Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 HELP: OPENSIM: The virtual lands of the Opensim community, a beginner's guide

The virtual lands of the Opensim community, 
a beginner's guide 
By Opensim community, I mean the people who are active in using, developing, or otherwise working with OpenSimulator, a open-source piece of software that can create a virtual environment similar to that created by Second Life.  The  aim here is to give a simplified description of the grids used by this community to create a low cost, user-controlled collection of virtual worlds  

Important Opensim concepts for beginners

  • Viewer or client: Software on your machine that displays the virtual world 
  • Grid:  Where you login.
  • Hypergrid:  Really rapid transit, takes you from one grid to another.
  • Sim or region:  Area in a virtual world run by a single simulator program.
  • Parcel.  Subdivision of a sim, with its own setting, controlled by a person or group
  • OAR file:  file that can be used to reproduce a sim.
  • Inworld currency:  Virtual tokens that can be used like money in a grid.

Important Opensim concepts for beginners

Viewer or client

This is the software you need on your machine to interact with the software on the internet that manages the virtual world.  The viewer is like your browser, except that the viewer gets and displays the contents of a 3D world on grids.  Your browser gets and displays the contents of files on the web.   You need to download and install a viewer before you can login to a grid.  Here is how to do that with Firestorm:  

Grids, nations of the virtual world 

  • virtual world grid is a site that creates multiple instances of virtual worlds.  
  • These instances are commonly called sims.  
  • Collectively, these sims make up the grid. 
  • Users are generally able to move from sim to sim on a grid.  
A grid provides various kinds of support, such as 
  • Login and password management
  • Communication services
  • Asset database management 
  • Assets are the things (or elements of things) in your inventory.
  • You can move around the grid and still have your inventory available.
  • If you login to another grid, you will not have what you had in the previous grid.
Think of grids as the nations of the virtual worlds
  • You have to register in a grid and use a password to enter.
  • You have a kind of citizenship in a grid.  
  • That gives you access to the public sims and parcels in the grid.  
  • The grid establishes and certifies your identity (citizenship papers) 
  • Grids may have their own currency
  • Grids provide central grid services
  • Active Opensim grids (From Hypergrid business 11/22/2014)
Central grid services may include such functions as:

Currency on a grid

  • Grids can create virtual currency, with tokens functioning like money.  
  • Such tokens can be used for buying and selling goods and services on the grid.
  • You can buy tokens from the grid management with Paypal or credit cards.
  • Tokens have no value outside the grid.
  • Some grids may let you exchange tokens for real money.
  • Kitely Market lets you sell your products with real money from Paypal.

Common kinds of grids:

  • Commercial (pay for land)   Ex: Kitely
  • Educational (combining educator resources)   Ex: Vibe
  • Community theme (art, writing, etc.) Nara's Nook
  • Personal (Do it yourself on SOAS)

Hypergrid, customs and citizenship union, superfast tranportation

  • The hypergrid allows teleport between opensim grids. 
  • Think of the hypergrid as like a customs and citizenship union.
  • Combined with a superfast transportation system. 
  • Hypergrid teleports can be provided by hypergates.
  • Places connected by hypergates are like next door.
  • Don't expect to take your whole inventory with you on hypergrid.
  • Your inventory is maintained by your grid.  
  • You can take a few things with you in your suitcase (in your inventory)
  • Full list of hypergrid-enabled grids

Sim or region (in a virtual world), local village

  • In virtual worlds, sim refers to a piece of virtual world land 
  • operated by a single instance of simulator software.  
  • Traditionally the land is a square of 256x256 virtual meters.  
  • An instance of OpenSimulator can operate much larger areas, 
  • but the name region or world is likely to be used.
  • The term sim is usually reserved for 256x256 areas within a region or world.  
  • A sim can have special settings for some controls.
  • These are set by the sim owner or manager.  
  • Think of sims as like small villages--local areas with their own laws 

Parcel, private land, home, shopping center, theater 

  • A parcel is an area of a sim that is marked off by the sim owner or representative.  
  • It is like private land.
  • It can have an owner
  • It can have its own settings.  
  • The parcel owner can control who is allowed there.


News and Notes




It's that time of year when I give my novel away for 5 days as it's set in the few weeks over Christmas and New Year.   Dec 19-23

You can get it for Kindle or download a free Kindle reading app. You need to use the Amazon website for your own country.

Fed up with the seasonal commercialism and sentimentality? As an antidote we're giving away the dark, alternative Christmas novel 'Everything is Free' by Adele Ward. It's becoming a tradition to give it away at this time of year!

You'll need to use the Amazon website for your country and the giveaway is available around the world.

Here are the links for the UK and US but you can also find it on all other Amazon websites to get the free offer:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Free-Adele-Ward-ebook/dp/B006IHFZ22/ref=asap_B0040BUN5M?ie=UTF8

US: http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Free-Adele-Ward-ebook/dp/B006IHFZ22/ref=asap_B0040BUN5M?ie=UTF8

You can find the free Kindle reading app here:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/feature.html/ref=dig_arl_box?ie=UTF8&docId=1000425503

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page?ie=UTF8&ref_=sv_kstore_3




Newcomer Help in Virtual Worlds


How to handle a Hypergrid address 

From any Hypergrid-enabled grid, paste the address into the address bar of Firestorm and press enter. Or paste it into the world map search bar of any viewer, search, and click Teleport when the destination is found. If it doesn't work, don't give up. Try again in couple of minutes.  Sometimes the first try fails (probably times out).  And try again a few hours later. Some hypergrid destinations are offline part of the day. 
If you get an address like this: 
paste it into the address bar of Firestorm, see if it takes you to the exact coordinates. 


Video-Machinima in virtual worlds

1 comment:

  1. Another cool thing about the hypergrid accessible grids is that you can take your avatar with you, as long as its components have enough perms (copy-transfer, as far as I can tell) and are not too complex. So if you have a distinctive avatar that's part of your trademark or brand, you don't have to recreate it at each opensim grid you belong to. Set it up at your home grid, and it goes with you (as long as you log in at your home grid first).


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