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Making things more complicated isn't improvement


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2 minutes ago, Blaise Glendevon said:

... sounds like a good way to actually have a club full of people who look like clones...

I should have expounded. I meant for true newcomers. 'Step in'  avvie and also a 'Step in' Home too. If they stick around they will want to customise.

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Just now, rasterscan said:

I should have expounded. I meant for true newcomers. 'Step in'  avvie and also a 'Step in' Home too. If they stick around they will want to customise.

I don't know. Especially when it comes to men, I see avatars that have been around since 2007 or 2008 still walking around in the old, old newbie avatar gear. 

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9 minutes ago, Blaise Glendevon said:

 .. I see avatars that have been around since 2007 or 2008 still walking around in the old, old newbie avatar gear. 

Precisely. Time for an update. There is an army of new players ( ex SIM players and ex imvuu players ) who just want a nice avatar and a pretty home to decorate and play in. It's an untapped market. imho

Clinging on to the fundamentals of 2003 may not be the best way forward

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On 4/29/2020 at 4:25 AM, anonymousrailwaybingo said:

It really doesn't matter if you show me a perfect still picture of today's current avatar, because a still picture doesn't tell the whole truth. It's how the avatars and the whole game environment acts in motion that counts. So if you want to bring me a valid evidence, a video clip would suit better.

 

Remember Pride & Prejudice?! "It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first." 😉

Ironically, SL has, indeed, gotten more complex over the years. Or, rather, it can be. There's a newbie posting elsehere, asking about Maitreya feet, and how all that sort of stuff works, unfamiliar with the basics even. To her I wanted to say (but I didn't have the heart), not to dive into the deep end of the pool directly. And to buy DEMOS, ffs! :) But anyone can start simple, and keep things as simple as they want, is the point.

Same as with mesh. I'm too blonde for mesh myself, LOL. No, seriously, I love building, but can't for the life of me even remember the Blender shortcuts, let alone how operate the software. So, I'm make mesh the old-fashioned way: I buy it. 😇 I am reasonably creative, though (ahem), modding-wise, so my homes look very satisfactory (in my own eyes), and I'm having lots of fun. Just go as complex as your brain will carry you, is my motto (if I actually had a motto).

A 2012 system avi cannot objectively compete with a nicely fitted-mesh one. The lighting model is superior now too (along with materials and Projector lights even). 'Objectively' means no amount of railway bingo can change the fact. 😋 Superior techniques require superior hardware, of course; but it's silly to maintain SL hasn't improved over time since 2012.

Some areas are still open for improvement; mostly under-the-hood stuff, though (internal texture management, idle-script lag, etc). But, overall, SL has decidedly improved since 2012.

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On 4/30/2020 at 11:44 PM, IvyLarae said:

Your inventory is a mess because you haven't taken the time to organize, which is no ones fault but your own.  My inventory is a mess, but that's entirely because I am too lazy most of the time to drag the things I buy into the folders I've made for them.

 

Same here. :) As I told @LittleMe Jewell once, I too have bits and pieces of organized inventory... but my inventory is too disorganized to find those bits and pieces. 😁

It's all on me, though. I was too lazy. Should have started organizing from the get-go. Didn't. And now I do, why, pretty much what I do in RL when I can't find an outfit: I use it as an excuse to buy myself something new. 🥰

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16 minutes ago, rasterscan said:

Precisely. Time for an update. There is an army of new players ( ex SIM players and ex imvuu players ) who just want a nice avatar and a pretty home to decorate and play in. It's an untapped market. imho

Unfortunately, you cannot attract or keep that market by offering an all-in-one avatar with almost no clothing variety, who will very quickly run into offers of clothing that will not work with their body. These potential residents aren't going to stay if they spend money on an all-in-one only to find it was just spaffed up the wall a week later. And this is the same reason I detest the habit so many have to pointing new players to the free mesh bodies as a matter of routine. Wasted investment of time or money drives people away.

People don't actually want a vast range of options. Not at first. They want their hand held at first, they want to be shown what to do, and only then do people want the freedom to exercise their choice when and if they want. The problem with modern mesh avatars, and especially most advice that people give, is that it throws too much choice at people too quickly - and when that concerns the base building blocks of an avatar, that can drive people away. When people ask "what mesh body should I get?", that's precisely what they are asking. What should they get. Not what can they get. They want someone to either give them the one correct answer, or present them with a tiny number of valid options to choose from. 

What's needed, desperately, is a high-profile set of "Build your own avatar" resources. Each would be based around a complete avatar with a specific body+head combination, with a photo, so that a new resident can go "I want to look like that" and pick the set they want. They'd receive a package including a shape, a skin in a range of tones, a hair and hairbase tattoo in a range of tones, one full outfit, and a set of underwear/swimwear, and maybe a basic AO. They'd also receive a set of detailed instructions, that would serve as both a "modern avatars 101" lesson and a "how to assemble your avatar". They'd be hand-held through the process of buying the relevant mesh body and head, unpacking everything, and assembling their avatar.

Once that is done, they'd have everything they'd need to get started in SL! The instructions would then also provide a number of pointers on what the next steps for customisation should be, such as a few examples of hair stores and clothing stores, with an advanced section on changing shapes or getting a new skin etc. All of these sets would be for the actually useful brands, which means Catwa/Lelutka/Laq/Genus, and Maitreya/Belleza (Freya)/Legacy/Slink Hourglass.

The goal would be to a) give them a functioning avatar that provides a solid foundation they can build on, and b) give them the skills needed to customise themselves further. The exceptionally vital goal is to avoid the tyranny of choice, avoid people investing time and effort in a system avatar they'll later discard. 

It's a pipedream, of course. 

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SL is too complex! Stop denying that.  And that is thanx to LL.

If you really like it you will stay, regardless.

If you got RL money to spend, you will do things much less complicated, for sure. 

If you don't have money but have time and like to search (search x1000) you will have free stuff.

I agree with Penny Patton in this forum:

 

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On 5/16/2020 at 4:41 PM, Qie Niangao said:

Kinda. But these mesh heads and (especially) bodies do not use a consistent UV map, at least not correctly. Take a male BOM skin that looks correct on, say, Signature Gianni or Slink or Belleza Jake, and try using it on TMP (or, I guess, Legacy). Check how the skin nipple texture aligns with the mesh nipple bumps. Then try to figure out why the TMP modellers decided the nipple should be halfway to the armpit when the same darned UV map has been used for avatars since the first Ruth walked LindenLand.

Hence even BOM skins have specific versions for different target meshes.

(Don't ask me why big-budget SL creators get away with this kind of stuff.)

And lets all thank that to LL for not make a great standard avatar, and let random residents to create whatever they wanted.  It is obvious that they screwed things up. 

What do you want to do to your avie? 200.000 in avatar complexity? I wont see you! I might even de render you, much likely.  You might be a model only in a picture that you even heavily photoshopped and posted on flickr or any other social media.

The other day i read about the millions of polygons that the top 3 mesh bodies has.  I own 2 of them.. but i didn't really like it.. I can't have it like i want (they don't let you modify it enough) and the butt seems to have the ability to hold my cup of tea.  But sadly "M" has a big share of the market and I was sick and tired of not having nice stuff to wear because I was walking with my classic avie.


Too much complexity, super heavy avatars, very bad made mesh bodies.  I mean.. the top 3 don't do things right?  And they seem to run SL like they own it, not LL.  Not fair.

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5 hours ago, Elisaisabel Munro said:

And lets all thank that to LL for not make a great standard avatar, and let random residents to create whatever they wanted. 

We're all victims to an economic philosophy taken to a silly extreme. But to be fair, the Lab handed everybody a UV map; the least these early mesh body modelers could have done would be to re-use the basic features. And some did. And some -- well, one, was fairly parsimonious with their polygons. I don't know the female market so I guess they're maybe not in the big three, but close. And they were by far the first to have BOM ready, and still the only one to dump all the dopey alpha-cut geometry that alpha masks do so much better, besides being so much more rendering-efficient. (And yet they too are no-mod, so that particular pathetic superstition runs deep and wide among SL creators. )

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11 hours ago, Elisaisabel Munro said:

And lets all thank that to LL for not make a great standard avatar, and let random residents to create whatever they wanted.

I think that even if LL had created the most wonderful standard avatar ever seen, there would still be random residents who would have created other mesh body options, once the functionality was there to create and upload them.  You only need to look at all the female bodies that you can get Omega appliers for, at their store, to see the large number of female bodies available and the various looks they have, to know that there is no one body that everyone would be so happy with that no one would make any other body.   

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On 5/17/2020 at 12:12 AM, rasterscan said:

I wish there were more mesh all in one avatars.

There are. They're usually sold as animesh, and they're usually from games. All the clothing is built in, all textures are pre-baked, there's no customization, and the LI is very low. I use some of those for NPCs. They're not usually used as avatars, although they could be; they have the same bone structure.

mallkids.thumb.jpg.e35f9dcb0576390bab6187a807a3bc1c.jpg

Background character NPCs. Not customizable at all, no facial expressions. I keep them moving around, so you don't get too close a look. The closest one is 22LI as animesh.

threecharacters.thumb.jpg.c7462fe3a168b28441313dc0150169b9.jpg

The next step up. A basic bento animesh character in various outfits.

Current mesh avatars are a feature added on top of classic avatars. These animesh have the essentials without the legacy baggage. There's a full bento skeleton, and a basic skin layer. Mesh or texture clothing can be added. These are, from left to right, 37 LI, 48LI, and 33 LI. (The long dress needs some mesh reduction; it's adding more LI than such a simple dress should.)

Animesh lack the user convenience features of avatars. Clothing has to be linked to the model or baked onto the skin texture outside of SL. There's no "wear" user interface. The hoodie, dress, and shoes are rigged mesh. The jeans, sweat pants, and T-shirt were baked onto the skin texture in Photoshop. There's no "baking" for animesh yet. Nor do they have the size adjustments of avatars, either the classics like height or the fitmesh ones like width. The only layer is the skin of the body; there's no "dress" or "coat" layer.

If SL were to have simpler avatars, this is where to start. Once you add a mesh avatar, you've hidden all the classic avatar stuff layers, but you're still carrying it around. Animesh is basically the mesh avatar layer without the classic avatar underneath.

 

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6 hours ago, Moira Timmerman said:

I think that even if LL had created the most wonderful standard avatar ever seen, there would still be random residents who would have created other mesh body options, once the functionality was there to create and upload them.  You only need to look at all the female bodies that you can get Omega appliers for, at their store, to see the large number of female bodies available and the various looks they have, to know that there is no one body that everyone would be so happy with that no one would make any other body.   

No question. The point I thought was being made, however was that starting from an open-source Lab reference implementation of a mesh avatar would have improved the quality of those products and especially their interoperability -- to use identically rigged clothes, or at least share skins. And maybe mesh avatar customization could have been less chaotic and instead easier for newbies to learn if it built from a better common base.

A missed opportunity, too late now... until there really is a new avatar technology. Has to be more than just pretty. The old "expressive puppeteering" idea driven by RL facial expression (say) or a similar game-changing feature that literally changed how people think about Second Life... otherwise, I think we're stuck with the confusing mess we have now.

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1 hour ago, Qie Niangao said:

The point I thought was being made, however was that starting from an open-source Lab reference implementation of a mesh avatar would have improved the quality of those products and especially their interoperability -- to use identically rigged clothes, or at least share skins. And maybe mesh avatar customization could have been less chaotic and instead easier for newbies to learn if it built from a better common base.

I think I missed that point, but, yes, that is a good point. 

I had hoped that BOM would have simplified things a bit, especially for newcomers or those returning who are new to mesh bodies, but I'm not sure that it has. 

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1 hour ago, Qie Niangao said:

until there really is a new avatar technology  .. "expressive puppeteering" idea driven by RL facial expression

Question: would people want that? Many SL users won't even use voice. Are you your avatar, or are you operating a puppet?

Technically, it's quite possible now with just a webcam. Here's a demo of some open source software for that.

Face feature tracking. An open source demo. There are commercial products, too.

 

bentoemotions.thumb.jpg.b7bd5bcf30b7526e6700d3ebe5874843.jpg

What an SL bento face can do. You can buy a HUD that lets you puppet your avatar at this level, but few users bother.

Hook those two together, and you have an SL avatar that follows your face.

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22 hours ago, Elisaisabel Munro said:

And lets all thank that to LL for not make a great standard avatar, and let random residents to create whatever they wanted.  It is obvious that they screwed things up. 

What do you want to do to your avie? 200.000 in avatar complexity? I wont see you! I might even de render you, much likely.  You might be a model only in a picture that you even heavily photoshopped and posted on flickr or any other social media.

The other day i read about the millions of polygons that the top 3 mesh bodies has.  I own 2 of them.. but i didn't really like it.. I can't have it like i want (they don't let you modify it enough) and the butt seems to have the ability to hold my cup of tea.  But sadly "M" has a big share of the market and I was sick and tired of not having nice stuff to wear because I was walking with my classic avie.


Too much complexity, super heavy avatars, very bad made mesh bodies.  I mean.. the top 3 don't do things right?  And they seem to run SL like they own it, not LL.  Not fair.

Have you considered not running Second Life on a potato?

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On 4/27/2020 at 11:56 PM, anonymousrailwaybingo said:

The first time I got to know Second Life was around the year 2012. I did'n't have time to use it much back then, but the thing I remember was this: Second Life used to be much more user friendly and simple. For example, it was a lot easier for a beginner to make your own avatar and find things from different categories (inventories and so on...). 

Now Second Life seems to become an insiders venue where you need lots of "secret" knowledge how to run things smooth. Or you need to read complicated instructions that make sure you'll lose interest and focus within seconds. And you need to have a super computer to run the "game". I'm amazed how slow and lagging SL is comparing to what it was in 2012. And this can't be explained with better content and graphics, because what I remember - the graphics were actually better back then.

The inventory section is a complete mess. For example, you have to pick your clothes pretty much blindfolded from the category. It'd be nice to have a neat wardrobe closet where you could see what you have and choose easily. And most of the time the inventories you've purchased wont work/open. 

I wish I had a magic wand and was able take this game back to where it used to be, in 2012...

I am going to be honest, SL is yet complex but yet still simple in many ways and has not changed, but yet has changed in many ways. Sometimes you just got to figure out the ins and outs, stick around a little bit, build up your connections, and get to know the SL for what it is in 2020, currently. It's not all bad. I wish you the best of luck on your endeavors on SL now in days!

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5 hours ago, animats said:

Question: would people want that? Many SL users won't even use voice. Are you your avatar, or are you operating a puppet?

Oh, I'd hate it and if it (or voice) were mandatory, I'd hide my avatar in a skybox and never come out.

Also, I must confess to intentionally conflating two things. Despite its name (and despite what I said), "expressive puppeteering" wasn't really about facial expressions so much as animation of the rest of the avatar.

You're very right, though: now off-the-shelf cam software, integrated with a moderately ambitious TPV, could do the facial expression thing with existing Bento heads. That was very cutting-edge back when the "physical avatar"/"expressive puppeteering" stuff was current.

(But I was really just posing a hypothetical example of some dramatic change in avatar utility that might motivate any major re-work of the SL avatar, and only at that point could the Lab do a better job of elevating the common base with a proper reference implementation. I'm sure there are better examples.)

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6 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Oh, I'd hate it and if it (or voice) were mandatory, I'd hide my avatar in a skybox and never come out.

Also, I must confess to intentionally conflating two things. Despite its name (and despite what I said), "expressive puppeteering" wasn't really about facial expressions so much as animation of the rest of the avatar.

You're very right, though: now off-the-shelf cam software, integrated with a moderately ambitious TPV, could do the facial expression thing with existing Bento heads. That was very cutting-edge back when the "physical avatar"/"expressive puppeteering" stuff was current.

(But I was really just posing a hypothetical example of some dramatic change in avatar utility that might motivate any major re-work of the SL avatar, and only at that point could the Lab do a better job of elevating the common base with a proper reference implementation. I'm sure there are better examples.)

 

Motion-capturing is still a thing, though, even for stuff like Bento. If facial expression software could help with that, I would certainly welcome it, as it could make for even better (facial) anim HUDs.

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6 hours ago, Moira Timmerman said:

I had hoped that BOM would have simplified things a bit, especially for newcomers or those returning who are new to mesh bodies, but I'm not sure that it has. 

I thought so too, and I haven't entirely given up on that hope. Maybe that's because I found the pre-BOM mesh avatars so insanely cumbersome, particularly Appliers, which live on a whole separate dimension from Outfits. I don't know how newbies ever learned that without a deep understanding of the gruesome historical kludginess of SL.

(Right now, though, during the halting transition, it's even more confusing, with skins that work or don't work using appliers or BoM tattoo or maybe skin or both.

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  • 1 month later...

Yes I find it very frustrating....they want to make sales....sell land make money. I just want to go to a place where I can easily find a place to unpack my purchases . I've been two months and this simm is not user friendly at all to a new player.........should have a button some where  called "UnPack" that would teleport to a place where you can unpack rez or were ever to use the stuff you just paid for..........If you make this too dam hard how do you expect to attract and KEEP new players. A destination  called public sandbox would be a real PLUS  in this Simm I'm ready to just quit and find something else to occupy my time and money 

 

Pissed of Trish

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14 minutes ago, CDTrish said:

Yes I find it very frustrating....they want to make sales....sell land make money. I just want to go to a place where I can easily find a place to unpack my purchases . I've been two months and this simm is not user friendly at all to a new player.........should have a button some where  called "UnPack" that would teleport to a place where you can unpack rez or were ever to use the stuff you just paid for..........If you make this too dam hard how do you expect to attract and KEEP new players. A destination  called public sandbox would be a real PLUS  in this Simm I'm ready to just quit and find something else to occupy my time and money 

Hi Trish- it can be frustrating finding your way around second life.

I can’t get inworld right now, but here is some spots from the destination guide.  Maybe there will be a few results there you feel comfortable at.  🙂

https://secondlife.com/destinations/howto/sandbox

Edited by Pixie Kobichenko
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3 hours ago, Pixie Kobichenko said:

Hi Trish- it can be frustrating finding your way around second life.

I can’t get inworld right now, but here is some spots from the destination guide.  Maybe there will be a few results there you feel comfortable at.  🙂

https://secondlife.com/destinations/howto/sandbox

Ok thanks....I'll give this a try .......wish me luck

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On 4/28/2020 at 12:48 AM, anonymousrailwaybingo said:

I kinda hoped for real discussion about the matter, but of course some one has to immediately arrive and ruin the topic with an irrelevant comment. And I thought this was a real forum, not a stupid childish "facebook-like" chat.

The comments like the one above are exactly the things that make this world more complicated. Thanks for clowning on my discussion feed. Seems like a desperate try to confuse the topic into sh*tty irrelevant one liners.

It took me a while to put my thoughts into words and someone has to arrive and sh*t all over it.

I wonder if you can tie this to Viewer 1 and its demise. The search was much better for Viewer 1. I must have been the last avatar clinging to Viewer 1 when they deprecated it. I agree with you that many more things are complicated now. I try all kinds of ways of explaining things to new people and I have various notecards and tutorial areas such as the infohub in Ross called Memory Bazaar, but it's just never enough. It's an enormous amount of lore that you "just have to know". I don't know the way out from this thicket but one thing I do is just rarely buy clothes or avatars, I never add an "AO," and that way I keep my sanity.

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You mentioned 2L seems to be an “insiders club”. In all fairness I have to respectfully disagree. Sure there are tons of people who seem to have what I see as incredible insight and knowledge about how things work here..Having said that,   I have never encountered a more open and helpful group in any type of online environment, I was practically minutes old and I had people asking if I needed help, walking my dumb ass through things, offering friendship. Is everyone like this?? No, no they are not! I can only talk of my experience and mine has been a great one...be it total strangers asking if I was okay when my classic avatar seemingly exploded 2nd or 3rd day or when I went into panic mode when I couldn’t find my (expensive!!) mesh head after purchase! 
  I could go on and on, I don’t want to attack you for you post but honestly, from reading it, you seem to be set in you opinions (so be it, I can be opinionated too!) but you have such a quick and angry response to people just being silly... lighten up, sift through the comments as you please, take from them want you want.
  Cheers.

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