OpenSim’s 40 largest grids gained over 3,000 new regions this month, many thanks to the new varregion functionality. Registered users and active users also increased this month, despite the summer season.
The exact totals are 50,017 standard region equivalents on the top 40 grids, an increase of 3,110 regions; 363,884 registered users, an increase of 6,729 users; and 20,324 active users, an increase of 833.
Varregions and super low-cost regions from Zetamex allowed OpenSim users to have easy access to more land than ever before, resulting in substantial growth on several grids.
OSgrid, for example, gained the equivalent of 2,746 regions since this time last month, more than 2,000 of which were part of variable-sized regions. Virtual Highway gained 127 regions, also partly due to varregions, and Lost Paradise gained 117.
There were 229 active grids this month, with a total of 51,988 regions, 382,081 registered users, and 22,894 active users. The total land area of all the public OpenSim grids was 3,407 square kilometers, more than twice the size of Second Life.
The land area of OpenSim is just a bit larger than that of Yosemite National Park, and a bit smaller than that of Long Island.
This does not count private grids run by schools, companies, and individuals.
The OpenSim software has been downloaded 4,205 times this past month, including 687 downloads of the Diva Distro, 1,483 new downloads of Sim-on-a-Stick, 90 downloads of New World Studio, and 1,945 downloads of the standard distribution at OpenSimulator.org. According to Hypergrid Business estimates, the OpenSim software has been downloaded 197,969 times since September 2010, when we first started keeping track.
For company and school grids, relative popularity is not an issue — the grids are set up for a specific purpose, and if they meet that purpose, then they are successful. The same is true for grids run by niche communities or that serve a special need not met elsewhere.
But when it comes to general-purpose social grids, the rule of thumb is: the bigger and busier, the better. People looking to make new friends look for grids that already have the most users. Merchants looking to sell content will go to the grids with the most potential customers. Event organizers looking for the biggest audience… you get the idea.
With that in mind, here are the 10 most popular grids this month:
- InWorldz: 8,371 active users
- OSgrid: 3,560 active users
- Avination: 2,012 active users
- Metropolis: 1,512 active users
- Island Oasis: 990 active users
- Kitely: 799 active users
- Craft World: 452 active users
- 3rd Rock Grid: 379 active users
- Littlefield: 314 active users
- Virtual Highway: 261 active users
The biggest gainer was Avination, which gained 525 active users compared to last month. The other major gainers were InWorldz, which gained 219 new active users, Metropolis with 173 new active users, OSgrid with 124 more active users.
Another big gainer was Tangle Grid with 50 new active users, due to its outreach strategy of holding expos for the public. In fact, Tangle Grid was the fastest-growing grid among grids with more than 100 active users, reporting 53 percent growth increase this month. Avination was second with a 35 percent increase — very significant in a grid it’s size. Virtual Highway was third with an 18 percent growth rate in activity, Metropolis was fourth with 13 percent, and Los Paradise was fifth with 8 percent activity growth.
Kitely actually lost 110 active users over the past month, though it did gain 1,536 new registered users, coming in second only after InWorldz with 2,232 new registered users.
Kitely Market improves user experience
The Kitely Market has a new personalized homepage designed to help shoppers find items they are most likely to find interesting.
“This feature is based on detailed usage statistics we’ve just recently started collecting and so it will improve with time as the amount of data we accumulate grows,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business.Previously, the market home page showed a random selection of products.
Kitely also increased the idle user timeout from 30 minutes to two hours for people building on their own regions and for premium users no matter their locations.
“Kitely automatically disconnects avatars who have been idle in-world for 30 minutes,” said Oren Hurvitz, co-founder and VP R&D of Kitely. “This ensures that worlds don’t keep running indefinitely if you forget to close your viewer. However, we’ve received complaints that sometimes this timeout is too short. That’s especially a problem for builders, who might be working in Blender for a while and then return to the viewer to find that they’ve been disconnected, and have to login again.”
Over the past four weeks, the Kitely Market has added 85 new products, in 156 variations. Of those variations, 123 were exportable to other grids.
Kitely also gained 117 new regions this month.
Metropolis sweeps clean
Like other open grids, Metropolis allows its residents to connect home-based regions to the grid. These regions are typically only active part-time — in the evenings, for example, or on the weekends. To ensure that their spots on the map aren’t grabbed out from under them, grids typically allow regions to keep their locations even when they have been down for a while.
Sometimes, though, those regions never come back, or are moved to new locations but the old locations remain in the grid’s memory. To deal with this, large grids such as OSgrid and Metropolis do regular cleanings, removing all allocated spots that haven’t been used in a while. This does not delete the regions themselves — the regions are stored on user computers, and can be reconnected at any time. But it does reduce the official region count on a grid.
This month, Metropolis removed approximately 900 of these unused regions slots from its database. But the grid has also gained a few hundred regions, some of them variable-sized regions.
As a result, the grid’s total land area actually went up slightly this month.
Virtual Highway adds varregions, upgrades servers
Virtual Highway, a mid-sized commercial grid known for its live music scene, has completed a major round of upgrades that includes new, larger and more powerful servers, and an upgrade to the newest OpenSim 0.8 Post_Fixes.
That also includes new variable sized-regions for customers, configure as the equivalent of two-by-two standard regions, or four-by-four regions, with 40,000 prims.
“We also plan to offer a selection of terrain files for these regions,” grid owner Gene Call told Hypergrid Business. “For pricing please see our property manager, Geo Falcone.”
The grid has also created a giant variable sized regions — the size of 100 standard regions — that will soon be open to the public.
“It will consist of the entire mainland of Virtual Highway, which will be surrounded by two sims deep of water,” he said. “It will feature sailing, surfing, walking, and driving with no sim crossing. We are also putting in an airport for the adventurous fliers.”
In other grid news, bringing a big city feel to Virtual Highway, Keng City had its grand opening this week. Featuring DJs at Club Superfly and Grapevine, with his Jazz club soon to follow. Nubian Keng has established Keng City as a place to be, and to live. Keng City features the aforementioned clubs, a theater, spacious shops available to sell whatever a Virtual Highway vendor wishes and spacious, well furnished penthouse apartments with spectacular views.
“In keeping with the Virtual Highway’s love of entertainment, we are pleased to announce that Pink Vampire will be singing for us every month,” said Call. “This woman has an amazing voice, and ranks up there at the top of all the live singers in virtual worlds. If you haven’t heard her sing, please join us and enjoy yourself.”
She will be performing at 6 p.m. Pacific on the second Friday of every month.
Lost Castle, Troppo Club adds varregions
“We are very happy with the upgrade,” Per Eriksson, owner of the two grids, told Hypergrid Business. “Teleporting in, out and inside the grid is much better.”
The overall performance of the simulators has also improved, he said.
“OpenSim is a first class product,” he said. “Kudos to the developer team.”
The Lost Castle is now a five-by-five variable-sized region and a three-by-three variable sized region, and Troppo Club is a three-by-three variable sized region. The benefits are that users don’t experience any problems at border crossings.
Logicamp updates software, offers first month free
Logicamp has upgraded to the latest version of OpenSim, 0.8.0, and has begun offering first month free to customers renting regions. Logicamp is one of the lower-priced commercial grids, with regions running just 10 Euros — around US $13 — per month.
The grid is also restarting its Friday night parties.
We have several new grids on our list this month, including the new commercial social grid Pillars of Mist, Exnixia, BunnehGrid, Crystal’s World, Embraced Life, Pomroys World, the science fiction-themed Aries, the Encitra Home Grid of the transportation and infrastructure consulting firm Encitra, and the tourism promotional grid Maui Tours 3D.
We’re listing 22 grids as suspended this month because we haven’t been able to get to their grid info pages or websites these past few weeks, including: 3dcolabStandAlone, 3rd Experimental Primary School of Evosmos, Another World, Bess Research, Brasil Tropical, Contepomi, Cuddles’ World, Dream Realms 3D, ELIP, Fine Grid, Insight Concepts, KUNDGRID, NuevoMundo, OpenSim Fuchs, Realms of the missing, SkyLine Grid, Speculoos, TaylorWorld, True Open Grid, VIBE: Global Health, VIBE: Repository of Knowledge, and Virtualife.
If there’s a public grid we’re not tracking, please email us at [email protected]. There’s no centralized way to find OpenSim grids, so if you don’t tell us about it, and Google doesn’t alert us, we won’t know about it.
According to The Hypergates, there were 2,518 hypergrid jumps made through the network over the past four weeks, a decrease of 334 compared to the previous month. There were 804 active gates on 60 grids — an increase of 67 gates and a decrease of one grid.
Meanwhile, Second Life has continued losing regions this past month, according to data from GridSurvey, with 169 fewer regions today than this time last month. The Second Life grid now has 25,885 regions total, down 1,014 regions from this time last year, and exactly 6,000 fewer regions than its peak in June of 2010. The last time the Second Life grid was this small was in July of 2008.
August Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids
The list below is a small subset of existing OpenSim grids. We are now tracking a total of over 846 different publicly-accessible grids, 229 of which were active this month, and 162 of which published their statistics.
All region counts on this list are, whenever available, in terms of standard region equivalents — a 512 meter by 512 meter megaregion or variable-size region would count as four standard regions for this purposes of this list. Active user counts include hypergrid visitors.
Many school, company or personal grids do not publish their numbers.
- Virtual Worlds Grid: 19,842 regions
- OSgrid: 11,510 regions
- Kitely: 5,916 regions
- Metropolis: 3,707 regions
- Lost Paradise: 1,639 regions
- InWorldz: 1,359 regions
- Avination: 662 regions
- SimValley: 549 regions
- Virtual Highway: 390 regions
- 3rd Rock Grid: 382 regions
- Open Virtual Worlds: 315 regions
- FrancoGrid: 285 regions
- Littlefield: 237 regions
- Grid Nirvana: 221 regions
- Logicamp: 204 regions
- Island Oasis: 201 regions
- Next Reality: 169 regions
- Adreans-World: 164 regions
- Craft World: 162 regions
- Lost World: 148 regions
- SimudyneGrid: 140 regions
- Anettes Welt: 135 regions
- Virtual Gay Kingdom: 127 regions
- OpenSim.ru: 122 regions
- Dorena’s World: 115 regions
- DWGrid: 112 regions
- Tangle Grid: 109 regions
- Infinite Grid: 105 regions
- SkyLife: 104 regions
- GerGrid: 100 regions
- PMGrid: 96 regions
- Neuland: 90 regions
- DreamNation: 84 regions
- EdMondo: 81 regions
- YourSimSpot: 79 regions
- Japan Open Grid: 79 regions
- Encitra Home Grid: 77 regions
- R.World: 74 regions
- German Grid: 63 regions
- Atcradar: 63 regions