Oct 16, 2006

Virtual NES

Some testing in our current arcade will be going on over the next few weeks concerning the new Virtual NES system for use in the Active Worlds environment. So far, such included games are:
  • Super Mario Brothers
  • Metroid
  • Marble Madness
  • Kung Fu
  • Pacman
  • Rad Racer
  • Legend of Zelda
  • Castlevania I

These games require the latest version of Java which can be downloaded here in order to play.

Again, these games are extremely experimental in nature, as a Nintendo Emulator has really never been run within the AW environment. So far, it is not entirely likely that you will crash when using these games, though because AW itself is 4.1 and still buggy, the two running together could cause a problem.

If you are experiencing problems running any of those listed games in our arcade (BSOD or whatever) please send a telegram to Darian Knight (me) and let me know what was going on when it happened so I can relay this to Jamie Sanders (the programmer). Some older video cards may experience problems while running both AW and this emulator, so please make sure all of your drivers are updated before giving this a try.

Over the next week or so, it is anticipated that some new features will be worked into the Java Emulator specifically with Active Worlds use in mind (sound toggle, etc).

The most answered questions so far:

Q. How to I quit a game?

A. Just like any other game from our arcade - click the X button in the top LEFT of the browser itself. Not the X to close the browser, there is another X button that will exit the HTML from the 3D view. I may ask Jamie to implement the close button on the pages themselves. For those who have lost their X button on the top left, simply teleport someplace to get out of the screen.

Q. Help! My computer just randomly had a Blue Screen of Death!

A. Depending on the age of your video card, this could happen. Nothing serious, we assure you. Running two applications that are vying for graphics capabilities (or sound) can be demanding on a system of lower specifications. I have had this happen randomly on my 6 year old laptop because of the Nvidia GForce2Go card installed. There may be an update for your card availible to correct this (in my case there isn't an update for this card).

Q. Are these games legal?

A. The only definitive answer we have found is Yes. No ROMs are being copied to your local hard drive, so no copyrights are being broken. There is another Java Emulator that uses this technique for profit called NESCafe (they have advertising built into the emulator), and Nintendo of America has yet to give them a cease and desist order (after years of business). Virtual NES uses the same technique to load the games dynamically, so we are within the legal clear.

Q. What is so special about this version of Virtual NES? I mean, why couldn't we just link to games from his page and just bypass you?

A. Jamie has the main individual pages locked out for direct linking. He is slowly creating pages formatted for use in AW_3D target (meaning 1x size, lower sound requirements, etc). As well as retooling the actual emulator itself to be optimized for use in an AW environment (as opposed to the original which is optimized for a web page and has higher requirements).

Q. Big deal. So you are adding games to a virtual arcade in AW, it's been done before.

A. Sure. When was the last time you played the entire Nintendo library from within AW? The answer is never. This is a first in AW history, not just single flash games or a singe java game on a machine, but a single emulator Java code that can play the entire Nintendo library from a single site. That is the revolutionary part.

Q. What keys do I use to play these games?

A. The A and B buttons are the letters A and Z on the keyboard. The Start button is ENTER and the SELECT button is the Right Shift key (under the ENTER key). You also need to click on the game once to activate control of it.

Q. Original NES games? That is so old...

A. I don't see you making anything better...

As testing continues, I will add more games to the arcade. There are currently 350+ titles availible to play, so I am sure this wll keep you incredibly busy for many hours :) Enjoy! And when we are finished implementing and testing, we will make all of the links availible for all builders to use across Active Worlds.

Looking to the Future (With my Game Genie close by) - Darian Knight


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