Ok i got my business hat on for this post, if you don’t know already i have my own Mesh Clothing line. In fact it was over two years ago i started experimenting with mesh on the Beta Grid, and it’s coming up to 2 years ago that i released my first range of mesh clothes. Not only did mesh promise to allow us more detailed clothing than the skin tight rubbish of the past eight years but it also opened the doors for more ideas and features.
So after two years we have clothes that can be scripted, can glow and can have animated textures. We also have a bigger better Marketplace with the direct delivery system and item outbox. I think the biggest surprise for me was how much people are still using my in world store and its very important to my business.
Time for a change.
So here i am about to release my 3rd generation of mesh clothing (which ill talk about in a future post) when i suddenly realise that my store is now to small for the amount of products i have on display. When i started selling items in my store there was only a handful of products. Now there are over 400 and each are displaying full rezz 1024 textures in one small room. So many were starting to complain about the lag caused that i decided something had to be done before i released anything new.
To start with i re-uploaded all the clothing’s textures again at low rez for shop displaying hopefully cutting the texture lag right down. i decided to also split the store into 5 mesh parts so that the products were not all clumped together giving the viewer much more processing breathing space.
everyone wants to have their stuff on the ground as it’s where everything happens, but the fact is the ground itself is laggy. The sheer number of objects on ground level coupled with the water effects add to performance degradation. long time users have learnt that moving your place into the sky way above and out of range of the ground boosts viewer performance so this was what i needed to do with my store.
Im a Material boy
Making the new store gave me a great opportunity to use the new Materials feature to see how it can enhance environments. On the first two levels of my store i use the materials for soft surfaces that reflect light. Where the materials feature really shines is on Level 3 the TimeRascals, where the brick walls shine slightly damp and the metal grating has extra depth. I want the store to reflect the products sold inside, at the cutting edge of whats possible in Second Life.
Adding materials has its issues, especially when you have to also consider the folks who cant use Advanced Lighitng Model. A lot of time was spent trying to get a balance between how the rooms were lit with and without advanced lighting. The difference can be huge and lead to one being dark and the other being bleached white.
The In-world Experience.
Continuing the ‘cutting edge’ theme i have tried to make visiting my store a pleasant comfortable and memorable experience that you may look forward to doing time and time again just for the fun of it. Not only have i tried to make it as non-laggy as possible but careful consideration went into how you teleport from the ground up and between levels. Parts of the store also use Temporary Attach demos making trying out products a pleasurable fun experience.
Inworld stores are an important part of the SL Business package and while they might not generate the same amount of sales as the convenience of marketplace, they give your brand a presence that can be experienced leading to loyal repeat customers who have a greater sense of your brand.
So with my business hat firmly placed on my noggin, i invite you all to come visit my new store. Experience being shrunk and transported into a glass jar, Visit the store to try out the new Materials Feature in the latest SL Viewers and have a browse the efforts of my craft 🙂