How to get a free* 100,000-prim region on Kitely

Update: Kitely made some changes on June 11. The story below has been updated to reflect those changes.

Many grids offer free land to residents (get your free land report here), but nobody goes as far as to give away a full-sized, 100,000-prim region to everyone who comes along to use for as long as they want.

Not even Kitely — which is why there’s an asterisk in the headline after the word “free.”

Kitely’s free region comes with conditions. For example, you only get six hours to enjoy it. After that, if you want to keep visiting the region, you’ll either need to upgrade yourself to a premium membership, or upgrade the region to a standard flat-rate region.

So why would anyone want to get one? Maybe some of these reasons apply to you:

  • Plenty of Kitely residents have premium accounts. This means that they can access your region at no extra charge to them — or to you — indefinitely.
  • You plan to use the region for a mall. Premium residents can come and shop, and you don’t have to pay any land fees.
  • You have a historically or artistically important build you want to have available online, but don’t want to pay to keep it there, and don’t mind that the only people who can visit are premium account holders.
  • You have a museum or other non-profit and want a region that people can visit, and where they can make donations to your cause. But you don’t have a budget for monthly land rental.
  • You want a convenient place to keep all your stuff, and you don’t expect to be visiting it that often.
  • You want to try out OpenSim, and six hours is plenty of time to decide whether you like it or not.
  • You plan to use the region only at the end of the month. Kitely’s billing is prorated, so a $15 flat-rate region comes out to about 50 cents a day, and a premium membership is about 67 cents a day. Upgrade to either of these near the end of the month and downgrade again before the next month’s billing cycle begins.

If any of these sound like you, then keep on reading!

Because, although Kitely is, in general, known for its user-friendly interfaces, getting a free region isn’t easy or obvious.

Step 1: Create a new account

Go to Kitely.com and click on the “Sign Up” button at the top right of the page. If you’re already logged in as a Kitely user, you’ll have to sign out first.

Don’t feel guilty if you already have an account, and are creating a new one just to get the free region.

“It’s not against our terms of service,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. “You can create a thousand users, and create a thousand regions in there for free, and it doesn’t cost you anything.”

Kitely Main Screen

 

Once you hit the “Sign Up” button, you’ll get a choice of options.

Kitely Signup Screen

Facebook and Twitter are the most convenient, if you have accounts on either of those services. Plus, you get an extra benefit — if you sign up with Facebook or Twitter, you can use Facebook groups or Twitter lists to manage access to your new region.

But, in my case, I already have a Facebook-based account on Kitely, so I’m going to click on the third option in small text — create a new account with an email address and password.

Create new user accountA familiar sign-up screen. Most grids have you go through something like this to create a new account. Don’t forget to agree to the Terms of Service. You might want to take a look at them, as well, while you’re here — they’re pretty reasonable, especially for a commercial grid.

After you fill it out and click “Create” Kitely will tell you to check for a confirmation email.

Kitely verify email

Click on OK, go to your email inbox, find the email, click on the included link and you’ll see this confirmation message:

Kitely welcome screen

 

Step 2: Create your free region

This is where the confusing part starts. Under “How to Create Your Own World” it tells you to click “New World.” But “New World” isn’t clickable, and if you look around the screen, everything else is grayed out — and there’s no “New World” anywhere.

Click on “Close.” Don’t click on “Get Credits” — that’s where they try to get you to buy virtual currency. You might buy some later, but you don’t need any just to get a free region.

Now you’re back on the main Kitely page, with the big orange “Create New Account” button right in the middle of the screen. Did something go wrong? Do you have to restart the whole process? No! Kitely’s navigation is just boinked. If you look at the top right of the screen, you should see your new avatar name, next to an empty shopping cart and your zero balance of KC — Kitely Credits.

Click on “My Worlds” in the middle of the top of the screen.

You will get a page that says that you don’t have any worlds. By “worlds,” Kitely doesn’t mean grids. They mean regions or region clusters or megaregions. Islands, in other words. I’m lobbying them to change “worlds” to “islands” to make this clear, but haven’t gotten anywhere with them yet.

Kitely My Worlds

Now you can click on “New World” to create your free region.

Kitely create worlds

Lots of options there.

First, choose the “Metered World” option — the fourth one at the top. That’s the one where you get your first six hours free.

You can come back and buy a “Starter World,” “Standard World” or “Advanced World” later if you decide you want them, and you’ll have to pay up front for them.

For the size, pick one region.

For the template, I recommend choosing either “Empty Land’ or uploading your own OAR file. The Virtual Collaboration Campus is pretty ho-hum and the Universal Campus requires four regions.

If you want a nice OAR file for your new world, check out all the free OARs offered by Linda Kellie. They’re all CC0 licensed, and everything in them is her original creations, so you can do absolutely anything with them. Including repackaging and reselling her stuff. She’s totally fine with it, and has said so on numerous occasions. You can download her OAR files here.

Kitely should really have them on hand as part of their starting library, so people aren’t downloading and uploading them all the time. These are big files.

I’m going to choose the Virtual Collaboration Campus so you can see what it looks like.

After choosing “Metered World,” “1 Region,” and your preferred OAR file, click on “Next.” This is the “Basic” tab — type the name of your region here, and, if you like, a brief description.

Kitely basic world

Then click on “Next” again to go the “Access” tab.

This is another tricky one.

Select your maturity rating, skip over the upgrade option — you can always upgrade later — and uncheck “Regular Account users” under “Select who may visit this world.”

You want only Premium Account users — and yourself, of course — to visit this world. Unless you don’t want them to visit your world either, in which case you can uncheck that, as well.

Remember that there’s no charge to either you or them when premium users visit, so it’s a good option for free regions.

Kitely access

Now hit the “Create” button and wait a few seconds while Kitely creates your new region.

Kitely world created

Click on OK. And now Kitely will show you your “My Worlds” page again, and, this time, your new region will be listed.

Kitely my worlds screen with first world

 

Step 3: Enter your free region

Click on the name of the region, and its region description page will come up.

Kitely region description

I don’t have much info on this page but some people have really nice ones for their regions.

Now, in the old days, you could just click on the “Enter World” button to log into Kitely and go to your new region. Kitely would automatically install a viewer for you, configure it, log you in, and take you right to your land.

No more! Now you have to do all this yourself. First, the viewer. If you don’t already have one, I recommend Firestorm — right now, they have three options on their downloads page, a Second Life-only viewer, and two versions that also work with OpenSim. Install one of the OpenSim ones. After you have it running, pick the Kitely grid from the grid selector, enter the avatar name and password you signed up with, and log in.

You will be logged into the Kitely Welcome Center region.

My new avatar on the Kitely Welcome Center region.

My new avatar on the Kitely Welcome Center region.

To get to your free region, you can now teleport to it by typing its name into Map-Teleport. Or you can click on “Enter World” on the Kitely website, on your region’s page.

I clicked on “Enter World” and Kitely booted up my region and teleported me over.

My new avatar on my new free region.

My new avatar on my new free region.

Did these instructions work for you? Let me know in the comments!

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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.

  • Joe Builder

    That’s a lot of prims, To stuff into 1 region but if that amount proves to be stable then seems like a good deal for a closed grid

    • Dot

      Kitely might be a closed grid at the moment, but Hypergrid is coming. Oren blogged about it a couple of weeks ago ( http://www.kitely.com/virtual-world-news/2014/04/18/opensim-bug-fixes-and-hypergrid-progress-update/ ). At the weekly Community Meeting (Wednesday, 1 pm Pacific time, Kitely Welcome Center, open to all Kitely users), Ilan usually gives an update on progress. It’s getting close…

      • Joe Builder

        I don’t think that’s really that important being opened or closed to much, Maybe for the takers but other than that its extremely simple to make a account on any grid and Hypergates tend to disrupt inventory’s unless that is fixed when they do open the gate.

    • lmpierce

      I’ve been accessing the 100,000 prim region over a long time and have found it to be stable, with a few caveats. Performance depends on build density, but also on viewer settings. As the number of viewable prims increases, the frames per second decreases. And as the viewer settings move towards higher and higher quality, performance takes a hit as well. With very high prim counts, these effects are even more pronounced.

      When I built Serenity Island, I was working locally and built freely without any concerns about performance. Once uploaded to a service, Kitely, it became apparent that some optimizations were in order. Top on the list were flexiprims – I had them on every plant and they reduced fps to an unusable level. I also reduced the density of areas, especially plants and grasses, which can add up quickly. Reducing texture sizes helped. And keep in mind that there are not 100,000 prims on the level of the region terrain – those prims are distributed over several additional building levels going up into the sky. I treat the sim as a box measuring 256 m x 256 m x 4096m.

      Viewer settings also matter a great deal. Real-time shadows and high viewing distance have a much bigger impact on regions with high prim counts. I can bring my system to a virtual halt on the Serenity Island 100,000 prim world by turning on shadows and setting a view distance of 512 meters.

      In the end, though, it’s more about building to the target audience. Serenity Island was originally built as a personal project on a stand-alone computer. Optimization of user experience to accommodate less powerful computers or high ping times was not a primary consideration. If I’m going to build for others, I’m first going to estimate what the typical computer can handle, then build within those constraints. My guess is that for most users, the optimal level of prims per build would be well under 100,000 prims to provide a satisfactory user experience. But it’s great to know that with proper planning, prim count is not, for all intents and purposes, one of the initial constraints.

  • Recently I created, then deleted, a test extra metered world, that used some of the above steps. It was inexpensive, easy to do, and sufficed for my quick test of a couple of things I wanted to do without disturbing my main free region there.

    Here is an example of one in Kitely using the full amount of allowed prims;

    http://www.kitely.com/virtual-world/Lawrence-Pierce/Serenity-Island-Prim-Capability-Test-2

    I went there once and it was very smooth.

    Of course, OS can easily do that, and more, but limits are always something that each grid imposes based upon several factors, as most of us know.

  • Joe Builder

    That world Miney posted may be a interesting look, Being I never been in any region above 30k that I was able to walk in

    • Just make sure that your computer has a powerful enough graphics card do render it all or set your viewer graphics settings to a lower level if you have a less capable card.

      • Joe Builder

        Yes, I have a good card. But is the amount of that many prims due to the advancement from kitley? Just curious and I think so but just asking

        • Kitely hosts active worlds on powerful servers that are usually too expensive for hosting always-on sims at a reasonable cost. Our proprietary cloud-based assets and inventory systems also help us support more prims on a sim by offloading the handling of those entities from the sim.

          That said, I believe that even regular OpenSim running on the same hardware we use would support 100,000 prim builds that are more complex than just the simple copy-pasted cubes that various people have blogged about (some people have demonstrated builds with more than 1 million such cubes).

          • Joe Builder

            Yes I noticed as well different servers trying to load lots of prims 30k or so with a few scripts and textures its almost unusable. Even though I myself use only mega regions I keep the prim count well under 15k regardless of the size, On just a above average PC.

    • Samantha Atkins

      Yeah. I notice that my University quad-region is pretty pokey. especially at one end faced in toward the rest of the region. Something about Opensim. 99% of the 43,000 prims are not changing at all except maybe lighting and 90% are occluded. Yet the experience fps (not physical, etc.) stays low. My most powerful machine can handle it but it drags down my Mac Pro pretty bad. And that is more machine than a lot of visitors would have.

      I wonder what does this? It is nothing wrong with Kitely as I experience the same thing running on my own machines (non-virtual machine standalone ) and running against osgrid as well. It is like something isn’t cached properly and being recomputed? (guessing)

      • The SL viewer’s rendering engine is far from optimized. In addition, prims tend to have a lot higher triangle count than meshes (especially sculpties). This can slow down rendering on even powerful hardware. If you look at your Sim FPS, you’ll see that it is likely close to max even when your viewer FPS is very low. The server has no problem managing the extra prims, but your viewer is having a hard time rendering them all at a decent frame rate. Spinning your camera to face the sea usually causes the viewer FPS to jump up as your viewer no longer needs to render all those prims. If the slowness was caused by the server then you would have experienced lag no matter where you pointed the camera.

        • Joe Builder

          I heard similar, Viewers in opensims are not the best and usually are behind bad experiences.

          • They are as good as the official SL viewer, the problem isn’t with them specifically. It’s with all SL viewer-derived viewers.

      • As Ilan has already mentioned, the main factor here is (IMHO) how much geometry you are trying to fit on screen. The standard “prim cube” has nearly 8 times the amount of triangles it needs to have. You need no more than 2 tris to make a square face, but the SL prims have far more (18 per side I think, 3 rows of 3 pairs but don’t quote me). The extra tris are required for prim manipulation. You cant hollow out a mesh cube, you have to do it in a 3DS Program. Its required for in-world building, but its performance impacts are significant.

        So if you were building with mesh cubes and had 20,000 prims (2x6x50,000) your looking at around 240,000 tris.

        Same with “prim” cubes? 18x6x50,000 = 2,160,000

        Yep, read that again and let it sink in. Its a huuuuuuuge difference. Any but the best PC is going to struggle with over 2 million tris, and thats before you even start considering scripting, materials, texture size.

        This means that if you are building using system prims, you are building inefficient, laggy content. Its one of the things that makes my blood boil about SL that mesh is so penalized by PE calculations, while prims get a free ride. My trees for example kick the ass of most of the prim trees out there, but SL will never have them, because they are mesh.

        I will be able to prove this soon, as my region made entirely from mesh is coming close to 10,000 PE now. Personally, I think you can already see and feel the improvements in terms of performance.

        Chuck out those prims folks! 🙂

        • Its one of the things that makes my blood boil about SL that mesh is so penalized by PE calculations, while prims get a free ride.

          Indeed. I’m always baffled about that as well. There have been rumours that LL would progressively change PE calculations over time, to start penalizing tortured prims, then sculpties, then regular prims… in an attempt to reduce overall (client) lag.

          Then again, OpenSim could lead the way by stopping to use ‘prims’ as a measurement and just use tris instead 🙂

    • And they’re coming to take me away ha-haaa
      They’re coming to take me away ho ho hee hee ha haaa
      To the funny farm
      Where life is beautiful all the time
      And I’ll be happy to see those nice young men
      In their clean white coats
      And they’re coming to take me away ha haaa

      http://youtu.be/hnzHtm1jhL4

      I am feeling it!!!

      • Joe Builder

        lol If I was you miney I would pack up and move and don’t forget not to leave a forwarding address. I would hate for them to take you away 🙁

        • ty Joe…it’s fun to add a little humour to the whole thang-)))

          • Joe Builder

            :)~ yea

  • Merrie Schonbach

    Thank you Maria that made it easier to find where the goodies are hidden.

  • I liked Kitely very much and it ran incredibly smoothly – still wish our project was there, but things change and OpenSim was an awesome experience and Kitely provided a great and affordable service.

  • Alex Ferraris

    I have been reading on here and it is amazing to me what I read.
    A free region that becomes paid region. A 100k prims with no lag, and off course you must have a special pc for that and on and on. AviWorlds has a region named Gullivers Travels. Ilan knows Gullivers Travels region.
    It has about 23000 prims. Fully textured and all. No scripts.very few if there are any.
    At the time even Ilan agreed with me that there is a viewer limitation as to how many prims it can process without what we call VIEWER LAG starts to happen.
    So if you have 100k prims to use its best to spread it among 4-10 regions.
    As far as the free not free that is playing with the words. And yes Im sure these regions are all counted as kitely’s total regions. Even if they are never used. 🙂

    • You seem to be confusing what Kitely servers provide and what people’s computers are able to render without lag. The server supports 100,000 prims without issues. It loads the data quickly, it process the data quickly, it transfers the data quickly, etc. all without it taking much of the server’s resources. In other words, the Kitely simulators could support even more prims and be just fine.

      Performance of people’s viewers, on the other hand, depends on the specific hardware those people own (most notably the graphics card they have installed) and the viewer settings they use. People trying to run graphics on High or Ultra with a mediocre graphics card will experience lag on a region with many prims, if their hardware isn’t powerful enough even Low settings will give them bad results. However, people with high end graphics cards will have good viewer FPS even when they are in a region with 100,000 prims.

      The terms under which we provide hosting are clearly stated on our Services page. Including the terms of the free offering:

      “Create your free account now, and get a FREE 1-region virtual world! That Metered World will use your account’s Free Regions quota so will remain available for access indefinitely. We’ll also give you 6 free hours in-world to try out your world. You don’t need to give us your billing information to get this free trial period, so act now and you’ll be able to start building your world within minutes.”

      Metered Worlds, free access to Premium account owners, etc. are all explained on that page.

      In other words, we provide exactly what we promise.

    • As i have stated to you before in another topic, theres no viewer limitation. The “viewer lag” you speak of depends on the user’s own computer. A good beefy gaming computer with a beefy CPU, RAM, GPU and VRAM will give the user zero lag, even on a regular region that has 1 million prims. Sadly alot of people can not afford a beefy computer so its suggested to keep prim limits low for those that dont have a fast enough computer and/or video card.
      And before you say anything back, yes i have done my research into this for many reasons, one of the reasons is because I like to make my own multiplayer game soon.

      • Joe Builder

        Chris, I think he was referring to the countless times at the developers meetings they have said time to time there was no optimized viewers for opensims. Being there limited what they can do. If the average person has a say Walmart computer one would think the developers would address that first rather than say Var regions or any other really not needed application. And the term viewer lag is used by most all in the tech field.

      • Alex Ferraris

        Chris you just explained and confirmed what I was saying. Thanks.:)