Hi again explorers! Last time we started to explore the idea of a Region, sort of a building block of virtual simulated land. We left off wondering how you could build worlds much larger than what one Region could realistically simulate. Today we’ll explore the answer to that and along the way introduce some concepts we’ll cover next.
The trick to how Opensim (and Second Life) can simulate seemingly unending continuous virtual land that goes on and on happens at the edges of a Region. Opensim allows a Region to be placed right next to another Region so that their borders match up. When this happens, a user can travel right across the border seamlessly into the other Region (though every so often things can get a little quirky).
Regions can do this in all directions, and their neighboring Regions can do it too. When Regions join up together like this, they start to form something that looks a bit like a patchwork quilt. These Regions may be all owned and operated by the same user, or multiple different users. Generally speaking, neighboring Regions often have some sort of shared interest or social connection, but it’s worth noting that sometimes Regions might have different rules or purposes.
Curious how other users use Regions? Here’s a list of Common Types of Regions.
Pulling it All Together
Now that we know it’s possible to stitch Regions together into big continuous patchwork quilts of virtual space, the next questions are: What about Regions that want to be part of a different cluster, or just want to be off on their own? How do all these Regions hang together, share resources, and make themselves known to the rest of the virtual world?
We’ll cover that next time, when we talk about Grids, the glue which makes Opensim the social platform it is.