Ok, this blog is for commentary, sometimes criticisms, for technical issues, less about being an avatar and more about what Second Life is and should be.
Earlier this morning I wrote a post about my avatar experiencing the Second Life Wilderness. I found it to be an enjoyable experience and I have several ideas about how to enjoy this place. However, there are several incongruities and some silliness that caused me to wonder what the purpose of the Wilderness actually is.
When I arrived I was ready for adventure in my hot little flight suit, but I tried to keep in mind what a new Premium member might see.
The Silly Monkey
And the first thing that threw me for a loop was a silly monkey, I’m calling him or her Silly Monkey. Here’s where the incongruity begins.
All around that landing point there is an intriguing, inviting forest but the silliness of the animals inhabiting the place seem to say, childish game.
I’ve seen this kind of childish representation at other LL developments (and I’ll get into those later this week), but it wasn’t just Silly Monkey it was also giant silly spiders and silly “snakes roaming the servers” (this came to mind, referencing back to Tateru Nino’s The Second Life Diaries post).
I have been trying to figure out how such a well thought out project of eight sims with an exceptional terraforming and landscaping that creates such an enticing environment could be infested with such poorly designed animal features, symbolized by The Silly Monkey?
The 2007 Level Animations & Poses
Then there’s this, every animation and pose I experienced in the Wilderness was circa 2007 at best. I say this only because that’s when I arrived in SL and don’t have an earlier reference point. I wonder why is this? I’ve read other criticism about this type of thing, why didn’t the Lab go to people who have the most highly evolved animation and pose technologies?
I can’t fathom it with one exception, perhaps the Lab is using this as a training ground for its own employees to learn from. I firmly believe the Lab employees need to Live the Life and part of that would be learning to build. I seem to recall comments made by either Rodvik or another high-ranking Linden expressing that idea in a different form.
Fine Quality Builds & Non-Sense
I don’t like this side of my personality. When I resigned from the tech world I didn’t want to be critical, I just wanted to enjoy my good fortune. But here I am being very critical and impatient, but I see such beauty mixed with non-sense. What am I talking about? Well, trampolines seemed to be everywhere and the one outside the little village is just mind boggling. What is the purpose of this? Maybe I just didn’t read the signs. I guess I was so confused I didn’t see the instructions somewhere.
That’s three things. I’ve said enough. There are other things I could say, but I’m just baffled at the inconsistencies I see. I’ve already praised the fine work the Linden’s have done, but I wish I could understand the seemingly strange choices that have been made.
More on this in another context soon.
I read Chestnut Rau’s post this morning and she came away with some of the same observations as I did. Also she said, “Sigh. I wanted to love the Wilderness. I really did. ” Amen sister.
And Ziki the avatar looks are actually very good. Some (or a lot) avatars looks strange but thats because the user often makes the shape themselves and has no clue about proportions and maybee uses a not so awesome skin 😉 But it´s certainly possible to get an avie look very very real…if you know how to. (Animals too)
I realised I had the wrong settings when i took my pics! GOD! I tried the right settings today and wow!! =)) Your pics are awesome!! Its so easy to forget to change back the settings when u have tweaked them =(
I haven’t visited the Wilderness (not feeling terribly compelled to, either, which must be a sign of something…). When I started to read your post and saw the photo of the monkey, the thought that popped into my head was, sadly, “That looks like something from 2007,” and then of course there you are with 2007!
I work closely with a large east coast research university. About a year ago I was talking with its CIO about Second Life, and with a wave of his hand he dismissively remarked how dated the textures and avatar appearances were (I doubt he’s logged in since 2007, either!), saying that 20-something students would demand higher end graphics, textures and experiences. Seeing things like your post just bring up that point again for me, and I just don’t get where the Lab is coming from. If you’re creating something to promote yourself, you put your *best foot forward, always*. And this just isn’t it.
Wow… that’s a very interesting pov. I was wondering about that too, what do the younger college aged crowd expect. I’ve seen WoW and Aion and they are nice but compared to some of the builds in SL they are wanting. So, this kinda half baked idea isn’t gonna fly. good to know.
It’s certainly a mix of stuff.
A possibility which strikes me is that the LDPW team, Lindens and Moles, do have an involvement in the world. They do go and create things in-world. And it’s not to hard to see how the good bits of this Curate’s Egg could be their work.
I get the impression, also, that the animation/pose business has moved sideways from the “obvious” tools. Some of the big names are using software such as Poser and DAZ Studio, spending money rather than using Blender. ((Though DAZ 3D’s special offer, Studio for free, has been extended to the end of March–it’s worth grabbing.))
And it’s hell getting the leeches out of your fur.
I cant disagree with this, the animals are like made of small children and doesnt mix with the other stuff. It struck me as strange too but I want to be generous to those poor LL who get so much critisism anywoo. 😛 I thought they meant it to be fun so it wouldnt get so uncanny :))
Also the rest you mentioned, as animations, yesh a bit strange. (I totally missed those trampolines :O)
I actually think they want to try out their new stuff so we are sorta beta testers mebbe? And at the same time give premium members a place of their own so they feel specul.
Yeah, I want to believe the animals were supposed to be “something” but it didnt work. I’ve seen the same issue at some of the LL Homes Infohubs. So I’m thinking it might be more of a question of LL staff learning curve. I know they get hit with way too much criticism, but someone needs to at least take a fresh look at these things. And yeah, I think you are right, maybe we are the beta testers. that makes a lot of sense.