One tip I always share with avid Second Life freebie hunters is to check when the various monthly shopping events celebrate a yearly anniversary. This is often a time when you can pick up dozens of free gifts from the many content creators participating. One of the best-known and longest-running shopping events is FaMESHed, and it just so happens that they are celebrating their 7th anniversary this month!
You can join the FaMESHed Update Group for free, and with that group active, you can visit the FaMESHed sim and pick up over 60 different gifts from many talented, well-known designers, all for free!
However, I would caution you that the current round of FaMESHed runs from May 1st until May 27th, so you have plenty of time to vacuum up all the freebies. Today the sim is almost impossible to get into (unless you are a Premium member), and the lag is absolutely horrific. You’ll be clicking and reclicking several times in vain on each giftbox to get your presents, and only after a delay of 5 to 10 minutes each! If I were you, I would wait until later in the month when it’s less busy. Just mark it in your calendar so you don’t forget!
What I can do is show you just a sampling of the sixty free gifts available, so you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth the hassle to get into the sim and brave the lag. In all these pictures Vanity Fair is wearing:
First up is with a mint green minidress by Neve (which comes with a HUD with four colour and pattern choices), paired with the Camila hair by Limerance (which you can tint as you desire using the included HUD), along with sunglasses by Minimal and the So Feng heels by BREATHE:
Next up is the Soho dress in olive by Junbug, paired with the Misha hairstyle by Elikatria (which comes in four sizes, with a HUD with 20 different colours):
For a completely different look, here’s a blue top by Giz Soern, worn with high-waisted cargo pants in camel by COCO Designs, the Jessie Anime hair set by Ayashi (which you can tint any colour you like), and as the finishing touch the Savannah fringed bag by Aleutia:
Vanity Fair’s second-last look is the daring, skin-baring Vivien dress in nude by Kaithleen’s, paired with a pastel beads necklace by Meva and resizable Nina silver hoop earrings by Miu (they also come in bronze, gold, and pink). The finishing touch is a pair of vintage peep-toe heels from Eudora3D, and a round wicker Africa purse by Belle Epoque. (The hairstyle in these pictures is Lady by Truth Hair and it is not a free gift.)
The final look features the Hush bra and panties in eggshell by Dead Dollz, paired with the Bahia blue fishnet heels by Essenz, to which I added the Annoushka silver earrings by Ilaya and the Nicky crystal bracelet by Kunglers:
So, if you like what you see, head on down to the FaMESHed event before May 27th! These and many other freebies await you.
Now, one of the tips I have shared with you is to watch carefully for periods when you can join store groups for free. If you joined the JUMO group for free over the Christmas holidays, it’s time to pick up some Easter goodies! The store is offering its group members a free L$300 gift card for its clothing store, and another free L$300 gift card for its hair store! (If you missed your chance to join for free, the group join fee is only L$350, so you still come out ahead if you join now.)
But that’s not all! There’s also an easter egg hunt throughout the JUMO stores, with some lovely prizes for only L$15 each! You don’t need to join the group to get the bargains, and the eggs are large and placed out in the open, so they are easy to find. Prizes include hairstyles, jewelry, and haute couture with the signature JUMO touch.
Here’s an example of an outfit I was able to put together:
Vanity Fair is wearing:
Gown: Colette ballgown by JUMO (from the Easter egg hunt; only L$15!)
Earrings: Sienna earrings by Lazuri (a gift from a shopping event last winter; for some reason I can’t find their store in-world)
Hair: Eva from JUMO Hair (using the L$300 gift card I picked up)
Hunts in Second Life are a tried-and-true way to get some truly fabulous steals, deals, and freebies. For example, Petite Mort and Oubliette are currently having an hunt for six white Easter bunnies on their half a sim, with each clothing prize only L$10 each, a significant saving:
I have spent almost 13 years doing hunts in Second Life, and I have learned a lot along the way. So here are my top 6 tips for Second Life hunts.
Please note that in the following tips and tricks I am using the Firestorm viewer; if you are using another Second Life viewer, like the default SL viewer, you might have to use different keystrokes to get to the features you want. I rely on Firestorm daily, as most people do, and I honestly don’t know the equivalent keystrokes for the default Second Life viewer.
1. Know what you are hunting for
This may seem obvious, but sometimes people engage in an SL hunt without even checking the associated website, which usually contains a picture of the item you are searching for, a list of store locations, and a hint for each location. Freebie blogs can also be valuable sources of information, showing you what the hunt prizes look like before you go to all the trouble of trying to find them. (Don’t forget about Cat Pink’s hunt videos, too!)
This is also a basic rule: learn how to move your camera around the scene. You don’t even have to move your avatar around; just cam around the store to find what you are looking for. If you learn nothing else, learn how to use your camera.
In Firestorm, the camera controls can be brought up either by clicking the Camera Controls button on the bottom button bar, or by going to the top menu bar and selecting Avatar → Camera Controls.
The camera controls are divided into sections, as follows:
The leftmost circle allows you to rotate your camera.
The vertical slide to the right controls zoom; you can drag it or use the +/- signs for finer control;
The arrows in the square pan the camera left/right and up/down.
Across the top are six buttons. These are:
Front view – places the camera in front of your face, and facing you.
Side view – place the camera over your left shoulder, looking forward.
Rear view – places the camera behind and slightly above you; this is the default position.
Object view – allows you to zoom in on objects by clicking them. Hit ESC to leave object view.
Mouselook view – places the camera in front of you; the camera then moves with your mouse; the camera controls disappear in this view. Hit Esc to leave mouselook.
Reset view – restores the camera to default.
There are also keystroke commands for most of these options; you don’t necessarily have to use the on-screen widget. Here’s a list of camera controls. After countless hunts, by now they are second nature to me:
Rotate camera left/right
Rotate camera up/down
3. Turn on the lights
Are you hunting for an object in a dimly-lit store, or a sim set to midnight? One recent hunt had black eggs hidden in black corners of the store. Drives me absolutely bonkers. Here’s a tip: turn up the lights. If you are in Firestorm, Click on World in the top menu bar, then select Environment Editor, then Sky Presets, then Edit Preset, as shown here:
From the list of sky presets, scroll down and select one called CalWL:
Et voilà! Sharp, bright, clear light by which to properly conduct a hunt. In addition to CalWL, you could try out the presets named Nam’s Optimal Skin 1 and Nam’s Optimal Skin 2, which are also very bright.
4. Use a little helper
Now, this tip is controversial, because some would consider it cheating. Some vendors will go so far as to ban you from their sim if you are discovered using one of these little devices. I’m talking about object scanners, items which automatically search the area you are in for a specifically named object. If all the objects you are searching for have a naming convention (e.g. they all start with “POE” for the Peace on Earth annual hunt), then you can find them more easily using an object scanner. You just have to attach it, then walk around the store.
You should be aware that many store owners deliberately use misleading names (e.g. “Pine Floor”) or even gibberish (“asdfghjkl”) when naming hunt prizes in order to thwart people using object scanners. I’m not going to tell you which model to use; you can find them yourself on the SL Marketplace. In fact, you don’t even need to buy one, since there is already a perfectly good Area Search tool built into the Firestorm viewer (you can find it near the bottom of the World menu). And if the idea of using one feels like cheating to you, then just ignore this tip.
5. Use your X-ray vision
Here’s another really useful hunting trick that most people don’t know about. Did you know that you can toggle to wireframe mode in Firestorm, and literally see through objects? If you are using the Firestorm viewer, just pres Ctrl-Shift-R, and you turn on wireframe mode. Pressing Ctrl-Shift-R again takes you back to regular mode. Try it and see! (Note that you will get a momentary black screen when doing this. This is normal.)
Here’s an example to demonstrate. This is the normal view:
And here is the wireframe mode:
6. Only as a last resort: derender the sim/store piece by piece
This last tip is only if you have exhausted all other methods of hunting, and you still cannot find that elusive prize which you absolutely must have! Essentially, you select walls, floors, fixtures, and temporarily derender them (i.e., make them invisible). Keep doing this until you find what you are looking for.
To do this in Firestorm, right click on the object you wish to remove. From the menu which appears, click on More, then More again. You will see Derender as one of the options on the pie menu. Click on Derender, and select Temporary. And poof! It’s gone. Handy, eh?
Here’s an example of why hunts in Second Life can be so rewarding. This outfit consists of two pieces from the Easter bunny hunt at Oubliette and Petite Mort (the flower basket is a freebie at the landing point, and it comes with a hold animation).
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head: Giselle Bento head by Altamura (no longer available for free; this was an Altamura gift from Christmas 2017 at the eBENTO event, and you had to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get it).
Mesh Body: Jenny Bento body by Altamura (this was a free gift from the 2017 Women Only Hunt, and on this version, you can remove the head and replace it with any other mesh head, as I did here. Note that this free mesh body is now available at the Freebie Megastore at London City (more information here), but you cannot remove the head on the newer free version.
Hair: Hannah by MINA Hair (this is an old gift from a previous Second Life shopping event, no longer available for free)
Top: Lace trim sweater by Petite Mort (hunt prize; L$10)
Skirt: Cream midi skirt by Petite Mort (hunt prize; L$10)
I still get an incredible amount of personal satisfaction from styling a really good-looking Second Life avatar for as few Linden dollars a possible. (Hey, don’t judge! We all have our little hobbies!)
My litmus test for how successfully I can pull together a female avatar look in Second Life is to take her to Frank’s Place Jazz Club and plunk her down at the bar next to the dancefloor. If I get random male avatars hitting on me within minutes, I know I have succeeded! 😉
So, today I present to you a look that, from the top of her head to the tips of her feet, is all freebies or cheapies, including the mesh body and the Omega skin applier! I was able to do all this for only L$150.
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh Head and Body: Juliet by Altamura (Valentine’s Day group gift; Omega compatible with the L$99 Omega System Kit; the Altamura group is L$50 to join)
Skin Applier: Mitsu by !OS! (L$1 gift from their Easter Egg hunt)
Hair: Amy in mink by Firelight Hair (from The Free Dove freebies store; the Free Dove group is free to join)
Mesh Eyes: Realistic eyes by Dossier (from the men’s section of the excellent freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil; no group required)
Dress: Stretch Tube Dress in berry red (free group gift from COCO Designs; group is free to join)
Jewelry: Valentina Special Edition necklace, earrings and bracelet by Lazuri (from The Free Dove freebies store; the Free Dove group is free to join)
Shoes: Jai classic pumps by Rowne (comes with a HUD with 15 colour choices; free group gift; group is free to join)