Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mesh Jira SH-2374 downgraded to maybe someday

Well, this isnt very good news. Apparently, the Jira I posted about mesh clothing, has been downgraded from Sprint 28 release to "someday/maybe" status. No word or contact about why this was done, though from this we may conclude that the almost 650 of us that see this as a priority dont really have a say in the matter. https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SH-2374

This is pretty disappointing for several reasons. As Nalates points out in her recent blog, there are several issues which are of a higher concern, like viewer crashes. No argument there, stability should be the top priority. What worries me is that this was done with no explanation, no comments, and we most likely wont be getting any if similar situations in the past are any indicator. Its just done. Having it go to someday/maybe status is the equivalent of the LL file 13, its like a trashcan. Sprint 28 would have been almost too soon to hope for, but this means its going to be an indefinite period of time, if ever, before we see any kind of a solution resembling a parametric deformer.

As illustrated in the image below, a wide variety of issues and problems could be solved with the introduction of some type of deformer.

These issues are new to SL. They are not new problems, however. In the virtual world Bluemars, this exact set of issues was presented and the fix they provided, a parametric deformer, solved those problems instantly and with perfect results. The effect it had in world was like night and day. Suddenly clothing worked, fit, worked well with other clothing from other stores and even worked well over other avatars. It eliminated the need for rigging or weight adjustments. In essence, it took mesh clothing and avatars from being largely unusable to largely adapted/adopted overnight. It worked in Bluemars, it worked for Eve Online, it worked for Guild Wars, Aeon, and a variety of other virtual platforms and MMOs out there. We are not asking them to invent something never achieved before. From the people I have spoken to in the game development community, both in SL and outside of it, this is a pretty standard practice.

Honestly, without this type of a system, mesh clothing and avatars are relegated to the status of experiments. They will not be widely adopted by the population, they will not be widely produced by creators. If the survey I listed in the previous post is any indicator, a large percentage of what people want to make with mesh is affected by these issues, but this does not seem to be important enough to implement the changes/fix. I personally will not be making mesh clothing without it, and I have spoken to a lot of people (both consumers and creators of mesh) who won't be using them or making them either unless these issues are addressed.

The bottom line is this: LL would be more than happy to ignore this issue, letting us all spend inordinate amounts of time trying to develop workarounds and fixes to address the many problems with rigged mesh attachments, none of which will really solve any of those problems. If we spend all the time and effort to do so, they will be more than happy to let us go about it that way, let us do all the extra work. It took six months of arguing and pleading with the devs over in bluemars to get them to introduce the mesh deformer there. Until they did, what happened there is exactly what is happening here: customers unhappy, designers frustrated with the extra work involved, the workarounds not really providing a solution. It is an identical scenario, and one of the main reasons I am so adamant about this. Ive been down this road, and there is only one exit that works, and it must be provided by the developers. Right now, the burden is on YOU and ME to come up with solutions.

If you are as unhappy as I am about this, then please comment on the jira about it. Blog about it. Post in the forums about it. Go to the mesh meetings and ask them about it. Write a Linden. Ask them why this is not a priority for them, or even on the list anymore!