What is Group Client?
Group Client allows Virbela customers to combine multiple builds into a single world, making it easier for their users to access their campuses. In other words, customers no longer have to provide separate installation links to their users; instead, they will give just one link.
In addition, Group Client makes it easy to add additional worlds to the client. Customers can now spin up other worlds to support significant events without going through a lengthy build process.
After logging in, the user will see all the available worlds available to that user. There can be multiple installers with different groupings of worlds. For Example, Installer A may show two worlds for Client X and Installer B may hold five worlds for Client Y.
How does this impact customers who may not want Group Client?
There is no impact on customers who do not want to use Group Client. However, they will have the option to combine campuses in the future.
How is Group Client different than OneClient?
Over the years, Virbela has spoken about the need for a single client to help reduce the confusion around managing multiple executables.
From a customer point-of-view, Group Client does get Virbela closer to this vision. However, from a technical point of view, the two projects are very different.
One key difference for customers: with OneClient, we would eventually want to move all customers to a single executable. Group Client, on the other hand, is very much an opt-in functionality for customers.
We do not yet have a time frame for OneClient, though it will not occur in 2023.
Are there any costs associated with Group Client?
There are no costs or fees associated with Group Client. There are so many benefits for both Virbela customers and Virbela itself.
If multiple campuses are linked, will all users who associate with one campus now see all campuses?
No, users will only be able to see the campuses that have granted the user access. If an admin removes a user from campus, that user will no longer see the campus in Group Client. If a campus is not “Invite Only,” it will be visible and accessible to all users in the linked campuses.
How will a user with access to only one campus in the suite interact with Group Client?
If customers set all the campuses within the Group Client to “Invite Only,” and the user only has access to one of those campuses, then the user will bypass the world selection screen and spawn immediately.
However, suppose customers do not set other campuses in the suite to “Invite Only” when the user logs into the Group Client suite for the first time. In that case, the system automatically adds the user to all public campuses. Then they will be prompted to the world selection screen, with all public campuses shown.
Can additional campuses be added to a Group Client suite after the initial launch?
The development team can easily add a new campus to any existing Group Client suite.
Can campuses be unlinked? If so, will users lose their access?
Yes, if the assets for the different worlds are identical. If not, the split becomes much more challenging.
Since the individual worlds still have their separate user management, users will not lose access to any worlds they had access to via Group Client.
What is the maximum number of campuses that Group Client can combine?
There is no limit to the number of campuses that Group Client can connect to, assuming:
Those campuses all use the same user login/registration strategies
All clients contain a superset of all assets/scenes required by each campus
In addition, consider the world selection screen can only display a few campuses simultaneously. While there is no set limit, we should experiment because there is no way to search campuses. However, users will only see the campuses they can access, not all linked campuses.
If campus A and B are linked in Group Client, can their rooms be linked so users can navigate between worlds?
While users can switch between worlds using the Settings (Cog) menu, they will land at the default spawn point for each world. However, if you are in (for example) World A, there is no way to land in a specific room in World B.
If two campuses are tied to Group Client A, and two are tied to Group Client B, could all four be merged?
Yes, assuming all previous constraints are met (similar assets, similar login/registration strategies).
Is it possible to add a campus to multiple Group Clients?
No, we do not support this functionality.
What happens if a user downloads a Group Client installer but does not have access to any of the campuses connected to that client?
The experience would be similar to today when a user cannot access a client installer.
Can users toggle between worlds?
The functionality described below will only take place after the 09 August 2023 web release, and requires the 2.10 campus patch.
Users can select the Gear Menu and click on “Switch World.”
The system will then show the user the worlds they can select from.
Can campuses with different art assets and scenes be combined?
This is possible but will result in bloated installs if not handled carefully. Our new dynamic content tool will help reduce the likelihood of this event.
What happens if a customer asks for customization in one of the Group Client campuses?
This can still happen, but the assets will be available to all campuses within Group Client. However, the custom scenes will be hidden from the other campuses unless implemented.
Can customers combine campuses across world servers?
No. While Virbela can combine any campus within a region, we cannot currently combine campuses across regions. In other words, we cannot connect a campus housed in the Australian region with a campus housed in the European region.
The determining factor is which Parse server the campuses use.
Can campuses with Single Sign-On (SSO) participate in Group Client?
The simple answer is no unless the SSO setup matches precisely. A simple example is if all campuses use Google SSO, an open SSO. There are other examples of open SSOs, but most corporate SSOs cannot be combined.
Another example: one campus uses an SSO, but another only uses email/password. We can combine the two campuses in this example, but both login options will be displayed.
We are working to improve this functionality for future releases.
Is there any impact on the number of concurrent users on a campus?
No. In addition, this will not change how we bill customers based on DUULAM reporting.
Can users have different permissions on the other campuses?
Group Client will not change how user permissions operate so that users can have different permissions in different worlds.
Is there any impact on how users view app.Virbela?
No, there will be no change to how users log in and use the app.Virbela.
Does this impact how patches will be released?
All worlds accessed through the Group Client will experience a patch simultaneously, and all worlds on a Group Client
will have the same client version.
What does a customer/partner have to do to set up Group Client?
Customers and partners will not have to do anything to set up Group Client. We will reach out to them once Group Client is ready. We can work with the customer to ensure we schedule in a way that is not disruptive to their business.
Is there any impact on the user’s preferences?
When a world is added to Group Client, the user’s preferences will be reflected in the “base world.” In addition, preferences will now be the same for all worlds within the Group Client for that user. In other words, when users update their preferences in one world, they update in all worlds within the suite.