Metropolis to upgrade grid, will support VR this summer

CenterWorld region on the Metropolis Grid.

Metropolis, one of the oldest non-profit OpenSim grids, and the second most popular grid (after OSgrid) announced that it will be upgrading to the latest version of OpenSim at the end of the month. Read the full information document here.

Users will need to pay 5 Euros to transfer their avatars unless they rent land from the grid, in which case their primary avatar will be transferred for free. Those who host their own regions on their own computers, or who have friends who do, can also use OpenSim’s IAR backup functionality to export their inventories for free.

The deadline for transfers is February 24.

After the upgrade, those connecting self-hosted regions will be charged 1.50 Euro per month. New avatars will continue to be free, but if users want to build in the grid’s public sandboxes, there is a one-time fee of 1 Euro.

Users who have regions connected to the grid that they host themselves should also upgrade their version of OpenSim to OpenSim version 0.9.1, the grid recommended. New connection instructions will be posted in the next few days.

For more information about the upgrade, check out this forum thread.

During the transition, the old grid and the new grid will run simultaneously for four weeks. The parallel operations will result in 30 percent higher server costs, the grid said, and asked users to support the grid with a donation.

After the transition, the grid’s assets database should only be a tenth of what it is now, according to the announcement.

The reduction in storage costs and the new avatar and connection fees will help secure the grid’s long-term existence, the grid said.

Virtual reality and web viewers

This summer, Metropolis will offer region owners the option of making their regions accessible via Web browsers, by converting the OpenSim regions to HTML5 and Javascript.

“It will run in all common browsers without plugins, router settings, viewers, etc. and will be compatible with most VR glasses,” the grid said.

At first, this will be a simple export, but over time, support for avatars, multiple users, physics, scripting, and animations will be added.

This project will be called RoadMap and will officially launch in April of this year.

I’m waiting to hear back from the grid owners about how all this will work, especially the VR aspect of this, and will post more when I have more information.

Maria Korolov