Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why do I do all this ? Flashback...

I got asked this question quite a few times. Why did I spend so much time working, especially during the last few weeks on my stuff (including customer support), the viewer, the SLBI and Tesscatraz, not counting my many personal projects ?

Well not for the money obviously. I have a RL job and earn a comfortable income. And it's taking me quite some time and energy every day. Now with what I'm involved here I earn even more money but enjoy even less time to spend it. That's for the negative side.

I work because I can't do otherwise. I can't stand being passive, unproductive. Call me a perfect product of the modern world or a workaholic but it's the sad truth, I have to do something. But I love what I do. Let me give a bit of a background story and please don't think I'm selfish or megalomaniac, quite the contrary I'm quite modest usually. I will try to give my unbiased point of view upon things as they were by then.

When I signed up for a SL account a little more than one year ago, I had nothing to do and everything to explore. I quickly discovered BDSM there, and its community that I enjoyed right away. I mean, the very first day someone (Jerome Harford) chats with me and decides to offer me a set of Lulu's leather cuffs ! L$750 ! To a total and clueless stranger ! I worn them proudly for quite a while, and enjoyed them greatly. I decided to go along, exploring other restraints as well, because as a developer the wicked nature of their scripting hooked me right away.

And here is what I found : Lulu Ludovico's and Amethyst Rosencrans's cuffs were the most comprehensive of all the brands and... that was it. Their respective stuff were quite different and complementary but that could not be enough. Especially considering that the Kyrah Abattoir's KDC gear was stunningly looking but its scripting was not very elaborate. Now I'm talking about attachments, because good cages were very hard to find (I remember the HtF Designs ones which were very good).

I like things that lock, that I wear but are controlled by someone else (or at least not by me for a while). I like wicked behaviors and most of all, I like to innovate. At that time I was very enthusiastic because I'd just upgraded my account to Premium and had some money to spend and a First Land in Pak (one of the last of the First Land program, now the place where my little shop is located). First things first, I wanted all that KDC was offering. I mean, even now Kyrah's design is top-notch and it's the very must-have. I only had to script a little to replace her scripts with mine, and make them lockable the way I wanted. And I did. Oh, it's not hard to make an attachment to lock, all it takes is to make it complain by IM to someone when detached. With a couple of precautions it works like a charm.

One day I met Amethyst after losing my KDC armbinder her Allure sim (a very dear sim in which I was secretly working most of the time), and we immediately sympathized. She gave me a lot of advices, insights, opinions about what was going on... I think she gave me the kick start. By the way I remember her talking about Sociolotron, in which a restrained avatar stays restrained until released by the keyholder, no matter what she tries. Now the RestrainedLife viewer is kinda issued from that idea when I think about it...

One of my best friends by then was Alyssa Shenley, who was living with me in Pak. She gave me a lot of advices and feedback ("now why not put a menu on that lockable script of yours ?", "a transparent thing to block your clicks ? That's wicked !" and so on). I met Atmu Evans the sexy latex alien by then, with whom I was (and still am) very close and who was beginning to enjoy my scripts a lot, always wanting more, testing, testing, testing... I remember her first comment when she saw my scripts : "You're going to be a millionaire !", to which I answered my usual "naah". She was right, of course. RubberSlave Leroux was with me too since the beginning and tested the very first prototype of my scripts. And I met Coventina Dalgleish and her harem of adorable slavegirls, who supported me right from the start when I showed her my stuff. I also met Lillani Lowell (owner of Dictatorshop and designer of the Lockguard spec) to whom I demonstrated a version of my script, and who gave me advices too.

I was working with the bests.

And while I was testing my stuff outside with Atmu, I met Ollalla Sugarbeet while browsing in the Little Shop of Kink. She noticed the unlocked prototype of handcuffs I was wearing, which were very tiny, and showed a lot of enthusiasm about them. I gave her a pair. For a week she kept giving me feedback and suggestions, until one day I told her I wanted to sell them (that was after the 100th hint from my friends that I should sell them. lol). She gave me a lot of priceless advices regarding the costs, manuals, look'n'feel, versatility. I remember one day when she came to my skybox and I showed her the tiny key on the unlocked cuff : "omg they look like... exact !".

Let's be honest. I was not a great builder and the build of the cuffs had only one interest : realism and very tiny prims. They are a replica of the ones I own in RL and made them from the measurements I took, so they had to be sober and tiny. But otherwise they're very simple and some freebies are designed better. So I shot for realism rather than for gorgeous-looking surreal stuff. Realism means they got to do what you would expect them to do should you use them in RL. That line of conduct has been hard to keep up, especially since SL is not very realistic in itself, but I did my best. People continuously suggest and nag, and I constantly have to ponder their ideas against my own line.

At that time, Lillani was confined in a big glass cage for the Big Brother contest and I got to talk to show her the cuffs just before release (I had some problems with Lockguard). Oh by the way, she should have won the contest ;)

And I released the cuffs and an ugly-looking version of the straps (4 prims. Pah). Ollalla had demonstrated them for a full week at Bondage Ranch and people were very eager to try them, it was crazy. Now that's only one of the countless things she did to help me, and far from the greatest. It was an immediate success.

To be continued...

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