Category Archives: Building

The process of building stuff in Second Life. Prims, prims everywhere…

It’s All About The Prims


It never fails. Danielle will have an idea of something she wants for the house, or she and/or Val will have an idea of something they want for the club. And the first thing out of my mouth will probably be: “How many prims is it?”

Prims are probably the scarcest resource in Second Life, because they’re so closely tied to land area…and that, in turn, is closely tied to the capacity of the servers that run each sim. Each sim gets 15,000 prims or thereabouts; that’s all, and no amount of bitching can change this “law of physics.” And those prims are divided pro-rata among all the parcels in a sim. (I originally thought that, if you owned two discontiguous parcels in the same sim, you could take the prims you weren’t using on one and use them on the other. Wrong.) 512 square meters gets you 117 prims, and it goes up from there as you get more land. That’s it. Try and exceed the limit, and you’ll get the “Cannot create object because the parcel is full” message.

True, you can always get more prims by buying more land…but that requires a lot of L$, and more than likely tier fees to maintain it…and that’s if you can find a parcel contiguous with yours that someone is willing to sell at all. (There’s a 512 square meter parcel just north of the Cutlass and east of the Highwayman that was abandoned and reverted to Governor Linden. I have no idea when, if ever, that parcel will be put back on the market, so we’d have a chance to acquire it.)

Back when I built the original villa at New Roma, I was in the middle of constructing the roof of the structure while Danielle was furnishing the place. All of a sudden, I got the dreaded “parcel full” error message. Turned out Danielle had started placing this beautiful dining-room set, designed by a Linden…and each chair was something like 70 prims. EEP! We had a little chat about this, and, shortly thereafter, she received a gift of a low-prim dining room set from Allie that was much friendlier to the parcel. More recently, I had to keep her from buying a complete antique desk and chair set–even though the price was reasonable–because we simply didn’t have the prims to use it. (She bought part of the set. It looks good and didn’t overtax our prim limits.) And, of course, there’s the dance floor that Val wanted to get for the Cutlass Club…which, even after tearing down the skyboxes, the stage, and all the strip-club related gear, would still blow the prim limits. (It’s even worse at the Club…because some of that prim space has to be kept free for the vendors Danielle wants to get to help increase revenue.)

Of course, we’re not the only ones that have to contend with this. Even the great Madame Malaprop finds herself stymied by prim limits on occasion…and for reasons that are sometimes hard to plan for. But this is why, for every object we look at in a store, I’m always hitting the Edit command and checking that object’s prim count…and why I love finding or making simple 1-prim gadgets that do useful things.

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