The number of public OpenSim grids has more than doubled in 2012, from 98 at the start of the year, to 232 grids active this month. Here are some reasons why this is happening. Easier setup from established hosting providers Companies like Dreamhost Metaverse, SimHost, Virtual Reality, and many othersRead More →

OpenSim hosting company Virtual Reality is taking over support and development of the Phoenix viewer, the company announced today. The previous development team, Phoenix Firestorm Project announced the end of their support for the v1-based Phoenix viewer, earlier this month, so that they could focus on the Firestorm viewer. The PhoenixRead More →

Interested in celebrating the holidays by playing with some free land on an OpenSim grid? There are plenty of options this holiday season, with many commercial grids rolling out promos, in addition to special events and celebrations. Interested in checking out InWorldz, the most popular OpenSim grid? West Wind Estates offers freeRead More →

Island Oasis, a commercial social grid, is inviting other grid owners to a grid summit to discuss griefing, copyright protection, creating an association for grid owners, and other issues. The First Annual Live Summit of Virtual Worlds will be held on March 15, 2013 on the Island Oasis grid, theRead More →

The Association of Virtual World Educators is looking for $54,750 to develop a package of virtual environments designed to teach lessons in science and social studies. The group has created a Kickstarter page and a video to promote the project, which has a funding deadline of December 31. The educationalRead More →

I’m still playing around with textures. After learning how to make seamless textures in GIMP with one click and a different kind of seamless texture with Texture Studio last weekend, I’ve been seeing potential textures everywhere. For example, I want to have stone walls in my build, but am worriedRead More →

AvaCon, the non-profit best known for organizing the Second Life Community Conventions, is now seeking volunteers, presenters, and partners for a new series of metaverse-related events. On Friday, the group announced the launch of the Metaverse Cultural Series. These events will take place in multiple virtual worlds and will showcaseRead More →

The total regions on the top 40 OpenSim grids continued to fall this month, though not as badly as last month after OSgrid’s big cleanup. The total number of regions fell by 1,566 to 20,629 since mid-November, due to the suspension of a couple of major grids, a continuation ofRead More →

Kitely — the low-cost, cloud-based OpenSim grid — is planning to launch an online content marketplace, and is looking for content creators to provide input about what features they would like to see. Discussions began at in-world meetings on November 28 and December 4, and have since continued online, onRead More →

After learning how to make seamless textures yesterday, I became a bit obsessed with it, taking pictures all over the place and trying to turn them into textures. And I discovered that that turning bricks and boards — anything with a large, regular pattern — into a seamless texture isRead More →

This is probably already known to everybody else, but either I’m an idiot, or I missed the day that everyone learned about it, but there’s a very quick and easy way to create seamless textures. Now that I’m thinking of sharing the stuff that I make, I’ve become absolutely paranoidRead More →

Late last summer, I had an idea for a hypergate script that would automatically calculate the distance to your destination’s address and, if it was too far away, send you to a mid-way transit gate on Hyperica, and then that gate would send you on to your destination. However, thisRead More →

Update Aug. 2016: DigiWorldz is now registered. Do you own a grid? Do you allow other users to upload content to your grid? Do you have legal license agreements on file for every script, texture and object on your grid? If your answers are yes, yes, and no, then get outRead More →

When most users first make the move from Second Life to OpenSim, they have two main concerns: will they be able to find a community, and will they be able to find the stuff they want? When an organization — a school, a company, a government agency — makes theRead More →

In the face of recent grid outages and terms of service changes, it doesn’t just make sense to back up your content, as I urged content creators to do  so in my column on Sunday — it also makes sense to back up your customers. No, that was weird. IRead More →

I read a great article by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, “Start With a Business Model, Not a Business Plan,” in today’s Wall Street Journal. It reminded me of entrepreneurs I have known who spent ages creating a business plan, only to have it fall apart the minute they tried toRead More →

There have been a series of grid outages lately — InWorldz was down for a day during a server move, JokaydiaGrid moved hosting companies, ReactionGrid shut down altogether. And now SpotON 3D has been down for a few days, blaming server problems. Plus, I’ve been reading about OpenSim users beingRead More →

Bullet physics is ready for testing, and is now part of the OpenSim core code, according to Intel’s Robert Adams. Turning on Bullet physics is as simple as changing the OpenSim.ini file, replacing the line “”physics = OpenDynamicsEngine” with “physics=BulletSim”. It does require access to the OpenSim region server, soRead More →

I mentioned yesterday in an article about Utherverse that those guys have application sharing for their virtual world platform, but that there’s nothing equivalent for Second Life and OpenSim, except through third-party services. By coincidence, I was cleaning out my in-box yesterday, and found a link to just such aRead More →

If there’s anyone still out there who doubts that sex helps drive technological development, they should have attended the Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention earlier this year in Utherverse. Utherverse is a 3D immersive virtual world, similar to Second Life, based in Vancouver, Canada. The company received a patent in September forRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids lost a total of 3,007 regions over the past four weeks as a result of a massive cleanup on OSgrid, the largest public grid running on the OpenSim platform. The top 40 grids now have a total of 22,195 regions. Unlike most other grids, OSgrids runsRead More →

Kitely, the on-demand OpenSim grid provider, is moving yet another piece of the OpenSim infrastructure to the cloud. This time, it’s the user inventories. “This significantly improves inventory performance on Kitely and helps us avoid the inventory-related problems that are plaguing other grids that are using OpenSim,” Kitely CEO IlanRead More →

The results of the 2012 Hypergrid Business grid survey are in, with a record 644 ratings submitted, up from 459 in last year’s survey and 194 in 2010, the first year the survey was conducted. The vast majority of respondents — 87.4 percent — said they would “absolutely” recommend their gridRead More →

On this day in 2008, Crista Lopes, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, sent an email to the OpenSim developers mailing list. “I started working on an extension to OpenSim that makes it work in peer-to-peer mode… I’m really excited to say that this is working!” sheRead More →

According to virtual worlds research firm KZero, the lack of a marketing budget is the single biggest mistake made by virtual world startups. “Virtual worlds and MMOs with insufficient marketing budgets are floating around in the market and failing to ramp up,” the company said. “This isn’t because their worldsRead More →

Let’s say you want to hold a virtual event — a class, an exhibition, a support group, a virtual tour, what have you — and have picked Kitely because it’s a low-cost, easy-to-use platform. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your Kitely events. Use meteredRead More →

Like many folks, I started out in OpenSim using Hippo, then graduated to Imprudence when Hippo was no longer supported. Today, Imprudence is still the recommended viewer on many grids, including OSgrid. Then, because I wanted mesh and media-on-a-prim, I started using the official Second Life viewer. It took aRead More →

Ohio-based virtual learning company Designing Digitally, Inc. has released a free white paper about the benefits and challenges of using 3D in training. “It is imperative that creating and sustaining a competitive advantage be a high priority and training is one area where organizations can do so,” said Designing Digitally presidentRead More →

The top 40 largest OpenSim grids gained 1,250 regions since mid-September, for a new record high of 25,202 regions. OSGrid was responsible for most of the growth, with 839 new regions, for a new total of 11,162 regions on that grid alone. OSGrid is a non-profit grid that allows peopleRead More →

The Intergrid Metaverse Art Biennial, a six-month long art festival, opened on six grids last month, including Second Life, InWorldz, OSGrid, Metropolis, FrancoGrid, and Craft World. This is the first time this festival is being held. InWorldz, a commercial grid, is the most popular OpenSim grid by active users. OSGrid,Read More →

A new online publication, Grid Press, is looking for writers to cover OpenSim grids. Contributor Linda Henson — better known as Linda Kellie of LindaKellie.com — urged writers to submit reviews of grids and of individual regions, to write about their virtual lives, and to contribute news and opinion articles.Read More →

JokaydiaGrid, the biggest education-focused OpenSim grid, has switched hosting providers, from ReactionGrid to SimHost. Residents will see higher prim limits, better stability, increased concurrency, and Vivox voice, grid owner Jo Kay told Hypergrid Business. ReactionGrid was one of the first enterprise-focused OpenSim hosting providers, and the go-to destination for educators.Read More →

Kitely announced a flat-rate hosting option today, at $40 per region per month. Kitely is an on-demand, cloud-based OpenSim grid that is best known for charging users for the time they spent in-world. Customers will still be able to use the previous, metered, billing option for their regions. But thoseRead More →

Kitely, an on-demand OpenSim grid, cut off support for the official Second Life viewer today, as did the Brazilian social grid Meet3D. “We had to take this step because Linden Lab, the creators of the Second Life Viewer, have released a new version that no longer works with OpenSim,” Oren Hurvitz,Read More →

Last month, Linden Lab decided to cut OpenSim off  from its viewer, and, last spring, to force third-party developers to choose between OpenSim and getting the new proprietary Havok pathfinding code. Viewer developers had three choices — turn down the new proprietary code, stop supporting OpenSim, or fork their viewers.Read More →

The new version of the Hypergrid protocol is coming soon, hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes announced today. Lopes is also a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine. It will include controls that grid owners can use to restrict hypergrid travel in and out of their grids, and also to control movementRead More →

The top 40 largest OpenSim grids gained a record-breaking 2,177 regions since mid-August, the single biggest monthly gain in history. The new regions pushed the grids to 23,952 total regions, also a new high. OSGrid was responsible for almost a quarter of the growth, with 498 new regions, for aRead More →

The Belgium-based Logicamp grid is offering OpenSim region hosting in the Amazon cloud at just 21 cents per hour — or 1 Euro (US $1.29) for six hours. Cloud-based event hosting is a good fit for companies and organizations that need a large number of regions for a short amountRead More →

As more and more people explore OpenSim, the content licensing issue comes up over and over again. It may be quite a puzzle for folks used to Second Life, where licensing is taken care of by the permissions system. In OpenSim, licensing and permissions are two different things. Permissions —Read More →

Over my twenty-year-plus career as a journalist, I’ve helped dozens of other writers get started — as an editor, and, prior to that, as an active member of the National Writers Union and the Society of Professional Journalists and other professional organizations. For example, at the SPJ, I headed upRead More →

The great thing about OpenSim? As much low-cost — or even free — land as you want. The bad thing? You have to have terrains for all that land. Sure, you can go in-world and use the terrain editing tools, but those take forever. And, if you’re anything like me,Read More →

Japan’s3Di, Inc., best known for their browser-based OpenSim viewers, has set the starting price for their Unity-based, in-a-Web-browser virtual world at around $10 a month. According to an announcement released yesterday, the “personal” 3Di Cloud starts at 9,800 yen a year, or about US $125, and can handle up to 500 simultaneousRead More →

Want people to come to your grid or region more frequently? Consider this advice from psychologist Susan Weinschenk – Want To Change a Habit? Use Fun, Surprise, and a Crowd. Let’s say that you are the owner of a grid, and you want your users to make visiting your grid a regularRead More →

Last week, I’ve been following a media storm of coverage surrounding ON24, a virtual events company. A couple of years ago, I covered the company, as well as its competitors InXpo and Unisfair (now InterCall), because — like many — I was confused by the term “virtual events.” So I stillRead More →

My long-time readers probably know that I pretty much only use virtual worlds for work. I don’t play role playing games. I don’t go to social events. Meanwhile, I keep saying that if you want to see where enterprise technology will be in five years, just take a look atRead More →

Note: Vivox now has an online form that OpenSim grid owners and hosting providers can use to request access credentials. Vivox is expanding its support for the OpenSim-based metaverse, with a larger team of employees supporting a growing number of grids. Previously, the only way for OpenSim grid owners to get Vivox voiceRead More →

Press release: 3Di, Inc. announces “Virtual World Kit for 3Di Cloud”, enabling blog-based creation of avatar social spaces using copy-paste TOKYO — 3Di, Inc., which develops and offers 3D Internet solutions, has begun distribution of its “Virtual World Kit for 3Di Cloud,” which allows immediate creation of an avatar socialRead More →

Kitely, the only OpenSim hosting company to offer on-demand, low-cost regions, announced megaregion support today. This means that customers can have islands that are one, four, nine or sixteen regions in size. The option is available to all users, including those on an a-la-carte payment plan, and it only takesRead More →

Today, we counted exactly 200 public grids running on some version of the OpenSim software that were active this month, totaling 23,190 regions, 269,783 registered users, and 18,217 active monthly users.  This does not include regions and users on about a quarter of these grids that didn’t publish any statistics, nor on the unknownRead More →