Testing The VR Version Of Second Life

Testing The VR Version Of Second Life
August 17, 2019

Austin Tate has a very useful, in-depth tutorial for installing and running Peter Kappler's VR version of the Firestorm viewer for Second Life (which I blogged earlier this year), with bonus points for a how-to on installing an XBox One/360 controller to run with the Oculus Rift installation.


While Second Life isn't social VR per se, it remains the largest, content rich social virtual world space with (relatively) high end graphics that can be explored in a VR rig.


As you might expect, Austin tells me/warns me that graphics performance does take a hit in virtual reality:


"Of course it depends on the framerate that can be achieved in the region and with the graphics settings," as he puts it. "I just 
posted some tests with Firestorm VR 6.0.1 in VR mode compared to Firestorm 6.0.2 (no VR) with same scene, same settings, etc. It looks to me like framerate is only down 25% or less in VR. I will be doing a much more careful comparison in the coming days for a separate blog post." So follow his blog here.


Average Second Life frame rate is about 30-60 FPS with a good PC rig and in a well-optimized, lightly populated sim, so a 25% degradation is pretty substantial. For instance, adds Austin: "I had a mainland region Houseboat on a very busy Second Life region that barely achieves 10 FPS in normal views, and that definitely did not work in VR, it flickers very badly." But seems like performance would still be decent enough to explore a sim like Drune IV during off-peak hours.

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