OK, this is strange…
Maybe you remember: three weeks ago, I blogged about the synagogue I built in InWorldz. It’s been sitting on Falconvale’s main sales floor (we have two now, each 150 meters square — Hah! to SL and their antiquated 10-meter size limit) waiting for a minyan to inquire about it.
So… Monday afternoon, while Alisa and I were up there doing something or other, a visitor drops by to look around. After tp’ing back out, he IM’s her (there’s a bug in InWorldz IM code that sometimes shows people as being offline when they’re not), asking her to ask me to get in touch with him. I’m thinking, “Hot darn, somebody wants a copy of the schul…” Then she tells me the name: Pastor Dan.
So I send him an IM. He wants to commission a custom build project, in two parts. He’s just bought an InWorldz sim and named it after his church, “The Church of the Living God”, and he wants houses for his… um, flock. Here’s what the sim looked like two days ago:
And here’s Pastor Dan and I on a typical parcel, discussing what he wants:
The grassy area of each one is 17 x 24 meters (55′-9″ x 78′-9″). He wants me to design and build 3 different two-story houses to completely fill each space; no yard, no landscaping. That’s 408 square meters per floor, just shy of 4400 square feet. Think about that… Who needs 8800 sq. ft. of living space for their organic selves, let alone their avatar??? I’m guessing there will be, at most, two avatars per house: a duly “married” couple — one man, one woman, what else? — unless they also have people roleplaying children (I won’t ask).
Anyway… I agreed to do it, and to come up with a price. I went back to our building platform and started “sketching”, as I call it — beginning with the floor (since I knew its dimensions), copying that 5 meters up for the second level, and throwing up some walls — all right-brain activity, while the left brain was visualizing a final look. Lemme tell ya, brothers and sisters: 17 x 24 meters is just as huge as it sounds, and as it looks compared to avvies standing in it (see the second photo).
Mind you, this is InWorldz; the prim limit on a private island (tested and proven, by the way) is 45,000 — hardly a “limit” at all; I can build with as much primmy detail as I want. Balancing that: since I use the Imprudence viewer, I can make a single prim as big as I need; no sticking pieces together. But, even though I’m way to the left on social issues, when it comes to architecture I’m a conservative, and when it comes to virtual architecture I’m not only aware of the issue of many builds being drastically over-scaled (camera placement or not) but agree for the most part.
So I’m sketching… and deciding what the first of the three should look like, all the while trying to ignore the rising aesthetic misgivings… and something else, too. As virtual architects go, I’m a n00b on the scene. I have no reputation — yet — which means that this project, by default, will have a big influence on how my work is perceived. I surprised myself to discover that’s important to me. The “Seconderth” series has introduced me to some builders I really admire, and I aspire to be thought of in the same way.
Anyway… misgivings aside, I’m going through with it. I tp’d Pastor Dan to the build platform yesterday to give him a look at what Alisa and I have come up with so far. He liked them, and he didn’t blink when I gave him the price.
That’s the first part of the commission. Here’s Part 2:
Pastor Dan wants me to build him a megaprim megachurch. That’s the photo he handed me… it’s what he wants. A friend of his gave it to him, and Dan has no idea what it’s called or where it is, so I can’t even Google for more images of it. That’s all I have to work from — that, and the size of the plot (60 x 60 m), and a maximum capacity of 40 avatars. No clue at all how the inside should look.
Have you caught on to the irony yet? Let’s put it this way: I’m giving Pastor Dan the benefit of the doubt, and am willing to assume that he doesn’t care that he’s commissioned an unbeliever to build his house of worship.