Kitely rolls out megaregions

Kitely, the only OpenSim hosting company to offer on-demand, low-cost regions, announced megaregion support today.

This means that customers can have islands that are one, four, nine or sixteen regions in size.

The option is available to all users, including those on an a-la-carte payment plan, and it only takes a couple of seconds to create a large world.

Chatting with Ilan on a 16-region megaregion. It seems to go on forever.

Each region in a megaregion counts against a user’s total plan allotment. For example, users on the $35 a month unlimited use plan get 20 free regions, which they can use to create one 16-region island and one four-region island, or five four-region islands, or 20 single-region islands, or any other combination.

Additional regions can be purchased for $1 a month each.

One caveat, however. Just because each region can hold up to 100,000 prims, don’t expect to have 1.6 million prims on your 16-region world. Instead, those 100,000 prims now get distributed across all sixteen regions.

“There is a limit of 100,000 prims for the entire world,” said Oren Hurvitz, Kitely’s cofounder and vice president of research and development, in the announcement. “Every prim you use in the world subtracts from this shared quota, regardless of which region it is rezzed in. Note that the viewer will show that the prim limit is 100,000 in each of the regions separately, but you won’t be able to create more than a total of 100,000 prims throughout the entire world.”

So, for example, if a customer creates a four-region world, each region could hold 25,000 prims — or one region could hold 100,000 prims and the rest could be empty. If you want to distribute prims evenly across a 16-region world, hold on, I’m doing the math… that’s 6,250 prims per region.

When creating a new world, customer can choose to have empty land, a VCE Collaboration space, or the four-region Universal Campus (read our review here).

There are no terrain options or other megaregion worlds to choose, but customers can upload any other OAR file they wish when they create the world. (See: Where to get content for OpenSim.)

Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner

Kitely CEO Ilan Tocher said that the goal is to make the initial setup as simple as possible.

“Adding too many new features will just complicate things,” he told Hypergrid Business. “It’s a delicate balance.”

The company is working on creating a service, however, where Kitely users can upload their existing worlds and share them with others.

“Our plan is to have a world library where people can easily upload worlds, and set prices, and people can use worlds specific to the acitivity they want,” he said. “And the person who built the content — if they want — can monetize it.”

The new megaregion worlds load quickly and are very responsive. According to Tochner, Kitely did some behind-the-scenes technical work to speed up performance, making them use up to five times less computing power than typical.

The company also offers the option to turn off the megaregion feature.

Making a four-island or a sixteen-island world a megaregion completely eliminates border crossings between the regions and allows easy use of vehicles. It also eliminates building problems — for example, if a bridge crosses a region border, pedestrians can fall through it when walking across. Builders typically solve the problem by making the bridge twice, and anchoring each copy of the bridge on opposite sides of the border crossing — or putting in invisible prims or using other devices to keep folks from falling.

However, some folks have also reported problems with using megaregions because not all viewers support them correctly.

“For example, parcel audio doesn’t work except in the root region — the region at the South-West corner of the world,” wrote Hurvitz. “Therefore, some people will prefer not to use megaregion mode.”

The megaregion feature can be turned on or off at any time while the world is empty.

However, the world size itself can only be set once, when the world is created.

Customer can export their entire multi-region islands as OAR files. Kitely has already donated the functionality for multi-region OARs to the OpenSim community, and it is available to other grid owners and hosting companies who wish to use it.

 

 

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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.

  • This now explains why they kept saying “worlds” instead of “regions.” Which made no sense, since in the past all their “worlds” were just regions on their grid.

    It makes a little bit more sense now. But I’d still prefer that they use something else — like “island” or “sim” instead of world, because a lot of people think that a Kitely “world” is a separate OpenSim grid.

    • Hi Maria,

      There are pros and cons to using island or sim. People think of sims as being single regions – while worlds can be 16 regions in size. As for calling them “islands”, that limits them to being thought of as sea surrounded land masses when in the future they might look as though they are in another environment entirely, for example space platforms in outer space.

      • Are you hinting at something here? Regions in outer space? Will there be zero gravity, as well? And if you have an explosion in space, will it make a sound? Or will you go all Hollywood, and allow sound travel through empty space?

  • Great News! Kitely guys are doing a great job in making 3D virtual worlds affordable to all. Now we need to improve the rest [hardware and IT] to make a difference and impact in the developing counties too

  • I just want to add a few clarifications:

    – You can create worlds that are 1, 4, 9, or 16 regions in size.

    – The prim capacity on each individual region doesn’t drop in multi-region
    worlds, you can still create 100,000 prims on a single region in a
    16-region world, you just can’t create more than 100,000 prims in total
    across the world. In other words, the 100,000 prim limit is per world instead of per region.

    – Kitely provides only 2 built-in world templates at the moment (in addition
    to empty land) but people can upload OAR files for multi-region worlds.

  • A note for people who wish to upload multi-region builds to Kitely before OpenSim includes the multi-region OAR format we submitted. There is a workaround you can use to get almost your entire build into Kitely without having to wait:

    1) Place all the regions you wish to upload into a single megaregion in your existing OpenSim installation. For example you can upload all your desired OAR files into sim-on-a-stick.

    2) Save the megaregion’s root region (the south-west region) to an OAR file.

    3) Create a new appropriately-sized Kitely world and select to upload the OAR file you just created.

    This will upload almost everything included in your megaregion into your new big Kitely world. Some things, like the terrain for all but the root region you saved, won’t be uploaded but if you have those regions’ terrain stored as RAW files then you will be able to manually upload them into your Kitely world via the viewer later.

    Once your world has been uploaded into Kitely you may wish to disable megaregion mode while editing it and re-enable it once you are done making region-wide changes.

  • OpenSim Creations has some pre-made megaregion terrain files: nine-region desert terrain, four-region rolling hills, nine-region bay terrain, four-region mountain lake, nine-region mountain range, four-region marshland, nine-region peninsula, and a four-region dormant volcano island with central lake.

  • I’ve been waiting for this 😀

    Got some tweaking to do to use the workaround Ilan posted, but that’s minor.

  • Another feature rolled out with this update is the addition of images to the public worlds directory. Talk about adding some vitality to the search for interesting destinations!

  • Another issue with the megaregions — you can’t upload terrain files to any but SW corner region unless you turn the megaregion option off. Once you upload the terrains, you can turn it back on to eliminate the border crossings.

  • I just posted a couple of megaregion OARs to Kitely — one for a large 9-region island surrounded by beaches, and another for the same large island plus a bunch of smaller islands on a 16-region sim.

    Plus all the terrain files that go into them:

    http://opensim-creations.com/2012/08/20/nine-region-terrain-oar-for-kitely/

    http://opensim-creations.com/2012/08/20/16-region-oar-and-terrains-for-kitely/

  • We rolled out Advanced Megaregions today.

    Advanced Megaregions are a unique Kitely feature that solves many of the problems that occur in regular
    OpenSim megaregions. One of these improvements is that parcel media
    works correctly throughout the megaregion, whereas in regular OpenSim it
    only works in the South-West region. Advanced Megaregions are also
    up to 5x faster than regular megaregions, so the user experience is better.

    With Advanced Megaregions you get the benefits of megaregions with very little of the limitations that come with them. This means that, once you finish making region-wide setting changes, you can enjoy the benefits of a region-crossing-free world without having to sacrifice important usability features.

    For additional information see: http://blog.kitely.com/2012/08/24/advanced-megaregions-up-to-5x-faster-and-working-parcel-media/