Next Life
March 4, 2019 3:17 PM   Subscribe

What can my sister the Second Life accessory and fantasy item designer do post-Second Life?

She self-describes as "I design digital pretty thing for online games using blender, zbrush, modo, photoshop, and illustrator." And after 14 years, she has found herself being ground down for less and less money. She is a new mom and works from home.

What would be a good transition occupation or company for her to make use of her Second Life-honed design and coding skills and ready her for the next 5-10 years of life?
posted by Mike Mongo to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have little experience with Second Life itself, but those applications, in total, sound as if she is well-versed in designing 3-D models. I imagine she could get whatever certification is applicable in the industry of 3-D graphic design (game designers, as well?) and do quite well for herself.

Keep in mind this is the viewpoint of a layman and not a professional in any of the relevant industries.
posted by WCityMike at 3:22 PM on March 4, 2019

The games industry seems very natural fit to me. It's a long time since I worked in that area, but I would certainly expect 'I have 14 years of experience of making and selling 3D models' to be a pretty compelling opening pitch.

Working from home might be an obstacle for many big studios, so she might find contract work easier to get. If she's also a good coder then indie developers might be especially suitable, as small teams tend to make more use of all-rounders.
posted by Urtylug at 4:32 PM on March 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

She can print out her existing designs at and sell physical jewelry.
posted by adamrice at 4:51 PM on March 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't really know about this--your question made me curious--but it looks like there are a lot of old-ish articles out there about how to make a living on places like the Unity Asset Store, Turbosquid, and the UE4 Marketplace. The UE4 community seems to have a conventional jobs board with recent activity. Given the age of the articles about those places, I'd wonder how easy it is to break in, but they seem relevant.
posted by Wobbuffet at 5:31 PM on March 4, 2019

I think she should look into XR design - mixed reality.
posted by annathea at 5:52 PM on March 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

TV, movie and theater productions hire people to make 3d models of sets, set dressings, and props.
posted by thelastpolarbear at 7:05 PM on March 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

This article from last year says, Fortnite has brought in more than $1.2 billion in revenue, all of which comes from nonessential in-app purchases, for stuff like clothing and dance moves.

Also, um, porn? No idea how straightforward it is to make money off of it but there's tons of 3D-animated porn out there. And the first episode of the 2019 season of this extremely-NSFW television program looks at what's characterized as the state of the art in VR porn.
posted by XMLicious at 2:30 AM on March 5, 2019

Another one I thought of... museums, archaelogical sites, and other cultural sites and the tourism departments of government and other organizations that promote them often produce online and virtual reality tours of those places based up 3D models.
posted by XMLicious at 5:35 AM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

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