Google Lively Q&A

Q&A with Google Lively Devs

Today I was attending a Q&A session with Greg Spencer and Mark Young, two of the Google Lively engineers, organized by World2Worlds. The setup was a bit strange though, instead of just having one venue to do the event in, it happened simultanously in Lively and Second Life while the audio stream was streamed via a ustream.tv feed. So quite complex.

It was also my first use of Lively and it looks nice but I somehow thought it wouldn’t be as laggy as SL and in fact was more laggy ;-) But it’s all an early version so things can change of course.

As for the session after some initial introduction some discussion between the audience and the devs went on which was quite interesting.

Some points from this:

  • They haven’t looked into the Open Grid Protocol yet but that does not mean they never do.
  • It’s a 20% project (Google devs have 20% of their time available to work on any project they want to)
  • Lively will stay rooms. It’s not clear to them if a world around it would add much to it. For me though it would as it gives you a better feeling of location.
  • Rooms will probably become some permisssion controls.
  • In-world editing tools are not planned but it’s planned to support external tools for all types of artists. Just a simple paint program for the beginners up to 3dmax etc. for the pros for doing animations and objects.
  • They are looking into if and how scripting would be possible but are taking baby steps in such fields.
  • Open Sourceing is not planned right now. It might be done if it’s taking off but means a lot of refactoring because it’s based a lot on Google’s internal infrastructure.
  • As for voice support it probably goes to using GTalk as this is the technology used already for chat.

We also had some discussion about the chat bubbles, camera controls, how many configuration options you need and more. All in all a quite interesting conversation and I think all those worlds can always learn from each other and improve that way. One thing is nevertheless important and this is data portability. So I hope these things will not be forgotten!

These notes are all without any guarantee of correctness as I was fiddling around with Lively the first time and it’s pretty late over here as well.
Any corrections are welcomed though :-)

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