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Grids - Grids - Grids

Busy busy gal lately I have been exploring both inworld and outworld. So I thought I would give you a little lowdown on what I have seen. These are of course only opinions and I am not any way advising you to "jump ship" and leave your grid of choice -- indeed it is mine too.

*** VERY long post; grab some coffee or wine -- OR bookmark ***

Second Life - I think I will be six in a week; I don't keep track any more than I do in real life. That's plenty of time to see the world change. There is no doubt that the best content creators are here. They may be other places too of course but many are JUST here and busy enough in one world. Our platform is vast and encompasses almost anything you could think of.

And that's part of the BAD side LOL. It does just that. It is a big world and you need to pick your corner of it and for me -- not stray too much. Generally I am in the fashionable, arty areas and that works fine for me. Now and then I somehow get off the path and out of my personal comfort zone and note that parts of SL have not changed since my birth. Poseballs are still in use; garish signs clutter the landscape.

Materials and alpha blending (sorting? I haven't looked at the SL build menu in awhile) are wonderful options to have. Prim size limits (both large and small) and the PHYSICS for mesh that so don't work without a lot of work-arounds are NOT good. Much of the nicest furniture out there has bad physics. We just ignore it, but it "could" be correct on upload with not a lot of effort (at least it is correct on several other "lesser" grids).

Cloud Party - With wonderful tech albeit very different than what we are used to and a browser based experience (no viewer uploads or updates), the ability to send your mesh back to your computer and unlimited free land of humongous (four sim) size -- you would think that CP would be further along the acceptance path than it is.

The two stumbling blocks seem to be the PG status and no money out issue. It seems like in limiting the issues of running the world, the devs have also limited the growth. And they have been on a one month "quiet period" (nope, the citizens really don't know what is going on) which seems to me a very bad plan. Hence the world pretty much stopped. The boards are quiet; I haven't made a sale since the beginning of the month when it became apparent (OK, "I" posted on the forums) that we had seemingly been deserted.

I have great hopes for Cloud Party. So many very good ideas there. Time will tell what happens.

Avination - I checked out this grid again briefly a few weeks ago. I had been there as a guest (another body) when it was young. Now, you can't currently (I didn't check this today but this has been true in the past) take money out of Avination -- so there is that.

My biggest gold star goes to the default avatar which really looks better than most. I am there, in my own shape with my name saved. I did some exploring but found that most of the shops were not taken care of by their owners. Very old signs and advertisements for events long past were often found. Checking the forum posts, it had been a VERY long time since they were active. Hence, I moved on.

Kitely - Getting a lot of press these last couple of months, I wanted to see how Kitely was. Now the biggest alarm bell for me with Kitely is that it isn't really FREE. When I was there you got 2 hours a month for free except in the sandboxes where you could upload your products to a Marketplace that can sell to many (not sure about how many) Open Sim worlds as well as Kitely residents.  My brief stay in another body didn't have me wanting to go through all the work to list products on the Marketplace once I saw that there is a 45 day waiting period for cashing out.

InWorldz - I am now two days old or maybe three in InWorldz. There is a long story here and I want to in part thank Berry for her post on The Knitting Circle and InWorldz in general.

I need to preface my musings on InWorldz with the revelation that I had past issues with some of the gird owners. It was in another lifetime before I even came to Second Life. But it was nasty and premeditated and I will likely never forget that. STILL, in the spirit of one of my latest Sunday posts, I am making every effort to put that behind me.

So just how did I get to InWorldz? Well a SL customer wanted a product of mine. She waved many real life dollars in front of my eyes (well, everything is relative) and on a morning when my todo list was shorter than usual I ventured over.

I had been there in another body a few months ago when the TOS fiasco was in full fumes. I can say, things seem much better now. Horray.

I logged in, found a sandbox, uploaded some parts of the build she needed (free happily since I had no money) and then set out to see if I could improve my avatar's look. I wasn't planning on staying but I like the adventure of putting together a new me.

I headed over to The Knitting Circle which indeed is a very PRET-TY build. I was in the Singularity viewer at the time as I had that installed. I made a complete circle of the two sim complex, doing what any good newbie does -- looking for free stuff.  I picked up a really cute mesh top from Bilo by joining the group. I do have to say that it looks like many of the folks joining The Knitting Circle haven't actually moved in; there was very little there in many of the shops. I hope that improves soon as it is a lovely place.

By using the Explorer Hud that you can pick up at the welcome area, I found a really nice free skin at CMC, some eyes, a lovely set of underwear as a holiday gift at the GLAM Mall, and hair at both EMO-tions and Mimi's Choice (Bryce guy hair but works for gals too). All decked out at the end of day one, I looked like this for my newbie profile picture.

Yesterday eve I was talking to my new friend (yes a story there too) who told me where I could buy some eyelashes. So while not in fashionista status, I DO have eyelashes not shown in this picture.

I uploaded my own Ug Boots from Cloud Party to finish up my completely free not-such-a-newbie wardrobe. I was a VERY good girl this morning and sorted my inventory in the new V2 InWorldz Beta Viewer which is working well except for taking off my mesh top on single clicking another object. Happily I have my snazzy undies on.

Now somewhere along the way I am setting up a shop in InWorldz, certainly not my intention but I am having fun and that IS the point. Oh, I forgot to mention one of the reasons I am willing to move my items over to IW -- the PHYSICS WORK THERE automatically much like in Cloud Party. Not only that, you don't need to mess with any of the uploader functions. In fact, so far as I know they don't work at all which was pretty frustrating until I just said, "what they hey, it's free" and let the uploader make the choices (something you SO do not do in SL).
The uploader actually DOES work just like SL, but truthfully it doesn't matter so much on bigger builds. For small items it would be best to work with the sliders or custom LODS.

Perfect physics (no walking through walls or being shut out by invisible ones), long distance viewing and TINY land impact count on some things (a mystery still). Oh my! My exact IM quote at the time was "DAMN it worked!" LOL. I guess I should add that there are three times the amount of prims per sim (two times for mainland) than in SL. So land impact isn't such a big deal. Still it is easier on the server and that is always good.

So that's my news of the week on the personal side. There were some really fantastic new releases this week so if you missed any posts, cycle back through a bit.

See ya Monday.


Ilan Tochner said…
Hi Chic :-)

Kitely is in the process of changing its billing so that you don't have time limits when visiting other people's worlds. This means that starting January 2014 you'll be able to spend as much time as you want for free in other people's worlds.

One big benefit Kitely offers over other grids is much lower land prices. You can currently get a 4-region private island with a total of 100,000 prims that supports up to 100 avatars for $60/month. This is a fixed-price world with no time limit.

As for the marketplace's 45 day payout delay, the payouts are done automatically so if you're earning more than the minimum payout amount each week ($10) you'll start getting weekly payouts after the initial 45 day withholding period (each week for sales made 45 days prior to the payout date).

There is a reason Kitely has been getting lot of coverage lately. I suggest you give it another look. :-)
Ada Radius said…
Great article! Minor correction: there is a Kitely sponsored sandbox that is free for builders - you can build there without time restrictions, which does make Kitely free for creators. The 45-day wait is a PayPal driven requirement, because Kitely is abiding by the US Treasury's white paper of some months ago that prohibits a virtual world currency purveyor from acting as a bank with the licensing. A PITA yes, but not Kitely's fault. For those of us concerned by SL's TOS copyright issues, Kitely is a better deal. For those not, SL may be, at this point anyway.
Chic Aeon said…
Thanks to you both. Ada, I did note the free use of sandbox " 2 hours a month for free except in the sandboxes where you could upload your products to a Marketplace ".

I will say that for new folks looking at Kitely the website offers very little "accurate" info it seems. I get much more and better from the folks there. So working on that would be a good step :D. Enjoy your world!

And I agree that is a good land deal if you want to be a landowner. My point -- which I may not have made clearly is that it hasn't been free for the folks just wanting to explore. Glad that will be changing. I did read something about that, but again -- it was confusing. Maybe you guys need to be their new bloggers *wink*.
Chic Aeon said…
And a PS.

It DOES seem like this will be a much better business model for them. What can you do in two hours really! HOHO. Not everyone wants to make a $60 a month commitment :D.
Ilan Tochner said…
Thank you Chic :-)

The website should be updated (it is currently very confusing) once the new payment options go into effect.

One more thing, Kitely Market should start enabling delivery to all hypergrid-enabled grids by the end of January. In the aggregate that is a few thousand more active users than Inworldz has.

Please note that merchants can decide which of their sold items can and can't be exported from Kitely so this feature doesn't enable taking content off-grid unless the merchant allows it.
Hi Chic!

Welcome to InWorldz! I think you'll continue to find the many years of development work we've put into the always on server and simulator architecture show through when you visit. We're very serious about making sure InWorldz is a great alternative or companion for Second Life.

We have verified and tested our simulator limits under real loads and have done our best to make sure that the experience is top notch.

Enjoy your stay and feel free to contact me or the mentors in-world with any questions you may have.

Happy holidays.
Chic Aeon said…
AND for any of you reading these comments on the bottom of the post page, I did NOT choose that "Life is Pain" icon and despite my best efforts I haven't been able to get rid of it; sneakily it is attached to this blog template and even my old web designer skills didn't suffice. Just sayin' :D

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