Tuesday, December 3, 2019

LL changes the Marketplace fees

Hi,

Sorry for not posting these days and for not releasing anything. I'm still here and hard at work but the two projects I'm working on are big and are not finished yet, so I have nothing to show yet. But be patient :)

This post is about Linden Lab's latest changes to the pricing of the Marketplace, which you can read here. What I am interested about in particular is the fact that they cranked up the merchant fee from 5% to 10%. In plain English, this means that when you buy a product, the merchant used to get 95% of the price (the rest going to LL) and now they receive only 90% of it, for no return at all or any improvement in the service.

If you remember, 6 months ago LL had jacked up the fee of the process credit from 2.5% to 5%, which represents a significant loss per year. I decided back then not to increase the price of any of my products and kept my word.

But now this is beginning to accumulate. First the process credit fee and now this. And I suspect the fee will increase in the future since LL seems to think they have a margin, with Apple's and Google's fees being 30%. It's comparing apples to oranges, if you ask me, no pun intended.

Anyway, all this to say is that this time I don't know what to do. The calculation is simple : before Dec 2nd I received X*0.95 of any sale and now I receive X*0.90, so in order to receive the same amount of money as before, I would have to change the price of every product to X*0.95/0.90 = X*1.0555... Which means an increase of 5.555%. But that would put the cost entirely on the consumer, I would hate it if a merchant did that to me.

So a more just solution would be to divide the increase by two, so the consumer takes half of the cost and I take the other half. In other words, the increase would be about 2.777% only. In practice, that would mean the When You're Hot appliers would go from L$700 to L$720, for example. Not a big increase, but a noticeable one anyway.

I don't know yet what I'll do. I could also completely close my Marketplace store and sell only in-world but let's be honest, the Marketplace is where it's at. For most people, if a product is not on the Marketplace, it does not exist.

I've known about this change the day LL posted it to the blog but I stayed quiet, not really seeing a solution, and I still don't see one. I'm giving it a week to see how much this change impacts my income, probably not much but it won't go unnoticed either, I guess.

In other words, the prices of my Marketplace products won't change before next Monday (Dec 9th). After that... I don't know yet.

Marine


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Hotfix for the VixenTex plugin crashing

Hi !

It seems that after SL's September 24th 2019 update, the VixenTex plugin contained in the Vixen cuffs (especially the arms ones) tends to crash with a stack-heap collision, which means memory full. Nothing changed in the script but what used to work before stopped working after this SL update. I know the VixenTex plugin has always been borderline full on memory so to mitigate that I optimized it a little more and released an update for it.

The crash occurred when you go to the VixenTex plugin then choose a Preset, and to fix it you'd have to hard-reset the cuffs. Annoying.

With this hotfix, hopefully you won't get a crash anymore. I have checked the EleganceTex, HighbindTex and StrapTex plugins as well, they don't seem to be subject to this crash, only VixenTex. You can get the hotfix by doing a simple update of your Vixen cuffs (and collar if you want) at any of my updaters, you don't need a replacement since the issue is located in the plugin, which is in the main items of the Vixen set.




You can find an updater at the following places in-world :

My little shop

Dark Wishes

Roper's Dark Playground

Chorazin's main store

It looks like an orb floating above a pedestal, just click on it and follow the instructions.

Please note that Pak (where my little shop is) seems very laggy these days and this interferes with the update process. I recommend you try one of the other three slurls in priority. Chorazin's place is the least laggy of all.


Have fun !

Marine


PS : Thank you TotallyIn Corrigible for the heads-up !

PPS : If this script crashes because its memory fills up more than it used to, I expect other scripts to crash in the near future, and needing an update too. I'll stay on the lookout.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Update to the Proud Girls : Bake On Mesh support

Hi there,

Here is a small update to the Proud Girls to support Bake On Mesh and to give the ability to add environment shine on any layer including the skin if you so wish (Maitreya does not support environment shine yet but if you want your skin to look oily, this is the way to go).


Bake On Mesh

Technically an update wasn't really necessary there. All you had to do was to find an Omega or Lolas Skin applier that applies the special "upper bake" texture to tell your viewer to use the baked texture of your avatar instead of a regular diffuse texture, and that was it, but to switch back you would have to reapply your former skin again.

This update here simply adds a "BoM" switch in the Maintenance menu (and makes that menu a two-page one because there was no room left) :


Clicking on this button toggles between "Bake On Mesh" and regular for your skin (only). Please don't forget to unwear your body alpha mask or your breasts will turn red. If you are wearing an alpha mask, that probably means you are not using BoM for your Maitreya body, in which case you probably will soon. It makes no sense to use BoM on the Proud Girls and not on Maitreya anyway, it should be either both or none.


Environment shine

This one is a little bonus in case Maitreya Lara ever supports environment shine on the skin. But since I know some girls like to use the Proud Girls with a Slink body (apparently they fit not too bad either) and Slink supports environment shine, I wanted to add support in the Proud Girls too.

When you change the shine on any layer (skin, tattoo, bra or top), you can either enter just one number like before to change just the glossiness, or enter two numbers separated by a space, the first one being the glossiness and the second one being the environment. Setting an environment value to around 20 makes your skin look oily, it's quite sexy ^_^



How to update

It's easy. Simply rez the "Updater Proud Girls (rez me)" object near you and wait (don't be in "Do Not Disturb" mode), you should receive the new box shortly.

Or you can get a redelivery from the Marketplace, that works too.


Have fun !
Marine






PS : If you wonder what I'm doing now, I'm working on two very big projects for SL. One for my Maison De La Marquise brand, a new product that looks like it will be bigger than Pretty Mummy (and even sexier), the other is to update someone else's product that you likely own. More info later. So I'm far from being inactive even though I haven't communicated much lately nor released much. When I'm silent it usually means I'm working :p

Thursday, August 29, 2019

RLV 2.9.26.4 (Bake On Mesh)

Hi,

Here is a new version of the RLV with the new "Bake On Mesh" feature from LL. This is the only change, but an important one, especially since some mesh body makers such as Slink already offer a "Bake On Mesh" compatible body, no doubt others will follow shortly.

I for one will need to update the Proud Girls in order to let the user switch the skin between normal and "BoM".

You can grab the Windows version here :
http://www.erestraints.com/realrestraint/


The MD5 hash for the Windows executable is :
4a1a7792f7526b447015aaba52e34c5f


The Mac and Linux versions can be found here :
https://sourceforge.net/projects/kokua.team-purple.p/files/RLV/




Have fun !
Marine

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

RLV 2.9.26.3

Hi !

Here is a new version of the RLV, a little in a rush because more and more people seemed to be impacted by the "gamma corruption" bug that crept into the SL viewer a few months ago.

This is a fix by Linden Lab for the SL viewer, I merely merged it into the RLV, hopefully this will fix the issue. It never happened to me, though, so I can't be sure, but I hope it will work for you.

Another change takes place when your vision is restricted with the outer sphere opaque, other avatars will no longer appear as gummy bears (aka jelly dolls) when close to the vision range, but 2 m farther than that, because this feature is meant to be an optimization to accelerate the rendering, not to be seen by the user at all. Please note that I completely forgot to mention that in the release notes, my bad.

I also switched the sound support from FMODex to FMODStudio, but this doesn't make a noticeable difference at least for me. Thanks to Chorazin Allen and Nicky Perian for letting me use their code from Kokua.

One last thing. Chorazin Allen is for the moment publishing the RLV on Mac and Linux (and also Windows but that's because this is his primary platform) on top of maintaining Kokua, taking the relay from Kittin Ninetail because her RL did not allow her to do it anymore. Thanks Chorazin !


You can grab the Windows version here :
http://www.erestraints.com/realrestraint/


The MD5 hash for the Windows executable is :
cde9e97cf612e1d34c081ffde9c82dc1


The Mac and Linux versions can be found here :
https://sourceforge.net/projects/kokua.team-purple.p/files/RLV/




Have fun !
Marine

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Update to the carts, Treadmill and Mousewheel

Hi there,

Here is an update for an annoying bug occurring in the Mousewheel, Treadmill and all the MG carts when changing a configuration while under heavy lag. Sometimes the animations wouldn't play, sometimes the objects wouldn't be given correctly... and it would work when done a second time.

This was due to a race condition that wouldn't occur in healthy sims, but under heavy lag the timing wasn't good enough, so this fix should correct that.

The products that are impacted are :

- Chariot
- Dogcart
- Mousewheel
- Phaeton (both of them)
- Sulky
- Treadmill

The Mousewheel and Treadmill seemed especially sensitive to this bug, but since the scripts are exactly the same as the carts, I don't see why the carts should be exempt.



To update your carts and/or treadmill and mousewheel, simply rez the updater contained in the folder on the ground and wait, you will receive a new box a moment later. Leave the updater alone, it destroys itself after a while.

You receive a new box but you might not want to re-rez everything, especially if you've made substantial modifications to your device. I'm thinking about carts in pony sims like PFS, FFF and FPR, for instance. So if you do not want to have to modify everything yourself again, here is what you can do :

1. Get the updated device (carts or whatever)
2. Take a copy of the following script from root prim of the new device, into your inventory :
    *Chariot / *Dogcart1 / *Mousewheel1 / *Phaeton2 / *Phaeton4 / *Sulky / *Treadmill1
3. Edit one of the seats (for example where a pony sits) and take a copy of the "Seat" script into your inventory.
4. If there is a "GiveItemsAndWear", take a copy of it too (it is in the mousewheel and the treadmill only).
5. Edit the root prim of your old device and replace its main script ("*Chariot", "*Dogcart1" etc) with the one you took from the root prim of the old device.
6. Edit the seats of the old device separately, one by one. For each one of them, replace the Seat and GiveItemsAndWear (if it exists there) with the ones in your inventory. Some devices have a lot of seats (Chariot and Phaeton 4 particularly), you need to replace them all. Press Ctrl Alt T to see the seats in red so you don't miss any. In the Phaetons and the Dogcart, the cage is a separate seat that needs to be updated as well, but if you forget it that's not an problem. In fact, the seats that you must update are the ones where a pony sits, as the passengers, driver and prisoner do not change animations when the config changes, so they are not impacted by the bug.


Have fun !

Marine

Thursday, May 30, 2019

About LL's price changes...

Hi again,

So, following LL's latest post about the incoming price changes to Premium accounts, as well as region price and process credit fees, I would like to take something off my chest.

For starters and to avoid keeping you worried, I do not plan to increase the price of any of my existing products to offset the cost this change represents. Perhaps future products might be a bit more expensive than they would have been without this change, I don't know, I don't actually think so. Of course, never say never, but for now and for the foreseeable future (unless LL jacks the prices up even more in two months, who knows), the prices will stay the same.

There are several reasons for that, one of them being how I come up with a price when I release a new product (it's mostly related to the value of the product, not to its production cost), another one being that I am reluctant to change any price once it has been set, be it up or down. I remember when redesigning the Police set and replacing the Prisoner Belt with the waist chain and the Police collar, I thought long and hard before changing the price. It wasn't an easy decision (granted, that was a L$30 increase, nothing to scream about, but still).

But I won't lie, SL is going to cost more for me than it did so far, and the same goes for every content creator who makes a living with SL like I do.

First, there is the premium cost being jacked up (from $72 to $99 a year since I'm annual). Ok that's not a big deal, I can surely afford to pay $27 a year for, well, nothing at all in return. Or nothing tangible at least. Maybe it will help LL improve the platform and fixing the bugs ? In that case, ok take my money and make the damn thing work.

Second and more importantly, the process credit fee that doubles from 2.5% to 5% per process. In my case that means that it will cost $1000 more to get my money out of SL every year, once again for no change in the service whatsoever. I am not happy at all with this change, but I understand this is because of new regulations or something. Grumpity Linden has hinted about that in a forum post but he has been pretty vague on the subject. I don't know where the additional 2.5% will go. Will it go to LL ? To a bank ? To the US ? No idea. But someone is going to get richer in the process and that's not me.

Why am I telling you all this ? Because we are all impacted by those changes. If you are a Premium user or are planning to become one, you will pay more than you used to, meaning less money to spend in SL as a whole, since your stipend will remain at L$300 per week.

But there is a silver lining. If you've paid attention to the page I have linked at the beginning of this post, you have noticed that region prices are being lowered by about 8%, which is a good thing. Land owners who are not greedy will lower the rent prices for their tenants (you), meaning more L$ for the latter to spend, meaning more sales for merchants. One can only hope. At least I am decreasing the rent in my own sim (where there are four tenants) and I hope the majority of sim owners will do the same.

This is the only thing that can save SL businesses, in my opinion. It's that or merchants will have to increase their prices, which means a double loss for consumers. First loss because their Premium price will go up, second loss because everything will become more expensive. I pray that it will not be the case.

If you are a business owner yourself and you decide to increase your prices, trust me I understand. This post is not at all meant to shame you for doing it. The process credit fee increase is significant and we all have to make a living. I am just pointing out that I won't do that because I can afford it, at least for the foreseeable future.

Marine