Sometimes I sit back and wonder why it is we do this type of stuff. I'm not referring to things like running a world, or researching the design phases of future projects.
In general, when we went out to open this world (VR5: City of Nidus) we weren't really opening a world for public consumption. Instead, the world structure (if you would call it that) resembles a random junkyard of ideas and implementations based on various projects we are running at our company. The point of this being to try out and test ideas that we have had over the years for world design and backend stuff.
The difference with this world is that, while many other worlds in the AW system close down or become private for testing, we are trying something new by designing and testing in full view of the public. Some things make absolutely no sense to an outsider who is just entering for the first time, while other things look unfinished. Indeed, both seem true on the surface.
Instead, what we have is a world of possibilities. General design tests and functionality ideas that we've had over the past seven years but never put into working implementation. Working phone booths sponsored by Net2Phone, SWCity Avatars that do not require a special browser to see, Toolbars for the AW Browser that include useful ideas as professed by either our own staff (many of which are veteran users of AW software) or by the community in the AW Wishlist Newsgroups.
But with all good things, there is always an end. The City of Nidus was setup as just a test world to figure out some of our burning questions, but was never thought as an actual portal for users. Hence you do not see an entire world built for the purpose of public consumption (alot of custom objects, textures, terrain, etc)
The city of Nidus is for testing purposes, and is open to the public for inspiration. But there will come a time when this world will indeed close to the public and be removed from AW. Not that is is a failure, it has indeed served each and every purpose it was designed to do.
Possibly, we may keep the world open to the public for public building if possible - the plans are up in the air at the moment as we negotiate with ISPs who are more interested in moving to a seperate uniserver with a custom browser (fully custom multiple parallel metaverse design). So if we stay, no big deal - if we go, it probably means we are working on the new Universe structure... generally speaking we are looking at a user base of around 250,000, though expected is about 1/10th of that number which is fine for a standard Universe (25,000 users).
Everything is up in the air, but these ISPs are definitely looking into what we are offering. There is also the question as to why they would not simply go to AW for these services, and the answer is simple: Our plans directly contradict those of any other established Universe and are the opposite business plan. It's a bit complicated, so I will not go into details.
But rest assured - either way, things are looking up for VR5 Online. And as we move from our first phase and into our secondary phase, all are welcome to continue to add valuable input and ideas into the Metaverse project and it's subsequent releases (we will continue to release new version of metaverse for the public regardless if we have our own world)
What does the future hold for a startup corporation? Nobody knows, but we do everything we can to make it a good future.
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