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 before.

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 address them.

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!
  1. 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 select open.
  2. 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" button.
  3. 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 http://www.activeworlds.com/edu/reportcards.html

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)

Community Events

From the AWEC Calendar

February 2000 Events
February 5th, 8:30PM VRT Definition Of Dance Nightclub Launch (AW 15023n 56w 180)

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 30E 180)

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.

Regular Events
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 consideration.

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 is warranted.

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 Valentine's day?


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 us know!


Meet Mauz!
(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 :)

Meet Lara!
(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 duplicate bridge.

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 happened. :)

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!


Ethereal Contest

(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 http://aw.mpl.net/aw/textures/

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 actually square.

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 (newsletter@activeworlds.com) to find out more about participating.

Help/Contact Information

Need Help With AW?


Wanna Take Building Lessons?

Beginners - AWSchool
Intermediate/Advanced - AWUniv
Clase de Construcción en Español - Spanish
Missing Pieces?
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).

Community Resources

Web Sites
The Official Active Worlds Web Site

The Active Worlds Web Ring

The Active Worlds Community Pages

The Active Worlds Yellow Pages

Active Search

Ring of Chaos





The Wishlist

AW Contact Information

Activeworlds.com, Inc.

Billing Questions

Technical Support

Community Coordinator



Active Worlds Commitment To Education Program

Gate Keepers
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.


The staff at Activeworlds.com, Inc.