As I was scrolling through my various feeds today, I came across a post by Nalates Urriah.
In it, she is discussing SL and ‘SL2.0’ and what will be different.
What does SL need to retain people and attract new ones?
How can the SL experience be made better/faster/easier?
This is a conversation I’ve had with various people many times.
I’m not a techy person – most of what I know I’ve learned because I had to.
How to reduce lag, how to set up my computer for best performance during shows, etc.
I’ve had to learn how to build in order to make sets.
But with the advent of mesh, I think the whole landscape of SL has changed.
Literally and figuratively.
What isn’t made of mesh in SL these days?
Mesh. When was the last time you went to a shopping event in SL and saw anything for sale that wasn’t mesh?
Mesh. Because you can get amazingly detailed and realistic items with mesh, AND they are low LI. Everyone is subject to the LI limit so – mesh.
Landscape items – trees, flowers, gardens, gazebos, fences, walls?
Mesh. Again, the LI limit is a factor, so – mesh.
Mesh. Mesh bodies are everywhere – TMP, Belleza, Maitreya, Eve, Lena, WowMeh, etc.
Mesh heads, mesh hands, mesh feet.
Mesh, mesh, mesh, mesh, mesh.
When I first joined SL, the biggest attraction was that you could join and start experimenting.
It didn’t take that long to learn how to build and texture using prims. (Building ‘well’ is a whole other topic.)
Then making clothes – learn a bit of Photoshop and/or GIMP and you could make yourself some ok/decent clothes.
These days, nothing seems as simple.
Sure, you can buy a mesh clothing template, make a texture, and make some mesh clothing.
But then you need to make appliers, because who doesn’t have a mesh bod, mesh boobs, a mesh butt?
Ok, so furniture.
That should be simpler, right?
Except you have to know a 3D modeling program to build one (there are mesh templates for furniture, as well).
But then you need to know about polygons, vertices, LOD – how can you get the best performance for the least impact?
(I have no idea – since I don’t know how to use any 3D modeling programs.)
A statement that Nalates made in her post really made me pause.
She said, ” I and others do not want to go to college to learn how to play on the playground.”
I totally get that it is possible to learn a program like Blender.
I’ve invested many hours in learning Photoshop.
But Blender and other programs like it are never going to be something you can learn/pick up quickly.
Does that by extension mean that SL (and probably ‘SL2.0’) are never going to be something you can pick up quickly as well?
I think so.
Given that one of the biggest complaints about SL is the learning curve, what impact will that have on attracting new users?
If you had to spend 2 hours learning the UI for Halo or Modern Warfare or Battlefield or Call of Duty or even MarioKart, would you play?
I realize that is an over-simplification, but I think the point is valid.
One of the biggest draws of SL, for me (and many others), was that the possibilities seemed endless and open.
These days, there is a definite limit.