Meshed drama

A few weeks ago I took this picture near my home (it’s the white modern house by the river, just slightly to the right). I used slightly higher settings than I usually have as default — my old iMac is nearing collapse (lots of vertical stripes appearing on its LCD screen) and I’m back to the framerates of 2005 or so — but naturally this made me think a bit on how SL would look like on a modern computer, i.e. one bought in this decade. Probably it will look unrecognisable — add shadows and a few filters, which aren’t active on my low-end computer, and it would be a completely different SL experience.

But it will be dramatically different once all content in Second Life is mesh-based. This will be the change of the decade; of course, content creators will have to keep up with the new requirements of working with meshes in SL, but most of them are professionals who are used to it. In fact, for them, it will be far easier to create content for SL; and as I argued in last October, even amateurs will have it far easier.

The recent announcements that meshes are “imminent” have, as always, gotten a mixed review. Content buyers — that is, 90% of the SL population — naturally welcome any new technology that will give them better content and faster frame rates. Sure, it won’t “fix” SL from one day to the other, but if at least you can get the benefits of 250-prim-hair without, in fact, having 250 prims and being banned by the ARC Nazis from attending a sim… then that technology is “good”. Or at least “better”. Among the content producers, however, it’s another story. I can count at least three different groups, and each has a different stance towards meshes.

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