Linden Labâ€™s virtual world platform â€œSansarâ€ will meet with fans in the first half of 2017. The developers of Second Life explained the strategy of the platform a few days ago, and the many ways they plan to make content creators realize revenue through attractive virtual experiences. Sansar shows us the prototype of future channel distribution.
1. Not Second Life
Linden Lab launched "Second Life" more than 10 years ago. This virtual world achieved a GDP of 500 million U.S. dollars in 2016. It can be said that Linden Lab has already had rich experience in the virtual world before the recent rejuvenation of consumer virtual reality hardware. Now, the company is building a brand new virtual world platform "Sansar" to serve the next generation of users. But this is not Second Life.
"Sansar" fundamentally adopted a very different approach from Second Life. Although the model of Second Life is about a continuous virtual world, the goal of Sansar is more of a platform than a single virtual world. RoadtoVR interviewed Ebbe Altberg, executive director of Linden Labs, about the new Sansar.
Altberg said: "Between creators and consumers, "Second Life" has never really identified who is our main customer."
For "Sansar", Linden Lab focuses on content creators. The company hopes to make it easier for creators to develop discrete virtual worlds and virtual experiences, and to help them achieve revenue generation (as well as being divided from successful content creators). The virtual space on "Sansar" is an independent experience, not a large virtual world that can run continuously from end to end. Unlike "Second Life" where you go from one place to another, you can "jump" and "hop out" of a virtual experience at will, just as you would jump to another web page through a link on one web page.
2. Platform VS Game World
In general, Sansar's goal is more like an app store or platform (Altberg compares it to WordPress: many major websites are based on this web platform). This solves some of the key positioning issues of the "Second Life" model. The biggest one is "discovery." Second Life is a large virtual world in which you can do a variety of incredible things. But because it is contained in a huge virtual world, selling the entire world to those who may only want certain things is very challenging and not efficient.
Imagine if YouTube tries to get you to use their platform, then they just say "We have 8 million videos! Come on!" This is great, but it lacks a specific attraction because I only watch a small one. In part of the video, who knows if there are any videos that are of particular interest to me? But if a friend sends me a link to a funny or funny video, then I'm more likely to use the YouTube platform.
The construction and structure of Sansar makes the personal experience more like a personal video on YouTube. They are entry points for creators to reach specific consumers and do not need to promote the broader universe of Sansar.
3. Create revenue for creators
Linden Lab plans to give "Sansar" creators some options to generate revenue, all of which will have a great deal with Second Life's "property tax" model (users need to pay a certain amount to own a piece of virtual land). different.
For example, consumers will be able to purchase 3D models to customize their own virtual spaces and avatars; creators can charge entry fees for specific experiences; there may also be membership systems. At the same time, Xiaobian thinks that when your scene has enough users, the creator can also provide diversion for other scenes to further realize the traffic distribution in the VR world. Of course, the company is also brainstorming and hopes to provide more revenue-generating options. For example, consumers can use virtual goods for a fee, and then the system holds money and sends it regularly to the owner, just like real-world game machines, washing machines, and vending machines.
3.1 A glimpse of "Sansar" works
Linden Lab began in 2015 to invite the first creators of Sansar. As of 2017, the company has granted access rights to 1,000 creators and stated that 10,000 creators are applying for access. At present, ordinary users can not enter the "Sansar", Linden Lab also did not disclose the actual appearance and working principle of the virtual platform.
When interviewing Altberg, he took reporters to visit the world of Sansar. Both of them wore VR headsets and used VR controllers, and visited a series of virtual worlds developed by third-party creators. Although there were no screenshots, we could still take a look through the text.
The quality of the graphics is very good. This is a big improvement because Second Life has been criticized. However, Altberg said that "Sansar" is structured through a series of different methods, so that the graphics function will become more easily extended over time, and "Second Life" is a design obstacle, it is difficult to do this. Of course, such high graphics quality is very important for a virtual world platform that hopes to cover millions of users in the future.
The VR controller allows the user to navigate through the "Sansar" basic interface and interact with objects in the virtual space. Altberg also demonstrated that the controller can place and manipulate objects in Sansar's "Edit" mode so that part of the world's functionality can be implemented through existing assets.
In the "Sansar" virtual space, users can pick and throw objects. At present, the connection between hand movements and objects is quite loose. One of the spaces set up a sandbag throwing game, but the physical feeling is still not mature enough to actually play. Altberg said that they will soon be updating and optimizing physical interactions on a large scale so that games such as sandbags will be enjoyed when played. I certainly hope so, because I like to throw sandbag games.
3.2 Big Screen Theater
The first virtual space I visited first was a movie theater. They set a huge screen outside and the night sky overhead. Most of the seats in front of the screen were covered by wind and sand, as if it were a long-lost theater, leaving only the screen, seats and a huge staircase. The screen itself feels great (I see many theater VR experiences and I don't know why I don't always feel a huge feeling). The screen can play YouTube videos, and audio plays in the entire space. Altberg said that creators will soon be able to set up virtual sound sources in Sansar so that theaters can be equipped with virtual speakers.
3.3 Photography and Mapping Mausoleum
The next place is the Egyptian Mausoleum. Altberg said this is a real space, captured by photography and surveying. When exploring corridors covered by hieroglyphics, built-in 3D positioning audio made it easy for me to perceive Altberg's position. This is important because not only does it allow you to perceive your space and people around (this increases immersion), but it also makes it easier to know who is speaking in a multi-user scenario (automatic lip synchronization also helps ).
3.4 Video Game Village
The next space we visit is a beautiful world that looks like an aesthetic mix between The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) and Lord of the Rings. This is a bright and pleasant village full of green leaves with big mountains on both sides. A series of footbridges allow you to walk from one house roof to another. There are several trails leading to the mountains here and there. The corners are surrounded by trees and are very comfortable. It may be the most charming and beautiful place I have seen on this journey. In the center of town, we encountered a huge monument. The water flows down and flows into the pool at the monument. Although this virtual space is still unoccupied, it will be a starting point for a great adventure.
I believe we have also noticed that all three scenarios are completely different, both visually and functionally. Altberg said that "Sansar" aims to support all the different styles, not limiting the creators, so that they can freely use their creativity.
In my brief observation of Sansar, I was very excited about what the creators could achieve on this platform. I know that when the village can live and have other functions, it will be better. And don't forget that this is just one of the many worlds in Sansar.
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