Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ain't Gonna Get Rich That Way....

If there’s one thing I don’t like about Second Life, it’s the clothes shopping.

You see, I’m the exact opposite of the clothes horse in real life. In fact, I don’t even qualify as a clothes donkey. I dress for comfort, not for style.

Technically, I’m a clothes mule. Ugly, but I get the job done.

My entire real life wardrobe consists of about 15 pairs of jeans, a few hundred T-shirts and the grand total of 2 pairs of dress pants and 3 dress shirts. Oh, and two ties.

However, in Second Life, clothes truly are a status thing. If you’re new and have no money, you visit the freebie stores. If you’ve been playing a while, you own some decent threads.

In other words, if you don’t clothes shop, you look like a newbie…and let’s face it, everyone hates newbies.

However, my biggest problem with clothes in second life is how expensive they are. What I really should say is how relatively expensive they are.

For example, a T-shirt will cost you between 50 and 250 lindens. That’s between 20 real life cents and a dollar.

(I should point out that I’ve not actually put any real money into the game, all the cash I have in SL has been either earned or evil gambling winnings from in the game. Essentially, to me, it’s still fantasy money and I don’t count it as having real life worth…so why should I care about spending fantasy money on fantasy clothing?)

Here’s the deal, however… to actually upload the texture to create your own clothing only costs a measly 10 Lindens.

I want my fantasy money for buying interesting stuff. The same way in real life I’d rather buy a flat-screen monitor than a new dining room set. Why spend 250 of any currency, real or not, when I can spend 10 and get the same thing?

Creating clothes is also incredibly easy to do once you get the hang of it. You simply download the templates from the SL website and paint on your textures in Photoshop. The only difficult part is setting transparencies with Alpha Channels, (Otherwise you end up with what looks like a white sweatshirt with your clothes painted on top), but even that’s easy when you know how.

So basically, I look at clothes, think “150 lindens for that T-shirt? I could do better than that!” …then I don’t.

Anyway, today, Sunny was playing and as usual called me over to the computer about 150 times to show me clothes she wants. So I said to her:

“You’re going to pay 250 Lindens for that top? I could knock you one of those up in about 10 minutes!”

Then, in that wifely way she has, she moved from the front of the computer and said:

“Ok, go ahead, but I want it back when you’re finished.”


At this point, all I’d made was a couple of T-shirts. The top she wanted had straps…meaning you had to line up the textures for the front and back of the model perfectly for it to work.

My mouth was writing checks, and my ass was complaining because it wasn’t sure if it had the funds to cover them.

Like most things in life, the male way is easy, the female way is hard. T-shirts? Piece of piss! New jeans? No problem. Strappy top with a sweetheart neckline, preferably sheer, but not too see through?

Uhhhh. Ummmm. Buh….

I’ll give it a try.

Anyway, I finally did it, and here’s a picture of the final product to prove it (With the lovely Adav Qi, AKA Sunny’s character modeling):

(In case you’re wondering why the straps look blurry, it’s just because the texture hadn’t loaded onto the model completely when I took the for a larger view)


Sunny loved it, but then she has that rose-colored glasses view of pretty much anything I do.

Then I realized something…

Hell, if that’s a first try, I could make some money off this!

(Well, what I actually first realized was I was technically a clothes designer and got this crazy urge to buy a beret, change my name to something like ‘Lance’, and the sudden urge to talk to New Yorkers about whether pumps are in this season. This was going to be an even funnier line utilizing the words ‘manola blanicks’…but I don’t know how to spell it properlly)


I wouldn’t have to rent store space, because I could sell them myself directly, you know, that old ‘word of mouth’ advertising. Sell ‘em for 25 Lindens a pop, seriously undercut the stores with their land rental overhead…and make a bit of cash.

Let’s see…25 Linden a pop, sell ten and that’s a real life dollar. Couple of weeks, sell my Lindens, and I could have enough to go and see a movie.

I know that doesn’t seem earth shattering or anything, but a free movie for what amounts to about 30 minutes work? I could go for that. Hell, any extra cash would be welcome right now.

My point is, if in 6 months I’ve only made enough for a pack of gum…that’s a pack of gum I got by dicking around on the computer. Can money be earned in a more pleasurable way?

Not that I know of, unless you plan on breaking plenty of laws…or I finally get that 80” plasma TV and La-Z-boy testing job I want.

…but this is where my business model falls down.

I make a shirt and obviously give one to Sunny. Then one of my other friends says she likes it. Well, I’m not going to charge her, because she’s a friend and has given me a bunch of free stuff. Then her friend likes it, and well, I can’t charge her because what kind of an ass would I be for charging my friend’s best bud? Then I’ve got a precedent set.

“Hey, why are you charging me for this? You gave everyone else one for free!”

Anyone feel like investing in “English Paul’s Clothing Emporium”?

Damn, I need to set up a paypal account…


MC Etcher said...

Very cool! Well done.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a bit of clothing issues to work out. First, you could always just sell Sunny in the clothes...JUST KIDDING! my defense...she picked GREAT hair to go with the shirt and would fetch a pretty penny JUST KIDDING!!!

good luck with all that...cause you know...that shirt is really pretty...would look awsome in black JUST KIDDING!!!!

(screw the clothes, I just want cool hair!)


Vicarious Living said...

If I ever decide to leave Help Island, I'll be bribing you for non-newbie wear.

Paulius said...

Etcher : Thank you...not great, but good for a first try.

Misty : I tried to sell Sunny once or twice, but couldn't get a high enough price...and that top is actually other words, I made it white, so you can make it any color you choose.

Vicarious : Etcher has my email either email me or send an IM to 'Paulius Griffith' in game...and I'll send you whatever freebies I can spare.