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Fine-tuning Your World and Other Tips

Object actions

The Action field of an object allows you to attach behaviors to your objects. For example, you can play a sound, link an object to a hypertext page, or make objects appear or disappear in certain ways. An object can even have more than one action. To create an action, right-click on an object until you see the Object Properties dialogue. Next, enter text into the Action field. Commands have the following three parts:

If you break apart an example action message, it would look something like this:

Example action: BUMP VISIBLE OFF

What it does: The command will take place when you collide with the object. It will make the object invisible.

You can enter commands in either upper- or lower-case and you can include more than one action in a single Action field. Actions are described more fully in the section ìQuestions and Answers about Action Commandsî in the FAQ later in this chapter.

Performance options

Figure 7.106: awn4o.jpg
Use Performance options to optimize your experience in an Active World.

If you find that AlphaWorld or any other Active World just runs too slowly on your computer, select the Options menu and the Performance dialogue. Just click on the checkboxes next to options like Use Texture Maps or Play Sounds and you will reduce the amount of work the Active Worlds Browser has to do. I suggest you experiment with Performance Options until you reach an experience with which you are comfortable.

Multimedia streams in Active Worlds

Figure 7.107: dance1s.jpg
Use RealAudio to play the skating rink music.

Active Worlds supports several types of multimedia streams. In the skating rink in Winter Wonderland (this world is called guild) you will hear schmaltzy rink music played through the RealAudio system. You have to have RealPlayer installed to use this feature. You can download and install RealAudioís free RealPlayer from

Figure 7.108: mit1s.jpg
Look in on a student dormatory at MIT.

Active Worlds also supports streaming images. Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology integrated a live Web camera to play images onto a sign in their Active World area. We can watch these students in their dormitory room all day and night, which will convince you that the life of students at M.I.T. really is as nerdy as legend has it.

Figure 7.109: awn5d.jpg
A live telecast of NASAís STS-80 Shuttle Mission uses image streaming.

The preceding figure shows an innovative use of image streaming into Active Worlds to create a model of NASA Mission Control. Live images of STS-80, a mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia, are updated into an Active World area. Needless to say, this is only a hint of how virtual worlds could be used for work.

Figure 7.110: awn5e.jpg
The Mission Control crew!

If you are interested in using advanced multimedia commands, see the picture and other commands referenced under the Help menu found in the Active Worlds Browser.

© Copyright Bruce Damer, 1997, All rights reserved.