After the upsetting shut down of AltspaceVR, a social VR platform, Second Life creators Linden Labs are introducing to the public another social VR platform to virtual reality headsets — Sansar, according to a press release on Linden Labs’ official website.
“Sansar democratizes social VR,” said Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab in the press release. “Until now, complexity and cost has limited who could create and publish in this medium, and Sansar dramatically changes that. It’s been inspiring to see the thousands of virtual creations that have already published with Sansar during our limited preview, and I’m looking forward to the explosion of creativity we’ll see now that we’ve opened the doors in beta.”
The focus of Sansar is building social VR experiences and will allow users to create their own VR experiences to sell, rent or grant access to in the Sansar store. Sansar is free, and also offers a subscription costing $9.99 per month that provides more tools and customer service.
In the weeks leading up to Sansar’s beta release to the public, Sansar posted YouTube videos of different VR enthusiasts using Sansar to create, well, whatever they wanted to. Using Sansar, Anrick, a VR and film director based in London, created the “Monkey Temple.”
“In the beginning, there is just a sense that you are in an overwhelmingly green, lush, humid jungle,” said Anrick in the video. “Then you realize that there is a story here; and you look up and see this giant monkey structure, a beautiful, carved piece of stone with all kinds of complex monkey bodies intertwined and mixed up.”
Along with the temple itself, Anrick also created several areas where users can play different sports such as basketball and football. To make the temple look more realistic, Anrick and his team used three different light sources that would give the area a more real look.
In Sansar, users can build using drag-and-drop settings in order to create this experience. This makes it a lot easier for users who may not be familiar with using advanced modeling tools in order to create their own VR experience.
The experiences can be shared through social media via an applicable link. Along with being able to view Sansar experiences through VR headsets, users can also use their PC to view them, giving more options to people who may not have a headset.
The avatars users will handle can mimic speech patterns using their mouth without the use of an external device and mimic the hand movements of the user based on the VR motion controllers. An experience, as of right now, can grant access to over 35 users at one time and an unlimited number of users at different times.
Sansar is the company’s first foray into the VR world. Linden Labs, though, is familiar with given users the experience they want to create for themselves in the form of Second Life, a virtual world game. Unlike Sansar, Second Life isn’t created for VR but it does have the similar aspects of creation like Sansar does. Users are in control of what they want to make and can sell it to other players.
If you are interested, you can sign up for Sansar’s Creator Beta here. Sansar is currently available on PC, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.
The short time span between AltspaceVR’s shut down and Sansar’s open beta is quite interesting and proves that VR isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Since Linden Labs already has a successful “experience” under their belts, opening up a new one in VR gives users the freedom to take their ideas to a new, VR level.
Featured image via Flickr/John Lester.