So Oz Linden gave this PERFECT and concise explanation on the April 3, 2020 episode of Lab Gab, that explains the issue of graphics and user generated content:
What kind of challenges are there in second life that prevent it from having the high end graphics and speed of other modern games like shadow of the Tomb Raider and others. Well the real answer is that it’s they don’t have the same challenges we do; we have user-generated content when you’re looking at a at a triple-a game the developers have built a rendering engine for that game. So if it’s a game that’s happening mostly in dark tunnels it’s going to be a rendering engine that’s got a lot of you know that’s specialized for that. (it’s) And they’ll give the artists who are creating the content who are you know building out the dungeon, or whatever it is that’s in the game, they’ll give them very strict rules; ‘you can only have so many triangles in a scene period’. You have a budget. You can only use transparency or for translucency on you know X percent of the scene. You are not allowed to have anything transparent in front of anything else that’s transparent. That kind of thing. And the results is that they can then get extremely good performance. And they have highly paid professionals who know how to get graphics optimized extremely well, and they know exactly what they have to draw in advance. In fact often they’ll pre compute large parts of the lighting model, for example, so that that doesn’t have to be figured out on the fly. We don’t have that luxury because all of the residents are creating the world and we want them to have as much flexibility as we can afford. But the result is that they do things like having partially transparent lab gab things floating up in the middle of the sky above the presenter, and and translucent windows that are looking out onto the things outside… I’m just I’m marveling at and I do this every single day. I’m marvel at what people build I mean it’s just incredible it’s beautiful but it’s not predictable and it’s often not very well optimized. …. it gets used and it gets used in ways that we didn’t think could even work but it do work and it’s just fun to watch but it’s a challenge to build something Optimal… will we improve graphics performance over time? Absolutely we will. We have in the last year hired a couple of really good graphics people and they’re doing that’s what they’re spending time on and I expect good results. Will we get to the level of performance of a triple-a game? Definitely not. It is just not possible; not and have the creative scope that we that we want our residents to have.–Oz Linden, Second Life’s Lab Gab Episode 20, 4/3/2020
What does this have to do with us? EVERYTHING.
People are so fond of blaming SL/LL and the ‘game engine’ and the ‘servers’ for lag. Folks, if you want to understand the problem with lag, first look to your OWN avatar, clothes, attachments, environment, home/region. Are you wearing and using optimized LOW COMPLEXITY objects? Are the textures higher than they ever need to be? a 100k hair is obscene. Outfits with 3 parts that top 150k are obscene. The only use for a 1024 texture is really to put on a region sized object like a platform or ground texture. Is the mesh optimized? Are you wearing attachments you don’t need. HAVE YOU CONVERTED TO BAKES ON MESH??????
WE are the cause of the real lag problems on SL. WE can be the biggest change agent to make our own, and everyone else’s experience so much better!