If you’ve been around Second Life for a while, you’ll probably know the name Karl Stiefvater (who was once known as Qarl Linden).

Stiefvater was behind a number of popular Second Life features, but was laid off from Linden Lab after the Lab responded to public calls from its customers to stop focusing on features and instead to work on platform stability and bug-fixes. With new feature-development halted, Stiefvater’s particular genius was no longer required.

Now, however, there is a perceived deficiency in how mesh-clothing functions; requiring avatars to be altered to fit clothing, rather than allowing the clothing to fit the avatar. In an unprecedented move, Second Life users are raising funds to fund Stiefvater to fix that.

Fund-raising for the project is taking place at IndieGoGo, and has so-far reached 30% of the funding goal of US$5,400.

The money is for a parametric deformer, which will cause mesh clothing to behave more like actual clothing and conform more closely to the shape of the avatar. The resulting code will become public domain, available for modification, extension, integration into third-party viewers, and so on.

Of course, the cost of the project would be a negligible portion of Linden Lab’s development budget, but the Lab has put the idea of a parametric deformer on the back-burner, indicating that while it would like to implement one, the fate of any official implementation is indefinite and uncertain.

[via Hypergrid Business]

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