Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab’s (Second Life creator) Ceo, believes that the future of the reality virtual will depend on user generated virtual realities. That’s why the Californian corporate is massively investing on Project Sansar. Speaking at Collision, the event launched two years ago by the team already behind the Web Conference, held at New Orleans 2nd-4th May 2016, that has gathered thousand between startuppers and tech behemoths, Altberg was clear.
VR contents users generated and shared
In the video that you can see below, the manager reiterated that Project Sansar will make possible to create and to share VR contents user generated, something that (high) prices and devices currently sold on the market still don’t make easy to do if not for a few tech firms, but the rapit fall in prices will make this possible in few years, as observed for other media as photos and tapes.
Linden Lab, added Altberg, is working on Project Sansar from about two years and a half with a “very large investments” thanks to the fact that Second Life is still kicking off a lot of money. There are over 75 developers working on the new platform. Since last August Linden Lab is in a pre-production environment developed “with a very few small number of alpha creators” that will increase in the next few weeks (we already talked about).
One of the group with wich Linden Lab has already started a partnership is that of the Sorbona University with Insight Digital in collaboration with the ministry of Antiquites of Egypt. This group recreated on Project Sansar an archeological site taking tens of thosands of photos, developing a model of 50 million polygons that was sent to Linden Lab and once uploaded on Project Sansar reduced to 40 thousand polygons to optimize the users experience.
Project Sansar: shared virtual realities
Project Sansar wants therefore to be a platform able to allow as or more than Second Life both game experiences (“we are not so focused on gaming but plenty of game studios have created a huge amount of interesting games” in VR, pointed out Altberg) both educational (“Second Life has have over 500 educational institutions” remembered the manager) both tourism (“you can go visit a site and a guide pop up and tell you the story and what these hieroglyphics and paintings means”, added Altberg). All well and good, but how much will it cost to Linden Lab and therefore to users?
According to Wagner James Au, considering and average wage of 100 thousand dollars a year for every developer, at least 20 million dollars just in wages. Commenting on the video on Youtube some users pointed out that to employ 75 developers to create a product like Project Sansar that “looks more crappy than a silly oculus demo written by a single nerd”, is crap and foresee that “people will try it for a few hours and then go back to SL because they have no VR hardware and no use for it, real VR enthusiasts will be underwhelmed”.
Why not to fix Second Life instead of Project Sansar?
So, they suggest, “Why not use the money and fix SL instead to make it viable for VR? Like make existing content more performant, or finally educate people on performance. Or hire community experts to show you how not to drive away people. You still haven’t understood your user base, and don’t know what your customers want because you don’t even play the game yourself”. A trenchant view, but which reassumes the doubts of the majority of the market 13 years after the launch of Second Life.
Justifiable doubts, considering that Second Life and the virtual worlds have remained a niche market interest for which has gone decreasing and that other platforms and games, like Minecraft, much simpler, have been able to get a wider success being as many lasting.
You can have an evidence of it by comparing search trends of keywords like “Second Life” (in blue in the graph), “Minecraft” (in red) and “VR” (in yellow) on Google Trends: in April 2016 for every “Second Life” search there are 10 “VR” searches and 68 “Minecraft” searches. If you wanna know how it will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it e su Paper.li and also on Youtube).