#FutureOfFiction,  #FutureOfStorytelling,  #Opensim,  #Unity,  #VirtualReality,  evolving-book,  Greyville Writer's Colony

Is Opensim Dying or Evolving?

Greyville on WebGL August 2018

 

It’s a question we’re all asking ourselves right now. We see grids closing. We hear all the whispers of doom. We wonder what the future holds for Opensim.

We’ve been quiet at Nara’s Nook lately, but not because we depressed about the future. Summer is the time we work on our big projects with an aim to taking them public in the fall. Add to that the main server at Nook was way past it’s prime and everything had to be moved and set up on a new server. We’re back up and running so feel free to visit again.

As to the question at hand:

Nara’s first region in Opensim, August 2011

I came to Opensim to build a writer’s colony where authors could explore using Opensim to inspire our work.

 

Nook August 2016

Five years and many builds later, Nook is a grid running on two servers.

At Nook, Opensim has always been more than a hobby to us. We have a community of authors who meet to work on their novels and storytelling techniques. We use Opensim for character creation, world building, and creative promotions.  We have experimented with ways to tell stories with Opensim via our Hypergrid Stories projects. We have pondered how to bend this platform to serve those goals.

We believe we need Opensim in web browsers to make it easier for authors and readers to interact if we are to grow. Others have tackled this issue with a variety of end goals in mind, using a mixture of approaches to develop web-based virtual worlds . Now, Neo Cortex is tackling it with the goal of merging Opensim and Unity to make a hybrid system designed with a focus on storytelling.

Multi-user Test July 2018

The picture above is a Greyville version that runs on cellphone, tablet, computer, and VR headset.  This avatar test included Opensim, Unity, and the new Ruth avatars. For now the work continues on making the core code needed to operate this hybrid system. We can add window-dressing like avatar hair and furniture when the foundation is complete. We have a functioning text chat. We’ll add voice later, but started with text as this is the chat format that is most inclusive.

All of the Nook gang is grateful for the time Neo puts in coding to help us bend technology to meet our storytelling goals. This giving and generous nature of the Opensim community is one of many reasons I don’t believe Opensim will die. Because Opensimulator is an Opensource project and the users will decide its future.

Every grid owner can choose to move into the future, stand where they are, or shut down. If the grid you called home closes, there is a one-click version of Opensim that will allow you to run your own grid on your computer. You can search Opensimworld  or Hyperica for a new grid to join. If you are interested in a storytelling-focused community, you can join our grid here.

Evolve or die? Which will it be?

If you think evolution is the way to go and would like to volunteer to be a tester for our Nook-on-the-Web project, join our grid/or drop by via HG and leave me (Nara Nook) a notecard on how to get in touch with you. If you are a web-only user who would like to test for us, let me know in comments.

Nook HG URL: world.narasnook.com:8900