First time Second Life users go through the process of creating a Second Life account and downloading the Second Life viewer to their consoles. Some users, after becoming more experienced players, choose to download third-party viewers for various reasons. Popular third-party viewers include Phoenix Firestorm and Singularity. It is possible to create third party viewers to cater to individual demands of players, but less than five percent of the Second Life population chooses this option.
The Second Life viewer provides all of the necessary tools to get started in world. The general controls to move, text chat, voice chat, and customize avatars are almost universal. In-depth customization of graphics and other user interface specifications are able to be adjusted using the preferences menu and toolbar options, located at the top left corner of the screen under the “Me” drop-down box. Basic game play can be executed using the default Second Life viewer, but enhanced graphic capabilities, useful to builders and experienced users, are found in the third party viewers.
The Phoenix Firestorm project is the most popular third party viewer. Builders and clothing designers enjoy the heightened graphics and mesh compatibility, as well as its more user-friendly interface. Firestorm is easy to navigate, easy to learn, and easy to experiment with when utilized properly. It allows the player more preferential freedom and is said to reduce the amount of lag experienced by those using the Second Life viewer alone.
The photographers of Second Life enjoy the Singularity viewer. For those players whose intention is to make visually appealing videos or take high definition photos in-world, Singularity is probably the best choice. Like Firestorm, Singularity’s user interface can be learned quickly, but adjusting the graphics and preferences will take more time due to the individualized specifications of the user.
When you’ve made your choice and have set up your user interface just the way you like it, come visit me at London’s Hyde Park social hub. Don’t forget to check out my other posts about get started in Second Life, and if you have any questions or know a great third party viewer you wish to share, post a comment below. See you in world!