Author: admin

Oops, I broke the site

Sorry folks, I moved to a new host recently and managed to break the site. Normal service will be resumed as soon as I’ve figured out what I’ve done.

Avatar Work in Progress

I got to thinking that, short of a real multi-user environment, it would add interest to have some of the original avatars in the worlds – they could even wander about. I’ve done a few experiments and it’s starting to look fairly close to the original: (apologies to JamesC for nicking his name, but I…

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Sound Effects

The V-Chat worlds all automatically play their background sound loops. These were included in the originals as song1.wav and often song2.wav. After trying a few options I settled on using howler.js to play these sounds, which has proven really easy to use and works across every platform I’ve tested it on. Today I added the…

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Versioned Worlds

Most of the V-Chat worlds remained the same between the different versions of V-Chat – the original MSN/v1.1, the v2.0beta and the final v2.0 release. However, a few of the worlds were changed between releases. Compass had a very minor visual change between v1.1 and v2.0beta, which replaced the Practice World billboard image on the…

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Worlds Published

After a couple of breakthroughs on converting to X3D, I have now published all of the Microsoft-released V-Chat worlds that I have. Rendering is as true to the originals as I have been able to achieve. It is particularly pleasing is when imperfections in the originals carry through to the conversions! There are still a…

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.wdb File Format (Part 3)

This covers the last of the structures found in the world.wdb files, which I call VCLight, though until quite recently it was called VCMystery. I’m not entirely sure it’s about lighting, I just can’t think of anything else it might be. It has the following structure: b0 is either &H00, &H01, &H03 or &H04. b1…

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.wdb File Format (Part 2)

In the previous post I described the overall structure of the .wdb file format, including the file header, the collision fence and the scene node hierarchy. This time I will go into the VCGeometry structure. The VCGeometry starts by defining a list of numPoints 3D points, held in the file as a series of VCPoint…

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Texture Animation

I wanted to preserve use of the original texture images with their vertically stacked animation frames, but also to have the animation work in a standalone x3d file that is inlined into the web page. V-Chat geometry is stored in world.wdb files which very usefully include the names of animated textures in the form AnimXXYY,…

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(Broken) Compass

Preview of Compass added, plenty of issues to address though: navigation, texture animation, geometry animation, rendering fidelity, links, portals and sound. Update: Navigation fixed – Viewpoint orientation had negative y value. Added Ctrl-drag for strafe and raise/lower. Trapped a potential divide by zero in the moveIt() function.