Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gothic pleasures

I went to Gypsy Moon to see what was happening with their store. Most real-life clothing works very badly in Second Life, as American Apparel and others have discovered. Most people appreciate the chance to dress their avatar in things which they wouldn't wear in real life, and are looking for something different.

Gypsy Moon is different in real life though, and I think the clothes could potentially work very well in Second Life. I've been a bit disappointed with the things I have bought from them before... skirts look a lot longer on the box than they do on the avatar, their model must buck the trend and be petite instead of 8 feet tall.

Arriving at Gypsy Moon I discovered it was under construction still, and the build is marvellously gothick, dark and brooding. I right clicked a piece of the build to see who made it and found the name Morphe attached to it.

Teleporting to their store, I found myself on the Snow Crash sim, in what appeared to be a gothic builder's yard. There are some fantastic builds here: stone dragons, dramatic shield maiden statues, crypts in all shapes and sizes.

It's clear the builder, Abel Dreamscape, cares about his work. There is an explanation of the name Morphe, instructions for increasing the level of detail on sculpts,

and in his profile, the advice: "take what you do well, and perfect it".

I was finding that it took a long time for the detail on sculpts to pop in. I stood for some time in front of this carriage and still couldn't see the wheels properly, so I followed the instructions and it did make a difference.

There are complete castle prefabs, builders' full perms packs of components like arched windows and doors, and a whole lot more. If you're looking for a castle, or a small crypt even, I recommend you go and see the things on offer here.

In SL, as I have often said, it is a question of balance: you have to balance up what you want to do with the possible lag and problems of usability, and that's still the case. That means trying to limit the number of textures, sculpts and scripts which you use in a small area, to try to make the experience a good one for your visitors. I think castles lend themseves to the sort of compromise you need to make, because it is possible to limit the number of different textures used, and keep to the same group of sculpties, while still being able to indulge your imagination.

The building packs I picked up sorely tempt me to build a castle. It's been a long time since I had a castle to call my own....

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