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Invasion of the Saucer Men

Well, first blog post and it has been an up and down time in second life so i am sure there is something interesting to report!

I guess the thing i shall start with is a positive one. I would like my blog to be filled with the good experiences of second life that have happened to me and there is certainly a lot of great stuff going on out there as well as great people that i have been lucky enough to have spent time with.

One of the things i enjoy in second life is building. I saw a person on the forums call this “making a daydream into prims” and i really liked that term. The last builder type “thing” i came from was minecraft and that was the first place that i was able to make something cool and show it off to others. Second life takes that to an amazing new level, with vehicles, houses, clothes and the detail that can be added to each. I have learned to build with the help of some kind others and a few web guides and results are good, though i still have a great deal to learn.

So it was an amazing feeling when people started expressing an interest in my builds and even started buying them on the marketplace. I`ve not sold many, but to even sell one and have someone feel they spent their money well is a major thing for me. It’s a strange feeling to know that things i put together are out there in the second life world somewhere making others happy.

Not everything i have built is a success in my eyes. For me it is a really random and whimsical process. Sometimes i start something and by the end it is a whole different sort of thing, other times i start something and think “actually, this sucks”. On one occasion i finished something and thought that. I guess this is how building works, but i enjoy that process and often amazing things appear without any planning and this is how i ended up making flying saucers.

The Super Saucer

When it first started out, the project was about making a giant flying battleship. I was a bit bored by airships and wanted to do something a bit mad science and i invested in some animated textures that had lots of electrical effects. I wasn’t sure how that would help, but i figured on some kind of giant energy device keeping the battleship in the air through dubious scientific means. Still, the 32 prim limit on vehicles meant that the project didnt get very far, especially as i wanted something massive. All i had was left over parts and some of them gave me the idea for a smaller device and thus the steampunk UFO was born.

I did a lot of new things with this. I learned how to use animated textures and i learned how to use sculpts. It was a big move from the first thing i had made into something a lot more polished and interesting. It also inspired others, as my friend Nathaniel Lorefield took a liking to the idea and came up with a way to use it in some interesting stories. He also worked to make it better, adding the capture beam that is on display in the picture above. So, in many ways the saucer is now a shared idea and, if any of the new ones are sold, Nathaniel and i recieve half the income each, as partners, which is a handy marketplace feature.

So, to any new second life citizens who are thinking of trying out building, or who are not sure how to start, i would offer some advice, based on my journey so far. This would be to remember that building is a social thing and not something done alone. You can make the most amazing thing in the world, but it is useless if there is nobody there to appreciate it. Thus, be sure to make something that will be a joy to others, even if they are people passing by your house or seeing you ride around in your latest strange contraption. Do not be afraid to give your items to friends first, so that a fresh new pair of eyes can test them out. Friends are lot more forgiving and helpful than paying customers and can quickly uncover problems with things like item permissions or just plain bugs and glitches.

Most importantly, have fun with it and do not be surprised when you set out to make a toaster and finish with a howitzer cannon. Things you build have a life of their own even when they are not yet completed.

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