Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

Doug Danforth
Hi Kay,

I think what Tom meant (and definitely what I meant) is that adapting and changing objects on the fly in real time by more than one person is not needed. What I referred to as collaborative content creation - two or more people/students creating things that did not exist previously in world. Updating resources such as a textbook in Unity and rebuilding the environment is a quick and painless process. I rebuild my simulations on a regular basis to change a character or access a different AI data set. I just create a new URL for the new sim.

I completely agree that students don't have time to fuss with virtual world simulations that are not relevant to their courses. Nor do they have time to spend on orientation activities needed just to learn the interface. Anything that makes the experience easier and more relevant is desirable.

It seems like your environment is working well for you and your students so there is no need to switch. That is probably true for most folks on this list.

Doug 

On Jul 20, 2014, at 10:24 AM, Kay McLennan <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 11:45 AM, Tom <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
...For many educational uses adapting and changing objects is not needed...
 
While it is true that some types of educational simulations are well suited for static simulations (like a virtual tour of the inner workings of a human body part or a historic recreation of a city), static (Unity platform-like) builds are completely ill-suited for the types of online economics and business studies college courses I teach.  

Even the online courses that utilize extensive instructor- or institution-created materials always simultaneously utilize a textbook (to insure the transmission of the relevant portion of the course-specific common body of knowledge).  In turn, the textbooks I utilize in all of my courses change each year.  Sometimes the textbook changes simply involve a [maddening] re-sort of the chapters (to enable the publisher to change the edition and sell more new copies of the text).  Still (and more importantly), it is often the case that the material in the textbook changes (and these changes need to be reflected in the course materials and activities).  For example, social media marketing is now one of the most important components in the field of marketing but was barely mentioned in textbooks even as recently as a few years ago.  Similarly, the cases in business ethics textbooks continue to change at an almost exponential rate owing to the abundance of new real work examples of unethical behavior (think GMC, BP, the financial meltdown, GMOs, fracking, and more!).

Further, college students (including traditional and non traditional aged students) are pressed for time and require course-specific learning simulations only.  That is, students do not have the time to explore virtual world simulations that are only tangentially related to the course learning objectives.  Rather, the virtual world learning simulations have to be graded activities that are worth their time (in the sense of being detailed and expansive enough to contribute specifically to their understanding of the course material).  Again, in the same way high quality college textbooks and online course sites require continual updates and upgrades, high quality virtual world simulations need to be updated and upgraded -- to contribute specifically to students' understanding of the course material.

Also (and this is a BIG item), I am constantly thinking up (and testing) new types of virtual world learning simulations.  In other words, my view is that it would be too limiting to be only be able to create a simulation once.  In contrast, right now, I currently have about 40 or more different types of virtual world learning simulations "in play" [read:  that I collect student feedback data on (based on student -- Likert scale-based -- views on the interactivity, engagement, and contribution to learning outcomes for each simulation -- see some of the early data collected at:  https://sites.google.com/site/fvwc12mclennan/student-survey-data-2)].  Note:  Over the years, students have provided excellent and surprising feedback.  For example, in the basic economics course I teach, I thought students would be keenly interested in the Free Trade Game I built (with each student the president/king/queen/dictator of their own island nation).  However, the in-world PP slides (from my lecture notes that are also uploaded into my course site) and the in-world vocabulary flash cards were rated markedly higher than the Free Trade Game in every category.

Note:  My college-level students almost universally [first] say they need asynchronous virtual world learning activities ONLY (in keeping with how all of my online courses are asynchronous).  However, after the students get some experience with the virtual world learning activities, they almost universally request real time meet-ups in-world!  That is, one of the main attractions of virtual worlds continues to be the ability to interact with others in-world.

Finally, while I keep trying all of the different available virtual platforms, to date (and for the reasons detailed above), I believe the OpenSim platform is the best fit for my online college-level virtual world learning simulations.  [Still, I will confess to being particularly taken with the genius and intuitive "ease of use" of the smartphone control panel or interface feature in the Cloud Party virtual world viewer.  That is, while the Firestorm or Singularity or other OpenSim viewers work perfectly for me (and I do NOT think a virtual world viewer has to be browser-based!), I wonder if a second type of OpenSim viewer (that is geared for a beginning user only) might be needed (?)...]

Best,
Kay

Kay L. McLennan, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice
School of Continuing Studies
Tulane University
e-Course Teaching Schedule & Syllabi @ http://www.tulane.edu/~kmclenna/
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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

Fleep Tuque
I think Doug's experience pretty much sums up my own.  

I remain interested in and supportive of OpenSimulator because it is open source, it's the only platform cracking the "metaverse" nut, and it's the only platform that supports certain use cases (like collaborative prototyping).  I remain hopeful that it will evolve beyond its current iteration to eventually be much easier to use.  But after 10 years of introducing Second Life and OpenSimulator to probably thousands of people, at this point, it's clear to me that the vast majority of faculty can't or don't want to use it in its current format.  Even if they have a use case that might take advantage of the platform's capabilities, the learning curve and support overhead is still just way, way too darned high.

We switched to Unity three years ago for 99% of our work at UCSIM.  The types of scripted (or even open-ended within certain parameters) scenarios and simulations that most faculty want are much more easily achieved in Unity than OpenSimulator.  The programming and scene creation tools are much more powerful (one word - PREFABS*), we can deploy it in web browsers, on tablets, or as standalone programs, and the technical support costs are much, MUCH lower for my team.  

As others have said, Unity does require professional level skills to be able to create content, but after a certain point, so does OpenSimulator or Second Life.  In all the years we supported both SL/OS, how many faculty wanted to learn to create content anyway?  A very very small percentage.  Most faculty, unless they are in a discipline that already requires some 3D modeling or design skills, have zero desire to learn how to make 3D stuff.  If they have the desire to use simulations or immersive learning experiences, they either want someone else to make it for them, or they want to use a very simple easy-to-use toolset to put their own scenarios together quickly.  They don't have the time or desire to develop expertise in yet another domain.

I still think OpenSimulator has plenty of promise, and I don't think it has to be an either/or choice.  It's always about choosing the right tool for the job.  If you need open ended sandbox building capabilities, OpenSimulator is the right tool.  If you need synchronous virtual meeting space with spatial voice, OpenSimulator is still probably the best tool.  If you're interested in the emerging metaverse, OpenSimulator is the only tool.  Unity doesn't do any of those things well.  If you need a single player scripted simulation experience, however, Unity wins hands down.  If you need to be able to deploy to web or mobile, Unity can do that and OpenSimulator can't.

Personally, I'm hoping that both platforms become easier for the amateur over time, and that some of these new interface devices will improve both immersiveness/sense of presence, AND make content creation easier.  

I guess we'll see, but in the meantime, I think both platforms are useful tools to have in the toolbox.


* About prefabs - If you don't know the concept, a prefab in Unity is like a template object that you can deploy many instances of in a scene, and then if you need to update or modify the object, you just modify the template and it updates all the deployed instances in the scene.  So for example, you build a lamp post and put a hundred copies of it in your scene, then later decide you need to change the model.  Easy presto, change the template and it changes all 100 lamp posts in your scene.  This is probably one of my top 10 wants for OpenSimulator.  You don't realize how much time you waste updating content in-world until you start using Unity prefabs.  


- Chris/Fleep


Chris M. Collins (Avatar: Fleep Tuque)
Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research (UCSIM)
Division of Innovation & Partnerships, Research & Development
UC Office of Information Technologies (UCIT)
University of Cincinnati
400 University Hall
PO Box 210658
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0658
(513) 556-3018




On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 7:33 AM, DrDoug Pennell <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Kay,

I think what Tom meant (and definitely what I meant) is that adapting and changing objects on the fly in real time by more than one person is not needed. What I referred to as collaborative content creation - two or more people/students creating things that did not exist previously in world. Updating resources such as a textbook in Unity and rebuilding the environment is a quick and painless process. I rebuild my simulations on a regular basis to change a character or access a different AI data set. I just create a new URL for the new sim.

I completely agree that students don't have time to fuss with virtual world simulations that are not relevant to their courses. Nor do they have time to spend on orientation activities needed just to learn the interface. Anything that makes the experience easier and more relevant is desirable.

It seems like your environment is working well for you and your students so there is no need to switch. That is probably true for most folks on this list.

Doug 

On Jul 20, 2014, at 10:24 AM, Kay McLennan <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 11:45 AM, Tom <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
...For many educational uses adapting and changing objects is not needed...
 
While it is true that some types of educational simulations are well suited for static simulations (like a virtual tour of the inner workings of a human body part or a historic recreation of a city), static (Unity platform-like) builds are completely ill-suited for the types of online economics and business studies college courses I teach.  

Even the online courses that utilize extensive instructor- or institution-created materials always simultaneously utilize a textbook (to insure the transmission of the relevant portion of the course-specific common body of knowledge).  In turn, the textbooks I utilize in all of my courses change each year.  Sometimes the textbook changes simply involve a [maddening] re-sort of the chapters (to enable the publisher to change the edition and sell more new copies of the text).  Still (and more importantly), it is often the case that the material in the textbook changes (and these changes need to be reflected in the course materials and activities).  For example, social media marketing is now one of the most important components in the field of marketing but was barely mentioned in textbooks even as recently as a few years ago.  Similarly, the cases in business ethics textbooks continue to change at an almost exponential rate owing to the abundance of new real work examples of unethical behavior (think GMC, BP, the financial meltdown, GMOs, fracking, and more!).

Further, college students (including traditional and non traditional aged students) are pressed for time and require course-specific learning simulations only.  That is, students do not have the time to explore virtual world simulations that are only tangentially related to the course learning objectives.  Rather, the virtual world learning simulations have to be graded activities that are worth their time (in the sense of being detailed and expansive enough to contribute specifically to their understanding of the course material).  Again, in the same way high quality college textbooks and online course sites require continual updates and upgrades, high quality virtual world simulations need to be updated and upgraded -- to contribute specifically to students' understanding of the course material.

Also (and this is a BIG item), I am constantly thinking up (and testing) new types of virtual world learning simulations.  In other words, my view is that it would be too limiting to be only be able to create a simulation once.  In contrast, right now, I currently have about 40 or more different types of virtual world learning simulations "in play" [read:  that I collect student feedback data on (based on student -- Likert scale-based -- views on the interactivity, engagement, and contribution to learning outcomes for each simulation -- see some of the early data collected at:  https://sites.google.com/site/fvwc12mclennan/student-survey-data-2)].  Note:  Over the years, students have provided excellent and surprising feedback.  For example, in the basic economics course I teach, I thought students would be keenly interested in the Free Trade Game I built (with each student the president/king/queen/dictator of their own island nation).  However, the in-world PP slides (from my lecture notes that are also uploaded into my course site) and the in-world vocabulary flash cards were rated markedly higher than the Free Trade Game in every category.

Note:  My college-level students almost universally [first] say they need asynchronous virtual world learning activities ONLY (in keeping with how all of my online courses are asynchronous).  However, after the students get some experience with the virtual world learning activities, they almost universally request real time meet-ups in-world!  That is, one of the main attractions of virtual worlds continues to be the ability to interact with others in-world.

Finally, while I keep trying all of the different available virtual platforms, to date (and for the reasons detailed above), I believe the OpenSim platform is the best fit for my online college-level virtual world learning simulations.  [Still, I will confess to being particularly taken with the genius and intuitive "ease of use" of the smartphone control panel or interface feature in the Cloud Party virtual world viewer.  That is, while the Firestorm or Singularity or other OpenSim viewers work perfectly for me (and I do NOT think a virtual world viewer has to be browser-based!), I wonder if a second type of OpenSim viewer (that is geared for a beginning user only) might be needed (?)...]

Best,
Kay

Kay L. McLennan, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice
School of Continuing Studies
Tulane University
e-Course Teaching Schedule & Syllabi @ http://www.tulane.edu/~kmclenna/
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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

David Burden
In reply to this post by Dr Ramesh Ramloll

I was going to sit this one out but seeing as Tom name-checked us....

I think what Toni, Doug and Maria have been saying is pretty spot on. It all comes down to the fact that SL (and to an extent OpenSim) is a complete virtual world environment, whereas Unity is a game engine. Out the box Unity does nothing, you have to build up what functionality you need - SL/OS gives you a huge head start by already doing avatars, chat, voice, multi-user, editing etc. You could, if you really wanted, build most, but certainly not all, of the SL/OpenSim functionality in Unity, but in reality you just build what you need for a given project. 

Collaborative manipulation and placement (as on your Rezmela video) is definitely possible, and when we redo our OOPAL system for Unity that is pretty much what it will do. What would be a lot harder is collaborative prim based building - still probably do'able though perhaps not with the flexibility of SL/OS. The link-set example you mention would be do'able,  Unity has a similar concept, but in reality you might not do it in the exact same way. 

Collaborative white boards are certainly do'able (we're just doing one), but document editing isn't really viable as Unity does not have a MOAP equivalent - we've tried a few third party solutions but they all fall well short of the SL functionality - and of course that also means that there is no collaborative web browsing - a real issue for some uses cases. There are I believe a few bespoke solutions where people have used Unity as the basis of larger commercial virtual office offerings and built the collaborative document bit in.

You don't see many voice demos as that is something that does have to be brought in through a third party service, Vivox/Teamspeak etc, so tends to just be rolled out as needed - although a lot of Unity use cases don't need it (or just use Skype/Google+). But is certainly an extra hurdle to jump if you need it and you're going from SL/OS to Unity.

Can't comment on Physics as we rarely use it. We are also looking at WebGL, initially for non-avatar activities, but the DoD Virtual Worlds Framework that Maria mentions are some of the best avatar driven demos I've seen for WebGL and there are emerging WebGL game engines like GooEngine.

Unity is though just such a different experience from SL/OS. With Unity you are building an app from the outside, with SL/OS you're building one from inside. Having spent a lot of time in both just in the last couple of weeks there are annoyances and strengths in both. Approaches like PIVOTE where we try and take the logic out of the environment certainly help, but we still don't have the ideal solution anywhere.

You say that "So I guess it will be a race between how fast opensim can get a browser
based viewer solution, or less ideally,  tablet viewers that actually work
by providing a PC level experience, and how fast the Unity team can develop
their server solution." but that is not the case - Photon and SmartFox are proper established MMO servers for people using Unity and other systems, any Unity corporate offering will only add to that. So with a Unity system already having multi-user, and web, and tablet, and having complete control of the user experience (cf Kay's comment - I think - about a simpler OpenSim browser, something we've also always called for) it has already won that race, and is why we end up using it on most projects. SL/OS really is just left for those cases where you either need a big populated shared world (eg for social science or AI research), or you need that highly collaborative build approach.

We did a comparison paper a while ago at which might be of use - http://www.daden.co.uk/resources/download-white-papers/ -  and our single user Unity demo space (although untypical of how we normally use Unity - see the videos for that) has just gone up at http://www.daden-cs1.co.uk/demos/dadencampus/DadenCampus.html (beware 88MB - not yet really optimised for web delivery) . We hope to add multi-user shortly, but it shows some of the things mentioned such as in-world video, in world white board, simple object manipulation etc - and the content of the space is certainly relevant to everyone on this group :-)

David




David Burden
Managing Director
Daden Limited

t: <a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29121%20250%205678" value="+441212505678" target="_blank">+44 (0)121 250 5678
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Daden specialise in creating immersive learning & visualisation systems.



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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

Wade Schuette
This discussion has been the most enlightening  I've seen in a long time!  
Thank you everyone!

My experience agrees that faculty don't generally want to learn 3D content creation.

Students are an interesting mix, and in high-stress programs also have very little tolerance or capacity for steep learning curves.
===
On simplicity 

In terms of students building things that didn't exist,   maybe there is a game-principle based sweet-spot,  because it's clear from the numbers that tens of millions of people spend tens or hundreds of hours with Minecraft.

That suggest to me that students would love to co-create cool stuff, but the interface for doing so needs to have an extremely extremely simple starter subset.   I say "starter", because gaming-principles also show that people who stick around and pay for worlds like World of Warcraft like challenges, or "unnecessary difficulties" as Jane McGonigal's "Reality is Broken - why Games make us Better and How they can Change the World" book explains so well.  (Imagine the interest in golf if the average length from tee to hole was ten feet, in a straight line, on a flat course, and the hole was ten feet across.)    This is a great book, by the way, and very eye opening and challenging a lot of misunderstood concepts about "games", the nature and type of feedback that works,  and why so many people voluntarily spend so much time on them, that is directly applicable to building any learning environment.

For experienced builders (or those past their anxiety - resistance stage), yeah,  prefabs in Unity are great!

What is even better is that in Unity you CAN build hierarchical objects,  then mix and match the parts.  In OpenSim and Second LIfe,  once you put the wheels on the car and make a link-set,  all traces of "wheel" are gone, and it becomes absurdly difficult to go back and put different wheels on the car if each wheel has 47 parts like spokes or lugnuts.     You can approximate some of that capacity with "Builder's Buddy" or other tools that let you rez an entire multiobject scene with one click, but those are a true pain to load and maintain.    

So,  whether it's Unity or OpenSim,  I think one thing that is needed that is very hard to still see for Virtual reality natives is exactly HOW SIMPLE the INITIAL interface has to be, so that it is satisfying and rewarding to try to use for a terrified newbie, peeking though the fingers of the hands over the eyes.   So simple in fact that even a faculty member might say "Oh heck, even I can do THAT!".

===
On "weakest links" in collaborative environments

And both faculty and students are greatly upset by technological failure where they are used to trivial behavior, such as having voice working.   The collaborative environment is much harsher than individual user environment since for voice (or many other things) to actually be useful,  it has to work for EVERYONE, not just most people.

This is a feature of collaborative environments that I didn't realize till Gary Olsen pointed it out.  A collaborative environment can become a "weakest link" exposer, where everyone's experience is limited by the least capable user.   This is one of the issues with, say, Electronic Health Records systems that is underappreciated and distinguishes it from, say,  a cloud-based spreadsheet.





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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

justincc
I think that OpenSimulator and Unity have some overlap but not by a huge amount.

My perspective is that the focus of Unity is very much on game development.  It gives you a good and flexible set of
tools but you need to do a fair amount of work to plug them together or extend them to create a high fidelity (ha)
product.  The focus is on creating a one-off experience, though the lines are blurring now that some games (e.g.
Minecraft, DOTA2) are very long lived and keep receiving updates.  The experiences are high quality because they are
quite tightly controlled.  High multi-user (let alone massive multi-user) has not been a focus area because this stuff
is *hard* and nowadays not obviously a winning formula for gamers.

For OpenSimulator, the focus and much of the raison d'etre is the unified and persistent virtual world.  Thus, it gives
you a high level set of tools which are much less flexible (inventory, attachments, linksets, etc.) but because everyone
has them it allows collaboration and content reuse at a high level (e.g. scripted objects, OARs).  Some games blur into
this (Minecraft, etc.).  It's a free-form environment so there's a high degree of freedom but a lot that can go wrong
(analogous to open-world jank) [1].  I see it as more web-like because the same high-level software is evolved over time
with the hosted content changing.

Moreover, there's a very high social focus through time.  Because the same high-level concepts are shared, there's more
scope for network effects (esp. with the Hypergrid) but the technological base is much more primitive and relatively
unexplored.

So whilst I think Unity makes sense in many use cases, OpenSimulator is ultimately much more interesting to me
(unsurprisingly) because it gives a glimpse into something radically new, a distributed, anarchic and evolving Metaverse
rather than a single vendor game.

I think there is vast scope for the OpenSimulator ecosystem to continue to evolve with features such as template
objects, multi-level linksets, more intuitive viewers and to adapt to technological evolution as embodied by new
hardware such as the Oculus Rift.  Because it's open-source, innovation can happen anywhere and without a single
company's permission.  I believe the critical thing is that we arrive at protocols and formats that allow evolution by
disconnected parties whilst still inter-operating with the existing system.  Again, it's a comparison with a web
ecosystem that has extensible formats such as HTTP and HTML (insert a tag that a browser doesn't understand and it
doesn't (usually) stop your whole page from rendering).

However, arriving at these formats and solving other hard fundamental problems takes an enormous amount of time and
effort, not only through writing code but also in discussion and co-operation between parties with different interests.
  My hope has always been that the platform will become interesting enough to attract the critical mass of academics,
enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who can generate the time and funding required.  To some extent this happened but not
enough (as of yet) to win any significant attention outside of this niche.

[1] http://www.giantbomb.com/open-world/3015-207/

On 21/07/14 16:43, Wade wrote:

> This discussion has been the most enlightening  I've seen in a long time!
> Thank you everyone!
>
> My experience agrees that faculty don't generally want to learn 3D content creation.
>
> Students are an interesting mix, and in high-stress programs also have very little tolerance or capacity for steep
> learning curves.
> ===
> *On simplicity *
>
> In terms of students building things that didn't exist,   maybe there is a game-principle based sweet-spot,  because
> it's clear from the numbers that tens of millions of people spend tens or hundreds of hours with Minecraft.
>
> That suggest to me that students would love to co-create cool stuff, but the interface for doing so needs to have an
> extremely extremely simple /*starter subset*/.   I say "starter", because gaming-principles also show that people who
> stick around and pay for worlds like World of Warcraft*_like challenges_*, or "unnecessary difficulties" as Jane
> McGonigal's "/*Reality is Broken*/ - why Games make us Better and How they can Change the World" book explains so well.
> (Imagine the interest in golf if the average length from tee to hole was ten feet, in a straight line, on a flat course,
> and the hole was ten feet across.)    This is a great book, by the way, and very eye opening and challenging a lot of
> misunderstood concepts about "games", the nature and type of feedback that works,  and why so many people voluntarily
> spend so much time on them, that is directly applicable to building any learning environment.
>
> For experienced builders (or those past their anxiety - resistance stage), yeah,  prefabs in Unity are great!
>
> What is even better is that in Unity you CAN build/*hierarchical objects,*/  then mix and match the parts.  In OpenSim
> and Second LIfe,  once you put the wheels on the car and make a link-set,  all traces of "wheel" are gone, and it
> becomes absurdly difficult to go back and put different wheels on the car if each wheel has 47 parts like spokes or
> lugnuts.     You can approximate some of that capacity with "Builder's Buddy" or other tools that let you rez an entire
> multiobject scene with one click, but those are a true pain to load and maintain.
>
> So,  whether it's Unity or OpenSim,  I think one thing that is needed that is very hard to still see for Virtual reality
> natives is exactly HOW SIMPLE the INITIAL interface has to be, so that it is satisfying and rewarding to try to use for
> a terrified newbie, peeking though the fingers of the hands over the eyes.   So simple in fact that even a faculty
> member might say "Oh heck, even I can do THAT!".
>
> ===
> *On "weakest links" in collaborative environments*
>
> And both faculty and students are greatly upset by technological failure where they are used to trivial behavior, such
> as having voice working.   The collaborative environment is much harsher than individual user environment since for
> voice (or many other things) to actually be useful,  it has to work for EVERYONE, not just most people.
>
> This is a feature of collaborative environments that I didn't realize till Gary Olsen pointed it out.  A collaborative
> environment can become a "weakest link" exposer, where everyone's experience is limited by the least capable user.
> This is one of the issues with, say, Electronic Health Records systems that is underappreciated and distinguishes it
> from, say,  a cloud-based spreadsheet.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>


--
Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
OSVW Consulting
http://justincc.org
http://twitter.com/justincc
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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

Wade Schuette
Perhaps this can be approached as a "bootstrap" recursive problem,  in the sense that what many of want is an environment that improves  collaboration,    and that to get there we need a great deal of collaboration.

That suggests that the tool-set that should move up to almost first in priority are the tools that USE virtual reality in order to improve the process by which we work and design improvements to virtual reality.

In other words,   if your own team or department does NOT currently prefer to meet in virtual reality over face-to-face,   let's focus on what we can change to improve things for THAT sub-population,  because any improvements there will pay off with massively compounded interest.

Can we make Virtual Reality augmented reality literally "better than being there"?    Seems like we should be able to discuss and evolve what would be the perfect world for virtual world designers to meet in and collaborate in, with a little thought, once, and then evolve improve it over time.

Wade





On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]> wrote:

...
However, arriving at these formats and solving other hard fundamental problems takes an enormous amount of time and effort, not only through writing code but also in discussion and co-operation between parties with different interests.  My hope has always been that the platform will become interesting enough to attract the critical mass of academics, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who can generate the time and funding required.  To some extent this happened but not enough (as of yet) to win any significant attention outside of this niche.
...

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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

Tom Willans
In reply to this post by justincc
I agree with Justin about a big difference being to persistent metaverse and longer term social dynamics, formation of identity etc. I suspect that many educational uses think in one off terms eg a collaborative class in business collaboration even if there is concern about reuse of assets o reusable learning objects etc. Not the development of university, school or wider social network. Most Unity examples are one off uses eg teach sensitive sex education, help the emergency services learn to communicate etc. rather than an ongoing world of Warcraft scenario.

So one question is what is OpenSim used for?

It is also a fact that OpenSim is tightly coupled with Second a Life, and this is not unsurprising given its heritage and the vast, in comparison, user base there and technical advice. There is of course the very tight link in terms of viewer technology. It was this link that, in part, made me choose OpenSim over Wonderland for instance. Whilst I predominately use OpenSim now it is not on social grounds but as a platform.

People do not want to use metaverses on the scale of other social media ( viewing opensim as a social platform) or remote communication platform e.g. Skype meetings rather than OpenSim meetings.  I once suggested a meeting in SL - might as well of mentioned someone has BO; move on quickly. OpenSim also shares a lot with virtual reality platforms - I do hate that term e.g. CAVE which like Unity tends to have a one off. The Rift is narrowing the gap, and OpenSim/SL has been displayed in CAVE environments.

Technologies such as the Oculus Rift and other potential haptic technologies may have a impact. I had to halt my experiments for a while as Cybersickness on the DevKit1 caused problems. Still the Rift did score highly on presence questionnaires despite this, although the questionnaires are only a part of the presence story.

 The move to using multiple platforms, augmented reality is a challenge. In a social environment I want to communicate wherever I go. I am tapping away on my iPad, checked my emails on the phone and soon will start using my laptop.

Is it time to pull together these strands about what will make a better OpenSim?

I am not just talking about the technological issues, although these and the formats are vital but also aspects relating to human factors, presence, emotion, collaboration theory and of course standards formats as well as it's uses above? OpenSim does have a divide between the platform and viewer yet setting aside client/server and technical issues they are intimately coupled as one.

Oh if anyone knows has a financial viability/funding wand please let me know ;)

Tom Willans  BSc(Hons)  MBCS  CITP
PhD Student
Serious Games Institute, Coventry University
United Kingdom

Managing Director Bessacarr Publications Ltd
+44 (0)121 288 0281
email: [hidden email]
skype: tom.willans
Second Life and OSGrid: Tom Tiros



Sent from my iPad

> On 22 Jul 2014, at 00:48, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I think that OpenSimulator and Unity have some overlap but not by a huge amount.
>
> My perspective is that the focus of Unity is very much on game development.  It gives you a good and flexible set of tools but you need to do a fair amount of work to plug them together or extend them to create a high fidelity (ha) product.  The focus is on creating a one-off experience, though the lines are blurring now that some games (e.g. Minecraft, DOTA2) are very long lived and keep receiving updates.  The experiences are high quality because they are quite tightly controlled.  High multi-user (let alone massive multi-user) has not been a focus area because this stuff is *hard* and nowadays not obviously a winning formula for gamers.
>
> For OpenSimulator, the focus and much of the raison d'etre is the unified and persistent virtual world.  Thus, it gives you a high level set of tools which are much less flexible (inventory, attachments, linksets, etc.) but because everyone has them it allows collaboration and content reuse at a high level (e.g. scripted objects, OARs).  Some games blur into this (Minecraft, etc.).  It's a free-form environment so there's a high degree of freedom but a lot that can go wrong (analogous to open-world jank) [1].  I see it as more web-like because the same high-level software is evolved over time with the hosted content changing.
>
> Moreover, there's a very high social focus through time.  Because the same high-level concepts are shared, there's more scope for network effects (esp. with the Hypergrid) but the technological base is much more primitive and relatively unexplored.
>
> So whilst I think Unity makes sense in many use cases, OpenSimulator is ultimately much more interesting to me (unsurprisingly) because it gives a glimpse into something radically new, a distributed, anarchic and evolving Metaverse rather than a single vendor game.
>
> I think there is vast scope for the OpenSimulator ecosystem to continue to evolve with features such as template objects, multi-level linksets, more intuitive viewers and to adapt to technological evolution as embodied by new hardware such as the Oculus Rift.  Because it's open-source, innovation can happen anywhere and without a single company's permission.  I believe the critical thing is that we arrive at protocols and formats that allow evolution by disconnected parties whilst still inter-operating with the existing system.  Again, it's a comparison with a web ecosystem that has extensible formats such as HTTP and HTML (insert a tag that a browser doesn't understand and it doesn't (usually) stop your whole page from rendering).
>
> However, arriving at these formats and solving other hard fundamental problems takes an enormous amount of time and effort, not only through writing code but also in discussion and co-operation between parties with different interests.  My hope has always been that the platform will become interesting enough to attract the critical mass of academics, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who can generate the time and funding required.  To some extent this happened but not enough (as of yet) to win any significant attention outside of this niche.
>
> [1] http://www.giantbomb.com/open-world/3015-207/
>
>> On 21/07/14 16:43, Wade wrote:
>> This discussion has been the most enlightening  I've seen in a long time!
>> Thank you everyone!
>>
>> My experience agrees that faculty don't generally want to learn 3D content creation.
>>
>> Students are an interesting mix, and in high-stress programs also have very little tolerance or capacity for steep
>> learning curves.
>> ===
>> *On simplicity *
>>
>> In terms of students building things that didn't exist,   maybe there is a game-principle based sweet-spot,  because
>> it's clear from the numbers that tens of millions of people spend tens or hundreds of hours with Minecraft.
>>
>> That suggest to me that students would love to co-create cool stuff, but the interface for doing so needs to have an
>> extremely extremely simple /*starter subset*/.   I say "starter", because gaming-principles also show that people who
>> stick around and pay for worlds like World of Warcraft*_like challenges_*, or "unnecessary difficulties" as Jane
>> McGonigal's "/*Reality is Broken*/ - why Games make us Better and How they can Change the World" book explains so well.
>> (Imagine the interest in golf if the average length from tee to hole was ten feet, in a straight line, on a flat course,
>> and the hole was ten feet across.)    This is a great book, by the way, and very eye opening and challenging a lot of
>> misunderstood concepts about "games", the nature and type of feedback that works,  and why so many people voluntarily
>> spend so much time on them, that is directly applicable to building any learning environment.
>>
>> For experienced builders (or those past their anxiety - resistance stage), yeah,  prefabs in Unity are great!
>>
>> What is even better is that in Unity you CAN build/*hierarchical objects,*/  then mix and match the parts.  In OpenSim
>> and Second LIfe,  once you put the wheels on the car and make a link-set,  all traces of "wheel" are gone, and it
>> becomes absurdly difficult to go back and put different wheels on the car if each wheel has 47 parts like spokes or
>> lugnuts.     You can approximate some of that capacity with "Builder's Buddy" or other tools that let you rez an entire
>> multiobject scene with one click, but those are a true pain to load and maintain.
>>
>> So,  whether it's Unity or OpenSim,  I think one thing that is needed that is very hard to still see for Virtual reality
>> natives is exactly HOW SIMPLE the INITIAL interface has to be, so that it is satisfying and rewarding to try to use for
>> a terrified newbie, peeking though the fingers of the hands over the eyes.   So simple in fact that even a faculty
>> member might say "Oh heck, even I can do THAT!".
>>
>> ===
>> *On "weakest links" in collaborative environments*
>>
>> And both faculty and students are greatly upset by technological failure where they are used to trivial behavior, such
>> as having voice working.   The collaborative environment is much harsher than individual user environment since for
>> voice (or many other things) to actually be useful,  it has to work for EVERYONE, not just most people.
>>
>> This is a feature of collaborative environments that I didn't realize till Gary Olsen pointed it out.  A collaborative
>> environment can become a "weakest link" exposer, where everyone's experience is limited by the least capable user.
>> This is one of the issues with, say, Electronic Health Records systems that is underappreciated and distinguishes it
>> from, say,  a cloud-based spreadsheet.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>
> --
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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

Kay McLennan
On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM, Wade <[hidden email]> wrote:

This discussion has been the most enlightening  I've seen in a long time!   
Thank you everyone!

I couldn't agree more and further, cannot seem to disengage from this fascinating discussion!

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 6:08 AM, DrDoug Pennell <[hidden email]> wrote:

These folks have done some interesting work on creating characters that can be used in Unity.
https://vhtoolkit.ict.usc.edu/

The "virtual humans" in the Virtual Humans Toolkit are fabulous!  In turn, I wonder if it would it be possible to use the Virtual Humans Toolkit in OpenSim (?)

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 8:02 AM, Fleep Tuque <[hidden email]> wrote:

... it's clear to me that the vast majority of faculty can't or don't want to use [OpenSim] in its current format.  Even if they have a use case that might take advantage of the platform's capabilities, the learning curve and support overhead is still just way, way too darned high...

I have observed the same [college-level] faculty disinterest when it comes to using (SL- or OS-like) virtual worlds in online instruction.  Still, I fear I [possibly stubbornly or even unrealistically] am not ready to “throw out the baby with the bath water.”  That is, I see alternative explanations for why faculty have not embraced virtual world use (see below).
  • Virtual world use makes the biggest contribution to online instruction and online instruction remains a subset of traditional face-to-face college instruction.  In other words, most [not-for-profit] colleges and universities remain "chalk and talk" enterprises.
  • The majority of [college level] faculty are either adjunct or tenure track and lack both the time and career-related motivations to actively participate in the “early days” of virtual world use.  Conversely, the category of college-level instructor -- full time faculty, with a primary focus on teaching and a secondary focus on research (coincidentally like me!) -- are in the minority.  In other words, the "deck is stacked" against faculty use.
  • I envision a “tipping-point” moment for virtual world use for all categories of instructors IF some of the “ease of use” issues are solved.  In other words, once virtual world use gains some traction, I think it will become more mainstream.  
  • I am still of the mindset that all categories of faculty would become more interested if they had access to more "turn key" simulation examples.  Most of the virtual world builds I tour do not include supporting materials, lesson plans, etc.
  • I am convinced more work needs to be done on finding "the right formula" for maximizing student learning outcomes.  In other words, we are in the early days when it comes to studying which types of virtual world educational simulations are the most effective.
...The programming and scene creation tools [in Unity] are much more powerful (one word - PREFABS*), we can deploy it in web browsers, on tablets, or as standalone programs, and the technical support costs are much, MUCH lower for my team...

I am intrigued (by lower costs)!  Accordingly, at a minimum, I need to keep an eye on the showcase examples of educational simulations created in Unity!

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 6:48 PM, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]> wrote:

...I think there is vast scope for the OpenSimulator ecosystem to continue to evolve with features such as template objects, multi-level linksets, more intuitive viewers and to adapt to technological evolution as embodied by new hardware such as the Oculus Rift...

I agree with the need for more evolution in the above [OpenSimulator ecosystem] items.  Still, as I mentioned above, I would similarly like to see more “turn key” educational simulations showcased and even made available to the community.  [Note:  I am working on assembling my own “turn key” simulation to give away.]

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM, Wade Schuette <[hidden email]> wrote:

...if your own team or department does NOT currently prefer to meet in virtual reality over face-to-face,   let's focus on what we can change to improve things for THAT sub-population,  because any improvements there will pay off with massively compounded interest...

I second Wade's challenge!  Also, my [college level] students continue to show the most interest in virtual world use (and accordingly are decidedly “up for the challenge”).  However, when it comes to the [higher education] administrators and faculty I work with, like Tom suggested, I would get a better response from suggesting all the administrators and faculty have B.O.! (smile)

On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 3:14 AM, Tom Willans <[hidden email]> wrote:

...Is it time to pull together these strands about what will make a better OpenSim?

YES!  Again, I hope my [soon to be released] contribution will be a “turn key” educational simulation give away.  Yet, what I think is really needed is a [lightweight] user centered viewer.  

Finally (in response to Tom's mention of motion sickness), has anyone tried over-the-counter and/or prescription motion sickness medicine when using their Oculus Rift?  [Or is my question naive (as I wait for my Oculus Rift headset to arrive in the mail this month)?]

Best,
Kay


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Oculus Rift:- Cyber Sickness

Tom Willans
I have not heard about using travel-sickness tablests ?  It may help. From my own perspective I can now use the Rift for hours where the first time using their demo I soon felt iffy.   You can build up tolerance with gradually increasing exposure over time only I gather for some people it just gets worse (based upon traditional HMD research).  If it is for you personally I would try this first.

The problem is that my participants are new to the rift; some only vaguely familiar with computer games. From my lit review and H+S mostly on traditional HMD research it seems as if for some people it just gets worse with time. I am reducing the period of time as the pilot has highlighted where this is possible.  I have also been quite strict about my participant criteria and tightened this up and become quite cautious about withdrawing people.

I am awaiting the new Rift and will see how that goes. I used the CtrlAlt viewer by the way and found David Rowe really helpful. I have also put together a keyboard HUD for use in SL only text comes from the keyboard itself as I can neither touch type and peeking down just does not seem to work for me well either.  Have it for OS as well but there is a problem with it which I have not tracked down ( I have no great need of it for my uses). http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Alleni/221/80/23



On 22 Jul 2014, at 15:59, Kay McLennan <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM, Wade <[hidden email]> wrote:

This discussion has been the most enlightening  I've seen in a long time!   
Thank you everyone!

I couldn't agree more and further, cannot seem to disengage from this fascinating discussion!

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 6:08 AM, DrDoug Pennell <[hidden email]> wrote:

These folks have done some interesting work on creating characters that can be used in Unity.
https://vhtoolkit.ict.usc.edu/

The "virtual humans" in the Virtual Humans Toolkit are fabulous!  In turn, I wonder if it would it be possible to use the Virtual Humans Toolkit in OpenSim (?)

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 8:02 AM, Fleep Tuque <[hidden email]> wrote:

... it's clear to me that the vast majority of faculty can't or don't want to use [OpenSim] in its current format.  Even if they have a use case that might take advantage of the platform's capabilities, the learning curve and support overhead is still just way, way too darned high...

I have observed the same [college-level] faculty disinterest when it comes to using (SL- or OS-like) virtual worlds in online instruction.  Still, I fear I [possibly stubbornly or even unrealistically] am not ready to “throw out the baby with the bath water.”  That is, I see alternative explanations for why faculty have not embraced virtual world use (see below).
  • Virtual world use makes the biggest contribution to online instruction and online instruction remains a subset of traditional face-to-face college instruction.  In other words, most [not-for-profit] colleges and universities remain "chalk and talk" enterprises.
  • The majority of [college level] faculty are either adjunct or tenure track and lack both the time and career-related motivations to actively participate in the “early days” of virtual world use.  Conversely, the category of college-level instructor -- full time faculty, with a primary focus on teaching and a secondary focus on research (coincidentally like me!) -- are in the minority.  In other words, the "deck is stacked" against faculty use.
  • I envision a “tipping-point” moment for virtual world use for all categories of instructors IF some of the “ease of use” issues are solved.  In other words, once virtual world use gains some traction, I think it will become more mainstream.  
  • I am still of the mindset that all categories of faculty would become more interested if they had access to more "turn key" simulation examples.  Most of the virtual world builds I tour do not include supporting materials, lesson plans, etc.
  • I am convinced more work needs to be done on finding "the right formula" for maximizing student learning outcomes.  In other words, we are in the early days when it comes to studying which types of virtual world educational simulations are the most effective.
...The programming and scene creation tools [in Unity] are much more powerful (one word - PREFABS*), we can deploy it in web browsers, on tablets, or as standalone programs, and the technical support costs are much, MUCH lower for my team...

I am intrigued (by lower costs)!  Accordingly, at a minimum, I need to keep an eye on the showcase examples of educational simulations created in Unity!

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 6:48 PM, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]> wrote:

...I think there is vast scope for the OpenSimulator ecosystem to continue to evolve with features such as template objects, multi-level linksets, more intuitive viewers and to adapt to technological evolution as embodied by new hardware such as the Oculus Rift...

I agree with the need for more evolution in the above [OpenSimulator ecosystem] items.  Still, as I mentioned above, I would similarly like to see more “turn key” educational simulations showcased and even made available to the community.  [Note:  I am working on assembling my own “turn key” simulation to give away.]

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM, Wade Schuette <[hidden email]> wrote:

...if your own team or department does NOT currently prefer to meet in virtual reality over face-to-face,   let's focus on what we can change to improve things for THAT sub-population,  because any improvements there will pay off with massively compounded interest...

I second Wade's challenge!  Also, my [college level] students continue to show the most interest in virtual world use (and accordingly are decidedly “up for the challenge”).  However, when it comes to the [higher education] administrators and faculty I work with, like Tom suggested, I would get a better response from suggesting all the administrators and faculty have B.O.! (smile)

On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 3:14 AM, Tom Willans <[hidden email]> wrote:

...Is it time to pull together these strands about what will make a better OpenSim?

YES!  Again, I hope my [soon to be released] contribution will be a “turn key” educational simulation give away.  Yet, what I think is really needed is a [lightweight] user centered viewer.  

Finally (in response to Tom's mention of motion sickness), has anyone tried over-the-counter and/or prescription motion sickness medicine when using their Oculus Rift?  [Or is my question naive (as I wait for my Oculus Rift headset to arrive in the mail this month)?]

Best,
Kay

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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

justincc
In reply to this post by Tom Willans
I wouldn't agree that people don't want to use virtual worlds as a communication medium.  I suspect it depends heavily
on the context.  For instance, I'm currently involved with a student programme where many meetings are held in-world and
there don't seem to be too many problems apart from occasional Vivox issues.  In another context, we hold in-world
meetings all the time for OSCC planning and that seems to work pretty well - for instance I could post up performance
report graphs in world without having to direct people to an external website.

But I do agree that ease-of-use is a major issue.  I think it would be very interesting to see a viewer that provided a
configurable way to strip out the features that aren't needed in particular situations (e.g. education).  I think
Firestorm provides skinning that can do some of this, but these viewers are still pretty oriented towards Second Life
and so that stuff doesn't have much focus.  Making such a viewer is something I would do myself if I had double the
amount of time I do now :)

On 22/07/14 09:14, Tom Willans wrote:

> I agree with Justin about a big difference being to persistent metaverse and longer term social dynamics, formation of identity etc. I suspect that many educational uses think in one off terms eg a collaborative class in business collaboration even if there is concern about reuse of assets o reusable learning objects etc. Not the development of university, school or wider social network. Most Unity examples are one off uses eg teach sensitive sex education, help the emergency services learn to communicate etc. rather than an ongoing world of Warcraft scenario.
>
> So one question is what is OpenSim used for?
>
> It is also a fact that OpenSim is tightly coupled with Second a Life, and this is not unsurprising given its heritage and the vast, in comparison, user base there and technical advice. There is of course the very tight link in terms of viewer technology. It was this link that, in part, made me choose OpenSim over Wonderland for instance. Whilst I predominately use OpenSim now it is not on social grounds but as a platform.
>
> People do not want to use metaverses on the scale of other social media ( viewing opensim as a social platform) or remote communication platform e.g. Skype meetings rather than OpenSim meetings.  I once suggested a meeting in SL - might as well of mentioned someone has BO; move on quickly. OpenSim also shares a lot with virtual reality platforms - I do hate that term e.g. CAVE which like Unity tends to have a one off. The Rift is narrowing the gap, and OpenSim/SL has been displayed in CAVE environments.
>
> Technologies such as the Oculus Rift and other potential haptic technologies may have a impact. I had to halt my experiments for a while as Cybersickness on the DevKit1 caused problems. Still the Rift did score highly on presence questionnaires despite this, although the questionnaires are only a part of the presence story.
>
>   The move to using multiple platforms, augmented reality is a challenge. In a social environment I want to communicate wherever I go. I am tapping away on my iPad, checked my emails on the phone and soon will start using my laptop.
>
> Is it time to pull together these strands about what will make a better OpenSim?
>
> I am not just talking about the technological issues, although these and the formats are vital but also aspects relating to human factors, presence, emotion, collaboration theory and of course standards formats as well as it's uses above? OpenSim does have a divide between the platform and viewer yet setting aside client/server and technical issues they are intimately coupled as one.
>
> Oh if anyone knows has a financial viability/funding wand please let me know ;)
>
> Tom Willans  BSc(Hons)  MBCS  CITP
> PhD Student
> Serious Games Institute, Coventry University
> United Kingdom
>
> Managing Director Bessacarr Publications Ltd
> +44 (0)121 288 0281
> email: [hidden email]
> skype: tom.willans
> Second Life and OSGrid: Tom Tiros
>
>
>
> Sent from my iPad
>
>> On 22 Jul 2014, at 00:48, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I think that OpenSimulator and Unity have some overlap but not by a huge amount.
>>
>> My perspective is that the focus of Unity is very much on game development.  It gives you a good and flexible set of tools but you need to do a fair amount of work to plug them together or extend them to create a high fidelity (ha) product.  The focus is on creating a one-off experience, though the lines are blurring now that some games (e.g. Minecraft, DOTA2) are very long lived and keep receiving updates.  The experiences are high quality because they are quite tightly controlled.  High multi-user (let alone massive multi-user) has not been a focus area because this stuff is *hard* and nowadays not obviously a winning formula for gamers.
>>
>> For OpenSimulator, the focus and much of the raison d'etre is the unified and persistent virtual world.  Thus, it gives you a high level set of tools which are much less flexible (inventory, attachments, linksets, etc.) but because everyone has them it allows collaboration and content reuse at a high level (e.g. scripted objects, OARs).  Some games blur into this (Minecraft, etc.).  It's a free-form environment so there's a high degree of freedom but a lot that can go wrong (analogous to open-world jank) [1].  I see it as more web-like because the same high-level software is evolved over time with the hosted content changing.
>>
>> Moreover, there's a very high social focus through time.  Because the same high-level concepts are shared, there's more scope for network effects (esp. with the Hypergrid) but the technological base is much more primitive and relatively unexplored.
>>
>> So whilst I think Unity makes sense in many use cases, OpenSimulator is ultimately much more interesting to me (unsurprisingly) because it gives a glimpse into something radically new, a distributed, anarchic and evolving Metaverse rather than a single vendor game.
>>
>> I think there is vast scope for the OpenSimulator ecosystem to continue to evolve with features such as template objects, multi-level linksets, more intuitive viewers and to adapt to technological evolution as embodied by new hardware such as the Oculus Rift.  Because it's open-source, innovation can happen anywhere and without a single company's permission.  I believe the critical thing is that we arrive at protocols and formats that allow evolution by disconnected parties whilst still inter-operating with the existing system.  Again, it's a comparison with a web ecosystem that has extensible formats such as HTTP and HTML (insert a tag that a browser doesn't understand and it doesn't (usually) stop your whole page from rendering).
>>
>> However, arriving at these formats and solving other hard fundamental problems takes an enormous amount of time and effort, not only through writing code but also in discussion and co-operation between parties with different interests.  My hope has always been that the platform will become interesting enough to attract the critical mass of academics, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who can generate the time and funding required.  To some extent this happened but not enough (as of yet) to win any significant attention outside of this niche.
>>
>> [1] http://www.giantbomb.com/open-world/3015-207/
>>
>>> On 21/07/14 16:43, Wade wrote:
>>> This discussion has been the most enlightening  I've seen in a long time!
>>> Thank you everyone!
>>>
>>> My experience agrees that faculty don't generally want to learn 3D content creation.
>>>
>>> Students are an interesting mix, and in high-stress programs also have very little tolerance or capacity for steep
>>> learning curves.
>>> ===
>>> *On simplicity *
>>>
>>> In terms of students building things that didn't exist,   maybe there is a game-principle based sweet-spot,  because
>>> it's clear from the numbers that tens of millions of people spend tens or hundreds of hours with Minecraft.
>>>
>>> That suggest to me that students would love to co-create cool stuff, but the interface for doing so needs to have an
>>> extremely extremely simple /*starter subset*/.   I say "starter", because gaming-principles also show that people who
>>> stick around and pay for worlds like World of Warcraft*_like challenges_*, or "unnecessary difficulties" as Jane
>>> McGonigal's "/*Reality is Broken*/ - why Games make us Better and How they can Change the World" book explains so well.
>>> (Imagine the interest in golf if the average length from tee to hole was ten feet, in a straight line, on a flat course,
>>> and the hole was ten feet across.)    This is a great book, by the way, and very eye opening and challenging a lot of
>>> misunderstood concepts about "games", the nature and type of feedback that works,  and why so many people voluntarily
>>> spend so much time on them, that is directly applicable to building any learning environment.
>>>
>>> For experienced builders (or those past their anxiety - resistance stage), yeah,  prefabs in Unity are great!
>>>
>>> What is even better is that in Unity you CAN build/*hierarchical objects,*/  then mix and match the parts.  In OpenSim
>>> and Second LIfe,  once you put the wheels on the car and make a link-set,  all traces of "wheel" are gone, and it
>>> becomes absurdly difficult to go back and put different wheels on the car if each wheel has 47 parts like spokes or
>>> lugnuts.     You can approximate some of that capacity with "Builder's Buddy" or other tools that let you rez an entire
>>> multiobject scene with one click, but those are a true pain to load and maintain.
>>>
>>> So,  whether it's Unity or OpenSim,  I think one thing that is needed that is very hard to still see for Virtual reality
>>> natives is exactly HOW SIMPLE the INITIAL interface has to be, so that it is satisfying and rewarding to try to use for
>>> a terrified newbie, peeking though the fingers of the hands over the eyes.   So simple in fact that even a faculty
>>> member might say "Oh heck, even I can do THAT!".
>>>
>>> ===
>>> *On "weakest links" in collaborative environments*
>>>
>>> And both faculty and students are greatly upset by technological failure where they are used to trivial behavior, such
>>> as having voice working.   The collaborative environment is much harsher than individual user environment since for
>>> voice (or many other things) to actually be useful,  it has to work for EVERYONE, not just most people.
>>>
>>> This is a feature of collaborative environments that I didn't realize till Gary Olsen pointed it out.  A collaborative
>>> environment can become a "weakest link" exposer, where everyone's experience is limited by the least capable user.
>>> This is one of the issues with, say, Electronic Health Records systems that is underappreciated and distinguishes it
>>> from, say,  a cloud-based spreadsheet.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Opensim-users mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>>
>>
>> --
>> Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
>> OSVW Consulting
>> http://justincc.org
>> http://twitter.com/justincc
>> _______________________________________________
>> Opensim-users mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
> .
>


--
Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
OSVW Consulting
http://justincc.org
http://twitter.com/justincc
_______________________________________________
Opensim-users mailing list
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http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

Robert L martin
what i would like to see in a viewer is

1 the ability to disable loading of chunks (if i do not use the voice
parts let me not load them at all)

2 a way to load the stuff in your sight range FIRST (why are you
loading the ground texture when im at 20K altitude)

3 better support for small screens (hint im running on a netbook with
1024X600 screen)

4 this is a wild dream but an embedded "sandbox" sim with a single
hardcoded account would be grand.


i suppose the human kit is nice but 20 gigs?? i couldn't do that with
SoAS MakeHuman Gimp and Blender without having like 12 gigs of
content.
btw are we muggles going to get to play sometime??

On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM, Justin Clark-Casey
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> I wouldn't agree that people don't want to use virtual worlds as a
> communication medium.  I suspect it depends heavily on the context.  For
> instance, I'm currently involved with a student programme where many
> meetings are held in-world and there don't seem to be too many problems
> apart from occasional Vivox issues.  In another context, we hold in-world
> meetings all the time for OSCC planning and that seems to work pretty well -
> for instance I could post up performance report graphs in world without
> having to direct people to an external website.
>
> But I do agree that ease-of-use is a major issue.  I think it would be very
> interesting to see a viewer that provided a configurable way to strip out
> the features that aren't needed in particular situations (e.g. education).
> I think Firestorm provides skinning that can do some of this, but these
> viewers are still pretty oriented towards Second Life and so that stuff
> doesn't have much focus.  Making such a viewer is something I would do
> myself if I had double the amount of time I do now :)
>
>
> On 22/07/14 09:14, Tom Willans wrote:
>>
>> I agree with Justin about a big difference being to persistent metaverse
>> and longer term social dynamics, formation of identity etc. I suspect that
>> many educational uses think in one off terms eg a collaborative class in
>> business collaboration even if there is concern about reuse of assets o
>> reusable learning objects etc. Not the development of university, school or
>> wider social network. Most Unity examples are one off uses eg teach
>> sensitive sex education, help the emergency services learn to communicate
>> etc. rather than an ongoing world of Warcraft scenario.
>>
>> So one question is what is OpenSim used for?
>>
>> It is also a fact that OpenSim is tightly coupled with Second a Life, and
>> this is not unsurprising given its heritage and the vast, in comparison,
>> user base there and technical advice. There is of course the very tight link
>> in terms of viewer technology. It was this link that, in part, made me
>> choose OpenSim over Wonderland for instance. Whilst I predominately use
>> OpenSim now it is not on social grounds but as a platform.
>>
>> People do not want to use metaverses on the scale of other social media (
>> viewing opensim as a social platform) or remote communication platform e.g.
>> Skype meetings rather than OpenSim meetings.  I once suggested a meeting in
>> SL - might as well of mentioned someone has BO; move on quickly. OpenSim
>> also shares a lot with virtual reality platforms - I do hate that term e.g.
>> CAVE which like Unity tends to have a one off. The Rift is narrowing the
>> gap, and OpenSim/SL has been displayed in CAVE environments.
>>
>> Technologies such as the Oculus Rift and other potential haptic
>> technologies may have a impact. I had to halt my experiments for a while as
>> Cybersickness on the DevKit1 caused problems. Still the Rift did score
>> highly on presence questionnaires despite this, although the questionnaires
>> are only a part of the presence story.
>>
>>   The move to using multiple platforms, augmented reality is a challenge.
>> In a social environment I want to communicate wherever I go. I am tapping
>> away on my iPad, checked my emails on the phone and soon will start using my
>> laptop.
>>
>> Is it time to pull together these strands about what will make a better
>> OpenSim?
>>
>> I am not just talking about the technological issues, although these and
>> the formats are vital but also aspects relating to human factors, presence,
>> emotion, collaboration theory and of course standards formats as well as
>> it's uses above? OpenSim does have a divide between the platform and viewer
>> yet setting aside client/server and technical issues they are intimately
>> coupled as one.
>>
>> Oh if anyone knows has a financial viability/funding wand please let me
>> know ;)
>>
>> Tom Willans  BSc(Hons)  MBCS  CITP
>> PhD Student
>> Serious Games Institute, Coventry University
>> United Kingdom
>>
>> Managing Director Bessacarr Publications Ltd
>> +44 (0)121 288 0281
>> email: [hidden email]
>> skype: tom.willans
>> Second Life and OSGrid: Tom Tiros
>>
>>
>>
>> Sent from my iPad
>>
>>> On 22 Jul 2014, at 00:48, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I think that OpenSimulator and Unity have some overlap but not by a huge
>>> amount.
>>>
>>> My perspective is that the focus of Unity is very much on game
>>> development.  It gives you a good and flexible set of tools but you need to
>>> do a fair amount of work to plug them together or extend them to create a
>>> high fidelity (ha) product.  The focus is on creating a one-off experience,
>>> though the lines are blurring now that some games (e.g. Minecraft, DOTA2)
>>> are very long lived and keep receiving updates.  The experiences are high
>>> quality because they are quite tightly controlled.  High multi-user (let
>>> alone massive multi-user) has not been a focus area because this stuff is
>>> *hard* and nowadays not obviously a winning formula for gamers.
>>>
>>> For OpenSimulator, the focus and much of the raison d'etre is the unified
>>> and persistent virtual world.  Thus, it gives you a high level set of tools
>>> which are much less flexible (inventory, attachments, linksets, etc.) but
>>> because everyone has them it allows collaboration and content reuse at a
>>> high level (e.g. scripted objects, OARs).  Some games blur into this
>>> (Minecraft, etc.).  It's a free-form environment so there's a high degree of
>>> freedom but a lot that can go wrong (analogous to open-world jank) [1].  I
>>> see it as more web-like because the same high-level software is evolved over
>>> time with the hosted content changing.
>>>
>>> Moreover, there's a very high social focus through time.  Because the
>>> same high-level concepts are shared, there's more scope for network effects
>>> (esp. with the Hypergrid) but the technological base is much more primitive
>>> and relatively unexplored.
>>>
>>> So whilst I think Unity makes sense in many use cases, OpenSimulator is
>>> ultimately much more interesting to me (unsurprisingly) because it gives a
>>> glimpse into something radically new, a distributed, anarchic and evolving
>>> Metaverse rather than a single vendor game.
>>>
>>> I think there is vast scope for the OpenSimulator ecosystem to continue
>>> to evolve with features such as template objects, multi-level linksets, more
>>> intuitive viewers and to adapt to technological evolution as embodied by new
>>> hardware such as the Oculus Rift.  Because it's open-source, innovation can
>>> happen anywhere and without a single company's permission.  I believe the
>>> critical thing is that we arrive at protocols and formats that allow
>>> evolution by disconnected parties whilst still inter-operating with the
>>> existing system.  Again, it's a comparison with a web ecosystem that has
>>> extensible formats such as HTTP and HTML (insert a tag that a browser
>>> doesn't understand and it doesn't (usually) stop your whole page from
>>> rendering).
>>>
>>> However, arriving at these formats and solving other hard fundamental
>>> problems takes an enormous amount of time and effort, not only through
>>> writing code but also in discussion and co-operation between parties with
>>> different interests.  My hope has always been that the platform will become
>>> interesting enough to attract the critical mass of academics, enthusiasts
>>> and entrepreneurs who can generate the time and funding required.  To some
>>> extent this happened but not enough (as of yet) to win any significant
>>> attention outside of this niche.
>>>
>>> [1] http://www.giantbomb.com/open-world/3015-207/
>>>
>>>> On 21/07/14 16:43, Wade wrote:
>>>> This discussion has been the most enlightening  I've seen in a long
>>>> time!
>>>> Thank you everyone!
>>>>
>>>> My experience agrees that faculty don't generally want to learn 3D
>>>> content creation.
>>>>
>>>> Students are an interesting mix, and in high-stress programs also have
>>>> very little tolerance or capacity for steep
>>>> learning curves.
>>>> ===
>>>> *On simplicity *
>>>>
>>>> In terms of students building things that didn't exist,   maybe there is
>>>> a game-principle based sweet-spot,  because
>>>> it's clear from the numbers that tens of millions of people spend tens
>>>> or hundreds of hours with Minecraft.
>>>>
>>>> That suggest to me that students would love to co-create cool stuff, but
>>>> the interface for doing so needs to have an
>>>> extremely extremely simple /*starter subset*/.   I say "starter",
>>>> because gaming-principles also show that people who
>>>> stick around and pay for worlds like World of Warcraft*_like
>>>> challenges_*, or "unnecessary difficulties" as Jane
>>>> McGonigal's "/*Reality is Broken*/ - why Games make us Better and How
>>>> they can Change the World" book explains so well.
>>>> (Imagine the interest in golf if the average length from tee to hole was
>>>> ten feet, in a straight line, on a flat course,
>>>> and the hole was ten feet across.)    This is a great book, by the way,
>>>> and very eye opening and challenging a lot of
>>>> misunderstood concepts about "games", the nature and type of feedback
>>>> that works,  and why so many people voluntarily
>>>> spend so much time on them, that is directly applicable to building any
>>>> learning environment.
>>>>
>>>> For experienced builders (or those past their anxiety - resistance
>>>> stage), yeah,  prefabs in Unity are great!
>>>>
>>>> What is even better is that in Unity you CAN build/*hierarchical
>>>> objects,*/  then mix and match the parts.  In OpenSim
>>>> and Second LIfe,  once you put the wheels on the car and make a
>>>> link-set,  all traces of "wheel" are gone, and it
>>>> becomes absurdly difficult to go back and put different wheels on the
>>>> car if each wheel has 47 parts like spokes or
>>>> lugnuts.     You can approximate some of that capacity with "Builder's
>>>> Buddy" or other tools that let you rez an entire
>>>> multiobject scene with one click, but those are a true pain to load and
>>>> maintain.
>>>>
>>>> So,  whether it's Unity or OpenSim,  I think one thing that is needed
>>>> that is very hard to still see for Virtual reality
>>>> natives is exactly HOW SIMPLE the INITIAL interface has to be, so that
>>>> it is satisfying and rewarding to try to use for
>>>> a terrified newbie, peeking though the fingers of the hands over the
>>>> eyes.   So simple in fact that even a faculty
>>>> member might say "Oh heck, even I can do THAT!".
>>>>
>>>> ===
>>>> *On "weakest links" in collaborative environments*
>>>>
>>>> And both faculty and students are greatly upset by technological failure
>>>> where they are used to trivial behavior, such
>>>> as having voice working.   The collaborative environment is much harsher
>>>> than individual user environment since for
>>>> voice (or many other things) to actually be useful,  it has to work for
>>>> EVERYONE, not just most people.
>>>>
>>>> This is a feature of collaborative environments that I didn't realize
>>>> till Gary Olsen pointed it out.  A collaborative
>>>> environment can become a "weakest link" exposer, where everyone's
>>>> experience is limited by the least capable user.
>>>> This is one of the issues with, say, Electronic Health Records systems
>>>> that is underappreciated and distinguishes it
>>>> from, say,  a cloud-based spreadsheet.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Opensim-users mailing list
>>>> [hidden email]
>>>> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
>>> OSVW Consulting
>>> http://justincc.org
>>> http://twitter.com/justincc
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Opensim-users mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Opensim-users mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>> .
>>
>
>
> --
> Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
> OSVW Consulting
> http://justincc.org
> http://twitter.com/justincc
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users



--
Robert L Martin
_______________________________________________
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[hidden email]
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Re: Hoping for a fearless comparison of opensim vs unity 3D

John "Pathfinder" Lester
I'm late to the party here, but...wow.  This is the most interesting and enlightening discussion I've ever seen about the affordances of Opensim and Unity.  This thread needs to be referenced in a FAQ somewhere!

Fleep already nailed my own perspective on things.  

To contribute something of my own, I like the idea of trying to summarize the most unique and most important affordances of each platform in a single sentence.  Here's my attempt. 

Opensimulator: Collaborative in-situ content creation using atomistic building tools in an open source client/server environment that has the potential to grow into an interconnected constellation of mutliuser virtual worlds.

Unity: A game-focused development environment leveraging industry-standard content creation tools and programming languages to allow the deployment of single or multiuser experiences across as wide a range of platforms as possible.

- Pathfinder
 
John Lester on about.me
 
John Lester
about.me/pathfinder
 
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”  -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 3:37 PM, Robert Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
what i would like to see in a viewer is

1 the ability to disable loading of chunks (if i do not use the voice
parts let me not load them at all)

2 a way to load the stuff in your sight range FIRST (why are you
loading the ground texture when im at 20K altitude)

3 better support for small screens (hint im running on a netbook with
1024X600 screen)

4 this is a wild dream but an embedded "sandbox" sim with a single
hardcoded account would be grand.


i suppose the human kit is nice but 20 gigs?? i couldn't do that with
SoAS MakeHuman Gimp and Blender without having like 12 gigs of
content.
btw are we muggles going to get to play sometime??

On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM, Justin Clark-Casey
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> I wouldn't agree that people don't want to use virtual worlds as a
> communication medium.  I suspect it depends heavily on the context.  For
> instance, I'm currently involved with a student programme where many
> meetings are held in-world and there don't seem to be too many problems
> apart from occasional Vivox issues.  In another context, we hold in-world
> meetings all the time for OSCC planning and that seems to work pretty well -
> for instance I could post up performance report graphs in world without
> having to direct people to an external website.
>
> But I do agree that ease-of-use is a major issue.  I think it would be very
> interesting to see a viewer that provided a configurable way to strip out
> the features that aren't needed in particular situations (e.g. education).
> I think Firestorm provides skinning that can do some of this, but these
> viewers are still pretty oriented towards Second Life and so that stuff
> doesn't have much focus.  Making such a viewer is something I would do
> myself if I had double the amount of time I do now :)
>
>
> On 22/07/14 09:14, Tom Willans wrote:
>>
>> I agree with Justin about a big difference being to persistent metaverse
>> and longer term social dynamics, formation of identity etc. I suspect that
>> many educational uses think in one off terms eg a collaborative class in
>> business collaboration even if there is concern about reuse of assets o
>> reusable learning objects etc. Not the development of university, school or
>> wider social network. Most Unity examples are one off uses eg teach
>> sensitive sex education, help the emergency services learn to communicate
>> etc. rather than an ongoing world of Warcraft scenario.
>>
>> So one question is what is OpenSim used for?
>>
>> It is also a fact that OpenSim is tightly coupled with Second a Life, and
>> this is not unsurprising given its heritage and the vast, in comparison,
>> user base there and technical advice. There is of course the very tight link
>> in terms of viewer technology. It was this link that, in part, made me
>> choose OpenSim over Wonderland for instance. Whilst I predominately use
>> OpenSim now it is not on social grounds but as a platform.
>>
>> People do not want to use metaverses on the scale of other social media (
>> viewing opensim as a social platform) or remote communication platform e.g.
>> Skype meetings rather than OpenSim meetings.  I once suggested a meeting in
>> SL - might as well of mentioned someone has BO; move on quickly. OpenSim
>> also shares a lot with virtual reality platforms - I do hate that term e.g.
>> CAVE which like Unity tends to have a one off. The Rift is narrowing the
>> gap, and OpenSim/SL has been displayed in CAVE environments.
>>
>> Technologies such as the Oculus Rift and other potential haptic
>> technologies may have a impact. I had to halt my experiments for a while as
>> Cybersickness on the DevKit1 caused problems. Still the Rift did score
>> highly on presence questionnaires despite this, although the questionnaires
>> are only a part of the presence story.
>>
>>   The move to using multiple platforms, augmented reality is a challenge.
>> In a social environment I want to communicate wherever I go. I am tapping
>> away on my iPad, checked my emails on the phone and soon will start using my
>> laptop.
>>
>> Is it time to pull together these strands about what will make a better
>> OpenSim?
>>
>> I am not just talking about the technological issues, although these and
>> the formats are vital but also aspects relating to human factors, presence,
>> emotion, collaboration theory and of course standards formats as well as
>> it's uses above? OpenSim does have a divide between the platform and viewer
>> yet setting aside client/server and technical issues they are intimately
>> coupled as one.
>>
>> Oh if anyone knows has a financial viability/funding wand please let me
>> know ;)
>>
>> Tom Willans  BSc(Hons)  MBCS  CITP
>> PhD Student
>> Serious Games Institute, Coventry University
>> United Kingdom
>>
>> Managing Director Bessacarr Publications Ltd
>> <a href="tel:%2B44%20%280%29121%20288%200281" value="+441212880281">+44 (0)121 288 0281
>> email: [hidden email]
>> skype: tom.willans
>> Second Life and OSGrid: Tom Tiros
>>
>>
>>
>> Sent from my iPad
>>
>>> On 22 Jul 2014, at 00:48, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I think that OpenSimulator and Unity have some overlap but not by a huge
>>> amount.
>>>
>>> My perspective is that the focus of Unity is very much on game
>>> development.  It gives you a good and flexible set of tools but you need to
>>> do a fair amount of work to plug them together or extend them to create a
>>> high fidelity (ha) product.  The focus is on creating a one-off experience,
>>> though the lines are blurring now that some games (e.g. Minecraft, DOTA2)
>>> are very long lived and keep receiving updates.  The experiences are high
>>> quality because they are quite tightly controlled.  High multi-user (let
>>> alone massive multi-user) has not been a focus area because this stuff is
>>> *hard* and nowadays not obviously a winning formula for gamers.
>>>
>>> For OpenSimulator, the focus and much of the raison d'etre is the unified
>>> and persistent virtual world.  Thus, it gives you a high level set of tools
>>> which are much less flexible (inventory, attachments, linksets, etc.) but
>>> because everyone has them it allows collaboration and content reuse at a
>>> high level (e.g. scripted objects, OARs).  Some games blur into this
>>> (Minecraft, etc.).  It's a free-form environment so there's a high degree of
>>> freedom but a lot that can go wrong (analogous to open-world jank) [1].  I
>>> see it as more web-like because the same high-level software is evolved over
>>> time with the hosted content changing.
>>>
>>> Moreover, there's a very high social focus through time.  Because the
>>> same high-level concepts are shared, there's more scope for network effects
>>> (esp. with the Hypergrid) but the technological base is much more primitive
>>> and relatively unexplored.
>>>
>>> So whilst I think Unity makes sense in many use cases, OpenSimulator is
>>> ultimately much more interesting to me (unsurprisingly) because it gives a
>>> glimpse into something radically new, a distributed, anarchic and evolving
>>> Metaverse rather than a single vendor game.
>>>
>>> I think there is vast scope for the OpenSimulator ecosystem to continue
>>> to evolve with features such as template objects, multi-level linksets, more
>>> intuitive viewers and to adapt to technological evolution as embodied by new
>>> hardware such as the Oculus Rift.  Because it's open-source, innovation can
>>> happen anywhere and without a single company's permission.  I believe the
>>> critical thing is that we arrive at protocols and formats that allow
>>> evolution by disconnected parties whilst still inter-operating with the
>>> existing system.  Again, it's a comparison with a web ecosystem that has
>>> extensible formats such as HTTP and HTML (insert a tag that a browser
>>> doesn't understand and it doesn't (usually) stop your whole page from
>>> rendering).
>>>
>>> However, arriving at these formats and solving other hard fundamental
>>> problems takes an enormous amount of time and effort, not only through
>>> writing code but also in discussion and co-operation between parties with
>>> different interests.  My hope has always been that the platform will become
>>> interesting enough to attract the critical mass of academics, enthusiasts
>>> and entrepreneurs who can generate the time and funding required.  To some
>>> extent this happened but not enough (as of yet) to win any significant
>>> attention outside of this niche.
>>>
>>> [1] http://www.giantbomb.com/open-world/3015-207/
>>>
>>>> On 21/07/14 16:43, Wade wrote:
>>>> This discussion has been the most enlightening  I've seen in a long
>>>> time!
>>>> Thank you everyone!
>>>>
>>>> My experience agrees that faculty don't generally want to learn 3D
>>>> content creation.
>>>>
>>>> Students are an interesting mix, and in high-stress programs also have
>>>> very little tolerance or capacity for steep
>>>> learning curves.
>>>> ===
>>>> *On simplicity *
>>>>
>>>> In terms of students building things that didn't exist,   maybe there is
>>>> a game-principle based sweet-spot,  because
>>>> it's clear from the numbers that tens of millions of people spend tens
>>>> or hundreds of hours with Minecraft.
>>>>
>>>> That suggest to me that students would love to co-create cool stuff, but
>>>> the interface for doing so needs to have an
>>>> extremely extremely simple /*starter subset*/.   I say "starter",
>>>> because gaming-principles also show that people who
>>>> stick around and pay for worlds like World of Warcraft*_like
>>>> challenges_*, or "unnecessary difficulties" as Jane
>>>> McGonigal's "/*Reality is Broken*/ - why Games make us Better and How
>>>> they can Change the World" book explains so well.
>>>> (Imagine the interest in golf if the average length from tee to hole was
>>>> ten feet, in a straight line, on a flat course,
>>>> and the hole was ten feet across.)    This is a great book, by the way,
>>>> and very eye opening and challenging a lot of
>>>> misunderstood concepts about "games", the nature and type of feedback
>>>> that works,  and why so many people voluntarily
>>>> spend so much time on them, that is directly applicable to building any
>>>> learning environment.
>>>>
>>>> For experienced builders (or those past their anxiety - resistance
>>>> stage), yeah,  prefabs in Unity are great!
>>>>
>>>> What is even better is that in Unity you CAN build/*hierarchical
>>>> objects,*/  then mix and match the parts.  In OpenSim
>>>> and Second LIfe,  once you put the wheels on the car and make a
>>>> link-set,  all traces of "wheel" are gone, and it
>>>> becomes absurdly difficult to go back and put different wheels on the
>>>> car if each wheel has 47 parts like spokes or
>>>> lugnuts.     You can approximate some of that capacity with "Builder's
>>>> Buddy" or other tools that let you rez an entire
>>>> multiobject scene with one click, but those are a true pain to load and
>>>> maintain.
>>>>
>>>> So,  whether it's Unity or OpenSim,  I think one thing that is needed
>>>> that is very hard to still see for Virtual reality
>>>> natives is exactly HOW SIMPLE the INITIAL interface has to be, so that
>>>> it is satisfying and rewarding to try to use for
>>>> a terrified newbie, peeking though the fingers of the hands over the
>>>> eyes.   So simple in fact that even a faculty
>>>> member might say "Oh heck, even I can do THAT!".
>>>>
>>>> ===
>>>> *On "weakest links" in collaborative environments*
>>>>
>>>> And both faculty and students are greatly upset by technological failure
>>>> where they are used to trivial behavior, such
>>>> as having voice working.   The collaborative environment is much harsher
>>>> than individual user environment since for
>>>> voice (or many other things) to actually be useful,  it has to work for
>>>> EVERYONE, not just most people.
>>>>
>>>> This is a feature of collaborative environments that I didn't realize
>>>> till Gary Olsen pointed it out.  A collaborative
>>>> environment can become a "weakest link" exposer, where everyone's
>>>> experience is limited by the least capable user.
>>>> This is one of the issues with, say, Electronic Health Records systems
>>>> that is underappreciated and distinguishes it
>>>> from, say,  a cloud-based spreadsheet.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Opensim-users mailing list
>>>> [hidden email]
>>>> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
>>> OSVW Consulting
>>> http://justincc.org
>>> http://twitter.com/justincc
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Opensim-users mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Opensim-users mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users
>> .
>>
>
>
> --
> Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
> OSVW Consulting
> http://justincc.org
> http://twitter.com/justincc
> _______________________________________________
> Opensim-users mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://opensimulator.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users



--
Robert L Martin
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