May 22, 2006

Renovations :)

If you haven't been around for awhile, the first thing you may notice are some of the changes happening to the City of Nidus over the past few months. We have a new Ground Zero, with a few new objects to go with it, and we are in the middle of designing the new Starbucks as well as have been workig on the new floorplan for the arcade.

What this means for the visitors (that means you) is that instead of us using hundreds of objects and wasting your download times and frames per second, you will instead begin to see a steady increase in FPS as we continue. What used to be a very low 5 FPS we are now at around 20 - 30 FPS. I think we are making some progress in this area.

The Starbucks is by far incomplete, but since the building's outer shell was complete we decided to put it in place of the old Starbucks and work on it around GZ instead of the backwaters of the world where we test everything before release. We'll be working out the textures and layout as well as some custom interior based on actual photographs of the outside as well as the inside of Starbucks.

The Arcade (while it curently looks aweful) is definitely in the planning stages. We have put together a much more detailed floorplan based off of an old hometown favorite of MPL Knight; Blockbuster Golf and Games. MPL Knight is a native of Sunrise, Florida,and growing up he remembers playing the VR Games at this arcade center. Recently it was brought up that Blockbuster Golf and Games was shut down and sold to become an Ikea in his hometown.

So based off of pure memory, MPL Knight has decided to try and recreate Blockbuster Golf and Games general layout (based on what he remembers as a kid). We'll see how this turns out.

In other news... nothing much. Still working diligently in all fields: the GothRock band Myndkill has agreed to do a concert in our arena in the near future. We are still working out the details of this and if we want it to be a fully live show straight from the studio or not. Check the VR5 website for details as we post them.

Metaverse 3.6c was recently released on the website and corrects previous problems with changing installation directories. Now the installer will not only allow you to choose your own custom directory, but will change the appropriate settings in the aworld.ini file to accomodate. Generally speaking, this means that choosing something other than the default directory will not disable any of the features we have built in.

In cooperation with SWChris of the AWE fame, we are also releasing AW Enhanced for Metaverse. This add-on pack for Active Worlds replaces the low resolution textures used in AW world with higher resolution and crisper looking textures from a local directory. The normal version availible from SWCity runs about 10Mb for download, and the one we are releasing is around 3Mb. There is no noticable change in detail with our version, and should be an easy download even for Dialup users.

For more information, check out