Survey Results, Costumes & my first SMB clothes.

So a few weeks ago i wrote about how hard i still found it to create clothes in SL for my niche market of Kid Avatars. I decided to create a survey to try and make sense of what was going on and some of the results were quite surprising.


It’s apparent that the old fashioned word of mouth and landmark sharing is still the best way to spread word. I was also quite surprised to see so many stumbled upon my store via the mini stores in world.



It was also interesting to see a majority of users prefer to buy inworld than from marketplace.



So a large amount of users, the majority in fact felt my clothes fit ‘well enough’ but not ‘very well’. Does this mean a majority of users put up with clothes that don’t quite fit? is this something SL users have grown to put up with or is this just my terrible fitting clothing?



This possibly reflects Second Life as a whole. While we seem to get a few new users entering the Kid community the majority of users are already here. Creating for new users is a bit of a waste of time and perhaps risky if such efforts hurt long time users.


This was the most important question of all. Support established Mesh Avatars is great and surprisingly equal with Classic, Toddleedoo and SMB avatars all wanting to be supported.



The New Halloween Costumes with SMB support.

So with the survey results in mind i set out to create new costumes for halloween replacing the old V2 costumes from three years ago. These costumes of course come packed with the usual V4 features of built in menus for swapping between textures and the wet mode that makes your clothes appear wet in water.

But the biggest change is that i no longer supply a size for adult males or breast versions for females. The survey suggested not enough people were using them to make the time and effort worth while making them. Instead i created a new shape specifically for SMB avatars.

SMB or ‘Super Mesh Bros’ was one of the first mesh child avatars shapes to appear on the SL market and now has a rather large following. The SMB shape is a modified version of the SL classic shape which means that Classic kid avatars and SMB avatars can use the same clothes. So with the addition of SMB and the removal of Adult male and female shapes, each Costume pack will come with only three sizes.

• Loki Avatar – Big Bro

• Loki Avatar – lil kid

• SMB/Classic avatars

How well these costumes and the new sizes are received will determine wether i enact the same changes to my other V4 Clothing range.


Looking forward.

The survey gave me a clearer picture of how the Kid Avatar community is using mesh avatars and what they want to see from me in future. I would also like to make clothes for another kid Mesh Avatar called Toddleedoo, but so far have been unsuccessful in getting base shapes to work from.

Creating an avatar is more complex than ever, but I’m confident that i can support the majority of my community.


Sketchfab annoys me, i am annoyed by Linden Lab

I was visiting Oxford when a Jira i made started gaining interest from other creators. I had stopped in oxford to look at the architecture as i was on my way to see the British F1 Grand Prix, but ended up checking my phone every couple minutes.

I used to be quite fond of the Jira for requesting new features. In most cases the ideas fall on deaf ears, but in some instances i’d discover a year later the ideas appear in some similar form, not that i assumed i had anything to do with them. Except i sometimes do :-p.


Moving on to what the title of this post is about.
In 2011 i created this Jira ‘Allow to animate a rigged object with an ‘animation’ asset

The idea was simple enough in my none coding mind. If we can upload a rigged object to be worn by the avatar, how hard would it be to add code in order for the object to animate via a animation asset dropped into it along with a script?

Currently if we want to animate an object we have to script it to move in positional terms relative to the world and objects around it, all of which has to be reported to the servers and distributed to everyone else witnessing the object. It results in an almost pre 90’s style of computer animation that all SL users have just had to accept.

The idea to allow static objects the ability to animate to a looped asset should have been seen as a great way to reduce lag through less server resources while boosting Second Life’s visual appeal for things like NPCs and Ai. A region could bring life to their landscape with animals scurrying around, or NPC people mingling in crowds. Creators could build engines that looped mechanical functions. It seemed as Draxter might say ‘A no brainer


So why did this not happen?
Well maybe i’ve over simplified the process. There was talk at some of the User Groups about this and a Linden was quoted as saying something along the lines of ’This is the kind of feature that would probably be more suited to The Next Thing (Project Sansar)’


It’s hard to tell wether Second Life has reached its limit feature wise. Have we already passed the point where new advanced features can’t be added to SL without the whole thing collapsing? There is also the matter of how much resources Linden Lab have spare for working on new ideas, what with Sansar probably having the most resources due to the impending VR headset Wars next year. It does make me wonder though when Linden Lab ask for third party devs to volunteer to help pick apart how the SL viewer caches everything.


So i realise i still haven’t said whats annoyed me yet.
In the past two years i’ve watched a small service called Sketchfab grow. They allow you to create a profile to showcase your 3D creations on the web like a Deviant Art for 3DModel Makers. You can export to Sketchfab from almost every 3D creation program then embed their 3D viewer into almost anything, twitter, Deviant Art, Facebook, wordpress (not SLmarketplace). I’ve found it quite handy to show people who don’t use SL my 3D creations. I can say “hey i made this airship for Second life”, and they are like “Wow thats kool, Second Life still exists?”.

For a while my stuff on Sketchfab looked comparable to Second Life in terms of shading. But then Sketchfab added Physically Based Rendering (PBR). Suddenly all my work was looking much better than in Second Life. Then Apple enabled WebGL on iOS and suddenly i could show all my 3D models on my iPhone or iPad. Now Sketchfab are allowing animated models and plan to add support for Morph Keys. Suddenly the 3D models I’m uploaded to be viewed in a mobile web browser are beyond what i can create for Second Life. They have added the feature i wanted Linden Lab to add to Second Life and thats where i got annoyed.

Briknal Running
by lokieliot
on Sketchfab

Im pleased that Sketchfab has advanced so much so quickly, but i find myself uploading kool animated models that have limited use. I wish i could just upload the same model to Second Life where it would be used as part of a VR experience. Why SL can’t has this feature. WHY!!!!! Because of the New Thing? OH COME ON! I want to believe there is still life in the old Second Life yet!


Making clothing isn’t getting easier for me. [UPDATED]

One of the many jobs i have to undertake as a content creator in Second Life is managing marketplace and inworld stores. It’s not just a simple case of boxing an item and slapping a product image on. Consideration of how the items are presented to potential customers is important as is how the end user will unpack and wear items.

With the move into Mesh Avatars while continuing to support classic avatars i’ve somewhat placed myself in a very tiresome difficult position.

In the old days of the grid a t-shirt was a simple texture placed over the old bumpy spike squished classic avatar body. Now we have mesh and regardless of what is said about ‘fitted mesh’ we still have no way to make mesh clothing fit everyone and In my mind it is impossible without Linden Lab having to create a completely new avatar system. But I’m not really bothered by that. I have made myself a mesh body which I’m quite happy with, the problem comes from how I’ve ended up categorising and organising the sizes of clothing i sell.

When Mesh first arrived on the grid i made a T-shirt and quickly found rigged mesh did not follow the deformation of the avatar and that i’d have to make different sizes for Adult avatars and young kid avatars as well as my own mid sized avatar. So thats how i did it, i sold packs of three sizes. Other creators were doing the same and for female avatars a common shape size was created and stuck to.

These days I’m creating packs of six sizes of clothes in order to try and fit as many users avatars as possible and I’m still getting some people requesting i make bigger or smaller sizes and support for specific mesh avatars. Each new version of my clothes makes some users happy while making other users unhappy. It is beginning to feel out of control. I want my stuff to fit everyone but i can’t do that, i would have to create mesh model clothes for every possible change of the Deformer edit sliders. Everything i make is hit or miss on wether they will fit peoples avatars and in most cases users will have to adjust their avatar to fit my clothes instead of the other way around, thats just how it is.


Making serious decisions

I decided recently to rebuild my store. While the current one is quite snazzy and fun i want to make it more simple, even less Land Impact and include more of my range of products from clothes to beach cabins and games. But once i started looking into how i presented my clothing i realised its a confusing mess, bundling Loki Mesh Avatar clothes along with different sized classic avatar clothes.

So i’ve been considering splitting the packs into their own areas. Area for Loki Mesh Avatar clothing, and area for perhaps Toddleeedoo Mesh Avatars, an area for classic Kid avatars and an Area for Adult sized Clothes. While this makes it easier for users to find clothes created specifically for them, it becomes an even greater nightmare for me. Suddenly i have a lot more stuff on display, often the same shirt design just on different models. Not to mention the fact i have to go and re-list all my Marketplace items which will quadruple in size.

Nothing stays the same in SL, it’s always changing. Mesh was disruptive of the clothing game, it made it more specialised and now Mesh avatars have disrupted things again for me and i need to figure out how to play it in a way that isn’t so much work for me while being simpler for the user.


I’ve decided to create a Survey in the hope of gaining some feedback on items they have bought from me :) Please take the survey and help me make the right decisions :)


Second Life graphics & software maybe dated, but that doesn’t stop the EPIC FUN

The region quickly filled with over a thousand physics enabled projectiles creating an atmosphere  that resembled the matrix as everything slowed to crawl.

This was during the last event of the Escapades 5th anniversary weekend, and boy was it epic. There is a type of fun thats born from taking things to the limit, braking things or trying ‘what if i rezzed this here’. Luckily Linden Lab have given me the tools to help manage such grand free for all events as the Mega Brawl, which will go down in peoples memories as a hilarious fun shared event.


Yardley Manor

The weekend started with the usual Goony Adventure where as a group we visit other places in Second Life. Most of the time these places are locked down as no rez or even no scripts out of fear from griefers or people leaving their own mark.


Then it was off to the bog of Stench for the Founders Tea party which i missed the first hour of due to a DNS glitch that effected some UK and Netherlands users until some one somewhere flicked a switch allowing us to log into SL again.


Saturday saw the grand Airship Battles. The first contest between six or seven battle Balloons each with a crew of two that slowly dwindled down to just Richardus and Tepic ruling the skies. Later was the first ever Goonies VS Separatists Icarus Airship Battle resulting in epic broadside cannon fire between two smoking airships.



Saturday also saw the Giant Pufferfish Race which was fun to watch as the fish inflated and deflated on colliding with each other.


Sunday saw the Rocket Vacuum racing which like the previous year degenerated into everyone razzing what ever cars they could find to drive around the track. I vowed then to create a lap recording device so we could finally keep track on who’s winning.


As well as the racing and battleship contests we also had music gatherings in the Pirate Tavern and on the Beach.

It all culminated into the final big epic Mega Brawl battle where i rezzed what ever monsters i could find in my inventory for the users to shoot and bash. And if you missed all of that, here is a video condensing all the events down to just 13 minutes of action.

Also available to watch on Dailymotion.

All in all it was a great weekend which i wish i could do every week. Yes Second Life maybe old, maybe slow, laggy and full of bugs, but every now and then we just pull together from UK, Japan, Australia, USA, Germany, France, all over the globe and have great laugh in this shared space.

Battle Balloons Available on my Marketplace – as is the Battle Airships.

The Giant Pufferfish and the Rocket Vacuums are available as part of the Escapades Instants Range


Escapades Island 5th Anniversary – Event list

Today kicks off the weekend of events celebrating 5 years of Escapades Island, as a way to thank all those who have supported the island by helping pay the expensive tier costs and playing the silly games.

Following the same structure as the previous anniversaries the events are a combination of battle contests, races and party gatherings with trophies to be won.

Friday 4th (today) will start the celebrations with a Goonie Adventure at 12pm SLT, bringing together some of the gang for a shared experience somewhere on the grid. Later at 2pm SLT will be the Founders Tea Party. This years theme is the Bog of Eternal Stench and those attending are required to dress up as goblins with prizes going to the most ugly goblin and most cute goblin.

On Saturday 5th the days events will start with a Battle Ballon competition followed by DJ Geminis Pirate Separatists show at 1pm SLT where clues to hidden treasure will be announced. At 3pm SLT there will be the Giant Pufferfish Race around the Island before the final event of the day, the Battle Airship competition between Goonies and the Separatists at 4pm SLT.

Sunday 6th will kick off with the Goonies Beach Party with DJ Loki, then its over to Rickety Town for the Rocket Vacuum Grand Prix. At 2pm SLT there will be an Epic Battle Brawl for anyone who wants to brave potential Lag fighting what ever Loki can throw at you.  If anyone is still logged in after that there will be a calm afterparty chalet session but the Hawkins By camp fire.

Everyone is welcome to join the festivities wether a kid Avatar, adult, chicken, turtle or penguin.