Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Openlife's Steve Sima has a message for Second Life's content creators

October 29 Update: Openlife: Is it ready for most Second Lifers? No. But that day doesn't seem so far off

As of 6pm SLT today and following Linden Lab's announcement last night that it will be raising its tier rates for OpenSpace by 65% in January, 800 new registered users signed up on the Openlife Grid. That's up to 16 times the average 24 hour sign-up rate. I was one of them.

Minutes away from my Ruthiness, this is newbie Bettina Tizzy on the Openlife Grid

OpenLife is an alternative virtual world that celebrated its first year of existence two days ago (October 26). Like Second Life®, it is built out by its residents. It also looks and feels a lot like Second Life, largely because it is built on Open Source technology that was released by Linden Lab. The User Interface is almost identical to Second Life and even Windlight is available. Most importantly, users can create content with flexis and sculpties and more, and next month, Openlife will begin to unveil features that Second Life doesn't enjoy.

I crashed a couple of times, lost my freebie hair after teleports, exchanged names and friended dozens of Second Lifers who were there to explore, and had a blast.

I also met with several warm and welcoming Openlife land owners and developers and checked out some of the spiffier content there. I'll be sharing some of my findings on that soon, but thought I'd begin with one of the highlights of my visit: a sit-down chat with the founder and President of OpenLife Grid (3DX), Steve Sima (aka Sakai Openlife).

Steve (Sakai) has this message for content creators in Second Life:

Sakai Openlife: The Openlife is both a developing and rapidly growing world. Demand is high for good quality content. And for those wanting to take their creations to the next level, our next generation features like 3D mesh objects (coming soon) mean you can get a level of detail not possible within the Second Life space. You have a chance to shape the world and grow within it.

Care to hazard a ballpark guess on when you expect to have 3D mesh objects?

Sakai Openlife: December is the current timeline... Start the new year with some fresh innovation ;)

Are people here using Skype now?

Sakai Openlife: In-world voice will come at approximately the same time, as will avatar-to-avatar Skype calling, another new feature.


Sakai Openlife: Yes. Right click Skype Avatar.

What voice technology will you use in-world beyond Skype?

Sakai Openlife: I believe the work has been done using the Speex codec, so spacial in-world voice with an option to make a direct Skype call to an avatar if you have Skype installed and the Avatar has supplied their Skype ID.

Did you see Linden Lab's new pricing announcement last night for OpenSpaces?

Sakai Openlife: Looking at it from a users point of view, for many people this is entertainment and no one would be happy with that kind of an increase, especially in the current environment. This is a great opportunity to exercise the virtual legs and see the rest of the virtual universe. Openlife is a good example. We're happy to see new people; help them get started and listen to what they want in a virtual world.

Openlife is also expected to have a working economy by end of year.

See also:
OpenLife Grid Wiki


Anonymous said...

Hi Bettina,

Just to clarify...

Linden Lab raised the prices of Openspace sims, which were intended as light use sims.

"OpenSim" - http://opensimulator.org/ - is the open source platform that the Openlife Grid is based on. Opensim has been developed by independent developers in conjunction with developers from companies such as IBM and Microsoft.

What Linden Lab released as open source was their Second Life viewer. Despite popular misconception, OpenSim was not back-engineered from the Second Life viewer, but was built from the ground up.

OpenSim grids can be accessed via the official Second Life viewer or a range of other viewers compatible with it.

Openlife Grid is just one of many alternative grids based on OpenSim. The full list is here - http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Grid_List

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful meeting you today in OpenLife, Bettina. Thanks for joining what is in my opinion the best choice out there for alternative grids. We are proud of our world and for the first time in a couple years I am having fun again. :)

Hope to see you back again soon.

Bettina Tizzy said...

Ah Sean... thank you! I am so tired after a day of galavanting that I hardly know what I'm saying anymore. You are right, of course. Openspace - Openspace - Openspace!

Mac, thank you for making my day especially interesting and informative. I will be writing more about it soon.

Lecktor Hannibal said...

Hi Bettina, I enjoyed meeting and talking with you and showing you around Openlife. I look forward to reading your blog.

Gumby Roffo said...

Thanks for the read bettina./ Im sure the residents made your visit enjoyable and we look forward to seeing you in OLG again soon.

Anonymous said...

OpenLife is all very interesting, but none of the OpenSim grids are really ready to compete with SL yet. I realize they are improving, etc, but things are still pretty primitive compared to SL.

I would say first things with OpenLife would be to work on the web site, and streamline the sign up process. Having separate "me" and avatar info seemed novel, but not all that convenient in the sign up process.

Also the information regarding the viewers wasn't too great, i quote the link to the downloads page: "Download Openlife Compatible Viewers. (You will need one of these to get your avatar into the world)." And ON that downloads page (http://www.openlifegrid.com/Downloads/ViewerDownloads/tabid/188/Default.aspx), it's got a bunch of windows only viewers.

I griped about this on another blog and was told that you can use the SL clients, which is great as there are Mac/Linux versions of those, but the information about this on the Openlife grid website is... where?

The wiki section on connecting to the grid points to the same windows only downloads and mentions nothing about the SL clients. I would never know based on their web site and/or wiki.

Anyway, all VW's currently around have their problems, but I think the grass is greener syndrome will be stunted a bit as ALL VW's with large growth will show technical problems, and as bad as LL can be with communication and planning sometimes, they actually do a pretty good job technically. While viewer stability is all over the map for different people, server stability seems a lot, lot better to me in recent weeks. I can't even recall the last time I was on a sim that crashed, honestly...

Molly Montale said...

I found the same problems as Radarm for Mac users. I finally was directed to the Cool SL Viewer for Mac from the SL Alternate Viewers Wiki. I will get to the conecting to region part of the log in and it just stalls. Changing the start region on the OpenGrid toolbox page did not help. Perhaps I will have better luck logging in on another day.