Originally posted to AWNews.org in January 2005 by Syntax.
Edition 1: AWGZ
AlphaWorld 0n 0e in 2015 (still dilapidated ;D)
Hello folks and welcome to the first edition of what I dub the “Alphaworld Critic”. This new article I will be writing is going to focus on creations that have been made in Alphaworld (AW in the worlds list, for those of you who don’t know). I will be “reviewing” them I guess, by giving ratings on a scale of one to ten after writing a bit about the building. I’ll cover all sorts of topics that I won’t bother to list here.
I was thinking about my first building review and I thought what better building is there to start it all off with than Alphaworld Ground Zero. Let’s get started, shall we?
I remember back in 1998 when I owned an old 166MHz computer with a 56kbps modem. Only problem was it didn’t download at 56kbps, or even 3kbps. It downloaded at about 0.1kbps because I was a computer n00b and I had some settings set wrong. Anyway, I remember downloading Active Worlds on this computer a few months after a friend had showed me it and logging in as a tourist looking for some adventures. I found my way to the worlds list and ended up clicking on a world called “AW” because it had the most users.
Needless to say, the only thing I ever ended up seeing was about 14,000 little black triangles and an un-textured news1.rwx object with the name “Dnews” on it. I wanted to explore this world and nothing was going to stop me. Actually, a modem downloading at grandma speeds did.
I eventually ended up fixing the modem setting and gave Alphaworld one more try. I landed and things began appearing around me. Billboards, brick roads, a pink art piece and even a house floating up in the sky all appeared. “Cool” I thought as I flew around exploring the area, “this is a nice little park.”
A few years passed, the subscription prices were raised. I learned to build and joined a large community and made many friends. I have seen a lot of change over my years in Active Worlds but one thing did not change one bit: Alphaworld GZ.
For all the years I’ve been passing in and out of the GZ, the same things have always been there. The triangle planters, the four way red-brick road, the eight billboards and that pink DAAP art thing. Nothing has changed.
Let’s get to the point already: Alphaworld GZ is not pretty. Especially over the years as higher-ups have come and about quadrupled the size of the billboards with the “Object count”, “3.6 Uses Click for NASA Feed”, and “Old Funny Click Here :)” signs. Honestly, in a couple of years those billboards are going to be 1500m high.
Curious tourists like me back in 1998 don’t have much to look forward to when landing in Alphaworld. They can explore about a 4 coordinate radius from 0n 0e before being bombarded with advertisements and picture downloads from citizens who have managed to squeeze a few objects into the open land areas that are all too abundant around the ground zero area. If the lag doesn’t drive them away, the sheer annoyance of 1000 picture downloads will.
A place like Alphaworld GZ should be constantly changing, like the rest of the world is constantly doing. I know it has some sentimental value but speaking from experience of viewing change in Active Worlds, that sentimental value only lasts a week or two. Remember back when some of the Alphaworld textures (i.e. brick1) and the glass objects were changed? People were outraged for about one week and then everyone adjusted. My point is, Alphaworld GZ needs to be changed, and here are a few minor suggestions.
- Get someone (*cough*AWHS*cough*) to wipe all the ads in a 20 or 30 coordinate radius around AWGZ and lay some sort of ground cover underground to prevent it all from being rebuilt.
- Update the teleports to the northeast of 0n 0e and put some new towns on there. All these old buildings from 1996 are fine, but they are way past their date. These teleports belong at the AWHS headquarters, not at Alphaworld GZ.
I’m sure there’s many more to list but I won’t bother. The list would seriously be too long, but the above is a start.
My final comment is that this build is a very poor excuse for the “Largest virtual world in Cyberspace.” It deserves better, much better. Alphaworld has such a storied history but has a much brighter future. It’s time to let go of the past and start pushing for some new ideas and looks and the first place we can start is with the redevelopment of the world’s ground zero. I’m sure this would act as an ample symbol for bringing Active Worlds’ most famed world up to the level of many other worlds in the universe.
Alphaworld Ground Zero (AW 0n 0e) - 2/10
- 1 point for being able to stay around so long
- 1 point for the excessive z-buffering at the “amphitheater” just east of 0n 0e
Wait… make that 1/10. -_-