Online Virtual Environments: Second Life. Networked Virtual Worlds. Early interest in shared virtual spaces Training Social Scalability Difficult issues Consistency Latency Bandwidth. History. SIMNET.
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Networked Virtual Worlds • Early interest in shared virtual spaces • Training • Social • Scalability • Difficult issues • Consistency • Latency • Bandwidth
SIMNET • The goal of the SIMNET project (1990) was to develop a “low-cost” networked virtual environment for training small units to fight as a team. • Kept bandwidth low by extrapolating vehicle position rather than constant broadcast
A DIS Networked VE - CCTT • DIS is the successor to SIMNET • The US Army's Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT) is one of the larger scale networked virtual environments.
SGI Flight & Dogfight • Flight was distributed in networked form on all SGI workstations sometime after SIGGRAPH 1984 and could be seen in practically every SGI-outfitted lab at that time, either during the day on breaks or after hours.
SGI Flight & Dogfight • Sometime after the release of the networked version of Flight, in early 1985 it is believed, SGI engineers modified the code of Flight to produce the demonstration program Dogfight. • This modification dramatically upgraded the visibility of net-VEs as players could now interact by shooting at each other.
Doom • On 10 December 1993, id Software released its shareware game Doom. • The posting of Doom caught most network administrators’ eyes when their LANs started bogging down. Doom did no dead reckoning and flooded LANs with packets at frame rate. • This networked ability to blast people in a believable 3D environment created enormous demand for further 3D networked games.
NPSNET • The NPSNET Research Group is the longest continuing academic research effort in networked virtual environments. The focus of the group is on the complete breadth of human-computer interaction and software technology for implementing large-scale virtual environments (LSVEs). • There have been several generations of software formally named NPSNET and several precursor systems.
NPSNET-IV Capabilities Building walkthroughs. Articulated humans - mounting/dismounting capability. Networking - play across the multicast backbone of Internet. Terrain database integration, terrain paging (70km x 70km). Any vehicle capability - air, ground, articulated human. Testbed for VE NSA issues. Interoperability - SIMNET/DIS Constructive model integration - Janus World Modeler ModSAF NPSNET-IV
DIVE • The Swedish Institute of Computer Science Distributed Interactive Virtual Environment (DIVE) is another early and ongoing academic virtual environment.
Swedish Institute of Computer Science - DIVE • However, unlike SIMNET the entire database is dynamic and uses reliable multicast protocols to actively replicate new objects.
The MERL Implementation - Diamond Park • The MERL Diamond Park VE is built using SPLINE (Scalable PLatform for INteractive Environments) which provides the implementation of locales & beacons.
The MERL Implementation - Diamond Park • Diamond Park has multiple users that interact in the park by riding around on bicycles and talking to each other (Social VR).
MERL Efforts in Large -Scale Multi-User VEs • Locales are an efficient method for managing the flow of data between large numbers of users in a LSVE. • The concept of locales is based on the idea that while a VE may be very large, most of what can be observed by a single user at a given moment is local in nature. • Each locale has its own multicast address & coordinate system. • Beacons - are a special class of objects that can be located without knowing what locale they are in (to solve the “how do I join the VE problem”).
SIMNET First Demo (86) SIMNET to Army (90) SIMNET Start (83) SGI Dogfight (85) NPS FOG-M (86) NPS-Stealth (93) NPSNET-IV (93) NPS MPS-1 (88) NPSNET-1 (90) SGI Flight (84) NPS VEH (87) Paradise (93) BrickNet (91) Amaze (84) Doom (93) DIVE (92) DIS (93) 1980 1985 1990 1995 A Brief Timeline of Net-VEs
What is Second Life? • An interactive virtual world • “residents” can make or modify virtually anything • IP rights form the basis of an economy From secondlife.com as of Jan. 19th, 2007
What runs SL? • From June 6, 2006 cnet.com article • 2,579 dual-core Opteron servers • Each server runs a 16 acre “sim” • About 3 users per server! • WoW and others run hundreds/server
SL Technology • Havok physics engine • Dynamic lighting • Weather
Basic Concepts • World divided into regions • Each with own server • Communication with people in one region • Objects can have local behavior • Trees wave in breeze • Computed locally • Objects are paged in as needed • Intelligent streaming • Streams occluders before occluded objects