What is Open Sim Fest 2022?
OSFest 2022 is the third and longest celebration of life in the Open Simulator Hypergrid (HG). This year’s event will run 17 days, unlike two previous festivals that ran for just one weekend. Everyone is invited, regardless of what world (grid) they call ‘home’. Avatars will come together to build, to learn, to exhibit their builds, to sell wares, and to perform. The previous festivals had themes, and so does this one: “Medieval/Fantasy!”. Life and creativity are an important part of virtual life, just as they are in the ‘real’ world.
What is Open Simulator?
Open Simulator (OS) is an open-source platform, often called Open Sim, which builds on viewers originally designed for Second Life. Think of it as your starship and the sundry grids as ‘The Federation of Planets’ of Star Trek fame. The code in OS is not privately owned, but ‘open source’ or public. Nonetheless, the user experience in Second Life and in our various grids is very similar, with two important differences: (a) you can do things in the OS “federation” of grids that you cannot do in SL, and (b) land is far cheaper!
What are grids?
Think of grids as if they were planets, each self-contained. Within each of course, as on our planet Earth, there are “nations” known as regions or sims in Second Life but known as “grids” in OS. Each of these has a name: Kitely, Alternate Metaverse, and so on. Grids have one or more regions that can be divided into smaller areas known as parcels (plots of virtual land). In OS, sometimes a variable size (VAR) region is 2x2 or the equivalent of four regions; sometimes another VAR region is a 6x6 or 36 equivalent regions for racing, flying, or sailing. They can even be the standard size region like Second Life - it varies. In general, the OS grids are very much like Second Life as each grid can have many regions – but sizes in OS can vary around the “Hypergrid”.
What is The Hypergrid (HG)?
Think of Second Life as Earth in 1950. No way to leave. It’s a nice place but you have no starships or spaceships to explore the universe. In Open Sim HG you have grids that are open and welcome visitors, and you have others who do not want aliens (you!) coming in. Think of the Romulans or the Klingons if you don’t quite ‘get it’. One thing all open grids have in common is the Hypergrid Protocol (body of rules) enabled. This allows avatars to freely teleport in and out of them – just as you can go from region to region or from parcel to parcel on your home grid! Closed grids require you to open an account (get citizenship) there. It’s a lot like Second Life; you can’t just zoom off from your new virtual world to SL – or to a closed grid. They have planetary shields up!
Let’s be clear that many refer to the Open Sim “federation” as ‘The Hypergrid’: a place to make friends, join groups, party, message each other, build things, and visit one another, hopping from (open) grid to (open) grid to do so. It’s not that easy with closed grids. (Think of it as having to have a passport before you can get into a closed grid). The collection of open grids is sometimes called the Hyperverse - a decentralized part of the Metaverse!
What is this Hypergrid Protocol mentioned above?
Basically, it’s a common set of rules that allow folks from one grid to freely travel to another. In techie speak, the software rules are written to provide a ‘gateway service’ (a door!) for folks wanting to travel from one grid to another. The basis of our “Federation” is that at least two, and now many more, grids agree to implement these ‘gateway rules’ – to install doors in plain language. And now on to ‘hops’…
What is a ‘hop’?
This is basically a way to let you get from one grid to another provided by one of the viewers named Firestorm. Beyond that it lets you get to a specific place on another grid. (You don’t want someone to drop you in France somewhere and then have to figure out how to find the West Portal of Chartres Cathedral, right?). There’s a specific format using a Firestorm viewer that you can use to land exactly in the right place.
Here’s an example: hop://grid.metaversedepot.com:8002/Sandbox/128/128/21 For those interested: (1) The grid domain name is ‘grid.metaversedepot.com’; (2) the port number is ‘8002’; (3) the region name is ‘Sandbox’; and (4) the exact location is at xyz coordinates /128/128/21. Easy, huh?
What is a Hypergrid (HG) address? What does it have to do with Open Sim Fest?
First, OSFest is being built as an open grid: open to all simply with a hop or an HG address! If will be a brand new and easily accessible grid. It’s not ready now, but when it is, everyone will be told how to get to it. OSFest will have an address and once you know it, off to the party!
Here’s an important a point: you need to have an address to find a place. Saying, “Hey, I want to see that cathedral somewhere near Paris” does not work in real life. Ditto here! Good news is that with your HG addresses you can pretty much go anywhere. And if you’re lost and want to go home, just hit home button and whoosh, your wanderings are over! A "foreign" HG Address will always be in the form gridDomain:portNumber:regionName and can be put directly into the world map to find and teleport just like a regionName is used in the "local" grid.
What will I be able to do at OSFest 2022? Is it more like a retail shopping mall, Burning Man, or a Renaissance Festival?
Honestly, every festival is different, but this year’s Open Sim Fest 2022 will try to be all three (and more). We will have exhibitors – mostly following our “Medieval/Fantasy” theme. We expect some cool builds that may remind you of the 10 centuries of European history, but there might be a few based on Oriental Medieval history! Yes, there will be merchants and yes you will be able to buy and take things home to your own grid to use there. (We’re all connected in the decentralized Hyperverse part of the Metaverse!)
How big is OS Fest 2022 going to be?
Big! We’re having it run 17 days for that reason. We plan to have 17 regions, about 60 exhibits and 30 stores, plus 90 hours of live performances. Yes, it’s free! (We have many sponsors helping with the finances!) You won’t be bored.
What’s this OAR stuff? Huh?
Don’t worry about OARs (Open Simulator Archive files) unless you are planning to set up a full region. (As a guest, shopper, etc. you won’t be doing this). If you are setting up a region as an exhibitor or merchant, you don’t need to concern yourself either. You will have a 64-meter by 64-meter parcel of land for your shop or exhibit and only full regions owners or grid administrators need worry about archiving everything. We have your back!
Can I bring stuff to OS Fest 2022?
Yes. Pop it into My Suitcase (yes, you have one, look in your contents folder) and bring it along. (Oh, and you better not be one of those folks who travel with half of what they own when they travel. Travel light and you won’t be leaving waves of lag in your wake!) If you’re going to set up something at the Fest, you will be able to build on our grid once we bring it up. Yes, you will have plenty of time.
Uh, My Suitcase?
Without going all technical… it’s super easy. It’s something you do not need within your own grid (or Second Life since that’s all one single grid). It contains ‘stuff I want to have and use’ when going to another grid (remember the planet analogy?). No, you don’t need to put the clothes you’re wearing into My Suitcase – wouldn’t that raise some eyebrow! But if you have an outfit you want to wear once at Open Sim Fest 2022 pop it in there. Ask old timers what kinds of stuff to pack on hops to other grids, just be careful who you ask! Check out our Hypergrid Tips and Tricks page!
How do I participate?
Join our Discord then select the role appropriate to your level of involvement. For example, if you wish to be an entertainer providing live music, poetry readings, or a DJ spinning tunes, join the discord and select the Performers Role. The same goes for Exhibitors, Merchants, Volunteers, and even Fest Supporters (i.e. guests/visitors).
Register for a free participant ticket to be notified of events via email or get an exhibitor or merchant ticket to reserve a virtual land parcel if you want to be an exhibitor or merchant. Free parcels go fast! The exhibit theme for this year is Medieval/Fantasy so just about anything exhibitors create is great! (Keep it PG please as this grid is open to everyone.)
You can also become a sponsor to share the cost of providing free parcels. Each level comes with various sizes of virtual land parcels and advertising boosts! Sponsor levels at cost vary from $3 to $100 but any amount is welcome. Any excess funds will go to the performers at OSFest2022.
Attend the events! No matter how you participate, attendance is 100% free courtesy of our sponsors. Welcome to OSFest2022!
How long will the grid be up after the "official" Fest duration?
All Exhibits and Shops will remain up for the entire 17 day-long festivities plus additional days until July 31st! So you can come back and enjoy as often as you like during that time frame. Upon closure of the grid per the schedule after Open Sim Fest concludes, the platform (grid services, regions, and all databases - including accounts, avatars, assets, and inventories) will be destroyed. No content or data associated with Open Sim Fest will be stored, retained, or otherwise accessible.
Do I have to make an avatar on the Open Sim Fest grid?
You may not need to make a local avatar unless your role requires Estate Manager or Administrator rights. All parcels will be deeded to groups individually managed by exhibitors, merchants, and sponsors. HG avatars are allowed for exhibitors, merchants, volunteers, and sponsors but due to the nature of HG, a reliable user experience is not guaranteed for HG avatars. If you decide to create a local avatar, you can transfer items from your HG avatar to this avatar. The grid will be hypergrid-enabled for all visitors but local accounts are available to anyone.
How do I create an avatar on the grid?
Details for the grid account creation will be announced via our discord server. So be sure to join the server and get all your information from one source! Click the discord button above or Join here: https://discord.gg/8RtXqpS7cT
How do I signup to volunteer?
We have a combined signup schedule page in the menu of the website. One hour shifts include greeter, host/hostess, moderator, and performer. Signup for as many or as few as you like! Be sure to check-in with our Organizers and to share our Hypergrid Tips and Tricks page so that everyone attending has a great user experience!
I want to see photos of previous Fests!
No problem! Here’s a slide show on our History page. We will be adding more photos soon!
Is there anything else?
Yes, there is! You should know that all kinds of useful information is available on our website! Here’s a list of pages from the menu: Home, Blog, Team, History, Register, Volunteer SignUp, Call for Sponsors, FAQ, Hypergrid Tips and Tricks, and Policies. You may want to set aside an hour or so to methodically go from tab to tab, so you get the big picture.
Oh, and one more thing: we have a Discord server. Click the link or hit the big button that says, Join us on Discord below. There's also a button on the far right upper menu that does the same thing.
Lastly, we sure could use volunteers! (Subtle hint). It’s a lot of fun and you’ll meet a lot of cool folks by doing that. Check out the Volunteer Signup page. See you in July!
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