Tags Posts tagged with "Virtual Worlds"

Virtual Worlds

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    minecraft story mode season 2 finale cover

    Minecrat Story Mode, a good mix

    Do you remember Minecraft Story Mode (MCSM), the episodic adventure game published by Telltate Games in partnership with Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, sold to Microsof (despite some doubts) for 2.5 billion dollars?

    We talked about at its launch and when the last chapter (the fifth of the series) of the first season was published, pointing out how MCSM was a good mix between game and linear storytelling, an “hybrid” between television and virtual worlds model.

    3 adds on after season one

    To be true, as already discovered video gamers, after the first season (“Season Pass”) Jesse and his friends lived three more adventure during 2016, published like “adds on” of Season One (episode 6, “A Portal to Mistery”, episode 7, “Access Denied” and episode 8, “A Journeys’ End?”).

    These three episodes, as a whole known as “Adventure Pass”, concluded indeed the first season and it seemed they could conclude the whole series.

    Will this season be the last one?

    But not: this year were published other 4 episodes of the second season (until now known just as “Season 2”), which chronologically is set up around 5-7 years after the adventures of the first season, “Hero in Residence”, “Giant Consequences”, “Jainhouse Block” and “Below the Bedrock”, as always beginning from just before the summer.

    These days even the second season ends with a fifth episode, “Above and Beyond”. Waiting for you to be able to find it in the shops, here is is the teaser of the fifth episode, Season Two, of Minecraft Story Mode.

    Will this one really be the last adventure for Jessy and his companions? If you wanna know, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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      Sansar Star Wars cover

      Here we are: Star Wars, The Last Jedi is finally on the screens of theaters all over the world, and its promotion now embrace also online communities of virtual worlds fans as that of Sansar, the new VR platform of Linden Lab (the Second Life developer) where December 9 opened the first exhibition of Hollywood Art Museum, a “a unique collection of Star Wars production pieces”. Sansar Star Wars exhibition

      Star Wars on Sansar, a geek dream

      This virtual exhibition includes the very first drawings made for the film franchise and never-before-seen production art from the original trilogy by Lucasfilm alum as Joe Johnston, Ralph McQuarrie, Phil Tippett, Drew Struzan, Colin Cantwell and more.

      Museum curator, director Greg Aronowitz, introduced personally the Star Wars collection at the opening, giving the chance to those present to meet him, albeit virtually. I mean, like a geek’s dream come true.

      Touring the exhibition you feel really to be inside a museum but someone didn’t like it too much, re-opening the debate, never completely finished, whether virtual worlds ought to be intended as perfect reproductions of reality or if wouldn’t be more exciting to take fully advantage of the possibilities offered by technology so to create “your world, your immagination” to remember the original Second Life’s claim. Sansar Star Wars exhibition

      Virtual worlds are too real?

      People so far shown to appreciate more the first choice, differently from what has happened for video games where in addition to real-like plots and setings were successful even totally fantastic environments (just think about World of Warcraft, rather than video games devoted to the stories of Middle Earth).

      Yet more than a voice argued in favour of greater immagination at least when you go to recreate locations tied to fantastic content: wouldn’t it have been more engaging look a the Star Wars art works on Tatooine or on Lando’s Cloud City, or inside Death Star, instead of a museum lounge (even if themed as a Star Wars movie set)?

      Tell us what do you think, meanwhile continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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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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          Minority Report 15 years cover

          Second Life is celebrating these days its 14th birthday (SL14B), but was a film launched 15 years ago, Minority Report, that had a wider impact on our everyday life. In the Steven Spielberg‘s movie, launched in June 2002 in Us and then all around the world, Tom Cruise was a 2054 cop member of the “precrime” (a special police department which apprehends criminals thanks to the foreknowledge of three “precogs“), he used driveless cars, he was able to handle computers through simple gestures, and in all the movie film you can see a lot of devices for biometric recognition and ad hoc advertising. Minority Report driveless cars

          A year before Second Life

          Were all technologies considered science-fiction at the time, but became real in a few years, with a much wider impact on everyday life than that of Second Life, the virtual reality platform designed by Philip Rosedale which has never been able to overwhelm the traditional web nor to have the impact of social media like Facebook, Twitter or similar. Think about driveless cars: in 2014 Google started to back the first projects, then arrived Apple, Uber, Tesla and producers like Ford, General Motors, Bmw, Audi and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. So that in 2054 scenes like that in which Cruise was trying to escape on a motorway populated only by driveless car may not be so unusual. Minority Report precog

          Precognitive algorithms

          The concept of “precognition”, or foreknowledge, is no more so abstruse, at least at a software level: the Carnegie Mellon University has already developed a predictive program, CrimeScan, while according to a study of UpTurn cited by Cnn, about twenty major US police districts would already have adopted precognitive algorithms ni their investigative activities. It’s at least since 2014 that we are trying to develop algorithms which, analyzing tweets and posts published on social network like Twitter and Facebook, could be able to predict or intend to commit crimes by their authors or however dangerous situations. In the case of Twitter, in particular, as already noted Ubergizmo, geo-localized tweets analysis, their frequency, the presence of certain words is already able to predict 19 of 25 different types of crime.

          Yesterday virtual, today real

          So: while we waited for virtual worlds to become real, other geek technologies have shifted from science fiction to concrete reality but this could be just the beginning, should virtual reality and augmented reality continue to grow. 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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            There is excitement in Linden Lab: in recent days, the official Twitter account of Sansar (@SansarOfficial)  announced many times (the first time May 21, then May 26, finally June 6) that the “creator beta” of the new virtual reality platform of the developer of Second Lifewill open this summer” and that you can still apply for early access through https://www.sansar.com. Sansar opens creator beta

            Sansar: creator beta will open this summer

            At the opening of creator beta Sansar won’t have a support for Linux and Mac users, even if they’ll be able to access Sansar through Bootcamp, whic btw is an app to install Windows on Mac, since MacOS system is not yet able to run virtual reality.

            For now, Sansar works on PCs (Windows) with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive viewers. Given accumulated delays compared to initial forecasts (after the opening to the first test users already in 2015 the public opening should have been due by the end of 2016), it’s not excluded that even the creator beta there will be not at the end of June but at the end of Augusto or in September. Sansar opens creator beta

            Will it be worth to open to the public in 2018?

            At that point, however, the new consoles and virtual reality viewers generation could be at the doors: virtual reality now requires high resolutions (2160×1200) and high FPS (not less than 90) to offer experiences really without disturbance and fatigue to the sight, so performance 5 times higher than current ones, as already promises AMD for the next consoles generation will make the difference.

            Wil Linden Lab try to open to public with a system still “calibrated” on a tools generation destined to go out of the market by next 12-18 months, or will it prefer to wait still a half a year or two, also to take advantage of the expected fall in viewers’ price?

            If you wanna know, 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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            Improbable SoftBank cover

            Do you remember Improbable Worlds, British startup funded by American venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz, together with Hong Kong’s firm Horizon Ventures, and Singapore’s fund Temasek Holdings, who in March 2013 provided 22 million dollars in a “series A” round?

            A 502 million dollars bet

            Well: these days Improbable raise 502 million dollars more in around “series B” lead by Japanese SoftBank Group (round involving even the alreaady mentioned venture capitalist). It’s one of the biggest venture capital agreement ever realized in Great Britain and that’s saying a lot about the expectations Improbable raised with its distributed operating system SpatialOS used for building virtual spaces shared on a mass scale. Improbable SpatialOS

            Breakthrough technology for the gaming industry

            Virtual reality technology of Improbable Worlds seems able to revolutionize the gaming industry, but also to help explore disease, to improve cities, to understand economies and to solve complex problems. SoftBank beyond betting on the new likely “unicorn” is also closing Vision Fund, a 100 billion dollars fund investing in innovative startups already subscribed by Apple and Saudi Arabia.

            A founders meeting promoted the agreement

            As revealed Bloomberg, operation was born from a meeting between Herman Narula, Improbable Worlds co-founder and Ceo, and SoftBank founder and Ceo, Masayoshi Son, who is trying to establish SoftBank (which traditionally invested in telecommunications and gaming in Japan) as a frontrunner investor in emerging technologies. SoftBank Masayoshi Son

            SoftBank will help Improbable grow

            Improbable for its part was looking for an investor that could provide enough capital to continue to grow (Improbable is planning to hire more people on London and San Francisco) without having to sell out to some global tech giant, has appened to many European startups that in recent years have been acquired by US tech giant (for instance: Sweden company Mojang, developer of Minecraft, bought in 2014 by Microsoft for 2.5 billion dollars).

            Surely we will hear more about Improbable Worlds, therefore if you wanna know how the story ends 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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            Minecraft coding cover

            Minecraft is increasinlgy similar to Second Life and IMVU: the famous blocs videogame developed by Mojang, now part of Microsoft group, has just released a new tool developd for the Education Edition, the Code Builder, already downloadable in beta and designed to let boys learn how to code directly inside the videogame.

            Minecraft Education Code BuilderWith Code Builder you will learn coding

            Code Builder will allow you to interact through learning platforms as Tynker, Scratch and MakeCode and to integrate more advanced development platforms, for instance using JavaScript to directly modify game code.

            But beside lookin with increasingly interest to educational sector, Minecraft is getting ready to imitate the business model adopted over several years ago by virtual worlds lik Second Life or IMVU, with the opening scheduled by the end of Spring of its online store.

            Minecraft MarketplaceMinecraft Marketplace to sell your content

            Basically it will be a marketplace (it should be named Minecraft Marketplace) where users will be able to sell or to buy mods, maps, textures, mini games and so on, and on every transaction made on Minecraft Marketplace Mojang will earn a fee of 30%.

            To carry out the transactions you’ll need to use Minecraft Coins, i.e. the Minecraft version of virtual money (but linked to real money) such as for Second Life are the Linden Dollars and for IMVU the Imvu Credits. Then for modders and creatives will be increasingly profitable to develop new content, while Mojang will find a new source of revenues not tied only ot the sales of the game.

            We’ll just have to see whether these new tools will be successful  and Minecraft will keep on seeing to grow the number of users and available content. To discover, 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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            Minecraft Pokemon cover

            The “user generated content” virtual worlds are online platforms like Second Life, Imvu or Minecraft that allow to develop users’ creativity in many ways and to share the results like few others social media enable.

            Sharing your content

            With Second Life and Imvu many users have specialised in making (and selling) accessories for avatar and buildings setting up whole sims, with Minecraft advanced users developed amazing locations (here you can find 10 fantastic buildings in Minecraft) and mods able to enhance the game (these is our top 20 Minecraft mods).

            Minecraft Pokemon
            Pokemon Cobalt & Amethyst in Minecraft

            Notably,  the Phoenix Projects team (this is their site) after two and a half years working realized and made available a single-player custom map for Minecraft 1.8.8, Pokemon Cobalt & Amethyst, within which an adventure has been settled similar to the gameplay of the lucky Nintendo franchisee, with the difference to be in a 3D virtual worlds, Minecraft, freely open.

            A region filled with 136 Pokemons

            Phoenix Projects’ team realized a very impressive undertaking, not even resorting to mod to succceed in their own goal. Downloading Pokemon Cobalt & Amethyst you’ll get a fully new region, 136 curbstones Pokemons and an original adventure to play. But first watch the video to find all information needed to understand how to work it.

            What do you think?

            What do you think about Phoenix Project’s work we’ve presented? Please leave a comment and if you like share this article, you will help us to cover always better the items you prefer!

            Then if you wanna keep up with virtual reality, augmented reality and geek technologies news and giveaways, 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).

            I più letti ultima settimana / Most read last 7 days

            virtual diversity

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            Double opening of the exhibition of the works created by the winner (Senban Babii) and the top twenty runners up of the contest Virtual Diversity...