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Monday, October 20, 2014

An Artiste Configuration Service? An Artiste Specialist? The Artiste Cluster!...and Why the Artiste? Why NOT the Artiste

Well these demo videos have at least given people who, if no courage to IM me or post comments and questions, gathered the courage to speak to me in public, IF and when  I run into them. I have had a few such episodes recently. It is a start towards opening up lines of dialog about this product, seemingly still shrouded in a cloud of mystery.

I will start dumping my brain now and then so you know how I am thinking and what's been going on.

Why the blog information without it being available for sale? The $64,000 question. Well my take on this is:...

If you are going to spend 25k on a non-refundable, un-warranted, as-is, new product, boasting 150+ features, you should want to know...."WHAT THE @&#$% IT DOES?"

That's where I feel we are at now. Us explaining and showing, what IT IS. I am trying to familiarize you with the product and those most knowledgeable about it. You should start feeling more comfortable as you digest more and more of it.

I will have a part here upcoming on the blog dedicated to SUPPORT, but let me lay fears to rest on that issue. Will I support the product? YES. There is and will always be unlimited 1-on-1 support. You may ask dumb questions. Ask me the same question over and over.  Ask a question that's answered in the manuals. Its OK. I won't sell more than I have time to offer full support to. The earlier you buy the product suite, the higher your priority will be in receiving support.

More of Yummy'z mind. 

Based on the type of conversations I've had lately with people, there seems to be a new avenue of opportunity running  parallel to...'selling the product as a user-central performance-enhancing package".

There appears to be a whole crop of people popping up out of the woodworks who have grand ideas of that they want to do, big production type ideas, but without, I've gathered, the will, [time, patience, confidence, sometimes skill-set], to accomplish what they want in their defined time-span. 

I think???. I could be wrong.

That being said, it has had me thinking of a new way to get good use of the product and fast-track its abilities to do some cool things without the buyer spending time they don't have [money they can't afford, patience they are not imbued with, and sometimes skills they may not be able to muster in a timely manner] that matches their hurried schedules.

I was approached recently and am in current talks with, a huge production house to provide the primary technical support for their vision. Should it come to fruition, it would be a chance to test this idea of offering an Artiste Configuration Service (I just made that up, have no idea what it will eventually be called). I would be going in and making a standalone Artiste Cluster version that will tackle the heavy-lifting required to deliver results to someone's Goliath-sized visions. (Its actually the 2nd time I was approached recently, by a producer, but the 1st was a smaller venue with a smaller vision, with limited Artiste needs, but still intriguing. But if this is a trend...then it should be recognized as such and go with the flow of peoples needs.)

So I am retrofitting the Artiste so that it can ALSO run as a 'stand-alone-cluster' super-charged, with multiple simultaneous interacting occurrences that can run a whole production. Not much more to do to it really, knowing what littleI know about what might be required. I am probably a bit naive at this point,  but will soon know more of what will be required. We already have the missing piece - The Artiste Relay...a very tiny HUD the performer would wear. I just need to expand its abilities a bit and make special versions of the Artiste Performance HUD. I suspect we will encounter some heretofore unseen issues that will require some customization based upon the unique needs of full-on story-telling productions, but we will cross those bridges when we come to them.

Myself or another Artiste Specialist, if they are willing, would be supplying the know-how and actual configuration of the Artiste Suite to make it sizzle in a full-on large-scale production. It will be fun, challenging, a bit nervy,  but may also help us fast-track its abilities to work in heavy-duty situations. More importantly, it enables the ability to demonstrate its cool features in the process and make people aware of whats really 'under the hood'. Its like a sleeping giant.

I am more interested in opportunities to run it through its paces, rather than its ability to handle "BIG", but I accept and embrace this new area of performance.  
I mention all this because this new way of thinking may provide an alternative method of realizing your vision with a way of sidestepping common hurdles like: time, money, learning, experience, confidence, frustration , etc

Meanwhile I will also continue on my current track as well of making the product available to the next stage, that as a avatar-centric HUD and suite of supporting products; that of a Release Candidate, restricted release. More on this later.

And coming soon...an open introductory class, high-level, covering the basic concepts as well as providing some face-to-face time and chance for questions and answers.

My fear of just listing all the features and just placing it on MP for sale, without any preparation time,  is that, people would get it, be overwhelmed at the amount of content, and find themselves feeling they were falling behind if they were not up and functional as quickly as others. And that could be a deterrent to giving up prematurely. Now you have time to grasp concepts at your leisure without the pressure of feeling you have to quickly become proficient and productive.

Now...

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Why the Artiste?

Is it truly "better than"? (I've been asked that) Better is subjective. Depends on what your needs are and who you ask.

Here is what I see are reasons to consider the Artiste as a total solution based on my own experience and the testimonials of other users:

1 - One system to learn with consistent protocols at each stage and you can make it do anything, all in one place.

2 - Automate repetitive show-time tasks consistently

3 - Save Screen Space

4 - Avoid show-time fat-fingering. 

5 - Avoid show-time stress of remembering who, what, when, where, and how to do what needs to be done.

6 - Consolidated functions and features

7 - More consistent and accurate timing.

8 - Avoid bothering others as to how they do something cool or wondering what to get, where to get it, paying for it, how to use it, combining it with other tools, remembering what and when to do what at show-time.

9 - Features are modifiable and adjustable

10 - Performs extremely well under lag.

11 - Four years in use including public performances

12 - Well Integrated. Parts engineered to work with each other seamlessly.

13 - Independent events.

14 - Delay and lead times that are adjustable

15 - Vast feature-set

16 - Unlimited one-on-one support

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Why NOT the Artiste?

1 - Price - 25,000L

2 - It can be HARD to learn for some. It has a STEEP learning curve.

3 - Sheer volume of information to learn

4 - Notecard-Driven if you are fearful or are super-type-prone.

5 - You have already invested time and money into other tools with the features you care most about.

6 - No time to learn a new system

7 - Skittish, lacking in confidence, about taking on something that is involved.

8 - You are only interested in the basics and what you have now satisfies your needs.

3 comments:

  1. I've been watching all the videos with interest - this is the first product I've seen that is an 'all-in-one' performance tool. During my time dancing in SL, I've spent many long hours trying to figure out HOW to do something in SL - to translate what is in my head into SL. But trying to wrap your head around all the parameters and options of something like particles is a very time-consuming endeavor for someone unfamiliar with scripting/coding. Though I eventually figure out how to accomplish the effect I want, I am always left thinking 'there must be a better/faster way to do this.'

    There does seem to be a growing trend towards 'big production' shows. I'm not sure if that is because that's what truly popular, that's just what is available, or if the producers of the shows are expecting to make tons of L$ off of them.

    -Con't-

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  2. There are ups and downs to this trend - bigger shows, by their nature, tend to be put together well (a nice tight show), which is a positive. Things like lag, camera settings, tight choreography, all those little details, are usually considered. Smaller shows may tend to ignore these details, or place less focus on them, because they are trying to churn out acts. On the down side, a big production means more work and more time, which in turn means that there would be less shows/acts to see.

    Dancing is not an inexpensive proposition in SL. These days, dancers need a dance HUD, a mover system, the ability to build lavish sets, use various tools like faders, special FX, lighting, etc. It's not for the faint of heart.

    That's why I think the concept of an 'all-in-one' tool like your suite of products is a good idea. It's a suite of products that give even a new dancer access to all those 'cool' things that seem to be expected anymore, like the special FX, set fades, and so on. And since they are made to work together, there's no wondering whether everything will 'gel' together during a performance as you might encounter using products from different makers.

    The ability to pick and choose, combine in all kinds of ways, opens up so many possibilities. Who knows what kind of creativity we might see, even from newer dancers?

    -Con't-

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  3. You also raised an issue that I've run into many times. Time. Though many people (myself included) may have the patience and the skills to learn a new 'trick' - most of us may not have the time. There are people who spend 8-10 hours a day in-world. There are others who only have 8-10 hours a week. So acquiring that new 'skill' may take a lot longer for those who don't have the luxury of hours and hours of time in-world. Not to mention the L$ that get spent on various items to create that 'cool new thing,'

    For dancers/performers who don't have a lot of time in-world, deadlines can also be an issue. If you are trying to create a new routine every week, your time needs to be spent doing choreo and/or building, not learning a new skill.

    As I see your videos and learn what your suite of products can do, I am excited for the possibilities. The suite of products has, in essence, done all the 'back-end' work for the performer, and they are able to concentrate on creating. Can't wait to see what you show us next. :)

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