Avination vehicles to cross borders

Avination, one of the top commercial grids using the OpenSim software, announced today that it has enabled border crossings for vehicles with the latest release of its server software.

The standard OpenSim physics engine lags behind that of Second Life when it comes to vehicles, and there are problems having vehicle scripts work correctly when vehicles cross from one region to another.

Melanie Thielker

However, Avination has been working on technology to bring the grid’s vehicles closer to those of Second Life, grid director Melanie Thielker told Hypergrid Business. Thielker is also CEO of OpenSim hosting company 3D Hosting.

“We have worked continuously to improve vehicle physics and we have a good driving feel as it is,” she said. “However, we have also just started a complete revamp of vehicles with the aim to get even closer to Second Life behavior. At this time, Avination supports most of the API [application programming interface] and most values match or need only minor tweaks.”

This means that vehicle scripts that work in Second Life will need less modification to work in Avination than in other OpenSim grids.

Both physics-based vehicles and wearable vehicles work in Avination, she said. Physics-based vehicles are independent objects that move on their own. Wearable vehicles attach to the avatar — just like clothes or accessories.

To celebrate the technical improvements, Avination has announced a cross-grid race, sponsored by Virwox. Virwox is a virtual currency exchange, based in Austria, which trades Second Life and Avination virtual currencies, and is the backer of the multi-grid Open Metaverse Currency (OMC).

The event is organized by M in Events, a Dutch marketing company focusing on virtual environments.

Avination is one of the innovators in OpenSim and grid founder Thielker is one of the core developers of OpenSim. Avination was the first grid to have Vivox voice.

Avination will share the improvements with other grids.

“This is currently proprietary but in keeping with Avination’s policy of releasing code this will eventually come to open source as well,” Thielker said.

“As Avination has its roots in OpenSim, we do have a policy to give developments back to the community,” added Avination spokesperson Leonie Gaertner. “This code will be made open source, when it has been checked and reviewed carefully.”

Avination is one of the two leading commercial OpenSim grids, the other being InWorldz. The two grids have been competing neck-and-neck on technology, community, and other features for the past year and a half, with first one grid pulling ahead, then another.

InWorldz is also working on improving its physics engine in order to have better vehicle support.

OpenSim vehicles by Michael Cerquoni (Nebadon Izumi of OSGrid).

Vehicles are important to OpenSim users. In a recent Hypergrid Business survey, vehicle physics topped the list of missing features in OpenSim.

Working vehicles are widely available on OpenSim grids, but scripts have to be adjusted to work with OpenSim physics, and fail at region boundaries. The typical solution is to have megaregions — several regions combined together into a single large regions, so that there are no region borders.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

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.

  • Yoshiko Fazuku

    I have tested it and it works great 

  • Umm in the Avination blog it says in bold right at the top that they are the first grid after Second life to do that?

     I recall InWorldz doing that.

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqrK70rfZTc 

    and 

    http://inworldztech.com/techblog/2011/07/26/non-physical-land-racer-on-phlox/

    Both of those links seem to show InWorldz having already done this. So even though they might not be physical they have had cars crossing borders so the statement Avination made in their blog would be incorrect. 

    • And lots of grids deal with the region crossing issue with mega-regions, too. That’s why I didn’t include the “we’re the first” statement in my story — I couldn’t confirm it, and there are too many caveats anyway. The devil’s in the qualifying details. 🙂

      • That is why you are good at what you do 🙂 

  • GagaGracious

    I was under the impression InWorldz didn’t have any workable vehicle physics at the present time. Least ways I tried several craft there and the scripts, which work fine in OSgrid, failed so I never got to try a border crossing. Somehow this whole thing is kind of out of proportion in my view. Without vehicle physics how can border crossings in InWorldz be relevant at the present time?

    From what I recall, Avination has ODE but I read a while back they were negotiating to get Havok – which is the same as Second Life physics engine – and if this is the case then it explains the compatibility statement. Anyway, it is good to read that Melanie says Avination will contribute the supporting code to Opensim.

    Just saying

    Gaga

    • I don’t think anyone said that InWorldz has physics. But they do have cars that can cross sim borders. And my point was that on the Avination website blog they state in bold
       “Avination is the first Grid beside Second Life advanced to the point to offer cars, ships and other vehicles driving across sim borders.”  It says nothing about physics. So it’s really a lie. On purpose or by accident we will never know. But it’s simply not true. 

      • GagaGracious

        Well, I do agree it is simply not true that Avination is the first grid to allow vehicles to cross borders if we are talking about objects that are worn as apposed to physical but Opensim, on which InWorldz code is based originally, has always allowed sim crossing wearing clothes and by the same token any worn item including cars and boats. But if Avination is talking about physical objects then that is new but I haven’t seen it for myself.

        • Hi Gaga,

          Our vehicles crossing are NOT wearables. This is something that is now being spread around to discredit us. They are real vehicles that use LSL functions to move a sitting avatar across region boundaries.

          They’re NOT physical vehicles, but they are real vehicles, NOT wearables. I want to make sure that’s cleared up before it’s spread around any further.

          • GagaGracious

            Hi Tranq

            Well thanks for clearing that up. So, a none-physical, none-wearable vehicle that is, however, still a scripted movable object that can be sat upon and used to cross borders.

            If that is right then we are talking about three separate methods. InWorldz method is none-physical while Avination is talking about using physics to cross borders and claiming they will be the first to use that method after Second Life, in which case I don’t think it is fair to say they are telling a lie.

            I also don’t think InWorldz is being discredited and I certainly don’t want to do that myself in these posts. But I do want to understand what is happening so it is good you have taken the time to explain things better. Thank you.

            May I assume you are talking about BWind scripts or Encog?

          • A lot of vehicles available on SL aren’t physicals due to the 32 prim limit. These types vehicles have worked on InWorldz and crossed region borders since mid 2011 on our grid with their script states fully in tact (call stack, locals, etc). This is the difficult part of a region crossing.

            To be very clear, Avination has accomplished a very important and difficult task. The greatest of which was actually getting a full snapshot of a script state to move between regions consistently. Physics itself in this context is just another method to move an object to the region border. Where this becomes a big deal is that physics is the normal model important to vehicle makers. So if they have ironed out/worked around some of the big problems with ODE, this should make using vehicles a great experience. And yes they do seem to be the first to move physical objects across regions with script states in tact that I can find.

            I think it was the bolded statement “first to have region crossing vehicles” that caused Linda’s reaction. Not the specifics of the vehicles or how they work.

        • Apparently you did not bother to look at the links I posted. They aren’t wearables. 

  • Jim Tarber

    There are three separate bits of code mentioned in this article.  When there are statements that it will be made available to the OpenSim community, I’d really like to know *which* of those pieces are included in that.

    I have my doubts that Avination is making scripted vehicle crossings (physical OR non-phys) available to OpenSim.  To do so would require them to provide all three of these back to OpenSim.  I’d like someone from Avination to clarify the comments, which I feel have been misleading PR to say the least:

    1. Seamless continuation of scripted objects across regions.
    2. Physical objects crossing region boundaries.
    3. The tuning of LSL vehicle functions.

    The first one is where all the major work is (months).  The other two are minor enhancements or fixes requiring a few days of work.

    I have been told that Avination uses XMRE for the first one above.  That XMRE precedes Avination formation, and therefore has been present from the start. Given that Avination has not made this available for the years it has been using it, I don’t expect that to change.

    Therefore there’s nothing to indicate OpenSim will have scripted vehicles seamlessly crossing regions.  Perhaps you can get a clarification on exactly which of the three parts above will be provided to OpenSim, and roughly when?  Is it just the ability to roll an unscripted physical sphere across a region border?  Or that the vehicle functions will require less tuning when being ported from SL to OpenSim (but can’t cross regions)?  Or does it actually include #1 and OpenSim is getting vehicles crossing regions without a restart?