Yes, I know this isn’t VR, but it is a 3D social network, and it’s kicking VR’s putative butt.
The more I look around, the more I see that the next generation–integral to VR growth–is living in a gaming world.
Is it too soon/too late for VR?
I love HiFi, but I can’t get any of my friends to come, or to stay.
Is there something in this Social 3D world that we are missing?
Socialization can easily exist around a specific group activity. If you do bowling in a ligue you will certainly find there some opportunities to socialize.
That’s why it works well in Fortnite. The already had the group activity, then with a minimum of tool added, they enhanced it to support the social aspect.
But our case, what is that group activity that could polarize that socialization?
Hum… Creation ?
Of course it could be purely social dedicated. But that might require a critical masse of people to initiate a ‘social reaction’. A critical masse of people that we clearly don’t have. (It seems to be already mobilized on other platforms: SL and VRChat)
So let say that ‘creation’ or ‘building’ is what we mainly do. Can we say we do this activity in groups?
I don’t think its what is happening right now. This looks a lot like masturbation each one on its domains.
The model of one world a domain is a bit the problem. Yes, we can build with other people, but to be able to achieve that in a domain, this require that we already know some people. It’s like plugged upside-down to trigger socialization.
If we could start by participate to a common building, we would get in touch with other participants, and then the socialization could start to grow.
If we could plug our domain to participate to a larger and common project, that would maybe make a difference… Maybe.
Another issue is moving around in Hifi is… not great.
I am not refering to momentum, of course, but rather how you go from world to world. It’s heavily structured like a web browser, which is fine for some things, but as it stands it makes each world segmented from all others. Going from one world to the next almost always requires the use of GoTo, which I’ve already shared my opinions on about how not good it is.
In fact, a major point I’ll go ahead and just say is that all High Fidelity operated domains are perhaps the worst examples. TheSpot still has its old teleport point despite changing how teleports now work and all domains do not re-route back to their origins. What I mean is that if I go to Zaru (or whatever the new townhall meeting location is), there is no teleport point going back to TheSpot. This is a bit like going to a website, clicking on a page, and only being able to go back to the index by retyping the address of the site, so in terms of web design, the main domains aren’t even well linked.
Another thing to keep in mind with creation also boils down to accessibility. High Fidelity is not going to hold your hand in the slightest and insist that you become the master of setting up some kind of file host, be it S3 or otherwise. Don’t want to do it, then no real creation rights to you. There are primitives, but you can only have so much fun with them until you wonder at what point can you make a basic wooden bridge. Almost all scenery in Hifi is built out of models, and those models require modeling experience and patience with the wonky import stuff, so both beginners and exports have issues on many fronts in regards to this. Want to build a snowman? Have fun hosting it and hoping you had the scale right. Want it to look good? Good luck making Hifi render like Blender (hey, that rhymed!).
Finally, I’ll just conlude with this: A key difference between High Fidelity and Fortnite is one is inherently fun and the other can house it. What I mean is that the primary way Fortnite works is that is a game by nature, but does the best with what it has. High Fidelity is an engine that could house fun things to do, but honestly hasn’t done so in awhile. Remember the bowling game? Ping pong table? Magnet cubes? The weird castle things? Basket ball? Frisbees? So much focus has been done on complex things that it overshadowed simple ones that used to work back then. Despite my efforts, I can’t find them anymore and it’s a real shame. The tease is that TheSpot’s new area has a bowling alley in it and yet cannot be used. Honestly, that’s a missed opportunity to make use of the expansion. Want to play bowling with friends? Just walk to the bowling alley and the door is a teleporter much like how BodyMart was to AvatarIsland.
At this time, the only things you can honestly do in High Fidelity is create, which it can be fun for some but isn’t inherently fun. Fortnite is also about creation as a mechanic and works with it to be inherently fun. Creating a castle in Hifi? Blender, Substance, upload, yay? Creating a castle in Fortnite? Make, fun!
A good chat system and IM system. So people can communicate and call each other. There’s no way to communicate in high fidelity. Except voice that people not always can or want to use. And yes, high fidelity keep,putting head in sand about this.
A multitasking user interface. That tablet is freaking annoying. Especially when building. You can still not build and adjust volume or chat without losing your build work. Dump that whole tablet in desktop mode. Improve it in VR.
It’s way to complicated ir impossible for people to have a domain. There’s no option like secondlife that you rent a sim (domain) and your ready to go with at least 20 avatars for 15 dollar (+/-) It’s a big problem for people to run it them self.
The controls are still terrible, the assignment on the xbox controller is very bad. We need customization. Also fir keyboard.
There’s no parcel zone and permission system. So it’s hard fir people to share a domain without bug drama. To get people together on a domain you need to create a reason. And your own piece if land is ine. Next to text chat and IM. And option that people can rezz things but not move items from others.
Bandwidth and system requirements. It’s a bug problem.It did feel ok in high fidelity, until the did put that loading screen in and did go the sansar way. Now it’s loading slow.
There’s more but not much else get in my mind, excelt that desktop mode need much more attention. People nit go wear all the time a VR set. At least not me and enough others think the same.
This one I used to be an advocate of but I also see why they refuse to implement it. It boils down to creating two kinds of communities then: people who use voice and not chat and people who use chat and not voice. Chat in VR is a royal pain in the *** even with the upgraded keyboard system. The TTS system was a bit of a middle ground but at the same time voice isn’t always an option, so I can still see the need for some kind of text communication.
Oh trust me, this one I am in full agreement with. While we’re at it, can we remove the abomination that is the logout/login button in the upper right corner? I can only think of it being used once to log in then never again. Move the MENU button to there or something.
In fact, let’s go deeper. The tablet is a mess. Period. A major reason I don’t want to release any of my apps on the marketplace is because of concern that any attempt of adding an option to hide the button and thus hide the required interaction screen will have it be rejected. The tablet’s screen is in dire need of a diet and the option to finally hide and show tablet buttons instead of leaving it up to designers to risk their own item being removed to meet public demand of something that honestly should be implemented in the first place.
All of this is fitting considering its designed off the iPad and guess how long it took for it to get multitasking?
Uh… actually you can do that. Granted, they need to take better care of it, but the cloud domains for non-power users is fairly nice. If anything, they’re better than most Second Life stuff since you can rent the domain for however long you need it and toss it away when no longer needed. I would say you can do this more effectively with AWS, since you can just turn the server off and stop being billed, but either way.
One thing that could be helpful is an option for domain owners to download an ‘app’ to manage their domains. What I mean is for a super simplified domain management screen designed just for the tablet’s use (the current UI falls apart when it comes to user management). This way, upon starting their new domain, operators can easily add a new app to their system that activates when in that domain and adds a new management button to the tablet. Just a thought.
Customization of controls? You mean the thing they promised ages ago and instead just forced a new control scheme on everyone and said “oh, by the way, become a 1337 coder and code up something new if you don’t like it?” Yeah, I completely agree and am still admittedly salty that this rug was pulled out from everyone’s feet. Yeah, the community can fix it but…
… I only got about half of this, so I’ll go from there. I think what really needs to be better explain is the filter system and good security practices for domain operators. The fact I have a library of commands designed for doing security debug on a domain is just silly but is a sad reality considering all the flaws found so far. I won’t go into detail about them, but it does bring up concerns regarding allowing interaction without compromising security, and the more it is looked into, the harder it gets.
TL;DR: Rezzing zones are possible but the problem is keeping it beefed with security to prevent abuse, mostly due to a lack of a permission system.
Bandwidth, yeah, but not just bandwidth but related: caching. Seriously, the caching system in High Fidelity is so brutal and clumsy it’s out of this world. I already reported the KTX cachcing issue, but considering that High Fidelity mostly uses web requests for getting information, what blows my mind is that it doesn’t acknowledge basic HTTP caching rules. Scripting, modeling, virtually everything in High Fidelity would be much easier if the client just looked at the last modified date, compared it to its own cache, and just went on its marry way. Instead, we have “cache busting” as a term and it isn’t a good one.
In regards to the loading screen, I’m very glad its gone (hopefully for good). It was something in good faith, but in the long run, the fact that no tools were really made to help optimize domains other than baking everything and the fact that like most things it was prone to glitching (and loading forever). It felt rushed and if you dived into how it all worked, it shows.
But here’s the biggest thing I will state now:
The community isn’t the solution to everything.
Yes, can the community solve issues that happenned on the loading screen? Can the community make some things better? Can the community just have a chat script in each domain if they want chat to be available (oh, hello support.js, how have things been?)? Yes, and yes, but want to know what the community doesn’t always have? Time and patience. Could I solve a good chunk of issues listed above? Could I (or anyone) make a UI system that made domain operation like changing a Wifi password on your phone? Sure, but it is going to use a lot of time and may not even work in the end.
While the last meeting felt like the first time the dev team felt open to everything, it is also a bit late and the constant interruptions from the “new users” (who apparently keep calling everyone their n*******) I think shows a fitting situation on how things are. There have been so many people who came in before, saw the way things were, and left it at that. While the number has gone up more since the addition to the Oculus store, how much of those new people have honestly stayed? It’s great to have people come in and look around, but if their stay is only 5 minutes, then that really isn’t saying much.
Right now, High Fidelity needs a hook that isn’t the marketplace, and the sadder thing is that most of it existed but then faded away. The attachments for the woody avatar? There did they go (and no, I don’t mean the small selection at BodyMart, I mean the entire selection from the video in the old welcome hanger and circle)? The bowling ally in Voxeltopia? Ping pong table from the hanger? The magnetic blocks (also from Voxeltopia)? A huge showcase of interaction and things to do just disappeared without a trace and they were one of the few things of interaction that were still available.
That would be free with nested domains. You cut the parent link and problem is solved
In any case, the challenge will be regarding the limit in load that you allow to each participants. otherwise it might become a monster of lag. We do need a way to control the object that must be visible from outside a zone (or a domain) and a warning mechanism.
Altspace VR unfortunately has very simple avatars. But I was more or less pushing functionality and ease-of-use. You can look at all of the popular VR apps on the market right now and what functions people seem to gravitate towards. Mainly in Social VR. Big screen has always been popular with screen sharing and debility to watch videos and watch others play games. Altspace with the ability to easily watch videos and simple games that can be played while having conversation or provoke conversation. Vrchat has fun games to play with others and it’s ease of use. Vrchat mostly seems to have gained favor in The Gamer community. High Fidelity and sansar both seem to be having the same issues. Fast turnover. Planers quickly become bored or dissatisfied and look for greener pastures. They both have difficult user interfaces. They both have similar lack of entertainment. Prematurely entertainment that can be done in small groups whenever people want. They both have marketplaces unfortunately at a time where there is a major push back against microtransactions in games. Fallout 76 for example. And in a time where there are plenty of free 3D models on the internet.
In the end High Fidelity needs to have a hook. One that is powerful enough to overcome the difficulties and cost of using a platform like it.
I’ve only been saying this for awhile now! The bigger issue is that Hifi wants to push itself as a marketable system yet is still in beta stages. As a result, things are changing a lot and this puts added demands for marketed goods. Do I need to repeat the tragedy that was the Wardrobe app?
As per my earlier post:
Instead, all focus is basically to events where things are given away. Sure, that will drag people in, but for reasons only temporary. The most common question I hear on every session is “What is there to do here?” and creating stuff is fun for 5 minutes until you wan to actually do something.
What should be pitched and backed are projects that expand that area and give people things to do. Bring back the bowling alley. Bring back the ping pong table. Heck, bring back soccer (football)! At least then desktop users can somewhat play. Heck, just put a basketball hoop in the spot with a basketball that can only be used in that area. People would go crazy with that.
You know, when I look at what’s trending on Twitter—despite all the insanity in the world—it’s usually sports! Now, I am not a big sports fanatic, but it’s evident that the world loves sports. Sports are a wholesome way to bring people together (yes, I have been at beer-fueled matches, but overall wholesome).
Thus, I agree with this. Bring in things people can do together. For me, if we had regular movie or performance events, I would like that. The one problem with performances in HiFi is that it’s hard to have a conversation while they are ongoing. One thing that I always likes about SL was that I could chat with the folks in the audience while watching the show, or dancing, or having a private convo with someone else.
I would say. Look at the development of games from yesteryear. Especially 8-bit games. The Developers had to seriously look at the platform they were developing for. See what they were able to use. Sometimes just Sprites. The amount of memory they were able to do that in. And they made some of the most memorable games ever made.
Look at high fidelity positives and negatives. It is decentralized. Think outside the box. About things you can do inside the sandbox.
Well, here were some things I was working at one point before something came up that made development not worth it and I dropped the project:
Ski ball: dropped due to physics being crazy
Wack-A-Mole: dropped due to… eh, just lost interest
Card engine (for card games): Just couldn’t fully grasp server scripts. I could revisit this but I’d rather focus on something else
Air Hocky: Because there’s no way to lock an object to a specific axis. Also…
The other issue is that working with a ‘don’t have to worry about creation permissions’ is just a pain as well as just dealing with other projects. If I purely focused on these projects, things like the footstep script, spawn spacer, broadcast to tablet/marketplace would just not be finished.
The DJ booth components turned out really good. Do you know if any of that has been released. It’d be interesting if all these parts were put together into your own DJ Studio. With records you can play. That are free license. And set up so you can film yourself and put it on YouTube. Maybe even talk to that person working on shaders. Where you cannot only change an ad lasers and Fire effects. You can change the Skybox two different shaders with different buttons. Most of these components already exists.
Not 100% sure what you mean, but if you mean integration with devices like turntables, I was poking with my Hercules DJ equipment and was able to get light syncing working between VR and the actual world.
Otherwise, something I mentioned in the past, which would make any DJ happy, would be a way to have an avatar agent act as the stream source so they could do whatever in world but have the audio stream connect to a second source. This way, their audio doesn’t have to be intermixed with the music audio on the same channel. Not to mention, if you could have several avatar agents dress as speakers, you could simulate stereo audio like an actual performance. If an avatar agent can connect to an audio device, this would get initial stuff going but getting rid of latency.
I was thinking mono audio injectors. Either when your hand entered an object or unclick. Simple fully in-game interface. No external components necessary other than VR gear and hand controllers. Do it the same way they have it set up in Rust. Make records that you can put on a turntable in game and when the record is on the turntable and you put your hand on the play button it will grab the user data and play that song as a audio injector. that free license song is playing. You can change the lighting add effects and change the Skybox by moving your hand through each of those different boxes. Record yourself as a DJ put it on YouTube. Or invite your friends over and play music for them.