Virtual World Developer’s Visit To Linden Lab Hints At Big Updates To Sansar And Second Life Coming Soon

Credit: New World Notes

Linden Lab Ebbe Altberg Sansar Second Life

Will Burns, Vice-Chair for IEEE’s Virtual Worlds Standard Group, recently stopped by Linden Lab’s headquarters in San Francisco for a visit, had a good long chat with CEO Ebbe Altberg (pictured here with mandatory hoodie, next to Will with bonus Deadpool T-shirt) and got a tour of upcoming Sansar content. What exactly Will saw in Sansar he cannot say, since he signed an NDA at the door, but reading between the lines of what he reported afterward, it looks like Sansar and Second Life will see some pretty big updates soon (or soon-ish).

“I’m not telling anyone what they’re doing exactly,” as he puts it to me, “but rest assured they didn’t drop the ball with Ready Player One. It’s really mind-blowing. I think people will be in awe and pleasantly surprised.”

Will is a longtime Second Life user and content creator, where he’s known as “Aeonix Aeon”. And having gotten this first-hand, full-blow demo of upcoming Sansar content at Linden Lab, sees the two this way:

“When I want high-end mind blowing, I’d dip into Sansar with a headset for a half hour. Then come back to Second Life for the rest of the evening. Best way I can find an analogy for SL users is this: Imagine Sansar is Disneyland. Second Life is the everyday after that. You pop off with the family and friends to Disney for a fun afternoon or vacation, then come home. In the same manner, Sansar is Second Life’s Disneyland. It’s fun, impressive with the right hardware, and mind blowing. Then you come home and while home isn’t as exciting or high end packed with thrills and wow factor, it’s home and you spend most of your time there. Each has a legit purpose.
“Now, could I see everyone running out to get a headset for this? Of course not. It’s still niche audience at best. But I definitely recommend a proper engagement with it if you get a chance.
Long as you keep in mind it’s Disneyland to SL, it’ll make sense.”

Other dedicated SLers have made the theme park/home analogy for Sansar. Speaking of which, here’s the notes Will posted to a private Facebook group after his visit to Linden Lab which hint at updates for both:

Sansar Spielberg Cline Ready Player One Linden Lab Ebbe

  1. Unlimited groups. Prolly not likely. I imagine the load on servers would kill it.
  2. Reducing Lag: We actually discussed a way that could help do this substantially and bring other benefits as a side effect. Can’t say what, but it’s on their mind (and whiteboard) now. If they actually run with it or not is a totally different story.
  3. Flexi Bento: No summoning C’thulu
  4. Land costs: Sounds like it will be addressed. How, I’m not at liberty to disclose. Be patient.
  5. Inventory mess: Can’t help ya there.
  6. From Wagner James Au’s post concerning Ready Player One: Prepare to be amazed.

Ebbe showed me around, we hung out, then he strapped me into an Oculus Rift for a private demo of Sansar. Some was user-generated scenes, others were scenes made by Linden Lab.  Of the latter, I have this to say: Sansar is actually incredibly impressive so far. Still couldn’t deal with the headset longer than twenty minutes. Still has a ways to go for desktop users. For short term experiences, treat it like a theme park. Second Life is still my choice for longer term engagement. When I want to be blown away for half hour, Sansar is where it’s at.

Wildly speculating from those notes, I would not at all be surprised if Second Life users see, say, a playable version of the OASIS from Ready Player Onedeployed in Sansar. (Spielberg and author Ernest Cline wouldn’t do an in-person visit just to see an Intel cross-promotion demo., would they?) But we shall see!