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You Know, For Kids… 2.0

April 5th, 2015 by Marianne McCann

This site is being moved: please go to https://mariannemccann.wordpress.com/ – thanks!

~

One of my big projects this year has been redoing my toy store, You Know, For Kids.

Exterior shot of You know, For Kids in Bay City

I started it back in mid-2006, when I was still a fairly new Second Life© Resident, and kept it going for some time — yet with the advent of mesh, plus a focus on events and other work, the store fell by the wayside: still there, but lacking in new content. I decided that, in 2015, it was time to change that.

First off, I rebuilt the building. Now it does essentially look the same, but I’ve added a lot of additional mesh details, and even a backroom for, well, storage or what not. Really, I felt it broke up the interior a bit, and added to the feeling of the space as a real “thing.” First life stores have back rooms, while Second Life ones don’t often have them. It’s a small difference, but adds to the feel of the space.

You see, I want my store to serve three functions. First, it needs to be, well, a store: you go there, you buy things. Second, I want it to be a space one could, if they wished, “role play” a visit to a toy store with their friends or family. Third, I want it to have a nostalgic “mid-century’ toy store look and feel that fits with both Bay City and with my own “retro” product line.

With the first part of this in mind, I’ve moved to the E2V Vendor system, which allows people to not only buy my products, but get cool stuff like store credit, redelivery in case they lose anything, and even gift cards. Except, sticking with the vintage feel, we’ll call them “gift certificates.”

The front Desk at You Know, For Kids

I’ve been adding additional details to the store, to enhance both the “RP” and nostalgia factors. The gift certificates are presented as gift certificate books, the credit terminal is the old “knuckle banger” type of credit card machine, and the redelivery terminal is a “lost and found” box. I want to avoid a lot of the “expected” Second Life-specific things — kiosks and terminals, signs that vend, etc. — while still having the functionality people expect.

When I’m putting stuff on the shelves, everything is presented as stock on the shelf, sometimes with signs attached and usually with additional stock boxes, to give it a “full shelf” feel. It’s still sparse yet, but this will, I suspect, change as I go along.

The overall interior “motif” of the space is mid-century, with a slight additional circus theme. Striped walls and some circus animal drawings I did to tie it all together. Well, I did have help, studying my old Walter T. Foster books as well as some vintage toy store gift wrap I recently got ahold of.

Interior shot of You Know, For Kids in Bay City

Of course, I’ve also been slowly adding new stock to the store, while revising old stock to mesh, with new features when appropriate. I’ve learned a lot more scripting and such since I did my earlier toys. It’s fun to be back in the swing of it again. I’m pretty proud of the new line, and am looking forward to putting out more over the next few months.

I hope you’ll visit the new store, even if you don’t buy anything, just to enjoy the space. I’d also love your feedback — not just toys I need to build (though I love suggestions), but any details you feel the place needs to have.

As always, You Know, For Kids is located at 100 Willoughby Way, on the corner of Willoughby and Route 66, in the Imaginario region of Bay City, SL.

 

 

Land’s End

March 30th, 2012 by Marianne McCann

No Land Needed

So I noticed the above on the ad for the Direct Delivery Linden Bear as well as other Direct Delivery items (including those – to plug shamelessly – in my own store). The highlight is mine.

The somewhat more paranoid side of me looks at this, looks as the premium sandboxes, looks at Linden Homes, and looks at The Wilderness premium hangout spot, and wonders if the end goal here is to make a world where personal landownership is deemed unnecessary (outside of the homogenized Linden Home style experience). I’m sure, though, that such a notion is silly, given that land has long been king in Second Life.

Nevertheless, I often find myself unable to make sense of why land – particularly the mainland – feels so often ignored or, at the least, put second to estates. Why isn’t more being done to make land ownership be even more attractive to Second Life users, versus working on things that seem to push people away from owning their own little corner of the grid?

Anyway, while I personally don’t “get” Linden Homes, I know they’ve been popular enough to clone the Nascera continent a time or two, to increase the offerings of popular styles, and all that. For some, they seem to be all that and a bag of prim chips. That’s cool.

Also, I like the Premium Sandboxes. They seem rather underutilized, but that gives me a bit more space to spread out on those rare occasions I need to rez something out that can’t be easily accommodated in my workshop.

I have been enjoying exploring the Premium WIlderness area, too. Certainly, I’ve never been much to criticize the public spaces of Second Life (just read this blog a bit!), and I feel no need to now. Sure, some things could be better there. The animals are a bit… cartoonish, especially compared to the detail of the ferry boat, the shacks, and other details, but the overall experience ain’t bad. To be honest, I’ve enjoyed going through the Wilderness, finding people who actually do want to hang out and talk, and who are also enjoying their time there. It’s nice, compared to a lot of other spaces inworld.

Yet I wish more were being done to encourage people to create places like this on their own, and do whatever can be done to make land ownership – particularly Mainland land ownership – attractive. After all, we need places for those direct delivered couches, and lamps, and garden benches, and stuff!

Back on the mainland.

March 19th, 2012 by Marianne McCann

Nascera

Some of the most successful parts of the mainland — and I am basing success on “retained higher than average land costs and low amounts of for sale/abandoned land” — have been the city regions. The double prim allotment has been huge for these regions, as has the theming by the Linden Department of Public Works’ “Moles” (or dedicated Linden staff in the case of Nova Albion). Having a strong community group like the Bay City Alliance of the City Slickers has helped these areas as well, creating events and other things that build awareness of the area, providing a space for residents to meet and discuss their area, etc.

As an aside, it was even better when a Linden often attended these meetings. It gave us someone who could help us with the Linden owned spaces, help us focus our needs, and also give us a sense of where the lab might be going from time to time.

Beyond these are other spaces that have done a great job of building successful, popular Mainland communities on their own. The East River community, Chibo, and the Luskwood come to mind. Beyond them are smaller individual or group-owned builds that are shining examples of what one can do on the mainland, such as Cowell, the Lost Forest, the Bhaga ironworks, Lakeville, etc.

But for each Bay City or East River, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of examples where mainland has not turned out well. As many long term resident of the mainland knows, all it takes it one person to cause an otherwise beautiful region to become an eyesore. Lately, there’s been issues with people covering parcels with large, sometimes brightly colored and glowing blocks in a misguided attempt to drive others off. Beyond these, you have other blights: Skyboxes set too low to the ground, ban lines, lost cars, squatters, and random junk left on no auto return lands, “breedable farms,” ‘bot farms, gambling dens, and other sim resource gobblers, and so on.

The Mainland, by its very nature, encourages this. There are no rules (beyond the TOS and CS), no covenants, no zoning (aside from a few early examples, a’la Boardman). You are welcome to build your tropical paradise in the Snowlands, your winter wonderland in the Volcano Island regions, and put your spaceport up in the middle of Nautilus City. As one person put it to me, after building something wildly out of theme in Bay City, “well, there’s nothing that says I can’t.” They’re absolutely right, too!

Indeed, the only thing one really can do is wait them out. Speaking as one who has faced having a bestiality stable go up behind my home, and a ‘crash a plane into a building every two minutes” in front of my store, I have developed a lot of patience. Yet where in Second Life to have fun, not grit our teeth!

Meanwhile, the Linden Homes are almost the exact opposite experience. With a strict covenant and public lands that really can’t be fully utilized, the Linden Homes are the virtual equivalent of a modern, HOA-driven community. They’re off on their own continent – Nascera – which further isolates them. There’s little attempt at personalization, and much self-expression is quashed. The Linden Homes are not “Your World, Your Imagination” nor are they “The Weirder The Better.” They’re also not the “Frontier” Rodvik is seeking. If anything, they’re the “Anti-Frontier.”

So what to do? I’d hate to suggest blowing up all those Linden Homes but… blow them up. Replace them with City-style (double primmed, themed) regions, for example Future City, Fantasy City, Anime City, Cyberpunk City, Bayou City, Old World City, Farm City (a contradiction in terms!). And heck, make some attempt at positively enforcing the theme in these places while you’re at it.

Oh, and sure, why not also include a handful of regions in each of these that do work as the current crop of Linden Homes. But rather than put them in their separate safe place, integrate them with the world as a whole. let them be part of their communities, not just some place far away from the action, tucked off in some private corner. Bring them all together.

One more thing on integration: one of the great features of the Mainland is the ability to cover large distances. You can drive the roads all day — or sail, or take a train, or boat. Not so much with Linden Homes. If there was some attempt at integration, Imagine the possibilities! The best features of the Mainland combined with the best features of the Linden Homes. It’s just that much better.

A handy profile tip!

February 13th, 2012 by Marianne McCann

In shopping inworld, I’ve noticed a problem that some store owners and others may not be aware of.

When the new web-based profiles launched with the “feed” on it, many decided they did not need that and opted to try and shut it off. Some may have turned off various settings in an attempt to shut this down or protect their privacy.

If this describes you, you may have inadvertently made it impossible for people to use your profile to learn even basic information about you or your store, and turned off the ability for people to find your store via your picks. Those who use modern browsers cannot access these things if you have them turned off.

A couple times recently I have seen items on Marketplace or elsewhere on the grid that I’ve wanted to investigate. Checking the creator’s profile, however, has been a dead end. no picks showing, no “about’ information. Rather than just grabbing the SLURL from their profile, I have to IM and ask – without even being able to read their about information which could state that they don’t want to be IMed in the first place!

So if this may be you, please consider the following:

At https://my.secondlife.com/settings/privacy

1. Set your “About” to either Everyone or Second Life, so we can at least get the basic biography.

2. Set your “Picks” to either Everyone or Second Life, so we can find your stores.

The rest is up to you. I like seeing other’s interests, but you may not. I also like the feeds, but you may also be opposed to them. Bear in mind that disabling them means one less way for your friends and potential customers to contact you (and you can also use your feed to just say “please don’t post here, contact me inworld).

Just trying to help. 😀

Let There Be Doughnuts!

February 10th, 2012 by Marianne McCann

Donut Head

So a couple weeks ago, I traded my brother Pygar Bu for a Bay City parcel of his, giving him some land in a different Bay City region. The new parcel was a bit bigger than what I’d had, meaning I had a lot of extra prims and a decent size chunk of land. So what to do with it? It felt “off balance” without something there, even after planting a tree and putting up a park bench or two.

I begun to think of putting up a little chinese take out window, or something along those lines. Eventually I did a good image search on “Deco Refreshment Stand” to try to find something in theme for Bay City — not knowing there was once a “Deco Refreshments” in Buffalo, NY in the mid-century era. I saw the building and I had to make it.

Meanwhile, Pygar is building a little food place up in Sandwich. I did not want to directly compete (like one can even eat food in Second Life™!), but decided — due to the proximity of a Water Trolley station — that it might be a good nook for a breakfast place: a quick coffee and donut before the morning commute sort of thing. That, coupled with being sometimes called the “Head Donut” of Bay City (a long story, involving the way mesh renders on lower clients), and a business was born.

So this is Donut Head. A mid-century style doughnut-and-coffee place for the commuter on the go. You can buy a cup of Joe, a mike, or a number of different doughnuts for L$1 each. Each can be consumed in about five minutes. It can be a fun outing for role players, especially anyone into a mid-century “vibe.” As you can suspect, it would also be fine for family role playing. A chance to get out of the house, if you will.

Really, though, the whole project is a bit of a goof, designed to fill a space that was crying out for something. But I hope folks do enjoy it. Who knows, maybe I’ll come up with some other thoughts. Would be nice for a “cruise night,” or could have a DJ or some live music now and again, or just the odd hang out, I dunno. I’m certainly open to ideas from those who might want to come up with something fun to do at the doughnut place!

As for the rest of the parcel – well, that’s a story for another time. For now, doughnuts are ready! Come check them out in Bay City – Dennis!

Let There Be Doughnuts!

Miramare Place in the Destination Guide

April 18th, 2011 by Marianne McCann

One of my places made it into the destination guide. To “celebrate,” here’s the little widget-y thing it generates. This page doesn’t necessarily play too good with the HTML, but oh well. :-)

About Bay City

January 31st, 2011 by Marianne McCann

NCI in Bay City

I’ve written about Bay City more than a couple times on this very blog. But I’ve always gone from what might be an erroneous assumption: I don’t need to explain what Bay City is, as that’s already known.

I’ve recently talked with several friends about Bay City, in light of the likely move of the former Teen Grid Bay City regions to make up the westside of the current Main Grid Bay City. What surprised me is how few really had heard of it, or knew much about it. So without further ado, an introduction.

Bay City is a parcel of regions to the west of the Nova Albion City sims and the Ahern Welcome Area. These regions were the first product of the Linden Department of Pubic Works’ attempts to redefine the mainland, and as such provide a large amount of mole-made “follies” and open parkland, as well as canals, roads, and other bonuses.

Also, thanks to the large amount of open parks and such, the Resident parcels in Bay City are “double primmed,” meaning that a 512m parcel in Bay City has the same amount of available prims as a 1024m on most of the mainland (Nova Albion, Nautilus City, and some parts of Kama City on Zindra also enjoy this bonus).

The area is lightly themed. As announced on the Second Life blog, Bay City is themed as “the American urban experience, between 1940 and 1965, perhaps best typified by Chicago circa 1950 and marked by a distinct deco influence.” I say “lightly” because it is mainland, and landowners are welcome to build whatever they wish. Many do, however, stay within the basic spirit of the city.

There is one great barrier to life in Bay City, however. While much of the mainland has seen skyrocketing abandonment and prices in the basement Bay City has always been known for being some of the priciest land on the grid. Most parcels start from around L$50k and go upward. On the plus side, it is likely to remain so, as it has weathered even the tough inworld economic times of Mid-2010.

Toy Boat

In exchange for the cost you not only get double-prim land, likely with more than one protected side, and nice views of Linden-owned parks and follies, but you get access to a network of roads and canals, the possibly of a boat dock in New Port, and nearby access to the SLRR and the Hau Koda airport. For those who sell, you have two infohubs in the city (and two more within a 5± region distance), free advertising space at the Bay City Community Center, and several other stores within relatively close proximity.

You also gain the Bay City Alliance, a group made up of Bay City Residents and other interested parties who work together to provide events and foster community in the City by the Bay. I’ve had the pleasure of watching this group mature over the last two years, and see a strong group dedicated to helping make the city a success. They’re one of the big reasons I’m there.

I hope, as the area heads to its third anniversary in May, that you’ll opt to join us. If you are looking for good, quality mainland, think Bay City.

Winter Newness from You Know, For Kids!

December 22nd, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Four new goodies from You Know For Kids, perfect for the holidays or any time!

First an update on my Ballerina Music Box!

This new edition has a more robust mechanism, playing swan lake. Click it to open the lid, watch the fully sculpted ballerina and key turn, and listen to the music. Wind again to hear more, or to close the box back up!

Also, say “howdy” to the Buckaroo BB Gun! Kinda sorta like what a legandary Wild West hero like Red Ryder might us

It is an actual scripted weapon, so I suggest using it with adult supervision. It shoots tiny BB pellets that can cause (minor) damage in damage-enabled areas. Don’t shoot your eye out, kid.

It includes aiming and holding poses, of course. :-)

Next up: The Glow Bug!

This lovable, huggable, worm-like plush doll is the perfect nighttime friend! Comes with a hold pose, and clicking on Glow Bug’s head produces a soft night light!

Prims are modify for that perfect fit, and Glow Bug is transferrable, making it the perfect gift for any kid — or kid at heart!

Finally, introducing Little World Doll

Little World Dolls, representing four nationalities, these dolls are “goodwill ambassadors” from a simpler time. Designed as dolls and decanters, they are at home in the bath, in the bedroom, or even as a kitschy decoration in your living room! Perfect for playtime, too!

This is a pack of all four dolls! Modifiable and transferrable, great for gifts or just for fun!

All of the above are available at You Know, For Kids in Livingtree and on the marketplace!

More cheek art in the gatcha machines!

December 2nd, 2010 by Marianne McCann

New cheek art out today at You Know, For Kids in Livingtree and Bay City! Better quality art plus more designs!

New Cheek Art

With Second Life’s viewer 2.0 came a new tattoo layer, allowing for this new goodie! Since then, it has been picked up by many popular third-party browsers, too! Although you can only wear them on a viewer that supports tattoo layers, people can see them on you no matter what version of the Second Life browser they’re using!

I recently updated the designs, hand-drawing them and getting a little help from my friend Robin Sojourner to provide better quality cheek art. Also have a couple new ones in the package: 21 designs available, including rainbows, suns, hearts, butterflies and even spiders, skull & crossbones, and snakes!

Sold in a gatcha machine (You know, those capsule machines like you see at the mall or supermarket), so you can randomly win one of the designs every time you buy. Transferrable too, so you can trade with friends!

Available at You Know, For Kids in Bay City – Imaginario and Livingtree!

* Bay City – Imaginario

* Livingtree

But wait… there’s more!

Available in the Bay City – Imaginario store only, it’s Winter Holiday Cheek Art featuring several seasonal designs!

Winter Holiday Cheek Art!

Standard Yületide fare is there, as well as a couple Hanukkah designs and even some Kwanzaa candles!

Hope you all enjoy!

Autumn Newness at You Know, For Kids!

October 8th, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Three new releases at You Know, For Kids!

First, it’s Hallowe’en time, and you can’t get candy without the right gear!

Jack O'Lantern Candy Bucket

This sculpted candy bucket is scripted with a hold. Clicking it will cause you to raise it up for candy, and “say” (in chat) the ol’ “Trick Or Treat, Smell my feet” rhyme! Your hand will go down automatically after a couple seconds, too!

Adding to the fun, it’s two special pinwheels! One for Hallowe’en and another for autumn!

New Autumn Pinwheels

These features seasonal colors as well as a particle surprise in each! The autumn one can emit falling leaves on command, while the Hallowe’en one can produce particle bats!

Pinwheel spins in the Second Life wind, and animated you as well!

Available at You Know, For Kids in Bay City – Imaginario, Livingtree, and in Fletcher at Inner Child Depot!=

* Bay City – Imaginario

* Livingtree

* Inner Child Depot, booth 103 in Fletcher

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