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Introduction Introduction
Building Tips Building Tips
Cache Deletion Cache Deletion
Icons Icons

News/Updates News/Updates

10/17/11: Italicized app, game, and series names.
5/20/7: Added Wikipedia link to What could AW be?
6/28/6: What could AW be? - Added "Competition/Collaboration" to end. Edited recent news/updates to be more specific.
4/11/6: What could AW be? - Bolded game names and Star Trek. Changed holodeck link to Wikipedia since it's more comprehensive and also links to the holodeck FAQ. Minor editing/rewording for time passage regarding Trespasser's physics engine. Added links for VRML and "level editor".
3/18/6: What could AW be? - Updated "World Editor" and its examples; changed remaining "AWC" to "AWI".
3/8/6: What could AW be? - Fixed: holodeck image...again, and various HTML to make it more compatible with Firefox.
7/18/4: Added "mega" cell data limit and 250-character action field limit to saving cell data.
7/16/4: Added media command remark to Saving Cell Data: URLs. Tweaked menus again--I can't decide if I like the smaller font or not. :/
7/15/4: Tweaked WebRing.
7/10/4: Added Saving Cell Data icon and cache link. Tweaked WebRing and menus.
7/8/4: Added counter news/update, screenshot image to Curving Roads tip, and icons for tips and cache deletion. Edited What could AW be?
7/7/4: Added AW webring.
7/1/4: Renamed and updated, well, news/updates. Tweaked layout a bit.
6/30/4: Fixed some dead links. Added subsection titles to What could AW be?.
6/27/4: Tweaked object properties dialog box prototype font with 8-point Tahoma so it looks tighter.
6/18/4: Renamed, edited table of, and added an image to Curving Roads tip.
4/26/3: Fixed holodeck image, added Technical Manual link to What could AW be?, and updated icons.
9/21/2: Redesigned layout.
10/27/1: Fixed some links.
6/19/1: Edited Saving Cell Data.
1/20/1, 7/1/2K: Edited What could AW be?
9/5/99: ?
...?...
10/31/98: Created counter.

Introduction Introduction

What is Active Worlds?

Active Worlds (AW) is an immersive, three-dimensional (3D), on-line, interactive, multi-user, real-time, building/chatting, virtual reality (VR) environment. Overhyped buzzwords aside, AW is basically a 3D multiuser level editor.

AW allows one to "build" with (manipulate) premade 3D objects/models that are made outside of AW. Until AW3 (released in April, 2001), AW had little object manipulation abilities: keyboard used for up/down/left/right/back/foward movement (x-/z-axis movement) and y-axis rotation, but a complicated, crude "scripting" language for changing textures, overall object color (by use of textures on non-texture mapped objects), movement animation, and attaching sounds (WAVs/MIDIs) to objects (activated by either clicking—"activating"—or "bumping" into them), still exists. Prior to AW3 there was also no light control whatsoever within AW directly (only per-object surface reflectivity could be changed). opacity and scaling still can't be accomplished without learning another complicated scripting language, RenderWare scripting (RWX), which was integrated into the rendering engine, Criterion RenderWare 2.1, (but had to be rewritten from scratch for AW3 because of Criterion's lack of backwards compatibility for RWX in RW3) to get any real control over objects, or attempt to convert an object made from even more complicated 3D modellers (3D Studio, Maya, trueSpace, Lightwave, etc.). The whole process just reeks of user-unfriendliness and unintuitivity.

If AW's current developers, Activeworlds, Inc. (AWI), ever hope to make AW more popular, they must make it more user-friendly, intuitive, and easier to use. For example, requiring world owners to edit a text file just to add avatars is not something the majority of computer users would want to do (user-unfriendly). Not everyone is a programmer and there are more end-users than programmers yet most programmers seem to continue to write programs only programmers can adequately use. I just don't get it...

See Wikipedia: Active Worlds for more info.


Building Tips Building Tips

screenshot
Curved Roads
(street*.rwx)
Left Right
[Shift]+[Page Up] twice
[Shift]+left arrow 5 times
[Shift]+down arrow 6 times
[Shift]+[Page Down] twice
[Shift]+right arrow 5 times
[Shift]+down arrow 6 times

Also see Object Manipulation.


Saving Cell Data Saving Cell Data

Cell data is what is transferred from the world server to your computer when you see the "Received x bytes" in the status bar's property updates section (Show|Property Updates menu). All text fields in the "Object Properties" box make up this data, and is transferred as you move about in a world. The less bytes that need to be transferred, the faster objects will appear and the less likely the Building Inspector will tell you an area (cell) is full, so keeping this data as small as possible will improve performance and allow more commands, considering the 250-character (byte) limit per action field.

The main fields that usually use the most bytes are the "Description" and "Action" fields. So, for example, don't waste bytes labelling every object with your name in the "Description" field because your name will already show up in the "Owner" field. As for the action field:

  • condensed words: Commands that use "off" (like "solid off", "visible off", etc) can be replaced with "no". It does the same thing and is one character (byte) shorter. Use "on" instead of "yes" to save another byte.
  • extensions: ".jpg", ".wav", ".mp3", etc; only for object-path files (remote URLs still require extensions).
  • sign objects: By default, signs have a blue background and white text, so don't duplicate these ("bcolor=", 7 bytes; "blue", 4 bytes; "color=", 6 bytes; "white", 5 bytes; and don't forget about the space between the color statements--another byte). Also, using a single character (like ".", "-", etc) will make the color black, so don't type out "black" (5 bytes) or "#000000" (7 bytes in hex).
  • spaces: Spaces ( ) after commas (,) and semicolons (;) are unnecessary and can save many bytes when using many action commands.
  • URLs: "http://" (7 bytes) is unnecessary (except for AW 3.6+'s media command) and "create url" (10 bytes) isn't needed if the URL is the only thing in the action field (which doesn't work in AW 3.1+).

Total byte savings: ~50 bytes (it can quickly add up considering all objects in a cell)

    Note: 1 byte = 1 ASCII character
    AW cell data (byte) limits:
    "normal" = 1400
    "large" = 2000
    "huge" = 4000
    "mega" = 5000

Textures

    Dots

    Note: this doesn't work in AW3+. To remove texture(s) from an object (and revert to the solid polygon color), use a texture name that doesn't exist on the world object server. I usually use a dot (.) since single characters save cell data, too.

    Reducing Unnecessary Texture Downloading

    By default, AW's "animate" command downloads all subsequent/preceeding/previous textures that have numbers in their names (like texture1.jpg, texture2.jpg, texture3.jpg, etc). When specifying textures on objects in the action field (like " animate me texture 1 1 0" to use texture1.jpg), instead of using "texture 2 2 0", "texture 3 3 0", etc for textures after the first number (texture1), use "texture2. 1 1 0", "texture3. 1 1 0", etc so all subsequent textures aren't downloaded. This is very helpful for textures with double- or triple-digit numbers after the same texture name (such as in New Metatropolis), but applies to any same-named textures with numbers at the end. Of course, with AW3+ this isn't really necessary since the "texture" command is much more efficient.

      Note: Using dots (.) for textures with masks won't display the mask unless the mask was already downloaded. Masks will download as "#x.jpg": "#" is the number used before the dot in the texture name (i.e. "texture1."), and "x" is the character that designates a mask (usually "m"). Leave the dot off masked textures.

Sounds

    If the action field only has a single "create sound wavfile" command ("noise" doesn't work), just "sound:wavfile" (no extension) will work, saving 7 bytes.


Also see Active Worlds' Help - "Building Tips".


Cache Deletion Cache Deletion

The cache can be deleted depending on what you're trying to accomplish. As a general rule, deleting only the index (idx) files in the appropriate object server directory (like C:\Program Files\Active Worlds\cache\art\objects.activeworlds.com-aw) will be sufficient to cause a redownload of the appropriate data (dat) file of the same name ("download", "model", and "texture"). So if you have texture corruption, delete texture.idx; model corruption, delete model.idx; and if you want to force a redownload of all models and textures, delete download.idx.

The ...\cache\property\<world> directory and subsequent files are only necessary to delete when cell corruption has occurred.


Icons Icons

original old AW's original and old icons were boring, 16-color (4-bit) icons for many years until April 2003. AW's current icon is much better but if you don't like it, current replace it with one or all (with a program that can change icons at a set interval) of these cooler 16.7 million-color (24-bit) icons. Right-click and "Save Link As..." 'em:

Active Worlds   Version 1.2   Version 1.3   Version 2   Version 2 (alternate)  

Version 2.1 Beta   Version 2.2   Version 3 Beta

World Server   Galaxy Server   COF Logo   High-Rez CD

World Server   Galaxy/Universe Server

What could Active Worlds be?

Activeworlds, Inc. (AWI), specifically Rick Noll (CEO) and JP McCormack (CFO), seem to think streaming multimedia (audio-video) is AW's future. They used to think that the much overhyped buzzword-of-the-year (in 2000 anyway) "e-commerce" route is where AW should be marketed toward. They just haven't learned from the failure of their wanna-be mall world, sp@mart (spam mart)--er @mart, and have even gone so far as to sucker companies in countries outside the US (Australia, Korea, China, etc--see AWI's press releases) to lead them to believe this so-called "e-commerce" bandwagon is the direction AW should be marketed toward. Sorry, but it's not working...

Gaming

Take a hint from other on-line-only 3D games like Ultima Online and EverQuest that interactive 3D gaming environments are way more popular than 3D wanna-be "e-commerce" applications. Think about it. Add simple gamelike features to AW like avatar jumping, an inventory so things can be picked up and dropped, and even shooting and I will bet AW's popularity will easily double within 6 months. People don't want to waste money on a 3D card, downloading and installing software, and waiting for each world's content to download just so they can spend more time and wasing more money on crap they don't want or need in shopping mall worlds and forced in their faces by annoying ads. No, people would rather interact and create/destroy environments. Why? Because it's more fun to most people! Take a poll or something, eh? Or at least hire a marketing suit who actually knows something about marketing and product design. Sure you have some simple card/board gaming worlds devoted to bingo, checkers, chess, spades, etc, but, come on, AW is capable of so much more complex and intensive gaming if you only actually decided to push AW's development more towards 3D gaming on a similar level to most other 3D games out there. Rick and JP, please get the hint before AWLD stock flatlines at 0 soon (which it's been flirting dangerously close to in recent months)--and is now defunct as a publically-traded company. Point proven.

holodeck Holodeck

Now for my vision of what I would like AW to become: like a holodeck. Now while a Star Trek holodeck, with its transporter and holographic projection technologies (Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual explanation Internet Archive Wayback Machine), probably isn't possible at this time, a much more simpler, late-20th-/early-21st-century computer 3D environment with VR immersion devices (optics, tactile sensor suits, multi-axis trainer, etc)-equivalent version (a "3D holodeck>", if you will) is. Even still, the VR immersion devices are still science fiction for most people. In fact, what I want is quite possible with current technology because it is mostly what AW is, but with an integrated "level editor", since holodecks can be programmed to portray specific immersive environments.

Level Editor

Now, the term "level editor" is somewhat ambiguous though because it implies AW is a game, as a lot of games have level editors, which allow one to edit/change/modify either the actual original game levels and/or create new levels altogether. But because AW uses "worlds" instead of "levels", the differences are minor. Also, AW is becoming more and more gamelike what with all the game-specific worlds AWI is creating (mostly limited to the "classic" board and card games) and RPG (role-playing game) worlds other people have created.

In level editors, the "level" (derived from when games were two-dimensionally horizontal/vertical scrolling; or "level", as opposed to "angled"--"angle editor"? perhaps "space editor" would be better term) is created by placing 3D object primitives (cubes, cones, spheres, etc—simple shapes) in a usually definable, empty space and carving/cutting/hollowing/slicing them up to get whatever shape one desires. Colors, textures, lights, and game-specific information (player/enemy/item/trigger locations) are added not in real-time as when playing the actual game, but in a separate, "laboratory"-like setting with (usually) four views: three 2D (top/bottom, side, front/back), that usually have a size-configurable grid, and one 3D, that may or may not have zoom/pan/movement capabilities. GameSpot has an article Internet Archive Wayback Machine with more detailed info on 3 commercial level editors.

World Editor

AW, in contrast, uses "worlds" and defaults to a flat, infinitely repeating ground object and backdrop image wrapped cylindrically and axis-aligned around the world. These are optional and the world can have no backdrop, any background color, and the ground can be sectional or removed completely. Skyboxes are also possible. For light, AW used to allow only one, white, static light source (but version 3.1 is more like most level editors which allow multiple, colored, dynamic light sources) is currently available. For views, AW uses just a single 3D perspective while level editors tend to have 3 2D views (top, front, side) and a 3D view. Moving objects (as described above) is easy enough, yet there is no x-/z-axis rotation (AW 3.1+ offers limited object rotation). Object scaling and individual vertex/polygon creation/manipulation/deletion (which require learning RenderWare's scripting language, RWX, to get any real control over, and which detracts from 3D-immersed world building) are not integrated into AW.

Other examples to expand on that would make for a more immersive 3D building environment (compared to game level editors) are:

  • community/collaborative vs. individual building
    • remote modelling: no need to be in the same physical space
    • communicate ideas easier and quicker
  • 3D perspective building vs. 2D perspective modelling
    • textured/untextured/wireframe/vertex rendering
    • linear/bilinear/trilinear/mipmapping texture filtering
    • 3D grid
      • 2D grids-overlayed into 3D
      • scale/size configurable

AW has so much potential, but that potential is just not being realized with AWI, which after they alienated AW's original developer, Ron Britvich Internet Archive Wayback Machine (Protagonist), AW development has been even more stagnant than it was when he and Roland Vilett developed it, although 3.1 was released relatively shortly after AW3.

Game

While AW is not implicitly a game, I believe it would develop far more quickly if it was treated and developed as a game (and possibly aquired by a computer gaming company with the resources and development team to develop AW faster than AWI can with its now 3-man programming "army", which only during 3.1's development did AW aquire a third programmer). AWI used to be a publically traded company, but I still urge any computer/video game company looking to take over and lead this unique market AW leads (which isn't saying much considering the state of on-line 3D VR as a whole) to think about either partnering up with AWI, buying them out and developing AW better, or simply making a better product altogether.

4/15/2K - In response to a beta newsgroup post:

    Of course most of the gamelike functions I mentioned should be optional, but if AW ever hopes to compete with 3D games it will have to become more like them. It should be obvious by now (except to Rick and JP, of course) that AW's popularity lies in its entertainment and not it's supposed e-commerce value. Until AW can even begin to compete with 3D games its e-commerce value will be practically non-existant. However, AW does have one thing going for it: propietarity. It's pretty unique in what it does and if the stock analyst I heard on one of the major networks has anything to say about propietarity is that they are more likely to become profitable than rehashed software/websites that don't really bring anything new to the industry.

    So, according to this analyst, while Amazon.com's famous for books (yet also offers CDs, tapes, videos, etc), wanna-bes like CDnow.com won't last very long unless they don't do something the other already established, big-name sites like Amazon.com aren't already doing. Because AW is, for all intensive purposes, the last remaining survivor of "the mid-90s on-line VR software flood", it will probably eventually become popular for being such a unique niche in on-line-only (or massively multiplayer--MMP) software. However, once 3D games integrate more and more real-time level editing features and then make it multiplayer, I doubt AW will be able to survive compared to the budgets of these game developers/publishers.

    In essence, AW's time is rapidly running out, and if it does not establish itself as being enough ahead of most MMPs and 3D games (that include level editors) in general, I doubt it will survive a few years from now. Yes, I know a few years is a while in the computer industry but, compared with most 3D games, AW has changed very little since its inception back in 1995. Note that I will soon update this 3D game comparison with AW3's features.

    I think AW has real potential but it's just taking forever for it to reach that potential! I just don't think Rick and JP have the vision Ron seemed to have...

I think when AWI (then-COF) initially charged for citizenships it may have helped them out a bit (and still some to a relatively small degree compared to galaxy/universe servers and custom world design--like with Yosemite, The 13th Floor, etc), but I think it will really hinder AW's popularity instead of helping because of how Rick and Danny back in 1995 or so said AW would always be free.

Everquest and Ultima Online (which charge something like around $10-$15/month or so) and have around 150,000 subscribers or so, just show that there is a market for online 3D environments, but the companies behind these on-line games have the funding to take losses while AWI does not.

I'm just waiting for some 3D game company to get a clue and release an on-/off-line, multi-user, real-time, interactive, level editor that has the option of letting users create the level as they play it--changing, manipulating, adding/deleting to it as they're immersed in it. AW allows this to some degree, but most current 3D game level editors allow much more realism in terms of object creation, lighting, and special effects. Real-time interaction is the key, and AW needs to greatly improve on this because it is a very static environment compared to most games, which gets boring quick. The more like a game environment AW becomes, I think the more popular it will be.

Game replayability is much higher with a level editor than without. People are more likely to play levels made by other people and groups of people long after the original game levels have been played to death. Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Unreal, Half-Life, Thief, etc are good 3D game examples of this, and non-3D games like Civilization, SimCity, WarCraft, etc also prove this. Maxis' The Sims is a 2D/3D hybrid game (The Sims 2 is fully 3D) which also has much user customization ability.

And multiplayer just makes a game even more popular. AW should learn from other games' successes and adapt accordingly. A game/program that merges both of these aspects is a definite hit. It's just that for some reason no company has put the two together. Well, I think it's long overdue for such a program! I keep hoping AWI gets that clue. I've tried getting Eidos/Core (publisher/developer of Tomb Raider) to do it but they just don't get it. I think Ron Britvich knows what I want, but of course he's gone from AWI now...so then there's GEL, which Ron told me about a while ago, and may result in what I want, but not much has been happening with it and it seems to be stagnating like VRML was...

holodeck 3D Holodeck

I think a "killer app" still needs to come out that really motivates people into saying "wow, 3D is awesome!". I think that app would be a 3D holodeck where people could create their own environment (WYSIWYG-style, without requiring textual programming knowledge, and created in real-time—the same time the "game" is being "played") and immersive experience. It could even be linked to a 3D operating system (OS) like Microsoft's GDI+ to provide for an even more seamless immersion experience, but I'd be happy with an app that'd let me create my own 3D games with action, adventure, and simulation all rolled into one. And there's no reason such games can't be linked together seamlessly without requiring separate 3D engines made my separate gaming companies to be loaded, sucking up even more memory and CPU power than they already do.

So, for example, starting out on my 3D computer's OS (3D OS), say I want to go into an urban 3D environment. Well, since I'd probably be on the Net, I Web on over to an urban 3D website, The details of "webbing" seamlessly to a 3D urban website would require how immersive a 3D experience I want my 3D OS to be. Does my 3D OS desktop look like the room where my computer is? If so, it would need to look fairly, if not completely, similar to the room. Or it could look like a hotel as with Buzz 3D's VR Windows desktop (although this is not a good example of what I'm referring to). Next, which "urban environment" do I want to go to? If I'm in a suburb, do I just hop in my car and drive there? How would that be represented by computerized 3D? Oh, why a driving simulation (sim) of course! And anyone into games knows how many illions of those sims are out there...so integrating one into this 3D OS shouldn't be too difficult.

3D Environment

The possibilities are endless for seamless 3D environments, and the key would be the interconnectedness of them all. And of course many people could be in these environments just like all the illions of people on the Net today. This is why I like AW because it is probably the most advanced form of a community-based 3D, on-line, environment today, despite its near-stagnant development growth and obsolete 3D engine (Criterion's RenderWare). It has great potential for what I'm thinking of, but needs more integrated level-editing and world-building capabilities, as well as a much more developed SDK (software developers kit) so it can develop faster (like Linux) and be expanded to other apps (like an OS).

If people realized the potential of just such an on-line, multi-user, 3D holodeck, I think they would be willing to see that 3D offers far more immersive potential than 2D could ever dream of doing. And 3D is only going to get better as more explicit hardware support (like CPUs with 3D calculation support) are developed, different rendering techniques (polygons, NURBS, other curved surfaces) are created, and, of course, the applications (games, utilities, OSes). I remember seeing a link about a guy who was creating a 3D Windows shell or whatever, but I can't find it now. Anyway, it's happening. Hardcore gamers have already embraced 3D for the most part so it won't be too long before most other games are made/remade in 3D. I don't know why people make such a fuss over changing from 2D to 3D anyway; I mean 3D only means more, not less, immersion; and immersion is very fundamental to adventure/RPG games. I think such people just haven't experienced enough immersive 3D environments to realize the potential for 3D adventure/RPG games...

Since 3D environments allow for a great level of immersion, why shouldn't they allow more adventure/exploration and interaction within these environments? 3D seems like a natural for such things to me. And with dynamic polygons, there's no reason one should not be able to build/mold/sculpt/shape the environment in a real-time level-editing (environment-creating) program, preferably integrated into the "game" itself. And letting multiple people simultaneously create this environment would allow for even more of an immersive experience, not to mention make one awesome community!

Immersive, interactive, 3D environments should include complete camera (1st-/3rd-person) control and player control (all body movement: bend, kick, lift, pick up/put down, fingers, sit, stand, crawl, crouch, jump, climb, rope/monkey swing, etc.). Granted it may be a challenge to code all this, but the more games become like this, the more realistic and immersive they will be to "play" in. But such a program would have much more potential besides a mere "game". It's all about virtual reality (VR) and getting closer to a 3D holodeck.

Forget boring role-playingesque adventure games, no-brainer first-person shooters, and dull puzzle games. The game industry needs new genre classifications, including multi-genre (crossgenre/transgenre/metagenre) genres and terms for new genres I can't think up right now (neo-, post-, etc)! Stop rehashing what everyone else is doing and start doing more along what companies like Dreamworks did with Trespasser, Looking Glass did with Thief and System Shock 2, Relic did with Homeworld, Appeal did with Outcast, Bullfrog did with Dungeon Keeper 2, etc. Forget 2D and 2.5D (isometric) games and add another dimension with 3D already; it's where the industry is and has been heading anyway.

Virtual Reality

For you virtual reality buffs out there, get out of your labs and start doing something with all that "research" instead of writing so many damn whitepapers! Haven't you stagnated the VR industry enough (VRML anyone?). The 3D gaming industry is blowing right past you and you don't even realize it since you're still playing with theories about VR while other people are actually using VR (3D).

Call to Action!

Let's get that 3D holodeck created already! Link 3D games together to create a massively parallel, interactive, real-time, multi-user, immersive environment with seamless transitions between environments (space, air, sea, land, microscopic, subatomic, quark, superstring—well, that may be going a tad too far, but...). Stop competing in development of 3D and start cooperating/collaborating towards an object-oriented, plug-in-style 3D environment architecture!

Trespasser (c. 1998) is not that bad despite all of its negative reviews. It's interesting to have such freedom of movement to manipulate things with the player's hand. Sure, it's clunky and hard to control at times, but at least Trespasser's designers tried new things. And the physics was probably the most realistic of any game I tried until Havok's physics engine came along in 2000. I tire of all the rehashed games out there that focus on aliens, death, destruction, combat, mayhem, shooting, killing, and violence. While Trespasser, unfortunately, has dinosaur killing, I think of it more as an adventure-exploration-simulation game. I like that.

If Homeworld was as adventurous, explorative, and simulating, I think it would have sold better and been more fun. A good story is fine, but if the game is a good enough simulation, the story should be bypassable like it supposedly is in Terminus (I tried the beta but couldn't handle the frustrating unintuitive interface), which has multiple playing modes: free play, scenario (where the story comes in), and deathmatch. This versatility gives it a better chance in general popularity since it covers so much ground. And Thief 2 was rumored to have a multiplayer cooperative mode where, instead of focusing on deathmatch and mindless killing, people would have to work together to "case a joint" (but it never got implemented). Thief's developer, Looking Glass, was also innovative and tried new things, while id and Epic are still stuck on their silly mindless deathmatch model with Quake and Unreal. <yawn> Borrrrrring...id and Epic could learn from Valve (Half-Life et al) and other games like Hidden & Dangerous which focus on cooperative team play. Players want to think more in games. Mindless shooting is getting old, outdated, and obsolete.

Modularity

If games in general were programmed more modularly to allow other developers to add connected environments (in Homeworld/Terminus' cases: planetary and moon surface environments) to deepen the level of immersion within the game, I think that would draw even more popularity. When a game can go from a space combat sim to exloration on a planet's surface in search of minerals/items/people or just to explore, that will be a kick-ass game! Giving the player the opportunity to do things they would never normally get the chance to do before in immersive, seamless, 3D environments that are huge, expansive, modular, and initially designed to be added onto (with in-game environment creation/manipulation/deletion), will greatly increase popularity (and sales for all you suits)! And add multiplayer/network capabilities and it will even be more popular. Community can play a big role in keeping a game alive. Look at Quake, StarCraft, Half-Life, Ultima Online, and even Active Worlds for examples of this. Most of these games also have level editors which also serve to keep continued interest in them. Integrate the level editor into the game so players can experience full immersion and I bet people would never want to leave.

If one (1) 3D engine was developed in which all 3D gaming companies devoted their resources, time, and energy towards, imagine the state of 3D game technology today. I'm sure it would be many times better than all other 3D games combined!

Potential

There's so much potential here! Hell, if I could stand programming, I'd be doing it, but all I can do is rant and try to motivate programmers and other people into working together to achieve this. But I'll be glad to help test and design any such environments! Let's make it happen people!

If you know of a program in development or one that already exists, based on what I've described above, please email me about it! And if you'd like to work on creating (programming) just such an environment, I'd be interested in knowing and would love to help out as well.

Competition/Collaboration

I've been using Second Life since 12/2004 and it has most AW's improvements. There, The Croquet Project, and many other virtual world/environment applications are out there that just seem to just be reinventing the wheel. When are developers going to stop competing with each other and start collaborating? It's like 3D engines--there are HUNDREDS of them out there. Good god, people, do you realize how much further along things would be if people worked together on them instead of competing? I hate capitalism. Give me democratic communism any day (minus the dictator of course and without lobbyists buying off politicians and circumventing the democratic process).


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