The Firestorm Second Life Viewer Now Supports Bakes on Mesh

The latest version of the popular Firestorm viewer for Second Life, released on October 1st, 2019, now supports Bakes on Mesh!

The Bakes on Mesh release from Firestorm has been long awaited; apologies for that. This should be considered by all in SL a MAJOR UPDATE, and it is important that all our SL users upgrade to it. This update contains a lot of rendering-related changes from Linden Lab, without which you WILL be running into avatars that look badly broken to you. Even if you don’t intend to use or purchase anything with BoM, you will still need to be able to see BoM items in your viewer. Please take the update. I can assure you we have put this through a rigorous QA process; it’s a great build!

You will need to get free Bakes on Mesh relay HUDs for the mesh heads and bodies you use. In my case, I picked up a Bakes on Mesh relay hud for Catwa heads from the Catwa store (at this exact SLURL), and a Bakes on Mesh relay HUD for the Maitreya Lara body on the SL Marketplace (here’s the listing).

If you want to get up to speed on how to use these HUDs, here are three videos by NovataSecondLife to help you get started:

The best part of Bakes on Mesh is that I am now able to wear old system skins that I thought I would never be able to use again with my mesh head and body! Here is a French court look, using an old Marie Antoinette-style powdered system skin from Xtreme Reality on my Maitreya Lara body and Catwa Kimberly head:

C’est parfait!

You can download the latest version of the Firestorm viewer here.

Photographs were taken at the Château de Versailles sim.

Editorial: VRChat Needs to Step Up Their Game When It Comes to Contest Prizes

Look, I’m not saying you have to hand out golden trophies, BUT…

I think that somebody really needs to have a little chat with the people running VRChat about their contests. Specifically, their contest prizes.

The recently concluded Decentraland Game Jam gave content creators the chance to win a share of prizes worth US$275,000 in total.

Sinespace has just announced several contests with total prizes worth US$29,000.

And VRChat? According to their Spookality 2019 contest page, the prizes in their avatar and world creation contests are…

First place receives a $50 Threadless Gift Card, usable at the VRChat Merch Store

First through Fifth place will receive a Limited Edition VRChat ceramic mug, as seen on our Dev Streams:

Now, I can understand that contest prizes can be a somewhat artificial inducement to get people to use the platform. (High Fidelity very much learned this lesson the hard way; once the contests ended, and HiFi stopped paying out prize money, people stopped coming.)

But, on the other hand, what kind of message do $50 gift certificates and $10 coffee mugs send? And this is from VRChat, a company that has raised US$15.2 million in three rounds of venture capital funding.

It’s hardly a rousing reward for content creators, who may spend hours working on their contest submissions. Sure, you get bragging rights if you win, but couldn’t VRChat have upped their game just a little bit? I’m sorry, but to me this just feels…cheap. VRChat, you can do better than this.