OpenSim’s official upgrade is out; supports varregions and Bullet physics

About a month ago, a preview of OpenSim 0.8 came out, with rotating regions, Bullet physics, and variable-sized regions.

The testing is now complete, and the official, recommended 0.8 release is now out.

Get all the details about the update in the release notes, or read our earlier story about the preview release.

Bullet physics roller coaster by Michael Cerquoni, also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world. Click image for full video.

Bullet physics roller coaster by Michael Cerquoni, also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world. Click image for full video.

The single biggest change is Bullet physics.

Justin Clark-Casey

Justin Clark-Casey

Bullet is a much more efficient physics implementation than ODE,” said OpenSim core developer Justin Clark-Casey in today’s announcement. ODE was the previous default physics engine for OpenSim. “For the same amount of CPU, you’ll be able to fit many more non-sitting avatars and physical objects on a simulator with Bullet than you could with ODE.  Bullet also receives much more active development than ODE has in recent years.”

However, ODE will still remain an option for region or grid owners who have vehicle scripts optimized for ODE.

Re-enabling it is just a case of change the physics engine setting in the [Startup] section of OpenSim.ini,” said Clark-Casey.

Eye-level view of one of Swondo's varregion terrains.

Eye-level view of one of Swondo’s varregion terrains.

The other big change are variable-sized regions. Several vendors have already jumped ahead on this, and have begun offering these super-sized regions at no additional cost to their customers, including  SwondoDreamland MetaverseZetamex and Sasso.


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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. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

5 Responses

  1.' Samantha Atkins says:

    Cool! Can’t wait to try a Universal Campus as a var region with new physics. I am curious whether its performance will be better. It is a bit heavy a load on visitors today when I have tried it with Kitely, my own standalone on local machine and tied into osgrid.

    •' Samantha Atkins says:

      Speaking of osgrid am I correct to think they would have no problem with people tying in a var region?

    •' Ilan Tochner says:

      Hi Samantha,

      Please note that Universal Campus contains 70MB of data. It will take time to download no matter how the regions are set up.

      •' Samantha Atkins says:

        Are you speaking of the oar size or the amount of data that moves from server to client? I don’t think you mean the second and I don’t see what the first has to do with whether better physics and handling of its spatial size will result in better user experience in it. Am I missing something?

        •' Ilan Tochner says:

          You said “It is a bit heavy a load on visitors today”, were you not referring to the time it takes the Universal Campus to rezz in people’s viewers? If so, the size of the data that needs to be transfered to people’s viewers is very relevant.

          At least in Kitely, there is hardly any load on the server when that world is set up as an Advanced Megaregion so changing it to a varregion will not have any noticeable effect on user expeirence. The main thing affecting people’s experience in that world is the amount of prims and assets it requires people’s viewers to render at the same time. People with good graphics cards have lag free experience and people with less capable cards can experience a lot of viewer lag. In either case, it isn’t something that is affected by how the regions are joined/not joined on the server.