Monthly Archives: March 2015

Removing Support for Facebook Groups

Currently, World Managers can choose to restrict access to their worlds so only people who belong to certain Facebook Groups can visit it. Unfortunately, Facebook has decided to stop allowing external programs to get the list of groups that a user belongs to. Therefore, we are forced to remove this feature from Kitely. This will happen on March 27, 2015.

If you are currently using Facebook Groups for access control then you should switch to a different method of restricting access to your world: e.g., using OpenSim groups. Otherwise, once we’ve updated the system your world may become accessible to more people than you had intended.

Kitely Market on Your Phone

Our mission is to evolve Kitely Market into the central marketplace serving users of all open virtual world platforms on the Metaverse. Part of our strategy involves making Kitely Market accessible to potential buyers on all platforms. Today we’ve taken a big step towards achieving that goal by making Kitely Market accessible on smartphones.

To access Kitely Market on your phone, visit kitely.com in your browser. The current Alpha version can be used for searching the market and viewing products. We’ll add additional functionality, such as purchasing and wish lists, in the near future.

Kitely Market is designed to provide an App-like experience: transitions between screens are instantaneous; data is preloaded in the background to minimize waiting time; and animations make the app fun to use. Due to the use of advanced HTML5, the web app works best on modern browsers such as Chrome and Safari.

The web app is optimized for mobile devices. For example, search results are shown in a single column (vs. 3 columns on the desktop); the search options are accessed via a slide-in window; etc. We also use high-resolution icons, which look great on phone screens (since they often have far more pixels per inch than desktop monitors).

The web app also displays product images in a higher resolution than on the desktop. Again, this takes advantage of the superior screens on phones as compared to desktop monitors. This means that even though the images are smaller than on a desktop monitor, they appear sharper. Since we first opened Kitely Market in 2013, our product guidelines have recommended that product images should be uploaded in a very high resolution (1600 x 1200 pixels), precisely in anticipation of this day. Kitely: we’re all about the long game!

(Before you rush to see insanely high-resolution images of your products, however, we should note that in order to balance image quality vs. download speed we don’t yet display the maximum possible image resolution. We increased the resolution that we use up to a certain point, and we intend to increase it further after we get some feedback.)

Please check out Kitely Market on your phone (go to kitely.com), and let us know what you think.

Here are some screenshots of the new Kitely Market mobile web app:

Mobile Homepage

Mobile Front Page

Mobile Search Options

Mobile View Product

Import VarRegion OAR Files, and Started Ad Campaign

We updated our system today with an OpenSim security fix and with support for automatically converting VarRegion OAR files into Kitely Advanced Megaregion worlds. We also started advertising Kitely Market on third-party websites, and have seen a sharp increase in marketplace activity as a result.

Security Fix

This release includes the security fix in OpenSim 0.8.0.4. See Justin Clark-Casey’s announcement here.

Importing VarRegion OAR Files

It’s now possible to load OAR files that were created on VarRegions outside of Kitely into Kitely worlds. The resulting worlds won’t be VarRegions, instead they will use Kitely’s Advanced Megaregions technology.

Regular OpenSim megaregions have some limitations which VarRegions help resolve. Our Advanced Megaregions have much of the same functionality as VarRegions, but while VarRegions are limited to using the BulletSim physics engine, our Advanced Megaregions support both the newer BulletSim physics engine and the more mature ODE physics engine.

Converting megaregions into VarRegions is a non-trivial process with regular OpenSim, but it is now done automatically when you upload VarRegions OAR files into large Kitely worlds. After you’ve created such a world you’ll be able to export it to a Megaregion OAR file. Alternatively, if you disable Advanced Megaregion mode for that world then you’ll be able to export it to a Multi-region OAR file.

Started Ad Campaign

We’ve started the Kitely Market ad campaign that highlights products that our merchants sell in Kitely Market. You can already see these ads on Hypergrid Business and SLUniverse, and we intend to advertise in additional websites over time.

The ad campaign resulted in an immediate increase in sales volume and in the number of items listed in Kitely Market. Kitely Market has now delivered purchased items to over 70 OpenSim grids! If you sell content to grids outside Second Life then there’s no better way to do it than to list your items in Kitely Market.

Added a Video to the Homepage

We added the Kitely Market video to our homepage. This video is also displayed to people who click on the ads in the ad campaign.