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Will Harvey On Virtual Worlds, Technology Curves 94

CowboyRobot writes "Slashdot's former editor Chris DiBona has an interview with videogame creator Will Harvey over at ACMQueue. Harvey has had a hand in lots of stuff you've used, from Zany Golf to Adobe AfterEffects, and now runs There, a kind of online 3D 'virtual world' game. Their conversation covers games in general, as well as specifics of the challenges that There is facing. From the article: 'You have to project the curves: the rendering curve; the CPU speed curve; the money spent on the Internet on online games curve; the number of people who play online games curve. I think we guessed right on almost everything, but we underestimated Moore's Law and we overestimated the low-end graphics capability'."
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Will Harvey On Virtual Worlds, Technology Curves

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:34AM (#8354896)
    Many of the highest-flying companies (from Organic's record-setting one day IPO, to Electronic Arts) have people at there [there.com]

    In some ways success was so easy for them, they may have been overconfident too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:46AM (#8354911)
    I for one, continue to welcome our curvaceous, female overlords...
  • I wonder (Score:4, Informative)

    by rotciv86 ( 737769 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:49AM (#8354913)
    How fast the old 3-D games would run on modern day technology. I remember playing the origianl Wing Commander on an old 486. Would it even be playable on say an athlon with a geforece card?
    • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Informative)

      by FisterBelvedere ( 754614 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:57AM (#8354926)
      No, most of the older games run at blazingly fast speed in windows on modern computers (if they run at all that is)

      If the game runs too fast, here's what to do:

      Find the game's executable file (the file you run, usually
      {somename}.exe) using Windows Explorer. Right click on the file, and
      choose "Properties".

      Click the "Program" tab. Click the "Advanced" button.

      Check the "Comaptible Timer Emulation" box. Click "OK", then "Apply", then "OK" again. See if that fixes the games speed.
      If that doesn't fix the problem:

      A utility called "Moslo" can help solve this problem. Read the FAQ on Moslo here:
      DOSGAMES.com FAQ #3: Moslo [dosgames.com].

      • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

        by bircho ( 559727 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @08:25AM (#8354975)

        No, most of the older games run at blazingly fast speed in windows on modern computers

        Just turn the Turbo key off... oh wait...

        • Actually the first sentence in that FAQ on MoSLow is the following:

          A: The easiest way to slow down old games is to hit the Turbo button on your computer, if it has one.

      • Re:I wonder (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Tweaker_Phreaker ( 310297 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @08:46AM (#8355011)
        Or you could just do the smart thing by turning vertical syncronization (vsync) on in your graphics drivers so that it will only render as many frames as your monitor can display. I'd recommend never turning vsync off when playing games; only turn it off for benchmarking.
        • Re:I wonder (Score:2, Informative)

          by S.Lemmon ( 147743 )
          I doubt it. Those really old DOS games were *long* before accelerated 3D so any 3D driver vsync options will do absolutely nothing. Remember we're talking VGA or at best VESA video here, just to switching into these modes (if your card still supports them) will usually jump to a lower compatible vsync rate. Even so, many of the older games like the early Wing Commanders just ran as fast as the CPU would allow.
          • However, a lot of those older games were coded such that they'd run at the same speed (if not the same framerate) on all systems. Hey, just like today's.

            And a lot of them just used vsync for polling anyway.

            • Several were patched afterwards for later re-releases, but quite a few released in the 286 era and before really had no throttling at all. I remember even on my 486 the original Wing Commander was unplayable. That's why programs like moslow were developed.
              • True. I was just saying that not *all* older games are prone to those problems. Also, many games from that vintage won't even run in WinXP DOS boxes anyway, and so you need something like dosbox [sf.net] to run them, and since that has customizable emulated CPU speed it doesn't really matter which speed it runs at. :)

    • by Tei ( 520358 )
      Will be not really much faster, and buggy. Because will be not optimized for really fast framerate, can crash. Because will not include code for new features the hardware will provide (like new OpenGL extensions) will not use that features, and will not benefict from that. If the game was compiled for 486, will not use MMX, so will not benefict from that CPU feature.

      A old game in new hardware sould run faster, but not too much faster. If you need a old game to run faster, you have to rewrite some code, add
      • Have you ever tried any? Remember most of these rendered via software directly to the video card - no acceleration at all, but they were designed to be playable on systems of that time.

        Since then everything from CPU to memory, bus, and video speed has increased dramatically, and the later DOS 3D games do play much faster and smoother on a modern system (if they play at all). You can usually crank all GFX up to full and never see any slowdown.

        The main "problem" I notice is just that the software rendered
    • Well, Wing Commander is a bad example; it's a DOS game with hard-wired timing loops. I remember trying to run it on my PPro-180 and frames went by too fast to even play; you blink twice and you've been shot down or crashed into asteroids or something.

      On top of that, it wouldn't be taking advantage of anything other than the raw CPU speed; it wouldn't have any idea how to use the amount of RAM a modern system has or any of the hardware 3D's capabilities.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:57AM (#8354928)
    by Will Harvey.

    It used precisely timed 6502 assembly to get 4-voice polyphony out of the system address $C030, which only toggled the speaker diaphragm from one state to another. Amazing.
    • again, by Will Harvey (well, The Immortal was by Sandbox Productions, I think it was.)

      I was of comparable age (very young) at that time he did the C64 game, so I've always kind of looked upon Will Harvey as a kind of patron saint of kid programmers.

      I'd love to ask him how the hell you're suppose to beat the secret level in Electronic Arts' versions of Marble Madness.
  • by S3D ( 745318 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @07:59AM (#8354934)
    That is the comon pitfall of all latest MMORPG: desiners rely on player created content and player-driven economy. The problem is - it never work. Worlds designed for player created content are blan and empty. Player-driven economy unwieldy, inconvinient and is not fun. To be creative players have to be provided with a lot of extensive tools and abilities, and that kind diversity usually destroy balance. No balance = no fun. More restrictive tools - no players creativity. The "There" seems too abitious - they want all genres in one game. Too much framework usually mean too little premade content, and that usually spell disaster...However there's always a hope that this time they will manage to do it right...
    • by Mindcry ( 596198 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @08:27AM (#8354982)
      I'll say a couple things about it...
      First, the company really has it together, I received the lastest version of the beta on CD mailed to my door with no questions asked every three weeks or so, with a couple spare accounts to give to friends to try... Of the other MMO games (AC,AC2, horizons, SWG) I've beta'd, I had to download over 500mb+ to start, and Sony would send you a beta CD, provided you paid them $12 to do so...

      Second, there is more like a giantic chat room with lots of activities etc etc... its not really like the old "lemme kill 80000 rabbits so i can use the screwdriver to kill 80000 "mildy greater rabbits, but not by that much"... its really much more of an opened ended social atmosphere more towards the sims then hack and slashes...

      and there's plenty of premade stuff in there ;) and it does avoid a lot of the pitfalls you mention (but if you like killing stuff and killing foozles, then that'd be its pitfall)...

      either way, it was pretty smart of them to create their own space instead of trying everquest #42, which i doubt they would have ever made...
      sorry if i sound like an apologist, but your post struck me as lacking background in what exactly is in There, which is actually pretty common ;)
    • by cmacb ( 547347 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @08:40AM (#8355002) Homepage Journal
      " That is the comon pitfall of all latest MMORPG: desiners rely on player created content and player-driven economy. The problem is - it never work."

      That's like saying that the Internet will never work because what most people want is to just sit in front of a TV set and watch.

      There ARE online activities that you would like to just be a passenger in, but there are also things where you want to be the driver too. Why else would so many people have their own web pages, spend so much time creating textures and flash presentations, or post messages to something like Slashdot for that matter?

      Early online games were tightly controlled because the technology didn't allow it to be otherwise. I think MOST, not just a few, 3D online content of the future will be open-ended. Once you have the proper infrastructure in place there is no reason to separate user created content from that provided by the infrastructure vendor.

      Second Life is where There plans to be in two or three years. It needs a broadband connection and 3D graphics card, but if you have those there is no reason to be using a more primitive system such as There, or Sims Online. Might want to give it a try, if you have the hardware.
      • One small step... (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The article says that they saw the failures of other games that tried to create a metaverse ala Snow Crash due to not enough computer power in the majority of households. They realize it's probably 10 years away from being a graphically rich (life-like, stunningly realistic and fully customizable metaverse) experience and their main goal is to have a zone where people can hang out and do neat little things with their buddies, while still allowing average pc's and possibly phones/PDAs and other things to co
      • by WhodoVoodoo ( 319477 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @10:30AM (#8355261)
        "That's like saying that the Internet will never work because what most people want is to just sit in front of a TV set and watch."

        Not quite on the head, but as close as you can get in describing MMORPG mentality. Here is what my obserations have been, on MMORPG's (I have played quite a few, including two from this company [nexon.net], one in about 1994. Yeah, it's still making money.

        basically here is it: People who play online RPG's for the most part Do Not Seem To Roleplay. Go into Anarchy Online and start asking around about george bush or something, nobody is going to say, "George who? Is he a new planet overlord?" or whathaveyou. Because they are probably not getting into it that way.

        Fine, whatever.

        But when you trust those same users to entertain themselves, you tend to end up with Missions or Quests or whatever that go like "Kill rabbit, get GiantGlowingSwordOfExplosionNess" Or just crap that isnt that entertaining to ME, or to anyone else for that matter. Why? They'll say "It's just a game." or more likely "d00d itz jus a game, U R GAY how dos you dad lek it??".

        The games I've played from Nexon Inc, Including one named "Darkages" (NOT DAoC) was very different. When it was released, they players were put in charge basically. They made laws for the various cities (Only two had governments, but there were like... 8 cities in all that you could go to. They just didnt have an established gov't) These players, as one of the first rules or laws if you will, stated "You have to actually Roleplay in this game or you get kicked out of these two bigass main cities with all the good hunting/commerce places"

        There were very complex rules regarding punishment for breaking the laws, including capitol punishment by the hands of these wierd wraith looking things (called Sgath), being kicked out of one town or another, and so on. There was also Organized religion. 8 of them. Yes, all handled by the players, because they wanted to, they were dedicated to the community in some way, and certain features were implimented by the developers.

        On Commerce, The players will make their own comemrce system. Im a whateverclass and I need a whateverstick to hunt with people this way at this level, so I get one. Then I sell it to someone in my own position later. Or I need a magicgreenringthingy to give to the giant crab as part of a BigMagicSword Quest, theres a market for these items. Fairly simple if you ask me, markets create themselves among players if conditions are right. You even see inflation and recessions!

        Now this is drawing on, and theres more including guilds, guild/religion quests, and a buttload of player created content and contests including a very, very, VERY vibrant community consisting of: Art, poetry, music, stories and anything inbetween including webcomics.

        Nowadays it's changed quite a bit and some law have been 'repealed' if you will, and the RP aspect isnt so nazily enforced by the PLAYER ELECTED OFFICIALS.

        This is an example of a game kinda done right. The only thing it needed was more content created by the developers in the form of Hard Coded Item Giving Quests and Events. But nonetheless, players carried on doing things that you might do in real life and having a blast doing it.

        Now FINALLY getting to my point (and I'm sorry). I believe equal shares of Developer Content and Player Content and Community Encouraging Activities are required to produce a game that is fun, and will stay fun/fresh for YEARS.

        You cant let players loose in a box and expect them to play tag. You also can't yet players loose in a roped-in-line of quests and level hunting either. You need it all if you expect to make cash for a long time. Though if you sell each copy of the game for 50 bucks, you make your money either way. What a system!

        This is why these games are ridiculously difficult to get right, and make it last. (In adition, Not charging 50 bucks for a game Im going to pay monthly to play AN
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Please, sir, for the love of God, use English capitalization rules when writing english and save the German ones for writing German. "Developer Content" is not generally considered a proper noun.

          I understand it's somewhat 'hackish' to ocassionally capitalize words for Added Effect, but you've gotten carried away.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It already has worked: the average female player in There spends a little over $200 per month on virtual clothing. Last I heard, There's demographic is over 75% female and rising; that adds up to some significant revenue. It's a shame the article focused so much on the technical aspects of the world, when there's some really interesting anthropological things going on.

      I wouldn't even put RPG into There's label. In my opinion, it's more of project to divert consumerism from the real world into their ow
    • MUDs used plater created content just fine. Of course creating content wasn't usually done as part of the "game" but by hacking whatever language the MUD used for writing objects. Players who showed themselves to be contributing to the game would usually be given object authoring priviledges soon enough. Balance is achieved by other players with sch priviledges removing stuff that was unbalanced.

      Player driven economies seem wonderful in theory. I love the idea, and that's what used in the perfect MMORPG th
    • Second Life and There are not MMORPGs they're not even technically 'games'. They are MMOEs.

      MMORPG : MMOE :: Windows : Linux

      You can play with a lot more of the innards in an MMOE like SL & There.

      I don't know much about There, but in SL you can build 3d objects, create custom textures & clothings, write scripts, and even great games within the world. And you don't need anyone's permission to build things, upload your textures or sounds, or approve your scripts.

      You can't do those sorts of things
    • I've heard cries of "it will never work" before. But player created content is the driving force behind the top selling game of all time, The Sims.

      I believe that one of the major reasons that The Sims Online has failed (in stark contrast to EA's expectations, and the success of the offline version), is that The Sims Online doesn't support player created content. It's been promised, but EA never executed on Will Wright's vision.

      The Sims was originally designed to support player created content. Thanks

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 22, 2004 @09:19AM (#8355075)
    In There, imagine that you're driving a dune buggy, with a passenger who is shooting a paintgun at another person with a paintgun. And a dog is heeling behind the dune buggy.

    Wow, that sounds great. Just like my dreams.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    == clip ==
    We've noticed that you're currently using a non-supported browser.

    Please switch to Internet Explorer v. 5.0.1 or later to continue.

    You can get the latest version of IE free at
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.a s p.

    After downloading and installing Internet Explorer, please launch it and go to:
    in order to continue the registration process (you should cut and paste or write this link down for when you're ready to return).

    You do not need to
  • by alumshubby ( 5517 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @09:38AM (#8355117)
    I looked at one of the demos, and it's pretty cute, but this mediated reality stuff still leaves me cold. William Gibson spoiled me; I want to jack in and have a more synesthetic experience than just watching pixels on a flat screen.

    Especially with that one brunette.

    • I predict that the next "big thing" for gaming is going to be the immersive experiance. Sure, you can go out and buy some big goggles with a 640x480 resolution displaying a 3d screen for $4000, or you drop $20,000+ on a piece of military equipment. However, just like 3d cards used to be only for high-end graphics workstations, this technology is going to mature and come down in price. Whichever company successfully and cheaply can produce fully immersive technology is going to make a killing (hint: time to
      • fully immersive technology would be cool. Imagine Quake 15 with full body sensations. You don't only see, or hear the gunshot, you'll actually be able to feel it! On second thought that might not be such a good idea.

        FIT pr0n would be great, I guess. Until someone writes a virus that replaces "Hot erotic massage" by "hard gay BDSM". Although, that would give people a damn good reason to install and actually use and update their virusscanners.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      > I want to jack in and have a more synesthetic experience than just watching pixels on a flat screen. Especially with that one brunette.

      No problemo.
    • by gaijin99 ( 143693 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @10:51AM (#8355326) Journal
      My reaction to There was quite simple. I know that they don't want me around. How do I know this? Because simply trying to look at their freeking website gets me kicked to a "we dedected that you aren't using IE, go download it right now before we condesend to let you see what's happening". So to heck with them. It just isn't that damn hard to make a web page that works for all browsers.

      It did immediately answer my question about what platforms were supported though: Windows and nothing else...

      • Shows up fine in Opera [opera.com]...
      • Indeed. Very annoying.

        But, for the sake of gathering information, I used IE. I noticed that some of the links display differently. In Moz1.6, the 'download now' button reads "Free trial". In IE6, the same button reads "Public Free Beta Sign-up." Why the difference, I wonder?


        Windows 98 SE/2000 SP1 (or later)
        800 MHz Pentium III CPU (or faster)
        At least 256 MB RAM
        56K Internet connection (or faster)
        400 MB free HD space
        Any ATI RADEON graphics card, any NVIDIA GeForce, or NVIDIA nFORCE gra

  • by Simon Garlick ( 104721 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @09:50AM (#8355139)
    "Will Harvey...?"

    Goddammit, I KNEW I recognised that name. Music Construction Set is one of the best apps I've ever seen, on any platform. That thing was amazing.
    • Yeah, I remember putting "Crazy Train" into it on my PCjr. Played pretty well, too. :)

      Actually, you can still download and run it - just look in the abandonware sites. I was playing with it a couple months ago, but I couldn't get the sound to work, which detracted from the overall experience somehow...

  • by Tei ( 520358 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @09:55AM (#8355148) Journal
    Ok, CPU will get more cycles. So you will able to put more particles, for smoother rocket trails, and more polys, for far frustrums, and more complex characters. But you will still able a limit around 64 players for FPS internet games. Will suck. Also games will not be x2 fun if become x2 faster. Gamers will use bigger resolutions, that itself eat x4 more horsepower. I think gamming is more complex than CPU power, has also about social problems, gameplay habits and videogames evolution. The view "woow, more particles better game" is too simplistic. I think.
  • My experiences. (Score:5, Informative)

    by CFBMoo1 ( 157453 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @10:20AM (#8355221) Homepage
    No pun, I've been in There and it's amazing to me. I personally like hoverboarding over the 3D landscape they got going there which is nice how it blends from one type to another. You could be atop of a clear hill and pretty much land surf down in to a valley thats not so bright and heavly forested.

    The tricks you can do on a hoverboard are fun. Nothing like about 8 backflips as you fly off the rim of a valcano down to the valley floor on a hover board. Or using small mounds of dirt or small hills to get some nice huge air time. :P

    At first the transitions seemed slightly odd but after reading the article and seeing how different areas are handled from different servers it makes sense and now I think it's nicely done given the challenge of keeping things in sync between multiple servers.

    The paingun battles are fun and cute but definatly not up to Quake or UT feel. They're still fun to pelt someone from the top of a mountain with a well placed shot and watch them fly across the valley floor. No scope or zoom so you have to have skill. ;)

    The only thing I really feel disappointed on in There is the fact that the water is as solid as the land. I can litterly dune buggy across the bay to the next island or walk like on dry land. That was a big disappointment for me, but the other aspects of it don't let it dwell on my mind long.

    They recently launched 2.0 of There and from what I can tell you can play various card games now in a social setting. There is a few other things they added as well, have to check out their site for it. www.there.com

    Overall I feel like I'm in a big cartoon more then a video game. Which I think is neat. One thing I have to wonder about is their ability to hold on to name "There" especially with the Windows trade mark up in court right now. I don't know what kind of hold the company that runs There has on the term "There" but thats a little aside thought I had recently.
  • Zany Golf! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BobWeiner ( 83404 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @10:22AM (#8355231) Homepage Journal
    Now THAT was a fun game -- I remember playing it on my Apple IIGS many years ago. It was simple in concept, fun to play, and absolutely frustrating at the higher levels. Whatever happened to these type of games on today's machines? Despite the brilliant graphics and sound on the new first person shooters and RPGs out there, I prefer games of yore that were simple, yet challenging.

    Bring back Zany Golf, Bubble Ghost, and Droll!

  • Second Life (Score:5, Informative)

    by EssenceLumin ( 755374 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:15PM (#8355720)
    The article briefly mentioned Second Life, dismissing it more or less as too complicated. Bah humbug. Second Life is a great game where you can create anything you like immediately. None of this "Ooh, I can make a tshirt, and maybe they will approve it" junk. I am currently building a house full of twisty corridors with a music room full of instruments and another area with a dinosaur that moves and roars.

    The way things are built in Second Life are from a small number of primitives such as cubes and cylinders which can be stretched and twisted. You can apply textures to these primitives which are any jpeg or targa file you wish to upload. There is also a scripting language and you can upload .wav sound files.

    And there is loads of social interaction too. There are events ranging from bingo to slave auctions (Oops, they made the event owners change that, now they are pet auctions). If you agree to be a pet you have to do your master's bidding but you get to keep the auction money.

    It's a blast, check it out. secondlife.com
    • Re:Second Life (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mutewinter ( 688449 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @03:48PM (#8356867)
      The highly the learning curve, the more amazing the creation (relative to other skills such as creativity of course.) I'd rather have something complex and amazing than simple and kind of cool. I've been in Second Life, and I was impressed. I haven't been in There yet, but from what I've seen I haven't really been motivated to check it out yet. I think Second Life is going in the right direction. I think that if they don't screw anything up financially they have more of a future than There.
      • Re:Second Life (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jafuser ( 112236 )

        SL is much closer to metaverse-like qualities than There or Active Worlds, but I will concede that There has it's place too for those who don't do so well with a technically complex world, and just want a simple place to hang out.

        I think SL has greater system requirements too because *everything* in the world is dynamic. Every single primitive shape in every object, the ground mesh, the sky, the trees, particles, etc. are all dynamic and can change right beneath you at any time if the owner is aro
  • Will Harvey in AI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by po8 ( 187055 ) on Sunday February 22, 2004 @12:41PM (#8355891)

    Will Harvey is quite the genius. We were briefly graduate students together before he got his Ph.D. His thesis on a method for complete combinatorial search (with advisor Matt Ginsberg) is still widely cited in the AI literature.

    I knew he'd done some game stuff before reading this interview, but never how much. With Will at the helm, I'd take There very seriously.

  • I was a beta tester in There. I love the concept but thier IE/Windows only decision is no good.

    They run on Linux servers, would it kill them to give us a client?!?! I switched out of XP for good, so I guess ic an't play for now, even triedn in vmware and it complained.

    Ah well....

    • I believe There uses DirectX and IE pretty heavily, making a Linux port nearly impossible barring a significant rewrite of the renderer. If you want to check out a 3D-VR world under Linux, give Second Life [secondlife.com] a try. It only has Windows and OSX ports, but runs under WINE almost perfectly. There are instructions on the SL forums for getting it up and running. At $10 for a lifetime subscription, how can you go wrong? :)
      • It only has Windows and OSX ports, but runs under WINE almost perfectly.

        They say there's a Linux version in the works as well, so keep your eyes open =)

        At $10 for a lifetime subscription, how can you go wrong?

        SL is the first MMO that I've seen that has a one-time (non-recurring) rate to play. The fact that it's $10 instead of $50 is even more impressive.
  • I visited There in the early days. They were trying to recruit me. I was impressed.

    I felt, though, that they should have gone broadband only. Trying to squeeze the experience through 56Kb is too limiting. In There, 56Kb users can only type to each other. Broadband users can talk.

    While only 18% of all US online users are on broadband, 50% of online time and hits are from broadband users. So half the target market for There, heavy users, is already on DSL or cable.

    • These things may be true.

      However, *I* am not on broadband, and have no opportunity to be on broadband in the near future, so I hate your argument, very much. As will the other 82% of dial-up users.

      (Heh, not trying to dis ya, it's just human nature to dislike be denied experiences like this.)
    • Do you have a source for that statistic? I haven't heard it quoted before...
  • To quote the article "Before founding There in 1998, Harvey was at Adobe Systems where he ran dynamic media products, including AfterEffects and Adobe Premier." Adobe licensed the technology from ImageWare in 1989. I used to work for ImageWare back from 1988 to 1990. The AfterEffects is based on the GalleryEffects.

    If you bring up the about box for any of the "painterly" aftereffects, you will see the Portions copyright Imageware 1989-1995. If you do the lookup of the Patents 5063448, 5245432 and 5325200 yo
  • The 'original prototyper' Will Harvey mentions in the article is another brilliant software guy, Jeffrey Ventrella [ventrella.com]; I worked with him at Rocket Science too, and he had basically the same job there -- sit in a corner office and work on cool shit, then let the company figure out how to turn it into a product. All around, There has some of the brightest engineers I've ever met, and some of the best management I've seen, and I'm still not sure how they managed to turn out a product that's so shaky from a softw
  • There Inc. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CrystalCut ( 307381 ) *
    First, I applied for beta access to THERE early LAST year. I had a fairly decent Windows system, with enough ram. But was told that Windows machine didn't meet the required specs. This bothers me, because this was a newish "low-end" machine..but still not good enough.

    Now I'm a There user. Using a much newer Windows machine. I've got enough power to access better graphics then THERE offers. I've got broadband, and plenty of it. And There is pretty cool. The system is interesting, the people are cool, and th
    • It sure won't be Uru. They called it quits on their online idea.
      • True. But I assume just about everyone knows that. Thing is, I know several people who were CRAZY about it. I was too busy figuring out There Inc, and missed the chance to check Uru out.

        Uru had a good thing going. And there is no reason that they won't return in a year or 3 with a model that will work.

        Would I switch? Who knows. I'd certainly enjoy better graphics, and my online pal who I play games with is ready to switch from There to something else, because of There's low-end graphics.
  • I've just downloaded "There", but my computer is *way* below the minimum system requirements for either it or Second Life so I'm not expecting much. Besides, "There"'s installer doesn't install, and registering was a pain. Sigh.

    Does anyone know anything vaguely like these that'll cooperate with a 450 MHz P3 (okay, let's pretend it's 600 MHz. That usually works, too) and doesn't require a credit card just to sign up for a trial period? (Windows or Linux, don't care.)

    Maybe I should check out Furcadia again.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"