OutWorldz founder Fred Beckhusen has purchased the Hyperica OpenSim directory from Hypergrid Business.
He will continue to maintain the current website, add more content, and add more functionality, as well as the in-world hyperport, and the in-viewer destination guide.
The Hyperica website had nearly 20,000 unique visitors over the course of 2016, and nearly 200,000 page views.
“I plan on keeping the web site up for a long period of time,” Beckhusen told Hypergrid Business. “It’s going to help support and link together hundreds of OutWorldz mini grids.”
Last year, Beckhusen released the OutWorldz “DreamWorld” OpenSim installer which allows anyone to create a free, home-based mini-grid and allow anyone to visit via hypergrid teleport.
Beckhusen is a technology expert. When he’s not making stuff for OpenSim, Beckhusen is president of Texas-based Micro Technology Services, Inc. And he plans to use his technical skills to improve Hyperica’s functionality.
“I want to show computer-generated information, such as sim online status for the the minigrids that are running the OutWorldz [DreamWorld installer],” he said. “I may tie it into a five-star rating and comment HUD I made many years ago in Second Life.”
He will also continue to maintain the Hyperica destination guide, which is a set of web pages that grid owners can point to so that their users can get an easy-to-use destination guide right in their viewers, similar to the Second Life destination guide.
The destination guide was launched in early 2015.
Last year, the destination guide saw more than 100,000 page views. That translates to over 10,000 people using the guide in their viewers to travel around the metaverse.
“The destination guide currently is hand edited, and will remain up for the foreseeable future,” Beckhusen said. “I need to make that much simpler to maintain. It will be coded with my usual MSSQL database, in Modern Perl, with Template::Toolkit and Dbix::Class Nosql code I use professionally at work.”
The instructions for how grids can set it up for their own residents are here.
“I do not expect anything to change at all in how it works, as it would break content,” he said.
Beckhusen has also purchased the associated Hyperica grid, which serves as a hypergrid teleportation hub for the OpenSim metaverse, and has already begun working on improving it.
“I have debugged some broken content and will cleaning up more odds and ends this weekend,” he said. “It’s very nice build! A great collection of teleport machines, too.”
The build itself was created by KatiJak Studio. In preparation for the Hyperica sale, KatiJack signed a content licensing agreement allowing the build to be distributed under a Creative Common license, so Beckhusen will be able to share OARs of the hyperport with the community.
Beckhusen said that he will continue to maintain the separate Hyperica and OutWorldz brands, though there will be overlapping content.
“The same sim and content will be available from Hyperica.com or from Outworldz.net, but not the Outworldz.com domain,” he said. “Outworldz.com is entirely open source, and will never run commercial advertising. I have a lot of content marked CC-NC, which means ‘non commercial’.”
Beckhusen said he welcomes help from the community on this project.
“I would love to hear from everyone!” he said. “This is a big challenge and a lot of work for me, even more so after all the work it will take to just move it. I will keep the advertising free, so advertisers and other content creators should contact me by email at Outworldz.LLC@gmail.com if they need changes or have ideas on how to improve things.”
Since the first days when Hyperica was launched in 2010, content creators, region owners, and others have been able to run free ads on the site.
People should also contact him by email if they want new destinations to be featured in the Hyperica directory or the in-viewer destination guide.
On a personal note, I got quite a few responses from people when I first announced that I was shutting down Hyperica.
Some people wanted to volunteer hosting or website space to make a copy of the content, or use pieces of it for various commercial projects.
Beckhusen’s plan, to keep it going as a living, growing service immediately appealed to me, especially the fact that he would maintain the destination guide.
While there are other online directories, like OpenSimWorld, as well as other in-world hyperports, I don’t know of any other options for a destination guide. Leaving 10,000 users stranded without one was what I was worried about most.
Plus, I love what Beckhusen has done for the community. The OutWorldz site is a fantastic resource for scripts and other resources, and the DreamWorld installer is a big deal for anyone who wants to run OpenSim on their home computers.
I trust him with this projects, and I hope the rest of the OpenSim community will help him continue to improve it.
In particular, what I would most like to see is a way to use the destination guide to find events that are happening right now. Creating something like that is far beyond my programming skills.
But I think it’s vitally important. Virtual worlds are about communities. You want to go where people are. Teleporting from one empty region to another is demoralizing, no matter how pretty they might be.
Is that something Beckhusen will work on?
“Probably not,” he said. “Though it would be a good thing to have. I saw there is an Events script in-world but have only just saved it to look at the code this weekend. I have a LOT of work to do.”
I wish him all the best with it, and if he — or anyone else — wants help with anything related to Hyperica, or to the hypergate scripts I have set up, just email me at email@example.com.