And so it came to pass after the lands of Juicy faded away in favor of nicely built houses, and the Mainland slowly became more barren, a new land rose up out of the depths of metaverse seed grants. It was fairer, and its people with new bodies milled about to create and speak to one another. They spoke of VR implementation and a Steam store page–
Sorry. I’ve been reading LoTR again lately.
Today I’m taking a look at Sansar, lovingly referred to by SL citizens as “Second Life 2.0”. I took a look at the game because my other friends on Plurk were kinda scared to, so I volunteered to step up and poke around. Yes, that was really a conversation on Plurk and I said I would go on behalf of everybody. So! Here I am, back from my trip and writing about it.
Before I begin, let me state that what I write here is my impression of the game. If I missed a fact or got something wrong, then that’s the fault of the user experience I received. I’m just going to present what I know.
Didn’t I warn that Bakes On Mesh was coming? I did. I said this was going to force mesh head makers to revert their UV maps back to standard SLUV, too, because everyone is going to start using standard skins more and more now. If you are a mesh head developer and your heads don’t adhere to standard SLUV, get on it. You will lose money eventually because customers are going to want to wear whatever skin they want with whatever head they buy.
So, what the hell is Bakes On Mesh?
Bakes on Mesh (yes, plural, according to this SL wiki page) is a new feature in Second Life that automatically “bakes” your standard skins and tattoo layers to your mesh bodies and heads. Whenever you switch skins or wear different layers of tattoos on your body, your mesh will automatically update your look without you having to do anything.
Over time, there will be less and less dependency on applier routers like Omega, because now Second Life’s system is the applier. However, you’ll want to check with your mesh body maker to be sure their body is BoM ready. If it isn’t, they should be updating soon.
As most people who read the news know by now, the Linden Endowment for the Arts is closing. LEA provided a space for many artists in Second Life to express themselves. For them to shutter is something truly sad, but I’m also happy to note there’s an effort to begin again–a LEA 2.0, possibly! A group in-world has formed pooling suggestions on how to change the arts program so that it lasts longer this time. I’m so happy to hear of this!
As someone who’s gone through a serious roller coaster with the last LEA council, I’ve seen the uglier side of their machinations. Hazing, bullying, and power struggles are what I experienced and saw in the short time I’ve sat on their roster. After quitting, I wrote up my experiences here on this blog. It was met with both praise and criticism, but you know what? I spoke my truth in an earnest effort to bring about change, and there’s no way I would ever let anyone invalidate my experience. And as we all know, it’s the truth that will set you free in the end.
So what’s the one simple trick I think that can save the Linden Endowment for the Arts? It’s one I’ve suggested all along.
Why is it that whatever I say sometimes causes so much fuss? A couple of weeks ago, I compared VRChat‘s avatar grading system to Second Life’s avatar complexity numbering, stating that we should adopt grades instead because it’s simpler for users to understand.
But Second Life likes to play the telephone game with re-quotes and paraphrases. Soon, my suggestion morphed through other mouths and turned into “I want us to pare down our avatars to Ruths”, and that’s not what I said at all. Do people read around here? Do they just like being outraged over things? Make a little cash with clicks in the process?
In an effort to retain my goal of an ultra-chill summer, I took to the seas of the Bellisseria continent to invest in deepwater fishing. And while I’m here, let’s do that “VRChat versus Second Life” comparison. We’ve already gone halfway with it. Why not take the whole kit?