly that deep background has failed to create much in Blue Mars so far. Oh and in case you hadn't noticed the Wii blind-sided both the Xbox and PS3, because they knew what 'fun' really was!

- Mac Compatible: Yes, Blue Mars Can Run on Macs

I think the other commenters (who are Mac owners) have already told you what they think of that.

Dale Innis

"It's still in beta. They JUST hired a UI guy. What do you expect?"

When they've been around for this long? I would sort of expect them to be *out* of beta, and to have hired a UI guy a loooong time ago... :)

The fact that they are moving really slowly is a problem, not a justification, imho.

Loraan Fierrens

Congratulations on your new job (especially in these tough times). I wish you the best of luck. I'll be interested to see how Blue Mars develops. I've tried it, but it is not a pleasant experience on my older hardware. I'll be interested to see what happens when they have some sort of option for people with less cutting edge equipment.

Aside to Ann: your hyperbole does not do you or anyone else any good. I actually think that Wagner is mistaken about this business about real life identities but to call him a "fascist" and a "traitor" is an ad hominem attack that only serves to discredit you and sabotage that position. In my opinion, Wagner is mistaken... not some monster. Why is it that people have such a difficult time disagreeing with someone without having to make them out as demons?

Trinity Dejavu

What do you expect, this is the guy who couldn't even be bothered to test the TPV clients himself. Blue Mars runs on a mac because someone managed to get it working and thats good enough. By the same measure Twitter works on a C64.

The reporting of SL has been lackluster here for a LONG time, the Herald actually do a better job of news at times and that's really saying something.

You like blue mars because its game like, and you know what, it will have a game like shelf life too. Because it's a friking game.

Metacam Oh

I disagree Trinity, Hamlet's blogs are one of the very few in the Virtual World worth visiting daily. The Herald is garbage.

Desmond Shang

It's never easy to try something new.

I remember when I first tried out a new world, and I was told that it was ugly, a shaky company, lacking good features and so forth... with no future.

Of course, that was on there.com forums in 2003/2004, and they were extremely critical that I would even consider Second Life.

Looking back seven years, things sure look different in hindsight. Fortune favours the bold.

I see a time when Second Life is the grandfather of virtual worlds, highly relevant for decades, more so than most would believe in 2010. And I see an emergent Blue Mars satisfying a world of gamers and regular folks who demand 2010~2020 era graphics, plus technically superb and highly competent metaversal engineers and artists, in fantastic environments with a richness and complexity we can only dream of today.

Once in a while, the dreamers win, in spite of naysayers. But naysayers are always naysayers. Dream big, dream boldly, dream unafraid. Or always live in the shadow of what could have been, had you only dared.

Desmond Shang, Guvnah
Independent State of Caledon, Main Grid
Colonies of Caledonia and Pavonis on Blue Mars

Constance Marx

I guess the lines blur when you work for a company. How can someone be impartial just by saying they won't report on LL's doings? What a crock of BS.

Hamlet, you have an appropriate, typical, head on your shoulders.."looking out for #1" . You've just lost ALL credibility as a journalist. Meaning, in looking out for #1, you've lost most of what you had gained over the past years. But, hey.. isn't it all about money anyway?

All this complaining about virtual worlds is OLD anyway, I'm tired of it, it all reminds me of the emerald drama. The real affect is already happening, just look at the #'s. If this doesn't awaken those that do have control, then I guess their hearts aren't in it..anyway.

The core of the virtual world experience is in the process of being born into it, learning how to do all the things that one had to learn after being born in RL. This is what caused community to flourish in SL, we all had this learning in common. Did it affect mass adoption, yes. Might it be the reason things are as they are? I don't think so; its too many people being focused on the almighty dollar, whom might have a positive impact on the direction that virtual worlds might take.

Blue Mars, on the other hand, is trying to make it all "cookie cutter"; taking out all manner of true creativity. Your wrong here too Hamlet. You've just endorsed the demise of the very heart and soul of virtual worlds; User generated in world content. If you don't GET that free-form creativity that's accessible to all, as being KEY to the "community" then your more lost than I thought you were. But, hey.. its about YOU, right?

Granted, the "game" developers might have a huge step up in quality, but is it (virtual worlds) really JUST about that? I'm not going to bash BM here, nor am I going to bash LL. Its just not worth it. This isn't a situation wherein "build it and they will come". Community establishes itself in its own way and its own time. Whether or not BM becomes Mr. Big in relation to virtual worlds, remains to be seen. But, this still does not mean they can "plant" community, let alone can anyone else.

Anyway, you just lost an avid reader of NWN, and surely I'm not going to follow you to the "other" blog.

Eboni Khan

This is great! Concurrency in Blue Mars will jump from 10 to 12 avatars!


Having an OS limitation on a virtual world is more than a software limitation - it is limiting the population of interacting users. It's not like a productivity app that only runs on Windows - I can write a file, someone can write a Mac app that reads the file, OK. It's not like a Web browser that is Windows only - it would be like the Web being Windows only. That's why the comparison to Facebook (even though the software issues aren't the same) is valid. If Facebook were Windows-only, you'd have a social network of Windows users, and I'm guessing it would look a bit different.


Essential differences between Blue Mars and Second Life are blurring. As Second Life acquires mesh import without in-world mesh creation, it sacrifices the "content creation as interactive social experience" that was essential to its appeal. It becomes just another virtual world where the pretty pixel people can "oo" and "ah" over each other's solitary offline artifacts. But of course there's nobody to look: Everyone is offline, lost in Maya masturbation.

And then, yeah, we all may as well be in Blue Mars.

Jane2 McMahon

I haven`t returned to Blue Mars since the ridiculously bloated download and the equally ridiculous early 20-something avatar limitations once I got there. So has that improved?

Dale Innis

Philip has talked about having reasonably good integration between outside mesh tools and the SL viewer/world. Remains to be seen if it will happen, and if it will be good enough to support true social creation. But at least I hope it won't be the "create offline and maybe eventually upload and hope someone looks at" model that Blue Mars currently has.

Ziki Questi

Geez, Ann, don't be subtle or anything. Or, hmmm, maybe that's not Ann -- maybe that's just someone using Ann's name as their display name. Prok, maybe?

@Ignatius ... we're not really whining, we're just pointing out that the statement that Blue Mars is "Mac compatible" is pretty far off the mark. (You use Macs at all, Wagner?) @Bettina you're right and I see your point, but you would'a thunk that the Blue Mars development team (and/or Crytek) would have designed something platform independent from the get-go.


@Qie - actually you can collaborate and share and see each other's work using the "Developer Mode" in Blue Mars. That lets multiple people log into a city which has not been uploaded/updated to their servers yet. The only limitation is how fast you can share changes to the files that make up the city.

Additionally, in-world object spawning and editing is possible using the entity functions ( http://dev.bluemars.com/wiki/index.php/Entity ), it's just nobody has written a HUD and script to make use of those functions, and save the result as a persistent item. Yet.

Jane2 McMahon

Ann I agree....the avatars suck and the client is bloated. Beautiful, but bloated. And limited. And bloated.

Little Lost Linden

There really isn't much that can be said about this...

Words fail me today:



Nope. It's great that you're covering all the options, Hamlet, but I have no interest in a virtual world that doesn't support multiple platforms. To be truly ubiquitous, the code should run on Windows, Mac, and Linux at the least. Closed, third-party standards are *so* 20th century!

I have Windows installed in VirtualBox on my Linux system, and it runs reasonably well. But when I checked out Blue Mars and saw that it was Windows only, I turned right around. Second Life and OpenSim are much more advanced in this regard and I prefer my platform independence.

Giulio Prisco

Great news Hamlet! I look forward to interesting and entertaining Blue Mars coverage.

I have been following BM since the very early closed beta, and checking it every month or so. My last blog on BM (3 months old, I will visit again soon):

I think Blue Mars is progressing slowly but steadily, and advances like the cloud client are _very_ interesting. I am not currently involved in projects suitable for BM, but I will certainly consider it as one of the most interesting platforms for future projects.

In your opinion, what is BM _really_ suitable for? Virtual fairs? VR architecture? Tourism? Embedded microgames? Something else?


Good Luck with the latest VR Ponzi scheme.

BM looks nice but the avatars are a deal breaker for me. They are as ugly as sin plus they can not be modified by users who are not graphic artists. Talk about uncanny valley.


Oh! And if we're talking about personal devices like phones and tablets, just because they're underpowered for something like Second Life today, doesn't mean that will still be the case for much longer. Check out yesterday's news on ARM's Cortex A-15:


"It's like taking a desktop and putting it in your pocket."

Adric Antfarm

Desmond, for once. Just once. Note that you rent land in Blue Mars. It puts your comments into perspective.

Constannce, well said.

Eboni, marry me.



Blue Mars was very intriguing when I first looked at it, might look at it again if they come with cloud clients.

Not so sure about the COLLADA format though. As you said, professional game designers.. (and game hackers) use it so the BM content creator will have stiff competition from people who aren't even in world. I myself know how to extract COLLADA models from a lot of video games such as Harry Potter, Sims and Final Fantasy. What do you want to bet we will see a lot of Harry and Hermiones around BM ? And a lot of lawsuits ?

Arcadia Codesmith

I finally broke down last night and gave Blue Mars a chance to wow me.

Meh. Not so much.

Movement is clunky and counter-intuitive. There may be some combination of arrow-key and camera settings that allows the emulation of Second Life's intuitive, fluid movement interface, but I haven't found it yet.

Several customization options take you out of the world and into another screen. It's very disconcerting.

Avatar customization controls are difficult to understand and sluggish to respond to the sliders. This is the place where any game/virtual world has one chance to hit it out of the park or strike out. BM does the latter.

On the plus side, you can, with some patience, create a decent-looking avatar 'out of the box'... you don't have to pay a third party to stop being ugly (BIG improvement over SL... even with the newer avatars).

The builds are very well-executed, if lacking in imagination. Polished. Boring.

Preload proved to be an issue when everybody in the Welcome Area decided to go to another zone and I had to wait 15 minutes for it to load. Still, once it loaded all the static content was THERE -- I wasn't looking at gray cubes and green clouds. I could picture developing a full-action RPG in this environment, except...

Land rental is based on the SL model, and it's just as prohibitive for average users to do anything remotely ambitious. SL's traction is slipping for a number of reasons, but one is the punitive tier aimed squarely at wealthy speculators and institutional clients. For any other world to emulate this failing model is beyond comprehension.

And the lack of an integrated toolkit for creation is just... wow. Inconceivable. Sloppy amateurish hackwork.

And one small clarification for anybody visiting Blue Mars: the sim named Arcadia's something or other has nothing to do with me. I gladly and firmly disavow any connection.

That doesn't mean I won't be back. It is a Beta, after all. But it's a Beta that's going to have to make some radical shifts in direction before launch if it's going to hold my attention.

Arcadia Codesmith

Oh, congratulations on your new job and I'm really sorry your world sucks. Truly I am.

Galatea Gynoid

Every few months, I log in to Blue Mars, see if they've fixed the UI to be usable, find I still can't move and look around without extreme difficulty, and log back out.

There seem to be a lot of good ideas there, but their client is still far too difficult to use for me.

Aquarius Paravane

Hamlet, sorry but calling installing Windows on my Mac "a few tweaks" is deeply inaccurate. Installing Windows on my Mac will not happen. At this time, Blue Mars is irrelevant to Mac users. If they can fix that, I'll check it out.


I thought I'd have a peek, but a scan of the TOS changed my mind.

"You hereby acknowledge and agree that:

Little Lost Linden

Anyone use SL or Blue Mars with an i7-980x Hexacore and an ATI HD5870 combo?

If so, just curious on your experiences.

I checked out Blue Mars this weekend after being away for about 6 months.

A few things were better and I could actually use the very high graphics mode on an HD5850 \ Q6600 combo but it is still a very desolate place and I don't like the way the avatars are always bobbing around like they are constantly bobbing for apples, hopefully this week's animation upgrades will help with that, and when are they going to have live dj events in Blue Mars?

Another thing I notice that is a problem in most virtual worlds is that they are just too damn big. In Blue Mars you can run forever and not see a single person, the land just goes on forever and ever.

I guess that is good if you really want to get away from everyone, but the scenery is still not so impressive that I would want to explore the entire Blue Mars landscape. Perhaps if the graphics double in definition and active volcanos spewing lava and more waterfalls are added, and also tornados and rain, hail, sleet, snow, the whole shabang.

Oh, and whitewater rafting, when can we have that? That would be fun.

Now that I think about it, I should go check out that waterfall again because the last time I saw it was with a HD3870 and I should see if it improves greatly with the 5850.

I like watching water simulations, and the water in Blue Mars is defiantely an upgrade over the splashless water in SL, but water alone is not enough to sell me on BM (although it is very tempting).

I still need more.


Hypatia Callisto

Cryengine 3 is ported to PS3, which implies that Crytek has already ported the newest engine to OpenGL, it's just not in general release yet.

Will Blue Mars eventually get Cryengine 3 if it means gaining the ability for the engine to support OpenGL, will Cryengine eventually run on Mac and the iDevices? I think it's possible, and what I read lately in the German games press seems to point to its likelihood in the future for Apple support - with Cevat Yerli even stating that if he were a startup today, he would be making a games engine for the iPad.

But it doesn't exist as of right now. In fact, it may be happening now with Crysis 2, and we may just not know it yet. The slippage of the game's release date seems to say they're up to something.

But I think it's possible that Cryengine will eventually run on Apple hardware (not just the Mac), and I suspect a lot of the work is done already for OpenGL to make it possible thanks to the PS3 port. Whether it happens in Blue Mars though is anyone's guess.

Virtual World Ruler

Come on Hamlet...tell the truth...as a "consultant" to BM they will be paying you. That's reason 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 they matter to you now. SL won't pay you. Good luck. I have a feeling SL is about to bury BM before can even get started.

Hamlet Au

There's a lot of game and tech companies that would pay me to write for them. But I'd rather choose the one that I believe in, and just as important, will enable me to keep writing NWN. The stark reality is either I help grow the larger market for 3D virtual worlds, or I give up on New World Notes entirely.

Ciaran Laval

Booooo! Splitter!!!

;) Just kidding, best of luck with this, I've tried Blue Mars and my PC isn't upto it, next time I replace it it should be, it certainly has potential.

The big difference I see coming from Blue Mars will be that I don't see it long term being considered as "Blue Mars", more that it will be individual ventures that people explore, rather than a feel of one contiguous world like Second Life, different models, both still have potential.


The stark reality is either I help grow the larger market for 3D virtual worlds, or I give up on New World Notes entirely

Yeah, I got the feeling you are right. If we all don't grow the market, SL and 3D worlds will be dead in the not so distant future.

I'm liking a lot what I'm seeing on Opensim. Hopefully LL realizes they are choking their world and starts letting people who host their own opensim servers use the SL grid. Otherwise I am not sure they will survive.

Recent in world data collection revealed LL is putting up to 16 regions on the same server, up from their own declared "maximum" of 8. No wonder it is laggy. To me this shows they are starting to cut corners or are losing a lot of traffic. Or both.

Please LL, open up your grid to other server hosts. You started a great thing, don't let it die now by smothering it. Baby is a teenager now, needs to be less under "mommy and daddy's" control...

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Ouch--16 regions to a server sounds bad, Renmiri. Where did you get this information?

Linden Lab *still has* a golden opportunity to provide the de-facto currency and marketplace for all OS grids. If they charge even a tiny fee for intergrid transactions, they would realize a new revenue stream.

They should negotiate licenses with content-makers so Xstreetsl could deliver to any grid based on SL technology. The Linden Dollar could become a defacto currency across the grids and trusted as well as any currency in such circumstances might be.

Will they do this? I doubt it. They like their walled garden too much. That's a reason that Hamlet's decision to cover Blue Mars makes sense. If SL folds it's a big job to reinvent oneself.

So good luck at Blue Mars!

Ener Hax

best of luck! i look forward to seeing your take on Blue Mars, especially with a Second Life yardstick (please do talk about the challenges of being in Blue Mars as a noob) =)

Arcadia Codesmith

I want to grow the virtual world market space as well. I dearly hope Blue Mars rectifies its shortcomings, becomes wildly popular, and prods Linden Lab into overdrive to catch up. The Blue Mars engine has a huge amount of potential that hasn't yet been realized.

But I don't think BM is going to get there unless they revisit some of their core assumptions about virtual worlds. And that's a shame, because it's an interesting, ambitious project.

I'm not willing Blue Mars to fail. I'm willing them to get their... act together and succeed and force Second Life to step up its game.


His main reasons for moving is Graphics! graphics is BORING no matter how good. virtual worlds aren't about graphics its about what you can DO in them . Graphics are just visual Prompts.
Blue Mars is CONSUMER orientated .. you shop & play go...lf . (being wow'ed by some 'pretty' environment only lasts 4 minutes).
For a developer there is $$ potential. His motivation it seems.
When a normal avatar can be CREATIVE in BM ill spend more time there.

Arahan Claveau

I'm really not convinced by Blue Mars, I tried several times to make progress there but on each occasion I've come away unimpressed. There is really not much to lure artists to the world which is the only reason I would personally be interested in it. People have been saying SL is dying ever since I joined in 2005, it was nonsense then and it's not really any different now. LL have always been a bit inept. The graphics engine could do with an overhaul for sure, and there are problems that need fixing, and yet SL still manages to offer possibilities you can't find elsewhere.

The art scene in SL right now is very exciting, so much going on, if you're not aware of it, or have moved on, then you're just out of touch.

Blue Mars seems to be favoured by the kind of social butterflies who want to show off the new frock or hairdo they just purchased, followed by a bit of water skiing and a romantic moonlit walk around the promenade with their cyber-lover. Nothing wrong with that per-se, and if that's what you want then you'll probably be very happy there, beyond that it feels quite empty, especially from a creative point of view.

Hamlet, I really hope you don't neglect SL in favour of Blue Mars, because you are never going to find the same kind of variety and innovation.

All the best.


ZenRascal Mandelbrot

Congrats Hamlet on your new 'blues' gig lol.

I want to see 3D immersive worlds flourish & prosper in any way they can. SL is still the standard against which others are compared. Yes, LL can be very frustrating. But so are the startups & wannabes. (Windows-only? ... you've gotta be kidding!)

I guess this is a dynamic time. If LL sits on their hands long enough, one of the new kids may take things to a new level. It will be exciting to see!

Little Lost Linden

"LL have always been a bit inept. The graphics engine could do with an overhaul for sure."

Yes indeed it could.

I sure hope they address that soon.

Todd Borst

It's rather difficult to move around using keyboard in Blue Mars. Yes, there are WASD keys but it is impossible to use as the client keeps focusing on the chat box. Minimizing the chat box is useless since it always pops back up whenever someone types anything.

Click to move is nice, but I much prefer using keyboard to move to minimize mouse clicks. My carpal tunnel is bad enough.

Until they can get something as basic as movement right, I'll just keep an eye on it from a distance.


May I be bold chaps [sic]? I use BM as a chat room. OMG oops. But its a chat room with awesome curtains. Im not really into games and I dont see BM as a game. Arcadia is to profound to be given such a sobriquet (is that right?) I just did a game thingy on my Blog OnlyBlueMars (dot) com but the post before that is the chat we had in Welcome.It is exceptional. As I said get some mates go off to Wildwood, find a campfire and chat. Its awesome. I have to admit The Curtains make it .... so real... <3 Dudes :) Dude Starship aka The Fool (Micons) aka Bitchy

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