1,000 avatars soon coming to a region near you

Intel will release the code for its Distributed Scene Graph 3-D — which allows thousands of avatars on a single OpenSim regions — at the end of June, the company told Hypergrid Business today.

The DSG code will be available at OpenSimulator.org/wiki/Download

And there will be documentation about the code, as well as setup and configuration scripts. Intel will also publish instructions on how to run DSG on Amazon’s EC2 computing cloud.

“We will release a whitepaper on the release of the code at that time,” added Intel spokesperson Connie Brown.

Brown warned that DSG is not a finished product per se.

“As with all of OpenSim it is still labeled as alpha — not unusual for an open source project — and our code will be of similar quality,” she said. “Our release enables users to begin testing the capabilities and it also enable the OpenSim community to help with future development.”

She also explained that the DSG has evolved substantially from a test run last summer. Back then, Intel’s code was an additional layer — a “client manager” sitting between the OpenSim server running the region, and the client software used to access it. It allowed large numbers of visitors to log in — as second-class citizens, unable to build objects or move things around in the virtual environment. So, for example, if a grid was hosting a massive conference or concert, the majority of the attendees would log in through the client manager, and the event hosts and organizers would log in directly, so that they could manage the event and the facility.

Intel demonstrates over 1,000 avatars on a single OpenSim region on ScienceSim. (Image courtesy Michael Cerquoni .)

That limitation is gone.

“The DSG code is a repartitioning of the components of an OpenSim server, not a separate layer,” said Brown. “Users logging in through DSG can fully interact with the environment.”

That includes moving objects, creating new objects and editing existing objects. Users can interact with each other, and with in-world objects.

Event organizers don’t need to bypass the DSG, since they now have all the full functionality that they require. Of course, the region owner can still establish permissions that allow only certain people to change the virtual environment, so that concert-goers don’t vandalize the facility.

The maximum capacity? The DSG potentially allows “thousands of users to interact in a single region,” Brown said.

Actual usage may vary, however, based on the amount of content in the region, and the number, capacity and locations of the servers used to host the application.

“Further, network connections to the clients have a large impact on the experience of a particular client,” she added.

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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • I think we're all curious:
    1. Cost – what level of Intel servers does this need to run on?
    2. Peer to peer – has there been any testing of active avatars, and has performance been tested and plotted on a graph with respect to number of avatars in a sim?
    3. Physics?
    4. Sim full of content? – the picture being sent around isn't exactly convincing. I see Ruths all logged into a blank environment, not even having moved yet. (You can tell by arms positions.)

    I really want this kind of tech to work, though.

  • iliveisl

    very cool and if you have ever seen the video of the 1000 avatars on a sim, it is s frigging riot! -D

  • AvWorlds is now also working on that possibility. We will be constructing our ANDROMEDA PLAZA a science and meeting area for thousands.

  • Very cool!