Frequently Asked Questions
You Asked, We Answered
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 server then select the Performers Role. The same goes for Exhibitors, Merchants, Volunteers, Promoters, and even Fest Supporters (i.e. guests/visitors).
Register for a free Performer/Host/Hostess or Participant ticket to be notified of events via email OR to get an Exhibitor or Merchant ticket to reserve a virtual land parcel if you want to be an exhibitor or merchant. Sponsors, please refer to the Sponsors page for more information. Free parcels go fast so be sure to create a local account on the OSFest grid then go choose your parcel! The exhibit theme for this year is Jazz/Blues Era 1860's to early 1970's. (Keep it PG please as this grid is open to everyone.)
You can also signup to be a volunteer and/or become a sponsor to share the cost of providing free parcels and entertainment. 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 OSFest.
Attend the events! No matter how you participate, attendance is 100% free courtesy of our sponsors. Welcome to OSFest!
What is OSFest?
OSFest is the third and longest celebration of life in the Open Simulator Hypergrid (HG). This year’s event will run for 16 days. 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 their wares, and to perform. Every festival has a theme. Check the home page for details. Socializing 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, Utopia Skye, 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 - which is decentralized unlike closed grids!
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/OSWRS/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 ‘OSWRS’; 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 OSFest?
First, OSFest is being built as an open grid: access from your home grid with a hop or an HG address in the viewer map! It is a brand new and easily accessible grid each year. 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? Is it more like a retail shopping mall, Burning Man, or a Renaissance Festival?
Honestly, every festival is different, but OSFest will try to be all three (and more). We will have exhibitors – mostly following our theme. We expect some cool builds and beautiful art like previous fests! 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!)
How big is OSFest going to be?
Big! We’re having it run 16 days for that reason. We plan to have over 16 regions, with many exhibits and stores, plus over 50 hours of live performances - these numbers may grow as more participate and get on the calendar of events. 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 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?
Yes. Pop it into My Suitcase (yes, you have one, look in your contents folder) and bring it along. (Oh, you want to 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 bring your build to the OSFest 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 OSFest 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 Suitcases page!
How long will the grid be up after the "official" Fest duration?
All Exhibits and Shops will remain up for the entire 16 day-long festivities plus additional days until the grid shutdown date a week later so people have time to pick-up their exhibits. 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 OSFest concludes, the platform (grid services, regions, and all databases - including accounts, avatars, assets, and inventories) will be destroyed. No content or data associated with OSFest will be stored, retained, or otherwise accessible.
Do I have to make an avatar on the Open Sim Fest grid?
For the best experience, all exhibitors, merchants, sponsors, and staff should create local avatar accounts to build or manage OSFest. But you may use your HG avatar during the event or both!
All parcels will be managed by exhibitors, merchants, and sponsors with oversight and help from staff. Exhibitors and merchant parcels are 100% free thanks to our sponsors so be sure to visit them too!
Due to the nature of HG, a reliable user experience is not guaranteed for HG avatars. You can transfer items from your HG avatar to your local avatar reliably.
Please request assistance if you need to terraform so you do not accidentally affect neighboring parcels.
The grid will be Hypergrid-enabled for all visitors and local accounts are available to anyone agreeing to the Terms of Service on our Policies page. Please review this carefully as it is unique to the OSFest grid.
When creating a local account you choose a unique name and password known only to you for security reasons. Then, after choosing a starter avatar, you choose your Avatar First Name and Last Name everyone sees and a different password known only to you. After adding the grid URI to the grid manager if needed, you can customize your avatar after you login or transfer a copy of your HG avatar if you have full permission and license to export from your home grid.
Note: Scripted attachments, tip jars, etc may not work after HG to OSFest but we have items available on the grid if needed.
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?
Check the Volunteer page in the menu of the website or contact the Volunteer Organizer in the OSFest Discord server. One hour shifts include greeter, host/hostess, leader, and performer. Signup for as many or as few as you like! Be sure to check-in with our Team and to share our Hypergrid Tips and Tricks on our Suitcases page so that everyone attending has a great user experience!
I want to see photos of previous Fests!
No problem! There are slide shows on our History page. We will be adding more photos as OSFest happens!
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, Team, Sponsors, Participants, Register, Volunteer, Policies, FAQ, Suitcases, Calendar, History, Blog. 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 page. See you at OSFest!
Have a question that we didn't answer here?