Monday, November 30, 2015

SL regions in OpenSim

OpenSim offers a lot of pluses for those leaving SL: especially regions that their builders and owners decided to close in SL.

I thought it might be nice to have a page just to highlight those. If anyone knows of others, please say so in the comments and let me know some background, or where I can find information about it...Thank You!

Regions can be saved in OAR files and saved on a person's computer and other places where they can be safe-kept in case of the various issues that can happen with software.

IAR files can be created and backed up of one's entire inventory.

VarRegions allow very large contiguous landmasses that do away with the old tech region crossing issues.

Uploads are generally free, especially if you run your own Simulator instances.

Things that in SL have become ubiquitous generally make it into Core OpenSim in a timely manner, such as Mesh and Materials.

And there are things that SL does not have, such as NPCs and this NPC wiki.

I followed a link to this blog and was reminded (I am aggravated at myself for forgetting to add this...I suppose I neglected it due to him not rebuilding Phaze Demesness per se) of Fred Beckhusen grid in Opensim. Fred does an awful lot of good stuff for Opensim.  You can keep yourselves busy following his Blog. HGTP@

I was told that these Tahoa Mountains were previously in SL. So I dropped by and the 4 regions are very nice. I rode a water slide and there are other activities. A pretty place to take your partner and/or friends.

HGTP@     Mountain Tiger

This one they have given us much history about it.

HGTP@ Land

I saw this here. Since they tell us they moved from SL, I wanted to highlight it. You will be offered a notecard with some rules (this is a Star Trek roleplay region) and Copper Tomsen is the region owner. I do hope you contact them if interested.

HGTP@ to Stars

Another ex-pat now running 9 regions in the Metropolis Grid is Carima.

Their OpenSimWorld page does a better job than I could of describing this. Some quoted words:

"Carima, a Medieval Fantasy Roleplay once founded at SL by Linde Kronfeld. Risen there from a half-sim up to 9 Islands and was well known there. Due to the raising maintenance costs the owners decided to reduce to finally one sim at SL which was even given up at 2015. " (ed: I cleaned up the paragraph a bit)

There are good photos there also, and here is one of them.

My next highlighted region would have to be the Ivory City created by Lumiere Noir which has been recreated on a special grid by him: but as he has died his partner finished it.

Not to lesson the fact of his death, I think he, and his partner Tosha Tyran, would like it if more people know of this, and go visit.

I don't log into SL anymore but it seems it is still in SL as this article mentions. But it is worthy of noting that if some issue removes it from SL, it is here also...though of course issues could happen in OpenSim in this case it is saved as an OAR and backed up I would imagine. OARs can't be done in SL.

This article also mentions it but the region name of Ugbar changed to what I note here.

It is on a 4 region VarRegion in the Sanctuary grid and can be visited most easily via any hypergrid enabled place/grid. The HGTP is (then find Ivory City in your map)

This one is rather a recent addition using the Metropolis Grid as its base. Here is some background in the Metro forums. Here is a video of the one in SL.

Joseph made this video of the place in Metropolis.

A friend recently gave me this new information.

"There is a new version of it called Lost Gardens of Apollo Memorial. It's owned by Delphi Bernard. I don't know if he built it or is just the owner but it has more up to date builds and trees, textures, etc. Not sure when it was opened. It's in a region called Sorbon Beach. I checked it out, very nice place."

HGTP@ Lost Gardens of Apollo

Monday, November 9, 2015

Opensim Host pricing

There is an ever increasing amount of events and growth in the part of the Metaverse I call the Hyperverse. The Hyperverse is comprised of all places who are connected via the Hypergrid.

Really amazing things are being done such as The Kitely Merchants Fair, the Immersive Edge Storytelling Project, MdM, SoAAvatarfest and much more. All this is most easily followed via G+ OpenSim Virtual which is the largest and most active source of all things OpenSimulator.

Recently 3rd Rock Grid changed their grid to a non-profit. I think this is a very good idea and maybe something others should consider doing. OSgrid is a non-profit and so is Metropolis and there are others who focus on Art or on Educational aspects.

There is so much going on I am personally getting overloaded with so much I have to dial down to attending such things one a day or so.

I continue to see more and more people who say they are coming from SL. I continue to see names I do not recognize...I like that.

This article is basically a cautionary warning. While pricing land hosting one should at the very least keep in touch with what others are doing. The space is really to small to not understand the agendas of others.

The other day this was posted, Four grids offer land deals. You can read the comments as well as see the information posted.

Jim Tarber, a programmer with Inworldz, commented on one of my comments still there, but continuing comments between he and I got rather ad hominem and the moderator removed them.

They were not especially important, at least to me, so readers can be saved such nonsense.

The article generated quite a bit of commenting and David Dexler, aka Tranquillity, one of the Inworldz owners, commented also.

Basically it was more propaganda based on this blog. It is because the only place actually not doing well is Inworldz...the rest of the Metaverse, especially the Hyperverse is doing exceedingly well.

For the last year or so I have typically avoided, as much as possible for the curious person I am, commenting about such as this, and that grid, as I almost always get bullied for doing so.

When the bullshit quotient gets to high, I find it difficult to impossible to keep quiet. I have been pretty good at it, but only to a point.

It has long since been even funny and now I only just need to comment occasionally with the truth in order to bring out the bullies whose only answer is always trying to deride me. They continue to think that insulting and bullying me and others is actually good for them. They think this matters which is what I want them to think. They are to predictable and there is no sport in it.

They think doing such things hides the truth, they think most people are to stupid to see through it, rather than answering with the truth and debating it. I like that they continue to think so.

It still serves the purpose well though and I am thankful I don't have to do much about it anymore...their grid is failing and they are hell-bent on maintaining illusions and on keeping business as usual.

They are their own worse enemies and have no clue, and this is good for the Metaverse.

Of course David is preaching to his own choir and that is fine, but it shows a mindset that I would not like to see permeate throughout the rest of the greater Metaverse.

Some backstory is that the inworldz grid recently introduced what they call a quad set of 4 standard regions for $85.00 per month as opposed to their other regular pricing of $75.00 per month for their basic one region product. So it is 21.25 USD per region with 12k prims that cannot be shared among them. These are also not varregions.

Apparently only the more active, if not all active, region renters have switched to this.

There has also been a a continuing loss on their concurrency that is around 1000 people less since April according to HypergridBusiness monthly statistics report. So not only are they not growing but they have been in decline for quite a long time. These two screenshots of their splash page show some of this. Quoting Maria Korolov;
"Even as OpenSim in general has been gaining users, some closed grids seem to be struggling. InWorldz has lost active users the past five months, and is now reporting more than 1,000 fewer active users than it did half a year ago. Its active user counts are now the lowest they’ve been since the spring of 2013."

Here is some discussion of it which is also eye-opening. Some posting there how great this new product is are the same people who in the past held up their higher pricing as proper and even then would state the "wal-mart" pricing was to low, leading to poor service.

This is untrue.

I have said in the past as they continue to decline in active residents they would fight tooth and nail to overcome this, but even when not declining their actives were flat and until the new land idea private regions were down to around 700. This screenshot shows that and all the actives then as well as the total they report it all.

Basically, as I see it, they are trying to get other grids to raise their pricing. What price that should be I don't know, but I would expect they would love to see others raise theirs to some amount closer to Inworldz.

If this happens you can all look forward to them comparing your higher costs to their new lower pricing. Guess who will lose?

This is a specious argument especially as they leave out mentioning the new 2x2 pricing. It leaves out the fact that a business should look to its own self when things are not going well...blaming outside sources can be useful but not at the expense of introspection. (eta: it was mentioned later)

Why would they do that?

My opinion is they hope that others simply are not aware of this, and the comments in that article noted above seem to show this. As it is, I was the only person to mention it. I find that rather odd.

There is no hard and fast rule that ANY pricing is actually right, and there are many reasons that all sorts of pricing is just fine. No one person or Company has the right to belittle other people's land rental prices. There are;
  • People who don't care to generate a profit and just want people to have fun and break even.
  • Non-profit grids
  • Hobbyists
  • People who have other work that brings in income
  • Retired people with available spending money
  • Educational projects
  • Artistic endeavours
  • Any combinations of the above
People are well aware of the land pricing in Second Life, which started this iteration of Virtual Reality. It really is the price point to which others determine their own pricing, but only to a point.

Who is to say that 200 or 150 or 100 or 75 or 10 USD per region is good or not? What if SL had started out with 500 would that change things? what if SL decides to lower their pricing...that would be interesting, wouldn't it?

I submit that much of this is based upon more arbitrary pricing than any real look at ROI. If there are any CPAs around, I am not aware of them. I also have never seen any properly done accounting numbers nor 3rd party unaffiliated accounting audits.

Then there is the matter of the prims. Software and computing power are important here. I once rezzed 381k prims on a single region a friend had put up in the Metropolis test Grid. I know his computer was very well enhanced. I wish I could show a photo or wrote down his computer specs. I think I must have misnamed a photo as I am sure I would have taken one...I can't find it, sorry. My friend has also left playing.

But Neb, one of the OpenSim developers said he managed to rezz 1 million mesh cubes once. He mentions it here use ctrl F to find it.

Let's try and dissect some of this. My disclaimer is I really do not know what the hardware and such, or hosting companies who provide the hardware, cost.

I am not especially interested in that and will not look it all up. Of course this makes this blog less complete, but I would rather concentrate on what is actually happening in non-tech first glance ways.

There is a wide range of pricing models. Here are several Pricing Strategies. Within all this is the idea of plus selling. Plus selling is what you often hear when you go to a fast food restaurant. Say you order a hamburger, the attendant then says would you like some fries with that? or something to drink?

I see that as being useful as a basis for finding the profit margin you wish to obtain. "Our entry region price is 10 USD for 10K prims, if you wish you can upgrade to 20K prims"...and in fact, some do this. TangleGrid is one of them.

Another way could be offering uncommon varieties. How about a 3x3 Varregion with 50k prims and one low prim separate standard size region with 10k prims for 50 USD? We can add increments of prims or add more regions as you wish for extra fees, just ask!

It really all is up to the imagination of the people or person who are opening a new Grid, or even currently open grids.

Rather than people try to get others to raise their pricing, or get others to decrease their pricing, it would be most wise simply to show others either currently involved how to set up or show some tutorial that gives potential new people this issue and more. Here are several tutorials.

If we truly want the Metaverse to grow let us give them the tools to most easily accomplish joining us. Price as you feel serves your own needs...everyone is different in this regard. Rather than listen to those who have ulterior agendas.

Sure new kinds of viewers might help, sure plain old fashioned marketing by specific grids might work...but rather to increase this entire space let us show them how to join us easily.