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Why hasn't OpenSim taken off?


altinhiding
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Serious question, though I'm no technical expert. It just seemed to be logical to me that, by now, we'd see splinter groups taking what they want from the SL experience and recreating that on their own OS grids.

Say you had a ballroom where you wanted to ensure all patrons dressed correctly and tipped well, and had no interest in SL sex, RP, other sorts of club, breedables, etc. Wouldn't you consider opening a club like that on OS?

Similarly, some ppl log on just to partake in one activity - whether that's racing motorbikes, sailing, or having book group meetings. I'm surprised there aren't any OS destinations dedicated solely to any of these.

Also, in terms of gambling, I'd have expected some casino owners to set up OS venues where they can get round the LL ban. I imagine, at its more sordid, OS would also serve as an alternative venue for dubious / extreme sex clubs (say, a furry sex slave prison).

But OS doesn't seem to have done any of this, even though it's free. Why do you think this is? Just too much hassle and drain on PC resources? Or do people prefer the fact that SL has so many users? I still don't see why, say, an OS heavy metal club couldn't attract 20-40 regular users who could then start designing and making their own clothes, streaming music, using it as a regular social venue, etc. But it seems to me that SL remains "the only game in town".

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As both a SL minion & DJ and an OSGrid user, for me the bottom line is that i'm a social creature. I go where the crowds are. When I play on the OSGrid these days it's usually to experiment in building techniques. But that is even becoming anachronistic as SL maintains the more modern building options and the most advanced scripting options.

The lack of an universally accepted common Avatar Account ID system accepted by the various GRID providers surely has hindered the acceptance of the alternate GRIDs en-mass. This would make cross world/grid transporting a breeze. The lask of a universal currency is also a hindrance.

My love of fashion and music drives my social world. SL maintains the best options for both of these likes.

It's that simple for me.

 

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I'm likely going to annoy some people, but that never stopped me before. lol

 

To me, the bottom line is that all of OS is building on a seriously flawed base. Yes, LL is doing the same, and has done almost nothing to fix those flaws, but it still has less of them, and more people. No creator wants to create on a system with bugs everywhere. Some of these grids have been up for years, and yet none of them have a fully working AO system. NONE of them! Heck, I don't like dealing with SL's animation issues. That said, I am on a number of opensim grids. Every single 1 of them have contacted me, at some point, and every single 1 of them I had to beg someone to make a simple animation vendor.

Seriously, how can I spend my time on a grid where nobody running it cares much about animation, outsides of getting dances working. Do they not understand the importance of animations, and AOs? I mean, I get that LL's coders don't give a crap, which is why animation has been broken for so long, but you'd think someone starting another grid, and begging animators to come over, would have some clue that they should fix the animation system.

I'm working with 1 client, right now, which is starting her own specialized grid. When she first came to me, I told her no, I would not be helping her, cause there are too many issues, and nobody wants to fix them. She begged, and promised that she have her team work on things. Plus, she waved a bunch of money around. So, I'm in now, but she is getting a good taste of what I've been complaining about for almost a decade now.

IMHO, it would seriously be easy to out do LL, with their own code. You have to concentrate on content tho. Imagine if 1 grid made a good system for mesh clothing? Bang, instant success! How about an integrated AO, greeting, gesture, animation system, where it's all at your finger tips and built into the viewer, with every animation bug fixed? What about implementing custom skeletons, so they could have real NPCs walking around, and real animated wings on your back. Heck, custom skeletons would geek out many of us, especially if we could attach those custom rigs to our avatars. I could go on and on.

The focus tho, needs to be on the creators, and making a grid for creators. 1 certain grid, despite being around for a very long time, has no marketplace, no real advertising, and thinks forums are good for promotions. They got a rush of creators early on, but has done nothing to attract more since.

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But it has 'taken off' over and over again. Grids pop in to existance and vanish all the time. Some even manage to stick around, There are some with there own marketplace equivalents and even the 'second place' one is about to get its (second possibly third) user made attempt at one. And there is even a 'common currency'  plus for the h-grid types a general 'marketplace'. And there are numerous orgs making use of it (for this I will risk naming names and point out the MOSES project).

But ... how many people outside of SL users or those exposed via other means even know it exists? To judge by reading forums etc the various OS incarnations are places that exist solely to B word about SL - it gets dull rapidly :)

However despite its numerous faults SL actually manages to nail the big things even if only by accident (which includes stability and user base along with the T word)

Confession - I am happily active in a couple of others and do the odd hgrid trip and fire up my own simona derivative to play with every so often as its a great place to build stuff and experiment although my 81 sim personal dystopia will only ever appear if I get a couple of servers to run it on =^^=

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altinhiding wrote:

Say you had a ballroom where you wanted to ensure all patrons dressed correctly and tipped well, and had no interest in SL sex, RP, other sorts of club, breedables, etc. Wouldn't you consider opening a club like that on OS?".

Well here's how you create that experience in SL.

You open a ballroom where you state "all patrons must dress in <style>".  You eject non tippers (if that's what you believe makes it work. 

SL does not force people to have an interest in sex, RP, other sorts of clubs or breedables thus why would opening it on an OS grid location make the slightest difference?  It doesn't.  

The only reasons for people to champion OS are either for technical geekyness, "land is cheap", more prims per region.

If land price to make your ultimate region is so important, why even bother with an OS grid?  Just run a local region and build and live in isolation for no cost.  More prims?  pretty much the same reason.

If there's no customer base to speak of, no marketplace and little in terms of interaction then I can't think of any reason to be there.  I've created accounts on several of the alternate grids over the years, each promising to be better than SL but since they generally offer a more out of date experience and none of my inventory then nope, they don't gain traction.

Add in my same concerns that i've always had about assett security and I won't touch them from a merchant perspective.

Casino's though?  Why even bother with the technical uplift.  If someone wants to run an online gaming platform, it's far easier to host in a web page like everyone else, where there is a massive user base.  Pointless requiring anyone to install a niche viewer for a deserted platform *just* to gamble.

Basically, nothing else that you describe is solved by creating on an OS grid region.

SL has a user base and that's the key factor.

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OS is great for people who need a big, cheap sandbox to build and create on their own. But everyone else it has its downsides. Many enjoy the economy of SL. Being able to sell and buy on a huge market is a big plus for many, me included. Thats what keeps me here.

Also I don't think OS is a good alternative or even a needed alternative for sex clubs. The ToS allwos A LOT. So everyone who isn't interested in pixelsex with childavatars doesn't really need to go elsewhere. Also the owner of such a club also needs to either know how to build his toys and furniture or he/she has to know a person who they can hire for building, which doesn't really sound cheap to me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can think of two very obvious reasons:

  1. The OS Grid and the other smaller Metaverse grids holds absolutely no attraction whatsoever to people outside the established Second Life community.
  2. There aren't that many Second Life users who are so dissatisfied with SL and still so passionate about the Metaverse idea in general, they'd be interested in leaving everything behind and starting anew on a different grid.
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I agree with all the previous response. No other grid like SL has anywhere near our userbase, economy, and sparklies - meshes, animations, scripting & etc. When you can find pretty much anything you can imagine in SL & on MP, there is not a big drive to go elsewhere. Also, the reason we have more stuff than any other grid is ultimately because we have the most users, who put money into the SL economy.

Try spending a month or two in InWorldz and you'll see why SL is better. They have perfectly nice, creative, welcoming people, but they don't have our economy, so it's just a big sandbox. And it's not even a state of the art sandbox, because there is no incentive for creators to make new things there. Most either make the same old prim & sculpt builds they made 5 years ago in SL, or they bring copies of things they originally designed for sale in SL. 

SL also has room for all kinds of people, with all kinds of interests. There is no reason for a teddy bear tiny to run into a she-male stripper. On the other hand, if the person behind the avatar wants to play G-rated activities sometimes and Adult-rated activities sometimes, they're free to do that too. They can go to a ballroom or a sex club, surfing or shooting zombies. Real people have multiple interests, and SL lets us follow them all on one grid.

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In case anybody actually wants to create a new, really succesful, OS based virtual world, here's how:

First you need to make a brand new viewer.

The existing alternative grids all recruit their user almost exclusively from Second Life and that's simply not enough. You need to produce something that appeals to people who have never been to a virtual world before.

The viewer interface is crucial here. To an outsider the interfaces of the current viewers look amateurish, outdated, messy and rather unappealing, first impression alone must be enough to put many people off. And if they decide to go on, they have to figure out how it works and that's no small challenge, especially with no good tutorials available. Second Life actually has a very good welcome area now and that helps a lot. Even so, I'm convinced that the viewer alone is enough to drive nine out of ten newcomers away. The other grids don't even have good newcomer tutorials, so for anybody who stumbles into there without already knowing how to handle Firestorm or Singularity it's game over before it's even started. Something like SL's welcome area won't be enough anyway for a new grid. You'll have to design a viewer that looks much better and more modern and with an interface where reasonably intelligent people can figure out the basic functionality on their own.

 


 

Then you need content. We often hear that Second Life was built by happy amateurs. That's a truth with modifications. LL had a number of highly skilled professional content creators at the beginning. Eric, Cory, Xenon and Ryan (Ryan wasn't technically a pro but he was good all the same) - those were the guys who created the first incarnation of Second Life and they set a really high standard for the rest of us to follow. Linda Kellie set the standard for the other grids. Now, I'm a huge fan of Linda Kellie and I truly admire all the great things she has done for the metaverse. But even so, she's simply not anywhere near the skill level of those guys.

After the early content creators, there were lots of professionals and pro-level amateurs who came to explore this new virtual world. Their works became important parts of Second Life but perhaps more important, they kept the overall standard high, they inspired and above all, they taught. Not many professionals will come to Second Life now of course, not with the IP mess and the deflated rock bottom price levels here. But even today, many pros come from Second Life. This is where they learned the basics of 3D content creation and they leave their mark before they move on to more fertile fields and many of them still have enough good feelings for SL they come back every now and then sharing some samples of their works with us.

Today professional content creators tend to have a deep mistrust in metaverse grids and for good reason. IP protection in Second Life is rock bottom, IP protection at the other grids is way below that. To stand even the sligthest chance of attracting skilled professional and semi-professional content creators to a new grid, you have to do much better. You need encrypted cache files and you need strict control over any third party viewers (if you allow them at all) to keep hacked copybot enabled ones away. You also have to actively pursue IP violations. Complying to the minimum requirements of DMCA actually isn't enough there, you'll have to do much more. You're starting with a negative reputation, remember, so you have to prove beyond doubt that you're doing better than anybody else.

 


 

That's the narrow definition of content. But meshes and scripts and animations and textures and all that are just the buiding blocks. Very few people will come just to look at some great pieces of digital art or design. You need experiences too, games to play, clubs to socialize at etc., etc., etc. Who's gonna make that for you? Oh, and remember, one of LL's biggest failures is that they never found a way for experience creators to finance their works. I don't think anybody else has found a solution either, do you have some great idea there?

 


 

Sounds easy so far? It's just the start. People attract people and no matter how you look at it, you're starting with an empty grid. How are you going to attract enough people to start with to get the ball rolling? Oh, it can be done but it's not easy and you need a very good plan and execution to get over that hurdle.

 


 

Who's going to pay for all this btw? Servers are not free and no matter how enthusiastic you are, you will need a staff of people working full time to maintain and develop your vitrual world. There's just no way anything like that can be done as a hobby project.

 


 

And then there's the software. You can develop it all from scratch. It'll take a few years and cost a small mountain of dollars but it's probably still the easiest way. At least that's what Linden Lab seems to think and it's quite possible they know a thing or two about it.

The alternative is to use the OS grid software. It's free, open source and ready to use so it's a tempting option. But it won't do in the long run. It has to be rewritten bit by bit. Old, messy and outdated code will have to be replaced with fresher, leaner and cleaner software with lots of new modern features. And of course it will have to be done without breaking old content more than absolutely necessary. It is possible and it may well be easier to do with a brand new grid where you're planning for it right from the start. But it's not an easy task and although you don't have to do it all at once, you better get started asap and keep going at it.

 


 

Still want to create a truly succesful alternative grid? There are a few other challenges too of course but I don't want to discourage you so I think I'll leave them for later. :matte-motes-smile:

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Maybe I shouldn't reply to my own posts but another discussion here made me realize I had made a huge mistake:


ChinRey wrote:

...IP protection in Second Life is rock bottom, IP protection at the other grids is way below that...


 

Instead, read:

IP protection in Second Life is non-existent. (The other grids aren't worse of course - that simply wouldn't be possible.)

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ChinRey wrote:

Maybe I shouldn't reply to my own posts but 
here made me realize I had made a huge mistake:

ChinRey wrote:

...IP protection in Second Life is rock bottom, IP protection at the other grids is way below that...


 

Instead, read:

IP protection in Second Life is non-existent. (The other grids aren't worse of course - that simply wouldn't be possible.)

Let's face it.

When all is said and done there really is no IP protection on the Interwebs.

There are a few things that may act as hindrances to some people.  But like it has been said, "Locks only serve to help keep honest people honest.

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Perrie Juran wrote:

When all is said and done there really is no IP protection on the Interwebs.

There are a few things that may act as hindrances to some people.  But like it has been said, "Locks only serve to help keep honest people honest.

 Sad but true. Even so, they could have done much better than now and I really hope they will.

But we're way off topic. To sum that up: the reason why the OS based grids haven't "stolen" more users from Second Life is that they don't really have that much to offer that SL doesn't.

The reason why they haven't recruited users outside SL is that none of them have even tried. I've had a look at several virtual realities and virtual reality proejcts on the way, both SL/OS based one and others. It seems clear that with the possible (but highly unlikely) exception of Sansar, Second Life is still the only one with even the slightest hint of potential to ever become the virtual world for the millions Ebbe Linden once mentioned in another thread here.

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  • 2 years later...

It hasn't "taken off" because it is an experimental place, not a "real" social place.

Although there are NO worlds after SL, that stayed afloat or as good.  I am choosing to go to OSgrid for the peace and quiet, building, and not having people running around chasing you for sex, and it's too expensive.  

I like the fact that things are free, you can set up the size region you want for FREE, and do what you want!!  Why are people complaining about that?  It's a place to have FUN, not worry about making and selling product you cannot anyways there. 

The other Worldz are so small and worthless mostly, not worth going to, not any better than anywhere else.  Except for some "exceptionally" well done places to explore like "OUTWORLDZ"  Most are owner maintained, and thus sometimes frustrating and a headache, like "Inworldz" or "Craft World".

Annie

Edited by Kacie Zapedzki
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18 minutes ago, Kacie Zapedzki said:

I am choosing to go to OSgrid

Before your post, this thread was last posted to 2½ years ago.

Nevertheless, the question was about OpenSim, not OSGrid. OpenSim is the system that OSGrid grids run in, and is a reverse engineered version of SL.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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I have had several OpenSim standalones over the years.  They are fun to play about with but clearly they're not a social experience in the way that SL is.  Perhaps standalones are the real success of OpenSim, but they're hidden away on peoples' computers so they don't count in the user statistics.

Edited by Conifer Dada
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17 hours ago, Kacie Zapedzki said:

It hasn't "taken off" because it is an experimental place, not a "real" social place.

Although there are NO worlds after SL, that stayed afloat or as good.  I am choosing to go to OSgrid for the peace and quiet, building, and not having people running around chasing you for sex, and it's too expensive.  

I like the fact that things are free, you can set up the size region you want for FREE, and do what you want!!  Why are people complaining about that?  It's a place to have FUN, not worry about making and selling product you cannot anyways there. 

The other Worldz are so small and worthless mostly, not worth going to, not any better than anywhere else.  Except for some "exceptionally" well done places to explore like "OUTWORLDZ"  Most are owner maintained, and thus sometimes frustrating and a headache, like "Inworldz" or "Craft World".

Annie

 

necro.png

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18 hours ago, Kacie Zapedzki said:

I am choosing to go to OSgrid for the peace and quiet, building, and not having people running around chasing you for sex, and it's too expensive.  

You don't need to go to anyone else's grid for that. You can set your own grid up on your own computer, not connected to anything external, and do all the peaceful building you like without anyone chasing you for anything. That's what OpenSim is.

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The first time I tried a rather famous OS Grid... I logged in and found three immediate problems:

1. No neko kit available. And my attempt to make even a simple scripted tail reacted weirdly... LSL didn't do what it was supposed to.

2. All the skins were white people only.

3. There was nothing to wear that matched he fashions I was wearing back then.

 

When I tried some years later...

1. No good neko kit available.

2. All but one skin was white people only. The one skin looked low rez and tacky...

3. There was almost no fashion, and a no nudity policy... so I still had no options.

 

OS grids don't take off... because they haven't yet taken off... There's no content and no people...

And being the same 'monoethnic landscape' as SL, means it's not even different. It is just LESS of the same.

To compete with SL at this stage... you need to offer something DIFFERENT.

DIFFERENT doesn't mean "a bigger sandbox / spot of land"... Just because the first generations of Lindens thought the entire value of SL was in public sandboxes... doesn't mean they were right... Far from it I'd wager... So the big selling point for OS Grid is often "your own island"... but most people don't want to be "ALONE on an island"... Most people want a "scene" - something social.

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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Since the thread was raised from the dead... I play on a few other grids on occasion. I'd play more if:

  1. OpenSim didn't look like ass. There seems to be very little mesh available, so it looks like SL at launch. Some people like that, but as someone who knows what could be, wearing texture clothes and visiting hideous prim buildings doesn't interest me.
  2. It wasn't even more of a wasteland than SL. I think one of the grids I play on has thousands of people. I live in Asia, which means I will never see those thousands of people due to timezone differences. Of those I will see, only a small portion are interested in the things I want to do. I'm not super into dances, but that's really all that's going on.
  3. It wasn't as expensive. On the grids that don't look like ass and have good looking content, most of it is for sale. That's understandable, but I suspect a lot of people are hesitant to spend real world money on something that could go away in a week.
  4. It didn't take a week to load. All of the grids I play on are really, really slow. Small passion grids simply don't have the resources needed to have top notch servers, which means loading times are even worse than in SL.
  5. It was still supported. I understand that the physics engine for OpenSim is grossly outdated and not being actively developed. I'm not sure what that means, but a friend of mine who has been involved in the operations of a few grids, this seems to be a serious problem that decreases widespread adoption. He's told me that OpenSim is slowly shrinking (just like SL) rather than growing as an alternative to it.

Now, with that said, It's a pretty neat idea. Aside from archival possibilities (that we could continue having SL-like platforms after LL does shut the game down), OpenSim grids do have different rules and more flexibility, a bit more of a community, and DIRTY CHEAP land. It makes it very appealing to make roleplay sims or art projects because it is so much easier to make it semi-sustainable. Add to that the added flexibility (like higher group limits), and you could have an easier time with certain projects on OpenSim than in SL.

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