Sansar

Sansar
Standing at the “Hotspot”, a fire pit located in the Nexus social club.

And so it came to pass after the lands of Juicy faded away in favor of nicely built houses, and the Mainland slowly became more barren, a new land rose up out of the depths of metaverse seed grants. It was fairer, and its people with new bodies milled about to create and speak to one another. They spoke of VR implementation and a Steam store page–

Sorry. I’ve been reading LoTR again lately.

Today I’m taking a look at Sansar, lovingly referred to by SL citizens as “Second Life 2.0”. I took a look at the game because my other friends on Plurk were kinda scared to, so I volunteered to step up and poke around. Yes, that was really a conversation on Plurk and I said I would go on behalf of everybody. So! Here I am, back from my trip and writing about it.

Before I begin, let me state that what I write here is my impression of the game. If I missed a fact or got something wrong, then that’s the fault of the user experience I received. I’m just going to present what I know.

What is Sansar?

Sansar is Linden Lab’s new social world project where you can.. well, pretty much what you can do in SL, but done a bit differently with a more modern client. Think of Second Life and Sansar as two different houses sitting on Linden Lab’s property. SL’s structure is aging, and at some point we’re all going to need a new house to move into instead of spending tons of money to fix up the old one. Sansar is the proposed answer to this problem.

Proposed, but will it work? Time will tell. Anyway, let’s make an avatar!

Avatar Customization

Sansar
I want to apply a custom skin to this head so badly. GIVE ME CUSTOM SKINS.

On the day I registered, it also happened to be the very first day of their Avatar 2.0 implementation. This means a whole new system for customizing yourself, I’m guessing. I was able to edit the face in a very similar way that users in Black Desert Online can–selecting areas of the face, and then nudging it around with my mouse until I have it the way I want it. You can also rotate and scale parts of the face, which give a surprising amount of variation to your look. Kudos to whoever implemented this idea.

The downside is no body editing and no custom skins yet. It’s coming in a future update at some point, but for now you get this (and an avatar with no curves, sigh). Also due to me creating this avatar on the first day of its new system, there weren’t too many clothes for me to buy yet. The marketplace is filled with free clothes from their former avatar system, but a lot of them will not fit you no matter how hard you try. Until those clothesmakers update, you’re kinda stuck with default duds.

Sansar
An npc in the starter world.

I was jealous because here I am, in some nice enough unisex tunic and pants, but… I wanted what the NPCs were wearing. This guy in the pic above and his female counterpart, for example, looked like they were wearing clothing straight out of Overwatch. They had really cool floating animations, too. I want those animations! Let me buy them! Sansar should sell some cool official stuff for people to snag and wear. Who says you can’t have an official store in this game for clothing? It’d give more money to the game, wouldn’t it? Lay it on us!

Anyway, so wanting to wear something other than noob clothes but lacking the means, I did what any self-respecting fashionista would dol: I put an upside-down skirt on my head and went to the local club.

Sansar
Standing around with a bunch of users in the Socialite Guild, a club located in the Nexus.

The Nexus

There were some starter quests to familiarize you with the world (beware, the first map you have to visit can be buggy with the NPC not loading), but shortly afterwards I landed where most people were gathering: The Nexus, which is a place you have to go in order to visit a big portal that can access every other world there is on Sansar. That part… was weird, but I get why the devs did this. They want people to socialize and there aren’t that many in the game right now. It’s best to push folks together on a map so they get less bored.

I saw both VR and PC users here. You could tell who was using VR headsets, because their hands were moving in custom ways. I like the cross-play of that, because I don’t always want to wear my own headset. I certainly can’t stream this game to my own headset either, because I’d need a graphics card update to do that.

After a while, I wandered to the Nexus’s club, called the Socialite Guild. The building for it is very pretty:

Sansar

I like the Nexus map quite a bit. I would love a way to turn off the bloom setting completely though, because even on a low graphics switch it never went away. That sucks. I want to see how nice something is on ultra, sure, but then afterwards I’m going to turn graphics down unless I’m taking a picture.

So, what do I think?

Eh. It needs to grow. You can get in now as a creator, but as a makeup/skin artist, I can’t play with this yet until they update their system to accept makeup and custom skins. If someone asked me to log on to Sansar and join them in a talk or something, I wouldn’t say no since this is already installed on my computer. So my interest in loading this up again is… lukewarm? I do like their club though, that was the nicest part of the game.

Deploying their Avatar 2.0 system without a bunch of pre-rigged template clothes in some official store was a mistake, though. If they update again, that should be a thing they have ready in advance. From day one, make sure you have a nice little set of clothes waiting for people who want to register and play with your new avatars. I felt bad for devs I met in the club who were lamenting that they lost everything they made for the last avatar system.

Some interactive features to enjoy would be cool. Attachable cigs and bottles on the club map, for example, that are temp and detach after some time.

I’m not mad at visiting to talk to folks there, though. I don’t feel like I wasted my time. As Sansar updates, I will very likely visit again, especially when their body mod features are implemented. That’s where the real customization begins, and where you’ll get more devs interested in joining up.

Are you interested in Sansar? Do you play? What do you think of the game? Let me know in the comments!

What I’m Wearing:
Some ill-fitting avatar clothing and a skirt on my head. FASHION.

Song: TWRP – Synthesize Her

Posted by Cake

Cake is a freelance illustrator and blogger for Juicybomb.

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