Jun 21, 2006

Things and Stuff...

System Maintenance

Alot has happened over the past 12 months, here in the City of Nidus - From the complete construction and destruction of our city, to the 4.1 upgrades on the server. New abilities and commands, followed by technical difficulties on the AW Servers for unspecified reasons.

Our city has gone through alot these past 12 months, and the server has been restarted quite alot lately :) This quite probably causes alot of our visitors undue stress, to find that the world either doesn't exist or that the objects don't load as expected.

We apologize for these hiccups in service, in as much as we can apologize on our end. We aren't sure what the technical troubles are at ActiveWorlds, but we feel that they must be pretty big in order to cause repeated server restarts.

This brings me to the Object Path for our world. Over the past 12 months, we have accumulated quite a bit of stuff in our OP (old objects, new objects, copies, useless textures to test with) and so there comes a time when server maintenance is a must. We will be undergoing some server maintenance for awhile as we try to consolidate what we have and reorganize our resources. The amount of time this will take is unspecified, as we have not taken inventory to see how large this task will be.

As a visitor to our city, you may or may not experience some minor trouble when trying to view the world (world may not load any of the objects). This is normal as we may end up shutting down the server for awhile to get things in order. I personally promise that this isn't permanent, and we will be bringing the servers back online again after inventory.

The Cy Awards

On June 24th, 2006 8pm VRT The Universe will gather for the premier event of the year. The Cy Awards! The Cy Awards are like the Oscars of VR, in that a large scale event occurs with all of the citizens of the universe, where they convene and vote on multiple categories concerning the virtual universe.

Nominations have already been concluded, leaving our fair city with 4 seperate nominations in 4 different categories. I have been told by the Cy Committee this year that out of our 4 nominations, only one has made it into the final three for consideration for a Cy Award :)

Nominated for Best Event in Active Worlds, Aztech Rising Concert. This year it should be interesting, and I truly hope we win the Cy Award for Best Event. This would encourage us to further push the limits and put together more events for the universe. I have high hopes this year and I am keeping my virtual fingers crossed as I hold my breath and pass out in anticipation.. lol

In Other News

While it's a little too late to make the 2006 Cy awards, Capri Primal has made quite an advance with his recent project "Starbucks Photomodel". When we last updated, Starbucks was still a prototype build using standard AW building practices (ie: hundreds of objects and textures) to achieve it's look. Now as the new model is being worked on, we have cut it down to about 17k in model size and a few textures to load. Needess to say FPS has risen and it should take less resources to move around.

As time passes, we intend to replace the old builds with new phototextured models like we did with Starbucks, so the overall effect will be a quick and clean loading environment with less lag.

More Concerts Planned

At the end of July, we will play host to the return of Aztech Rising in our newly renovated Nidus Arena (nominated for best object). Some new renovations, and access to 4.1 effects should make this series of concerts better than our last. Details are still being worked out on whic direction we are going for this concert, though we still may continue with the prerecorded setup for ease. With the Aztech Rising concert on the PartyShip (OneSummer) the band tested out a quasi-live stream with some success.

The end of August should be bringing us a totally new band to play at the Nidus Arena - Myndkill! Hailing out of Florida, Myndkill is a type of Goth-Rock band (not sure if thats a good way to describe them) but their music definitely kicks butt! With their concert, we are pushing the envelope yet again by setting up a fully live stream from the studio. We are also looking into a live video stream for the concert as well, though as we are pushing our luck already, we may simply stick with a live webcam on that concert to go with the live stream from the studio :)

Tourist Avatars

Tourists have gotten a bad rap over the years, with the ever decreasing amount of things they are allowed to experience in the Active Worlds environment. One of our ways to show we care about tourism is to set up Avatar Movers in our city, so tourists can finally inhabit other bodies than the default two avatars on the menu.

This isn't a perfect solution, but at least we are heading in the right direction. As it stands, The City of Nidus offers 40 Avatars for Tourists (I think thats a record) through the use of the Mover command. Details are found in te avatar gallery as to what you can and cannot do with the avatars.

Again, because we will be undergoing maintenance for awhile, these things will be temporarily unavailible - but I assure you we will be bringing the OP server back online after inventory, so please be patient with us :)

Looking to the future - MPL Knight


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