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March 07, 2007

Comments

Mathieu Nouzareth

I was not saying that 3d scalability cannot be achieved, I am just *guessing* that SL took the wrong choices a few years ago.

I have managed lots of technical projects in my life and I know that a bad choice in the architecture early in the process can sometimes have disastrous consequences later on. Even SL themselves admit that they are currently trying to change the motor of the plane while flying, which is always very difficult to achieve, sometime impossible.

Van Schroehnberg

I disagree. Scalability to update 3D graphics is a very viable solution assuming you built your engine with scalability in mind. Take a look at Everquest, America's MMORPG father figure. Its graphics were updated approximately 4 years after it was released. Sony realized that the graphics were outdated and they were able to upgrade with minor problems.

The biggest problem with Second Life is the expanding playerbase and data influx. The world is constantly growing because users are able to constantly build virtual goods which takes a toll on your system.

Hardwarewise, Second Life's graphics are not complex or up to date to today's standards, but the exponential growth of the virtual world definitely takes a toll on the user's computer.

With that in mind, the developers are limited to upgrading the graphics of the platform not only because of the cost, but because it would severely limit their player database due to upping the computer requirement specs beyond the norms.

Louis van Proosdij

Well, I'm not sure SCOL can be "revived" 5 years later, but there is lot of inspiration to take from SCOL, and huge experience from key people who worked on the engine and optimizations, to quickly setup the foundations of a new solution.

Mathieu Nouzareth

I think it is too bad that Deuxieme Monde did not survived. You were right too early (which means unfortunately being wrong...). Maybe someone should revive SCOL ?

Louis van Proosdij

Scalability in 3D virtual worlds is something very complex, and a problem that need to be addressed at the core of the technology. The later your address it, the harder (and highly costly) it is. That's something we experienced at Cryo-Networks with our SCOL technology (1998-2002), based on our initial experience with "Le Deuxieme Monde" (The Second World) for French company "Canal+" (started in 1995, launched in 1997).
We did a sound engineering work addressing the load balancing and optimizing the technology to support thousands of players per server (2002 servers, not 2007 Xeons), and we succeeded. We developed a huge MMO RTS game "Dune Generations" based on Frank Herbert Dune licence, and were handling 2000 players/server during alpha tests.
Alas Cryo-Networks did not survived from the financial crash of parent company Cryo-Interactive. SCOL is now open source, but a bit outdated.

Why did I tell this story? Uh... yes, was to agree with your analysis Mathieu.

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