Sunday, October 23, 2005

Get a Moove On !

In my travels in Virtual Worlds I have been many other places other than Second Life, but in a way like Hoover, Biro, Sellotape etc, the phrase '2L' as I have come to use it, to me, means the entire virtual or '2nd world' of digital existence, as opposed to ' RL' ( Real Life) of as I prefer to call it '1L' or first life.

Here is a brief glimpse of a world that occupied me briefly before finding Second life; its the world of MOOVE.

Moove is described as a ' 3D online world' where you can create you own avatar (AV) self, dress him or her, change some aspects of the looks of your AV and then furnish and decorate virtual rooms of your own, and meet and chat and interact in many ways with your virtual neighbours.

Above is how Moove looks on the screen, taken in my 'house' in the main salon room which I created using Moove tools. So, what is Moove like?

Well firstly Moove is not a persistent virtual universe like 2nd Life or Neocron in that when you are not there, the places u create are not there and no one can visit them while you are not around. They exist when you log on, and recreate at each log on exactly as u created them. 3D means you can walk around inside the spaces and around objects like furniture so my chairs are really chairs which your AV can sit in and adopt poses and animations from a pop up menu. The movement system is a little tricky and consists of camera controls like in Second Life and click to move to spots where your AV will walk. You can see above, behind, in front and from various angles around ur AV and through your Av eyes, what SL calls ' mouselook' or first person view.

Your house is laid out as u create it. The important thing to know about Moove is that there are no communal places, there is no general world or landscape outside what u make yourself. Your house appears as 3D rooms, like a green Star Trek holodeck grid and you texture and decorate using imported patterns. You get a map view of your house layout and can beam from one room to another pretty fast, and the room realises around you. Rather than importing textures and storing them in world on the game server like SL, u have a unique and great way to import textures into Moove by just dragging them from your HD literally right into the room, where they then appear as a cube like a basic SL 'prim'. You just throw the pattern cube at any surface and it instantly resizes and scales to fit that space.. magic !

here is part of my roof penthouse studio with Japanese shoji walls and wood.

using the simple and ingenious pattern drag and drop onto walls ive created many interesting rooms in Moove, in my Japanese house.

Moove allows you to make doors that link rooms together - click on the door, go through and you are in the other room. You can even make gardens, but they are in fact just rooms in the house plan using a garden theme, not public areas or part of an 'outside world'

Moove is a simpler graphic world than Second Life by far but as a room designer it lets me do one more unique thing I still cannot do in Second Life - boooh ! and that's MIRRORS !!

Look behind my AV in this Hall of Shoguns and see the amazing instant mirror effect in Moove on any wall . its truly reflective and you can see yourself and everyone else moving and reflecting exactly like 1L. Amazing !

See how good the mirror effect is? Now why cant the technologically superior Second Life do that?

The other graphic that impresses me and we still dont have in Second Life is that your Av shadow really is a real shadow, and moves and alters angle and shape exactly as your AV does - looks amazing, and again, MUCH better than the primitive 'foot shadow' blur in SL.

Moove however is really limited in some ways, you will have seen that my AV isnt really looking much like me (my chest hasn't been that small since I was 12 !!) and AV making is really limited. You can import ' outfits and avatars' and ' rooms' and 'furniture' created on 3rd party sites, and import items of clothes but the actual AV or ' actor' as it's called in Moove always have the same body shape for everyone. This is where its completely lower scale than SL. There are no alien forms, no furries, and robots and winged dragons, and when you make ur AV its a little bit like dressing a flat paper doll in a grid room. Each version of your AV in different dress is saved as a Actor file.

So, how do you meet and greet? - well here Moove really becomes limited. As a basic member all that can happen is people look you up on the web, see your profile on the Moove site and beam into your rooms as a visitor to chat with you. There are problems if each of you dont have the other persons dress items or actor files in the store, so you have to swap those from each others HD which takes time. Otherwise u all look like green grid box robots with boxes instead of body sections.

Chat is basic, and interaction is really a series of pose animations off a menu. Free walking is hard to do, and there is no fly. Sex is ( as always!!) a part of interaction and the Moove AVs will scuk and fcuk using pre programmed pose animations off the menu but its dull... but lets face it even in SL with all the amazing tech its still dull there !!! No games have got virtual sex right yet.. but that's another post !

So, Moove, creative art room decor program with some unique touches that even the mighty SL cannot replicate yet, crude AV making, dressing up at basic level, no economy to speak of, limited chat and no persistent virtual 'outside world' . Basically, you make your little self existing world and wait to see who shows up.


Moove yet however has some fun elements, the simple and fun artistic room making for me was the main interest but it lacks real longevity and creative power compared to Second Life. I doubt if you are already in Second Life that you will gain anything to play with Moove. It is free, but maybe too basic to appeal to serious content creator or social player. I still visit to see my house, but that's part of my history and evolving and I have a fondness for Moove in that way.If you do drop in though and I am on, do come see my house !