Taking the Next Step in The Mesh Project
As much as I like using my Basic Beta Mesh Project body for being naked, being who I am, I want more. This could turn out to being a fatal flaw in my character, I suppose. But I went to The Mesh Project (TMP) website to see if I could learn about what kind of progress is going on in terms of developing skins and clothes. (I went to their Warehouse a month or so ago, and nothing there seems to work with their avatar enhancements.) The website is kinda like The Shops, eye-piercingly bright and confusing. I saw a long list of skin designers but they really don’t have compatible HUDs from the sampling I checked out, where the rare link takes you to the store or the marketplace.
Like most SLers, I don’t have a lot of time for this stuff, so I decided to just go to SLMP, search on The Mesh Project and see what was going on. I didn’t work my way through all 615 matching items, but there are shoes (very high priced), tattoos, lingerie, and leggings/pants. Not one dress like the one given away, which no longer seems to be a part of my inventory via the Stylemode. I bought T.C.’s Kimmy Black lingerie outfit for $L80 (I later learned you can get a color pack for $L169), which comes with innumerable appliers, and a navy Cashmere Shruggy and coal Skinny Pants from .SALT for $L50 and $L100, respectively.
I opened them up at home, and clicked on the objects and saw a HUD appear and it told me to put on my Stylemode HUD. I put that on and received this message:
"Stylemode is out of date, please visit the main store to get a new one."
Scuse me? When any other HUD or Meter goes out of date, I am used to getting the new one mailed to me. What’s up with this? I warned you that while I love the body/feet/hands, I am wary of too much “we’re going to be proprietary in your face” hijinx that goes with Shopping HUDs and the like. I went there, naked, since I was all set up to test out clothes, and got the updated HUD, and to my dismay no longer had access to my free dress and shoes!* Further, despite what the new compatible items I bought said about being installed, they were not showing up. I needed an update of the body and it would cost me.
You can see the choices in my screen caps as well as the spiral of of where the HUDs were drag— er, leading me. I had a decision to make and it would be pricey to say the least. The cash register starts dinging at Starter, which is like the free version but no alpha HUD. But I’m flush at the moment, having a great new job with Somnia, so I can afford this. The fashionistas are providing plenty of coverage on the SLink Physique, so I rationalized that I really did prefer the Mesh Project body and would take the road less traveled. (The rilly big question, of course, are which designers are following which road. By the way the MP website presents itself, you get the impression skin designers are all lined up, but I don’t think so.) Nonetheless, I put on the Shopping HUD (grrrr!), tallied up the Lindens into its “wallet” and paid for the Basic Body. (The exchange rate is 1:1, which again begs the question, how is this for my benefit?) For that $L2,500, I get the Alpha HUD (see pic below right) for controlling zones where my skin may be showing up. I also got 5 sets of hands (10 if you count right and left, which is nice to mix and match) and 3 feet (bare, low, mid—alas, no high) as well as the body, plus the 36 skins tones that came with the free beta body.
I put them on and Voila! the items appeared on the Stylemode HUD. I tried on the skinny pants first and wowsers, they look terrific, like system pants but on my mesh bod. (hmmm)
The lingerie show up on the outfit menu, so when I clicked on it, they overwrote the pants. It may have been nice to have choices. However, clicking on the pants resettled them over my hips without affecting the bra. (The Deluxe body would allow further “layering” for twice the price of Basic.) I am not so pleased with the bra, as you can see on my A-cup body, it seems to be mapping to the system rather than the mesh body, flattening out the look. Even with my C-cup version, that appears to be the case. Maybe the designer has goofed up. I will do further testing. However, looking down the front of the bra … That’s not a system profile, and impressive mesh magic!
The Cashmere Shruggy is much more what I would expect, so I’ve got a great outfit from Mariesthere/.SALT for $L150!
I went back and bit the bullet for an Official The Mesh Project t-shirt at $L250, a price I would expect to find color change HUDs for some variety. It’s a sweet t-shirt that doesn’t disappoint. It comes as an outfit so it bumped the pants off and when I reinstated the pants, the shirt bottom got cut off. I would have prefered the shirt overlapping the pants. (Please don’t tell me the Deluxe version would accommodate that!)
Another piece of good news is that I tried my SLink-compatible Mid Heel shoes from Somnia with my TMP feet in Mid mode and with some adjusting (see foot above left v foot at right), including increasing foot size, they fit! Woohoo! Granted, I will need to save the shape with my size 42 feet, but that’s not a problem when I’ve built up a decent inventory of SLinkies, although I’ve favored High heels, which means I need to put out another $L500 for the Deluxe feet.
I’m really torn by my experience. I was chatting with Strawberry Singh—okay, it prolly seemed like mild venting from her point of view—but she was in accord that The Shops/Mesh Project have thrown what seems like an unnecessary step into the shopping experience. That doesn’t stop the place from being incredibly busy, I must admit. And while the Stylemode HUD is a worthy attempt to integrate the proliferation of HUDs that mesh enhancements have fomented, it remains to be seen how convenient it is.
*Silly girl! But of course, the dress doesn’t follow the rules and can just be attached like most mesh dresses. Don’t ask me why it seem to fit while other mesh, including fitted mesh, doesn’t.
The Mesh Project Store: 179 items as of 8-26-14 and each priced at $L250, not color-changing attributes
Marietheses (.SALT) Store: 24 TMP items, reasonable prices in $L50-100 range
T.C. The.Creatures: 123 TMP items, $L60-$L170 range