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A POETICAL GAME IN MULTI-USERS 3D?

(December 2011)

 

(See further on the page for more recent news)

 

This page was completely rewritten in December 2011. The old page is still visible lower, for reference.

 

«When we see the success of video games, and their incredible force of ideological normalisation, we start to dream of virtual worlds which, in place of only accustoming us to war or to capitalism, would on the contrary be an occasion to liberate us, to awake us to a world of beauty and poetry, a world of mutual aid, collaboration and peace. Virtual worlds with plenty of marvellous scenes to explore, or a virtual community for all who already aspire to a better world... »

This wish, that I expressed in 2003, was partly fulfilled by Second Life and its successors, which effectively allowed nice communities to exist. However these platforms remain closed, proprietary, and depending on the diktats of the companies running them.

So I maintain my original wish, to create an interoperable system, open and ideologically neutral, in the spirit of the web1.

However, such a project is not within reach of a lone individual; so I launch an appeal to all the interested persons, artists, musicians, technicians, financials, spiritual masters...

 

This call took the form of an independent site, Kailye:

Manifesto for virtual worlds --- A technical proposal: Kailye and WEM --- forum

 

 

Write to the author, for instance to help or fund -- FORUM

Support this site

 

What becomes of Second Life and the Elves

 

Ancient page

 

Vote: this project is

The point on results on November 11 2003:

 

233 votes, 89% interesting, 11% not interesting. This result shows that this project could be welcomed by a large majority, thanks to all those who supported the idea. But voting for it is not enough...

 

Inworldz

 

January 2014

With the general degeneration of Second Life (and especially its arbitrary take over of the intellectual property of all its participants, TOS section 2.3, summer 2013) the only one which remains in game is Inworldz.

Today, Inworldz is technically the best, and the one with the fastest improvement, thanks to the pugnacity and competence of its developers. And it remains today one of the few which protects the intellectual property of its participants (as all virtual worlds are requested by law).

But the growth of Inworldz, after an interesting start, stalled for more than one year (2012-2013). It is difficult to guess why this happened. The main reason might be that the virtual as a whole suffered too much from the vagaries of Second Life: the fashion is passed, the energy has been dispersed.

Another explanation could be that people under 18 years are prohibited in Inworldz. This intimidates quite a lot of people, and prohibits any social, professional or spiritual uses. By comparison, Second Life is now open to all ages, even below 13 years (TOS 2013, section 3.2). So the choice of Inworldz of being limited to «adults» seems awkward, for one simple reason: there are not many amateurs (even in Second Life, the sexually explicit sims are probably no more than 200, that is less than 1% of the total).

 

Whatever, I choose Inworldz to maintain my group of Elves: «Elf Dream» and francophone subgroup «La tribu d'elfinesse». But, cautiously, I also maintain «Elf Dream» in Open Sims and Second Life (also in SpotOn3D, today closed), with my elf name Yichard Muni. For the same reason, I also just opened the «Elf Dream» group in LinkedIn, under my human name, Richard Trigaux. I am also on facebook under this name, but I advise against the use of this site.

 

Multiverse

January 2014

Multiverse, which seemed the best solution some years ago, sadly disappeared from the screens due to lack of financial support. However they offered the software to the Multiverse Foundation, under a Massachusetts Institute of Technology free software license. To give it a try, I downloaded all the software (servers and browsers).

 

Second Life

(December 2011)

 

Founded in 2003, it seemed the ideal solution to fulfil my wish: fully personalised characters, in world building, groups, etc. The success of Second Life clearly shows that it met expectations, and in facts it allowed to create many interesting places and groups, sometimes marvellous... even if the noisiest groups were the usual fascists or satanic. However Second Life quickly shown its limits:

-The system is proprietary and closed, making technical evolutions impossible. For instance we cannot coordinate an Internet forum with a group of Second Life.

-Abusive pricing allow only a minority to exist.

-The imposed roleplay of estate speculation hampers the users.

-Linden Lab, the company running Second Life, turns a blind eye to incredible disorders: stalkers, looting of intellectual property, forums filled with trolls, ridiculous bugs, etc. This «Brave New World» logically turns to «1984» with users ejected without motives and without appeal (virtual assassination), anti-pedophiles inquisition, etc.

-At least, the contemptuous and irrational attitude of Linden Lab broke the confidence of the users of every kinds, starting with the companies which supported it. So, Second Life is today on the decline, and this could lead it toward bankruptcy. For these reasons, it is today inadvisable to base new initiatives on Second Life.

 

Happily, credible alternatives now appeared, with much more reasonable prices:

-Inworldz, which favours technical quality

-(closed:) SpotOn3D, which favours the rights of the users

 

However, both are still based on the same closed technologies. We are still waiting for an open, interoperable system, independent of any personal power, and able to incorporate all the technologies which appeared since 1995.

 

The Elves

(December 2011)

 

Second Life witnessed the birth of an Elf group «Elf Circle», which was what resembled at best a vision of a better world, with a marvellous community and plenty of magnificent places, safe of these plagues which blackened the repute of Second Life. Most members were super sympathetic, and many were special, as one of the marvels of virtual worlds is to gather like-minded people, who would never encounter otherwise. So I invested a lot of time into this group, under the name of Yichard Muni.

 

 

Unfortunately, «Elf Circle», as most groups in Second Life, is now dying. So I decided to create myself the group «Elf Dream» into Inworldz, and more recently in SpotOn3D (today closed). But I am definitively not interested into attracting plenty of people with parties. I want to go directly to the essential: an humanly warm group, nice places, a vision of a better world... That the ones interested join us! I also created «La tribu d'elfinesse» (French speaking) and «Elven Bards and storytellers» for my stories of the Elves of the Dauriath.

 

L'insigne de la Tribu d'Elfinesse

SpotOn3D: Second Life without the issues

(March 1, 2010) (Today SpotOn3D is closed)

 

Second Life Would be a perfectly marvellous place, without the irrational attitude of the manageers, the «Lindens», who shut close their eyes over incredible disorders: unpunished stalkers, organized looting of copyrighted content, forums filled with trolls, etc. This «Brave New World» logically gets a look of «1984» with accounts closed without real motive and wiithout recourse (virtual assassination), anti-pedophiles inquisition, etc.

Facing this mess, I took the initiative to propose a better system: see the Manifesto for the virtual worlds and the Kailye and the WEM. However others took a different initiative: rebuild another virtual world from scrap:

 

SpotON3d

 

At first glance, this world ressembles Second Life (and it works at once, contrarily to other «alternatives» like OSGrid or Open Sims). However the difference is visible at the subscription: we start to give our physical identity. When we enter, we are warned: no more copyright theft, there is a real judge for litigations. I suppose that everything is likewise: no more griefers, and none of the other plagues which are choking Second Life. So we enter full throttle into this civilized Internet that I am wishing for since years. This civilized Internet will never give us back the absolute freedom of the Hippie Internet of the beginning, but we shall recover a lot, compared to the oppression of the Jungle law-Internet of the stalkers and pirates.

Of course today (March 1, 2010) SpotOn3D is just starting, and it looks fairly empty. But it is ready, and just awaiting for us to live in. I already started a new version of my «shedrupling University» group, and, if I had money, I would start a sim: land is half the price of Second Life!

So I would warmly recomment SpotON3d for any new initiative, and I would also recommend the migration from Second Life (most of the inventory can be transferred).

 

The Elves of Second Life

(October 2008)

 

There is a nice group in Second Life, called Elf Circle, which is what most closely looks like my project. Oh, it is not «my» theme, but it is another worthy theme: the Elves. So I decided to involve in this group, and consider it is the realization of «my» project. In world my name is Yichard Muni, and of course I am an Elf, with a gown and long hairs like in the movie! Just come to visit our wonderful lands :-)

Elf Circle is one of the niciest and well organized communities in Second Life. We are about 1500 members (October 2008) of which about 100 are regularly active. Most are nice people, and often very special people, as one of the wonders of Second Life is to put together like-minded persons who would never meet otherwise. The whole fantazy continent (including Faes, Elves, dragons, Tolkien museum, Shaolin temple...) features about 600 ha of virtual land, of which every place is beautiful or worth the visit. This land is also among the most peaceful places, free of most of the plagues which spoiled the repute of Second Life.

 

However facing the domination of english language (mostly due to the lack of involvement of europeans), I created the french speaking Elves group «La Tribu d'Elfinesse». Here is the insigna:

The insigna of la Tribu d'Elfinesse

 

(If you have a Second Life account, these links will lead you to the place. Otherwise you will have to click on the orange button, top right of the page, to install the software and open a free account)

Elven Glen, the elvish hang out.

Imladris, superb elven house (over the bridge), and the Tolkien Museum.

Mystica, and the huge Shaolin Temple. Meditations are held dayly on the roof garden.

Cathedral, the awesome temple of the Dragons.

 

Multiverse

(March 2007)

 

Seemingly all the technical and administrative requirements of my project are to be elegantly fulfilled: Multiverse, a new startup company of the US, which proposes a complete set of solutions for hosting, managing and development of massively multiplayer virtual worlds. Everything is free (except hosting) and they earn money only when we do so (they take a percentage on our earnings). This is still under development (beta) but it would at last offer a concrete mean to create multi-user virtual worlds as in my project.

 

I am closely looking at what is happening.

 

(By the way this would at last allow for creating games which would be something else than black evil blam blam kill kill paw paw aaargh. No doubt that there will be soon many cooperative games, enjoyment games, spiritual development games...)

 

(October 2008: Multiverse still doesn't run properly on my computer. So...)

 

Second Life

(January 2007)

 

This is a permanent 3D world, which tremendous expansion left all the others far behind. The genius idea which made the difference was to allow everybody to build oneself houses, machines or landscapes, while immerged into the world, thanks to menus and simple tools useable by all. Realism is not better than with VRML, but everybody can build something, and especially the two million users can come and visit it. We can also create our own character (called an avatar) following our desires, and some are very beautiful. This whole set of tools gives me the means to realize my project, so it seems useless now do develop them elsewhere. We could for instance build an island of the Eolis world. Only «little» problem: an island costs more than 1000 euros, more 200 euros of monthly maintenance. However we can start with something smaller.

(If you have a Second Life account, these links will lead you to the place. Otherwise you will have to click on the orange button, top right of the page, to install the software and open a free account)

Svarga, the niciest place I know in Second Life.

(Toning down added end October 2008) If Second Life effectively provides all the requirements for a real virtual life, however its irrationnal management by the company Linden Labs poses a serious threat on its future. There are some alternatives to Second Life, but still in early stages of development, without waranties of a better management and technical quality.

(Added March 1, 2010)Important things happened, see developments higher on this page>.

 

 

News

(December 2006)

The evolution of 3D is still unfolding at an amazing speed. Mainly thanks to the 3DSMax format, movies and games, which offer incredibly realistic creations. Besides, the development of the former VRML (now X3D) appears quite slow, and browsers somewhat disappointing (some even have the builder's logo on the scene!). To develop 3D with state of the art level (end 2006) is largely beyond what I did in 2003, as well in results, working time and necessary investments. Clearly, I can do nothing alone. My project shall be your project, or it shall not be.

As an example, the recent game «Oblivion» offer scenes of a amazing quality (photo-realistic grass, flowers, trees...) which completely left behind the possibilities of VRML and even X3D. It also makes true one of my old dreams: to compose our character feature per feature. But this composition is restrained (no nice eye or skin colours) and, from the very step of the game, we must get weapons, and for this do things like rummaging about on corpses... the remaining is all like that. We are farther of my poetical project...

The navigation into Oblivion is still done with keys, as in an old Pacman. But we begin to hear about helmets allowing a vision all around the head (the screen is at 120°, but the camera turns with the head). So we can predict that relatively soon there will be robot suits allowing a complete immersion, as realistic as really wandering in a landscape...

 

Ancient page:

(Written in 2003)

When we see the success of video games, and their incredible force of ideological normalisation, we start to dream of a game which, in place of only accustoming us to war or to capitalism, would on the countrary be an occasion to liberate us, to awake us to a world of beauty and poetry, a world of mutual aid, collaboration and peace. A game, or virtual worlds, with plenty of marvelous scenes to explore, or a virtual community for all who already aspire to a better world...

 

However, such a project is not within reach of a lone individual; so I launch an appeal to all the interested persons, artists, musicians, technicians, financials, spiritual masters...

 

 

 

Artistic and spiritual definition of the project

Most games and sites today show grey, dull worlds, where one does only to reproduce the «real» world, with its money and its conflicts. So where is the interest of doing virtual worlds? What do they offer in best?

What I propose would be to offer the visit of virtual worlds which would be really beautiful and harmonious, as could be angel realms or divine realms, as could be our Earth if we really wanted. This could give us a motivation for a more poetical life, to love and protect our Earth and build us nicest houses, to clothe in a more beautiful way. On a spiritual point of view, this could help us visualise our future after life conditions: to go toward paradise worlds, and not to fall again on Earth (or much lower, with certain video games).

This work on beauty could also be about our own body appearance in the virtual world, which could be as nice as we want.

Also we shall have the occasion to train into much more interesting behaviours, ethical, altruistic, collaborative, which would create us a better karma and would make us more pleasant to live with, once back in the «real» world.

A fundamental problem arising in a virtual community for a better world is that an happy common life does not depend only on a favourable environment; it rather depends on a psychological work to better our character and our capacity to live in harmony with the others. EVERYBODY knows this since the communities experiences in the 1970'. No technology can palliate this, as it is a matter of personnal choice and of sustained effort. It would be a source of disapointment to elude this point, or to think that a virtual society is necessarily better than the «real» society. For this reason I think that the projet should not be just as chat, it must be a kind of game aiming at bettering our behaviours, our psychology. So peoples could encounter and interact together in the game, in the virtual world, in place of cutting themselves off from it, in a separate chat.

A problem in a virtual community would be to avoid to be taken over by sects, phoney ideas, stalkers. For this some cautions has to be taken, as to place ourselves under the guidance of recognized spiritual masters. (This condition should even appear in contracts or statutes)

 

 

The different possible projects

The different possible projects depend of the effectivelly available support to the idea.

There already exist several scenes in VRML inspirited of my own fiction books (The eolis, Dumria).

The simplest project would be to adapt the existing scenes on a special multi-users server. Such a server is expensive, so it would be interesting to place several small sites on only one server. At a pinch I could do this myself, if I have spare time and if i win to the lottery.

A bit larger project would be a virtual community, including many 3D scenes, with a chat, body appearances, directory... This can still be done in an association, but can be commercial.

A complete game could put on stage the world of the eolis (or, once this done, any other marvelous world that anyone could propose, for instante the elves in The Lord of The Ring). But such a project is likely to be commercial, if we want to have a real impact on the public.

At last, the best would be that an already existing project would be consecrated to this spiritual aim. (In practice it should be divided in two, in order to comply to the freedom of those who would not be interested). So I make a wink toward the peoples who already run popular projects. Doing such a way would avoid much tedious computer programming work, while focusing the energies on the real art work.

A successful big project could even become a standard in the domain of games and virtual communities.

 

 

Technical conditions

Ideally, we should try to do as well as the commercial multi-users communities, such as There.com. But this would require work and funds, as many peoples would work here in full time. An associative project could easily be too weak: simplistic, not updated, etc...

The scenes I already created are in VRML, and I prefer to keep them like this, as it is a public language. But perhaps we could do with 3DS, proprietary but a standard in facts in the world of movies and video games. The idea is to keep with something that a maximum of people can see, with the mimimum of downloads and other technical burden. The great concern in the future is the decision that Microsoft will take or not to install by default a 3D browser, as this browser will become the standard in fact.

A virtual community will require such services as a subscription and control system, a chat, a special server of great capacity, a special soft for everybody to manage his body appearance, etc...

Once there is a game succesfully designed, it will be easy to create other games on the same principle, just changing the scenario and landscape. An adapted interface would place this work withing reach of atists without programming skills.

A common problem with the various 3D languages is that, as soon as there are shadows, they generate ugly colours. I tried to aknowledge this issue to the responsibles of the VRML and of the future X3D, but I got no answers for now. I think that it would be possible to create special functions, to use in the place of normal functions, which would solve this problem. But this would require a good knowledge of the «renderers», video cards, etc...

 

 

Economical and financial conditions

Of course, the ideal best would be that all is free, based on True Economy, and that the projet would be an Activity Circle. Until now, this site runs that way. My wish is that this could continue, but alone I cannot do much more: each scene requires one or two months of work, and several are still not complete.

We could base the project on a cooperative system. In this way there is only few money needed (web hosting on a special multi-user server) The users could freely see the scenes, freely communicate in line, or pay a subscription to have their virtual home. Most of the work would be done by volonteer programmers and artists. But we keep on a dependency on these volonteer workers, and this can limit the quantity or quality of the work.

A commercial funding would allow the project to reach further than a small ghetto of already convinced peoples, and to share it with everybody. Advertising would offer this efficiency (otherwise it is useless to try!). This is the principle of the ethic investment: If there are means to become rich with immoral, ugly or violent games, so there could be a mean to honestly earn a living with nice collaborative and sympathetic games. Games which would thus be available for everybody, opening a market much wider than the only rapers and hip-hop punks, and in the entire world. With technicians working in full time, the offered quality level would be professionnal, like at There.com. Could such a project become a money-earning business? Why not, if we really make it known, and if it really stands out of the competitors. But advised businessmen, concerned with their karma, could choose to fund this project, even if they loose money, besides other «normal» activities. This practice is much more common than one may think.

In case of a failure of a commercial project the development work should come in a cooperative project.

A priori I would keep the direction of the project; but if an appropriate technical or economical system is designed, so I think that it should be available for all the workers for a better world, freely or at a low price. In this case I should keep the direction of only my own creations, the eolis and the world of Dumria.