Hi Fidelity - The Backdoor

Open Sim  --- Second Life

I joined the Hi Fidelity Alphas when the call came. I got into world and explored and found a couple of very impressive builds -- way beyond "alpha" expectations. True, there was no physics yet, so you walked THROUGH stairs rather than up them, but still lovely and many possibilities are evident.

There are (or appear to be at this point) some security concerns for content creators. The forums concurred with my reading of the Google docs. So for those of you familiar with OpenSim, Hi Fedelity appears to be based on the "Free Meta" concept.

When the phrase "3D web" was mentioned, they were not kidding. Most anything you can see on the web, you can take. The theme seems to run true with Hi Fidelity. Now things COULD change, and perhaps if the "I don't care  -- I give my stuff to the world" concept doesn't entice folks over, it may.

Still, there are plenty of people working at HiFi in the alpha state. I hang around the forums and read the posts -- most which are WAY over my head technically. Since I am now a seven month citizen of OpenSim  -- a Canadian grid on the Hypergrid which means lots of travel, I understand the concept,  but again "security concerns". I can see that some folks certainly will be willing to share their designs. After all, I give away thing to the "Free Meta" too. But long time making a living with my virtual products folks may balk at the exploit possibilities.

There has been a lengthy discussion over at Opensim Virtual (a Google+ group) about security and exports and the hypergrid. It has been a good one and I am pleased it will remain on my Google+ page for historical reasons. Most folks there believe in the "free" concept and so it is likely that Hi Fidelity will find its audience.

One thing of interest that I read on the HiFi forums this eve concerned avatars. Someone wanted their SL avatar in HiFi. You actually can build whatever you can imagine it seems -- if you have the skills. So it is possible if you want to take the time and effort.

We get SO attached to "ourselves" it is funny. I am in that camp, but still it amazes me. It seems to me that PART of the key to getting folks to accept a new world is to be able to take some of "yourself" along with you. There are many mentions of "ten years of this look", "Maitreya body" (I get that one) etc.

The Next Generation promises a "better avatar". Is that better than Maitreya? Wow if that is true. But at the same time, "better" needs to stay in that comfortable and familiar zone, at least that is the message I am getting from reading posts in many forums.

By the time the new year rolls around we may have a clearer picture of what the new platform will be like -- here's hoping.

Mesh Content Creation in SL 2.0 Next Gen

NOTE that there are very differing reports relating to the info I referred to earlier. I have not found THE SOURCE of this info although I have been looking. So when found (hopefully) I will reference.  

MEANWHILE, my personal thought is that while those with Maya abilities will be FIRST on the scene simply for convenience of using the same program as The Lab, those using other programs will have the ability LATER. That only makes sense. Any other choice certainly seems to be retail suicide and since some sort of "tax on goods" is on the table, definitely not a smart move.


After some research I found the original talk that folks were reporting on, or in some cases misreporting.  So, I suggest that if you are interested you listen for yourself.  The 39 minute mark starts the info on the new platform. The YouTube link is here.

Mentioned in the talk, INWORLD BUILDING TOOLS are in the plan -- reported as NOT being a feature by someone :D.   3rd party tools integration is high on the list as is "easier dressing" (had to smile at that).  After the initial ALPHA stages, other third party 3D tools WILL BE SUPPORTED. 

A new program of AutoPay is in the works so that money can move out of Second Life  "in hours rather than days".   Lots of testing in the works apparently. 

Identity Crisis

Info on the status of The Next Generation SL (2.0) is pretty sketchy these days. I have found some breadcrumbs but nothing that I can call "facts".  

If you missed Inara Pey's article from last month (and I did) it is well worth a look, INCLUDING the comments (always interesting if seldom always accurate :D). 

I do have a couple of thoughts on the responses to her well thought out and documented post.  They are simple and I will be brief (well for me).

OpenSim cannot compare with Second Life except perhaps for Windlight settings and framerates. Honestly, there is VERY little content. There are definitely some good designers in OS, scattered amongst the grids with many on their own grid. But while they (and I) make our content and our own world, much isn't available to the general populous. 

It is very much (VERY MUCH) like going back in time to early SL days. So you have a $5 a month sim (I do), BUT unless you can make your own goods, it cannot compare to Second Life.  I have a tiny wardrobe there and still probably one of the best in OS. 

Kitely is filling a gap nicely and some mesh clothes and hair makers have put up goods for export, HOWEVER --- the people complaining about costs should note that those really nice items can be up to ten times the cost of the equivalent in SL.  So, cheap land? Little and very expensive good content. It is a trade off. For some folks it works; for others it would definitely not. 

And now to what my post was going to be before I found Inara's article.

[Note: photo of new skin and info removed by request of the creator. Sorry as this makes less sense :D ]

It has been officially stated that TNG avatars will be much better than our over a decade old models. Most folks are reading that as mesh with a better skeletal structure so that we could actually sit with our knees up and not look like we are folded in half.

Mesh bodies are becoming commonplace in SL and happily I found my favorite last month, Lara by Maitreya. My head is still the same one I started out with seven plus years ago. I did however get a new skin recently courtesy of Skin Fair 2015. It is a lovely and beautifully made skin and quite impressive. I have been wearing it on and off for about a week.

And even though I know it is SO much better then the skin I have been wearing for two years, I am having a difficult time switching permanently. Now, why is that?

Do we get a picture of our pixel selves that we dare not change in case we would lose our identity?  I think that must be partially true, at least for some of us. I look completely different in OpenSim. Well my shape is the same but that is all. I look very different in Inworldz and the pattern holds true for all the grids I joined and then left over the summer and fall.

And STILL, even though I feel just fine and "me" on OpenSim, I am hesitant to make a switch in Second Life. I am wondering how the new avatars will influence the general populous of SL 1.0 and their decision to move or share both worlds. It is an interesting phenomena to watch -- and I will be.