Oculus Rift? Oculus MIFFED more like!

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So shiny! So beautiful! But this picture shows a development model, NOT the commercial version, which is different. 

Something I really enjoy is new technology.  I get completely swept up in the hype and count down the days until the release of the latest must-have gadget, and in recent years the one item that particularly appealed to me above all other was the OCULUS RIFT, especially when I heard it would be able to use it in SECOND LIFE. I could hardly dare imagine the possibilities, and  when it started to get coverage through esteemed SLebrities like Draxtor Despres and Jo Yardley, to name but a few, well, I practically expired from the excitement.  They shared how this amazing piece of virtual hardware could bring our metaverse to life and I was sold.
In fact, reading the articles published all over the internet  about this amazing piece of tech would have led you to believe it was the next logical step for Second Life to take, and this was further suggested when an official viewer with Oculus Rift support was released. Torley Linden even made a video showing you how you could use it in-world, and that was it.  I got my PC upgraded ( an Oculus  needs a serious amount of power) and even read ‘Ready Player One‘ in eager ‘preparation’ for what was to come.  (Excellent book by the way, it’s going to be a Spielberg movie and you simply must read it!)

As soon as the development stage was through and the commercial release date  was released Jez and I ordered it*. This was way back in 2015, with an expected shipment date of March 2016. Then, unfortunately, we got an email to say it was delayed until June, but hey it didn’t matter! I was so excited that I knew I could cope with the wait, and I had plenty to do in Second Life to keep me occupied!  Also, that would give me a chance to save up the serious moolah that it would cost, but I knew it would be worth it. In fact, I put it to the back of my mind until  this week when the email arrived to say the Oculus Rift was on its way. HUZZAH! ( *Full disclosure here: After talking it through I decided to go halfsies with Jez so we could share the goodness because he’s far more of a gamer than I am and would be able to use it for more things than me. My interest was purely Second Life related.)

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THIS is what I received this week. So shiny! So beautiful! So doesn’t work with Second Life! GAHHHHH

Unboxing the thing was like opening the ark of the covenant. It’s beautifully packaged and you definitely get your money’s  worth, and it was with some serious excitement and trepidation that got ready for the next step in my virtual life.  I downloaded the official viewer. I re-watched Torley’s video in preparation and took a deep breath…and it failed.

Numerous other attempts were made with no joy. Panicked I looked online for an alternative, and this is where the whole sorry saga started to unravel. First of all, the official viewer with Oculus Rift capabilities hasn’t been updated since 2014. There is an alternative third-party viewer which I downloaded to try, the CtrlAltStudio viewer, but this one hasn’t been updated since 2015, so of course it didn’t work.

Was I going mad?! (Well, you guys know me, so let’s say madder than usual) There’s an Oculus Rift on the pigging Second Life homepage for all to see, so what gives?
And here lies the issue: those pesky Lindens have done it again. (They can be pretty lax when it comes to updating the basics, have you ever noticed that?)  What I didn’t realise was that yes, Second Life will work with an Oculus Rift using that viewer, BUT only if it is the DEVELOPMENT MODEL. My commercially released treasure is more powerful, and NONE of the viewers have been updated to support it. To say that this sucks balls is an understatement.

Granted, it’s an absolute #firstworldproblem and I am sure I will enjoy using the Oculus on occasion for other things BUT my main reason for purchase was so I could use it in-world. I don’t ‘play’ any other games or subscribe to any other virtual experiences EXCEPT SL, and I truly believed that seeing as it was advertised on the bloody homepage they would have kept up with the development of the viewer. As it stands it’s about seven versions behind.

I expect that Linden Lab will make Project Sansar VR ready, which is fine, but that’s at least 6 months away and as I understand it many of the objects I own in Second Life won’t translate across into the new viewer, which means I’ll be effectively starting from scratch. Anyway, I want to be able to explore my current virtual life in full virtual reality glory, not my next one!

To say I’m fed up is an understatement. I have tried out the Rift with some of the games and experiences that are available and it is absolutely outstanding (which makes this crap situation even worse!)  Had I been able to use it in-world, well, I don’t think I would have wanted to take it off and come back to reality at all. (Perhaps that’s a good thing? No, no it isn’t-this whole thing stinks!) My beloved has had some serious late nights since we took delivery of the Rift and I’m £250 richer. But I feel really sad that I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy my Second Life in glorious virtual reality.  Unfortunately, it would appear that ship has sailed and it seems that Linden Lab had no intention of Second Life being on it and more fool them. Think of the possibilities people!  (Actually don’t, it makes it worse.)

Lindens, get your bloody act together!! Having an Oculus Rift on your front page suggests you can use the current version  in-world and you absolutely cannot.  It’s not fair to lead people to believe that Oculus will work, you need to put a disclaimer on there too. Had I known any of this I wouldn’t have put any money aside for a new unit at all.  I would possibly have looked into getting a second-hand development model but even if I had I would have known that no matter how good the experience with the commercial release it could have been even better, and therein lies the rub. You need to keep up with the times guys, you make a hefty profit courtesy of us avatars, and an updated viewer was surely not too much to ask? I’m so disappointed.

Kitty Quicky: CtrlAlt Studio 3D Viewer Update Out NOW!

 Remember my post just before my birthday where I recounted how I felt that all my Christmases had come at once because a 3D viewer had been released?

Well if you recall it worked beautifully for me, except I had issues using my Space Navigator.

Luckily for me, the viewer creator, Strachan Offaral, got straight onto the case and his viewer update was released yesterday..And now EVERYTHING works like a TREAT!

Guys and gals, I am 100% 3d immersed and I love it. I cannot navigate SL using keyboard shortcuts to save my life,  I have to use my beloved, slightly knackered Space Navigator, so for this update to have  happened has made me very happy indeed.

If you are considering going 3D then I can only recommend it; it’s added volumes to my Second Life experience and I am so grateful to Strachan for stepping in and creating something that Linden Lab hadn’t.  My virtual experience has become all the better for it, as I am sure you can tell by my enthusiasm.

It’s a pity that I cannot share my experiences here with you by way of a photograph, but trust me, it is THAT good.   Essentially, all you need for 3d is a 120hz monitor and an Nvidea 3D kit.

A couple of peeps have asked me what my set-up is?

Well it’s 18 months old now, and I basically have the bare minimum so I’m sure there are bigger and better sets out there, but mine works perfectly for me (Note: the graphics card was a recent upgrade)

  • Operating System:          Windows Vista (TM) Home Premium, 64-bit (Service Pack 2) (I HATE Vista with a passion, it’s blinking useless, but it was on my PC when purchased)
  • DirectX version:                                11.0
  • Graphics Card:                   GeForce GTX 660 Ti
  • nVidia Driver version:     327.23
  • Direct3D API version:     11
  • Bus:                                       PCI Express x8
  • CPU                                       Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz
  • RAM                                      8.00 GB
  • nVidia 3D Vision 1 kit      http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/buy-wireless-3d-glasses-uk.html
  • Monitor                               Asus VG236H 23-inch 3D 120Hz HDMI LCD Monitor

 

Thanks again to Strachan Ofarrel for all his hard work! You can download  the stereoscopic 3d viewer release by clicking HERE. 

It’s all about the bunny money…

If you’re a premium member of Second Life then you’ll probably be the recipient of an e-mail over the weekend extolling the virtues of Ozimals bunnies. It would appear that Ozimals have decided that they need to attract some new customers to the wonderful world of bunny breeding, and they’ve brought out the big guns and enlisted the help of Linden Labs to attract new avatars into the fold. They’ve even released a ‘Luv Pack’, a special edition bunny package which proves as an introduction to the product. Such a collaboration must have cost them a small fortune.

But are they concentrating too much on attracting new customers into the fold when they should be dealing with existing issues impacting their customer base instead?

If you’re an Ozimal’s bunny enthusiast like myself then you’ll be aware of the recent epic bunny dramas. Big business breeders have been disappearing off the grid like flies, to which some people have responded that this is a good thing because they were evidently purely in it for profit only. But is it actually a good thing at all?  It’s not Ozimals fault that people went mad for all things bunny, purchased vast quantities and set up huge breeding business empires. When the market was good these people would have made a fair whack and I never had any issues with that- why shouldn’t they after all! BUT here’s the thing that people seem to conveniently forget about; the big breeders were buying VAST quantities of food to keep their bunnies breeding, and that means lots of lovely cash for Ozimals. I don’t know why people seem to miss that point! Ozimals is a business after all, and it was good for them when the bunnies were big news. I have no doubt in my mind that the recent exodus from the bunny business by  these large scale breeders has resulted in a noticeable decline in Ozimals profits. Many people thought that the gaps left in the market by these large-scale entrepreneurs would be filled by smaller-scale breeders and that although turnover would be small they’d keep the business thriving, but this doesn’t seem to have happened. For a lot of bunny hobbyists profits have suddenly become negligible.

So; the bunny market effectively crashed, and Ozimals dragged their heels to respond whilst all the time ardent bunny lovers were feeling aggrieved and leaving their bunnies behind. When they did respond, what did they do? An update that included the potential for new traits, to be released on a much slower timescale than before. Initially this seemed like an utterly brilliant idea and I would say the majority of my peers were delighted by the news, and we all set about on updating day getting our bunnies prepped and ready..because the ONLY way to get a new trait is to mate your existing bunny from one of the new warren packs.

Think about this- you have a lot of bunnies that you adore and cherish, but to get a chance at any new shades you have to fork out even more money and purchase new warrens to breed with your existing flock; which in turn means more food to pay for whilst you wait for your prize nest.

And wait you will, because the traits have been engineered to release on a much slower timescale this time; and all the while you’re buying food for your bunnies. When you think about it, Ozimals are astonishingly clever in this respect. This latest update wasn’t just engineered to keep the faith in what is a fabulous breedable, but to keep the lindens flowing.

I’m actually incredibly disappointed by Ozimals. There I’ve said it; shoot me. Since I joined the bunny brigade I’ve been a passionate supporter and ardent defender of  them but I have seen so many people confused, upset and broken by recent events that I’m actually starting to regard Ozimals in a different light. Don’t get me wrong; I think they’ve made a bloody marvellous product, one that I am passionate about , or else I wouldn’t be writing about it, but their approach has been tardy and responses evasive to the point of sheer ridiculousness at times.

I don’t think the bunny market will ever regain it’s place as the number one breedable in Second Life, and I am so very sad about that, because it is definitely the best. What saddens me more however is the fact that Ozimals just don’t see that without the support in-world for their product from bunny enthusiasts like myself, they just won’t have a product in a few months time. With new breedables ready for hitting the grid it’s obvious that they have to change their game to stay ahead of the pack; but at present they seem to serve as a great example to other breedable manufacturers how not to do it. Example? In-world meetings have recently been introduced. These are a weekly event and a great idea, but these should have been instigated from day one. Hindsight is such a glorious thing, but if these meetings had been around before problems could have been nipped in the bud much quicker. Why didn’t they see this? When the uproar about duplicate nests being sold broke, if meetings had been in place they could have addressed the issue in a much better way than it was actually handled . ( Yet another reason why people left the bunny business)

Communication is NOT Ozimals strongest point as has been proven time and time again. People have been waiting around for ages to find out what Bunnybury would offer and when it would be ready..well, now we know what it offers but people are STILL WAITING to be able to use it. Then there’s ‘Socialbun’, a great idea for a website but has it missed the boat. The bunnies peaked and interest is waning, will Socialbun and the ‘Luv Pack’ remedy that fact?  Then there’s the biggest bug-bear of all for a lot of people; what will happen when the bunnies die? This is a question that so many people have asked and have been fobbed off with evasive answers, but the fact is bunnies are starting to age now and are fast approaching their end-of-days. People have built up relationships with these breedables and need to be told what to expect and prepare for it, it is disingenuous and pompous to not respond to people’s questions about this event. In fact, it’s bloody rude.

I don’t really want to accuse Ozimals of resting on their laurels, as I’m sure a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes, but I can’t help thinking that they took for granted the fact that they had a superior product and dropped the ball. I’ve spoken in the past to team members and they’re all nice people from my experience who work extremely hard , BUT there are failings to be remedied here that require urgent action if Ozimals bunnies are to continue to thrive.

As for me, well I’ve reduced my flock and inventoried a lot of my buns, but this I’ve come to see as a positive thing, because it means when I retrieve them in time from my ‘Sleeping Bunnies’ folder it will be like greeting an old friend.

So what future awaits the breedable bunny? I’m hopeful that perhaps Ozimals have a game-plan that they are waiting to unleash upon the grid that will regain some lost ground, and this promotion with Linden Labs is just the start of a ‘Great Rabbit Renaissance’. I hope they’ll begin to appreciate the need for clear and cohesive communications to their customers. But most of all I hope they will see that the passion their product has aroused in people is very real, and that a virtual world without these virtual critters would be a very sad one indeed. With Halloween on the horizon, and Christmas just after there is plenty of time for new promotions and new bunny traits to be unveiled.

It’s time to restore the faith in the faithful Ozimals..don’t let us down.

Kitty The Linden Lab Mind Reader…NOT

Latest update on the lost inventory saga.  I mean, this is almost comical..my original ticket was CLOSED if you recall, and the instructions told me to OPEN ANOTHER TICKET if I still had issues?

So I did, opened three days ago.

Got an update this morning…….

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Hello Kitty

Please re-open your ticket 4051-7209950 as this has already been assigned to CSR.   Opening a new ticket for the same issue just slows the process down in getting responses out to you and to other residents.  

If the ticket is marked closed you still have the option to re-open it and let the CSR know that you are sill missing your items what more can they try.

Regards

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So, I’m going to RE-OPEN my ORIGINAL closed ticket..if they had told me to do this originally I wonder how Far I’d be along?

Piss up and brewery springs to mind…….

Two other things, 1) Why couldn’t they just re-open the original ticket for me and assign accordingly, and 2) How do you re-open a closed ticket anyway??

<Sigh> I’ll keep you all posted….