I think this alternate learning sandbox is a BAD idea. What possible reason is there for this? It will only make the entry into HiFi even more confusing then it already is for non technical people who enter for the first time. I would put this in the category of BUG. I spent a day trying to figure out why I couldn’t rez an environment from the store there. There was no indication I wasn’t in the standard learning sandbox!
I’ve got over 20 years in a technical field and work with people on computers daily. I can tell you that one thing I’ve learned is that you have to keep things simple for people. HiFi is way to complicated for a casual user. A new user won’t understand the concept of a sandbox. To them, this is HiFi! This is the world they first encounter and it should be a GREAT experience.
My recommendation is to make the “Desert Oasis” the first place people see in their sandbox. It’s visually stunning. Put one of the teleport portals in it from the learning environment for people to find. Create another domain and call it “Learning Environment” or something else telling. Put another portal that leads to it in the HUB as you do for other demo worlds you have. Then put it in the “GOTO” menu under places.
As for the sandbox, at least make places for people to sit and gather. One of the first things you want is for new people to figure out is how to invite their friends and family. You should encourage this behavior from the beginning. Once they have found this incredible new world they will want to tell others to download it so they can invite them to hang out. Do this and HiFi will become the viral social VR HiFi desires to be.
Building, scripting and development is last thing people are thinking about when they first visit HiFi. Only veterans from Second Life or Sims think about this. Yes HiFi will need builders but lets not sacrifice the HiFi user base to get to that point.
At any time when I look at the “GOTO” menu from the available places to go it appears that there are very few people using HiFi. You should count the number of active interfaces and put that number in the “GOTO” menu. People aren’t going to want to use a social VR where there are no people and the perception is that there are very few people to meet in HiFi.
Perception is reality, especially in VR. Put that on a card and place it on the desk of every HiFi employee.
As a first time builder it annoys me that I have to delete the learning environment to start building. You should put an alternate builder sandbox under the Edit ribbon toolbar options. You could call it “Blank Slate” or something descriptive. This should be a blank slate where people can build. The “Create Tools” hud should open by default when people enter this builder sandbox. You should also put an option in the “Create Tools” hud above “OPEN THIS DOMAIN’S ASSET SERVER” that presents the blank slate sandbox option.
Lastly, since I realized there were actually two versions of the sandbox, it would be nice to use this feature to leave your “Home” untouched as you edit and experiment in the “Blank Slate.” This way people don’t have to sacrifice their current sandbox while they experiment. Perhaps there should be an “Apply” button or feature under the “Edit” ribbon bar that can apply the Blank Slate to our sandbox once we are happy with the new world we have built.