Firstly, it’s fun to do. One of my favourite things in-world is landscaping, in fact I’m quite passionate, even obsessive about it. Secondly it keeps things fresh for guests. People really appreciate new paraphernalia to discover, places to explore and things to do. Lastly, there are always new items that I come across in my travels or while browsing SL Marketplace. Frankly, I just can’t help myself :)
My Selection Criteria
So what is my idea of ‘good’ design? Here are the things I've learned to look for:
- Low prim
I don’t have the benefit of 15,000 prims like full sim owners do. Daydream Island is a Homestead so I’m limited to creating a beautiful and interesting destination with only 3,750 prims to play with. That’s a real challenge so low prim items are a must for me.
The items I select need to look good. By that I mean the textures and shape must appear as realistic and flawless as possible. No ugly white texture outlines, mismatched seams, poor prim joints, etc.
All objects need to suit Daydream Island’s ‘nature and romance’ theme. I envisage anything I buy enhancing the ambiance of the sim and fitting seamlessly with all nearby objects. Therefore metallic or very modern items are usually rejected, even if all other criteria are met. I've learned to be ruthless.
If something I am looking to purchase is interactive (for example avatars can sit on it, or it opens when touched, or it gives something when clicked) I like to test it first, if I can. I check to see that it works and is not likely to fail under the pressure of repeated use.In other words, I determine that it does what it's supposed to do.
If I find an item on SL Marketplace I check the ratings. The more there are the better it reflects the truth about the object. If many have given it a high rating I can be pretty sure it's good quality merchandise.
My list may seem obvious but it's amazing how often I visit SL locations where prims are wasted; the overall look is jumbled and messy and stuff just doesn’t work. It's a real pity. I’ve found that taking a bit longer to search for low prim items, considering how they’ll look in the overall scheme of things and testing them before parting with my L$’s has been a successful strategy.
Over time you learn which are the top designers and build a list of merchants that you return to time and again. In the coming weeks I'll feature some of my favourite landscape designers for you to check out.
Let me know if you think my list of selection criteria is helpful and feel free to share any others that you use :)