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A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 5:09am
Like I said, "it will be much easier if people learned how to create their own objects". :)

[View Quote] > Actually, what I'm suggesting here could not be accomplished by simply
> adding new objects as it would require a set of 16777216 variations on each
> texture and a corresponding object for each variation. At the very least,
> that would be quite impractical.

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 5:11am
Doesn't matter. Other people showed support for this when I brought it up in the newsgroups before but Roland still stuck to the "oh the whole command structure needs redoing" bit, or something. <shrug>

[View Quote] > I also suggested this one last year. Actually, it wouldn't require any
> addition or changes to the command names. Only changes to the parsing
> routine that looks for the names.

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 8:52am
I was only referring to the same-named textures but with #s at the end. Guess you didn't look more carefully at what *I* said. :)

[View Quote] > True, but that's not all it does. As I said, if you look more carefully you
> will see that what this does is not possible with the animate command unless
> you encorporate several objects each with a portion of the action desired.
> For example, a single object can presently have multiple adone
> pseudotriggers, but there is no purpose since they are all tied to the same
> animate command. By allowing trigger delay timers, you would be able to
> not only animate an object with consecutive textures of either the same name
> or different names, but also to a wide variety of sophisticated actions with
> simple commands on a single object.

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 8:54am
Correlation is relative. If you missed it, then there never was one...for you.

[View Quote] > True, but I missed the correlation. Or was there one?

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 8:57am
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Tell it to Roland. But be prepared for his usual response. COF really needs to get more programmers to get AW developed faster. Until then, it'll always move at this slow pace...and meanwhile something like Tomb Raider will develop multi-player capabilities, level editing, chatting, etc...

[View Quote] > Well... Maybe the parser is a good place to start. :·)

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Tell it to Roland. But be prepared for his usual response. COF <I>really</I>
needs to get more programmers to get AW developed faster. Until then, it'll
always move at this slow pace...and meanwhile something like Tomb Raider
will develop multi-player capabilities, level editing, chatting, etc...

[View Quote] --------------3AC9EDC1DC7E47CD2FFF82CE--

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 3:32pm
No, I wasn't even addressing that issue, but that'd work.

[View Quote] > Okay. I think I see what you're saying. That my original "example" could
> be simulated by renaming the flame, water and snow textures... for example,
> to surface1.jpg, surface2.jpg, and surface3.jpg and then using a single
> animate command such as:
> create animate me surface 3 3 10000, astart
> to cycle through them. Am I correct Eep²?

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 3:37pm
Aside from people making their own objects or building in an "object colorer"? No.

[View Quote] > Any other comments on the Tint command?

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 5:19pm
Allow me to quote:

"This can already be done through animate commands if the texture files are numbered (tree1.jpg, tree2.jpg, etc). I don't think there's a way to make it switch to different texture names though (tree1 to snow1, for example) though."

Meaning, if you don't mind just trees (or whatever as the texture, so long as its got the same root name), textures can be cycled. And, yes, what you later suggested about renaming different kinds of textures (dirt, snow, grass, water) to the same root name (t1, t2, t3, t4) would currently work. Obviously this is hard to do in COF worlds but it is possible with the existing animate command.

[View Quote] > Okay Eep². Guess you lost me somewhere then. What was it you were saying
> could be done with an animate command?

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 5:25pm
I meant having a way to change the colors of an object (either completely=
or per polygon) within Active Worlds itself. Basically, (heh) what AW ne=
eds is a built-in modeller. Roland mentioned, in Cubed a month or so ago,=
about a way to shape the ground within AW. Since AW is a real-time build=
ing environment, it would make sense to be able to actually create the mo=
dels within AW as well. But for this to happen, AW would have to probably=
change a LOT in very fundamental ways (cell division), full 3D rotation,=
vertex/polygon creating/editing/deleting (including coloring, texturing,=
etc), and other things like wireframe (and maybe pointcloud) views to se=
e the object better during creation/editing. Basically, maybe even just a=
way to link AW with Modeler ( that's currently =
being developed by Neil Colvin would work. Maybe when (if) COF ever relea=
ses an AW API such a thing could happen.

[View Quote] > Okay, I'll bite... How do you build an "object colorer?"

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 5:33pm
Hey, Dthpunk, give me credit for that! You learned that from me a couple weeks ago. ;P

[View Quote] > Wow, I never knew that. I will tell all my builders about that now, as
> well as my co-world owners.
> Thanks
[View Quote]

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 5:36pm
So who was the guy who went nuts with bump warps all over the place a couple months ago or so? Wasn't that Techno Zeus? I thought his teaching privileges were revoked...

[View Quote] > I believe the reason you lost him is that you were stating the obvious
> unnecessarily. I am sure that he was already quite aware of the way
> animation commands currently work since he is an accomplished builder
> and, if I am not mistaken, an instructor in AWSchool.

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 8:17pm
Just because people would be able to use a modeller doesn't necessarily mean performance will suffer. If tips and guidelines are given (as well as perhaps a density--# of vertices/polygons--setting was in effect, or something), performance shouldn't have to suffer at all. Especially if it's just to recolor some polygons. Performance suffers with more textures, bilinear texture filtering ("filter" texturemode command), and, of course, more vertices/polygons. And I think I even read somewhere that object data inhibits performance, so with the more of these commands you want in, the slower things are gonna be...if what I read about is true, mind you. I don't see any performance decrease in areas with lots of data in the action/description fields, so I dunno.

[View Quote] > Ah, good point. That would however encourage less effecient building,
> storage and performance wise at least. The addition I'm proposing here
> would encourage the re-use of objects rather than discourage it, and would
> still add variety and allow more creativity than is presently possible
> without severe loss of efficiency.

A few old ideas

Apr 26, 1998, 11:09pm to make a wager on that? ;)

[View Quote] > eerr... i seem to remember distinctly roland saying that custom av's will be out with 2.1 . . . . .

A few old ideas

Apr 28, 1998, 1:27am
Better yet, screw words altogether and add checkboxes for the triggers, commands, arguments, etc

[View Quote] > I'd rather have the words. They don't have to be stored as words, AW could
> store them as a 1 byte representation like BASIC used to do and translate
> them to words for display/editing. That way the length of the command is
> irrelevant and you have maximum optimization of space.

A few old ideas

Apr 28, 1998, 7:49am
Yea yea...we'll see...

[View Quote] > Roland said that custom avatars was high on the list™ for ver. 2.1 :)
[View Quote]

A few old ideas

Apr 29, 1998, 2:04am
The same way it's accomplished now. Programming is programming, and checkboxes, radio buttons, and listboxes are common Windows GUI components so it shouldn't be a problem. Typing sucks.

[View Quote] > Bad idea. That would mean extra programming to implement new command
> features and a zillion check boxes and how you determine the the sequence of
> multiple commands using check boxes and if you needed to change the order
> later how would you accomplish it?

A few old ideas

Apr 29, 1998, 4:24am
Feh...wizards...that would take even more work than simple radio buttons, checkboxes, and listboxes. Never did like wizards...made me feel like an idiot. Stick to help file references ("?" box in upper right corner of Object Properties dialog).

[View Quote] > Maybe a "wizard" type of gueded command creator would be a nice addition...
> Click a button and get guided through the process of chosing a type of
> command, when you want it to happen, and so on.. and then a chance to add
> another command until you tell it that you're finished.. then the command
> could be concatinated and placed in the Action window for you where you
> could leave it as is, or choose to modify it. That way you don't take away
> any of the power or flexibility of the "command line" but you add the ease
> of use and quick learning associated with a graphical interface. :·)

A few old ideas

Jul 13, 1998, 11:14am
Just some notes on gaps and circles. To see some spirals with little-to-no gaps, visit my AlphaWorld site at:

Then go to the Exhibits section and look at the Ribbon and DNA Strand/Double-Helix structures. That's as gapless as I could get with AW.

A better solution would to just make the [Shift] movements every 1cm. Even better (although probably unnerving) would be every 50mm, 10mm, or 1mm, but maybe that could be a special with the [Scroll Lock] on or something.

Gaps in objects (like the AlphaWorld glass and panel objects with frames) are because of RenderWare not treating the edges of the frame and panel polygons the same. My first structure was the glass pyramid at the above coordinates and I remember spending DAYS trying to get rid of those damn gaps, but I never could. I started out doing the pyramid with all the standard movements (no [Shift] movements), but then the gaps appeared. I also see this gap effect in Tomb Raider II, so it must be an artifact of 3D engines or something. Hopefully programmers will figure it out soon cuz it sure looks like crap.

On another note, I'd like finer avatar collision detection. Right now, according to Roland, all avatars use a 1m x 1m 2D square (probably a sprite) centered around the avatar's "torso" clump. I think avatars should at LEAST use their outermost bounding box for collision detection. My rat avatar in Utah can't go in between the horizontal and diagonal I-beams. :( And walking near things like the chainlink fence and other things triggers the sounds, even though from 3rd person view the avatar hasn't even visibally bumped into them.

Another thing I'd like (and asked Roland about months ago) would be to be able to click ANYWHERE to deselect an object, not just on the infinite ground object, background/backdrop, sky, or the object itself. It's VERY annoying when in a cluttered area or a world which uses a modular ground.


Apr 26, 1998, 6:22am
Privacy? You can still see their text (and avatars) through things.

[View Quote] > With 2.0 worlds you can turn off "shift" (walking through objects) and
> teleports. I propose an additional feature; a solid off keyword. A owner of
> a house could actually have a door which only would allow through people
> knowing this keyword. Pricacy in aw!


Apr 26, 1998, 12:39pm
Uh, so what? Go hide your porn elsewhere.

[View Quote] > ahh.. but not see what kind of pictures they have on the walls:)


Apr 26, 1998, 3:31pm
I'd rather have bots, bumpable (movable) objects/avatars, better collision detection, and no pauses before playing sounds. Now THAT would be interactive content.

[View Quote] > Did I mention porn?
> Anyway, back to the subject.. this feature could help add something AW
> sorely need; interactive content.

'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 3:36pm
The correct 3D term is "fogging" and RW can supposedly do it. I recently asked Roland about adding fogging to AW, actually, and he said he tried to get it to work in the past but couldn't figure it out or something, so, like most of the cooler features, it's never been done. The Tomb Raider series has fogging and it is a nice way of blending things in, although it blends to black rather than white as in your flight sim pic.

[View Quote] > Instead of objects just stopping dead 30m, 40m, etc. in front of you,
> how about fading them out in a fog-like effect between (for 30m) 25 and
> 35m? This kind of effect is seen in many flight sims and also I think
> it's in a few of the 3D shooters. I guess the proper name for it is
> "haze" but I'm not sure... Still a neat idea, whatever it is called :)

'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 5:31pm
Well, for worlds with modular grounds it shouldn't be a problem. If COF ever releases that modular groundmaking program, Shamus SAID he was gonna put into beta testing a couple weeks ago but still hasn't (and when I keep bugging him and Enzo about it, I find "it's been put on hold"--big suprise, eh?), then that would make making such ground much easier. But even WITH infinite grounds it shouldn't be a problem since fogging would just cover the part of it that's beyond visibility. I think fogging is just light fading (either to black or white) anyway, so I don't even know if it'd look good in AW, unless maybe it could fade to other colors...but even then...dunno...

As for backdrops Tomb Raider 2 uses them and fogging works fine with them.

[View Quote] > I don't actually know, but my guess is the problem was with the ground
> objects and/or the backdrop.

'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 8:21pm
[View Quote] > 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.

But if fogging is just light control/effect, z-buffering shouldn't be any more affected than it usually is in AW. Z-buffering is when a calculation has to be made in order to determine which object (polygon) shows along the z-axis (depth). Since I think fogging is just lighting, this shouldn't matter.

> 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?

Shamus Young was working on it. There's more info on my RenderWare site ( about it on the first page.

'Fog' in distance

Apr 26, 1998, 11:08pm
Uh, see what? You didn't limit the quoting to what you're specifically replying to.

[View Quote] > Correct. The difference is that people would "see" it.

'Fog' in distance

Apr 27, 1998, 1:37am
Um, no need for the low self-esteem bit, man. I'm just trying to understand what you're saying. Since, I believe, fogging is just light effects, no "flickering" from z-buffering should happen since light isn't what causes z-buffering; overlapping, intersecting, and objects close to one anothe do...and since light isn't an object, it ain't gonna do it.

And since I've never seen fogging any color other than white or black, that just gives more support that it's just a light effect. However, RW can have colored lights so perhaps colored fogging is possible--I don't know. Hopefully Roland will chime in here and set us straight.

At any rate, I was kind of hoping for a sprite effect for objects past a certain distance. But it would probably be too much in performance loss to calculuate sprite versions of all the objects past the visibility distance anyway. The avatar distance rendering in 2.0 is what I'm referring too...only for objects. But the avatar one is just a texture of one avatar made into a sprite and it's always facing you and looks kind of creepy...not too mention heavily aliased.

Then there is mipmapping, which uses different-resolution textures at various distances, but I'm not sure how that would do performance wise, as I think mipmapping is just to try and lose the moire pattern on textures from far away. For a good example of this, go to Utah world and look at my chainlink fences around GZ; they moire all over the place.

Another thing I've heard of is BSP (binary space partitioning). I think it's supposed to not render things behind other things, but I don't know for sure. I told Roland about it a couple months ago and he didn't know RW could do it, or something, and said it was something to think about. So, that could be a possibility, but who knows when or even if it'll ever happen.

COF really needs more developers to move things faster...maybe they can merge with another 3D VR company or Superscape or Blaxxun. I think I read about some 3D VR company mergers, lately...On-Live and some other one...maybe Blaxxun...not sure what that means but COF might want to look into it.

[View Quote] > 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.

'Fog' in distance

Apr 29, 1998, 12:15pm
Doesn't seem to slow Tomb Raider down much, if any; and it has software, DirectX (Direc3D), and propietary (3Dfx, Voodoo, S3, etc) renderering. And if there was an option to turn it off, in AW, there shouldn't be a problem.

[View Quote] > Yes it does, unless supported in hardware. Most people don't have cards yet that
> will support this in hardware (and even those who do, there's the driver
> issue...)

'Fog' in distance

Apr 29, 1998, 3:42pm
Not impressed?? For the complexity and versatility of TR (especially 2), it's DAMN impressive, compared to AW. Play it some more and maybe you'll change your mind. Also, turning on bilinear filtering will smooth things out. Yes, textures don't seam very well, and they can be pixelated at times (moreso with bilinear filtering off, obviously), and there are z-buffering problems (overlap), but compared to AW, TR is better in many respects. Lara's moves blow AW's avatar control out of the water, for one. Second, with all the textures and objects in TR, it still gives way better frame rate than AW. Third, TR's sound effects are MUCH better at mixing and fading than AW's poppy, jerky, glitchy sound playing.

[View Quote] > 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. :·)

'Fog' in distance

Apr 29, 1998, 6:29pm
Fabulous, champ. Have a cookie. Drive through. <boot>

[View Quote] > Neither opinion is worth the electrons their written with.

Telegram Mute

May 1, 1998, 9:19am
<gasp!> Lara posted in the newsgroups!&(*# <faint>

[View Quote] > I 'd love to have an invisible (no green checkmark) option;
> preferably one that remained set the way one left it upon shutting down
> the browser. There are many times I'd like to be able to build quietly
> for awhile until I choose to have that dreaded green checkmark appear.
> Has anyone else noticed that almost everyone turns off
> "Show what world I'm in"? I'll bet there are quite a few of us who
> would very much welcome a total privacy option.

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