CybaLOUNGE And OpenSim Free Regions Hosting Questions.
I got this email from a certain purveyor of OpenSim and other HG type of news. I spent some serious time getting this together. Since It has never shown up on her blog I figured I would not let it go to waste. Some good info in here!
It is in a Q&A format with the questions she sent me and the answers I gave her.
Q. I thought at first this was just a free region offer for in-world meetings. But rereading this press release closely, it looks like you’re offering two different things — free regions on an OpenSim grid, and free virtual spaces in a browser-based virtual world.
A. (Intro) A Dimension Beyond is in the hosting business for people wanting to rent space on our servers that we own in a data center in Phoenix. For OpenSim our hosting is primarily a professionally managed DreamGrid setup right now. ADB does have the capability to host full large grids on the Linux operating system up to the size of OS Grid. We have just started really going after this and are marketing it now. All of us that are doing this have extensive 12+ years experience in hosting and dealing with various Virtual World design and development.
For the free region in OpenSim:
Q. How much space are you offering? Is it a full region, a parcel, or access to virtual meeting space for a particular period of time for specific events?
A. In OpenSim it is a space that they can use for meetings. Not necessarily a whole region. I have meeting/campus regions that I can run up for people needing to get together for a specific purpose. If a group needs a whole region I am willing to provide that.
Q. Who is eligible? Is it just non-profits, or anyone?
A. Any group that needs a space for any purpose where people need to meet but also need to stay in their home. We have one group meeting in cybaLOUNGE now that does the local Rodeo Parade for instance. We also have a group of Senior ladies in a care facility needing to compare notes together because they have to stay in their rooms. We are just wanting to do our part and help keep virus spread to a minimum anywhere in the world and we feel virtual worlds are an excellent way to do that!
Q. Are there time limits on the free offer? Is it just for during the lockdown? If so, how much notice will people get before the free offer ends, and will they be able to export anything they’ve done?
A. At this point I would say an average of at least 3 months or more as needed. If any group needs more time or something different all they have to do is get ahold of me and I will help them. I can give them whatever notice they need. I am not going to go yanking the carpet out from under them. If they like using the space they are welcome to rent a small grid or some regions from A Dimension Beyond.
Q. How many square meters, prims, or simultaneous visitors?
A. I am thinking a standard 256×256 standard region with 15,000 prims. I think that generally most people won’t want to build there, but just have a place to get together. If someone has an OAR file that they want to install on a region for their meeting place I can do that too.
Q. Is it hypergrid-enabled? Does it have access to Kitely Market?
A. Hypergrid can be turned on and off so yes it can be if they want it to be. Some people might not want HG so I offer both. As to Kitely Market- yes if the HG is turned on!
Q. Are there default avatars or tutorials for new users?
A. I have meeting places that include avatars of different types. I can give people who need them instructions on how to set up.
Q. Is there live in-world help?
A. If they get ahold of me on Skype or Discord or by phone yes. We don’t have the personnel to stay in-world 24-7 to mentor. Just give us a time when we can meet inworld! It needs to be Arizona time (GMT-7) M-F 8-5
For cybaLOUNGE-the browser-based world:
Q. I loaded up the demo, and it seems very slow to load, and the virtual region has no content in it. The user interface also seems to be still under development. Are you sure you want to go public with it?
A. Remember that you are used to worlds like OpenSim that are viewer based. CybaLOUNGE, being browser based has to load the entire world before you can enter it into the cache of your browser. Loading time depends a lot on the speed of your connection and how fast the Internet in general is going. Recently everything is somewhat slower due to the extreme load of everyone binge watching everything that they can at home. Generally with a decent connection it takes about 15 seconds to load an average region. Depending on the complexity and size of the region load times can vary wildly! If you get to a blank region it is probably a pretty complex one that will load in a little bit!
Also–cybaLOUNGE is finished in many ways and not finished in others. Shortly there will be much better avatars and the ability to dress an avatar as you like like in OpenSim. We add new improvements to it on a regular basis. CybaLOUNGE is basically in late beta stage right now but not really completely release candidate yet. In most ways it is though. We just have a really good feature packed virtual world system that can help a lot of people stay safe and still get together, so we thought we would share it now rather than wait. So CL is basically at 0.9 like OpenSim has been for many years. We will be doing a 1.0 though shortly!
REMEMBER: CybaLOUNGE works in a browser-so NO downloads to do-no messing with routers and complicated setup. It is basically a fancy 3D webpage. It is fully able to be customized in any way you can think of! The Interface is just a web page and can be changed easily to whatever you desire. It also can be embedded as an I-Frame into any other web page, so you can just give out the URL to your webpage with your address and anyone can come in and visit. It works on most any recent computer- laptop or desktop, Chromebook, tablet, or even a cell phone. The age of the device is not so important. Having a recent browser is! It even works in Oculus Go! It uses only port 443 for it’s secure connection.
Q. How much space, prims, simultaneous visitors do people get? (Or whatever other metrics are relevant.)
A. A region is roughly equivalent in space to a 2X2 Var region in OS. The space is not so much the question but how much can you load into a browser content wise. The browser limit is is the glass ceiling with cybaLOUNGE, which is also called a Web World. As the browsers can handle more so will cybaLOUNGE. Already we have a ton of features in cybaLOUNGE. In some ways more than in OpenSim. CybaLOUNGE is designed from the ground up to be an enterprise level platform for education and commercial uses. It also has many features like in-world building that social users are interested in. At the present time there are over 7 people working on cybaLOUNGE. We have all our company meetings there and constantly implement our new ideas into it. It will most likely always be a work in progress with at least a new version every quarter as it is now.
As to concurrent visitors, we have tested it up to about 30. We think that it should be able to hold 100 or more in a region, but now I am limiting regions to 20-25 concurrent users. As browser capabilities increase this will increase also.
Q. Is this based on Unity or HTML 5? (Or another platform?)
A. CybaLOUNGE is HTML 5 and WebGL. It is all original code by Metaverse Software in Germany. It has inworld voice that we have designed for it based on FreeSwitch. It also has inworld chat and private IM and file sharing and whiteboards. It has the ability to play video to everyone in-world at the same time. It has full encryption of all data transferred (Including voice) using https protocol with TLS encryption. It is WAY more secure than OpenSim ever could be!
Q. Is there in-world building, or do people have to go to a Unity development space or another development platform to do the building?
A. There is in-world building available that is getting more features all the time. You can also import 3D things from Maya and Blender etc. You can import whole regions from OpenSim as a gltf file after converting in something like Robert Adams’ CONVOAR app. Imports are simple drag and drop. You can save a region just as easily. Part of why we want to let cybaLOUNGE out in the world at this time is that we want to know what people need to have a perfect and very easily usable virtual space that is very secure. We want to know what YOU want in there! If we can do it we WILL do it! The only limitations are what the browsers impose on us. All suggestions are taken seriously and implemented as we can or saved for later when browser technology catches up with us.
Q. The idea of this space sounds fantastic — I’m especially interested in the fact that it runs in a browser and supports VR and you can import OpenSim OARs. Do you have any users who are in production with this who can talk about how they’re using the space?
A. We use cybaLOUNGE for all our company and public meetings. Selby Evans has been using cybaLOUNGE for about 3 years now as a place for people to come and meet with him. He has used it extensively. He is there Monday through Friday at 10AM SL time for at least 30 minutes. His region is here: https://nonprofitvirtualworld.org/location.html?locationid=800000002&dl=true. You are more than welcome to come to our Friday Dev Talks. They happen every other Friday. Selby is almost always there with Dieter and I and others. The next one is at noon SL time tomorrow-Apr. 3rd. This is the URL to that meeting
Thank you for your interest in what we are doing. If you need to know more you can just contact me here. I am also available by phone at 928-445-5050 or on Skype as ste-be (in AZ).
A Dimension Beyond, Inc.