OpenSim development — like that of any open source project — is very much focused on what developers want to do. They are, after all, volunteers, they don’t take orders. That leaves business users in a quandary — especially those without the technical skills or budgets to do their ownRead More →

Unity 3D is currently the hot platform for virtual world development and it’s going to get hotter, experts say, now that Unity has announced that their environments will soon be exportable to Flash. The announcement will “100 percent accelerate” the move to Unity, Tipodean CEO Chris Collins told Hypergrid Business. Collins wasRead More →

AVWorlds is a brand new grid — at just 26 regions, it doesn’t even make our monthly Top 40 list — but it has big ambitions. The grid launched with the highest priced land in OpenSim, but then abandoned that strategy and is now actually offering more free residential plotsRead More →

3DLES offers project management, educational support, building and scripting for educational projects in OpenSim.

I’m regularly asked why I give more coverage to one company or another, or why I’m biased against particular grids or platforms. And, it’s true. I do have a bias. You see, in my day job — I’m not actually running Hypergrid Business for the money — in my dayRead More →

Use this script to put a Google graphic on any prim. Clicking on the drawing in-world will automatically refresh it. You can use it to create a white board for an in-world presentation. You can allow several people to edit at once by sharing the Google Doc with them. OfRead More →

Linda Kellie, whose free content has made her website a go-to destination for folks making their move to OpenSim and needing content, has released her first OAR file (free download here). This complete region includes a small freebie store with starting avatars, animations, and a large collection of textures. ThereRead More →

Any grid owner that makes a living by renting out premium residential regions should start planning ahead — for a future in which the effective of residential regions drops down to zero. Free is already here Of course, there is nothing new about free regions. OSGrid and other open gridsRead More →

Kitely users will no longer be able to copy and export content that they don’t have copy or transfer permissions for, the company announced today. Previously, users could make full duplicates of entire regions, or save full regions as OAR files, with a simple click of a button. Now, KitelyRead More →

Second Life builders and designers coming over to OpenSim might think that it’s the same thing, except for the lack of support for some high-end vehicle physics scripting commands — and bigger prims. In fact, OpenSim actually offers some unique benefits that designers should be ready to take advantage of.Read More →

Two OpenSim grids have been attacked — OpenNeuland and Wilder Westen — and the attackers may be going after others, said Kai Ludwig, director of Germany’s TalentRaspel virtual worlds Ltd. and owner of the two grids. The attack hit Open Neuland yesterday and Wilder Westen today, he told Hypergrid Business. “It’s probably bot-based,Read More →

Role Play Worlds, a 43-region grid dedicated to fantasy-themed role playing, will close next month, the grid announced today. Residents will have until September 23 to make backups, export builds, and cancel orders and subscriptions. “We dont have the time and energy to keep working on RPW as before, that’sRead More →

Press Release: Finalists Named in International Serious Play Award Competition SEATTLE – A panel of experts have selected 20 games as finalists in the 2011 International Serious Play Awards, a recognition program honoring outstanding examples of corporate, military, health care and school/at home learning titles. The games will be featuredRead More →

Offers furniture, plants, sculpted stairs, wristwatches and a selection of other miscellaneous objects, including scripted vehicles.

The HGExchange multi-grid marketplace delivers products to OSGrid, Haven, Nova, AnSky or MyOpenGrid .

A selection of free textures, terrains, and a handful of starting skins.

Free clothing, textures, animations and scripts, created by Fleep Tuque.

KatiJack Studio is a virtual design firm specializing in landscaping and building which offers region terrains on its website.

A nice starting collection of free skins, hair and textures for OpenSim and Second Life users, all original creations.

Free, large, Creative Commons-licensed content collection, which includes avatars, clothing, furniture, buildings, scripts, plants, terrains, textures, and hair and other attachments.

Jeff Lowe is the maker of the BrainBoard, a collaborative note-taking tool for brainstorming and planning.

Virtual world development company working in Second Life and OpenSim.

Jon Brouchoud designs virtual environments, 3D experiences and serious game applications in Unity3D, Second Life and OpenSim.

ARCH Virtual provides resources and design services to clients using Second Life, OpenSim and Unity3D.

US $150 per month for a four-region simulator on the Starlight grid. Building, consulting, and Second Life migration services also available.

Daden offers consulting, design and building services in virtual worlds, with particular expertise in the areas of web and real world integration, and creating interactive virtual personalities.

Creative Twists Designs offers design, building and other services for companies considering Second Life and OpenSim deployments.

29 Euros (US $33) a month for up to 45,000 prims. Includes hypergrid, groups and voice. Free varregion upgrade.

US$19 ($25 AUD) a month with a US$37 ($50 AUD) setup fee for a 15,000-prim region on the education-focused JokaydiaGrid. No currency. Hypergrid-enabled.

US$29 a month for a full region on the German-language social grid Dorenas World.

US$25 a month for a 15,000-prim region on the AviWorlds grid, $45 setup fee. Hypergrid, Vivox, Kitely Market, varregions available.

$35 a month, located on the AnSky grid, for a 15,000-prim region. Hypergrid enabled, Vivox voice.

$15 a month for a 15,000 prim region. In-grid currency, hypergrid, and varregions available.

$25 a month for 15,000-prim region, located on OSgrid, Metropolis, MyOpenGrid, or any other open grid, either private or hypergrid-enabled. Mini-grids also available.

US$ 9 (8 Euros) a month for a 15,000-prim region on the education-focused, French-language hypergrid-enabled Logicamp grid.

SpotON3D is a small commercial grid, with more money and programmers than customers. It has developed three innovative pieces of technology, two of which nobody cares anything about, and one, a browser-based viewer plugin, that got people all excited. Including me. It’s a great little piece of functionality, and anRead More →

SpotON3D will address the patent issue in a discussion on the first day of its Content Creators Expo in Second Life. Philippe Pascal, SpotON3D’s developer program manager, invited Hypergrid Business readers to attend the Expo, including those concerned about reports that SpotON3D has filed for five patents on OpenSim-related technology. ThoseRead More →

Thanks to a “small bounty” from Birmingham, U.K.-based Daden Limited, OpenSim has new NPC functionality — otherwise known as non-player characters or bots. “Having this functionality broken was becoming a real pain for us, as having NPCs and autonomous avatars in virtual worlds is a lot of what we are about,” DavidRead More →

Kitely users will get at least one more free month of hosting, as the company’s billing system has been delayed. “Due to the time we’d spent improving OpenSim in the last couple of months we are a few weeks behind schedule,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. The companyRead More →

The Aurora-Sim distribution of OpenSim now supports mega regions of unlimited size, according to an announcement made this weekend. That doesn’t mean that the regions offer endless land to build on — buildable land is limited to the size of the underlying region, either a standard region or a variable-sizedRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 18,498 regions — up by 1,539 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew by almost 12,000 to 206,098. Avination, InWorldz lose ground Both of the top commercial grids — Avination and InWorldz — lost regions over the past month.Read More →

Regions start at $30 a month for a 12,000-prim region, with no setup fee. Full grid hosting starts at $45 per month.

SpotON3D has actually filed five patents, not just one, SpotON3D CEO Stevan Lieberman, an intellectual property attorney with Greenberg & Lieberman, said at an outreach event Sunday morning. He did not provide any additional information about the patents at the event, though the company website offers a few hints. Thank you to Vanish Seriath, whoRead More →

Despite the patent controversy, and public relations problems that ensued from it, SpotON3D has a good product. It’s viewer plugin wrapper might not be a technological breakthrough, but it feels like a big technological breakthrough. No other browser-based solution — neither Tipodean’s www.BuiltBuy.me, nor 3Di’s Rei, nor Rezzable’s Unity-based viewer —Read More →

At a public forum today, an OpenSim grid executive told the audience that creators could lose their intellectual property rights if their work is copied. This is a common — and harmful — myth that may keep creators from sharing their work. In fact, you cannot lose your copyright ifRead More →

SpotON3D attempted to address the controversy over its plans to patent technology for putting an OpenSim viewer on a webpage in an outreach event this morning, but some of the company’s toughest critics failed to show up, the company failed to answer key questions about its technology, and the meetingRead More →

Image: maple / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In recent months, the amount of innovation coming out of the OpenSim community has been staggering. Hypergrid travel is not only more secure, but now supports cross-grid friendships, messages, and landmarks. OpenSim providers are hosting their regions on-demand and in public (and private) clouds, offering full regions for under $10Read More →

AvWorlds has announced that the company will be releasing a Facebook plugin this week, allowing users to quickly create avatars based on their existing Facebook identities. Those without Facebook accounts — or who don’t want to expose their identities — will also be able to use Yahoo and Google logins,Read More →

Competing OpenSim hosting companies are concerned that SpotON3D‘s viewer plugin patent isn’t original, will hinder innovation, and that the company isn’t playing fair with the broader open source community. Other developers, however, say that SpotON3D’s innovation can help energize OpenSim adoption — and the patent, if it is granted, mayRead More →

Avination may deploy the Havok physics engine for its grid. This is the same physics engine used by Second Life. “It is being considered and talks with Havok have started,” Avination grid manager Melanie Thielker told Hypergrid Business. “The content of these talks are under NDA [non-disclosure agreements.” OpenSim grids normallyRead More →

A lot of folks sit around complaining about not having a decent Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. (Okay, maybe just me.) The existing stand-alone viewers require that users download and install the software. There’s nothing wrong with installing software, but as more applications migrate to the Web, folksRead More →

Virtual worlds gained 214 million new users in the second quarter of 2011, according to virtual worlds research firm KZero Worldwide. It was the largest quarterly increase since the company began tracking these numbers in 2008. Second Life, with 27 million registered users, continued to hold the top position inRead More →

Until yesterday, I’ve been keeping up with — but haven’t been particularly concerned about — the Google Plus real names controversy. After all, I already used my real name in all my social networking and the only complaint I have with virtual worlds is when I can’t use my realRead More →

First of all, I’d like to thank all the creative folks who are creating original products and distributing them in freebie stores on OSGrid, JokaydiaGrid, GermanGrid, FrancoGrid, and many other locations. OpenSim has come a long way since I started writing about it two years ago and it’s now possibleRead More →

OSGrid, the largest grid running on the OpenSim software, is celebrating its fourth birthday this weekend with parties, games, tours, and training classes. OSGrid currently has 6,896 regions and more than 63,000 registered users. By comparison, the next-largest grid, ScienceSim, has around 1,800 regions — but many of those are scalabilityRead More →

I’ve been traveling around the hypergrid a lot lately enjoying the new hypergrid landmarks, friends, and messages — and updating the Hyperica directory. And I’ve been amazed at how far the grids have come. Areas which were bare or under construction when I last visited are now looking finished andRead More →

US$12 for a 15,000-prim region on OSgrid, any other open grid, or as a standalone. No setup fees. With Web-based management console, hypergrid, voice.

US $15 a month for a 15,000-prim on-demand region. Easy OAR exports and imports, voice, hypergrid, megaregions.

Aurora-Sim is a hot, fresh, new distribution of OpenSim that promises some nice features for grid managers (see story here) but, until this weekend, its users were cut off from the rest of the metaverse. That compatibility problem has been solved, and residents of OSGrid, FrancoGrid, and most other gridsRead More →

Update: Please people, stop linking to this post! Unless you are actually an OpenSim user this is not relevant to you at all! This article is about a very, very, narrow niche use of Unity that’s only relevant to a small handful of people. I understand that Unity is not aRead More →

Two major players in the OpenSim community have recently joined ReactionGrid in promoting the Unity 3D platform. In addition to ReactionGrid’s Jibe environment, we now also have Second Learning’s Unifier environment, and a product from Tipodean to convert OpenSim regions to Unity scenes. Jibe starts at $50 a month, Unifier atRead More →

It’s been a record-breaking months for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids passing 16,000 regions and 200,000 users for the first time in history. The total number of regions on these 40 largest public grids was 16,959, an increase of 1,669 regions since mid June — the biggest single-month increaseRead More →

If you’re launching a new grid, your number one problem is lack of content. Whether your grid is a corporate office complex for your employees, a campus for your students, or a large social and roleplaying world for your residents, they all need clothes, skins, hair, shoes, furniture, productivity tools,Read More →

If you’re treating your virtual workers like regular staff, but paying them as contractors, you might be setting yourself up for a lawsuit — even if you’re paying your employees in a virtual currency. At least, that’s the opinion of Donald C. Dowling, Jr., partner in the international labor andRead More →

Paris-based Cariama, a multi-grid marketplace, wants merchants to know that they can sell their goods to six different OpenSim grids, plus Second Life — without paying any commission. Those six grids are 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, InWorldz, Open Neuland,  Sim World and UFS Grid. It’s been making that pitch sinceRead More →

Educators and companies looking for free, Creative Commons-licensed starting regions for their corporate or school campuses should take a look at Universal Campus. These four regions were originally created by OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world — for the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics atRead More →

Intel’s Distributed Scene Graph — the technology that allows OpenSim to handle thousands of avatars on a single region – is now available for download. In the future, the technology will become part of the standard distribution of OpenSim, core developer Justin Clark-Casey told Hypergrid Business. “No timeframe on this, though,”Read More →

Japan’s 3Di Inc., the first vendor to release a business-friendly Web-based viewer for OpenSim, has cut back its development work on the platform in favor of Flash-based virtual environments. “Apart from our existing deployments, we’ve scaled back new development on OpenSim,” 3Di technical group manager Norman Lin told Hypergrid Business.Read More →

The Commerce & Marketing Track of the Second Life Community Convention, scheduled for August 12 through 14 in Oakland, California, is looking for presentation proposals from Second Life content and service providers. According to track leader James Neville, one keynote speaker is already scheduled — Rik Panganiban, who will talk about non-profitRead More →

HGExchange, a new online marketplace for OpenSim goods launched today, with live delivery to OSGrid, MyOpenGrid, and Haven. It is not the first online marketplace to deliver items to multiple OpenSim grids.  Cariama delivers products to 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, InWorldz, Sim World and UFS Grid as well as to SecondRead More →

The recently-released OpenAvatar kit for open source avatars could help enterprise users of virtual worlds reduce vendor lock-in and, eventually, lead to significant improvements in the appearance of avatars, VastPark CEO Bruce Joy told Hypergrid Business. VastPark is an Australian immersive environment vendor that has both commercial and open sourceRead More →

OpenSim’s volunteer developers have launched a foundation, the non-profit Overte Foundation, which expected to solve the licensing problems that keep OpenSim server developers from talking to viewer developers. “One of the main reasons for creating such a foundation is so that we can drop the six month contribution barrier between OpenSimulatorRead More →

I subscribe to a lot of virtual world-related blogs in my RSS reader (click here for the bundle) , and follow a lot more on Twitter (click here for the list). Here are the five that I check in on daily. i live in science land Ener Hax posts daily (with a littleRead More →

Jibe is a new, Unity 3D-based virtual environment created by ReactionGrid, one of the leading OpenSim hosting vendors. Many people confuse the two platforms, but they are very different environments. In fact, Jibe has very little in common with OpenSim, and quite a bit in common with other browser-based virtualRead More →

As the number of new grids proliferates, grid owners need to look beyond “cheaper than Second Life” as their key marketing ploy. Instead, why not try one of these time-tested strategies? 1. Limited time offer! You see these all the time — because they work. The limited offer could beRead More →

An educator has released a free, 160-page “quick start” guide this week. The guide is a complete instruction manual for schools — or other institutions — looking to set up OpenSim-based environments from scratch. The guide was created by David Deeds, IT manager and teacher at the Changchun American InternationalRead More →

Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business this week that the Second Life and OpenSim viewer can be ported to HTML 5 and Web GL in a matter of months — and he’s looking for people to help accomplish that. Tocher said that’s he’s received a commitment from Alon ZakaiRead More →

Washington, D.C.-based grid SpotOn3D is looking for developers to work on gambling-related projects, now that online gambling has been legalized in the nation’s capital. “This opens up many opportunities for metaverse developers,” Philippe Pascal, the company’s developer program manager, said in an announcement today. “SpotON3D is currently on the look-outRead More →

Kitely, a popular cloud-based OpenSim hosting provider, rolled out two frequently requested features today — the ability to export regions, and the ability to choose viewers. These two changes should make it much easier for virtual designers to use Kitely for building and design projects. In addition, the Kitely pluginRead More →

Intel will release the code for its Distributed Scene Graph 3-D — which allows thousands of avatars on a single OpenSim regions — at the end of June, the company told Hypergrid Business today. The DSG code will be available at OpenSimulator.org/wiki/Download And there will be documentation about the code, asRead More →

Club One’s two virtual weight-loss programs last year were a clear success — participants lost as much or more weight as in a similar program held in a real gym, and made more positive lifestyle changes. (See How Club One lowers your weight and BP virtually and Study: Virtual health club deliversRead More →

We all remember the Microsoft-Netscape battle. Okay, maybe some people don’t, so here’s the summary: Netscape was a company that made a free Internet browser and and a not-free commercial Web server. (The latter has since been bought by Sun, and open sourced.) Microsoft built their own version of aRead More →

Hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine called today on big public grids to begin a mass migration to lower regions. The reason is that Second Life-compatible viewers don’t handle jumps of more than 4,096 regions in any direction — causing problems both forRead More →

What’s the fun of teleporting to other grids and meeting new friends, if you can’t keep in touch with them afterwards? That’s not going to be a problem for long, hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine in an announcement Friday. The new functionalityRead More →

People who remember the last dot-com boom, and are thinking of launching a virtual worlds business so that they can take part in the next one, need not worry that their memories of the 1990s mean that their too old to succeed. In fact, according to a new study, olderRead More →

You cannot compare Second Life and OpenSim. One is a social world. The other is an open source piece of server software. You can’t even compare Second Life to individual grids using OpenSim as their backend software. Second Life has around a million users logging in each month, while theRead More →

Developers of the Aurora Sim version of OpenSim are building a hypergrid bridge to mainline OpenSim, said Enrico Ranucci, head of New Voice, d.i., an Italian technology company that’s been in business since 2005. Aurora Sim uses a different version of hypergrid, called IWC — InterWorldConnector — to allow teleportation betweenRead More →

There might be a role for new kinds of exchanges in our virtual future, just as the Internet spurred the growth of online trading and alternative trading networks. But there aren’t going to be any happy endings for investors in todays in-game virtual stock markets. Virtual shares on the CapExRead More →

Second Life “financial institutions” such as virtual banks and stock exchanges have historically been magnets for fraud and mismanagement. But the Capital Exchange — formerly the SL Capital Exchange, now under new management — promises to change that. Carmen Dubaldi, who bought the exchange this January, has actual business experienceRead More →

With OpenSim hosting prices dropping fast and features and stability improving, it surprises to me that people still ask why anyone should pay for OpenSim. Yes, OpenSim is free. You can go to OpenSimulator.org and download the software and run your own world, at zero cost. But, like much openRead More →

The closed, commercial social grid AvWorlds has abandoned its high price strategy — at least for now. When the grid was launched earlier this spring, a single region was priced at $145 a month. (See full story here.) While a bargain compared to Second Life, this price made it theRead More →