I'm sure that anyone with a couple of months in Second Life has heard of SexGen. It's the most popular brand of multipose device, allowing two or more avatars to get cycled through poses without having to unsit. Way back in the old days, you had to have a cluster of pink and blue balls covering your bed in SL, and even though you could usually make them invisible, sometimes it was hard to tell which ball was the complement to the one your partner was on. (Anyone remember the 'clusterfuck' bed in the old Celestia club? Excellent example.) So along comes the concept of the multipose system. This merely means that through a menu-controlled script, you can choose what pose you and your partner(s) are in, and the script loads a new animation set on command. I know everyone reading this probably knows all of this already, but I hate leaving people in the dust, conceptually. The physical structure of multipose systems is deceptively simple. There's a one-prim box, and it contains the scripts, the animations, and a few poseballs. The bed, or whatever furniture is associated with it, is nonessential to the working of the multipose system. But necessary if you're going to keep up the illusion of the avatars actually sitting or laying on something.
There are several multipose systems around in SL, but the most successful is SexGen, established by Stroker Serpentine. SexGen beds come pre-loaded with animations, available in different assortments, and they're upgradable to a certain extent. You can visit the main SexGen store, Strokerz' Toyz, in Eros, and see the variety of styles available. There's a good review of SexGen in Sadako Shikami's blog here , so I don't need to reiterate.
One of the problems with SexGen is, the selection of animations that's available is defined by the product you buy. Upgrading them requires buying other, fixed selections of poses from SexGen, and there's a limit to the upgrades you can make to a given bed. And if you don't like the poses, well... tough, really. Sometimes the poseballs that the bed rezzes get thrown out of whack, or perhaps there's a pose that's not quite right for your avatar shape. SexGen has an adjustment system for nudging the balls this way or that, through the menu controls. However, I have yet to see this system function correctly. Overall, SexGen seems a little too 'hard-coded'.
In addition, it's not very helpful that most of the specific models of SexGen come as only one style of bed or furniture. You can fork over the L$12,000 (US$45!) for the 'Purkle Platinum' bed and get ALL the available positions, but you're stuck with a big, honking purple bed that looks like it came surplus from a whorehouse. You may enjoy that style, but likely as not, you don't. Yes, it does come in two other styles, but those aren't much better.Deviant and devPose
Now, let's turn our attention to the other major multipose system, devPose, created by Riann Maltese. Her brand, Deviant, has its own sim now, and a very atmospheric mall area, which you might mistake for a 'Dark RP' area ( it actually sort of is). DevPose is the brand of that suite of tried and true BDSM dungeon furniture, the throne and spanking horse, wall panel and bench, and St Andrews cross. If you've been to a naughty area in SL, chances are you've seenat least one of these. If you've used them, you know how good they are.
Deviant also has beds available, and despite being fairly conventional in design, they're some of the cleanest, most realistic prim furniture in SL. Definitely better than anything I've seen at Strokerz Toys. And the pose selection, while limited, has pretty much every important pose you need for a nice naughty evening in SL, and they're exceptionally good animations, as well. All of which makes devPose the best preloaded bed in SL.
I'm about to get a bit technical here, so for the purposes of my discussion, when I say "animation", I mean the actual data file that animates the avatar; "pose" when I mean the particular animation that your avatar is run through in-world; and "position" when I'm referring to a combination pose, frequently a sex position.
One of the best features about devPose devices is the built-in feedback. Animations apparently take a good chunk of script memory space in SL, and the SL servers will only allow so much. That means it takes a little while to load a new pose. But once you've clicked the blue-box menu button to select a pose, the devPose device will always show a floating text message that tells you exactly what pose is loading, and how far along it is, up to 100%. This is excellent and useful information in these times of extreme lag -- for one thing, the loading message lets you know if the device is even going to function. I've seen them refuse to, in times of grid difficulty or script lag. The loading message gives you a good idea of how long you'll be waiting before you get the new pose, or even a poseball at all. With SexGen, you click and cross your fingers, maybe for an unspecified amount of time.Customization? Oh, yes
In the Deviant main store there are a couple of things for sale that demonstrate how versatile it is. These are a couple of simple devPose base boxes, a L$1800 version, which comes preloaded with animations, and a L$400 version, which just comes with the base Cuddle pose. If you even know a little about how to handle customizable objects, then you can work with a devPose. I think the best feature of the devPose system is how customizable it is.
The theory of how the posing system works is, very simply, there are up to four poseballs that can rez on a devPose. Each one can be loaded with an animation for the avatar that's sitting on it. Each animation set is defined by a notecard that's inside the devPose box; it defines the animations used and poseball position. Each notecard has a corresponding button on the devPose bluebox menu. When you click the menu button, it moves or rezzes the appropriate balls, positions them, and loads the animations. I bought the L$1800 pre-loaded base, and built my own bed to go with it. Once you've linked the base box as the root prim of the bed, the entire bed becomes a clickable object that will activate the pose menu. If you want, you can later unlink the devPose base and link it up with another. Later on, I started adding animations that I'd bought separately, and setting them up with menu buttons. The instructions are pretty clear, and make sense. You add the animations to the box, drop in a new configuration notecard to set it up, start the pose, position the poseballs, get the poseball coordinates from the box's sensor, and edit the notecard again to store the position. Done.
The only thing you might have trouble with is getting someone to help you position the balls, but then, that's the oldest pickup line in Second Life: "I need your help setting up some poseballs..." (Okay, maybe that's a close second to "wanna sex?")
Not only that, but I discovered that it's possible to create new positions with existing animations that are already used for another pose. All you do is create a new config notecard, and set up the positions, and you're done. Plus, the devPose box supports XCite, Sensations, and Lockmeister for each pose, if you like it scriptable that way.
Now, SexGen has this same product, a box that you can link to any piece of furniture. Technically, any SexGen box can do this. Only, they have a whole range of boxes, because they are upgradable, but not really customizable. Deviant only sells one box, loaded or unloaded, because that's all you need. SexGen also has a L$400 system of its own, basically a consumer version of the scripted device they use to create their beds. But the instructions for that take up four notecards, and I honestly never did figure it out completely. It seemed as though you can't do things over if you screw it up. With the devPose system based on individual notecards, you can always fix it.
I don't want to forget to say more about the Deviant products that are the most popular, the devPose dungeon suite. Any good play area with a D/s section has at least two. Now, it's true that not everything great in SL is entirely original, but it's also true that these items are popular because they work so well. They're all driven by the same devPose system, proving that it doesn't have to just be a bed. The poses are well-done, and like any good SL product, they add to the experience.
Bad stuff? Nah.
So, are there cons to all the pro's of Deviant? Well, they're susceptible to all the SL flaws that SexGens are vulnerable to. Lag, script errors, misaligned poses, all the usual stuff. But that's not really the product, that's the environment. So, I guess Deviant has no downsides. Well, maybe one.
Lately, I've noticed the tendency of devPose dungeon items to kick an avatar off if they're not wearing the right kind of cuffs. (for the uninitiated, this is to enable the particle-created chains that make it look like you're actually chained up. Willing potential initiates can contact me here, or in-world.) I have no idea why this feature even exists, but I commonly refer to it as the 'Fascist Lockmeister' feature. If the subject is not wearing Lockmeister attachment cuffs (in this case, the ones that come with the set), the furniture will unseat them and give a brief lecture in green chat. You can get free cuffs from the furniture itself, but for some reason it has trouble recognizing even Amethyst cuffs, one of the most popular purchased brands. I finally had to be reminded by Riann Maltese herself that the Admin menu of devPose furniture has a "Kick Off/On" setting, which means if the button says "Kick Off", clicking it will turn the Kick-Off feature off, and vice versa. Special message to club owners: Turn This Feature Off, Please. Make sure your devPose Admin menu has a 'Kick On' button visible, and nobody will get kicked off. I know that's a little counterintuitive, but you'll get used to it. The reason why the devPose furniture doesn't like other Lockmeister-compatible cuffs is still a mystery, but it's not necessarily the devPose scripting, it may be the Lockmeister protocols.
While taking pics for this post, I ventured out to look around in the Deviant sim a little more, and realized that a lot of it is still under construction. It's also listed in Places as 'Dark City', which it definitely fits the description of. It's mostly shopping, with a lot of the coolest SL retailers, but there's also a punk club, and there are more areas under construction which look social and residential. It's not a strictly laid-out 'Dark RP' region like Lost Angels or Toxia, which means no one is going to force you to RP. But if you happened to show up there one night with your malcontent friends to play a little impromptu Vampire Sharks vs Neko Jets, nobody would get mad at all, I'm sure.
Thinking about all the things that are possible with a devPose box are a little distracting, so that'll be it for now. Questions about this post are always welcome, as are