Monday, January 4, 2010
What's "quality" content?
An XStreet customer left a review for my one prim buffet table over the weekend. I had to use a translator, as the comment was in German, but the fellow apparently felt that 60L was way too much for a single textured cube.
Of course, he never bothered to contact me before he left his one star rating -- even though there's a link right under the "purchase" button on the listing page to contact the seller.
If he'd simply IMed me or sent a notecard, I would have been more than happy to refund his money.
It's an example of of an issue that I think will come to a head this year in SL: just what exactly is "quality content"?
Yes, the buffet table is one prim. It was designed purposely that way, for people who have limited prim allocations, such as in role play sims. It and the round tea table version served me very well when I owned a hotel/restaurant/theater in Deadwood.
One day it occurred to me -- why do these tables even need legs? No one can lift up the tablecloth to see whether the table is standing on its own. This is SL, after all, where people can fly. So I removed the legs, and voila! A fairly realistic looking table with a white linen tablecloth. And only one prim. For 60L.
I've probably sold a hundred or more of those tables since I made them about a year ago. The only other negative comment I've had was also on XStreet, but that had to do with the table's permissions mysteriously reverting to no mod. That customer didn't contact me either.
I was originally encouraged to sell them by people I'd given them to, who'd seen them in my RP business. These are people, like many SL residents, who don't have the time or patience to make their own furniture.
Coincidentally, these tables are what started me on designing low prim Victorian furnishings. There are some amazing furniture designers in SL, who make beautiful, complex, realistic furniture. However, many of these items are heavy on prim count. That's what makes them beautiful, complex and realistic.
But you easily can blow half of your prim allotment in a RP sim on a single desk and chair set from one of these designers. So, seeing the need for attractive, realistic, affordable low prim furniture, my furniture making career began.
I'm not sure if this table would be considered a "quality" item on the new Linden Lab content creation roadmap. It's the epitome of simple -- it's a prim cube with textures applied to it. But there are some people out there who don't know how to, or don't have time to learn, or simply have no interest in knowing how to put textures on prims. So we're back to the concept of seeing a need and fulfilling it.
It did take time for me to make it. I had to visualize it, find a white tablecloth, photograph it, manipulate the image in Photoshop, and play with the texture settings on the cube to get the proportions right.
For that, I charge 60L. I chose that price because I'd shopped around to find something equivalent before I made the table myself. There are a lot of high profile merchants who do the same exact thing, but charge at least twice what I do. I've seen one prim furniture pieces for 125L or more. I don't know if they sell at that price, but since they are made by some of SL's most successful furniture makers, I assume they do.
I don't know why this kind of thing gets to me, but it did. So here I am, venting. Thanks for reading... :)