Mauz's Activeworlds Pages: Running a World

Getting a World   Installing the World Server   Running the World   World Options Reference   Building the World   Object Server   Custom Objects   Backups   Old World Servers

Getting Help

Getting a World

You can buy a world on Activeworlds Inc (AWI) web site or at Enabling tourist access to a world costs an extra sum per year ($59.95).

World name can be up to 8 characters long. It can contain special characters, although preferably not starting with a special character, nor with "AW-", which is reserved for the company's worlds. If you want to change the world name later on, email Name changes are free during upgrades or renewals, and an extra at any other time (around $30.00).

You can see the expiration date of the world license in the main screen of the Server Administration Tool. When there is less than 30 days left, the caretakers receive a notice about it when they enter the world, or in pre-3.1 versions in the world server screen. Then it is the time to go to the World Server Renewal page.


The trial worlds are run by the company. If you have bought a world, you can run it on your own PC. But you can also pay for a hosting service to keep your world online all the time, so that you don't need to worry about installing, running and backups. Some hosting services (Note. I try to give here all the hosting services that I know, but they are not necessarily my recommendations, since I have no experience of all of them):

See also AWportals Guide to Service Providers.

Installing the World Server

World server directory

After ordering a world, you receive an e-mail from AWI, giving the world password. If you want to run the world yourself, instead of using a hosting service, then DOWNLOAD the World Server setup program. JerMe also offers RPM version of the installer for Linux.

On Windows

Run the AW world server setup program, e.g. ActiveWorldsWorldServer.exe. By default, the server installs into the C:\Active Worlds World Server\ folder. At the end of the installation, the world and the Administration program start automatically.

Go to the Administration tool, and choose Edit from Server menu. Enter the Name of the world and the world Password that you got in the e-mail. Press OK. Go to Server menu, choose Connect and check the right world.

Right-click your world and choose Properties. Add your own citizen number on the Caretakers list. You can add other citizen numbers also and separate them with a comma. Caretakers can change the world rights and other world attributes, build within Restricted Radius, change object's owner, edit the ejection list etc, so only put worldowners and other trusted persons in the caretaker list.

On Unix

To install a new server on Unix (Linux or Solaris), do for example:

mkdir awserver
mv awssun69.tar.gz awserver
cd awserver
gunzip awssun69.tar.gz
tar xvf awssun69.tar

[Pre-3.x also:]

cp example.ini world.ini
vi world.ini
add world password after password= in server section
./atload < adump
./propload < pdump
./elevload < elevdump
./ejload < ejdump

If you upload ini and txt files from your PC, then use ASCII file type and not binary, to save them into unix file type instead of DOS.

Server Administration Tool

Server Administration Tool

The AW Server program (world.exe) has a graphical, Windows-based control program, Server Administration Tool (admin.exe). It can be found under your world server program folder, or then download Admintool separately.

To add your world into the Administration Tool, select Add new world from the Server menu. Put world name and password as they are in the email. Also add your citizen number in the caretaker list. After the world appears in the Administration Tool's main window, you can edit its properties by right-clicking on it and selecting Properties.

You can host many worlds with one server. You can even access worlds that are running on remote Windows or Unix machines, using the password set in the server section of world.ini (see below). Choose between them by selecting Connect in Server menu. The Admin tool can also broadcast a console message to worlds.

Moving or Upgrading the World Server

When you need to upgrade the world server software, then shut down the world server first, e.g. by right-clicking its icon in the system tray and selecting Exit, make a backup of the world server folder, install the new server program on top of the previous one, and then restart the world.

If you move an old world to a new installation folder, then shut down the world server and copy over the admin.ini and world.ini files and [4.1] the data subfolder.

Converting 3.6 worlds to 4.1

by Andras

  1. Make a backup, just in case
  2. Install the new world server preferably in another folder, it will not touch your existing settings
  3. Have both running and create your worlds on your new server with the values consistent to the old one. Warning: the new server has a case sensitive password, so be sure to use the one you got from AWI
  4. Make an atdump, an elevdump and a propdump from the old server with the old admin tool
  5. Use the new server's admin tool to upload your atdump and then your elevdump. Both admin tools can run parallel, just use copy/paste of the world property fields respectively
  6. If your propdump is huge, over 10,000 lines, then you can use the new server's propload tool to upload it to your new server, it is much faster: propload yourworldname 0 oldpropdump.txt in a command window. The tool has to be started within the same folder where your new server is, because it needs the world.ini file
  7. You probably want to disable building in the old world but keep it running, so 3.6 users still can visit it.

World Database

Worlds come with an embedded MySQL server by default [4.1]. It has attrib, aux, cell, eject, elev, link, mover, sector and world tables. They contain information about:

The pre-4.1 databases files were attrib.dat, attrib.idx, cell.dat, cell.idx, elev.dat, elev.idx, sector.dat, sector.idx.

Settings files

After installation, the initialization files in your world server directory look something like follows:











# 0 = no forced compression
# 2 = ADPCM
# 4 = GSM
# 8 = CELP
# other values will force GSM!
Server Section

[3.1+] In the Server section of world.ini, you can set the remote administration password for remote administrators to use in Server - Connect sessions. You can also change the TCP port number where the server is running. E.g:

Universe Section

If you get name resolving errors on Unix, or do not see anything in your world, you may need to add these lines to world.ini to resolve correctly:

Mysql Section

Name for the world's MySQL database.

Log Section

When the world is connected to the universe server, it gets a universe HEARTBEAT message every minute, as well as information about people coming and going, building, talking etc. These messages are recorded in the log file specified here. (If you right-click the AW icon and pick Show Event Log, you will see a log of since you last started the server.) Here you can also define the maximum logfile size, in bytes, before the program switches to a new logfile and renames the previous logfile with the extension ".old".

Dblog Section

The log of the world's MySQL database.

Debug Section

Controls whether error debug logging is on and which events will be debugged.

Voip Section

VoIP voice chat plug-in quality parameters.

[Rights Section -3.x]

The caretaker list is a comma (,) separated list of the citizen numbers who have the caretaker rights in the world. E.g:

[Backup Section -3.6]

See Automatic Backups.

Misc Section

These undocumented options can be added by hand under Misc section:


Those with build rights can only put objects in cells where they already own at least one object, except for caretakers and admin instances (admin tool).


Those with build rights can not put / (forward slash) or \\ (backslashes) in the action field of an object, except for caretakers and admin instances (admin tool).


This will allow caretakers of the world to build on top of others' objects.

Editing Ini Files

You can edit an ini file in any text editor, but save it as plain text, not in e.g. doc or rtf format. You can insert comments, that is, explanation lines that are not executed, by starting the line with a semicolon (;) or number sign (#). If you want to take a commented-out line into use, take the ; or # away from its beginning.

Running the World

On Windows

Worlds list in AW

The world server starts up at the end of the installation program. Installation can also create a shortcut to the server in the Windows Startup folder, so that it starts automatically at login. If you need to start the world manually, click on world.exe in the world server directory.

If you get an autoexec.nt error, make sure that the file exists in the system32 folder under the Windows folder. If it is not there, see if it is in Repair or I386 folder and copy it to system32, or extract it from the Windows CD. Same error can happen with config.nt and

When the world is running, you can see it in the Worlds list in AW the next time the list next gets refreshed, after a minute or so. Or you can teleport there from the Teleport menu, by selecting To and typing the world name in World line.

Shut down the world by right-clicking it and choosing Stop World if there is a systray icon, or in command window versions by clicking the top right corner X or by pressing <Ctrl><C>.

As a Windows Service

(By Andras)

In Windows NT/2000/XP you can run the world program as a service, so that it can be started automatically when Windows starts, or remotely started and stopped with a telnet session. It requires two tools from the NT resource kit: SrvAny.exe and Instsrv.exe. Here is a short version of the installation instructions, applied to world.exe:

You can manage services by choosing Start menu's Run line and typing in the command services.msc and then OK. Find your world service (you may need to restart Windows first if you just added the service). Right-click it to Stop, Start or Restart it, or choose Properties. Under Properties there is e.g. Recovery tab, where you can set Windows to try restarting the service if it fails.

On Unix

On Unix, run the world with command ./world . You can see the process number with command ps -ef | grep world . Close the world with kill nnn where nnn is the process number.

Tip: (From Andras) If you run more than one world, you can rename the world program to your worldname, so it is easier to tell which program to start or kill.

Inside a Home Network

Running AW in a local, private network may cause problems like not being able to enter the world or see anything there. This can happen if you have a router that makes your local network a private zone that visitors or AW's uniserver cannot access directly, or because you are running a firewall like ZoneAlarm or Windows XP's in-built firewall.

If you have a router, you need to configure it to have virtual server/port forwarding/port redirection/pinhole directing traffic that is coming to your world's port (usually 7777) onwards to your computer's local/private IP address (192.168.0.something; you can see it by running ipconfig in Command Prompt). Router must support loopback, so that you can connect to a server that is running on the same side of the router.

If there are many computers, you may have to use AW on one of the other computers to be able enter your world.

Sometimes you have to run the server and browser from the computer that has the direct connection to the net (demilitarized zone or DMZ). Or dedicate one computer for the world server and place it on the public side of the firewall or proxy.

If you have a firewall, you need to let through the port that your world uses, usually 7777, outgoing TCP access on port 6670 for the uniserver, and port 3000 for file transfer function.

Latest world and AW versions work with proxy servers that use NAT (Network Address Translation). With Microsoft Internet Connection Sharing, you may get the world server working using the ICS Configuration utility.

To be able to enter the world that is running in the same local network as you, change the connection section in your aworld.ini file to


For more information, see Andras's help page How to configure your firewall/router to run Activeworlds client and servers behind it.

Using Your Own MySQL Server [4.1]

You can run your worlds on your own MySQL server, instead of the embedded MySQL server. You may want to do that for instance if you want to access data on the fly, like query (SELECT) tables using external tools. The MySQL version must be 4.10 or higher.

Some cautions:
- Do not run Repair on MySQL tables while world.exe is running and tables are in use;
- Do not modify the content of the world tables while the server is running, because some of the data is cached and might be overwritten or ignored;
- Do not modify the contents of the cell table, because it works together with the sector table.

World running in a command window

World Options Reference

When you have the caretaker rights in the world, you can change the world attributes. Log in to AW, enter your world, go to the Options menu and choose World. From there, you can choose either Features, Rights, or Ejections. [3.3 also had Lights and Fog.]

World Features


World Features General
World Features - General [4.2]

1. Title: The text that people will see in the browser's title bar, between the universe name and the coordinates, when they are in the world. This will also be the name that the Immigration Officer says after the "Welcome to" part to the people entering the world, unless you have set a Welcome Message (see 4). This will also be the name shown when a location inside world is saved into Teleports list with Remember command in Teleport menu. Default: blank
2. Object Path: URL (http link) to the web server where the objects will be downloaded from. Default: (AlphaWorld's object server)
3. Home Page: The web page that people will see in AW's internal web window (Show - Web) when they enter the world. Default: blank
4. Welcome Message: The message that the Immigration Officer says to the people who enter the world. The maximum length is 254 characters. You can insert line breaks and tabs into the message e.g. with a bot like Xelagot. Default: blank
5. Search Keywords [3.3+]: A comma separated list of words to describe the topics of the world, for the universe's Search tab bot. Default: blank
6. Botmenu URL [4.1+]: URL http link to a control menu (a text file) that you see when right-clicking bots that are programmed to use it. Default: blank
7. Entry Point [3.3+]: The location where visitors start out by default. The syntax is the same as for the teleport command. You can set it to the location where you are currently standing by pressing the Set to my location button. Default: blank means 0n 0w
8. Object Password: Password that object zip files have been encrypted with, if there are such files in the world. (Caution: Do not password-protect freebie objects, avatars.dat, seqs and similar, because it is easier to break the password if the contents of the original file are known.) Default: not set, although it shows as *****
9. Object Refresh: How often, in minutes, AW will look for updated versions of the objects. The value only has effect when you enter the world, or if it is changed while you are there. If you change objects often, you can set it lower, but that also means heavier net traffic. E.g. 1 means that browser looks for new versions every time you enter the world. Default: 10080 or one week
10. Restricted Radius: The limit in meters (= 10 times the coordinate value) from the Ground Zero where only caretakers and those with Special Objects right can build or run bots. Default: 0
11. Max. Light Radius [3.1+]: Maximum distance how far the light command reaches, in meters. Possible values 0 - 999. Default: 10
12. Cell Data Limit: How much objects, their actions and descriptions you can put inside a cell (10 x 10 meters) when you build. Normal = 1650, Large = 2750, Huge = 4400, Mega = 5500 bytes, Ultra = 11000 bytes [3.6: 1500, 2500, 4000, 5000] Note that the maximum length of one object's description and action field is still 255 bytes. Default: Mega
13. World Rating: Guide whether the world contains material that is not suitable for children. AW user cannot enter worlds rated higher than their browser's world rating setting allows. G = General Audiences, should not contain any controversial material; PG = Parental Guidance suggested; PG-13 = Parents strongly cautioned; R = Restricted, parental guidance requested; X = Adults only. Default: PG
14. Minimum Visibility [3.2+]: The minimum visible range for all visitors. Default: 30 meters
15. Avatar Updates per second [3.4+]: How often avatar movements update to the viewer. Higher values are smoother but use more bandwidth. Default: 1, maximum 15
16. Empty mover reset timeout [4.1+]: How fast a mover that is no longer in use returns to its original location. Default: 600
17. Used mover reset timeout [4.1+]: How fast a mover that is in use returns to its original location. Default: 3600
18. Wait Limit (for command options) [4.2, 1028]: Limit wait-time on action commands (move, rotate, scale). Default: 0
19. Camera Zoom % [4.2]: Camera objects' default zoom (1.0) in the world is 100 % of this value. This controls the angular field-of-view of the camera; a wide angle lens may be better for in-room worlds. Default: 100

Archived: World Features General 3.4 - 3.6, World Features 3.3, World Features 4.1


World Features Options
World Features - Options [4.1+]

1. Disable "create url/media[3.6]": When checked, people cannot use "create url" command when building and cause AW's internal web browser's content suddenly change when people move inside the world, or create media that starts media content automatically. Default: checked
2. Disable multiple media playing [3.6]: When checked, people will only hear one media command stream at a time. Default: not checked
3. Allow pass-thru (SHIFT): When checked, people can go through objects by pressing Shift key while moving. You may want to prevent this and the next two selections to prevent cheating in mazes or similar games, or when you want to add more realism. Default: checked
4. Allow flying (+/-): When checked, people can fly with +/- keys. Default: checked
5. Allow local teleports/invites[3.6]: When checked, people can teleport inside the world with teleport commands or from the Teleport menu, and can invite others to join them within the world. Default: checked
6. Allow object selection: When checked, people can see the content of the Object Properties box when they right mouse click an object. You may want to prevent this if you don't want people to see how the world is built or by whom. Default: checked
7. Allow tourist whispers [3.2+]: When checked, tourists can whisper. Citizens can always whisper to them. Default: checked
8. Allow citizen whispers [3.4+]: When checked, citizens can whisper. Default: checked
9. Hide chat [3.4+]: When checked, users don't see chat messages from each other, except bots with caretaker rights, that can relay it on. Default: not checked
10. Always show names [3.4+]: When checked, users see everybody's names over their head. Default: not checked
11. Allow avatar collision [3.0+]: When checked, avatars can bump into each other, instead of going through. Default: not checked
12. Enable 3-axis object rotation [3.3+]: When checked, enables rotating objects along all three axes when building: tilt along x axis, rotate around y axis, roll around z axis. Default: not checked
13. Disable Avatar List [3.4+]: When checked, the avatar list cannot be selected. This can be used by SDK programs to control which avatar each visitor is wearing. Default: not checked
14. Personal AV enabled [4.1+]: Allows people wear their personal avatar in the world. Default: not checked
15. Allow tourist building [3.4+]: When not checked, tourists cannot build in the world, even when Build right is set for everyone. Default: checked
16. Enable browser referrer [3.4+]: When checked, AW browser identifies itself to web servers according to HTTP standards. This can stop downloads from web servers that prevent direct linking, like many free sites. Default: not checked (always off before 3.4)
17. Enable send bump event [4.1+]: When checked, bots can see if somebody bumps an object with a bump command and take action accordingly. Creates more net traffic. Default: not checked
18. Enable global events [4.1+]: When checked, builds can use global actions that are visible for all when they happen. Default: not checked
19. Chat disable url clicks [4.1+]: When checked, url http links posted in chat cannot be opened into web browser by clicking them. Default: not checked
20. Disable Shadows [4.1, 975]: When checked, objects will not throw shadows. Default: not checked
21. Enable Camera Collision [4.1, 975]: When checked, objects can block camera views. Default: not checked.
22. VOIP global in conference mode [4.2, 1019]: Voice chat global in conference mode (heard even outside visible range). Default: checked.
23. VOIP global in moderated mode [4.2, 1028]: Voice chat global in moderated mode (heard even outside visible range). Default: checked.

Archived: World Features Options 3.4 - 3.6

Physics [4.1]

World Features Physics
World Features - Physics [4.1]

1. Gravity [3.4+]: How fast avatar rises or falls. Gravity is on only if there is a ground object or terrain. Default: 1.00 or standard Earth gravity
2. Underwater Gravity [3.4+]: How fast avatar rises or falls underwater. Negative value causes avatar to float to the surface. Default: 1.00
3. Friction [4.1]: How fast and easily avatar moves on surfaces. Default: 1.00
4. Underwater Friction [4.1]: How fast and easily avatar moves on surfaces underwater. Default: 2.00
5. Slope Sliding [4.1]: When checked, avatar can slide in slopes and hills, or climbing up can be prevented. See next options. Default: not checked
6. Slope slide min angle [4.1]: Minimum angle for steepness of a slope after which avatar starts to slide. Default: 0.00
7. Slope slide max angle [4.1]: Maximum angle for steepness of a slope after which avatar cannot climb up anymore, only jump, or steps over on other objects than terrain. Default: 90.00


World Features Sound
World Features - Sound [3.4+]

WAV format sound files that visitors can hear, if they have sound effects playing setting on in their browser. Default: blank.

1. Global ambient sound [3.6]: Sound that can be heard at the same volume level all over the world. Can also be a streaming media url. For streaming media you can put noloop command in front to play it only once
2. Footstep: Sound that plays twice every time avatar walks the distance of their own height, doubled when running. See autowalk
3. Enter Water: Sound that plays when avatar enters water and begins swimming (the mid-point of the avatar drops below water level)
4. Exit Water: Sound that plays when avatar emerges from water.


World Features Ground
World Features - Ground [3.4+]

1. Ground object repeats [3.2+]: When enabled, the ground object is repositioned every 60 meters as you move, so that it remains underneath you at all times, creating the illusion of an infinite ground. When disabled, the ground object is always centered at 0N 0W. Default: checked
2. Ground Object: The name of the ground object file, without the ".rwx" or ".zip" ending, from the object server's models directory. If you do not specify a ground object, the world will have no gravity. Default: blank
3. Enable Terrain [3.3+]: When checked, the editable terrain ground is enabled. Default: not checked
4. Terrain elevation offset [3.5]: How much all of the terrain is shifted up or down, in meters. Note that the change will not take effect until a terrain update is forced, by moving around. Default: 0.00
5. Terrain surface ambient [3.4+]: Ambient value for terrain; brightness, how much ambient and directional light effects surface. From 0.0 (reflects no light) to 1.0. Default: 0.20
6. Terrain surface diffuse [3.4+]: Diffuse value for terrain; shading, contrast between lit and unlit. Default: 1.00


World Features Lighting
World Features - Lighting [4.1]

1. Enable Fog: When checked, sets fog on. Fog is always active underwater. Default: not checked
2. Fog Tinting [4.1]: When checked, fog will cover the whole view. Active when Fog Min is between 0 and 50 meters. Default: not checked
3. Fog Color: Fog color can be changed by clicking the color box. (In 3.0 - 3.3 fog color was the backdrop color.) Default: Blue 178
4. Fog Min: Where fog starts from the viewer. Also controls the tinted fog's density. Default: 0
5. Max view / fog distance: Where fog reaches its full thickness. The higher the Max value (difference between Min and Max), the thinner the fog is. Also controls the visibility of ground objects and terrain (far clipping plane), even when fog is turned off. Value can be between 50 and 1200 meters (before 3.4: 0 to 400). Default: 120
6. Ambient Light: The color of the light that shines equally from all directions in the world can be changed by clicking the color box. The intensity of the ambient light is determined by each object file's surface value setting. Default: White
7. Directional Light: The color of the world's main light source, such as the sun, can be changed by clicking the color box. You can disable the directional light by setting it to black (0 0 0). Default: White
8. Position X (W-E): The position where the directional light source is shining from (in 3.3: shining _at_), along the X-axis: left of slider is west (+X), right is east (-X). Default: -80
9. Position Y (Up-Down): The position of the directional light source along the Y-axis: left of slider is up (+Y), right is down (-Y). Default: -50
10. Position Z (N-S): The position of the directional light source along the Z-axis: left of slider is north (+Z), right is south (-Z). Default: -20
11. Light source texture [3.4+]: Texture of the world's directional light source. It will be tinted according to the color of the light source. Renders after cloud layer 1, but before layers 2 and 3. Default: blank
12. Light source mask [3.4+]: Optional mask for light source. Same name for both texture and mask creates a self-masking texture. Default: blank
13. Light source size [3.4+]: The size of the light source image, as percent of the viewport. Max 100 = entire screen. Default: 0
14. Draw light source in front [3.4+]: When checked, makes the world light source act as a corona, overlapping the scenery. Default: not checked
15. Light texture glow [3.4+]: When checked, makes the world light source blend with scenery. Default: not checked
16. Use light source alternate color [4.1]: When checked, the light source texture's (e.g. sun, moon) color can be set different from Ambient Light and Directional Light. The color is defined with the next setting. Default: not checked
17. Light source alternate color [4.1]: The light source's color can be changed by clicking the color box. The previous checkbox controls whether it is shown. Default: White.

Archived: World Features Lighting 3.4 - 3.6, World Lights and Fogs 3.0 - 3.3


World Features Sky
World Features - Sky [3.4+]

The sky colors fade to one another (gradient) across the sky. Before 3.4, Backdrop Color setting controlled the color that you saw behind the background image and the ground, and also the fog color.

1. Backdrop: The background image, in jpg format but without the ".jpg" ending, from the object server's textures directory. The size is usually around 1536x384 pixels. Alternative to skybox, although they can also be used at the same time. Default: blank
2. Skybox [3.2+]: An rwx model, visible from the inside, that is always centered on your current position and rendered first, so it surrounds the whole world. Default: blank
3. Top: Color of the sky directly overhead. Default: Blue 178
4. North: Color of the northern part of the sky. Default: Blue 178
5. East: Color of the eastern part of the sky. Default: Blue 178
6. South: Color of the southern part of the sky. Default: Blue 178
7. West: Color of the western part of the sky. Default: Blue 178
8. Bottom: Color of the sky below the horizon, straight down. Default: Blue 178.

Cloud Layers

World Features Cloud Layers
World Features - Cloud Layers [3.4+]

Cloud layer 1 gets drawn first, (then world light source,) then layer 2, and then last layer 3.

1. Texture: Cloud texture. Default: blank
2. Mask: Mask for the cloud texture; optional. If the name is the same as the texture name, it will be "self-masking": brighter areas nontransparent and darker ones see-through. Note that clouds are automatically transparent at the edges, and that fading rate cannot be changed with mask. Default: blank
3. Speed X: Cloud speed, moving to +X = west, -X = east. Default: 0.00
4. Speed Z: Cloud speed, moving to +Z = south, -Z = north. Default: 0.00
5. Tile: How many times the texture repeats itself across the sky, in each direction. Default: 0.00
6. Opacity: Cloud layer's "thickness": slider left = see-through, slider right = opaque, nontransparent. Default: 0


World Features Water
World Features - Water [3.4+]

The water effect produces a plane of water, with waves and liquid looking surface texture. Note that water fades out beneath the terrain, and skybox and backdrop do not render underwater.

1. Water Enabled: When checked, water is shown. Default: not checked
2. Show water under terrain [3.5]: When checked, causes water to be rendered at similar opacity even below terrain, disabling transparent edges that otherwise appear on shallow water. When not checked, water fades slightly along the shore, and is fully transparent underground. Default: not checked
3. Top Texture: Texture of water surface's top, repeating once per cell. Default: blank
4. Top Mask: Optional mask for the Top Texture. Default: blank
5. Bottom Texture: Texture of water surface's bottom (that you see when looking up under water), repeating once per cell. Default: blank
6. Bottom Mask: Optional mask for the Bottom Texture. Default: blank
7. Color: Color of the water surface and the underwater effect. Default: Black
8. Opacity: Water's "thickness": left = see-through, right = opaque, nontransparent. Note that transparent and masked objects may not look right through water if opacity is low. Default: 0
9. Water Level: Water "height" (distance of surface from terrain), in meters. Default: 0.00
10. Wave Movement: How large the waves can be, in meters. The deeper the water, the larger the waves. Water beneath terrain does not have waves. Default: 0.00
11. Surface Movement: How far the surface will move up and down, in meters. Default: 0.00
12. Movement Speed: Speed at which the waves move. Default: 0.00
13. Underwater view distance: Distance how far avatar sees underwater, in meters. Default: 120

Custom World Avatar

World Features CAV
World Features - Custom World Avatar [4.2+]

Custom avatars use special DirectX format X files (.x extension), and their body parts, textures and animations are defined in an XML format template file in the world's custom avatar object path.
World CAV tutorial by nwasells.

1. Uni CAV Citizen: Universe-wide Custom Avatar for citizens enabled inside this world
2. Uni CAV Tourists: Universe-wide Custom Avatar for tourists enabled inside this world
3. Uni CAV Bots: Universe-wide Custom Avatar for bots enabled inside this world
4. World CAV Citizen: World's own Custom Avatar for citizens enabled
5. World CAV Tourists: World's own Custom Avatar for tourists enabled
6. World CAV Bots: World's own Custom Avatar for bots enabled
7. CAV Object Path: Custom Avatars' object path URL (http link)
8. CAV Object Password: Custom Avatars' zip file password
9. CAV Object Refresh: Custom Avatars' refresh rate (how often, in minutes, AW will look for updated versions of the objects).

World Rights

World Rights
World Rights [4.2]

World rights determine the citizens who can or cannot do certain things in your world. That is done by defining lists of citizen numbers. The maximum length of a field is 255 characters. By default all lines are empty. Some conventions:

Also exclusions (-) and ranges (~) can be used [4.1]:

1. Enter: Who can enter the world. When everybody can enter, the world has a colored disc beside its name in Worlds list; otherwise the disc is grey
2. Build: Who can build in the world
3. Terrain [4.2]: Who can edit terrain in the world
4. Eminent Domain: People who can change or delete properties of other citizens, and in non-registry worlds also change an object's owner
5. Special Objects: Who can build with objects that begin with the letter "z". This allows you to create special objects that cannot just be duplicated all over the place by any builder. People with z object right can also build within the Restricted Radius
6. V4 objects [4.1]: Who can build movers, particles and zones. Others get z object warning
7. Special Commands [3.1+]: Who can use move and rotate commands when building
8. Special Cmd List [4.1, 975]: The list of special commands allowed. Default: move rotate
9. Public Speaker: Who speak in bold text and can use special and hidden avatars
10. Eject: Who can eject others out of the world, by choosing the Eject option in avatar's right-click menu. It blocks users coming in from a certain citizen number, IP or MAC address for a certain period of time. Note that only caretakers, not people with just Eject rights, can see and modify the list of ejections by choosing Options - World - Ejections [3.0+]
11. Bots: Who can run bots in the world
12. Speak: Who can speak in the world
13. Voice Chat [4.1]: Who can speak through the voice chat panel in the world.

Archived: World Rights 3.1 - 3.6

Building the World

When your world starts the first time, it will only contain one starter object, a street.rwx. Do not delete it, because you start building by copying it. Remember that as a caretaker/eminent domain holder you can change the owner of any object. If you accidentally delete your only object, then reinstall the world server, or use e.g. SeedBot or ChatBot to recreate it. You can download bots from Objects d'Active Worlds Links page.

It is helpful to have possible object download errors shown on your chat window: go up to Options menu, Settings, Advanced tab, and check Print object errors in chat window. For instance, "file not found" means that the name of the built object is wrong (misspelled or not uploaded), "error 1403" means that the access to the object server is forbidden.

Note that what you can put on display in your world is restricted by AW's Content Guidelines.

World Sizes

Worlds are square-shaped. Current world sizes (1 coordinate = 10 meters):

The old system was:

In any world, you cannot go above 2000 m or under -350 m altitude, or build above 327.7 m or under -327.7 m.


A ground object is an ordinary rwx file, usually square but it can be any shape. It can be any size too, but it is good to be about 400 meters wide in order to seem endless. On the other hand it doesn't need to be much wider than that either, because RenderWare 3.0's clipping plane will cut it anyway.

When you have walked 30 meters away from the center of the ground object rwx, it "jumps" ahead of you 60 meters. So any repeating features look best when evenly divisible into 60 meters.

If you want a non-solid part in your ground object, like water, you can use a child clump for the non solid part, or in AW 3.x collision off command. For the non-solidity to work, the first vertex of the parent clump must be at zero or positive altitude, even if some part of the ground goes below it. In AW 2.2 objects bigger than 256 vertices are non-solid.

Without ground object there is no gravity. If you want to build a modular ground of various modules rather than similar pieces, but still have gravity, you can use e.g. an empty clump as the ground object.


Terrain is a continuous ground object, editable by caretaker in pieces of one cell, 10x10 meters. You can change the elevation (height) of the south-eastern corner, the texture, and the rotation of each cell.

Elevation can change from -1000 to 1000 meters [pre-4.1: -327.68 to 327.67]. A terrain cell can also be a hole, gap. Terrain can use up to 500 textures [pre-4.1: 63] that must be called terrain0.jpg, terrain1.jpg, etc. in the world's object path.

With a bot or other program it may be possible to upload a terrain out of a file, e.g. in USGS DEM format.


You can set the background picture, backdrop, for the world in Options - World - Features. It can be any jpeg file from the object server's textures directory, but typically worldowners use some large scenery picture especially made for that purpose. You also set there the backdrop color: the color that shows in the background, above and under the backdrop if there is one, or as fog's color.

AlphaWorld backdrop pictures are often 1536x256 pixels, but they can be any size. With higher pictures the backdrop color doesn't show unless you look straight up. Narrow pictures tile side by side to fill up the whole surrounding perimeter. You can make it wider, so it does not that easily "follow" you when you turn. Some say that at least 2400 pixels is good for that. But there is no size that would make the backdrop stay fixed at certain compass points (so that the sun would stay in the same spot) for everyone, because it depends on your window size.

The backdrop color chooser in World Features is the same than in Windows Paint accessory (mspaint.exe). If you want to blend your backdrop color seamlessly with your backdrop image:
- convert your backdrop image to .bmp and open it in Paint
- or take a screenshot of it with PrintScrn button and paste it into Paint
- choose the Pick Color tool in Paint; looks like a dropper
- choose the colour of the picture's topmost part with it
- choose Edit color from the Options menu
- choose Define Custom Colors
- write down the numbers in either Hue, Sat and Lum, or Red, Green and Blue boxes
- enter the same three numbers as the Backdrop Color.

Making a Map

You can make a map of your world with e.g. Andras's MapView or Magine's WorldMapper. They need a propdump file of the world's database as input.

Object Server

The information about what goes where in your world (see World Database) can be on your own PC, but the actual object files (rwx's, jpeg's, seq's, wav's etc), must be on some public web server, object server.

The default object server is AlphaWorld's, and it can be used freely. All the Alphaworld and 3D homepage objects have also been compiled into Megapath: Also see UberPath project by Karten. If you want to have other objects, you must use some other object server. (If it is not your own object server, ask permission from the server owner first!)

You can create your own object server, if you have web space for it. There are many free web page providers, but not many of them allow using their space as an AW object server, they may send the file inside an HTML page instead of direct response, or they may have page forwarding that makes it hard to tell the real path name. You can see some providers at

You can run a web server on your own computer with a program like Apache, Xitami, or Microsoft Personal Web Server / Internet Information Server that comes with FrontPage or NT 4.0 Option Pack. Then you must register your dynamic IP address into a permanent web address with some dynamic DNS service like DNS2Go.

You can only use objects from one web server at a time, unless your primary web server can run specific PHP or Perl scripts designed for providing multiple object paths. See e.g. a way to have different avatars.dat files for different worlds by Ananas, and multipath PHP script by Tengel.

Object server


The object server should contain the following directories:

There are AlphaWorld and Colony Alpha object directories zipped up for download on AW web site, so you can use them as the basis of your own object server.

Upload the files to the object server with some ftp program, like Ws_ftp. Use binary format, and make sure that the filenames and extensions are in lower case.

When you go to your world in AW, the following directories will be created in the AW program cache on your PC's hard disk, and then the downloads go into them:

You can change the object server path and your world will still look the same, but then all the objects will be downloaded again into a new directory in your art cache.


You may want to use object registry in your world, if public building is allowed but you don't want people to build on (encroach) other people's properties. The other effect of a registry is that builders can only build with objects that are in the registry, otherwise they get the error message "Only registered objects can be used for construction".

Without a registry, you don't need to use the ".rwx" ending in objects' names, which saves space so that you can build more in the same cell. On the other hand, if you build with an non-existent object, it will stay in the world as a black triangle.

The registry file defines the dimensions of the objects, so that encroachment can be determined. The format of a registry file line is:

filename.rwx 1 left bottom back right top front

The coordinate values are in centimetres, the minimum values increased by 5 cm and the maximum values decreased by 5 cm.

You can make the registry file of your objects with RWXMod . You can also download the ready-made AlphaWorld registry.

Put the registry.txt file into the world server directory. To enable the registry, right click the world in the Server Administration Tool, choose Properties from the menu, and type the registry file name (registry.txt) in the Registry line.

Notes about old world servers


The avatar selection of the world is in the file avatars.dat. It must be in plain text (.txt) format. Zip it and put it into the avatars directory.

At the start of the file there must be the line version 3:

# animation registry version 0.3
version 3                               # keep this around

After that is each avatar defined in this format: Avatar list with submenus

Old style avatar list

You can organize the Avatars list into submenu groups by creating title sections like this [4.1]:


To create your own avatar list, you can simply cut and paste avatar definitions (avatar - endavatar clumps) from existing avatars.dat files and put them into any order you want. There can be 512 avatars in the avatar list [pre-4.1: 256]. Caution: If you have a syntax error in your avatars.dat file, then the avatar where the error is, and maybe even all avatars after that, do not show up in the list.

See also Avatars.dat Editor by Byte and Editing the avatars.dat file help page by Heartfall World Hosting.

Teleport Sounds

There are two sounds that get played when teleporting in your world: warp1.wav for teleporting inside your world, and deport1.wav for teleporting out of your world. They must be zipped each and put into the sounds directory. Note: You can rename any wav file as warp1.wav or deport1.wav to be used as teleporting sounds.

Custom Objects

Getting Custom Objects

You can download or buy objects, avatars and textures e.g. from:

Note. Some of these models are free, some not - ask the creator or web site owner if you are not sure!

Making Your Own Objects

You can make your own objects, avatars and textures. AW objects can be Renderware rwx files or TrueSpace cob files. See help pages by:

Local Path option

You can use local path option in AW browser for testing new art files. It is a directory on your computer where AW will check for objects and textures first before downloading them from the object server. Other people won't see those files until you upload them to the object server.

Set the name of the local path directory in Options - Settings - Advanced, e.g: D:\mycache. Create that folder on your PC. Under it, create a directory structure like on the object server, replacing tilde '~' and other possible special characters in the www address with a hyphen '-'.

So if the object path of your world (or the world where you want to test objects) is "", create under D:\mycache a folder called "", and under that a folder called "myworld". Under that, make one or more of the folders avatars, models, seqs, sounds, and textures, as needed. Then put the files that you want to override into respective folders. For instance, to test a new avatar list, copy it as D:\mycache\\myworld\avatars\ Remember to put all the textures and seqs needed by the objects you test into their own folders too.

See Local object path help page by Ananas.

About Refreshing Updated Objects

Sometimes you may not see the new version of an object even when you have uploaded it right and lowered the object refresh rate.

Tip: If the world has no registry, you can refresh a single object by putting a \ or / in front of its name.


The 4.1 world database is not locked, so no automatic backup folder is necessary anymore. MySQL server may offer its own backup tools. Otherwise you have to take care of backups yourself by manually copying the files. Shut down the world server first. The most important files are admin.ini, world.ini files and the data subfolder.

Automatic Backups

To back up the world database automatically, you can schedule a task to run propdump or mysqldump every now and then, or setup MySQL database replication, or use AdminBot tool by Andras.

The 3.x world server can make backups of the world database automatically, if you specify the backup directory's name and backup interval, in seconds, in world.ini. Default is once in 60 seconds. Later installation programs directed the backups to the folder C:\Active Worlds Server Backup\, otherwise you must create the directory manually first. For instance, to have the world backed up once a day into 'mydir' directory, add:


Dump/Load Commands

To write the world database into plain-text files or read them back into the world, use the Save/Load Property, Save/Load Attributes, and Save/Load Terrain commands in the File menu of the Server Administration Tool. They are useful for making registry, taking backup, or moving the world database between Windows and Unix machines. Propdump Tools are included in the Windows world server.

You can also do propdump with XelaGot bot: survey the area and choose Save Project as Propdump from Project menu.

Note that if you Reset World in Administration Tool and then want to restore it back, you must load back the old attributes (atdump), property (propdump), and terrain (elevdump).

To take a backup of all the entire server if it is running many worlds, there are the old propdump and propload commands:

On Windows

- close the running world window with Ctrl-C
- open the MS-DOS Command prompt
- go to your world's directory with cd command
- run command
propdump > myworld.txt (the txt file can have any name)
- you can load it back into the world with command
propload < myworld.txt
(be careful with the syntax or you risk wiping out the entire world!)

The dump and load utilities have to be started from within the world server's folder. When loading, the server needs to be restarted for all changes to take effect.

On Unix

- take telnet connection to your server computer
- shut down the running world with kill command
- go to your world's directory with cd command
- run command
./propdump > myworld (the output file can have any name) or ./propdump -s > myworld
- you can load it back into the world with command
./propload < myworld

Propdump File Format

123456 825785165 287 0 1350 -1800 [900] [-150] [0] 11 12 16 [0] mailbox.rwxsend me [x]

123456 - Builder's citizen ID
825785165 - Time of building (number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970)
287 - X origin (centimeters) = west/east, west being positive
0 - Y origin (centimeters) = up/down, up being positive; -32767 to 32767
1350 - Z origin (centimeters) = north/south, north being positive
-1800 - Y orientation (yaw), 1/10's of a degree: 0 = north, 900 = west, 1800 = south, 2700 = east
900 - X orientation (tilt), 1/10's of a degree, -1800 to 1800 [propdump version 3]
-150 - Z orientation (roll), 1/10's of a degree, -900 to 900  [propdump version 3]
0 - OBJECTTYPE [propdump version 4]
11 - Object file name length
12 - Description length
16 - Action length
0 - DATALENGTH [propdump version 4]
mailbox.rwx - Object file name
send me mail - Description; may contain linefeeds - Action; may contain linefeeds
x - DATA [propdump version 4]

The server-sided propdump has an additional index entry as the first line: propdump version 4.

Newline, or carriage return with line feed \r\n, is replaced with characters 0x80 0x7F (before 3.3: 0x0D 0x7F), and \n with character 0x7F. A solitary \r is not translated.

Propdump Utility

JavaScript utility to interpret the contents of a propdump line:

Elevdump File Format

{PageX} {PageZ} {NodeX} {NodeZ} {NodeRadius} {TextureCount} {HeightCount} {space separated Texture list} {space separated Height list}

(Thanks MilesTeg ;)

Dumping Attribute Database

File, Save Attributes, or
- atdump > myattrib.txt
- atload < myattrib.txt

Atdump File Format
atdump version 4

0 Allow 3-axis rotation
1 Allow avatar collision
2 Allow citizen whisper
3 Allow flying
4 Allow object select
5 Allow passthru
6 Allow teleport (local teleports and invites)
7 Allow tourist build
8 Allow tourist whisper
9 Always show names
10 Ambient light blue (color red)
11 Ambient light green
12 Ambient light red (color blue)
13 Avatar refresh rate
14 Backdrop
15 Bots right
16 Build number
17 Build right
18 Buoyancy (underwater gravity)
19 Cell limit
20 Cloud layer 1 mask
21 Cloud layer 1 opacity
22 Cloud layer 1 speed X
23 Cloud layer 1 speed Z
24 Cloud layer 1 texture
25 Cloud layer 1 tile
26 Cloud layer 2 mask
27 Cloud layer 2 opacity
28 Cloud layer 2 speed X
29 Cloud layer 2 speed Z
30 Cloud layer 2 texture
31 Cloud layer 2 tile
32 Cloud layer 3 mask
33 Cloud layer 3 opacity
34 Cloud layer 3 speed X
35 Cloud layer 3 speed Z
36 Cloud layer 3 texture
37 Cloud layer 3 tile
38 Creation timestamp
39 Disable avatar list
40 Disable (hide) chat
41 Disable create url (and media)
42 Eject right
43 Eminent domain right
44 Enable referer (for browser)
45 Enable terrain
46 Enter right
47 Entry point
48 Expiration
49 Fog blue
50 Fog enable
51 Fog green
52 Fog maximum (view distance)
53 Fog minimum
54 Fog red
55 Gravity
56 Ground
57 Home page
58 Keywords (for search)
59 Light blue (directional)
60 Light draw bight (light source texture glow)
61 Light draw front
62 Light draw size
63 Light green
64 Light mask
65 Light red
66 Light texture
67 Light X (position)
68 Light Y
69 Light Z
70 Max. light radius
71 Max users
72 Minimum visibility
73 Object count
74 Object password
75 (Removed)
76 Object path
77 Object refresh
78 Public speaker right
79 Rating
80 Repeating ground
81 Restricted radius
82 Size
83 Skybox
84 Sky bottom blue
85 Sky bottom green
86 Sky bottom red
87 Sky east blue
88 Sky east green
89 Sky east red
90 Sky north blue
91 Sky north green
92 Sky north red
93 Sky south blue
94 Sky south green
95 Sky south red
96 Sky top blue
97 Sky top green
98 Sky top red
99 Sky west blue
100 Sky west green
101 Sky west red
102 Sound footstep
103 Sound water enter
104 Sound water exit
105 Speak right
106 Special commands right
107 Special objects right
108 Terrain ambient (surface)
109 Terrain diffuse
110 Terrain offset (elevation)
111 Terrain timestamp
112 Title
113 VOIP right
114 Water blue
115 Water bottom mask
116 Water bottom texture
117 Water enabled
118 Water green
119 Water level
120 Water mask (top)
121 Water opacity
122 Water red
123 Water speed
124 Water surface move
125 Water texture (top)
126 Water under terrain
127 Water visibility (view distance)
128 Water wave move
129 Welcome message
130 Disable multiple media
131 Sound ambient (global)
132 Botmenu URL
133 Enable bump event
134 Enable sync events (global)
135 Enable CAV
136 Enable PAV
137 Friction
138 Water friction
139 Slopeslide enabled
140 Slopeslide min angle
141 Slopeslide max angle
142 Fog tinted
143 Light source use color
144 Light source color (alternate)
145 Chat disable url clicks
146 Mover empty reset timeout
147 Mover used reset timeout
148 V4 objects right
Old Atdump File Format

(by Andras)

atdump version 1

0 World Title
1 Backdrop
2 Ground Object
3 Object Path
5 Object Refresh rate
6 Build Rights
7 Eminent Domain
8 Enter Rights
9 Special Actions (obsolete)
10 Special or Z Objects
11 Backdrop Color Red
12 Backdrop Color Green
13 Backdrop Color Blue
15 Restricted Radius
18 Public Speakers
20 Home Page
22 Object Password
23 Disable Create URL
24 World Rating
25 Welcome Message
26 Eject Right
29 Cell Data Limit
31 Allow Pass-thru
32 Allow Flying
33 Allow Local Teleports
35 Allow Object Selection
36 Bots Rights
38 Speak Rights
39 Avatars in Scene (for AW 2.2)
40 Allow Tourist Whispers
41 Light Direction X
42 Light Direction Y
43 Light Direction Z
44 Directional Light Red
45 Directional Light Green
46 Directional Light Blue
47 Ambient Red
48 Ambient Green
49 Ambient Blue
50 Allow Avatar Collision
51 Enable Fog
52 Fog min
53 Fog Max

Dumping Ejection Database

- ejdump > myejects.txt
- ejload < myejects.txt

Old World Servers

In world servers before version 3.1, the world.ini looked like this after installation:




The Windows version of the world setup program put the world name and password automatically into respective lines. If you wanted to run many worlds on the same machine, you had to add a port number line and put a different port number for each world. E.g:


If you wanted to use registry, you took away the comment mark from the registry line in the limits section:


If you had already built in your world, then you also had to run propdump and propload commands inside MS-DOS Prompt. Propdump command can be run inside a backup folder, in which case you don't have to close the world. Propload must be run inside the actual world folder and the world(s) must be closed.

When upgrading from 3.0 version 3.1 , you must convert the database files to the 3.1 format. In Windows, the installer detects an older world server if you are installing it in the same directory, and upgrades it to 3.1 automatically. Otherwise close the world and make backups, then do propdump, atdump and ejdump, and then propload, atload and ejload (see Dump/Load Commands). The installation comes with a convert script to make it easier.

Also see Bruce Flea's site for some useful world server tools.

(I don't guarantee the reliability or completeness of the information on this page.) 2011-02-11