Second Life Essentials: Part One, AOs and HUDs

Something that has struck me in my time in Second Life is that the cost of some items that are deemed neccessary is sometimes very high, and often, in my opinion, unjustifiably so. Fair enough if it’s a one-off custom build for someone, or some obscure attachment that has no function outside of a particular variety of roleplaying, but I’m talking here about AOs and dance HUDs. Some cost thousands of Lindens, and then with many you are tied in to using that particular creators animations – at further great cost to yourself. Some may say that this is fair enough, and that everyone has to make a living, but how many people seriously make their living from Secondl Life, and quite honestly, anyone considering Second Life as a viable way to make a living is, in my humble opinion, quite barmy. Fine as a hobby, so why charge such extortionate prices? Greed?

 

However, there are some creators out there who seem to make things for the sheer joy of it, and though some do charge a reasonable amount, many also give their stuff away free, sometimes even with full permissions, so you can give your friends a copy.

 

Everyone loves a freebie, and if the item turns out to be a dud, what is the loss? It’s a bit of a different matter when it costs L$ 1000, and that is the case with quite a bit of stuff available in Second Life.

 

As a ‘noob’ or even a more experienced SLer we are all on the lookout for that much needed addition that makes our SL experience more pleasant. Cost is sometimes a big hurdle for some, and for others, like myself, getting something that will do the job at a minimal cost is what we need. And some stuff is really worth paying for, but that is a subject for another post.

 

Oracul AO.

 

A few months ago whilst trawling the SL Marketplace looking for a decent AO I came accross the Oracul AO. The price varied from a modest $L150 to a very reasonable L$300. However, what I didn’t know at the time, was that the actual HUD is available for free, without animations, but here is where the big surprise lies, individual mocap animations are available for around L$10 each. There is also comprehensive support available on a website, and the creator, Daiz Papp deals with issues very promptly indeed. He is Japanese, and I’m not sure if he speaks English, or uses machine translation for his website and instructions, so at times it takes a while to work out what is meant, but at least it is there, and is a lot easier to comprehend than some of the stuff I’ve tried to understand written by geeks who suspposedly speak English as a first language. It’s a very well thought out AO, and takes up minimal space on the UI, just three small buttons in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

 

CG Facelight.

 

There are facelights that are really searchlights in disguise, and there are expensive facelight ‘systems’ that can cost quite a lot. Being of a ‘sod that, I ain’t paying that‘ kind of girl I searched for a more reasonably priced alternative. I came across the CG Facelight on the old Xstreet website, but it’s still available on the SL Marketplace at the same price, L$0. Now, that might make you think that it’s a load of rubbish, however, as a ‘basic’ facelight it does have a lot of very useful features. The colour of the light can be changed, I think there are nine options in all, not only that the brightness levels can be varied, and also the radius of the light, so there is absolutely no reason to blind everyone within 100 metres, unless of course you want to. This item is full permissions too, which means that you can give copies aways to your friends, or your enemies too, if you are of a truly kindly disposition.

 

NuTec Dance HUD

 

Now I like dancing, and as it is such an essential and surprisingly popular activity in Second Life that it almost requires an HUD so that we can access our favourite dances at the click of the mouse. There are many available, some costing quite a lot, and that is without any dances included. I, of course, was not prepared to fork out a lot, and then find myself tied in to using proprietory dances, oh, no, no, no. “Proprietory” is a very dirty word to me, and even where proprietory stuff is supplied free of cost, it is still regarded with some suspicion by me. I am not a purist though, and will use that kind of stuff if I need to. A quick look on the SL Marketplace soon led me to the NuTec Dance HUD at a very reasonable L$49. I read the product description, and thought that it was worth a gamble, as so much on the Marketplace doesn’t do what it says on the tin, or is incredibly hard to use. I bought the item, and all I can say is that I’m well impressed. It is simplicity itself to use, and dances can be added. It comes ready loaded with a lot of freebie dances, but what really caught my eye was that it has the ability to have as many dances as you like installed. It is easy to add dances too. Just drag them from your inventory into the contents tab in the Edit window. That’s all, the HUD does the rest, no configuring notecards or anything like that. You can also invite up to 25 others to dance with you, and a chimera is also supplied so that others can invite themselves to dance with you, but this is an optional extra: you don’t have to use it.

 

HOC Expresso HUD

 

Wanna be a grinning idiot? Or be the best at gurning in SL? Well, this is the tool for the job. A freebie, and one of the products of Guu Nishi’s creative, and sometimes slightly warped mind. You’ll find the Expresso HUD on the freebie wall outside the HOC shop (House of Curios, for the uninitiated), along with a large selection of other free stuff, all of it, except the Nixi Tube clock is free, so don’t be put off by the prices on some of the product displays, they are a legacy of when these products were being sold. The Expresso HUD sits neatly on the top right hand side of your screen, though unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have a minimise button… no problem, we’ll come to that a bit later. There are twenty expressions included in the HUD, all except the auto-smile are fixed, so if you click an expression accidentally, you will be walking around with maybe a scowl, or with your tongue sticking out at people. The auto-smile turns you into the grining idiot I just mentioned. The jury is still out on auto-smile, some love them, some hate them. I personally would like something that automates a range of facial expressions, randomising them, and I’m sure that somewhere in SL I could get something to do just that, but it probably costs a few thousand Lindens. Whilst your at Guu’s shop, check out the stuff you have to pay for, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised that you don’t have to shell out a fortune for decent stuff, and Guu is especially talented when it comes to shoes and eye glassses. There is a lot of other stuff too, which is worth checking out, all really well made and excellent value. I can’t praise HOC products enough, and just wish there was a greater range of products available. The Strawberry Fizz shop opposite is also well worth a peek, if you like nice clothes.

 

My Eye View HUD

 

If you don’t like the default camera view angle of the viewer there are alternatives. Some, of course you have to pay for, but those are beyond the scope of this post, and though they may include some advanced features, if all you want is a basic HUD that allows you set your camera angle so that it follows your bum around, the My Eye View HUD is hard to beat at L$0 on the Marketplace. I love it, and it is a permanent fixture now, and great if you are into machinima, in which I’m taking my first faltering steps. The controls are basic, but adequate, and above all, easy to understand and use.

 

Laser Eyes + HUD

 

If you are into entirely frivolous and essentially useless items, then this is one for you. Useless and frivolous it may be, but it is a lot of fun! Basically this attachment gives you the ability to zap other avatars with twin laser beams from your eyes, Very easy to use, you just wear the laser eyes and the seperate HUD and you’re away! There are various colours of beam to choose from, and also different thicknesses of beam, and differing ranges. The sound effects are quite fun too. I said that this was useless, well, not entirely, as is pointed out in the accompanying notecard to the product, it can be used as a laser pointer to show other avis where to look – I just prefer to use it to zap people!

 

Ahh! I mentioned the lack of a minimise button on the HOC Expresso HUD.  If you have by now got everything mentioned here attached, your screen will now be quite crowded.  Easy solution, you can ‘hide’ all your HUDs with a simple keystroke – just press Alt + Shift + H and they disappear.  Press that combination again and they are back. Simple!

 

DISCLAIMER

 

I do not work for, nor have I been commissoned by the creators of the above products to give them a plug. I am just a very satisfied customer.

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~ by susannahavonside on November 20, 2011.

2 Responses to “Second Life Essentials: Part One, AOs and HUDs”

  1. I am very pleased by your news that there are quality products to be found in SL at a very low or zero cost, and I shall certainly be looking at the products you described. Very very useful information.
    You are very kind to have taken the time and effort to pass this on to others.

    Thank you very much Susannah!

    Jenni…XXXX

  2. Hi Susannah I miss you you must be so busy with your work here. Seems quiet of late in Osgrid. I hope you get in soon. Thanks for all your tips. Jess Relait

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