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(OOC) Building – The Other Side of the Coin

Bookworm stands up. “Hi. My name is Bookworm, and I’m a non-buildaholic.”

Bookworm waits for the standard “Hi, Bookworm” reply, but hears nothing. Looking around, she sees the room is empty, and sighs. “This is going to be a tough session.”

Still, I do want to get this different perspective out there.

Yes, I’ve been in Second Life for nearly 4 years. Yes, I still know absolutely nothing about building. There are several factors in this–what I call “The Three T’s.”

The first T is Time. I’m lucky enough to have kept a job throughout this recession, which, of course, takes up a good chunk of the day. There are things I do around my apartment–both duties and fun. So my SL time is fairly limited. It also seems that the timeframe I can be on–usually between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. SLT on weekdays–doesn’t seem to mesh well with a lot of other folks. But I have to limit myself like that, since I get up at 5 a.m. (Central time) for work. (I work 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.–theoretically, this is so I can work out after work. *cough* Theoretically.) These time limitations actually work together to make the idea of building even more daunting, really, since I know I wouldn’t be able to devote a lot to it.

The second T is Tools. The only graphics software I have is Adobe Photoshop Elements 8. I have no idea if that is adequate for building or not. I don’t know what other people use, or what those (probable) other software programs cost. Nor do I know if I’d have the time (there’s that first T word again) to learn a complex new software package. That’s another, very daunting, prospect.

The final T is Talent. I’ve never been one to harbor illusions about myself. And I know that, except *perhaps* for photography, I’ve never been good with the visual arts. I’m also rather weak on spatial relationships. Those elements, from what little I know, seem to be rather key to building in SL. Whatever talent and creativity I have, it just doesn’t lie in the area of building.

So. I have bared my soul and confessed my shortcomings. I would *hope* that this would not preclude me, and other lillies of the field, who toil not, neither do they spin, from living, and even owning land, in New Babbage. I still admire, even if I can’t do.

So, here it is–a perpsective from the other end of the spectrum. Hopefully, some of you can at least take a step or two toward understanding it. New Babbage is a city of builders, certainly–I wouldn’t want it any other way. But does that mean everyone within it *has* to be a builder? Is there not room for other forms of creativity?

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  1. Gabrielle Riel Gabrielle Riel May 15, 2011

    I have the utmost respect for gifted builders in Second Life. New Toulouse would not be what it is today if it were not for the talent and efforts of Carricre Wind (NT’s original designer, builder and owner) and Eclectric Breitman, my Architect. NT would not even exist without them, as I am not a builder.

    I think it’s probably obvious as to why I am *not* a builder. I’ve been just slightly busy with some other projects.  ;-)


    How many times in Second Life have you run across a beautifully created sim that takes your breath away visually because of the builds, landscaping etc…and yet the sim is completely empty. And you go back again days, weeks later…and it’s still empty.

    That is because stunning builds in SL do not a community make. Oh they are a piece of the puzzle of a successful SL community, but when they sit on their own, with no balance from people with other skills? Hello gorgeous sim that opens with much fanfare, press/blog coverage and buzz…and that then sits empty for months. And eventually the creator becomes angry and closes it due to lack of interest. “But I made this awesome place! These people are just idiots who can’t appreciate my talent and vision!”

    In SL, if you build it, they will *not* automatically come.

    In SL, builders work is seen and appreciated when *other* people, such as writers, storytellers, entertainers and engaged residents step forward with their contributions. These people are absolutely essential to the success of a community in SL. That’s what the big corporations never understood when they descended upon SL in 2006-2007. They dropped big, beautiful builds on a sim, sometimes many sims, and then just left. There were no people that they had designated to be there in the sims. Well, why do that, they thought. That’s just a waste of money.

    No my dears, *that’s* what makes the magic happen. Those other people who bring the community to life. It’s those people that enable the builders to remain quietly tucked away on their build platforms, speaking to no one, to do what they love to do and what they do best.

    Bulders, I adore you. I respect you. I could not do what I do without you…

    …and you could not do what you do without people like Miss Book. And me. And many others.

    Not only is there room for “non builders” in New Babbage, it would die without them. Thank you Miss Book, for being one of the people that keeps it alive.

    ~ Gabi

  2. Sky Melnik Sky Melnik May 15, 2011

    Sky stands up next to Bookworm and puts her arm around Book’s shoulder and gives a belated, “Hi Bookworm.”

    Yep, I’m certainly no buildaholic either. Pretty sure that those who know me well enough are fully aware of that fact. I certainly admire others’ work and tinker (and learn) what I can, but I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not.

    Book, I appreciate you throwing this other perspective out there, it’s certainly something that has been on my mind as well, considering recent discussions. There are too many things that have been said for me to comment on them all, but let me draw out what is, to me, perhaps the most alarming general vibe: A Babbage citizen’s worth is somewhat equivalent to their ownership of land and ability to build appropriately on said land.

    Ha, yes, I am aware that I’m exaggerating, but it is to make a point. We all see Babbage in extremely different lights, which is a very good and neat thing. And there is no arguing that Babbage is a community of builders, but it is also a community of roleplayers, non-roleplayers, shop owners, explorers and a billion and one other things. We all have different skills, desires and ways we are able to invest in our community. And yep, not all of those ways are with prims. Personally, I’m glad there’s a variety of Babbagers, it’s what helps us be a strong and unique city.

    Just please remember there are a few of us non-builders out there. And hey, if you run into some new folks that are genuinely intrigued with town but don’t have an interest in building (yet…or ever…) feel free to send them my way if you’re not quite sure what to do about them. (Yes, I’m being silly here, trying to lighten the mood. :-) ) One thing is for sure, we’ve all been bitten by the Babbage bug, even if the builder bug doesn’t choose to infect us all.

  3. Doctor Obolensky Doctor Obolensky May 15, 2011

    Here here!    I agree completely with what Gabi said.

    Book, you are *great* for New Babbage.   I love your character, and what you bring to the city.


    And I don’t want *anyone* to think they can’t enjoy New Babbage, as a tourist, or resident.

    But…I *do* want it to remain the best looking estate on the grid, too.

    So, if you *don’t* like to build, or don’t have the time, or it just seems too much like work, don’t do it.

    1) Buy something, there’s *loads* of interesting steampunk buildings out there for sale that are suitable for Babbage.   Enough that you shouldn’t have to worry too much about duplication.

    2) There are builders, both in Babbage and without, that will build on commission.   Heck, if you have a neat enough idea, I’ve been known to work for free.

    3) Rent from one of the existing nice builds.


    If you *do* have the urge, and just don’t have the skill yet, ask for help.    You’ll get it.



  4. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire May 15, 2011

    I agree with you, Miss Bookworm. I do no possess the three Ts either. But I love the atmosphere and the people and the roleplay.

    But, Arnold is a talented fellow. He’ll build ^^

    • Gager Gager May 15, 2011

      Your faith in me is currently very misplaced, but I am trying to learn.

      The chat, I will say, the other day did not help my desire or want to though with all that talk of exams and other stuff. 

  5. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver May 15, 2011

    smiles and looks up and nods ….


    I have often felt the “oh you are not a builder and don’t matter ” and or wouldn’t understand tone ..

    it has caused me everything from hurt to frustration later insecurities on this *expensive* hobby

    from others *Internet courage* … smiles

    Good News .Thanks to good friend’s kindness and understanding ..Breezy has learned to get numb to it .. or .. just doesn’t notice or let it matter anymore .. But and this is a big but .. It does not take a builder to notice when a build is not quite right .. wink

  6. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey May 15, 2011

    The current issue that’s causing tension is the same one that’s been happening for the two years that I’ve been in New Babbage:

    – Some people would be happier if New Babbage was a smaller, more dedicated community of knowledgable and capable builders

    – Some people would be happier if New Babbage was a more open community with easier paths to joining in the mood and ongoing plots

    Neither one is “right”, per se — there’s no way to make everyone happy.  But can we figure out a way to have both coexisting in the same place?  That’s been the essence of my idea of Babbage-specific prefabs.  Let people start out in the community, those like me who come for the ambiance and roleplay and learn how to build as an adjunct.

    I think it’s not a bad idea to include wanting to learn how to build as a rule of thumb for entry, but not everyone is talented in that way.  Some are good at providing atmosphere and making the city feel like a real place with real occupants. Is that by its very nature regarded as less of a talent in Babbage?


    • Gabrielle Riel Gabrielle Riel May 15, 2011

      Well said Blackberry :-)

      Your idea of specific Babbage prefabs is a good one, at least it is in my opinion, because that is exactly what I provide in New Toulouse.

      However, NT is only five full sims, and I *just* added the fifth. We are a small community and probably have half the amount of residents that Babbage has, so I am not sure how well something that works really well for NT would work for Babbage.

      I have all of the original NT prefabs available to everyone, plus I have a set of about 15 new builds created by my architect Mr. Breitman that ONLY NT residents can have. I commissioned these builds as special editions. They are not for sale anywhere, no one other than residents can have them and I set the perms at Mod and Copy only.

      I have other residents who have donated “special edition” builds of their own to the community. As NT has grown, I have been blessed to acquire more residents that are gifted content creators and builders. They don’t need me to give them a prefab, but it’s still great to have those prefabs for those that want them.

      Babbage has SO many brilliant builders. Maybe some of them would be willing to create a “special edition, Babbage residents only” prefab (or several!). That way Babbage could start to amass an inventory of special builds for residents only that new residents and non builders can use. You can ensure that residents are the only people that have access to them by setting them up with Copy and Mod perms only, and for sale to only the Babbage Engineers Group. And of course, Mr. Tenk would have to approve the builds first, just as I do.

      Just an idea. As I said, I am not sure how something like that would fly in Babbage, but it works well in little New Toulouse.  :-)

      • Yang Moreau Yang Moreau May 15, 2011

        ::chuckles:: I consider myself a terrible steampunk. I cannot grasp the technology despite how I love the dreams and stories. But what I do decently at is recreation of items and I do like to do the occassional building, of which I think I do alright with. If I had it in me, I’d love to do a prefab or two.

        As for putting it available to engineer’s group, that would be easy, wouldn’t it? Like the textures and such in city hall. Though with prefabs, there’d have to be a range of sizes due to the variation of lots in New Babbage.

        On the subject of non-builders, I consider myself in the middle. And I certainly would hope my validity as a New Babbage resident doesn’t hang on my work as a builder. I love to build, I’m very nearly ALWAYS working on something outside of SL to import, be it sculpt or texture even if some of them never see completion. But with my health, it’s just plain slow and I CANNOT push that no matter how much I want to. On the other hand, it is a lot easier for me to rp. Plenty! I love rp and have been doing it on a nightly basis with the exception of illness or RL happenings for over 10 years now online. I will almost always be seeking rp, even if I’m working on something outside of SL. 

        I just plain love interaction. Even if I’m building, I love being around people. I’m terribly boring though when in build mode and hardly responsive, but I still feel better when there’s people around. Heh, that’s one reason I enjoy hanging with Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes. It’s just us sitting around doing our seperate works, but still sitting in each others’ company. We had a build party sitting outside of the absinthe cafe just the other day with Ms. Benoir and Mr. Sol.

        I seem to be spitting out random ideas vaguely related to this topic, don’t I? Well, the short of it, variety is the spice of life, and New Babbage wouldn’t be New Babbage without that variety. I don’t see any reason why anyone should be discounted as a contributor to New Babbage for not building. We’ve all got our fields.

  7. Buckminster Solo Buckminster Solo May 15, 2011

    Don’t even get me started on scriptophobia. The mere thought of trying to decipher one gives me hives.

    • Yang Moreau Yang Moreau May 16, 2011

      ::flails!:: I’ve been in SL.. it’ll be 7 years this coming November, and I STILL can’t get scripting. I can alter some existing stuff, such as for size of an object or position, or speed, color and all the frills for particles it the script is all there. But that’s it.

      It’s just not in my head’s capabilities.

  8. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk May 15, 2011

    makes textures in Elements 2 when traveling, so you do have one of the T’s. got a camera?

  9. Kaylee Frye Kaylee Frye May 15, 2011

    Just throwing out that you don’t necessarily have to know how to script, texture, or make sculpts to be able to build.  I definitely can’t script or texture (I get help from people who know what theyre doing for those 99% of the time.  100% of the time for scripts), and SL got along just fine pre-sculpts.  I try and avoid using sculpts on large builds anyway.  They look awful until the sculpts load.

  10. Edward Pearse Edward Pearse May 16, 2011

    I consider myself a passable texturist (I need to get better at shading) but I can’t script or sculpt to save my life. I *have* made extensive use of sculpts in various builds and have even started using them in new clothing items (not that I’ve had a lot of those but still).

    I can tinker with numbers inside an existing script, and I tend to keep scripts that I find: various colours of floating text, assorted smoke, various sit positioners.

    I’ve bought sculpt packs from various merchants, I’ve cajolled sweet-talked others into making custom pieces. I’ve even bought a “prim oven” which allows me to make my own limited sculpts inworld.

    I’ve learnt from other’s builds. I’ll see a prim shape and try to find out how it was twisted together. I’ve been told about using alignment numbers and click-copy and making sure that textures look appropriate (no-one likes bricks that are 3′ tall).

    I’ve even had a couple of commissions. It’s always a nice feeling when someone likes your building enough to ask you to make one for them.

    I’d be happy to offer help to anyone who asks.

    • Yang Moreau Yang Moreau May 16, 2011

      XD You didn’t have to sweet-talk me much for that hat. Though I hope it turned out well at the party!

  11. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman May 16, 2011

    I’m not a non-buildaholic, just an ugly one.

    trying to keep prims under control makes me build blocky, otherwise, I’m not bad at building small things, like avi attachments, or weapons (yes I know, not popular with the majority in Babbage).

    Textures, I can do, I’ve made my own a few times in Photoshop for non-SL projects, it’s the aligning them in SL that gives me the occasional issue, making them isn’t bad though, I’ve even been commissioned on rare occasions to make some.  I’d offer to help with making textures, but honestly, it’s the photoshop end of things I’m ok at, less the in-world, though I’m good at using textures to make a room look more filled.

    otherwise, a background in CGI using just about everything from Rhino and Polygonwhirl, to simple stuff like Poser, and I still was clueless coming into SL the first time 



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