People Who Live In Glass Houses…..

by Alphaville Herald on 21/03/05 at 4:20 am

One of the many 512m houses built by Purplestar Anubis

By Cienna Samiam

Greetings from sunny Kymeera! Today, I am enjoying the scenery around the world and I happened to get an urge to look at houses. I found the multi-island getaway and showroom of Purplestar Anbuis (Kymeera 214, 173). Wow. Now I freely admit, I’m not the kind of girl that does windows, but these houses are hard to pass up… if not for looks and features, then for the amazing low prim counts and prices that really make my wallet happy.

I decided to see if I could get some time with Purplestar to talk about what inspires him when making housing and see if he could share with us his story – how he got started, what he enjoys about Second Life, and, of course, the secret of those miniscule prim count houses.

Q: Thank you for indulging me in this interview, Purplestar Anubis. First, let’s talk a little about the person behind the architecture. When you are not playing Second Life, what are you doing? (i.e., school, work, etc.)

A: When not in SL, I can be found playing World of Warcraft and City of Heroes. I have actually been recognized by a customer in World of Warcraft. I have a character called ‘Purplestar’, and he can have pets, and I usually name them ‘Anubis’. A young lady I was helping out one day asked me if I play SL and I said I did and she said she just bought one of my houses. It was kind of neat, it was the first time I had ever encountered a customer away from my sales area.

Q: Do you have interest in architecture ‘in the real world’?

A: I had aspirations in high school of going into architecture, but computers appealed a bit more to me and so I pursued a career in the IT industry.

Q: How did you get started in Second Life?

A: A friend of mine introduced me to it, he said it was like the Sims Online but WAY better. And after a rough start learning SL and what it was, I began to like it.

Q: What drew you to building houses?

A: At first, building anything was difficult for me, I didn’t understand prims and scripts and how they worked. But someone told me about the Ivory Tower of Prims, so I went and did the exercises, and like a light bulb in my head lighting, it all fell into place and made sense. So I went back to my house and started building. I have always liked to design houses, I’ve doodled designs for houses since I was 8 years old. I was finally able to build a full size 3-d model of the dream house I designed a 5 years ago. It was so awesome to be able to actually walk through that house.

Q: What influences your designs?

A: I don’t base my designs too much on houses I’ve seen in RL. I find my self driving along and looking at a house and saying to my self “Too prim heavy”. I’m very prim aware, I know what it’s like to have a cool house but no prims left to put in furniture. =)

Purplestar Anubis

Q: I note that you have chosen to provide teleports and security as standard features in many of your homes. Do you think scripted objects in housing will become commonplace as competition rises?

A: From the very start I decided that my houses will have scripted security doors and privacy screens so that even the newest player can have a sense of safety in their home.

I remember the first week in SL, I was placing furniture in my first store bought house, and some strange guy just walks in, and proceeds to look through my entire house without even saying a word, then says “Nice place” and walks out the door and flies off. I though that was SO rude, and the experience definitely influenced features in my houses.

I think scripts will become very commonplace especially as SL is trying to make scripting more easy for the general public. Though I’m not a scripter, I have a friend that helps me make my script ideas reality. I was lucky to find a vendor that sold cheap basic scripts intended to make house and furniture creator’s jobs easier.

Q: As a follow up to the last question — what other kinds of ‘valued added’ objects can you imagine for houses of the future?

A: One detail I would LOVE to see happen, is a way to place houses more easily. To a new player, the edit window can be almost scary with all the various values and setting they just get scared. A way of centering a house in a plot of land would be awesome.

Q: What is the biggest challenge to you as a home architect in Second Life?

A: That is simple, the restriction on the size of prims, and the fact that you can’t link prims that are a certain distance apart. I try very hard to make my houses with as few parts as possible. Most of my houses are 3 parts, the house it’s self, the doors, and the privacy screen. I have come up with a special design that can be found in the floor of just about every house I make, and that design is used as a visual cue to the alignment of my house. I clue my customers in to the fact that all you have to do is pick one part of the house that is in the right place, and make the other parts match in the settings area and the house will always look perfect. I’m very detail oriented and try to make sure there are not gaps or misalignments in my designs.

Q: What is the biggest enjoyment to you as a home architect in Second Life?

A: My only goal is to make people happy. I love to hear that my customers like their houses. I also enjoy being able to take an idea in my head and make it “real”.

Q: Which of your designs do you take the most pride in having created?

A: I can’t really answer that as each house I create is almost like a work of art. Each house has details in it that make it good. I take pride in every house I create. And I also make it known to my customers that I am always available to help. I’m always happy to visit a customer and help them place their house. =)

Q: Tell us a little bit about the designs in your portfolio.

A: I have at present 22 houses on sale ranging in sizes from 12×12 to 30×30 most of my houses are in the 50 prim range and more than half of my houses fit well on the standard 512 sq m lot, I also sell several houses in tower versions for those users that like to live the “high life”. =)

I do make other items besides houses, I’ve made a few simple scripted couches, but my focus has been on various forms of meditation seats, from a single person version to set in the corner of your bedroom or out in the garden, to group version that can handle 16 people. I design most of them with group chat sessions, instead of just standing around talking, it’s fun to sit cross-legged and talk, it’s more “normal” feeling.

Q: What are your goals for the future of home building in Second Life?

A: It will be nice if prim limits begin to rise, as a builder I am forced to think low prim first, then consider style. As prim limits rise, the possibility of more realistic architecture will begin to appear in SL.

Q: Do you consider your work as influential?

A: I’d never thought of my work in that light but I guess in a way it is.. I make it possible for a new user to have a nice house without a high cost. My houses range in price from as low as $100 to no more than $900. I remember what it was like to be a “noob” not having a clue what I was doing and feeling lost at times. We are a big family and should do what we can for out fellow AV. =)

Q: In follow up to the last question — what aspects of your work would you most hope to have influence the marketplace and your competitors?

A: Price and features are my main areas of interest. I mean be real, if a premium player only gets $500 a week I sure don’t want to have to save for WEEKS to buy a $5000 house.

Q: In closing — what advice would you give others interested in creating housing in Second Life?

A: Keep it simple, real, and visit the Ivory Tower of Prims. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new shapes.

One of Purplestar’s 512m houses

A 512m ‘Rocket’ house.

A Purplestar Anubis custom creation.

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