April 19, 2008

How Not To Do PreFab Houses In SL

Posted in bucky tagged at 3:01 pm by buckybarkley

I needed to look around for a prefab house recently. I wanted something different than a Cory Edo, Barnesworth Anubis, Juro Kothari, Botha, or Kongo design (to name a few of my favorites).

Oh my …

It had been a year so since I looked around at prefabs. It’s amazing what people put out there and charge money for. In some cases creators want over 10,000 Lindens for a house that’s full of mistakes.

Like what, you say?

Glad ya asked :) Here are some handy things *not* to do when you build a prefab that you are going to sell:

Fit and Finish

  • Flicker – caused by overlapping prims. Tuck prims slightly behind each other to avoid this
  • Gaps – c’mon – just pay attention here …
  • Walls sticking out of sides
  • Lots of obvious ‘by eye’ building – walls at 88 degrees etc …


  • Too big – no, you dont really need a door 8 meters high for a McMansion
  • Too thick – I see doors .5M thick all the time. It’s amazing.
  • Same texture on side of door as front and back, but compressed
  • Doesn’t quite line up, is not as wide as opening, etc
  • Door Textures – doorknob at neck height or higher
  • Door Textures – doorknob at knee caps
  • Door Textures – really stretched out and/or cut off or repeating
  • Doors that are next to each other, where one opens one way, and the other one goes the other way
  • That’s enough about doors …


  • Using the right texture, but starting it way too high off the floor
  • …or way too far down
  • Tinting – tinting the inside instead of the outside for privacy …
  • Tinting – tinting the outside, but then tinting the inside as well so that you can no longer see out
  • Running a separate script for every single window in the house

Stairs / Ramps

  • Each step really high? – test it. Now test it with 5 of your friends.
  • Ramps that are narrow and easy to fall of of (hint: use an invisible guardrail prim)
  • Spiral staircases and ramps look nice, but are almost always painful to use in practice
  • Suggestion: Use a one touch TP to go between floors


  • Really stretched out
  • Dont match up
  • Different repeat pattern on the same wall / floor / etc.
  • Way out of scale
  • Compressed on the thin side of something (like the inside of a window or doorway


  • Room too small, camera angle goes outside
  • Spaces fine for RL need to scaled up for the average sized Avatar
  • This bathroom is the size of Kansas


Going to charge for the prefabs you put out there? Look around at the good ones first. And… look at the not so great ones. There is a lot to learn from out there. Keep building and keep smiling :)



  1. Rolig said,

    And then there are builders who use textures that are WAY too big (1024×1024) and put a different texture on every wall, so that the building takes a really long time to rez clearly.

    Or one I saw recently that used a particle script in the shower that fogged up adjacent rooms because the builder hadn’t bothered to limit the lifetime of particles appropriately.

  2. Remember, the vast majority of builders in SL are enthusiastic amateurs and have really no clue how to do professional 3D modelling :) … which never stopped anybody to place insanely high prices on their creations, of course.

    “There is one born every minute”, specially if you have no way to know what is good and what is not.

    Curiously, the fashion world has solved this last issue neatly: there is a whole blogosphere just for fashion, and these are quite critical of sloppy work and even refuse to review low-quality clothes… no wonder, then, that the majority of fashion shops in SL are indeed selling the “best of the best”. Although, of course, some poor quality fashion designers still manage to charge L$1000 for something photoshopped in a hurry and where the seams don’t even align… :)

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