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 🙂