Keep visitors by preloading textures with these five tricks

GreyRez256Visitors are arriving on your Second Life parcel regularly, however they are teleporting away after a few minutes without exploring the area. When you ask why they left so soon they explain that everything remained gray for too long and couldn’t see anything.  They cannot read the signs or see the ground and so they leave.

The most important textures useful to visitors need to load into their cache first such as nearby signage describing the area and directions to go. This includes interactive objects giving out notecards, landmarks, and invites to your group.  Use one of the following methods for preloading textures.

  1. Identify prims with small faces visible to the avatar and apply textures from nearby signs to them. Small faces such as those found at the end of long skinny poles as well as arms of chairs are good candidates.
  2. Identify prims having a larger face which serves no purpose and retexture with the same images. Finally, set that face fully transparent through the built-in editor (do not retexture with an alpha texture because that will replace the texture you had just placed on it)
  3. Objects containing multiple prims often will have faces inside the object facing one another which are never visible to an avatar regardless of the angle they look at it. Move your camera inside that object, select just those inside faces, and retexture them with images from your signs.
  4. Some locations need visitors to wear an HUD during their travels. Usually only one or two faces are visible on the screen leaving the top, sides, and backs of the HUD available for texture preloading.  Place the HUD on level ground and zoom in with your camera to retexture other faces.  Afterwards, take it back into inventory and provide copies to visitors.
  5. Create a prism prim then hollow it, path cut it, and finally slice it in half. Now the prim has eight unique faces each containing a different texture. Change Z size to 64m resulting in the balance of the prim being 32m in length. After retexturing sink the prim under the surface leaving the center of the prim just aboveground.

You have just learned five methods of preloading textures and increasing the likelihood that important signage textures load into visitor’s caches first. Try combining multiple methods together at the same time.  Alternatively, pick up a copy of SequenSlideshowV2 which combines method one and method five. Configuring this to preload will cycle textures among all eight faces.