Thursday, January 12, 2012

Build or Buy?

That’s an interesting question!  Second Life is largely user-created.  Everything you see around you, except the basic avatar mesh, the land, water, and sky, has been made by the residents of SL.  The buildings, the plants, the clothing and hair we wear, the vehicles, the animations, and the scripts that make everything work.

And yet, many people in SL don’t make anything.  They buy it instead, from other creators.  Blessings on the consumers, for they make the Second Life economy work!

At the other end of the spectrum, there are some talented individuals who make everything they use in SL themselves.  They build their own homes and design their own clothes.  They create their own animations, and write their own scripts.  Blessings on the creators, for they make Second Life a magical place.

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.  We make some things, and buy those that we don’t have the skills to make for ourselves.  I make buildings, for example…but I buy scripted parts for them like doors and working curtains, and I buy my clothing.  Other people are good at scripts, or clothing design, but buy prefab houses.

Which brings me to my latest dilemma:  I want a bar for my new club.  I’m certainly good enough to build the basic structure of a bar…it’s mostly just boxes.  And I think I can use textures I already own…either just as they are, or with some modification in Photoshop where needed.  I can probably even manage to script well enough to create a set of menu-driven sit poses for the bar stools.  But…all of this takes time.  And so, I have to ask myself if the hours I would spend creating and texturing and scripting a bar would be worth it?  I found a delightful little wine bar by Blot Brickworks for only $L100…less than fifty cents in “real” money, and there are a ton of multi-pose bar stools on the Marketplace.

Sometimes I decide to go ahead and build something myself.  I do it for the fun of it, and the joy of creation, and even to teach myself new skills.  If I do a really good job, perhaps other people will like my creation enough to buy a copy of it for themselves.  This is the ultimate reward for the creator.  Other times I realize that I simply can’t hope to come close to the result I want, at least with any reasonable investment of time and effort, and turn to other creators.

How about you?  Are you a consumer, or a creator, or a little of both?  If you’re a creator, or aspire to be, here are a couple of places with some great tutorials for you!

The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives (self paced building tutorials)

The Particle Laboratory (tutorials on how to use Particles)

College of Scripting Music and Science (scripting help)


  1. I used to be a consumer.
    Bought all my clothes and so on.
    Now i only buy what is full perm or mod copy and only things i can't build myself.
    All my outifts now are made from free itens won on lucky chairs or hunts, mod and copy, that i add my own jewels and so on. (I have like 30 diff pairs of unique long knee boots, long heels and cowboy boots, based only in 3 pairs that i made so many changes nobody believes until i show them the originals!)
    Hair same, and latest fun i'm having, to mod so much LL library stuff, making it unique as well!
    And i start creating full perm stuff, like bikes and cars, unique submarines and so on, and even have 2 shops to show them, even if its seems i'll never sold one (guess i need to figure how to create a vendor lol, in fact the shops just exist to show the works and even if some would ask me how much i do what i always end, offering as gift;))

  2. There are a number of freebie "vendor" scripts out there. Call me in world and I'll send you one.

  3. that's a great question. when i was inSL, i built the bigger things, like entire building and bomb shelters, but i bought furniture and clothing

    when i left SL i was really smacked down. i had virtually nothing. i had my big buildings but no scripted dance floors, no great retro furniture, not even simple chairs

    i cried on and off (i really did, what a dork) but now am very proud that i have made everything on my 16 sims with the exception of a mesh matress!

  4. I made a box once... it was quite a nice box, actually. Had pictures on it, and everything!I read someplace, was it Philip?, who said that over a billion (with a b) items had been created in sl, since it began?

    However creation is not all about prims, is it? Our partnership has lasted three years, and shows every sign of lasting at least as long again :))

  5. Well im much more excited about the discover of Os grid (so many tks for the posts you made about your experience there).
    Not only i started creating my own skin for the 1st time (and who thinks that there are no ways of looking as good as on Sl on Os grid, well just im me there and i ll show how i look:))
    And im just doing my skin, not cause i didn't found some pretty amazing ones, au pair wirth the best free skins available on Sl, but cause i want to have freckles, and that i didnt find yet, but rather discovered how to do a skin using templates and gimp, and another thing OS grid made me create, now I know how to do My own skins;)
    Yes, there are lots of already ready to use, skins, shapes, Ao's, Rlv toys, Open colar, Sex beds, and even quite a few good sex animatiuons, lol!
    But when you figure you can create all, you start to do your own poses, your own animations and suddenly Sl looks really not as so advanced as you think!
    Os grid lacks some content, but the quality of it can be as good as on Sl, that I found.
    And is not as empty as any can think, ppl there are really helpful, safe hubs mean that!

  6. I never had money in SL until I started to sell my own contents. I created my face, my clothes, my houses, etc. Of course I had to buy the scripters "time" -very expensive- to get special things. Of course, I was very strict with spend money buying, but always was interesting boy a box of sculpts or a pirate boat to play.
    Now I prefer create all and, If I'm need a script, ask one to scripters or take as free in certaing webpages.

    Kind regards.

  7. I really had enough to all, a lovely homestead with an amazing Landlord, Babe Daligdig, that makes me forget how insane Land prizes are due to the performance on Her sims and her help if needed and in more then 15th months lil was in fact!
    Winning now on Nascar races, compensates what i tip, not only there but all the places or events i assist.
    Creating my outfits, with mod prims, and free or hunt gifts, just allows me to have a new look, not all days, but at all hours as i change them a lot (no scripted parts on them, makes it easy;))
    I even dare to have 2 shops that don't sell any, but are a pleasure for the eyes (Saphy&Zz custom creations, and i say that my Love is the real one behind all you see there but some cars i modded or build from scratch).
    Still, My jewel loves to build and as she spent quite a few time on a beach sim, just to see it go puuuf as the owner forgot to pay the tiers in time (another great landlord, Dreamworld states, kind enough to ask Us if we wanted to pay the overdue tiers, that we refused as we cant afford 1 sim that we are not even owners:()), so to easy her pain and mine, we tried OS grid, and there we have already a simple but amazing sim to be.
    Simple cause we want it that way, just a few islands and some frigates, one our home, another jut sailing, a castle that is till now, the best work of my Love, just wish we could have prims enough on Sl to have it as the frigates, a lot of underwater space to build our mermaid cove, and still 40.000 prims to play with.
    But i miss our sim on Sl, with our surfing wave, our dolphins, fishes, birds, 9 hole golf course, our biker track, our several themed sky boxes, most of all, all that we did with mere 3750 prims|
    And the scripts we lack on Os grid, due to physics limitations are impossible to have, surfing waves, good cars and bikes and so on.
    So OS grid is just a place to see the builds of My love, some of my skins (yes i have already a few ones;)) and most of all, to go after we cuddle on Sl, to cuddle a bit more and just enjoy the beauty that surrounds us, cause we can not have enough good scripts on OS grid, but land and what it can hold can be even better then most of any Sl sim, cause 45000 prim and no scripts limit for just Usd 20 month!!!