The new year begins with both good news, and bad news. The bad news, first. Haven, a small commercial grid, closed as of December 27.  According to a letter by the founder, health issues have cut into both the time and the financial resources she is able to dedicate toRead More →

Today, OpenSim development moves along at an uneven pace, with an estimated 1,200 bugs that need to be fixed before OpenSim can get to a stable, reliable version 1.0 release and get out of “alpha.” Development is mainly driven by three groups — large organizations like Intel who have paidRead More →

The results of the 2013 OpenSim hosting  are in, and the biggest surprise was the lack of votes for SimHost, once one of the leading vendors in this space. Another surprise? Vehicle physics tops the list of wanted OpenSim features, just as it did in 2011. Overall, 53 percent ofRead More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the winter holidays this month, with calendars full of Christmas and winter-themed events. Holiday freebies, contests and music on Virtual Highway Virtual Highway, a closed commercial grid known for its music scene, is going all-out for the holidays this year. “Two stunning winterRead More →

The OpenSim grids are getting ready for the holiday season, with themed events and special promotions. Littlefield Grid celebrates Dr. Who anniversary, Thanksgiving and Homecoming Littlefield grid is celebrating a number of holidays this month, staring with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who on November 23. There will be aRead More →

As many of you know, early last September we held the first OpenSimulator Community Conference, a purely online event hosted in OpenSimulator itself. It was produced collaboratively by the Overte Foundation and Avacon, with the planning process beginning in February 2013 and increasing in intensity right up until the conferenceRead More →

If you have decided to transfer all your content from Second Life to another OpenSim grid, like Kitely, you have several possibilities how to do that. One good solution is make backup from Second Life and restore it on your home local OpenSim standalone region, you can use vanilla OpenSim, Diva Distro or Sim-on-a-stick, allRead More →

A new official release of the OpenSimulator server software was released yesterday, version 0.7.6, with out-of-the-box support for groups and profiles, many scripting improvements, better teleports, better voice, materials, and the new hypergrid export permission. A Diva Distro version of the new release is also out but, as of thisRead More →

October promises to be a busy grid on the OpenSim grids, with German residents celebrating Oktoberfest, some grids celebrating their anniversaries, and everyone celebrating Halloween. If you’re looking for a group to get you comfortable with hypergrid travels, check out the Hypergrid Adventurers Club, which started up up again lastRead More →

A public version of the browser-based PixieViewer will be available by Christmas, German-based PixieTec announced earlier this month, as will the source code for the project. Currently, the preview version of the viewer only works on the company’s own grid (read more about the preview release here). PixieTec is also working onRead More →

It’s been more than four years since the hypergrid was invented, and the “4096 bug” has plagued hypergrid travelers for all that time, preventing users from jumping more than 4,096 regions in any direction. The problem involves both viewer and server code, and is a legacy of the Second LifeRead More →

CtrlAltStudio released a viewer yesterday that can be used to access Second Life and OpenSim grids with an Oculus Rift. This is a preview viewer, which can be used to walk and look around inside the virtual world, but is missing user interface functionality. It works both in standard mode,Read More →

San Francisco-based virtual worlds developer David Rowe has released a 3D viewer for OpenSim and Second Life, based on the Firestorm Viewer. The CtrlAltStudio Viewer works in conjunction with active shutter glasses and high-end graphics cards to create a 3D effect. “With the CtrlAltStudio Viewer, the display effect is that the virtualRead More →

So I’m building a themed region — Maria’s Virtual Fit Club — on Kitely. (Facebook group here, Kitely login link here, story about the project here.) So, the first thing I think about, because I’m at heart a traditional newspaper layout designer, is the style template for the signs. There’sRead More →

If you rent land or own an OpenSim grid, you can now kick from your parcel or grid using your viewer, like in Second Life, thanks to code donated by Avination yesterday to the OpenSim community and expanded to include hypergrid visitors by hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes. Previously, grids couldRead More →

Will stick with V1 interface Will add support for mesh, media-on-a-prim, server-side baking and export permissions Will continue to support OpenSim Work is resuming on the Imprudence viewer, the developer team announced this week. Imprudence is a popular old-style viewer for Second Life and OpenSim and uses the old-style interface,Read More →

The Singularity team released a new version of the viewer today that supports the new “export” permission that was announced in March. The viewer — which is designed to work both in Second Life and in OpenSim — also added Server Side Baking and mesh uploads, among other improvements. TheRead More →

We’re about to see a big increase in the size of the hypergrid. According to my data, there are currently 96 grids that I know of that are hypergrid-enabled, with a total of 16,628 regions and 8,052 active users — though some of those active users might overlap as someRead More →

Second Life is a killer app for Oculus Rift. Here are ten reasons why — and why OpenSim will get there first. 1. Quality, content and creativity Now, before you skip ahead to post a comment about how Second Life has been overrun by furries and 14-year-olds, take a moment toRead More →

Adminotech Ltd., a realXtend vendor, began publicly testing its WebRocket browser-based viewer for its Meshmoon virtual world today. The viewer is in its very early stages, however. It supports text chat and basic movement controls, but has no in-world building tools, avatar customization, user inventories, or voice. “This is not aRead More →

Press release: WebGL Momentum Creating the Industry’s Most Secure and Portable 3D Platform Multiple WebGL implementations now fully conformant on desktop and mobile; WebGL 1.0.2 being ratified for stricter behavior and functionality extensions SAN FRANCISCO — The Khronos Group today announces that multiple WebGL 1.0.1 implementations are now fully conformantRead More →

Metaverse security took a big step forward today as Avination donated OpenSim code implementing an “export” permission setting. The company also worked together with Singularity viewer developers to add support for this new permission to the viewer. Today, OpenSim has three permissions — copy, transfer, and modify — that determine whatRead More →

With PixieViewer, we’re closer to the dream of a Web-based viewer for OpenSim than we’ve ever been before. This particular viewer, which is built using HTML 5 technology, solves the biggest usability problem that OpenSim has. It requires no download — no plugins, no Java, no configuration, nothing. You goRead More →

PixieTec, a virtual worlds development company based in Germany, released the preview version of its browser-based PixieViewer today, which allows users to visit OpenSim grids without installing any software or plugins. PixieViewer is based on HTML 5 technology, and runs in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and other modern browsers. It loadsRead More →

Even though OpenSim had mesh support the very next day after Second Life did — and, in fact, one branch of OpenSim, realXtend, had mesh since 2008 — OpenSim users have been slower to adopt mesh than residents of Second Life. One reason is that most grids do not dictateRead More →

[Editor’s Note: Aurora-Sim branched off from OpenSim in early 2011.] I am very sad to see so many people tell me that I should give up on Aurora-Sim, and that it is a waste. I think it is mostly been placed there because people remember its biggest tank — theRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

The Firestorm viewer now has an office on OSGrid, project developers announced yesterday. According to Jessica Lyon, lead developer at Phoenix Firestorm Project Inc. the office is located on two regions donated by Walter Balazic, owner of the Littlefield Grid and founder of the Littlefield community on OSGrid. OSGrid is theRead More →

OpenSim is still in the early stages of development, so it’s rare to see advertising billboards cluttering up the virtual landscape – or ads for OpenSim hosting providers during the Super Bowl broadcast. Maybe “rare” is the wrong term. Make that, “unheard of.” And a lot of people would seeRead 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 →

A new version of OpenSim was recently released, OpenSim 0.7.4. There’s an upgrade function built into the Diva Distro version of OpenSim and its derivatives, including Sim-on-a-Stick and New World Studio. The updated version of the Diva Distro came out this past Wednesday, and the new Sim-on-a-Stick was released yesterday.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 →

The Phoenix Firestorm team has released its latest update for OpenSim, part of its plans to have two separate builds, one for OpenSim and another for Second Life, according to a press release on the team’s blog. The build for Second Life was postponed because pathfinding isn’t ready and HavokRead More →

Firestorm will have support for OpenSim grids, the developers announced today. Firestorm is a third-party viewer that can be used to access Linden Lab’s Second Life grid, and which also has some existing support for OpenSim grids, as well. However, licensing issues have forced Linden Lab to restrict third-party usersRead More →

I was recently a guest on Designing Worlds, discussing virtual projects that got real money from Kickstarter — or are trying to. Fellow guests included  Zayn Till and Wynx Whiplash, Tinies from Raglan Shire, who just successfully raised $11,112 on Kickstarter for their JazzPaws project, handily exceeding their original goal ofRead More →

I frequently want to know if some far-away region is up or not.  Say, for example,  I have a blamgate up to my favorite shopping mall. I want the gate to be nice and bright when the destination region is up, and go dark if the destination region is down.Read More →

Credit card thieves have figured out a way to steal money from OpenSim grid owners. They take the credit cards, and use them to purchase virtual currency from the grids. Then they turn around and redeem the currency for cash before the card holder notices the theft and complains. TheRead More →

Imprudence — the recommended viewer for OSGrid, Kitely, and many other OpenSim grids — will be phased out in favor of the next-generation Kokua viewer. But folks who’ve exported content using Imprudence don’t have to worry. Kokua will, eventually, support object and exports and imports in the same format asRead More →

Press Release Pleasanton, CA — Companies that want to monetize a hybrid event shouldn’t neglect the importance of marketing the virtual side, says Erica St. Angel, vice president of marketing for Sonic Foundry, who spoke at the 2012 Virtual Edge Summit, Jan 9-11, in San Diego. Companies already face the challengeRead More →

AMSTERDAM — Chatbots.org, the Industry Catalyst of Intelligent Virtual Characters, reveals a business directory of almost 300 companies in conversational AI, (3D) avatar animation, speech synthesis and speech recognition and visual biometrics, and an additional Vendor Selector tool to select providers, designed for corporations in the middle of their buyingRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

Enterprises rolling out new OpenSim grids are often concerned about security issues of running OpenSim, and justifiably so. OpenSim is alpha software and still poses some security challenges. However, the security level of a particular OpenSim deployment depends quite a bit on how it is configured. Here are the mostRead More →

Latest update: April 8, 2013 This is a primer for folks considering moving into OpenSim who have never used OpenSim before and who don’t have much of a technical background. First look at OpenSim If you want to get into OpenSim in the quickest, easiest way possible, just follow thisRead More →

OpenSim grid owners now have another option for their grid server software — Aurora-Sim. This branch of OpenSim, still in “pre-alpha” stage of development, promises more security features and better vehicle physics than mainline OpenSim, but it is still too early to tell whether it will be able to deliver.Read More →

Virtual environments are changing rapidly, and it’s sometimes hard to keep up with everything that’s going on. Here is a quick round up of the best options for the most common uses of virtual worlds for various types of enterprise needs. If you’re looking for a high-end, Fortune 500-caliber virtualRead More →

One of the key early decisions to game design or creating a virtual currency platform is designing the price and exchange rate of virtual currency. Unfortunately after it’s been released, it’s also one of the most difficult to change, because the change impacts the userbase and economy of the systemRead More →

The following is a script you can place on any object to turn it into a hypergrid teleportation portal. If you put it on something that looks like a giant blue swirly circle, everyone will know that it’s a hypergate. But you can also use it to create teleport buttonsRead More →

In the wake of the closing of Second Life’s Teen Grid, and the price hike to educators and non-profits, many organizations are considering moving to OpenSim. The first question they usually ask themselves is, “Which grid should we join?” But the more important question should be: “Should we join aRead More →