If you have been waiting for Sansar, this is your chance to experience the new world. Sansar has opened its door today. You can click on this [link] to sign up. Sansar is a Virtual Reality world. Just as Linden Lab promised, Sansar is completely different from Second Life. It has better graphics and VR experience. However, we don’t think Sansar can replace Second Life anytime soon. Please note that Sansar is still under development.
1. Forget the Sim concept!: In Sansar, the sim concept was replaced by experiences. Creators create and publish experiences to the Sansar’s Atlas Experiences directory. An experience is like a sim/sandbox which any Sansar user can have and build on it. Any user can create up to 3 experiences (the limit for Free Tier Account). Creator Tier (9.99 USD per month) allows up to 5 experiences creation. Super Creator Tier (29.99 USD per month) allows up to 10 experiences creation. Professional Tier (99.99 USD per month) allows up to 20 experiences creation.
Any Sansar user can visit your published experiences. Right now, an experience can handle up to 35 viewers / visitors. In the future, Sansar may allow unlimited viewers / visitors in an experience. When you visit an experience, your Sansar Viewer will download all data to your PC in order to make sure that you have a full & smooth experience. The download time can be very long if you have a slow internet connection. Even if you have a fast connection, the experience loading/downloading time is very painful. This is not like teleporting to a sim in Second Life.
2. Graphics are better in Sansar: In Sansar, most 3D objects were well-built with material settings enabled. Sansar uses a modern rendering engine while Second Life is still using an outdated rendering engine. Hence, the graphics overall are much better than in Second Life. Everything is clear and sharp. The framerate is definitely good for VR experience. However, you will need a good graphics card that can handle all these renderings. Your computer can be toasty hot while using Sansar though.
3. You can only walk in Sansar Public Beta: yes that’s right. You can only walk. There is no flying, jumping, sitting, & crouching options. Users with VR equipment can use the tools to interact with the objects inworld. Users without VR equipment can view Sansar in third person or first person view. Use F3 key to toggle between view. You can teleport within an experience by holding down CTRL key and move your move to select the location then double click to teleport. Right now, we don’t see any option to interact with the objects inworld for non-VR users except when you are in edit scene mode.
4. Building in Sansar Public Beta: In Sansar Public Beta, you can only build your experiences. Linden Lab calls it “edit scene” mode. When you are in edit scene mode, you can write scripts, create, upload, & edit 3D objects. Sansar uses FBX format. You can use popular software like 3D Max, Maya, etc. to create 3D objects for Sansar. You can also control windlight options in edit scene mode. Everything looks freezed up when you are in edit scene mode until you save/publish the experience. For this reason, we wonder how a visitor can rez or edit objects at a sandbox experience or a shopping mall experience. Maybe the concept of owning a rental store inworld at a mall experience will never be possible in Sansar.
4. Inworld private store, sale events, and estate rental businesses are not possible in Sansar Public Beta: as mentioned above, the way Sansar was designed makes it impossible to open a store inworld, organize the sale events, and run an estate rental business. You can setup a store with product samples and links to Sansar Store (marketplace) though. But, people cannot buy from you directly inworld. Everything will have to go through Sansar Store. We will see how this changes in the next updates. Since each user controls their own experiences (sim), organizing a sale event is not possible. Your merchants will not be able to edit your scene. The same thing applies to estate rental businesses. Estate Owners with the top Professional Tier (99.99 USD / month) can only create maximum 20 experiences (sims). In addition, the free tier users can have their houses at their 3 allowed experiences. There is no need to rent anything at all.
5. Sansar Store is the only store in Sansar Public Beta: Right now, Sansar Store is the only store that allows you to buy objects from creators. We don’t think there will be some kinds of direct buy inworld as in Second Life. Perhaps, Linden Lab learned from their mistakes. This is the way which they can earn much more commissions from sales. Everything has to go through the Sansar Store. Linden Lab even let TurboSquid to sell 3D objects directly in Sansar Store. This is a good move for Sansar and Linden Lab because it will quickly improve the number of products in Sansar Store. But, at the same time, this is a bad move for private or amateur creators. Suddenly, you will have to compete with a giant competitor.
To buy Sansar products, you will need Sansar Dollars. You can obtain Sansar Dollars through Sandex. Sandex is Sansar’s Money Exchange. 100 Sansar Dollar is about 1 USD.
Sansar is indeed a great platform for VR. Everything is beautiful and high quality there. The focus is on VR Experiences. It is a completely different game. Sansar is still under development. We are sure there will be many great things in the future. It is not fair to judge it right now. But, one thing for sure that Sansar can’t provide the freedom we have in Second Life. Second Life will always be Second Life on its own.