A new grid called "OpenSim Life Grid" ran and managed by Rich Williams (Watcher aka Bill Blight)** (who I will refer to as Bill throughout the post) caught me attention and piqued my curiosity. So I decided to check it out and make a video of my adventure.

Google+ is my go to social network where Opensim is concerned and Bill has been posting recently about the things he was doing on his grid and the grid website (Joomla and Jopensim). Opensim Life grid and its website interest me for two reasons;

  • It demonstrates there is a wifi alternative for Opensim grids to use (the grid map is exceptional see here)
  • Running Opensimulator 0.9.x and the ubODE physics engine for vehicles

Friendly grid owner

I recently met Bill in the pixels at the bi weekly Coffee and Chat hosted by +Sunbeam Magic over on the 3rd Life Grid. He was very approachable and he kindly agreed to answer three questions for me and the answers are included in this post (I always ask three questions; about you, about the grid and what the future of the grid is). Although the grid is a newcomer Bill has been around virtual worlds for a considerable amount of time.

My first question is always the same or variation of the same "tell me about your history in virtual worlds generally and Opensim specifically?"

Bill: I have been around this style of virtual worlds for a long time, I think it was called LindenWorlds in the first beta, when there were like only 3 islands. I then moved on to regular SL and ran a few sims, but after a few years found that the drama of those particular types of sims was just too much. So then I discovered Opensimulator, I think it was around version .3x something , when I started playing with it ..

Bill: When Opensimulator got to the .69 version I generally kept a world up , for my personal playground, I avoided the .7x series like the plague, but once the .8x series came out I was back to riding the bleeding edge. Now when ubODE came around I switched to .9x series and have not looked back.

The grid

  • Opensim Life grid website here
  • HG Address grid.opensim.life:8002:tropical life

My second question to Bill was "tell me about the aims of the grid?"

Bill: "Aims, well that is kind of where I think I diverge from the current "norm", my focus is entirely , as I like to say, "Social not Stuff", even though I have fun stuff, I want people to have fun with other people not just with their STUFF."

Bill: "I mean , I have a Gloebit based economy in the world, but I don't plan on having a "Grid Run" mall, maybe a shop or two but nothing "official" for the grid. Now with that being said, I do plan on very affordable region rentals, and if someone wants to put a mall on a region, I will fully support them with the economy and promotion."

Bill: "So again I will just say, the aim of my grid is, "Social not Stuff".


My first visit to the grid was to ride the monorail as that looked fun then following a post and an invite from Bill to try the Jetski's I headed over to the grid. Below is the video that I made of my visit:

The first video of my visit was a little dark so decided to return to Opensim Life grid and retake the video. Bill was on hand a helped me with getting some shots and piloting.


My final question to Bill was "what are your plans for your grid in the future?"

Bill Plans? I hope and plan to survive. Things are getting rough out there, and I am not blind to that.

The propensity to think that a desktop PC can run a grid as well as actual server hardware in a data center, is causing grids that are backed by serious hardware to be drowned out by hundreds of "micro/mini grids". I want people to call my grid home, and not because of this widget or that whatsit , but because they have friends and neighbors that they choose to be around.

I had so much fun and Bill was very friendly and approachable, exploring you can see the experience in the way that the grid behaves, looks and feels. The Tropical Life region is great fun and I will definitely be gathering up some virtual friends to visit. I hope you go and take a look around too.