000 What is Activeworlds you may ask000

Incase after viewing my screenshots previously and not being familiar to what is this Activeworlds, I will try to briefly give an explanation, a introduction if you will.

So what is Activeworlds?

Is it a game, a chat program, a graphics program???

Activeworlds is how can I say this, its a type of 3D chat program that lets you build and interact in virtual space.

You are represented in these 3d Worlds as Avatar's which you can customize in many ways.

You can chat to any one in there and if you so wished you can build with the default objects as per which world your in.

Activeworlds is a collection of over 600 worlds, most are private some a tourist enabled, some are public worlds, these being for example Alphaworld, the oldest one in its Galaxy, Mars, Yellow, Atlantis, Winter, for example.

There is Citizenship in there though if you only want to mostly tour, chat and build basic experiments you can be a free tourist.

A tourist has all the basics, though can only build in allotted public worlds can access many worlds, however if they do build, there builds are not protected as such that if someone else wished to be nasty, could delete the tourist builds, anyone can delete tourist builds, though if a tourist is more happy with chatting and exploring then that's perfect., Just as for example my father who never builds, but prefers to explore.

With a citizenship, citizen builds are protected, no one can delete those builds other than the builder themselves.


Do you have to buy your place, your land and objects as I have heard you have to do in Second life?

No, you can claim as much land as you like you can build as much as you like, depending which world and area you are in, what is available can be claimed. Activeworlds you don't have a lease even if your membership expires and your reduced to a tourist or you leave for a few years, your builds will still remain there, compared to Second Life where your stuff is sold off and auctioned off.

See SecondLife is more for the socialization and markets heavy for the fun on socializing in dance floors and buying real items as in there Linden Dollar, compared to Alphaworld it may in some ways seem slightly primitive but that's depends on what you see where you go, it is the oldest 3D universe around, over 15 years old, you don't lease you don't buy stuff, you own what you claim and can build as much as your creativity desires, to own your own world can cost a bit to run, but then that's in relation to if you wish to use your own models.


OK this may be enough of this part of an intro so I should now demo you some of what you see if you wish to understand further or if you so wish to try it yourself.

What you get

If you wish to try it out and well explore for example, then click this link www.activeworlds.com and then browse through the download section and click to download the browser software, usually the first option at the top of the page to download.

Otherwise view below if your only interested in understanding what its all about, hope this helps.

First screen this is the latest as per my article here._

Password if you have a citizenship otherwise click the tourist button you then supply a name you wish to be for the session, chose one that you wish to use as your identity in there, don't keep changing names.

Here you will see the first place you appear which is known as the "GATE", as these two image above and below illustrate.


One of the worlds you can and should access is Alphaworld , remember its over 15 years old, I came in, back in December 1999 and my very first mansion still remains, I do not wish to change any part since if you do the objects get a different date as every object records the date, time and year that you fitted the object, call it your proof of first arrival.

All objects in activeworlds work from a path system where you use and manipulate objects from that path, combining in any way you like.

Below is the entry point known as GZ or Ground Zero for Alphaworld, all worlds have a GZ which is the main entry point.

Though this one has moved many times, it is no longer the one at 0,0

Activeworlds Coordinate system works with the compass directions N S E and W, the center meaning 0, 0.

OK now to give you some idea on how easy and the type of method in relation to building in Activeworlds well in consideration to the basic objects, first we find a location where we wish to build, somewhere there is land free, depending on your plans, I have given this example on the side of an open highway, this highway was for example built by someone that's no longer around, as you cannot build or change someone else objects and cannot overlap in most cases an object over someone else's land.

Activeworlds uses a grid system that can be turned on for reference which I had off in this view, which define the data per cell used. And which cell is owned by who.

OK we turned around and this is where we have decided to build, I'm only giving an example there is allot more to it but it is very easy, there is a AW School as well where you can learn how to build and apply all the other features and special effects, run by voluntary teachers and teacher aids, note I myself am a teachers aide in there as well.

OK first process is you right select an object must have a "starter object" and you get the properties box like in the example below, this is where all the magic happens you could say.

Everything from your basic building to the coding of special effects and interactivity is handled in this box, now some actions work from the keyboard or can be done both ways.

Now lets duplicate in this case we want our first panel to be right adjacent to the road, this will be our starter piece.

Duplication is made in this fashion by holding down the ctrl key and pressing the insert key.

There are many other controls, but this ensures an exact adjacent panel / object. As per the image above, we just duplicated a piece of road in this case. Now lets turn this into a grassed panel.

The way to do this is to change the name of the object we have to an object we know is on the path, this is how we create our objects, if we know an objects name either from an object yard or seen the object we want near by as in another persons build then we just copy the name and paste or type it in including the extension .rwx

Now that's better we have some grass we can even change the texture as well if we wished, as for this example I'm demonstrating this basic exercise, this will do. OK we want a wall so we again right click the panel we just made and then duplicate, hitting the duplicate button on the properties box at the top which moves an object 1 step back, we bring it forward again or move it where we want, easy, now change the name to another object, in this case a wall object, I'm not going to go through and show how to build an entire house or shed, just giving some idea of the way it works.

And at the end for example you can create this little building, not to special and its small depending what you want. Can be added to and extended in any way you like. I just gave a brief description to help you understand the basics of building which as you can see seem very easy, there is as I said before a teaching world in there where you can learn allot more, with plenty of help and other members will help too.

The range of objects that can be used and that can be combined in limitless many ways for example and this is just one view of the many object yards that are dotted around, all are different in there own ways, this one I show below is part of the Lara Northwest builders yard, which is one of the older ones but still a real good one to go back to for objects.

Even I have my own one though mine is setup more as per a department store which I have screenshots of on the previous page as you would see just parts of. Most are just random yards displaying the objects.

There are 100's of objects in Alpha to use, other worlds have there own sets, there own object paths.

Some examples of what can be built and have been built, not all are that simple some are quite complex and have been built by some very well known builders in there, below are just some examples of what can be built.

I have now become quite known in there as well as a master builder as such, mostly due to how I like to prefer to build realistic constructs etc. compared to some, though about anything is possible in there if you have the idea and know what objects to use to accomplish your idea.

Click for larger view

A New Zealander known as "m i k e" built this as he had once visited the Sydney Opera house and has done an incredible job of it with all the interior constructed, ever felt like climbing the sails but were afraid on climbing the real thing well climb the virtual ones, he has even those rails in this construction as well.

I have never been to Sydney and this may be the closest that I would get to in actually seeing the Opera House.

Think of the "USS Enterprise A" from Star Trek and this ship though labeled USS GLORY, is a complete reproduction of the starship even to the shuttle bay, with all the sound effects and the transporter works, its a marvel to tour around and even to work out what was used for each piece of it which is docked from a floating station that never was completed, there is also close by an incredible build of the Enterprise E though that one is still half finished but what has been built is just beyond words, complete with full working airlocks.

There are cities built, one of the main ones is SW City, some of this you can find out more from there own special network as in www.swcity.net

Horizon City is another, and if you really wanted to you can build on too there are still tone's of miles of open land that is unclaimed in Alpha.

There are many videos on youtube that show more examples including a few by the members that consider SW CITY as there main hub, they even have an introduction video that advertises there city with there towns which have a sea that grew from a small pond back in 2000.

Today Activeworlds now boasts many developments which push the boundaries of creativity and fun.

And one thing is that as per the system it runs on older computers compared to Second life or the other main ones that require the latest hardware.

OK I think that will do and I hope that helped to give you some idea about what Activeworlds is.




To contact me by email please click this link otherwise copy the above text and paste In your selected email program



All content on this site, copyright of David. S. Cooper unless otherwise stated.