Belgians! And Others...

Thursday, July 26, 2007 Thursday, July 26, 2007

I've just placed another “I AM” product on sale in my store in Caso Milo. This one is called “I Am Belgian”, made by special request for my good Belgian friend, Brigid Larsen. It's a poofer that shoots out various Belgian-style icons. I hope she likes it!

I Am Belgian joins the list of “I Am's”:

  • I Am Canadian
  • I Am American (Made with help from WarmSpirit Williams)
  • I Am Japanese (Made with help from Rukia Pinion)
  • I Am Aussie (Made with help from Char Greene)
I think I will make a German version next. Are there any other countries I should do?


Monday, July 23, 2007 Monday, July 23, 2007

I've had two interesting experiences so far with collaborations. By collaborations, I mean applying my skill in building particle effects with others who are skilled in different areas.

My first experience in collaboration was with my pal Kimo Junot, who makes kick-ass dance floors. He liked some of my fogs and asked if it would be possible to integrate them into his floors. We figured out how to do that (which was simply building a customized script for him to integrate into his floors) and I made some unexpected money in the process.

My second experience was even more interesting. I heard a shout for help from SavannahAnn McMillan, owner of the Spirit clothing store. She had a need for a scripter to build a particle effect for a clothing item. What was it? The outfit was very similar to the dress worn by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, where the diamonds streamed out as she was lowered to the stage floor.

After some fiddling and idea-tossing with SavannahAnn, we finalized a concept and I built it. Today you can find this unusual clothing-particle combination available at her store.

Why am I talking about this so much? After a couple of these experiences, it appears to me that some of the most interesting items made in SL are done via such collaborations. Whether it be scripting, particles, music or sound, objects are just better when more dimensions are included to enhance the effect of the item. More Please!

Clouds on the Horizon

Saturday, July 21, 2007 Saturday, July 21, 2007

I had an interesting visitor the other day, Iswish Planner. He's an interesting fellow who is involved in the RL music scene, including having worked with Michael Jackson in the past. His request was whether I made clouds. And I don't. Or at least didn't until then.

With Iswish's help, I built a complete set of cloud devices: Small, Medium, Large and Crazy.

“Crazy” you ask? It's basically the Large Cloud but instead of having a mixture of naturally-appearing light grey and white colors, like you'd find in a normal cloud, it has random wild flourescent and pastel colors!

I was surprised to find that the best seller of the Cloud family is CrazyCloud by a large margin. Why? I don't know! What are people doing with it? I have no idea! Somebody let me know what's going on!

I made another cloud variety, specifically for Vampires (pictured). It has blood red and black colored fog, and is very eerie to stand underneath. I think it's quite effective, yet very few are sold. Who would have guessed?

This all tells me that at the end of the day, the customers know best. Keep listening to them.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007 Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Andromeda Klees, one of my friends from France, loves particles, and lots of them. She wanted a really big effect, so I made one: SuperNova.

This effect has three stages that simulate an actual star going supernova. At first a 20 meter wide red ball appears around you. Suddenly, the ball collapses towards the center (you).

When the collapse is almost complete an enormous amount of white radiation flys away from you in criss-crossing patterns for perhaps a 60 meter diameter!

Finally, black and grey debris float away to complete the supernova.

SuperNova is now on sale at my shop in Caso Milo – and remember, this is a truly BIG effect, so use it with great caution!


Monday, July 16, 2007 Monday, July 16, 2007

My good friend VaaaVa Voom called me the other day (not to be confused with VaVaa Voom or VaaVa Voom). She's been hired as a manager for the Furumachi sim. It's a large Japanese build that has all kinds of things going on it.

Anyway, VaaaVa wanted me to set up a satellite shop in their new mall. Oh boy – readers will know my opinion of malls by now! But, as she is a good friend and offered such a good deal, I could not turn it down.

So, now I have yet another satellite shop location – and even though Furumachi is not really open yet, this shop actually gets somewhat more traffic per day than my other location in Amat!

But that's not the topic of this post. Here's what happened: I met and spoke with another of the mall unit users, Mustang2 Bing. He's a very cool guy who is connected to the RL music industry and is tearing up SL with his enthusiasm and talent. Turns out he was recruited by the Furumachi administration to set up a benefit concert on August 18th in Furumachi to collect L$ for earthquake victims in Japan.

I asked Mustang what I could do to help, and he wasn't sure any particles were required, but then said “maybe some fireworks to use between shows”. So, I promptly built some very cool (and large) custom fireworks, which are now ready to be used during the show. As a donator of items, Mustang said I am now an official sponsor and thus have a advertising box on display at the show location.

The punch line to all this is that a year ago, I would never have expected to own a thriving virtual business that sells imaginary products to virtual people, and helps sponsor worldwide benefit concerts for the unfortunate in Japan. How can I explain this to my Mom?


Friday, July 13, 2007 Friday, July 13, 2007

My friend Kim Junot, a creator of fine dance floors, made a great suggestion this week: “why not start a group?” I agreed that this was a good idea, since there is some evidence that I have “fans” in SL after having visited some clubs and finding many people using my effects.

Creating a group is technically simple; The creative aspect is more difficult. What is the name of the group? What are the titles of the officers and members?

In the end I decided the best thing to do would be to reinforce my brand, “Electric Pixels”. I believe that in order to make things easier for customers, the name should be easy to remember. By making my group name equal to my brand name, I have taken another small step to building up the brand.

What do I do with this group? Basically, I considered the group from the viewpoint of my customers: what would I want to know? There are only a few things I would want to know myself:

  • Announcements of new products. Remember, your best customers are your previous customers. Make sure they know you have new things to sell
  • Announcements of major events, such as moving locations, temporary closings, etc.
  • Announcements of special sales events – and not just spammy advertising, this has to be real sales only
I don't think the customers want to know anything else, but I encourage anyone to correct me.

To make it easy for customers to join my group, I built a Group Inviter device and planted it in the middle of my shop. It appears as if you simply Touch the device to be joined to the group. The script for this is a little goofy, however. It turns out that Linden Lab's LSL does not include any APIs for interfacing with Groups! So how can you possibly script a Group Inviter? Easy – I fake it by simply having it send me an IM with the name of the requestor. Then I just add them manually. If too many people ask for invites and I cannot keep up, well, I would LIKE to have that problem!

It's Getting Dark...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I had an unusual visitor the other day.... Xilow Demina is a demonic slave girl. I've often encountered slaves, but have never spent any significant time with one. I guess the concept is lost on me, but I understand that people can enjoy being a slave, just like any other RP activity. She was looking for something to make darkness, as she said that “demons should be able to create night”.

Xilow gave me a lot of help designing this new effect – but it was a little strange working with a slave who kept calling me “Master”. I was required to call her “The Girl”while we collaborated, and give her permission to stand, talk, sit, etc.

This is a completely new kind of effect, which basically creates large, completely black particles all around you. It looks like a fog, but it within it you cannot see anything because it is completely black! Only the labels of nearby avatars are visible. The effect lasts for several seconds, so that you could, for example, TP out while the fog is active and when it fades you are long gone!

NightFog is now on sale at my shop in Caso Milo.

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