Sunday, March 18, 2007

Squeeze play

One hundred seventeen prims. That's how many prims—basic building units (primitives)—you get on 512m2 of land. My original first land is all I own (Patrice and I have technical ownership of our beach land, but we really rent it from flopsie). I have considered buying more, something between 2,048m2 and 4,096m2. However, land is still pretty expensive, and I would have to pay monthly tier fees on any land that I owned after the first 512m2.

I don't really need more land. I'm happy with Patrice at our beach house. I have my counselling office and my photo studio squeezed onto my first land, floating at two different heights in the sky. Anything more would be an indulgence. Now, there's nothing wrong with indulgence, but I think I'll stay cheap for now. It lets me waste money on clothes and give good tips.

So that means continuing to squeeze the most out of my ugly parcel. My office has only about 19 prims. My photo studio has even fewer. Yet when you start to put furniture out, even low prim furniture, it's not long before you're pushing your 117-prim limit.* On a parcel that size, there is barely room to turn around, in more ways than one. I can't even work on my Huddles EZ-Animator Plus at the office. So I decided to try to make an even lower-prim combined office and photo studio. When one person's ceiling is another person's floor, that's a couple of prims saved!

I hadn't been down to my "workshop" on the surface in quite a while. How things have changed! A lot of Bluenose, at least at my end, seems to have been cleared out, as you can (sort of) see in the photo above. I know there are quite a few buildings in the air, but it's odd to see how empty things look below. Next door, Seraph has removed his teahouse and has put the land up for sale. No, I don't want to buy it, because that spot on the high edge of the sim is not very nice. I wish I'd grabbed a parcel at least one row away from the sim edge, but at the time I had to move very quickly. If I'm going to buy land, it's going to be better land. Worst of all, the antique dealer in next-door Kootenay has built right up to the edge of that sim, right up against my "lot line" (second photo). The surface at the northern edge of Bluenose is no place to be.

For the new office-studio, I decided to try a cylindrical design, both to save prims and to make the building look a bit more futuristic. It's kind of odd having a little old-fashioned house flying in the air, but something that looks a bit like a space station seems to fit better. Round with all glass will cause difficulties for putting up artwork, but I'll deal with that somehow. Ultimately, I might find that I am more comfortable with corners, but I'm going to experiment with this and have fun while I do it. So if I'm in world and you can't find me, I might well be in the workshop, trying to make the pieces fit.

*A prim is a basic three-dimensional object: tetrahedron, cube, pyramid, sphere, cylinder, torus, and a few more, all of which can be manipulated in various ways (such as twisted). Even the simplest furniture takes a good three to five prims, and the more detailed something is, the more likely it is to be made of many prims. Textures—drawn or photographic images—help with the illusion of detail, but it's still hard to make anything nice with only a few prims. Even a crappy floor lamp I made has four: base (flattened cylinder), pole (skinny cylinder), bulb (light-emitting sphere), and shade (cone with its head trimmed off).

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