UKTurk Grid - We are Closing 

Our experiment with Opensim has lasted just about a year.  Unfortunately it is time for us to move on.  We have met a mix of some pretty amazing people along the way but sadly also a bunch of ungrateful and selfish individuals, the kind of mix that you would expect to find in real life I suppose.

I hope that I am wrong, but I have come to the conclusion that Opensim is going nowhere fast. It is probably the domain of the builder or creator rather than a particularly social environment. The reason I mention this is based on the fact that on any given day you can find hundreds of regions either empty or populated by one person or more commonly – no one. At any major event you see the same old faces over and over again, the total region numbers barely hitting 20 or more on a good day!. Opensim lacks the vibrant atmosphere of other worlds such as, dare I say it, Second Life!

The individuals in the community of opensim would appear to be more mature in years than the community in Second Life. It is neither more or less friendly than Second Life but it is sparsely populated and this absence of people in any great numbers is the overriding factor in its lack of success as a popular virtual world destination.  Perhaps this is why so many individuals that have dabbled with opensim have then high tailed it back to Second Life in disappointment.

Ever wondered why Linda Kellie or Selea Core left opensim? I don’t know the real reasons but I can take a guess. Look around at the mocking signs and hateful notices found on the Sacrarium grid referring to Linda Kellie. People like her gave away free content but they at least manufactured it themselves for others to use as they wish. They didn’t steal it. What thanks did they get for that?

The notices at freebies centres throughout opensim telling you that opensim should always be free and that you should not buy anything is the very reason why opensim will fail or will only ever be a niche quirky backwater. How on earth are you going to attract genuine good creators in this environment?

For us the experience has been an interesting one. The creation of our grid proved problematic throughout the duration of its existence. I suppose this is the main reason for me writing this article. Perhaps as a warning to others, particularly potential grid owners, unless you know what you are doing and can host your own regions or have experience with opensim then beware of the pitfalls that you are likely to encounter.

Our project started off well. Having been on a short course in London, the grid owner got me started with an ambitious plan to build a London region. We wanted to use the best materials and found that the Kitely market was a great source for good quality products. This is where things started to go wrong. We found that many of the items that we purchased would not rez, essentially the message being that the assets could not be found. After emails back and forth between Kitely blaming our hosting and our hosting service blaming Kitely we had to stop using the service.

There is another issue with the Kitely Market place that people may not be aware of. Let us say that you have purchased an item from the Kitely market for your grid. You upload it to your region and you use the product. You back up the oar file. A few months later you move your region from lets say Metropolis to the OSGrid. Technically you must purchase this product all over again since your avatar in Metropolis is not the same avatar is the one you are now using in the OSGrid.

This asset problem never went away. Things that we collected from around the hypergrid were often not able to rez with the same asset issue warning. Nevertheless we persevered.  Now, in the defence of opensim it needs to be said that there are so many versions and so many adaptions of it between the various grids that there is almost by default likely to be some issues. Opensim is still very much in its experimental stage so down time and problems are to be expected. Even the mighty OS Grid went down for 6 months not so long ago.

We, or rather for the most part, I, struggled on. Within a few weeks I had completed 6 regions and they were working well. I moved on to the next batch of regions and the grid started to expand. We had a prim limit on each region of 20,000 prims and I made sure that we did not exceed this limit. Most of our regions were running under half that amount of prims.

Our largest region was our Freebies centre. Essentially this was the old Linda Kellie warehouse which was re-worked to take off the prim heavy roof and then an additional mall added to the outer area. This was the first real warning we had that sticking to the prim allowance was not the only issue we might face. We had always kept our scripts low. I have no knowledge of scripting other than I knew that heavy scripts could cause lag so I avoided them. The problem was now the size of the oar file. It ran to a 9.6 GB file size even though it only had 18,300 prims of mainly boxed freebies.

Opensim is apparently full of copybot content. We had built most of our grid by collecting free to copy items from a variety of sources including Sacrarium. We now find that some of this content could be illegal copies. We hastily put up Take Down Notices and invited content owners to let us know if anything was illegal. We did get a couple of visits from the Kitely grid and found that two buildings were owned by individuals. We had obtained these items from the OS Grid and we were not supposed to have been given them away.

Nearing the end of our project we start to get residents taking land and property. The regions start to become a little more laggy. We find that logging in takes a little longer. It is at this point we are told that our regions have too much bad mesh from other grids and that even mesh avatars are causing a problem.  Apparently some of the content comes from Sacrarium or Brazilian grids and this is causing server issues.

Well, we have all our regions under 20,000 prims and we don’t use any complicated scripting so how did this all this come about?. I suppose in hindsight we should have built everything ourselves but can you imagine how long this would take? Look around opensim. There are huge and vast landscapes of unimaginative builds with creative commons items thrown around clunky unattractive buildings stuck on barren land looking something like the original Second Life. Is this the future of Opensim?

I have to accept that I was probably a little niaive to have expected that things would have run smoothly in opensim. Had I stuck to plain and boring then perhaps it might. Opensim is definitely a good environment for the creators. You can rent regions cheaply and then export your items to other worlds outside of Opensim.

At one time people would escape from Second Life looking for something less adult orientated. Nowadays Opensim is full of empty adult regions with a few NPC’s dotted around. The same goes for the shopping malls. Empty.

All I see in Opensim are people leaving as fast as they are arriving, either returning to Second Life or venturing out into other worlds in search of what they cannot find in Opensim.  The Hypergrid Safari Tours have ended, Inworldz has closed its doors along with numerous other grids. The UKTurk Grid can now be added to that list.

On a final note. Those of you that visit freebies centres and who benefit from the generosity of others who work hard and tirelessly to provide you with something for nothing – Is a simple thank you or the courtesy of saying hello to someone you meet in those worlds too much trouble for you? People like you are the reason that Opensim is failing. Take this as a wake up call or look forward to endless miles of green and empty landscapes with no inhabitants. Enjoy your world.

I have no regrets. It has been a learning experience for which I am grateful. Special thanks to our hosting service for all your efforts despite our issues.  

Emerelda Sunlight

 

 

UKTurk Status

Grid Status: Online
Total Regions: 25
Today visitors: 4
Online Now: 1
Hypergriders online: 1

UKTurk Regions

Region: Loc X: Loc Y:
Ada 1008 1006
Airport 1008 1004
Ankara 1006 1004
Boatyard 1008 1002
Canakkale 1006 1000
England 1004 1000
Fairview 1008 1009
Freebies 1004 1004
Greenacres 1000 1009
Haven 1006 1009
Hogwarts Forever 998 1006
Istanbul 1006 1006
Izmir 1006 1002
London 1002 1006
Motorworld 1000 1004
Oaklands 1002 1009
Pirates 1000 1002
Residential 1008 1000
SandBox 1000 1000
Scotland 1002 1000
Turkey 1004 1006
Wales 1002 1002
Welcome 1004 1002
West Midlands 1002 1004
Woodlands 1004 1009