What started out as a simple product review turned into something much more when I took on the task of reviewing Outy’s Particle Dancer. It has been one of my favorite particle tools to use because of its versatility. But there were things about it that I wished were more user-friendly, so I thought to myself, why not discuss my wish list with the creator. I was thrilled when he agreed to come to my home and have a casual discussion about his very unique design. If you have not seen his creations, he has designed many things and has an online store that has been highly successful in particles.
Outy Banjo came to SL in 2005 on referral from a friend who said it would kick “The Sims” butt and even though, as Outy recalls, it was a lot of grey blocks, he too thought it did. Three months into it, he wanted to make a light bulb glow, so started to work with particles. I asked him what things he has seen change as a scripter in this time and what things he would like to see change. He listed the pros. “One of the biggest things for me was probably allowing for PNG images for transparent graphics instead of just TGA, whose matting properties kind of suck. This makes for much smoother-looking particles. Also mono. I don’t care much about the back-end stuff regarding mono, but I LOVED more room to write code in an LSL script. That space is always a limitation on how complicated something can be.”
On the flip side, he stated his cons. “The cons all involve something that is unavoidable in new frontiers: Sanction. A new world starts with so much possibility and ABILITY, and then one person comes along, and… you know that old story. No more fun thing that you used to do so that the problem-person can’t misuse it. There were lots of neat creations that relied upon self-rezzing which was gray goo nerfed. I can’t remember the details of temp-rez prim limitations, but it basically broke Starax Statosky’s (spelling that wrong) famous wand that would rez all sorts of fun stuff.”
Ok, as someone who is not a scripter, all of that is like reading a foreign language. I am more along the lines of “Ooooohhhh pretty, I want!” He has been mostly coming into SL of late to support his products or answer customers’ questions. Well that was THEN. NOW he is working on advancing his scripts for an updated Particle Dancer, but that all comes at the end of the article and boy oh boy is there some good stuff on the horizon!!
He acknowledges that much of his success is due to folks like me. “I wouldn’t be anywhere if it weren’t for performers, entertainers, and dancers who want to add some glitz. When I learned a bit more about particles, I quickly found vanity is like application number one. The first things I made along these lines were poofers. Seeing people poof out Gizmos (yeah, the ‘80’s movie one) or whatever made me think ‘Yes! This!’ It took me a little more time to have the knowledge to make things more advanced. I think for all of the wearable particle stuff I’ve made, the main motivation was the excitement of being able to wear them myself and show them off. I’ve had many people send me pictures of their shows or just having fun with the stuff, and it’s always awesome to see someone enjoying something you’ve made.”
I then spoke to him about my “wish list” which was formed from the wishes of myself and others I have spoken to, who also use Outy’s particle magic. I have to say I love how humble and receptive this man is. I have heard horror stories about some particle makers that do not want to hear anything about their designs that could remotely be conceived as criticism, but not Outy! He saw it as a chance to push himself, think outside the box and challenge himself to please those who use his things. It was downright incredible to see! I approached it as a “wish list” and explained to him I had no knowledge if he could do it, or if there was a reason that he had not, and how much I do love my Particle Dancers but would be able to use them more if this “wish list” was feasible.
One of the key things for us is making them copyable, as they are a bit pricey. Keep in mind that there are so many variations you can use them for, the “per” particle cost is completely affordable and in fact better priced than most if not all I have seen. With this product you have the ability to choose MANY different type of particles and color combinations to make something unique over and over again. But at 500 linden dollars when you are buying two sets each, because they are not copyable, to use for hands and feet, that is 1000 L$ a pop for each of your dancers. He explained to me that when he first created them and put them on Second Life Exchange, there was no gifting option so they are transferable instead of copyable. Now that we have the gifting option on Marketplace, his updated version will be copyable so that you can use them on many body parts or even lay them on prims. Such GREAT NEWS!!!! How awesome is that! Bam right out of the box, he was willing to change permissions on them to make it more affordable for his customers to use! Way to go!
I asked him about the ability for the particles to “remember” their last setting, so that way if we remove them during a dance and we put them back on, we would not have to “muck” up the dance by everyone resetting them, piece by piece. Meaning, defining which type of particle, rings, electricity, fairy dust, whatever, then the start and end colors. He saw immediately how this could be a pain and very distracting in a performance. I mentioned that a trigger ability for the particles via a HUD for the person in control over all particles their dancers wear in a specific dance would be FANTASTIC! We talked about the ability for someone to control everyone’s, and having possible presets on the HUD, so that we could switch them quickly. We talked about how it would be nice to be able to select all the things you need, say electric, start color yellow, end color orange, then click a button and BOOM it happens.
It was quite funny that he sighed when I said HUD but he too knew that it would be much more convenient, and with the advancements in SL, it would likely be much easier now. He took notes on everything and at the end, read back to me all the changes that would be on my “wish list” and agreed that he would begin work on his Particle Dancer v2.0. He loved a lot of the ideas and could see how every single one of them could enhance a dancer’s ability in presentation.
Fast forward a few weeks, he invited me to his build platform to see the progress he had made. He was indeed very excited about it and thanked me for suggesting them to him, as it got him pumped up to be creating again. He was so excited to see just how far he could go. He has enhanced all of the old particles on the original with more vibrant colors and “fuller” if that makes sense, plus a glow option. He did not stop there, he added roughly a dozen NEW PARTICLES and I have to tell you, they are FANTASTIC!! Some are like nothing I have ever seen in SL. When they move around, they are so stunning, allowing immediately for more diverse music to be heard while they are being used!
He has started to work on the HUD, adding a “Dom” and “Sub” channel so like Spot On Costume Assistant, you can define someone else to be allowed to control your particles. He is still in the process of developing this, but the Dom and Sub channel are complete. He has made them copyable of course, this updated version, and continues to work on the HUD, feeling it will be done in November 2015… so by the time you read this! *Crosses fingers*
UPDATED Here is the link to his new version!!! https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Outys-Particle-Dancer-v20/122782
He is incredible to talk to. To see him so pumped up and seeing some of the surprises he has in store for his customers, was so exciting for us both. I HIGHLY recommend Outy’s particles. Not just for what they offer now but also because they are created by a person who actually listens to his customers. He actually enjoys enhancing his products for his consumers, and in fact has fun doing so. He finds this inspiring. That is the type of person I want to give my money to!
His Marketplace link is https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/2905. Have a look, I thoroughly recommend his products!
I would like to thank Outy once more for taking the time to sit with me and listen to the wish list that others and myself had in mind. Thank You Outy for going beyond my expectations of what a creator was willing to do. I made a friend… I think we all did.