Immersion, Travel, and Teleportation


#1

I’ve been reading through the alpha forum for a while now, but this is my first time posting. First of all, I must say that it is an honor to help build the foundations of this virtual universe with you all. The purpose of this post is to open a discussion in regards to how we travel between different locations or servers in High Fidelity, and it’s effect on immersion. Currently, the method in place to get from one place to another mirrors Second Life, where there are no restrictions and instantaneous teleports. This method made Second Life feel more like a thousand disjointed chatrooms than a connected virtual reality, and I fear that HiFi might fall into this same trap. Our goal should be to make the world seem interconnected, like an actual universe that you can fluidly and seamlessly move through, rather than just a serverlist. Teleporting without explanation breaks immersion, and reminds you that you are playing a game. This also goes for people popping in and out of reality around you. I have a few ideas on how to alleviate this issue, and I’d love your input on any of the ideas. I’d also love to hear your own ideas, or any input on the topic of travel between worlds and immersion in general.

1. The Gate Method: Using a similar method to a direct teleport, but using an intermediary step after inputting an address by opening a portal to the destination that the player would walk through. This would have the advantage of not breaking immersion for either you or anyone watching you. It would also act as a link between the two worlds that people could follow you through, depending on the personal security preferences of the user and his gates. For instance, a person could allow only people on his friends lists to follow him through gates he creates, or they could set how long the gates last after he’s gone through. This would also give people on the destination world a plausible explanation to why someone who was not there before to be there now, after seeing a gate open, and a person walk through, thus not breaking immersion. This gate could either look like a white rectangle (Ex. Gman from Half Life) or even a portal that you can see the destination through, like in the game Portal. This is probably my favorite idea from a practical standpoint.

2. The TARDIS Method: If you’re unaware, the TARDIS is a fictional spaceship that has the insides and outsides in different dimensions. The exterior of the ship looks like a four foot wide, four foot wide, eight foot tall blue box. Upon entering the box, you find yourself in an extremely spacious interior. This ship can dematerialize from one location, and dematerialize in another. This could be a method of giving players home servers that they can take anywhere they go. Imagine a person chooses a doorway for the entrance to their “TARDIS” and once you walk through that door, you appear in a log cabin, or a spaceship, or a crypt. Whatever the player has built. This would act as a players home base, and no one would have to pay for land because the server would be run from their own computer. They could use this hub as a method of traveling anywhere in the universe.

3. The Teleport Hub Method: This method simply states that a player would have to locate a teleport hub to transport themselves between worlds, and they would only be able to access hubs that they have permission to teleport to. Imagine a telephone booth. You walk in, punch an address into the keypad, and you’d be teleported to another hub. Players could charge to teleport to certain hubs on their servers, like a nightclub for instance. There are major shortcomings to this method, and it might become more of a restriction than it’s worth, as each world would have to be equipped with these booths. Though, each booth would function the same way no matter how it is made to look, and a server owner could design their own booth to match the theme of the server. (Ex. If it’s a wizard themed world, the person would appear in a puff of smoke on top of a rune drawn on the ground).

4. The Gadget Method: This is the simplest method to implement. The main purpose would be just to give an explanation as to how the player is teleporting to try to maintain immersion. This could be achieved by simply giving each player a Pip Boy like wrist computer that you would input the address into, and you’d disappear in a puff of electric smoke. If you’ve seen Doctor Who, it would be like the Vortex Manipulator. This could also be achieved in many other ways, like a wizard could cast a spell to make them teleport, for example.


#2

Hi Doctor,

Freedom in teleportation types has my preference
Sometimes it’s just easy to be albe to quickly move to another location just be choosing one of your favourites links

But it certainly makes a big difference in the overall immersion when teleporting via a Gate / Tardis etc
For sure when hopefully next year I will have my HMD and stepping into a Gate for example

In different areas different teleport types available

So on a private hosted area the owner has the right to config it
Like in some parcels flying is not allowed

There can be some public branded teleporting systems maybe
As a world owner you can hook on to the standard type teleport hub but this is always on a fixed location
You have to walk / fly to it to be able to use (your no 3 example)

In some area’s I then would not able to use my Tardis / Gadget but that’s ok: it’s their policy

Also have a look at the Transfer Station solution from Kitely

In Ready Player One I remember teleporting in general was not free and high speed - ultra distance teleporting costs even more Oasis credits
Well I hope that’s not the way we are going

Anyway: interesting topic and it will help to start thinking on some fundamentals regarding this subject

/ a bit related but maybe worth a specific topic
Do we need a world map ?

And which form: the world directory as a flat webpage with different search entries … functional but boring :wink:
Or a 3d- webgl enabled nice rendered representation with a thesaurus which falls back to a responsive page on tablet / smartphone /


#3

right now you can also drag and drop any photo you take onto Interface and you will be taken there. e.g. try this photo https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/highfidelity-public/cozza13/hifi-snap-by-chris-on-2014-06-24_12-10-01%407869-65_1466-99_6484-82.jpg


#4

Jst my pennyworth - I think having a picture and just be taken there is the coolest way to travel ever devised yet.

Like ‘choose your holiday destination’ - hey presto ! you’re there already! Love it !


#5

Finds the Tardis method somewhat unreliable and liable to to land you amid some drama


#6

@Judas it’s not Sexy’s fault that she can’t teleport where she needs to… She’s a bit malfunctioned and needs a little loving is all. :smile:


#7

There’s another dimension in which one could possibly move, inner space.

We could gather 20 people around a table with a 1 meter cube on it. Once everyone arrives you all shrink down, enter the cube and party for an hour.


#8

now that sounds amazing… cant wait to try it


#9

Honestly, the teleport hub and portal things were done in SL many many years ago and did not work. What it did was make the land around these telehubs turn into gold because people had to walk past them to get anywhere. This was a very bad idea from the get-go and old timers say it was the best thing they ever did to allow point to point TPs.

Without point to point TPs, there will never be hunts in HF. Hunts require a point to point TP to make them work and they are critical to many stores in SL to bring in traffic. The search and advertising system in SL is so badly broken that it’s a necessity to run hunts. Look it up - there are hundreds of them going at any day of the week, any season.

What HF does need is a MAP and a telephone diirectory type system for looking up names and parcels. Know your friend’s name? Then find him via a directory that lists his holdings and how he’d prefer being contacted. List the coordinates of the holdings and cross reference these with shops and brands so that they can be found even if they move.

Also my two cents. Paying credits for voxels is a dumb idea. It didn’t work in SL 11 years ago, and it won’t work in a new hightech world either. All you need do is talk to someone who has remained in SL since it’s inception. People will buy credits or work for them and the only thing they want to do with their quatloos is buy new avatars and cool guns and houses and stuff.


#10

You have a point. Plus, players could get stuck somewhere if point to point teleportation wasn’t available. The teleportation hub idea was pretty much taken straight from Ready Player One, and I only mentioned it as a potential option. The main purpose of my suggestions were to connect the worlds together with means other than just Point-to-Point teleportation, and make teleportation a less jarring experience for a VR user. I still believe in the portal idea, but the portal can be opened at any point in HF rather than at only designated points like if we went with the TARDIS method, which would require a sort of parking lot.

I think it should all really boil down to personal choice. We should begin to develop the functionality for a few different teleportation methods, and give the user the choice to use whatever is most comfortable, or fun, for themselves. Which reminds me, is there any possible way to allow users to look through an opened portal? Theres a VR web browser called [Janus VR][1] that accomplishes this very well, but doesn’t have a multiplayer aspect that HF could provide. The ability to open a portal anywhere, and be followed through it by your friends to some other location would be infinitely more sociable than coordinating teleports. Plus it would look awesome.

I also agree that we do need a world map, and I sort of have a basic idea of how it might work. You know how there are some locations in SL that you can directly fly from one to another? Well, we could do something similar in HF. Basicly, the world map would be more like a universe map, with a 3D interface of thousands of points floating in space. Some would be connected like stars on a constellation map indicating that those locations are connected, and you can fly directly from one to another, like if two servers wanted to share a landmass, but split it in half. There would also be a system directory, and when you select a system, you could get a local directory of the different servers with information like current population, latency, size, server name, server address, etc. You could also have a separate directory for retailers, that would give you information like store ratings, how much money is spent on average per day, activity, how recent it was updated, ect. It will all come down to data organization, and polished user interfaces to make the search system simple and useful for the average user.

I also agree that people shouldn’t be charged for voxels, or any other method of content creation. Having to pay to be someone who’s actively creating content (Like having to pay a fee to upload data like a mesh or texture) only goes to discouraging users from building the world. That goes for servers as well. If you want to build a house, you shouldn’t have to pay for land and building materials, you should be allowed to host your own server and build it for yourself. You should also be allowed to pay someone to live in a house on their server, but not have it be the only option.
[1]: http://janusvr.com/


#11

Having the ability to run a portal or a Tardis or whatever you want should be allowed. I can think of any number of RP situations where immersion in the theme would benefit from portals. I’m a merchant in SL - that’s why I’m there, and life for me is basically work, work, and more work building, doing photoshop, handling customer questions and problems and managing my business. I don’t RP cause I don’t have time. A new world would have to allow me to do business as usual, and P2P TPs are a tool that I’d need everyday.

We do need a map. The landmark system of SL fills inventories with useless landmarks that don’t work because people have moved their shops and homes. Any new system would have to have a fluid, constantly updated database of locations to make shopping easy and quick. Commerce runs SL, and without it you can have all the shiny you want and nobody will come.

I enjoy these blue-sky flights of fancy. There is a place for idealism in creating a world, but we all know that hard-bitten veteran VR users will come with the sole purpose of gaming the system. Give them a search system, they’ll figure out how to game it. Give them land rights, land barons will arrive to snap it up and resell it as ruthlessly as we step on a bug. Allow them to earn credits by lending CPU, and thousands of Chinese servers will appear and money will be exchanged. Copybot will reappear, griefers will disrupt services. Communities will form in spite of all these things. This is not going to be easy or quick nor full of rainbow unicorns.