Hypergrid Adventurers Club meet #20: Discussing web-based virtual worlds and exploring Jibe / Unity3D

At a recent club meeting, some folks mentioned they were interested in learning more about web-based virtual worlds and possibly taking a tour of one of them.

So today, our discussion focused on web-based virtual worlds.  And instead of traveling the Hypergrid, we made a special visit to a Jibe-based Unity3D world.

Today we tried out Jibe, a web-accessible virtual world based on Unity3D.  Jibe is made by ReactionGrid (who I currently work for).  We’re in the middle of putting up more information about Jibe on the ReactionGrid website, but in the meantime you can read an “Executive Summary of Jibe” that I recently wrote to help folks understand exactly how it all works.

On today’s tour we identified a bug with Jibe that prevented people using Macs from logging in.  Thanks to the hard work of Chris Hart (ReactionGrid CTO), we were able to fix the bug within 24 hours.  My apologies to folks who couldn’t log in during the tour, and thank you for helping us identify and fix the bug!

If you’d like to log in and check out the Jibe world we were exploring in our tour, it is still online and accessible to the general public.

And if you notice any other bugs or quirks with Jibe, we’d love to hear your feedback via http://metaverseheroes.com if you pop in a ticket in the Jibe category.

For more information about the Hypergrid Adventurers Club and how you can join us, please see our homepage.  You can also follow our club’s tweets at #HGAC.

Meeting #20
12/8/2010 : 2pm GMT

8 Hypernauts in attendance:

Xon Emoto
Marmottina Taurog
Orchid Jameson
Slim Warrior
Mel Blauvelt
Maria Korolov
Eraldo Carlucci
Pathfinder Lester

We begin on the region Pathlandia on jokaydiaGRID.

Xon Emoto: Hi John
Pathfinder Lester: Hiya Xon!
Xon Emoto: My first visit here, great place you have
Pathfinder Lester: thank you!
Xon Emoto: I’m fine, thx how are you?
Pathfinder Lester: doing well. a little cold here in Boston. just got back from walking my dogs. chilly outside!
Pathfinder Lester: hi Marmottina and Ange!
Marmottina Taurog: Hi all ! 🙂
Ange Menges: hello
Ange Menges: Pathfinder, have you seen that you should reserve for january 6 ?
Pathfinder Lester: oh yes!
Pathfinder Lester: i need to tweet about that event 🙂

After the meeting, I tweeted about the upcoming opera on FrancoGrid.

Ange Menges: next operabis
Pathfinder Lester: very exciting
Ange Menges: Not official at the moment
Ange Menges: but should be announced quickly
Ange Menges: Don’t know at the moment what opera they will play
Pathfinder Lester: ok, let’s start
Pathfinder Lester: Welcome to the Hypergrid Adventurers Club! Thank you all for joining us today.
Pathfinder Lester: The first 30 min of each meeting is spent on introductions and an open discussion.
Pathfinder Lester: And for the second 30 min of each meeting, we will do some exploring.
Pathfinder Lester: To start, everyone please jump in and say a few words about yourself and your projects/interests in open chat. This is always a good opportunity for networking. 🙂
Pathfinder Lester: I post a full report and transcript of each meeting’s open chat on my blog, so this is also a chance for you to share information with everyone who reads the blog.
Pathfinder Lester: And if you say anything in open chat that you would NOT like to be posted on my blog, please just say so in chat and I will redact your comments.
Marmottina Taurog: Hi I have a Garden centre in SL and IW called Green and Wild and in RL I’m an artist and a musician, I like exploring and seeing where the new technology can take us
Mel Blauvelt: philosopher, interested in interdisciplinary research, computer graphics, arts and mysticism
Xon Emoto: I have started Buero X Media Lab and the Campus Hamburg in 3D project in 2007,
Xon Emoto: and we consult TUEV NORD group in their 3D endeavours

Here’s a Case Study of the TÜV NORD IN 3D project.  And here’s some more detailed information (but only some of it is in English).

Pathfinder Lester: Xon, oh cool! I’m familiar with that Campus Hamburg project.
Xon Emoto: I am from Hamburg Germany, thus the umlauts 😉
Mel Blauvelt: What is TUEV Xon?
Xon Emoto: TUEV is an engineering enterprise with 10,000 staff worldwide
Xon Emoto: 2/3 of them are scientists and engineers
Xon Emoto: their job is to make sure things run safe, from toys to cars to power plants and hospitals
Marmottina Taurog: How do they use 3d worlds Xon ?
Xon Emoto: We built the TUV Nord sim in SL with their IT people and experts in the fields of Mobility , pressure exchange devicesand Climate protection
Marmottina Taurog: Sounds amazing !
Pathfinder Lester: welll for today, i thought we’d do something a little different
Pathfinder Lester: At a recent club meeting, folks brought up how they were interested in learning more about web-based virtual worlds and possibly taking a tour of one of them.
Pathfinder Lester: So today, our discussion is going to focus on web-based virtual worlds! And instead of traveling the Hypergrid, we’re going to make a special visit to a Jibe-based Unity3D world.
Xon Emoto: There’s so much happening in this field at present
Maria Korolov: so not canvas?
Pathfinder Lester: so I’m curious, what web-based virtual worlds have you all explored already?
Pathfinder Lester: Maria, no, today I’ll bring folks to a Jibe world to start.
Marmottina Taurog: I have visited Jibe when Reaction Grid asked us to test
Mel Blauvelt: Jibe/Unity so far
Pathfinder Lester: hopefully we can explore Canvas in the future.
Maria Korolov: pathfinder: i’m not a big fan of stand-alone Web-based worlds — too expensive, too much vendor lock-in
Pathfinder Lester: Well, i think different kinds of worlds have different affordances. They make sense for certain use cases.
Ange Menges: I was also on jibe at the last reactiongrid meeting. I don’t know more about that
Maria Korolov: i like the canvas/rezzable approach — working in cnojunction with OpenSim, can use in conjunction with standard viewers, in-world editing, hypergrid, access to al lthe SL/OpenSim content…
Pathfinder Lester: I read a good overview of different web-based worlds recently. http://blog.knowsense.co.uk/blog/_archives/2010/12/6/4696903.html
Maria Korolov: i agree that proprietary web-based worlds have a nice place, especially for marketing and outreach by corporations, and game design
Pathfinder Lester: Maria, those are definitely good features. At the same time, the ability to quickly use mesh content and tools like Blender, 3dstudio and Google Sketchup are compelling to lots of folks.
Pathfinder Lester: And tools like Unity allow you to build game-like elements into the world very quickly and professionally.
Marmottina Taurog: I must say I struggled making stuff for unity although I did manage to make some content
Pathfinder Lester: Aside from Unity and Canvas, have folks tried other platforms for web-based worlds?
Xon Emoto: We’re spending quite some time looking into Unity, I think, there is a vast potencial
Maria Korolov: yeah, all of the proprietary web-based worlds allow mesh imports — web.alive, venuegen, etc…
Xon Emoto: @Maria, as you say, in conjunction with other platforms
Pathfinder Lester: Personally, I’m very interested in how Unity is built from the ground up as a game development platform.
Pathfinder Lester: So there are many tools to make things behave like a professionally designed game.
Marmottina Taurog: yes it’s interesting
Pathfinder Lester: Using things like Opensim and SL to design game experiences is a bit of a challenge.
Maria Korolov: i’m particularly looking forward to an HTML5/WebGL viewer for OpenSim — KataSpaces is one for Sirikata, so it’s possible
Marmottina Taurog: I must have another play with it
Maria Korolov: the proprietary platforms are nice for game design, for marketing experiences, and for web-based 3d meetings, but kind of a side issue to the development of the metaverse right now
Mel Blauvelt: On the other hand Minecraft is a lot simpler than SL/OS and seems to do well, as a game
Xon Emoto: Generally it is good news all these things are out now to be seen, and tried.
Pathfinder Lester: Maria, I disagree. I think discussions of the metaverse need to include things like game-focused development platforms.
Xon Emoto: I think game based learning will be one killer app for 3D
Pathfinder Lester: The intersection between people focused on open-ended virtual worlds and people focused on designing focused game experiences I think holds a lot of interesting potential for the future.
Orchid Jameson: when you say ‘game-focused’ what does that mean Pathfinder?
Pathfinder Lester: Orchid, i mean people focused on using things like game design platforms to create game-based experience for fun but also things like learning and education.
Orchid Jameson: Game based meaning scripted?
Pathfinder Lester: There’s some interesting stuff happening with minecraft even, in regards to learning. people building digital computers inside of minecraft, for example.
Orchid Jameson: or rather perhaps planned routes?
Xon Emoto: Plus reward systems, control of success etc.
Pathfinder Lester: Orchid, yes, including scripting.
Pathfinder Lester: Xon, precisely
Maria Korolov: maybe. there are just a lot of gaming platforms out there, some very high end, some more accessible — i guess i’m coming at this from the enterprise side, so haven’t been paying attention to any of them
Maria Korolov: except in the loose sense of “what can business learn from games?”
Pathfinder Lester: Maria, yes, not a lot of attention from the enterprise side of things in games. Not yet. But the intersection of games and virtual worlds I think is an interesting place to watch right now.
Maria Korolov: but this reminds me that i need to write up and get the Jibe story out the door — I’ve been sitting on an interview with Kyle for a couple of weeks now… too swamped with regular work
Xon Emoto: Maria, In Germany, the booming Game developers don’t pay too much attention to corporate and educational content so far.
Mel Blauvelt: I’ve been looking for data that show what % of games make a profit…it’s interesting to see how little literature is available
Pathfinder Lester: And most of the eyeballs in the world are focused on games these days. Especially casual games.
Ange Menges: Ange disappear because he came on vitual worlds initially only for gaming
Ange Menges: ………
Xon Emoto: Soon as you start with “Serious Games”, you seem to lose both sides.
Orchid Jameson: the word game may throw people off …
Pathfinder Lester: So using web-based virtual worlds that have game elements in them I think could have a lot of potential to get a lot of folks involved.
Xon Emoto: “serious” paople don’t want to be caught gaming, gamers wanna play …
Pathfinder Lester: Orchid, true, there’s a bit of a stigma to the word “games” in the enterprise world.
Xon Emoto: Pathfinder, right
Orchid Jameson: skillful educators make learning a game for all ages..
Maria Korolov: also, there’s a tendence in games to remain proprietary — we still even have proprietary hardware for games — the Wii and XBox consoles, for example… a lot of incentive to keep them closed, keep content locked up and exclusive
Orchid Jameson: its the tension between academia and commerce…
Xon Emoto: but look at all the Kinect hacks, Maria,
Xon Emoto: it’s picking up so quickly
Pathfinder Lester: Orchid, true.
Pathfinder Lester: And yes, Kinect hacks I think will play a big part in this future.
Ange Menges: Come in one month in francogrid and you will see how games on opensim can help children in an hospital 🙂
Xon Emoto: wow
Xon Emoto: sounds great!
Pathfinder Lester: Ange, that’s very cool
Mel Blauvelt: The question I’m asking myself is: what % of games actually manages to engage people, preferably in the long term…there aren’t that many games that succeed in doing just that, it seems
Ange Menges: I don’t know the right words for their illness sorry
Ange Menges: They are isolated from the world
Pathfinder Lester: Mel, good point. At the same time, many games these days are not designed to be engaging for the long term.
Mel Blauvelt: autism maybe?
Marmottina Taurog: Autistic ?
Orchid Jameson: what is the word in french?
Mel Blauvelt: true Path
Pathfinder Lester: All the huge success with casual games, for example. Those games are designed from the start to have a short “lifespan.”
Ange Menges: mel traduit stp : il sont dans des bulles en plastique
Marmottina Taurog: I think it must be autism
Mel Blauvelt: They are in plastic bags?
Pathfinder Lester: Imagine if you could design casual games for learning, that engage you for a short period of time yet that teach you something important.
Ange Menges: yes
Marmottina Taurog: plastic bubbles
Slim Warrior is Online
Marmottina Taurog: their own little worlds
Ange Menges: il ne resistent pas aux virus et bactéries
Mel Blauvelt: ah, immunity-type disease I suppose?
Orchid Jameson: are you familiar with lumosity?
Pathfinder Lester: And the key thing to casual games is that they must be very easy to jump into.
Marmottina Taurog: ah very allergic then
Ange Menges: yes thanks for the help
Marmottina Taurog: nd no immune system not autistm
Pathfinder Lester: Which is why I get excited about things like web-based virtual worlds designed around gaming platforms. 🙂
Mel Blauvelt: Right Path, but those types of games are also designed to be played for very short periods of time per day
Pathfinder Lester: Mel, precisely.
Orchid Jameson: immersion versus playing with dolls
Pathfinder Lester: The trick I think is to not get locked in to a single way of thinking about all this.
Pathfinder Lester: yes, deep immersion in open-ended virtual worlds has a lot of pontential for learning and such.
Xon Emoto: me too, with the TÜV NORD people we are discussing applications at present to replace very expensive RL learning environments, and include playful elements for a better learning experience, so add double value
Pathfinder Lester: but we should also explore things like game-driven experiences, in worlds that engage you for short periods of time.
Marmottina Taurog: yes immersion and contact too, if they are in isolation a virtual world could provide the kids with great social interaction
Slim Warrior: helloo 🙂 Finally I am here
Pathfinder Lester: welcome Slim
Pathfinder Lester: ok, so let’s try visiting a web-based virtual world now.
Marmottina Taurog: cool !
Pathfinder Lester: i set it up so we could explore “Jibe,” a system being developed by ReactionGrid (where I work). it’s based on Unity.
Pathfinder Lester: this is an ALPHA release right now, so you won’t be able to do much other than walk around and chat
Pathfinder Lester: but I wanted folks to see how a web-based world works.
Pathfinder Lester: in the future, i hope we can explore Canvas and other web-based platforms.
Pathfinder Lester: so to get to the Jibe world, just open this URL in your web browser
Pathfinder Lester: http://reactiongrid.com/unity3d/expo/
Pathfinder Lester: i’m already in there

We all opened up a web browser and loaded the Jibe world.

Marmottina Taurog: I can’t get in as it’s telling me it’s trying to connect to server
Pathfinder Lester: I’ll make sure we figure out these bugs for the Jibe world.
Pathfinder Lester: sorry you folks couldn’t connect.
Xon Emoto: 🙂
Marmottina Taurog: yes there’s something odd going on
Orchid Jameson: good test Path
Pathfinder Lester: well, that’s what our club does, yes?
Orchid Jameson: thats sort of why we’re here…
Pathfinder Lester: we go all over and try to break things.
Pathfinder Lester: lol
Orchid Jameson: I want a button that says that..
Orchid Jameson: lol
Marmottina Taurog: it is a good test of it really, half got in and half didn’t ?
Pathfinder Lester: next trip, we can try breaking Canvas or another web-based world
Marmottina Taurog: hahahaha
Orchid Jameson: hehe
Slim Warrior: its not limited is it?
Slim Warrior: ie how many in on at once on the alpha test ?
Pathfinder Lester: Slim, well, we had about 38 ppl on last week
Pathfinder Lester: and it ran smooth. 60 fps. and everyone was using voice, too
Pathfinder Lester: the folks today who made it in are doing fine
Pathfinder Lester: i think the issue here is a plugin compatibility issue or something
Pathfinder Lester: it’s deinitely not an overload issue
Marmottina Taurog: are we all on macs ? Those of us who are stuck ?
Xon Emoto: I’m on Mac
Pathfinder Lester: Marmottina, it appears so
Orchid Jameson: I’m on a Mac
Slim Warrior: mac too

As I mentioned before, we identified the Mac bug and fixed it the next day.  My apologies for the bumps, and thank you for helping us identify and fix the issue!

And so ends another day of exploring with the Hypergrid Adventurers Club.

-John “Pathfinder” Lester

5 thoughts on “Hypergrid Adventurers Club meet #20: Discussing web-based virtual worlds and exploring Jibe / Unity3D

  1. Hi, wish I could have been there 🙂 Just a tad too busy at the moment.

    There still seem to be some bugs with Macs. I just logged in to Jibe and couldn’t get out because the cursor disappeared! Everytime a menu opened it would open over Jibe and the cursor would disappear as soon as it floated over the Jibe screen.

    I guess you are working on all this but please can we have an option to use mouse or keys for movement.

  2. Hi Tim,

    Many thanks for your feedback! Arrow keys and WASD should work for movement – the issue with the cursor is that you can use the mouse to move the camera, and we replaced the regular cursor with a different style and turning off the regular cursor when in the virtual space… though the cursor should reappear when you open a normal menu in your browser. I have not experienced the particular issue of the cursor staying invisible myself but am happy to test this out, can you let me know which browser you are using, and which edition of Mac OS you have and I shall see what I can do?

    Many thanks,

    Chris

    Chris Hart, CTO ReactionGrid

    ps. Note for anyone experiencing bugs or quirks with Jibe, we are happy to hear your feedback via http://metaverseheroes.com if you pop in a ticket in the Jibe category.

  3. Hi Chris, thanks for the reply. Hope I’m being helpful 🙂

    The browser I used was Firefox, I used Imprudence viewer, I’m using Mac OS X (edition 10.6.5 if that helps).

    Thanks for getting back to me,

    Tim

  4. Pingback: Cool UNITY3D images - UNITY3D, Image, John, Lester, Jibe, Club - dieFOTO

  5. Just so you know, autism is not an illness, and autistic people are not “isolated in their own little worlds.” We’re more sensitive than other people are, to external stimuli, which is why we’re so careful to regulate our sensory input — finding objects and sounds and actions that reassure us. We rock, fidget, flap hands and cling to our MP3 players like lifelines, because they are.

    There are a lot of autistic people on the Internet and in grids like SL, writing and drawing and building. It is insulting to refer to the neurological disorder that helps define both our strengths and our weaknesses as an “illness,” and it is insensitive to the disabled to try to “help” us without listening to us and understanding what we are going through.

    Not that you were doing any of that, but if you’d known maybe you would’ve spoken up.

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