Recently Draxtor Despres took me on a trip to the virtual world Sinespace because he was working on a podcast about it, which you can listen to and read about at this link. I had signed up many years ago, but hadn’t tried it out. So I downloaded and looked around and I have to tell you, I’m quite impressed with what’s there so far.
Sinespace is the brainchild of Adam Frisby. I spoke to Adam briefly and he was kind enough to give me a bit of a background on his experience with virtual worlds. Adam has been dabbling in virtual worlds since 1996. He was really involved with ActiveWorlds, then Blaxxxun, Microsoft’s Virtual Worlds and of course Second Life. He ran the Azure Islands in Second Life and was involved with the store Sine Wave Animations, which brought us many fun dancing animations.
Sinespace is his baby though and he has been the lead developer on it from the start. They started building what would become Sinespace in 2015 and are still working on it till this day. It is still in public beta because there are still bugs to fix and features to add, but definitely open for anyone to sign up and start creating content for it.
Adam says there are a two things that give Sinespace an edge for creators looking to push the boundaries:
- Sinespace is based on Unity, which is a commercial game engine. That means with the help of the 2000 employees working at Unity, Sinespace (which has 20 employees in 2 physical offices located in London and Shangai) can push the boundaries when it comes to graphics, physics, audio, VR, mobile and more. They do regular engine updates (four major engine updates since launching into open beta last year.) Therefore, every few months, they get a big batch of new features from Unity and they way they have built Sinespace, content doesn’t break during those updates.
- Their review model means they review content and that directly results in combating piracy. They also give their content creators more tools to work with so they can write things like shaders, which are small programs that run on the graphics card. Since Sinespace reviews content, things which might crash a graphics driver, aren’t a problem because it wont pass review. So, creators can suddenly have huge new avenues of types of content they can build, comparable to what artists at major game studios get to use. With the regular Unity engine updates, creators stay close to the cutting edge.
If you are interested in creating content for Sinespace, join the creator program!
Sinespace is also VR compatible and supports gear such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality. They are quite inclusive and have viewers for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Mobile and even a web-based version. For VR, the beta viewers must be used. Click over to the Sinespace download page and check their system requirements and then download the version which works best for you. UPDATE: The VR viewers are in the test channel and you can download those at this link.
When I asked him what he thought about other VR platforms such as Sansar, HiFi and VRChat, and how Sinespace was planning to compete with them, he said that although he likes some of the ideas and features in both HiFi and VRChat, he feels Sinespace is more consumer-focused and that gives them an edge. As for Sansar, he feels it’s too early to say since they are still in very early beta.
I’ve done an Intro to Sinespace video where I talk about how you can sign up, download the client and get around the platform a bit. Watch my video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Y75gByl8oV4
Some notes about Sinespace:
- Signup for Sinespace – create an account and choose an avatar.
- Download Sinespace – the download page also has the system requirements on it.
- Sinespace has 2 currencies, silver and gold – Silver is the currency of the platform. You can use it to purchase clothing, accessories and to participate in activities. You can earn Silver by doing various activities / quests. Gold is an alternative to Silver, which can be purchased with real life currency. Some items in the Shop can only be purchased with Gold.
- Shop in Sinespace – Purchase items to spruce up your avatar or land. Items in the shop are created by the developer community. To create content in Sinespace, check out their developer page.
- Explore Sinespace – explore the different regions and mingle with other space explorers.
- Calendar of Events in Sinespace – Google Calendar in PST timezone that has a listing of all the events going on in Sinespace on a monthly basis. There are at least 15 events on a weekly basis so lots to do there if you want to socialize with other Sinespace residents.
Adam has also promised to take me on a tour of some of the locations in Sinespace, which I will be livestreaming to YouTube on Monday, March 5th at 5am PST. Watch my YouTube livestream link at that time and explore along with us.
Links for Sinespace:
In closing I will add an obligatory disclaimer that I am not leaving Second Life, it is my first love and I have no intention of leaving it any time soon. I’ve just been in a mood to explore other social VR worlds these days. In the next few weeks I plan to cover some more social VR worlds like HiFi and VRChat. I will also randomly stream myself exploring these different virtual worlds to both my YouTube and Twitch channels, so stay tuned!
UPDATE: I wanted to point out that my avatar’s proportions are out of whack because I did not have time to look at and play around with the body sliders properly before I wrote this post. So please know that you CAN create a properly proportioned avatar in Sinespace, my large hands and head etc.. are completely my fault.
UPDATE: Fast company featured Sinespace on March 7th, so I thought I would share it here: Cancel All Your Plans Because You Have A Second Life To Live In VR