Sunday, June 28, 2015

Web Command - Interactive Scarabian User Terminal

The web command came along after my group of friends became inactive, so our builds are largely devoid of examples of it.  I was building a TV shop in elkins beach today and decided to give it a shot with the Scarabian User Terminal.

Here's what I came up with:


create texture tv2,scale .75,picture;activate web sw=1000 sh=750 keys=on nonav

I'm pretty happy with the outcome, but this certainly shows how the SUT has aged compared to modern web apps! There's a lot of content on the page and I had to get really close to the TV to make good use of it.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

MyAW - Summer PTZ Giveaway - Week 1

Hey, everyone!  We're partnering with MyAW to host a PTZ Giveaway on MyAW throughout the summer!  MyAW is a new social network that opened earlier this week, and is exclusively for ActiveWorlds! PTZ are a currency that you can use within MyAW to redeem for prizes or trade with other users.

Every week, starting on Fridays at midnight VRT (00:00 am) we'll ask our readers to share some of their favorite places that match a particular theme.  You'll need to post the following to our MyAW "AWBuilder" group (must be logged in to view):

  • Coordinates (i.e. AW 0n 0e. World & position at minimum)
  • A screenshot of the build at that location
At the end of the week, we'll pick one of the screenshots at random to win a voucher for 100 PTZ! We'll share all locations submitted on the next week's blog, along with a public announcement of the winner. 

This week's theme is: Forest

Happy exploring, and good luck!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Facades - Transparent Windows in a Solid Wall

Today I'd like to share a very old trick -- likely a bug, honestly -- in a particular texture mask that has been used in AlphaWorld for over a decade to create windows. 

Stone1m is a very useful mask that leaves the texture unchanged except when a transparent surface is placed in front of the masked object -- the rendered area of the masked object then itself is rendered as transparent. Here's a screenshot from another angle that shows this clearly:

 As I said, this is very useful to create windows on facades that are very inexpensive users of cell space.  To demonstrate, I'll share another facade for a building I completed in Elkins Beach this week.

We start with the base selection of objects:

For this facade, we want a simple wall panel to cover the entire span of the wall. This piece will contain the stone1m masked texture, and  the windows will be placed on it.  We also want a transparent object -- winb2.rwx is a rectangular window that supports the optional texture "tag" parameter:

Texture the frame:
create texture topgrey tag=1 

Texture the pane:
create texture topgrey tag=200

Finally, we'll use p1rec0005g.rwx to add some depth and break the different levels of the facade apart. So we can arrange the facade objects in the location we want:

And then add textures, masks, and scale:

For a final result of 9 objects:

# Object          Purpose        Action
1 w1pan_1000j.rwx masked surface create texture tv4 mask=stone1m
4 winb2.rwx       windows        create texture topgrey tag=1,scale 3 1 0.1

4 p1rec0005g.rwx  depth/detail   create texture topgrey,scale 1 1 5

With this base facade completed, I replicated it out into a larger rectangular building and added some additional detailing as wall dormers and some street-level shops. The street-level shops are currently complete, but the overall structure is done:

And that's that! Feel free to share your own examples of this technique in the comments! This is a very common technique in AlphaWorld and I enjoy seeing new and creative implementations of it.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Southern Highlands Progress for Week of June 8, 2015

Working on a new low-rise construction across the road from the last building I featured on the blog.  It is still a work in progress

I like the folding wood structure, as well as the glass. I'm not happy with how the roofing has ended up or with how bulky some of the brick sections of the building are, so I may revamp those later.

The folding wood structure was created with primitives -- p1rec0200b.rwx for the flat horizontal sections, and p1rec0100g.rwx for the vertical sections.  These were scaled to make them look thicker and deeper.

I'm particularly unhappy with the middle open space that you can see very well in the fourth screenshot.  I wanted to make some apartment sorts of areas here, but it's really just coming out bulky and nasty. I'm also hitting a lot of cell space issues trying to accomodate it. That's probably going to be changed -- maybe extending the glass and just having three "floors". 

More later.

Edit: Color helped! Recolored the black windows as cyan. Also removed one of the parts of the middle floor.  May still remove the other...