|1995 is part of a series.|
1995 is the year Active Worlds came into existence (at first AlphaWorld prior to 1996). May also be known in some cases as year 0 in Active Worlds.
On June 28th, 1995, AlphaWorld (later Active Worlds) had its first "official" release to the general public.
Review Beta 52
These notes were shipped with build 52 to build 68.
Alpha World Version Beta 52 Dec 28th 1995 From Worlds Inc. Worlds, Inc. seems to know exactly what the VRML language should evolve into. I wasn't prepared for anything new from this amazing company until later this fall when the greatly anticipated Worlds Fair is expected to be released. I couldn't have been more surprised to learn of the release of a new, 'super' version of Worlds Chat called AlphaWorld. While still in beta, this program shows promise of being extremely interesting and entertaining to individual users as well as being profitable at the corporate level . Like Worlds Chat, AlphaWorld is a 3-dimensional landscape complete with scenery, realistic objects, and generic avatars. Once you naturalize yourself with the AlphaWorld immigration patrol, youll be able to control your own avatar and converse with others as you venture out into the world. While the extremely useful and time-saving hot-spots feature (similar to bookmarks but on a 3D level -- think of them as teleportation devices) of VRML isnt included in the beta release, you can navigate in many new ways including a flying mode and a 3rd person point of view, as well as the more common walking mode. So what gives AlphaWorld even more potential than Worlds Chat? In addition to its ability to portray realistic landscapes and objects (including trees, houses, and even fire hydrants), every object in Alpha World has the potential for acting as a link to a web site, gopher site, mail address, newsgroup, and more. Combine this with a forum for conversing with hundreds of others and you have the beginning of an extremely new and fascinating technology that corporations will be able to use in augmenting typical activities like training sessions, presentations, conferences, and perhaps most importantly, marketing and advertising promotions. Worlds Chat also has many of these features but is limited in the types of objects that can be represented. This is perhaps best evidenced by AlphaWorlds potential for virtual communities. Entire communities can be created with AlphaWorld -- communities that we may well learn to call our second home someday in the future. Inns, houses, malls, and stores are just a few examples of the virtual real estate that can be found in AlphaWorld. With the aid of any common web browser, you can also create links to any site on the Internet from your virtual home. While AlphaWorld does have potential, users should be aware that this technology is still in beta and presents several areas that could be improved. First, the multitude of avatar types found in Worlds Chat are forsaken for just one generic avatar in this version of AlphaWorld -- perhaps there will be more in the future. Also, AlphaWorld tends to be quite slow relative to Worlds Chat due to its rendering technology (this technology is expected to be upgraded and improved in the near future). Finally, some Windows 95 and 3.1 users are currently limited to watching others communicate, due to a problem with certain video drivers. Not discounting these current limitations, this is amazing technology that is almost too good to be true. If youre getting impatient for Worlds Fair to arrive, take a look at AlphaWorld -- you wont be disappointed. Pros: Super Worlds Chat -- a new 3-Dimensional world to explore with near limitless possibilities Cons: Slow, limited to one generic avatar, communications problem with some video drivers New: Improved performance; automatic updates; new building objects; including an animated TV Version Reviewed: Beta 52 Date of Review: 12/28/95 This review used with permission from The CWSApps List -- http://cwsapps.texas.net Copyright 1995 - Forrest H. Stroud