I’ve been in and around virtual reality for a long time now. I’ve seen world-building tools and shared worlds come and go. In the early ’90s, I played with something called Virtual Reality Studio, in which you could construct mini realities from 3D primitives, script them for interactivity, then share the world as an executable that ran on any PC.
The end of the ’90s brought ActiveWorlds and There.com, and by the early 2000s Second Life sprang into being. Since then, SL has spun off countless replica worlds — some public, some not — among which is InWorldz. Just like SL, it supports a large number of square region simulators that are designed and built to their owners’ tastes. And just like SL, anyone can drop in and start building right away. The difference is that, unlike Second Life, InWorldz doesn’t charge you money to upload content like mesh models, images, sounds, and more. It’s all free!
Given that I’m a cheapskate, I thought I’d see if I could bring one of my Second Life creations into InWorldz. I started with something simple: my Terra Xplorer hoverpad. Even though I created the Xplorer myself, Second Life has many restrictions on what you can export for use in other worlds. It’s meant to prevent IP theft, but it’s mainly just a pain in the ass, to be honest.
For example, today I discovered that some of my scripts and most of my textures couldn’t export from SL — mysterious reasons. What arrived in InWorldz was scriptless, untextured models. That meant hours of work copying and adapting my scripts to InWorldz, re-creating textures, and sometimes even rebuilding from scratch, as I did with the Xplorer’s heads-up display (HUD).
So three hours later, I produced a working replica of my Terra Xplorer hoverpad in another virtual world. Done.
Now what? InWorldz seems to have play money like Second Life, but I don’t know if it can be exchanged for US dollar credit as SL users can do on SecondLife.com. Given that I’m not especially interested in earning a new kind of play money, I started giving away Xplorer copies for free.
So that’s today’s experiment. If you log into InWorldz, send Cubey Terra a message and I’ll make sure you get an Xplorer.