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technozeus // User Search

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A few old ideas

Jun 10, 1998, 2:19am
I'm not sure if I already posted this idea, but a discussion in the
AWCommunity newsgroup brought my attention to a use for it that I may not
have mentioned before. The idea is to have a text display of some type pop
up whenever you enter a world that has not been cached, explaining to you
stuff like the triangles that are always visible in place of objects while
things load. An "Opening Text" menu item could even be added to the View
menu in case someone wants to see the text again, and if a revision date is
recorded, it could also be displayed when you enter the world again if the
text file has changed.

What made me think about this old idea is a post that mentioned the the
need for "clearly communicated policy on unacceptable behaviors and the
consequences thereof" which reminded me that this opening text idea can be
used for simple policy notes so that people don't have to be "expected" to
view a web page to know the basics of a world's policies. An explanation of
the triangles, and the download time would only need to be displayed in the
default world (AWGate at this time), and would be a short note at the end of
that world's policy note. The policy note for any given world would be
displayed during initial loading of the property cache for that world, and
would give the person a chance to read the notice before clearing the text
box and viewing the world. By the time they clicked the OK button (or
whatever would be used to clear the text and display the world) much of the
entry area would already be loaded. A well written policy note would give
people a better idea of what kind of world it is and what behavioral
restraints or self control (if any) are expected within that world. The
amount of text in the display sould probably be limited, to make sure it
will be read, and if a more detailed reading is to be expected, or if the
world owner has built their world with the expectation that people will have
their browser displayed, the reader could be directed to a web page or to
turn on Show Browser if they have it turned off. (Like many people, I keep
mine off almost all of the time because it gives me more room to display the
3D window.)

TechnoZeus

A few old ideas

Jul 2, 1998, 4:29am
I wasn't talking about changing your login status to Tourist. Simply
allowing placement of Tourist property rather than failure to place an
object.

As for your idea about giving property away, perhaps in addition to
privilege acquiring, we need some dynamic privileges, like for example, to
be able to tell AW that it's okay for a certain person to give us property
at that time. This would make it possible to allow someone to place an
object as you were saying while they are working together without making it
so that someone easily could vandalize using another person's building
number.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

A few old ideas

Jul 2, 1998, 4:36am
Always lines up for me. I would like to see what you're doing that is
causing the "cracks" or misalignment.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

A few old ideas

Jul 2, 1998, 4:45am
You're right. Rendering speed would be almost entirely uneffected.
However, there are two problems I think most people overlook. The first is
that only the "y" axis is the same on all objects placed so far... the "z"
axis and the "x" axis are pointing in all different directions because
objects have already been rotated around the "y" axis. The geometry gets a
bit involved. The other is that only the "y" axis runs through the "center"
of most objects. The "z" axis and the "x" axis both usually run through the
base of an object. If that fact was not compensated for, the object would
rotate below it's base and end up under ground... and even if it was
compensated for and rotation around a raised "x" or "z" axis was achieved,
if you sit a cube on the ground and then rotate it 45 degrees around a
vertically centered "z" or "x" axis, one edge of the cube would be
underground.

TechnoZeus

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A few old ideas

Jul 3, 1998, 4:47am
You'll find that suggestion in my "Bring object with" reply to the base-note
of this thread. (April 25 of 1998)

TechnoZeus

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A few old ideas

Jul 3, 1998, 4:55am
It's all in how you move the objects. Since the object movement is effected
by rotation around the Y axis, I can line up two objects "perfectly" with
any angle between them that AW can produce. One solution would be to keep
up and down movements as up and down to that object. Actually, I think
that would be the easiest way to program it anyway, but it may be confusing
as hell for some newbie to grab an object and try to lift it up only to find
it goes down on some odd angle instead. A good workaround for that would be
to include a button to snap the object back to right side up. The mere
existance of such a button should give most people a clue as to why up is
not up and down is not down when they grab a vertically rotated object.

TechnoZeus

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A few old ideas

Jul 3, 1998, 6:25am
If you're interested, I just set up an example of every angle possible in
Active Worlds.
You can find it in Beta world at 88n 88e made of a bunch of pp31.rwx
objects.

TechnoZeus

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A few old ideas

Jul 4, 1998, 1:38am
Actually, I would never use overlap to cover the cracks. The objects I set
up in my example are geometricly correct, and therefore "should not" have
any gaps between them. I have seen the same "cracks" between objects that
had not been rotated from each other at all. Perhaps you can tell me what
causes this and how you calculated the exact (or approximate) size of the
cracks. I'm interested to know. I've always just figured this was a
RenderWare display glitch and the the cracks would go away when they fix it.
Was I wrong?

TechnoZeus

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A few old ideas

Jul 5, 1998, 8:01am
This doesn't look quite right. If all of the vertices were being snapped to
a 5cm grid, then there would either be no crack at all, or a crack that is a
multiple of 5 centimeters.

What I had figured might be happening is that RenderWare may be using
somewhat rounded off figures for sine and cosine values. This is actually a
standard practice for 3D rendering because sine and cosine calculations tend
to be time consuming without the aid of a floating point coprocessor. For
example, if the cosine of 15° is stored in a table for quick usage as 0.96
and applied to a 10 meter length to calculate the resulting X dimension
rather than carrying it out to the slightly more accurate value of 0.965925,
the results will have a difference of 9.25 millimeters.

As far as I can tell, there is no reason to store information about the
positions of the objects edges since that information can (and I think,
should) be derived from the information stored in the object, the location
of the object's origin, and and any scaling, rotation, or transforms applied
to the object. Since scaling and transforms are not presently supported
from within Active Worlds, that leaves only rotation, and since that
rotation is in only a single plane, a single number should be enough to
accurately "store" the information. Therefore it would seam to me that the
problem must be only in the rendering. Again, please tell me if you feel I
am mistaken about this, and if so please explain why. I wish to understand
this as well as I possibly can.

TechnoZeus

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A few old ideas

Jul 6, 1998, 8:55am
Okay. I understood you that time. Thanks for your patience... I'm really
not usually that slow. :·)

TechnoZeus

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A few old ideas

Jul 9, 1998, 12:54am
Thanks.

Well, perhaps when they change the format to allow for vertical rotation,
they could also add a few more bits for storing the object's location.

Curious thought... It seems to me that I've never seen overlap caused in
that way. I wonder why.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

A few old ideas

Jul 22, 1998, 2:02am
Some very good input, and I'm not ignoring it, by any means, but I thought I
should point out that if you are annoyed by trouble deselecting whatever you
have selected, it may be good to try closing the object properties dialog
box.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

Keys

Apr 26, 1998, 1:02pm
That brings up an interesting question...
How can AW be kept from loading things that you most likely will not see
without stoping it from loading what you're about to see in the near future?
For example,... how can pictures in a locked room be kept from downloading
while objects in the hall around the corner load into the cache?
As far as I know, there is no way... which makes the question even more
interesting because I don't know the answer.
Here's my first thought... some kind of simulated sonar... sound goes around
corners, but not through walls... perhaps some formula that simulated the
path of sound waves eminating from your avatar would be able to determine
what to load better than a simple matter of proximity. Of course, if would
have to be computationally inexpensive to be worth any bother at all. Any
further thoughts on this line?

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

Keys

Apr 26, 1998, 4:47pm
Actually, you may have something important here. Perhaps "keys" could be
added to all of the major privilages: Enter, Build, Local Teleport, etc.
This way, if a world owner ran out of room in one of their privilage lists,
they could give out a password (key) to the remaining people they wanted to
give that privilage to. It would be inconvenient for the people having to
enter the keys into the appropraite fields so that they could have all of
their privilages, but the keys could be remembered in the INI file, and it
would at least allow an unlimited number of people to be "given" access to a
world or certain features of a world.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

Keys

May 1, 1998, 5:57pm
Don't know what the plans are in that respect. I often make use of the
fact that things load equally in front of you and behind, by flying over
places in reverse... to give things more time to load before they are in my
view. What I was thinking though is that as an object is displayed for the
first time, a texture that would not be visible (because it is blocked by
another object, or on the far side of the object only) would not have to
load at that time. Of course, some loading in advance is a good idea, but
the question is... how do you know in advance what will "actually" have a
good chance of getting viewed without much change in position?

TechnoZeus

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'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 2:43pm
Faded toward the sky color as they approach the visibility limit?

TechnoZeus

'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 2:52pm
Hmmm... I was just thinking of how that could be done without taking too
much processing. Here's a possibility, but it needs some refinement (and
it's not the only possibility by any means) so let me know what you think...
If "fog" is turned on for the world you are in, you would carry a large
facer object (sprite) in front of you that would fill your screen. This
object would be semitransparent, and the same color as the sky for that
world, and would be kept in front of you at all times at a distance about 10
meters closer to you than your visibility limit.
Obvious limitations: only one "fade" step.
Likely problem areas: 3rd person view, looking up or down, transparent
objects in the distance.

TechnoZeus

'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 2:59pm
Sorry. I left out one MAJOR problem area... Backdrops. Of course it would
be possible to simply add transparency to objects that are too close to the
visibility limit, but the ground object would have to be excluded or you run
into that problem with the backdrop again.

TechnoZeus

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'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 3:57pm
I don't actually know, but my guess is the problem was with the ground
objects and/or the backdrop.

TechnoZeus

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'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 6:13pm
Well, what I was thinking of is that if you change the "color" of the ground
as it gets farther away, you may get very noticeable z-buffering in many
worlds since the ground objects usually have huge amounts of overlap, and if
you change the transparency as distance increases, you may cause the
backdrop to "show through" which again causes problems of it's own since the
backdrop usually ends just below the horizon.

Anyway, this Modular ground idea sounds very interesting. Any chance
somebody could get a CoF rep to pop in here and make some kind of statement
about what it is and where they're planning on going with it, and perhaps in
what version?

TechnoZeus.

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'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 9:51pm
Correct. The difference is that people would "see" it.

[View Quote]

'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 11:28pm
Okay. Let me "attempt" so say very clearly what I was trying to say
earlier. Again, I don't actually "know" that there would be such a
problem, but what I was trying to indicate is that I can see the potential
for the visual flickering associated with z-buffering between objects of
different shades or colors if the ground objects in the distance were faded
to a different color than those in the forground.

Anyway, I suppose I should not have mentioned the potential problem in the
first place since this forum is intended (as I understand it) for ideas and
requests neither of which benefits from my negative input. Prehaps there
would be a problem... perhaps not. Since I am not part of the programming
team that COF has chosen to entrust such determinations to, my expression of
concern is not only non-productive, but may tend to reduce the creativity
others exercise by causing them to only post ideas in which they can find no
flaws. Please excuse this oversight on my part.

TechnoZeus

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'Fog' in distance

Apr 29, 1998, 2:53pm
Downloaded the Tomb Raider II deom... Not impresses. It's slow, has poor
graphics, and does not react consistantly to keyboard input. Also, objects
were placement was full of overlap, and the fogging effect, although working
properly, added little or nothing to the realism. Just my opinion, but
since I went through the trouble of downloading and installing it, I thought
I might save someone else the trouble be offering a critique of sorts. On
the positive side, I did think the swimming action of the main character's
avatar as well as the running movements and the leaning into a turn were
done quite well, and the tiger was pretty neat. :·)

TechnoZeus

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'Fog' in distance

Apr 29, 1998, 3:01pm
Sorry about all the typos in that last post. Feel free to ask me what word
was intended if you have trouble figuring any of it out. That's what I get
for typing while short on time. :)

TechnoZeus

Telegram Mute

Apr 28, 1998, 1:46am
I was thinking about that today, and it occurred to me that tourists show up
on demographics (how many people are in a world) but not on anyone's contact
list. Although I don't know what's involved in adding it to the program,
it seams to me that a citizen should be able to have the same privacy when
they choose without having to resort to entering as a tourist. Perhaps it
would be possible to add a "busy" mode in which all telegrams would still be
delivered as usual, but no notification would be issued in the chat dialog,
and the checkmark indicating that the user is on-line (in AW) would be
replaced by some other icon to let people know that their telegram may not
be seen right away.

Another issue that I believe has not been addressed is recieving telegrams
when you are not at your own computer. When you change to a given citizen
ID, it sould be possible at that time... "before" you are actually signed in
under the new ID, to click some checkbox to let AW know that you would like
not to recieve telegrams during that session. That way, telegrams would be
held for you until you are back on your own computer where you can choose to
keep them for a while if you want. I realize that this could cause a
problem if people checked that box all the time on their own computer and
just let the AW server store their telegrams forever, but perhaps it could
be set so that this box would "always" be unchecked by default, and "only"
show up when you actually "change" users so that people would have to go out
of their way to use the feature on their own computer.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

Telegram Mute

May 1, 1998, 6:01pm
Actually, that's one thing that worries me about an invisible option... if
everyone chooses to use it at once, the contact list becomes pretty much a
waste of space and programming. I'm not saying that such an option
shouldn't exist... just that there are things about it which concern me.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

Telegram Mute

May 1, 1998, 9:01pm
Very good point.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

Telegram Mute

May 11, 1998, 5:57pm
An "auto away" mode would be nice also... when you haven't done "anything"
in AW for several minutes, it should assume you are "away" unless you have
it set not to. Perhaps a more bold checkmark (or doubled up one or
something) for "recently active" and a lighter (thinner, less obtrusive)
checkmark if you are in AW but have not moved, talked, or clicked on
anything in a while.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

Telegram Mute

May 11, 1998, 8:39pm
Now that I think about it.... It would be nice to be able to set which types
of actions would count as being "active" so that, for example, if you walk
past your computer and happen to notice a telegram waiting, you might be
able to answer it without disturbing the auto away mode.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote]

Better Object Rotation

Apr 29, 1998, 10:13pm
Since the topic of this thread is "better" Object Rotation, I would like to
bring up a problem with vertical rotation in ActiveWorlds, and offer a
potential solution...

Objects in ActiveWorlds are built around a 3D origin point which is
generally at the bottom of the object at the intersection of the X and Z
centerlines.

The problem this introduces is that, for example, if you try to rotate a
cube 90 degrees around the x axis (through the y-z plane) you burry half of
the object underground.

The solution I propose is to rotate them around a semi-artificial center.
The new center of rotation would be halfway between the two extremes of the
y axis at the x-z origin. Not sure if or how it could be done.. but there
it is anyway.

TechnoZeus

[View Quote] Regards,

Björn Mitz

ICQ 4185626
bjoern.mitz at swipnet.se
Citizen of Active Worlds,
resident of A'A world, as Beardo.
http://home5.swipnet.se/~w-57902/
http://www.flashback.net/~beardo/
Raven Shadow skrev i meddelandet <35479788.0 at sundev>...
I'd like to see some x and z axis rotation capabilities added ..
Imagine the increrased objectflexability ! Not to mention 1 object could be
a wall panel , floor pice , angled roof piece, flat roof piece , a slope
..... etc...
Instead of having 10 diferent objects the sam size to fill thes
roles 1 could leave room for different sized versions to be made , so we can
fill small and medium sized gaps without
all that ugly overlap :-)

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