Events vs Main Stores

“How do I set up for an event, which is on a different region than my main store?”

I answer this question a lot, which is a sure indication that it’s confusing! There are big changes coming in Version 4, to simplify this (and a million other things). But for now, I’ll recap how things work in Version 3.

No Difference Between Events and Main Stores

This is the important thing to remember: there is no difference between your “main store” and an “event.” Here’s all the system cares about: regions. Any region where you want to have vendors will be set up the same as any other region.

Sometimes people get confused by the Inventory Server being on the same region as one of their stores. The Inventory Server can live on any region in SL, whether you have a store there or not. If you have a private home sim, your Inventory Server can live there. It’s the one special-case object in the system, because you only need one of them to cover the entire SL grid, and it does not matter what region you keep it on.

How to Set Up on Any Region

Here’s how you set up any region in SL to have your vendors on it (in the current version!)

  1. Rez a Store Controller, then a Transaction Relay, and then a Delivery Relay. Remember that only objects that come from the Release 9 folder will work.
  2. Now you can create vendors.

If you use Take in your viewer to grab copies of working vendors from one region to rez them on another region, it’s always a good idea to reset everything once you’re done rezzing vendors.

Can’t Spare The Prims?

If you can’t spare the 3 prims needed for the store support objects, there are other options.

I can spare 2 prims – If you place a boxed copy of the product inside every vendor prim, then you will no longer need the Delivery Relay.

I can’t spare any prims – Then you will need to use a script called the EventVendor, which you’ll find in your Release 9 folder. The EventVendor also requires that the boxed product be placed inside the vendor prim. It also has a different way of setting the vendor options. If you need to use this script, please shoot me an IM and I’ll help you get the options set correctly.


Erase floating text

If you have some floating text over a prim and you want to get rid of it, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new script anywhere in your inventory.  The name doesn’t matter, but you might want to name it something other than New Script so that you can find it again later.
  2. Double click the script to open the script editor.
  3. Press Ctrl+A or select ALL the text in the script with the mouse, and press Backspace, or Delete, so that the script editor is completely empty.
  4. Copy/paste the script code that appears below into your script, and then click Save in the script editor. Make sure that no errors appear in the bottom of the script editor window.
  5. Drag this script from your inventory directly on top of any prim, and it will erase the floating text, and then delete itself automatically.
    llSetText("", ZERO_VECTOR, 0.0);

Berry’s “Have you ever?”


OK, with that out of the way, here are the goods:

    1. Have you ever owned a sim in Second Life? I currently own a homestead, does that count?
    2. Have you ever created content in Second Life? Yup! Before scripting, I even trying to make clothes. It was … abysmal. I hated it, and I probably sold 2 things. Then I tried my hand at tattoos and other trinkets, before finally figuring out that doing in SL what I do for a first life job made a lot more sense. Aduh.
    3. Have you ever driven a vehicle in Second Life? Only anything and everything I can get my hands on. Warbugs are a favorite … bumper cars … you name it. I like to move it.
    4. Have you ever gone sky diving in Second Life? Haha YES. Way back in the day. Pretty sure that was like the first “activity” I ever took part in! Hmm, I think I jumped off the Eiffel Tower in that Paris sim like 400 times.
    5. Have you ever played a sport in Second Life? Is bumper cars a sport? What about shooting people down? If so, then yes. Maybe I surfed a little, back in the day?
    6. Have you ever gone clubbing in Second Life? Ugh, who hasn’t? Gol mostly, as far as I remember, and friend’s clubs.
    7. Have you ever fangirled/fanboyed someone in Second Life? Only every day. I am very fortunate in my line of SL business in that I get to meet/talk to some pretty amazing and creative people. My very first fanboy moments were Dove, Elika, and Hely. Shhh.
    8. Have you ever taken a picture of your avatar in water in Second Life? Can’t say that I have.
    9. Have you ever taken a picture of a sunset in Second Life? I think my region stays on daytime!
    10. Have you ever taken a nude picture of your avatar in Second Life? Hmmm, gonna have to say “no” to this one, as far as I can recall. I’ve taken pictures of lots of OTHER people’s naked pixels, but not mine.
    11. Have you ever dated in Second Life? Yup. You’re not asking for details, right? Good.
    12. Have you ever had or attended a wedding in Second Life? Proud to say: nope.
    13. Have you ever drank, smoked or taken drugs in Second Life? Is this a thing? No.
    14. Have you ever engaged in sexual activity in Second Life? Hahaha … no. And by “no” I mean yes, of course.
    15. Have you ever been to Bukkake Bliss in Second Life?  Wait, this exists in SL, too? Oh, I should check it out sometime.


Limited Quantity Items in Version 3

Doing limited quantity items in version 3 is doable, but nowhere near as streamlined as I would like, so I apologize for this in advance. In version 4 this feature will be a million times easier!

That said, here’s a step by step guide to doing limited quantity items in version 3:

  1. You must be using Release 9, which everyone should be using already.
  2. In the Release 9 folder you have a script called EventVendor 3.0 – this is the script you’ll be using instead of the regular Vendor 3.7 script.
  3. Using your regular login info, log in here:
  4. IMPORTANT: Click the Settings tab and press the Save Changes button. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
  6. Click the Reports tab, then the Limited Stock tab.
  7. Click the Create New Item button.
  8. Enter a Product Name. This name is only a reminder for you, it doesn’t matter to the system, and does not need to match the actual box you’re selling.
  9. Enter a starting quantity.
  10. Press OK
  11. You will see the item you just created at the top of the list. The system will assign a Product ID to your item automatically. You need this number, so write it down.
  12. Create your vendor object and place the box you’re selling inside the vendor object’s inventory. It should also go into the Inventory Server, to allow for redelivery.
  13. Place the price in the vendor object description using the p: option. For example “p:200” would be L$200.
  14. Add a space and put the Product ID using the l: option (lower-case L). For example, “l:451” if you were assigned a Product ID of 451.
  15. Options should have spaces between them, so in this example, the final Description line would be “p:200 l:451” (without the quotes)
  16. Drop in the EventVendor 3.0 script.

E2V Version 4

I’m going to begin publishing a few articles here and there about what to expect from the E2V system in version 4. These will include information about new features, and/or ways existing features and procedures will be changing. Here’s a few quickies for today…

Easy Updates – Keeping your system up to date will be easier than ever. Updates will be delivered to you automatically, and will (in all foreseeable cases) consist of a single box that you’ll just rez, click, and let it do its thing automatically.

Simpler Options Settings – The options settings on each vendor are going to return to version 2 style. For version 3 users, your existing vendors will be converted automatically for you, and you’ll find setting options to be much simpler going forward. For version 2 users, you’ll already be familiar with how to set options. This is to allow for more feature flexibility, and simpler instructions!

New 1-prim Controller object – There are several individual store support objects in version 3 that will be combined into a single Controller object for version 4. This means just one prim will be needed to run a store on any region.

More info coming in the future …


SL Groups and the E2V System

I’m often asked if the E2V system does “group discounts” – and the answer is a qualified “no.” When I think of “group discounts” I come up with two possible scenarios. The first is where group members pay a lower price than non-group members. The second is where group members receive cash back after paying the same price as non-group members. Let me explain why neither of these are great approaches in Second Life, and then explain what the E2V system does instead.

Two Prices
It is possible, using the SL “pay” dialog, to present two price buttons with different amounts. What’s not possible is to prevent someone from pressing the wrong button – both buttons are equally clickable by anyone, whether you have the group tag on or not. It is only after the Lindens have been deducted from the customer’s account, and transferred to yours, that a script can validate someone’s click. In other words, a person without a group tag can click the group price, and a person with the group tag can click the non-group price. So how would the script deal with these scenarios?

In the case of a non-group member clicking the lower price (and who wouldn’t?) the customer is due a refund of the entire payment amount, and would have to be informed that amount is only for those wearing the proper group tag. In the case of a person wearing the group tag and pressing the higher-priced non-group button, they would be due a refund of the difference between the price they paid, and the group price.

Both of these scenarios require that the system obtain debit permissions from the store owner, in order to be able to pay the customers. I’ve expressed my feelings about debit permissions on many occasions, but suffice it to say that I would never grant debit permissions to anyone else’s script, and therefore I certainly do not expect any of my customers to do it either. Granted, there are some scenarios (like splits) where there’s just no convenient or better way around it, and I’ve reluctantly implemented the requirement for debit permissions in those cases.

So to sum up – any approach where people can select the “wrong” amount to pay, requires debit permissions, and is therefore something I’m not terribly motivated to support.

Cash Back for Group Members
Debit permissions. Enough said.

The E2V Approach: Store Credit
It’s still possible to treat your group members specially, using Buyer’s Rewards. There are two rates of buyer’s rewards available on every vendor, one for group and one for non-group. There are a couple advantages to using store credit:

  • You do not earn less money from group members.
  • Store credit is an incentive for your customers to come back to your store.

For example, if all your items sell for L$100, and you offer 10% buyer’s rewards for group members, they essentially can get an 11th item for free. Isn’t getting them back into your store, and wearing/using your product, better than giving them L$100 in cash that they might spend elsewhere? 🙂



E2V: VIP Credit

One of the easily overlooked features of the E2V system is VIP Credit. This short article will explain quickly what it is, and what you might use it for.

VIP Credit is a way to give out “free” store credit to certain people. It’s a kiosk or terminal that you build, and add a script to – so you control how it looks. If an avatar is approved (more on that in a sec) they can click the terminal, and their store credit account is credited with an amount you determine. People can click only once per “round” – though you can reset the round at any time.

There are two ways to specify who can collect this credit gift. You can either create a notecard with a list of specific names, or you can set the terminal to your group, and then anyone with your group tag active can participate.

One possible usage of this feature would be something akin to a monthly group credit allowance. You simply set up the terminal to be group only, and then reset it every month.

Another possible usage is to give store credit to a select list of bloggers. You would add their names to a notecard, and perhaps reset the list before each release you’d like to invite them to.

VIP Credit can be an alternative to sending out free items, or can be an incentive for customers to come to the store.

You should already have the box in the E2V folder of your inventory (use the Filter Inventory input to search for “VIP”), but if you’d like to make sure you have the latest, just shoot me an IM in world.

(The latest for Version 3 users is called “[E2V-3] VIP Credit (Rez me)” and for version 2 users it’s called “[E2V-IS] VIPCredit 1.2”)



Why I dislike the term “RL”

A recent Plurk thread got me thinking again about my disdain for the term “RL” when used in contrast to SL. I do understand that most of the time, the term “RL” is used in relation to your privacy, and yeah, whatever. Do you, boo. But if you’re a content creator, and you feel like what you do in SL isn’t “real” then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

I sell a vendor system in SL, and it’s a combination of LSL (SL scripting), HTML5/CSS3, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL. Trust me when I say those are “real” technologies. And my recent job search proved that, when the interviewers were equally interested in my SL business as they were in my day job experience. You can bet that SL was listed on my resume as my own side business where I create an e-Commerce system for an MMORPG.

If you can texture, or you can do 3D models, then you’re using very advanced software and what you do is absolutely valid and valued in the “real” world. If you sell your creations in SL, and are generating income for yourself, then you own your own business. Your business is developing digital assets for an MMORPG.

I first heard about SL from an article talking about people quitting their day jobs and living off of SL income. The article was mostly about the Chung dynasty, but mentioned that many other people were doing it, too. So I never once thought of SL as a “game” for even a second. My whole purpose for starting was to see how people were able to make money. Regardless of why you first got into SL, I think the first step to truly valuing your own work is to get rid of the mindset that SL is a game that you play. You can play Halo all day and never make a cent. But if your Paypal account has seen money go in and out of it, then thinking SL is a game is just another mental block to appreciating the value of what you do in SL, and using the experience to bolster your value in the workforce.


Can PoseAnywhere do couple’s poses?

If you suffer from TL;DR syndrome, then here’s the quick answer (though there’s some good info down farther!): no, but if you have copy poses, you can try wearing two HUDs, and using the local move trick to pose them. So the answer is also a qualified “yes” … read on …

One avatar at a time
The PoseAnywhere HUD is designed to pose only one avatar – either yourself, or someone else – at a time. While that means it won’t pose couples, there are some tricks you can try. But first, some background info …

What is posing?
A static pose is an animation that contains only one frame. So it’s just like the walk animation in your AO, but with just one frame. In fact, the AO analogy is accurate, because when you pose yourself, you’re doing exactly what your AO does which is to play an animation. When you pose someone else, what they’re doing is allowing the PoseAnywhere HUD to animate them, exactly like their AO does. You’ll notice when you’re posing via the HUD, you can still move, walk around, jump, etc. It’s literally the same thing as an AO.

What happens when you sit on a prim
Believe it or not, when you sit on a prim, you convert that prim into a linked set, where the prim you sit on is the root prim, and your avatar is the first linked prim. If you sit on something like a couch that is already a linked set of prims, your avatar becomes an additional prim in the linked set. This is an important concept because it affects…

The bounding box
When you walk up to another avatar and get too close, you bump into them, and one or both of you moves. That’s because there is an invisible boundary around your avatar called the bounding box. This is part of the SL physics engine, enforcing the law that two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Prims, however, do not have a bounding box. That’s why you can drag your table “into” your couch, and it’ll sit there just fine.

Here’s the important part: when you sit on a prim, and become part of the linked set, you no longer have a bounding box (i.e. you’re no longer “physical” or managed by the SL physics engine). This is why it’s nearly impossible to pose two standing (i.e. physical) avatars really close to each other (like in a couple’s pose), and also why poseballs let you get two avatars as close as needed!

The light at the end of the tunnel
Let’s say you have a traditional M/F poseball set, and you want to pose a couple somewhere that you don’t have build rights, so you can’t rez your poseballs. The first step to posing them with the PoseAnywhere HUD is to figure out of the poses are Transfer/No Copy, and if they are, you’re out of luck and can stop reading here.

OK good, you bought poseballs with Copy/No Transfer permissions!

So what you can do is create two HUDs, and put the female pose in one, and the male pose in the other. How to do that is a bit beyond the scope of this writing. But now you can wear both HUDs at the same time, and pose the female with one HUD, and the male with the other. And then mutter curses because this only works so well. Why? It’s that dang bounding box again – you can’t get the two avatars close enough! And not only that, but trying to direct people to move an inch, and how to rotate just a leeeeetle to the left and …and… no, this isn’t going to work. Let’s not even talk about the fact that the female pose is probably way, way too low to match up to her guy. Too bad you can’t rez a cube for her to stand on …

The Local Move trick
This will work, but it’ll also test your patience a bit! It’s doable though, so I’m going to tell you how to do it. Actually, I’m going to let the amazing Strawberry Singh tell you how to do it, since she wrote a great blog post on the subject a while back. Heck, it’s so simple even I can do it.

So the idea here is:

  1. Create two HUDs, one with female poses, one with male poses (e.g.)
  2. Wear both HUDs
  3. Pose one person with each HUD, and select the poses you want them to be in
  4. Have them get “close enough” and then fine tune their positions on your screen only, using the Local Move trick.

Since the avatars are not physically moving in SL, their bounding boxes won’t prevent you from positioning them where ever you want them.

Hope that helps!