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virtual reality cover

Virtual reality days are already numbered? Judging by gaming sector signals, but not only, it seems possible.

There are increasing doubts as what can really be the future of virtual reality platforms like Sansar or High Fidelity. The problem could be associated with the negative value attributed by most people to the very concept of virtuality. Eve Online

CCP Games (Eve Online) cost cutting

The latest announcement that shook, adversely, virtual reality sector has come from CCP Games, developer of the famous MMO Eve Online, which has announced the closure of two of its studios, the Newcastle one, that gave birth to Eve: Valkyrie, and the Atlanta one, that was focused on the development of virtual reality games, together with stopping to develop further VR projects.

According to the company, basically, virtual reality didn’t get as much players as to pay back the high development costs and the same Eve: Valkyrie is actually a desert virtual world, despite the launch last September of Eve: Valkyrie – Warzone expansion with new maps and new equipment that you can play, in the multiplayer mode, cross-platform and cross-dimension (i.e. even if the player has not a VR headset). Sansar VR Cult

Sansar and High Fidelity at risk?

Will Sansar have the same fate? Many people wonder whether Linden Lab will have financial resources and skills enough to fully develop Sansar (having also decided to develop its own graphic engine instead of using Unreal or Unity) and to promote to the extent that it won’t look like a desert.

This applies all the more to High Fidelity, right now lagging behind in development. But it’s not just gaming to give warnings: as pointed out blogger and well-known Second Life “residentWagner James Au, also the “VRporn” sector does not seem to register any significant rise in the users number, still an extremely tiny fraction of the sector’s worldwide traffic.

For instance, regarding the famous Pornhub site you can estimate there are no more than 50 thousand daily users attracted by VR content, in the face of about 26 million daily users on average as a whole. Spectacles Snapchat

Google and Snapchat disappointed by AR

Thus two of the presumed growth “drivers” for adopting VR technology look like they’ve more trouble than estimated. Viewers‘ price ceertainly had so far an adverse impact, but beyond that there is a feeling (also confirmed by the fundamental failure of projects AR-related like Google Glass or Spectacles Snapchat) that users don’t like to have to wear on their faces devices which alter reality.

At the end the trouble with all is “virtual” will precisely be that fact that most of people continue, rightly or wrongly, to consider virtualiy a negative value, as explained years ago a poll by Mondivirtuali?

If you wanna know and discover how this 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 on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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    Halloween 2017 cover

    Halloween seems to be the most valued holiday by producers and users of video games and virtual worlds: each year, already in the weeks priort to the holiday, whereas into houses, particularly in America, pop up decorations and carving pumpkins (if you like, in this gallery you can find some cool ideas) on Second Life, Sansar and High Fidelity it’s a rush to create events, contests and dark and creepy locations.

    Pianeta Segreto Halloween 2017

    Pianeta Segreto offers you a castle

    Is no exception to the rule even Pianeta Segreto (if you don’t know how Pianeta Segreto works, let’s we explain to you), which has scheduled in the main square, decorated for the occation with pumpkins and skulls, a themed party with zaby prizes, clothes, 500 rays at stake and the presentation of new Halloween themed objects, that will be addet to the panel, and of the new game “Scassa & Vinci”.

    Like this is not enough, on Pianeta Segreto launched two special contests (Mad Scientist Labor and Mad Scientist Outfit) for designers and stylists: at stake an “horror” castle for which you won’t have to pay rent.

    Horror movies and dances on High Fidelity

    On High Fidelity, where recently textures and meshes compression has impruved, cutting significantly the waiting time to load the scenes (on average from 21 to 7 seconds), first you will be able to watch an horror movie (from 4 to 5:30 pm PDT), then to dance in the virtual ballroom Spookytown (from 5:30 to 8 pm PDT).

    Halloween Town

    Contest and themed lands in Second Life

    We already told you about Sansar (which these days decided to extend to next January, 31, the free Creator test subscription) and its many themed locations and Halloween contest. We could also talk for a while about Second Life, because of the many themed contests and parties organized by the same users and creatives who for years drive Linden Lab’s virtual world.

    Btw, we just point out that also this year Halloween Town is brightest than ever and that you can join a decoration contesta based on pumpkins with 4 thousand linden dollars (about 15 US dollars) prizes. If you love horror, you should also visit Caderu and join the mini-game set up in the land or the photographic contest.

    Hoping that these “scary” news intrigued you, we suggest to visit by yourself the mentioned platforms and to participate in the activities. Then, if you wanna know how virtual reality and other geek technologies 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 on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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      Sansar Halloween 2017 cover

      Paranormal Investigation is one of the Sansar‘s most interesting experiences, if you love “noir” stories and Halloween mood. The experience, i.e. the location, has been created by Abramelin Wolfe, already known for over 12 years in Second Life with Abranimations brand (animations for avatars), and it consists of some rooms inside an haunted house with ghosts, some mysterious but polite, as the one of a girl turned, other less friendly.

      Sansar Halloween 2017

      Between oujia board and pc crash

      Between ouija board, maps and different clues, you’ll have to get out of the riddle surrounding the house, assuming your pc doesn’t decide, like my own, to crash over and over. The problem with Sansar, especially if you don’t use it with a VR headset like Oculus Rift or Htc Vive, is that it has specifications high enough for a mid-market desktop, perhaps with a few years on its shoulders, like in the majority of cases of average users.

      Sansar Halloween 2017 bis

      Sansar’s requirements

      Cpu, for instance, have to be at least an Intel i5-4590 or Amd FX 8350 or equivalent, while the minimum graphic card suggested is the Nvidia GTX 970 or Amd Radeon R9 290 and Ram have to be at least 8 GB. Above all, ninimum bandwith have to be 5 Mbps, but it’s better bandwith be 10 Mbps or over, what makes Sansar a more difficoult platform to access, for an average user, than the “old” Second Life.

      Sansar Halloween ter

      An experience by Abramelin Wolfe

      The same Abramelin Wolfe thought how to make intriguing exploring the house, since it is plunged into darkness, with a little bit of light by some lantern to show you around, while the lamps sometimes are swirling, so you feel dizzy, and in the darknest corners lurk some paranormal hauntings that you’ll perceive even without the ghostbuster equipement which is abundant in the first room, however.

      Sansar Halloween quater

      Explorate Paranormal Investigation

      Add an audio full of rusting, footsteps, remote laughts along with labored breathing and the haunted house atmosphere is perfect and ideal to celebrate Halloween. All that remains is to suggest you to prove by yourself (it’s better with a VR headset than with a pc) to visit this location in Sansar and wait you for the next exploration.

      Sansar Halloween quinques

      Then if you wanna know how it will end for Sansar and virtual reality in general, 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, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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      September full of news for Sansar, the new virtual reality platform by Linden Lab (the developer o Second Life). First of all a new release introduced some interestin possibilities, like sculpt your own terrain making mountains and craters (shortly you should be also able to add your own terrain textures and height maps), trigger objects volumes interacting with scripts, stream live radio stations, upload keyframe animated and multi-part objects and .obj file.

      Some news for terreins and avatars

      Furthermore you can now personalize your avatar with accessories, a crucial innovation if Linden Lab want to develop a “virtual fashion” market as already happened with Second Life. Please note also that on Sansar’s marketplace (Sansar Store) debuted a new categories system which should facilitate the integration and classification of user created contents, another fundamental building block to develop the new virtual world “internal” economy. Sansar Halloween Asylum

      Two more contests for Halloween

      To promote the participation of new creatives, Linden Lab launched also two more contests: one for the best avatar’s props, the other for the “scariest” experience (i.e. location Halloween-themed) in virtual reality. The first covers four categories: Most Innovative, Best Halloween Costume, Funniest and Most Fashionable.

      Prizes for the most creatives

      Winners will each receive an Oculus Rift + Touch bundle, plus a one year Sansar “Super Creator” subscription. Honorable mentions will each receive a one year Sansar “Super Creator” subscription. Avatar props have to be listed on Sansar Store by October 1, 2017, items have to cost no more than S$500 (i.e. US $5, you can update your pricing after the contest).

      Grand prize winner will receive $10,000 (USD)

      To enter the second contest you’ll have to list your “eperience” in the Atlas by October 15, 2017, creating a brand new experience or update a prior project to create a version in the “spirit” of Halloween (Asylum (Darkness Edition) and The Abandoned Morgue are two exemples of the kind of experience to create for the contest).

      In this case there is only a grand prize of $10,000 (USD), an Oculus Rift + Touch bundle, plus a one year Sansar “Super Creator” subscription, while three honorable mentions  will receive the one year Sansar “Super Creator” subscription. Sansar Halloween Abandoned Morgue

      Halloween is coming also in Sansar

      Linden Lab is planning lots of community fun around Halloween and the whole month of October, so to give good visibility to the best themed experiences, so if you already know how to create avatar props or virtal themed experiences maybe it’s time that you try to show you off.

      If you wanna know how this 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, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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      VR cult events club cover

      Second Life literally pile on top each other, argues New World Notes, to login and visit the first locations available on Sansar, the free virtual reality platform accessible from the site www.sansar.com which Linden Lab officially opened in late July. VR cult events hub 01

      Still small numbers for the VR

      But active users who use VR mode in the main virtual worlds accessible through Steam (after the closing of Altspace VR) do not want to know to increase and remain a few hundred / thousands a day all over the world at best, writes the same Wagner James’s (aka Hamlet Au in Second Life) site. VR cult events hub 02

      Linden Lab drives content sharing

      So there would be nothing strange if Linden Lab, which, after opening, dropped the not disclosure agreemant clause and now explicitly invites its users to share their shots, videos and content in general referred to Sansar, “pushed” more for PC access than using VR viewers and controllers, even at the cost of giving up fighting for platform leadership for VR and, maybe, with the risk of partially knocking the Second Life user base, that after 14 years and despite endless grievances remains the most used virtual world in the world with concurrency around 30-40 thousand users daily. VR cult events hub 03

      There will be time for the boom

      Our forecast that despite the strong interest that virtual reality in general and Sansar in particular would continue to generate there would not be a boom shortly even remotely comparable to that of Second Life 2007 it was so easily verified. For the future we will see, even on the basis of the release of the most powerful and lower price devices on the market today (and more captivating content, starting from gaming but also business related). VR cult events hub 04

      First exhibition for VR Cult Events Hub

      In the meantime we are happy to report that VR Cult, by Colpo Wrexler (aka Dario Buratti), published already an “experience” (i.e. a sim), The Events Hub (you can find here), an experimental space totally dedicated to virtual events of art, design, music and fashion, where visitors can already appreciate the exposure of two Italian artists, the photograph Matteo Guariso and the painter and illustrator Francesco Musante, exposure to which he also contributed as a curator Marina Bellini, aka Mexi Lane. The images in this article refer to this exhibition. VR cult events hub 05 If you wanna know how this 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, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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      Sansar cover

      Sansar, the new virtual reality platform developed by Linden Lab actually in “creative beta“, has already over 270 virtual “experiences” loaded into its atlas, from simple “sand boxes (literally made like a sandy desert) to simple work plans, up to good quality installations, some of which created by Italian users like Colpo Wrexler or Christower Dae, known names to the Italian community which used and still use Second Life. egyptian tomb Sansar Studios

      Sansar, first impressions

      The “first 30 seconds impression” (after a couple of minutes of waiting needed to load the scene) is positive: the avatars to chooose to start having your own digital identity in the new Linden Lab‘s virtual world are not very dissimilar to the Second Life basic avatars, but they are already quite customizable enough since you can vary the parameters for yours shape and anatomical details (eyes, hair, mouth, nose etc), as well as your clothing (certainly we are far from Second Life’s fashion virtuale fantasy, but give time to the platform to grow and you will see that we could get to similar or superior levels). Sansar tomba egizia ingresso

      Sansar can also be used without VR devices

      Browsing (we tried the platform in worst-case conditions, ie through a portable PC, a couple of years old, connected through wi-fi, with features barely in line with the minimum recommended requirements) is sufficiently fluid, even if not available at the time of testing a VR viewer and its controllers and having decided to try a minimal configuration, even without a mouse, it was not always easy to move the avatar inside closed environments. Very nice the sounds and the lights (and their shadows).Sansar tomba egizia prima stanza

      The Egyptian tomb is perfect

      For this very first “immersion” in Sansar I choose, through the proposed scenes, an ancient Etyptian tomb, carefully reconstructed thanks to a partnership with the Sorbonne University and with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities (as already revealed by Inara Pey) very pleasant to visit, albeit relatively modest. I can not comment for now about the larger dimensions that will characterize each individual “experience” compared to Second Life’s sims, but if you think about how SL was in its early stages, before 2007 (and how it has basically remained Opensim), the passing of a decade is evident and in favor of Sansar, as obvious as it is. Sansar tomba egizia seconda stanza

      No: Sansar won’t be SL 2

      For those who are asking for it, no: Sansar won’t ever be a “new” Second Life (platform designed to stay online for many years), but it could become a platform robust and flexible enough to be used, along with other programs, for the development of virtual video games or movies, or simulation experiences that might be applied both in the field of education both in the professional field (for instance for staff training). Sansar tomba egizia uscita These first impressions live from Sansar end here, also because the California company is asking not to divulge too much information about it, but if you wanna know how this 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, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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      Sansar cover

      Here we are: sthese day Sansar is sending the confirmation to access requests for its online virtual reality platform to all those who have asked to be able to access through www.sansar.com site. Technically is the awaitedopen creator beta”, in fact it could be a real pre-opening to the public, given the criteria for selection seem to have been much wider compared to last year when a few hundred creatives had been able to access to start testing the system (still in development: at this time, for example, the alpha channel is missing, as well as dynamic textures, Which means in the new Linden Lab‘s virtual world there is no way to recreate water).

      Sansar loginSansar’s system requirements

      Probably the requirements for accessing the new platform will do the selection: a user who connects via a pc“regular” pc desktop needs to have at least a 64 bits operative system (Windows 7 SP1 or newer), DirectX 11, Cpu Intel Core i3-2100 or Amd Phenom II X4 945, at least 4 GB RAM, at least 3G free space on disk, a video card Nvidia GeForce GTX 450, or Amd R9 280, or Intel HD Graphics 5500 with at least 2GB dedicated video memory.

      Recommended bandwith is at least 10 Mbps the minimum 5 Mbps, optional, but recommended a microphone for voice chat and high-quality headphones recommended for an immersive spatial audio experience and Xbox One or Xbox 360 game controllers (but if you don’t have them you can use the mouse to controll your avatar). By the way, if you really want to “live” Sansar in virtual reality mode, the stalk rises and minimum requirements are: Cpu Intel i5-4590 or equivalent, at leat 8 GB RAM, at least Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent video card, while everything else remains the same.

      Sansar sandboxSansar and Second Life are really different

      The VR option is actually one of the cards on witch Linden Lab focus to make Sansar “the” the new generatin reference platform for virtual worlds fans, a platform which for many years will live with the “oldSecond Life but which will have many differences both in the business model (it will cost much less to rent the new “scenes” in confront to the old sims, also having much more space available, but Linden Lab will apply a sort of “consumption tax”, ie a commission on every transaction between users, the Sansar dollars will also worth around triple than Linden dollars, since the first listing should be 1 US dollar for 100 Sansar dollars) as well obviousley as it is concerned the technical and “immersion” characteristics.

      The problem upstream, which seems to have curbed Linden Lab so far, is that the sales of VR viewers and controllers for now I have grown so much less explosive than forecasted, due to very high costs of the devices. Some recent signals show the availability by the manufacturers (like Facebook, which owns Oculus Rift) to reduce the price of devices, but for now some consulting firm like eMarketer forecast that 10,7 million VR users (ie who used at least once a month a VR device of any kind) present in the US at the end of 2016 won’t exceed 22.4 million at the end of the year, and then climb to 36.7 million next year and to 49.2 million at the end of 2019, also thanks to the spread of lso thanks to the spread of VR videos.

      Virtual reality, no boom for now

      Encouraging numbers, but they represent only between 3% and 5% of the US population and yet it is not clear if on other markets (Asia?) sales may be better, or slower. Moral of the story: for now, if you want, try to ask for access to Sansar, begin to get used to its scenes, if you are creatives try to make some content (which must be created externally using programs like Unreal Engine or Unity and then imported in Sansar).

      But do not wait a boom like that of Second Life in 2007: that will eventually arrive in two or three years if the VR and the AR have really got their feet around the world. If you wanna know how this 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, on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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