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Is anyone still using Active Worlds?


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I got a note about changes in active worlds.

Full text : http://www.activeworlds.com/letter.html

Main part for the lasy ones :


As many of you remember, Activeworlds Corp. began charging a fee for citizenship back in 1997. It was a flat fee and helped get us over the financial hurdle we then faced. We have not changed this pricing in almost 5 years. In our early days of slow development and largely volunteer workforce it was much easier to keep our costs at breakeven. Since those days, we have expanded all areas of our staff and hardware. To say it in business terms, the cost to revenue ratio has grown disproportionately over the last year. The costs of adding staff, hardware and connectivity, along with a sagging economy have eaten into our revenues, much like many other software companies. Contracts we counted on have lapsed as companies have gone out of business. While we firmly believe that markets for our product will develop and grow, we are increasingly in a position where we have to make very difficult decisions.

To put it simply, we need to increase revenue so that we can be profitable or at least break even. Although our software and community are unlike any other, Active Worlds is also a business, very much like every other.

The choice is this; continue making these great enhancements to the Active Worlds technology and change our pricing structure to support it, or stay with our current pricing and almost certainly AW 3.3 becomes our last version. Now you see why I said there were difficult decisions to make.

Our preferred choice would be, change the pricing structure and keep AW at the forefront of Internet 3D.

The following is our proposed new pricing model:

1. Tourist mode would be eliminated.

2. New users, who log in, would have to input a credit card number and would be able to enjoy Active Worlds for free as a citizen for 2 weeks.

3. After the 2-week period, they would be charged $9.50 per month until they cancel their subscription.

This new pricing structure would go into effect on the 3rd of January, but no existing users would be affected for this initial period. Renewals would still be done at the regular $19.95, per year and sometime in early February we would announce what kind of pricing program we can offer the existing user base. We certainly appreciate all the years of dedicated loyalty you have offered to both the AW software and the community, and we will do everything in our power to offer you the best possible rate while still being able to provide regular upgrades to the Active Worlds software.

This plan comes out to a little over $2.00 a week per new user. This weekly cost is less then a cup of coffee and a donut, which some of us get every day. There are many things we all buy weekly or daily that cost a lot more than this and yet give far less enjoyment than our time in AW. We realize this is a large increase over our original pricing, and yet we see no other way we can continue our current level of support with less.

You are the voice, and ultimately you will decide if Active Worlds is worth $2.00 per week. We respect your opinions, but please understand that without this change, 3.3 will probably be the final upgrade for Active Worlds. It is our hope that you will feel that Active Worlds is worth enhancing and that together we can help make it better with each new version release.

We know we are asking for a tremendous amount of understanding from all of you, and we hope we will continue to earn your business by providing you with even greater things in the future of Active Worlds. We truly believe this is the best approach to take that will ensure the long-term success of the Active Worlds technology and its community. We hope you will all agree.

Thank you once again for all your support and loyalty these past years, it has been a great journey together and we shall forever remain grateful.

Rick Noll


Activeworlds Corp.

I'd say that they're right and should go ahead. Since the current pricing is 20$ per year, while theirs will mean 114$ per year, you realise this mean 5 times more money to them, and so with that money active worlds can survive.

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Guest Remo Williams

Wow!! IMO thats way to much. When my membership expires or this increase goes into effect thats the last I'll be using it. I'll stick with ICQ or IRc. To bad I really liked AW but to me thats way to much. I might consider $29.95 a year but $114 bah!

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Gotta agree with the BAH part, if AW increases like that, when it comes time to renew, I ain't going to. It's fun, but it ain't that much fun.

I'll save that money for GCO thank you very much!!

AW doesn't even compete!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I announce the creation of Cloud Centris! A new world (officially named CCentris) It was a long time project of mine, and with the help of a couple of friends we bought a shiny new world, a p-40-5, which means 800x800 meters with a user limit of 5 at one time.

Currently there is practically nothing to see. I'm still building my objects and searching for an adequate skybox.

Cloud Centris theme is not necessarily BC related, it depends of what the allowed builders want to do. The official theme is a large floating city. There is no set ground. If I can get a good skybox (I want the one from awgate ) I can make day and night cycles, at an accelerated speed (one day would last one hour, so it looks cool) with the use of a bot that have caretaker rights.

For now there is little to see... I'm still working and testing the world and what I can do with the objects. I was mainly inspired my a small world I visited recently, Meta3D2

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Good. I see that the announcement is out. I'd like the people who are planning to cancel citizenship to reconsider. As part of the "Cloud Centris" team, and a probable choice for the team operating "Starstation: Centron", I'd like to show some opinions now. I'd like to keep the commander's village (I haven't been there since the tourist elimination has been in effect), and intertwine it to work with Centron. Like we'll have meetings there or something. I'd like to see Cloud Centris also grow and expand; perhaps we could lay out a specific, BC ONLY section of CCentris to suit this. In fact, once Centron is online, I'd love to see (or build myself) a "Starstation Centron News HQ" or something like that.

Heh.... I'm always full of big plans and ideas, but I've never got enough time on my hands. And when I do, I'm too tired or lazy to work..... The life of a slacker. Hopefully it improves soon. (Side note: I am working on my Orion Fleet RP Source site. The plans I've been working on completely r0x0r!! You'll just have to wait and see...)

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Hmm well.. first, it's a floating city, not starstation, and, yes, you can currentlt build over anyone's property. I could solve that, but I have no intention to do it... for now. Just use common sense.

I'm still working on some issues. I fell on some problems while making the objects, mainly :

1) Putting a square texture on a triangular poly;

2) Using flat shading (unnafected by lightning);

3) Putting a name on a single poly (for image-sign tagging);

4) Having UV parameters without being forced to apply a texture.

All that, in Truespace...

Remember that I just got my world the 22nd... Even when I'm done with the basic/important objects, I must create a general layout and some stuff all around for people to have an environment to build in and be inspired by (which can be deleted as space becomes needed) You can build some stuff there and there, but don't expect it to be permanent.

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Some news about Activeworlds. They reviewed the pricing and considered the may ideas they received by mail. You can view it all here.

Here's the main part :

* Tourists are allowed limited access into the Active Worlds Universe. They are allowed only into AWGate and worlds where world owners choose to enable Tourist Access.

* World owners can pay an additional $59.95 annually on their worlds if they want to have Tourist Access enabled in their worlds. (That S*CKS!)

* All new citizens are at $6.95 per month. All current $9.50 monthly charges will change to $6.95 per month.

* All new citizens who wish to purchase an annual plan can do so for $69.95 per year.

* Existing citizens keep their rate of $19.95 until their account expires.

* Existing citizens, who expire on or before March 3, can renew at the old rate of $19.95. Any citizen expiring between March 3 and December 31, 2002, may renew for $49.95 for the year. On January 1, 2003 all renewals would be at the monthly plan of $6.95 or annual of $69.95. (eek, that's 50 for me.. my cit expires somewhere in may-june, I can't remember)

* Free citizenship with P-10 and P-20 worlds are no longer available. The P-30 will be reduced from 2 free citizenships to 1. The other worlds are not affected. Users who currently have free citizenships with their worlds are not affected until renewal time. (Note : CCentris is therefore not affected, since it's a p-40)

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Tourists are allowed limited access into the Active Worlds Universe. They are allowed only into AWGate and worlds where world owners choose to enable Tourist Access.



World owners can pay an additional $59.95 annually on their worlds if they want to have Tourist Access enabled in their worlds. (That S*CKS!)

That definitely sucks.

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I know it's hard to let go, but it's time to move on.

There is a new, uncluttered thread in the BCC, waiting to become eight pages long too.

A great thread becomes a part of history, or something like that.

*lights out at 315 posts*

[ 02-08-2002, 12:07: Message edited by: Menchise ]

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  • 18 years later...

Greetings. I am new here but, upon seeing mention of ActiveWorlds, had to drop in.

I originally joined AW in early 1999.  After a few years I'd drifted away from it though.

Now it's 2020 and I've been revisiting it and.. they still have things I built back then and before so, if you were just to have a look around those areas you might conclude that nothing had evolved. But, it fully uses rendering on my nvidia card and they've added a slew of effects and capabilities.  It's the 25th Anniversary this year too, btw.

I've been finding myself back in and experimenting with some of the new capabilities and, what do you know, it's fun and entertaining again.  The software regularly gets updated with whatever it is they're doing adding or modding.  It has been very interesting to see what is now possible and, there is a small but regular community of builders and those who just seem to either bump through or find it for the first time.  You will find the extremely varied chatter around GZ (ground zero) in AlphaWorld and, of course there are those wandering though who think it's going to be a game and don't stay too long, not even long enough to realize what they've found.. You'll find their uninformed opinions out on the webs. I don't bother trying to correct any of that since it tends to generally be a complete waste of energy. *chuckling

Mainly, I wanted to drop a note that it's still quite alive and still developing. Depending on what you do there, you'll either be better off playing with blocks on the floor or could design highly impressive and inspiring works.

Drop back in and spend a bit finding out some of the depth that's hiding in ActiveWorlds today.

Have a good one.!


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  • 6 months later...

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