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Adam's Technical Hour Transcript 15th July

Discussion in 'Events' started by Lesiar, Jul 23, 2020.

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  1. Lesiar

    By:LesiarJul 23, 2020
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    Adam made a welcome appearance at Technical Hour last Wednesday 15th july. Here is a transcript of the event:-

    Adam: - We've been hiring pretty rapidly the last couple of weeks, my full engineering team has 21 new staff, which we're looking to hire until the end of the year. Most of that is in our Shanghai office, we've just hired a bunch of QA people (I think we're 6 new staff as of today)/


    So, we're setting up teams for each platform; each team has at least 3 people in it - including one QA, and usually a documentation person too. So, we've got a VR team, a Mac team, a Mobile team, and so on.


    We've also got two jobs open for documentation people - these we're a bit more flexible with where, but we want a client documentation person (i.e. how the viewer works for users), and a developer documentation person (editor pack, scripting, and so on)


    The docs jobs we would be open to community applying, for the developer documentation person however - we do want someone who has good familiarity with scripting, or can learn (since that's the #1 thing least documented we have)


    So, that's one of the things keeping us busy lately - poor Allen is interviewing around the clock at the moment!


    Next, Unity 2018.4.14 to Unity 2018.4.20 broke cloth physics (and other internal mesh representation data)


    I am somewhat annoyed that Unity's LTS support release has been broken for so long - but my general feel has been that the 2018 release was just a universally bad one - they changed too much too quickly.


    2019.4 is looking a _lot_ better, we've been doing test updates to 2019 for the past 6 months, and it fixes a lot of issues still unfixed in 2018, however we do want to get a 2018 release out the door before upgrading. The thought of skipping 2018 has been with us though, but at this point 2018 does work, so we will roll that out first rather than delay a new live release much longer.


    We've been talking to an entertainment company (I'm not at liberty to say yet) who is interested in doing very large events on the live grid - and they don't want to do them for less than a few hundred people in each scene at once, without sharding.


    So, we've got a brand new high concurrency networking library we've written - we did some simulated tests with over 500 avatars last week (and we did another one yesterday that looked good). Infact, I have some screenshots around here somewhere, of 500ish bots in a scene bouncing around.


    We've got a testing agency who'll be delivering us 500 real testers on a specific time and date, which we're booking in at the moment - we've got a smaller test with them this week just to make sure everything looks good.


    The other side of that coin is avatars -- there's a region named Struktura some of you know about, it has about 1440 avatars in it.


    Unfortunately, 'every possible combination' adds up - the 'Standard' shader has so many variants, that when it is used, we often see it using up 360mb _alone_. But there's more to come on that front!


    And sometime in around November, we're expecting some big events to use all this tech to put real venue audience sizes into a virtual world for the first time.


    _Gaby_: What does this mean with custom shaders and shaders made with Amplify? asking in case


    Adam: The rest of our teams have also been quite busy the last couple of weeks, we've got one very big project for web & mobile users, which we're going to announce here at office hours on the 30th.


    _Gaby_: Would you kind of recommend to use some sort of standard shader made with amplify?


    Adam: If your shader is functionally identical to 'Standard', use Standard. We've got special handling for it now. (the shaderlite system).


    _Gaby_: Asking for in standard shader variants like no backface culling and such, i know there are standard shader variants just for that


    Joshua May: We do a lot of yelling at Unity.


    Adam: Heya Joshua


    Joshua May: Hey, I popped in about 15 minutes ago. Your fingers must be very tired if you're doing this all in text today.


    Adam: For backface, we can ship one if you like that's shaderlite compatible - if that's the only change.


    Adam: OK, so, I've got an hour or so until my next meeting - I'm happy to carry on. I haven't actually scratched the surface of what we've been up to lately.


    _Gaby_: It would be good to have a shaderlite version of a backface standard shader, some use it for things using cloth physics


    Adam: Gaby: yes, agreed - it's better to backface in a shader than doubling the mesh complexity when cloth is involved.


    _Gaby_: Can i also quickly sneak a question, about an unity asset "dynamic bones", its being heavily used in the VRChat community and i wonder if it's secretly enabled here too or why it's not already?!


    Adam: _Gaby_: Ah, so, fun fact. We don't have _that_ one enabled, but we do have our own.


    _Gaby_: Um you mean the Spring Bone component


    Adam: And it's free.


    _Gaby_: Yeah its not working i just made a report


    Adam: OK, if it's in the issue tracker, someone'll get to it for you.


    Joshua May: Yeah, I mentioned last week we tripled the size of our QA team already.


    Adam: Yeah, we've got a lot of new people coming onboard.


    Adam: Pandemic has been broadly beneficial for virtual worlds, even as the real world unfortunately falls apart. That said, the new Unity partnership is getting a lot more direct involvement from asset store creators.


    Anyone else have questions or comments? I'll also try to be here next week, schedule permitting.


    ghaelen: The cloth physics component seems to be different - the handles are much bigger now and hard to see/


    Adam: Now we're getting a bigger team, I want to start creating some of our own, which are designed for longer shelf lives. At some point, Unity will enable GPU acceleration on the cloth component -- right now it's been held up because the GPU accelerator only works on Windows.


    So Unity won't enable it anywhere


    ghaelen: so cloth physics doesn't work in 2018?


    Adam: No it does


    ghaelen: I just yesterday looked at it, and the spheres are 10x larger than in 2017


    Adam: That was one of the things we were waiting on Unity to fix, which they did in 2018.4.20? or 23? I forget exactly which.


    Joshua May: 4.24 has the cloth physics fix


    Adam: Uh, can't really talk to that.


    ghaelen: ok, thanks Joshua


    Adam: I thought .24 was the crash fix?


    Joshua May: No .20 was the crash fix, but we couldn't use it because it broke cloth physics.


    Adam: Or was it Cloth? I swear, trying to keep track of these bugs has been fun.

    and then there's the shader fix Allen's been dealing with as well.


    Joshua May: Yeah. 2018 has been a hellish train to ride.


    Adam: _Gaby_: No, I understand the utility, I think step 1 would be we see if we can improve SpringBone, since it's free & might be good enough.


    Adam: If that is not a good idea, then we can look at whitelisting DynamicBone/BouncyBones


    Jamie Lee: @Cindy, my fave topic, inworld building


    Adam: Also one of mine actually heh


    CindyBolero: No, I've not been able to get multiple room floor to work in EP 488


    Adam: Yes, inworld building. I've still got a bunch of stuff on my roadmap for this year in here, but the build/edit room tools work pretty well with multiple people building at once.


    Carsten Stark: Yeah, Artemis and I work on regions at the same time and it works well.


    Adam: There's lots more stuff within the inworld building I want to get released.

    Adam: One of the things the new networking layer does is also gives us a chance to fix that damn bug that's been holding up voxel terrain too.


    _Gaby_: Having the move/scale tools a little bigger or thicker would be nice, sometimes i struggle to click on the arrows.


    Joshua May: A popular request has been for the ability to lay out and organize stuff into folders in the room editor, and then pick up those folders as inventory items.


    Adam: Hrm. So, grouping.


    Joshua May: Yeah, we've talked about grouping a bit internally.


    Adam: That has been historically difficult, but I figured out a way to do it when I was in London a while back.


    Carsten Stark: Voxel terrain... that reminds me... I heard something about "mainland". Is there any vision for that, which can be shared with us?


    Adam: Carsten: yeah, it's tied to the same thing. There's a whole new parcel system which replaces the 'floors' system (well, more upgrades)


    Joshua May: Mainland is one of those features that's like 98% done, pending us getting the 2018 viewer out.


    Adam: This stuff will be getting a bit of my attention again soon. It's definitely one of the things I really want to see happen soon.


    Adam: _Gaby_: nope! Existing content wont break.


    Joshua May: Yeah, we're not getting rid of floors.


    _Gaby_: but obviously if i want to use the new parcelling id have to swap it


    Adam: Yeah, Substances have been a monster headache for that reason...


    Joshua May: I believe you said substances would be much improved by 2019?


    Adam: Yeah, 2019 annoyingly fixes the last substance issues.


    Joshua May: I was commenting on this the other day, that Unity did a lot of fixes in 2019 and never backported those fixes to their 'Long Term Stability' release.


    Adam: Good news is they'll come back with the 2019 upgrade if anything does break and doesn't get spotted.


    Joshua May: Yeah, I'm eager to move to 2019 as soon as possible.


    Adam: Me too.


    Sitearm: any updates on the webgl web url viewer upgrade?


    Adam: Wait for the 30th.


    Carsten Stark: Will the editor pack get some love soon to fix the various broken components in the play mode, and bring the UI up to match the current viewer for testing?


    Adam: That's all I'll say on web.


    Adam: At least this week.


    Sitearm: @Gabie I am having people come in on the 2b52 via the BreakRoom Demo site - tested it can access things and it has no pesky "release preview" questions lol


    Adam: Speaking of, last thing - I did have someone say they couldn't use the 2b viewers at all - if that's the case, I _REALLY_ need to know ASAP, please log that on the issue tracker.


    Joshua May: Yeah, trust us when we say that we want to give you 2b every single day we wake up.


    Sitearm: @Adam the one issue I am aware of was that the region they tried to TP to was on a later version of Unity


    Jayden Catnip: yeah we are trying to get info on that one at the moment adam


    CindyBolero: It was my bad with the EP I was using I think. It only worked on preview viewer


    Joshua May: Sitearm: That was likely the crash bug that was fixed in 4.20, that's one of the reasons we really wanted to get that out, but then another bug forced us to wait for 4.24


    _Gaby_: Oh yeah one thing Adam you said that the camera collides with anything in the Default layer and so on, that's also not working


    Adam: Yeah, we don't want everyone crashing all the time, which unfortunately 4.20 did


    _Gaby_: um yeah, this region lol


    Carsten Stark: Localhost, I can't get the camera to collide with the walls of the building either


    Joshua May: Carsten: It's very scene specific. Some 2018 scenes will backprocess fine on 2017, and some will not.


    _Gaby_: rotate the avatar camera down to the floor, normally in the editor the camera even collides with the terrain


    Carsten Stark: Right, that's what I figured Josh. I noticed the ogv video component wouldn't process for 2017 from my 2018.4 unity


    CindyBolero: Hot Summer Nights was done with EP 14.488.9196 and wouldn't work with release viewer


    _Gaby_: but once the region is up here it does not collide


    Adam: _Gaby_ this is using the right click rotate/pan modes?


    _Gaby_: yeah


    ghaelen: I see what you mean, Gaby. The camera goes through the walls and floor


    _Gaby_: i know you said the fly cam does not collide


    Adam: It could be the stuff in this region is on another layer.


    Joshua May: Yeah, the camera hasn't collided with geometry since last year.


    Adam: Fly cam will never collide, yeah.


    Joshua May: It hasn't for me in a very long time.


    Adam: OK, let's file that one down for a investigation tomorrow


    _Gaby_: In the editor pack it still collides, not here anymore


    Joshua May: Something got changed on the camera rig in the viewer build probably.


    Adam: Could be, yeah.


    _Gaby_: Another thing got changed in the viewer camera, is the volumetric light not working and i already reported it but the report hasn't been confirmed even


    Adam: Hrm, there's a volumetric light in here. And I do see it.


    _Gaby_: Yeah older ones work


    Adam: Hrm, suspicious.


    _Gaby_: Even in the editor pack when i go into play mode to set up the volumetric light i can see how the camera disables the volumetric light renderer in runtime


    Adam: Hrm, working in older regions usually implies something changed in processing


    _Gaby_: oh yeah by the way Adam, any updates on the avatar skin textures?


    Adam: Ah yes, thankyou for reminding me - I'm working in that area today, let me ping you about that one later


    Adam: Looks like the next viewer b55 should have that fix


    Joshua May: Yay! I've been pushing that internally, glad to see it made the cut.


    _Gaby_: Oh really? good, Allen said its because it doesn't have a splash sound but i did put a splash sound yet still bombing me with shots


    Adam: yeah either Eric or Timber got that one.


    Haha yeah, there'll be more names to remember soon hehe


    Adam: I hear our new SH office has a built-in VPN on the internet connection, I might try get a few more of the SH staff on Discord.


    Adam: No problem!


    _Gaby_: I would ask for a little thing, um, maybe need to look into it with you whenever you can but the lighting is still a problem tho


    Adam: On that shader/


    _Gaby_: The hair glows when its night, well, it looks unlit


    Adam: Ah, hrrrm. Could be overuse of the ambient I guess


    Adam: Alright, well I think I might wrap stuff up there


    Joshua May: Adam and I have a meeting in about 20 minutes also.


    Adam: THEY NEVER STOP! haha


    _Gaby_: Thank you Adam!


    Joshua May: I appreciate you taking the time to do office hours today. I had a meeting conflict with it again.


    Adam: Alright cool, I'm going to vanish - since I'm reminded, I will go see if I can spot that skin issue. It's near where I'm working right now


    _Gaby_: someday we'll have true HD skins and i can't wait.


    Adam: Yeah, one of my other projects, god so many going on


    Joshua May: That's why we're hiring hiring hiring.


    Adam: the 2bX viewers already have the new loading mechanism, but they don't have the codecs in, yet.


    _Gaby_: That new texture compression format sounds


    Adam: Yeah, tl;dr 50-75% filesize reductions without perceptible difference.


    Carsten Stark: Cool. So we can squeeze more stuff in our region MB envelope then too


    Joshua May: Haha. The trouble is everything is marked as 'hurry' priority. We have 'Hurry', 'Hurry Faster', 'Hurry Extreme', and my personal favorite, 'Hurriest.'


    Adam: We also have 'Work weekends'. I'm not really a fan of that setting, but it's been used a bit lately. hehe


    Joshua May: I don't think any of us have had many full weekends off in the last 6 months.


    Adam: No, it's been a bit extreme lately; but the new staff should help!


    Carsten Stark: Well hopefully you can get back to having them soon.


    _Gaby_: oh small question, for josh or adam, about landing in a region


    Joshua May: Within the same region you mean?


    _Gaby_: is there a way to let the avatar land where it logged off?


    Adam: That's an interesting question.


    _Gaby_: lets say im far faaaaar away from the landing zone and i log off, id log back in and i land in the beginning


    Adam: On the old region server architecture, no. The new one though...


    _Gaby_: instead of me far away where i was


    Carsten Stark: Well, it could be done with scripting


    Adam: It'd kinda have to be a system-wide setting though I think.


    _Gaby_: i noticed it happens sometimes but not always


    Adam: Not per-region, more 'everyone gets it, or no-one does.'


    Joshua May: Your specific region could be scripted to do that with Lua


    Adam: I'd like to enable it globally, we kinda need it for the mainland anyway


    Joshua May: Yeah.


    Adam: My heightmap is already like 250km aside.


    Joshua May: At the very leasat, it would have to pick a 'nearest landmark marked as spawnpoint'


    Carsten Stark: except I'm not sure if an event fires at log off... that's the only hangup I could think of...


    Adam: There is a serverside scripting event for it


    Joshua May: We had a bug where multiple landmarks marked as spawnpoints was blowing up the editor, but that should be fixed now.


    Carsten Stark: ah ok


    Joshua May: Yeah, server scripts will get a player left event no matter what, even if it's a crash or whatever.


    Adam: Yeah


    _Gaby_: Also yeah Adam, that would be super required for the mainland. Imagine living far away from the landing point or just being far away from it


    Carsten Stark: cool


    Joshua May: The client script would just have to periodically update the server script with their location.


    Joshua May: Yeah, let's not make that particular mistake. Second Life blazed that terrible trail already, and I have PTSD from it.


    Adam: Yeah the map for the mainland pretty much requires it, it's just too damn big otherwise.


    Joshua May: Yeah, it requires a lot of things to be thought about just because of the scale.


    Adam: The voxel map takes 80gb of storage space alone


    Carsten Stark: wow


    Adam: (that makes backups funs)


    Carsten Stark: Did you generate it procedurally or is it going to be designed... or combination of both to start... or just blanks slate for users to modify?


    Adam: Carsten: both. Macro was designed, micro is procedural.


    Carsten Stark: ah cool


    Adam: Anyway yes I need to dash, meetinug in 5


    Carsten Stark: haha. Take care Adam


    Adam: Seeya folks!


    Dolome Demonia: toodles!!


    _Gaby_: Take care Adam!!


    Dolome Demonia: thanks you all


    Lesiar: THANKS ADAM


    Carsten Stark: Thanks Lesiar and communtiy team


    Lesiar: thanks carsten


    Jayden Catnip: yw


    Lesiar: much appreciated
     
    Alicia Skytower likes this.
  2. Alicia Skytower

    By:Alicia SkytowerJul 23, 2020
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    Can we make the Tech Office transcripts thread a pin so that when updates get posted by staff, we can hit the forum to read them for what we missed?

    Thanks!
     
  3. Jayden

    By:JaydenJul 26, 2020
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    I will see about getting that added :)