Today Linden Lab released a new Sansar video, an official sort of smooth trailer/teaser for the general public.
The narrator speaks English, proper British English, which is always a good idea.
And I’m not just saying that because I’m and anglophile.
She describes Sansar as revolutionary and unlike anything the world has ever seen before, I can almost hear my Second Life avatar slamming her fists on the inside of the computer screen shouting “Hey what about this place then?!”.
Check out the video yourself, I’ll share my thoughts below it.
The narrator tells us that Sansar will take VR to the next level and that its unprecedented technology will allow everyone to create their own social VR experience and that that is no longer limited to the professionals.
This is true and the best thing about Sansar and SL, it is very good that they put emphasis on this, it is what will lure VR enthousiasts to Sansar.
It is up to the Sansar team to make sure the new users then are not disappointed when they perhaps don’t have the freedom they expected or that they need to spend money first to buy stuff or go learn blender to make things.
I hope easy inworld building tools come to Sansar but will they be there when Sansar goes public?
Anyway, I’ve written about that before.
The narrator tells us there will be easy tools to help us make these experiences and share them with everybody.
And she tells us we can use Sansar to recreate history, well that is me sold!
She also talks about all the uses Sansar will have, live events, entertainment, education, etc.
But there is one thing I miss in her story; gaming.
At the moment this is one of the biggest uses for VR and you know many gamers will see this video and decide based on it if they want to try Sansar.
Some of these gamers may have youtube channels with millions of viewers but do you think they spotted something in the video that appeals to them?
Granted there may not be many gaming tools in Sansar yet, but I know that there is a cannon shooting thingy and of course you don’t need special tools for roleplaying.
I would have at least mentioned gaming in the list of possibilities and perhaps show a little bit of gaming madness.
So far the options offered seem perhaps a bit high-brow.
Anyway, the story is sound and appealing.
The visuals are pretty good too and as someone who has been waiting to get into Sansar for ages it is difficult to see if they are also interesting to outsiders because my absorb every bit of new Sansar footage as a sponge.
But I’ll try.
As someone who has been a hardcore gamer since Pong, I try and imagine what a regular VR gamer thinks of the footage and most of the visuals are quite impressive.
We get a good look at the avatars and they look pretty good although, it really depends on the angle they are being seen in.
In some of the shots they look better than in others and the girl with the black hair looks better made than the boy with the blue and white shirt.
But compared to SL, they are all perhaps still a bit dull.
I reckon some of us can’t wait to stick wings and tails on them.
The avatars we see are of course the basic starter ones but looking at the avatars in this video it seems not many users have done a lot of customizing yet, which makes me wonder if we’re going to get many avatar customization options when Sansar opens, I know we will get those eventually, of course!
But I think it is important to get them in place for the first day as they are so important.
The creation tools look good, we know them from SL, same sort of idea, the ring around your prim that you use to rotate, move, etc.
They do make it look easy to move stuff around and well, it will be.
Uploading assets looks easier than it is though, most 3d software will make your brain cry.
Adding lights, special sounds, scripting, it all sounds and looks pretty easy and if new users can indeed easily use these, we’re onto a winner.
It is when people want to actually build things that it becomes a lot more complicated.
We see a few people putting on their headsets but we don’t see anyone using Sansar on a regular screen, well besides people who are creating and building.
As corny as it might have looked, having people also explore an experience on a desktop and maybe even a tablet or something mobile, might have calmed the people down who somehow keep thinking you’ll need a headset for Sansar.
The locations all look rather good, Sansar creators have been real busy lately and it looks like there will already be plenty to explore.
The video ends with a nice close up of a lady wearing a Sansar T-shirt while talking in sync with the narrator.
This may not seem much but for us in SL it is something we can only dream of and in many other VR experiences this is still something quite impressive.
I wish she blinked though.
Conclusion; I think it is a pretty good public relations video, something to show off to outsiders and future users.
Of course there are also things I would do differently, but I’ve been to film school and have made films & TV so I say that about everything, it is one of the reasons nobody wants to watch movies with me.
And at the very end we get a Beta release date!
Which technically means it could be released at any moment between now and June.
I hope I’ve got my new computer by then!
The most important question is; after seeing this, would you like to try Sansar?
Would you as someone who has been in SL for years, as a gamer, as a developer new to VR, as a random housewife, a school teacher, etc.?
Disclaimer; I am in the Sansar program but my computer is too old and I can’t try it, so my article is still written as that of someone who has not yet been in Sansar, because well, I haven’t.