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How do you browse the shop?

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Are there any reliable videos/guides to explain the shop and how to create a decent character? Apparently, I created this account back in 2010 but most likely didn't play Second Life for very long at the time because I didn't have a computer that was able to handle it. I've recently returned now that I can afford PC gaming, but I'm struggling to understand the game now. More specifically, creating a decent character, which is what is most important to me right now. I've found a head to use but have no idea how to remove clothing to be able to see what skins look like. Any time I "detach" clothing from one of those basic, starter avatars, it just turns my avatar invisible. I click on avatar components > avatar skins > male skins, and it mostly shows me head shapes, or complete junk. I read the details of products that look good and it completely confuses me. I click on one that is some sort of "modifiable shape" for a mesh head, but has 3 body shapes for some other mesh body, a "styling card" (whatever that is), etc. I'm trying to understand Second Life but it's rather frustrating for a returning player from 2010. 

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Experts will be along in a while. Your system clothing uses an alpha layer. The alpha layer hides your body. Look on the list of what you're wearing. Find the alpha associated with the item of clothing. Remove the item and remove the alpha. Your body which was under that item of clothing will be visible. 

Take your time with this. Be patient. Read the guides. The usual progression is to move from the system avi, first with a mesh body, next a head, and finish off with a skin and hair.

Google luck and welcome back.


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Unfortunately expert status in Second Life (SL) has a steep and long learning curve. Fortunately you can travel only as far as you want. Fun starts way before the expert level.

It is debatable whether SL is a game. There are no levels to level up to. There is no goal to attain or point one could easily define as winning. So SL does not fit the common definition of a game. It is more of a sandbox. However, there are games within SL that have leveling. I suspect no one knows how many games are within SL. It is a lot.

Since the game has a big learning curve we recommend you watch some videos and take some intro classes.

There are starter-avatars you can pick from and SL allows one to customize their avatar. You can wear a different avatar every hour if you want. We have OUTFITS (in the Appearance panel) that remember any collection of parts you use to make an avatar. So, with a click you can change avatar and clothes. Be a dragon or gerbil, horse or centar, alien or Earth human, fantasy character... whatever you can imagine.

Since there are so many games in SL you may want a body/avatar for each game you play in. My point is there is no urgency to create a character. Also, in SL avatars are fluid, ever changing. Look at the forum thread 'How Does your avatar look today?' Even the name of thread imples the rapid change in SL avatars.

Since 2010 we have seen lots of SL change. Just recently mesh bodies and heads became more like the Classic/System avatars you started out with. Designers are just starting to incorporate the new features into their products. So, buying stuff for your avatar is especially confusing right now. So, take your time and learn what is changing and how to get what's best for the long term.

None of the avatar stuff is complex. But, the jargon we use is very specific to SL and THAT is confusing to those that don't speak the language. So, take some time and learn.

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Since the starter avatars have a section of avatars that's full mesh with bodyparts and clothes joined, I am wondering if you have one of those. LL labeled those starter avatars "people" and that was a mistake in my opinion. They can not be edited. No skin show up on them and they can not change clothes, because the body parts also disappear. No mesh clothes fits them. They have no support at all.


If you have one of those, I suggest you use an avatar under the "classic" section. Then you can try on classic skins (that are painted on the avatar shape) or you can try mesh body parts that you use together with an alpha mask that hides the classic avatar. Unlike the "people" starter avatars, these mesh bodies and heads created by SL citizens, have support of other content creators who make things for them so they can have a wardrobe and look individual with different skins and other parts like makeup, hairbases, beards and tattoos.

No matter what you do, remember that "add" is your friend. It is better to use that than "wear". You can not wear 2 alpha layers the same time. But you can add almost as many as you want. I don't remember the number. "Wear" takes off the existing layer and replaces it. This has frustrated people who complains if they wear pants and then wear shoes, parts of their legs and butt pokes through the pants. And the other way around. Also a mistake in my opinion, to have both add and wear, and not inform about the difference.

Since it is so many different avatars, it is best if you are really detailed in your posts. Opening the inventory, choose the tab that show what you are wearing and having that open next to your avatar and then printscreen is a good idea. You can attach images here. You can also take an image in Second Life and save it to your computer.

Saying you found a head you like is great, but I hope you got a demo. Always demo before you buy. If it is a really cheap head, it may be uploaded from another game and have no support, no modify. A good quality head or body creator give out creator packs to designers so they can make content for it. This is a win-win situation.

You can post what kind of head you got. As it is now, we can only talk in very general terms and it can be totally wrong. Shapes are often made for a certain head because the head bones need to be edited in very different ways from brand to brand. Most people who use a mesh head also use a mesh body. They add different mesh body shapes, but that is trying to please customers. You can also use body shapes for a mesh body without the body itself. The body settings for shapes isn't so important. An arm length is an arm length, no matter if you have a mesh body or not.


Edited by Marianne Little
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14 hours ago, BelindaN said:

Take your time with this. Be patient. Read the guides. The usual progression is to move from the system avi, first with a mesh body, next a head, and finish off with a skin and hair

Yes there is no rush, I had my system avi over a year before I went to mesh, and it was a year after that that I went to a mesh head. Everyone says demo demo demo, and that is good advice, but I never did that. I did talk to a lot of people who had looks I liked, and eventually figured out what I wanted to do.

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