How to save your land from unnecessary lag by shopping in world
By Filipa Thespian
Peeling back the bubble-wrap reveals my hearts delight. I am very excited, so I do it slowly, enjoying the anticipation, the titillation, and the thrill of it all. Revealing one corner, then some water, some more green, another corner, until finally my brand new sim is revealed to me in all its pixel-y goodness. Oh how I love a fresh clean canvas ready to be turned into a 3D work of art and functionality.
There’s nothing quite like building your own sim – putting together all the pieces that turn a flat green expanse surrounded by vast oceans of water, into an interesting, thriving community.
I did get to do just this recently, start a new build on my own sim. The in-world home of iMoogi.tv (but that’s another article). Oh what fun, what joy it is, terraforming, building, placing furniture, landscaping … until the day I am nearly done and THEN I do a sim script check. That one thing we all should be doing constantly from day one to avoid a big problem after the fact – but don’t.
All progress grinds to a halt as I stare at the ungodly memory drain from all this amazing new furniture I’d just purchased. After I get beyond my own avatar being at the top of the list with over 7,000, I come to find my very expensive marvelous new beach furniture and some of my equally expensive office furniture is, well, eating my sim alive! Not a single one of the beach items I got from this one vendor was under 1,400 on the script counts (some over 3,000). To add insult to injury, my photo studio was over 6000, and the window control system in my office was 6,650 all by itself.
When I am finally able to pick my jaw up off the ground and realize “this is why my friends can’t move when they land and the sim has to load for them for the first time!” The drain on system resources was INSANE! So, where did I go wrong and how could I have saved myself this aggravation, embarrassment and ALL THAT MONEY?
It takes quite a lot to put a sim together; from terraforming to building your own structures. But nothing is quite as overlooked as knowing how to shop for what you need – be it structures, or the furnishings that fill them. It is so easy to cruise Marketplace, have it delivered and keep on going, never leaving where you stand. It makes this work efficient and quick … but as we just discovered, in no way painless!
Second Life is all about the 3D immersive world and the community that thrives within, yet the more technology improves, the less in-world minded we find ourselves. We’re shopping on Marketplace, not in-world and as a result, we’re missing some wonderful opportunities to save ourselves some rather large headaches.
Marketplace is rather magnificent these days, works generally well, helps keep track and speeds up the shopping process but there are a few things we cannot do and are missing out on aside from the tactile community involvement of shopping 3D with friends. The one that comes to the top of the list to me, when I discovered this script problem on my sim, is CHECKING THE SCRIPT COUNTS! You simply can’t do that on Marketplace, but, with the help of a neat little tool found, you can go to a store and check the scripts BEFORE you buy!
Search Marketplace for “Script Count Prims” and you’ll find the tools about which I speak. These fabulous little morsels of technology can save us tons of lag and money. Be sure to pay close attention to the fine print – make sure the one you choose is to check PRIMS, not AVATARS as both exist. The one I found useful is “Dvandva Script Counter” but any will do.
Stores will not usually let you rezz prims and even if they do, it would be rude to rezz something like this as it has a few prims to it. What I do is “wear it” on Avatar Center. I tried as HUD but it needs to be on sim. You can slide it a tad so your avie isn’t in the way, and then just press the button to check scripts on parcel. It will list the details of every object, by name, and tell you the memory usage from scripts. From there, it’s easy to get the general idea as to whether or not this creator has a handle on minimizing lag in their scripts … or not … just by skimming the memory column. If the bulk of the items are low cost in memory, then you’re probably safe, but if you’re finding pages of over 1000 or even close to that number, walk away.
If an object is responsible for a memory drain of 1,000 or higher, a great general rule of thumb when building, is to ditch it, especially if your sim has venues and hosts events! Remember, your guests are also going to be running scripts, and you cannot easily control what they do, but you can control what you put on your sim!
No matter how gorgeous the build, you will regret what it does to your experience almost instantly if you don’t minimize! I myself prefer items that are 100 or less per piece. And yes, they do exist in quantity and quality. There really is no reason what-so-ever, for a single chair with just a couple of animations, to be a memory drain of 1400 or more. I found proof of this when the replacement shopping trips began. There are many options in comparable beach furniture, from other creators, that have even more animations, yet have a memory drain of less than 100.
The key take-away here is how important it is to shop in-world for your structures and furnishings! It’s what keeps our community truly growing, but also provides us the ability to check these very important elements that Marketplace doesn’t share.
Check every structure; it may not be the entire build that’s a problem, as was the case with my offices. Make sure you never buy a structure unless its copy/mod so that you can turn scripts off and save yourself from the black hole of lag.
I hope my pain has given you gain! I’m still cleaning up scripts and looking for replacements. If you have a great lead into amazing beach furniture and jungle hideaways, hit me up will you? Word of Mouth is still the best!