Vol. 3, No.2, February 1, 2000
Highlights From This Issue:
Active Worlds News, Product Highlights, Contests
Active Worlds 3.0 Beta Coming Soon!
You've heard the rumors, and it's true. Version 3.0 is on the way!
We've been hard at work over the last year creating an all-new version
of the Active Worlds software, with more features than ever before.
Topping the list of new features for 3.0 is native support for the
latest generation of 3D acceleration hardware, bringing a level of
performance and realism to Active Worlds like you've never seen
The beta testing period for version 3.0 will begin soon. Beta
testing will be open to all registered citizens of Active Worlds.
We will have a beta sign-up page available at www.activeworlds.com
when the 3.0 beta is ready to go.
The initial beta version of Active Worlds 3.0 will also have some
specific system requirements. To beta test version 3.0, you
will need to have a Pentium MMX CPU with at least 32 megabytes
of RAM. You also must be running either Windows 95 or 98.
In addition, you must have a 3D accelerator video card in your PC,
preferably with at least 4 megabytes of RAM.
Watch this space for more updates about the beta program and
about this exciting new version of Active Worlds!
Active Worlds T-Shirts!
Want the latest thing in cyber-style? Be the first person in your
virtual world to have your own cool 100% cotton t-shirt with an
Active Worlds logo on the front and back.
Available in one size (XL) and a ton of cool colors for only $14.95!
Check out the web site for details on how to order and colours!
Bot Of The Month Club!
(courtesy of Hamfon and the Hambots)
This month we will profile the AWSpades bot, written by Andras. The
comments below discuss, in his own words, how he wrote it and how it works.
This will give you some idea of the issues a bot author faces, and how to
The bot is written in C++ (Borland CBuilder4). The basic operating
architecture is an event driven system with asynchronous calls and timers
implemented. It has one single instance for the whole game world but it
handles 20 independent tables.
To free up the chat window for the users, the bot uses heavily the
AW_OBJECT_CLICK event to handle almost all of the user interaction and the
aw_object_change() to changes the objects very frequently (raising cards,
shuffle hand, etc). It has bidirectional linked lists for the objects it
handles to minimize the search time for each click event and to handle the
objects associated with the game. No any object stored in those databases
which has nothing to do with the play. Robotplayers are handled within the
bot as regular avatars except when they have their turn, they simulate most
of the clicks the user would do. Some of the actions are handled through
the server issuing object clicks to them like seat assignment. The robot
player's intelligence is rule driven - that seems sufficient for the users.
The bot has a limited DJ feature built in to avoid interaction with other
bots. (No outside object add/delete is implemented within the bot program)
It can play Spades AND Bridge now.
As you can see, creation of a well-written bot requires attention to
detail, and a lot of hard work!
Thanks, Andras, for sharing your experiences with AWSpades Bot :-))
AW Tech Support Tip of the Month
Tips & Tricks - Web Teleports!
- If you click on a teleport link in your email reader or on a web page
and your web browser asks what to do with the file, open it or save it
- Then the "Open With" window will pop up and ask what program
do you want to use to open the file with. You need to select the "Other"
- If you have the Activeworlds browser installed to the default
location you can just type in C:\active worlds\aworld.exe in the "File
Name" line. (If you have installed AW into a different location you will
need to specify that location.)
Web teleport links should now work :)
Got Your Report Cards For The Fall Term? Well, We Wanna See 'Em
March 1st is the deadline to get your report cards in to be considered for
this round of academic achievement awards. Remember, you don't just have
to get straight A's or 100% to be considered, we have awards for improving
your grades over the whole year. So if you think you didn't do too well
last term, but you really worked hard and showed your stuff this term, send
us both report cards for consideration!
For more information check out the web site at
Flagg's Top 10 Picks Of The Month
Flagg has become quite the worlds traveller in AW, and each month he will be sharing some of his favourite spots in the Universe! Flagg's Top 10 worlds this month are:
Other Hot Spots We Recommend!
Check out these really cool places in the AW Universe :)
Mars, one of the really cool AWCOM public building worlds!
Mauz's Historical Recommendation Of The Month!
Laurel's Herb Farm in the historic Sherwood Town Forrest, one of
AW's earliest communities. (AW 93N 181E)
From the AWEC Calendar
February 2000 Events
February 5th, 8:30PM VRT Definition Of Dance Nightclub Launch (AW 15023n 56w
February 5th, 12:00PM VRT Utopia January Building Contest Ends (Utopia 49s 49e)
February 12th, 7:00PM VRT Valentine's Day Ball (AWCC)
February 12th, 11:00PM VRT ZGV's New Art/Artist Exhibition (cofmeta 1000N
February 13th, 6:00PM VRT Marriage of donor and izzy (AW 818s 2499e)
February 5th, 5:00PM VRT AWHS Historical Tour (AWCC)
February 20th, 6:00PM VRT Community Show Off (AWCC 26s 2e 240)
To let the community know about your upcoming event, please submit the
registration form on the Active Worlds Event Committee's web page.
Active Worlds University Classes in Building, Graphic Arts, RWX Modeling,
and AW Technologies
Astrology & Relationships discussion, Mondays 1:00AM VRT in A1stLove
Name that Tune, Tuesdays midnight VRT in America
America's Wednesday Night Trivia, Wednesdays midnight VRT in America
Bingo in AWBingo, every Wednesday night
Panel of Experts, Thursdays at 10:00PM VRT
!Tek Talk!, Fridays at 12:00AM VRT
"Tech Talk" with Active Worlds lead developer Roland Vilett,
Fridays at 8PM VRT, in AWUniv
iTalk, Fridays at 9:30PM VRT
Battle of the Sexes, Saturdays midnight VRT in America
News From The Active Worlds Community
Cy AwardsLogo Contest
(courtesy of AlphaBit Phalapha)
The Cy Awards is looking for a new logo .for the Cy2000 Awards .....AND....
AWCom, Inc.is graciously donating a PS8XE world for one year as the first
place prize! Citizens and non citizens alike may enter and will be given equal
Keep in mind that the image chosen will be widely used in publicizing the Cy
Awards as well as in worlds associated with the awards, it will be used as a
stand alone image and may also be used as a texture and will become sole
property of The Cy Awards .
All entries must be received by April 1st 2 7:00PM VRT.
See the web site for complete contest details!
AW Community Says A Sad Good-Bye To A Dear Friend
(courtesy of Sektor and the Gate Keepers)
I am sure that all of us Citizens have been informed about the tragic
death of Polgara.
Polgara was one of the first people I spoke to when I came to Active Worlds
as a tourist, and she welcomed me, as she did everybody, into the community
with warmth and a helping hand. She was extremely respected among the
GateKeepers and her services will be greatly missed.
Polgara was an asset to the AW Community in many ways, as well as being a
GateKeeper, she was also a member of a Building Committee. Many, as a friend,
will miss her in many ways, both for her professional credits and, by many,
as a friend.
For those of you that wish to contribute to her memorial, and haven't already
done so, you are invited to lay a tile in Lake Polgara which is in Alpha World
AW 1898S 467W facing W 1.8 meters up. Anybody who would like to contribute,
please feel free.
AWHS Museum Announces The Opening Of It's New Wing
(courtesy of Tyrell and the AWHS)
The new wing of the AWHS Museum is now complete and open for those wishing
to check it out. A number of new Historical JPGs have been added to the
Museum aswell. If you've checked out the Museum in the past a return visit
If you'v not (yet) visited the AWHS Museum then why not drop by and check
on Alpha over the years. There is a new display called 'The Changing Faces
of GZ', located in the new wing, that shows (will show) the changes Alpha
GZ goes thru' thu-out year(s) (starting with the 'storm, flood' this summer
('99) and including Christmas '99 and New Years 2000.)
The AWHS Museum is located at AW 1501N 500E
Valentine's Day Extravaganza
(courtesy of AWCC and AWEC)
Come join the party in the AWCC on February 12th at 7:00PM VRT - lots of
fun, music, chat, and friends - what better way is there to celebrate
Get To Know Your Neighbours
We think it would be great if everyone got a chance to get to
know some of the volunteers in the community, and to find out
why they love AW so much. This month we're highlighting the
Gatekeeper of the Month, Mauz! Also meet Lara, who volunteers for the Gatekeepers and the AWSchool!
If there's a volunteer you'd like to see us highlight, let
(courtesy of Mauz)
Hi, I'm a 32 year old woman from Finland and I do computer support and
operating for living.
I have been using AW ever since 1996, after I had read about it in a
computer magazine. I took my nickname from the German word "Maus", because
I like mice and my real name starts with M too. For the first year I just
wandered around AW because it looked so magnificent, like a lucid dream.
Then I learned to build and found out that it was much easier than I had
imagined, doh. Later I built with other people as well and made some really
good friends. And now I have worlds of my own...
I have been a Gatekeeper ever since the program started in December 1997,
because I wanted to answer people's questions and welcome them to the best
virtual place I know. I'm still not much of a hugger I'm afraid, but I think
we are all needed at the Gate :)
(courtesy of Lara)
Hi, I'm Lara, a 55 year old woman who lives in Tennessee. In "real life",
I have a dog boarding kennel. I've shown dogs (Rottweilers - friendly
ones!) for over 30 years. For about twenty years, I also trained and showed
American Saddlebred horses. I enjoy all kinds of card games, particularly
So, I came into Alphaworld in April 1996 and have been building ever since!
My biggest never-ending project is NorthWest Builders Supply (an object
yard at AW 1096n 988w) which I began in November 1996 simply for myself,
because I wanted to see all the objects in one place. Had I known about
Little Bull's great object yard back then, my supply yard never would have
Besides actually building, I enjoy spending some time as a volunteer
teacher in AWSchool world, helping newcomers learn to build. There are many
3D chat programs, but Active Worlds' building feature is the most
attractive to me. Remembering how long it took me to figure out how to get
my first starter object to "stick", makes me sympathize with newcomers who
download the program and want to start building right away. AWSchool world
(conceived by Jetta Lewis) does a great deal to make those first building
steps easier for newcomers. It's fun to hear the "wow!" when a newbie,
assisted by a friendly teacher, sees his/her first wall appear.
How Many Citizens Does It Take To Fill A Booth.rwx?
(courtesy of Chapeau)
Late in January a group of AWGZ regulars decided to put this age old question
to the test! Check out this picture and see how many you can count!
(courtesy of Blythe Spirit and Who)
The competition is open to all and is based on a Underworld (dungeon
type) maze (similar to an early rpg computer style game) where the
contestants have to complete a quest and answer questions along the way.
All entrants that successfully complete the Underworld Quest will
receive a prize of an Ethereal T-Shirt. There will also be extra prizes
awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Quest.
The Underworld is a maze that covers around 80,000sq metres and includes
player interaction with 4 bots that also auto-save the players current
state of game play. Thus allowing the player to complete the quest over
a period of time - you have all month to do it! :)
Building Tips & Tricks From The Crew At AWSchool
(courtesy of Kellee)
" Ain't those square black boxes annoying?"
A "create animate me" texture is a JPG - a picture, stored in JPG format
on the www. These jpgs are stored for use in AW (Activeworlds) as the
textures,or patterns on objects.
When an object is made and uploaded to the www for use in AW, the file
contains a "pointer" to tell it where to look for the texture the creator
wants it to use. The "pointer" will be the filename of a texture and the
directory it is on. In alpha worlds case this is
So all the textures that you see in alpha world are loaded onto the www at
that address. From there, they are accessible to the "animate me" command
as well as the objects they are designed for.
So,in other words,the file named tree.jpg not only is used by the object
tree1m.rwx but it CAN be used by the create animate me command - create
animate me tree1. 1 1 0. Same with the texture used by tree2s.rwx, can
be used by the command - create animate me tree2. 1 1 0
It's the same texture, same jpg, just a different application.
Now, when these textures are used by the "create animate me" command
they dont contain the mask file that makes the surrounding edge invisible.
The zip file for the object contains the mask file and that is what makes
the texture appear without a square edge, even though the picture itself is
So when using create animate me's that should have masks be
careful.....they can appear with black boxes around them if you haven't
already downloaded the mask from the object.
A solution to the problem is to build yourself a mini-building yard with
all the masked objects and no animate me's, and use this as your "home"...
so the masks always load first :o)
Good Luck and Good Building :o)
Gotta Problem? Call A Peacekeeper!
If, while you are travelling in AW, you find yourself in distress
don't hesitate to call upon the Peacekeepers for aide! The
Peacekeepers are community volunteers who are available to help you
with issues pertaining to harassment and vandalism, or any other
troublesome situation. They are a great resource for conflict
resolution and mediation! To find out more about the Peacekeepers,
please visit their web site at
or email them at
We Wanna Hear From You!
If you would like to write an article for the newsletter or have a project you would like to share with the community through this newsletter, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more about participating.
Need Help With AW?
Wanna Take Building Lessons?
Beginners - AWSchool
Intermediate/Advanced - AWUniv
Clase de Construcción en Español - Spanish
If you can't find the object you need to finish your project, then try one of the many building yards other community members have created! Teleports courtesy of The Real Pops (AW 8985S 187W).
The Official Active Worlds Web Site
The Active Worlds Web Ring
The Active Worlds Community Pages
The Active Worlds Yellow Pages
Ring of Chaos
AW Contact Information
Active Worlds Commitment To Education Program
The Gate Keepers are citizens of Active Worlds who have decided to devote an amount of their own time to helping new users of the system to get used to the software, the environment, and the culture of ActiveWorlds.
The Peacekeepers are citizens of Active Worlds who have volunteered to devote time to aiding new users and assisting all users in disputes and try to prevent harassment of any user by others regardless of the form, be it verbal abuse and harassment, racism or vandalism.
SMILE : ) AWCOM LOVES YOU!
The staff at Activeworlds.com, Inc.