Jun 7, 2006

Tourists Are People Too : )

We love tourists. No, really :) You see, without tourism there would be no interest in the AW browser. Unfortunately, there are alot of restrictions on just what a tourist to this system can do and see. Some of the best things are completely off limits to them that we feel should not be.

There really is no call for being against tourists. Each world has to pay in order to allow them to visit, most worlds do not allow them in only because of that. Then there is the inability to have a contacts list or telegram anyone when you are a tourist. And what's up with only allowing them to have access to two lousy avatars?

Well, today we have partially solved that last problem. Not that it's a perfect solution (nothing ever is), but at least it's an idea. What you see in the picture is a tourist test subject (Bola7). What Bola looks like now is the standard Male tourist avatar from Active Worlds, which gets very redundant after the third tourist enters a world. You end up with a sea of tourists that all look the same.

Behind Bola7 in the picture are a small portion of "Loaner Avatars" we have set up in our world to allow tourists the ability to select from around forty (40) different avatars to choose from. Yes, you read correct - 40 diferent avatars for Tourist use. This is alot higher than the standard 2 availible in every other world. There are a few provisions with using these though (like you didn't see this coming).

All of the "Loaner Avatars" availible in our gallery are nothing more than avatar shaped "movers". So with any mover in AW 4.1 there are limits. You cannot use another mover object while using a Loaner Avatar. The animations for the avatar are not included with the loaner either (it's a mover). And the last thing is that because we are having a glitch with the movers, while using a loaner avatar you will not be able to fly. We tried to enable it but everytime you get into the avatar it starts to float away.

These are the basic rules with this, but I think it's an even trade off. Tourists get to choose from over 40 availible avatars to change their look, at the cost of a few restrictions. Not that these restrictions cannot be lifted. You would simply have to get out of the loaned avatar to regain the abilities you lost. Want to drive a car or use another mover? Just give up the loaned avatar first. Want to fly? Give up the loaner, friend :)

So in the end, one problem is solved while still keeping *some* restictions. We are also looking into the ability to have more than one person inside a body. Multiple personlities :) Try out the CPX900 (it's the really big one). That avatar allows for multiple people to inhabit it. The last person to get in is the driver :)

Could be interesting for Tours around a world - Have a single avatar mover that looks like a Tourguide, and everyone piles into that avatar for the tour :) Alot of things are possible here, and we would like to try and explore as many as we can.

I would also like to make a correction for the previous entry - VR5 world is not nominated for 2 Cy awards this year. Instead it was recently brought to my attention that we are in fact nominated for 3 Cy awards :) Keith Thomas for the Edge Radio presentation of the Aztech Rising Concert, The World itself for Innovation and Design, and deservingly our very own Capri Primal (MPL Capri) for the work he is doing in the world with Photorealistic and advanced modelling (check out the Starbucks he's working on).

I would like to thank everyone who nominated us for these Cy awards, and we definitely hope we win at least one for our efforts. Remember - Voting starts on June 10th, so be sure to give us a vote for at least one of our nominations :) It would be much appreciated!

... of course we would be tickled pink if we brought home all three Cy awards this year, but even I know that is just wishful thinking.. lol

Looking ahead to the future of AW - MPL Knight


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