To ensure all the typical questions have been covered before I log in I'll introduce myself here.
Well, my online nickname is simply 'Don' and I am a software engineer from the UK working in games development. I have a keen interest in cross-platform software development, graphic design, web engineering, online communities and MMOGs, but I try to steer away from the computer where I can during my time off; thus I also enjoy travel, photography, shopping and meeting new people.
Anyways, you know where to find me if you want to know more.
Nb. If you send me a chat invite and I don't reply I am probably afk but imvu doesn't have an 'away' mode yet.
Customising the XML Character Menu is an absolute must.
If you know what you're doing with XML and want to give it a go its the "menus.config.xml" file located in "C:\Program Files\IMVU\"
Note: You'll need to create a backup first and validate the XML afterwards to be certain it is properly formatted.
If you drop the file into Notepad you'll see that the Subtree tags are menu folder tags and the end node options are the HudLeafItems.
These elements exist inside the main Template tags and then Menu0 for the 'LeftClickOnOtherAvatar' menu & Menu1 is for 'LeftClickOnMyAvatar'.
Customise your Menu
Brand New Application
I am currently working on a web application to create customised Character Menus for imvu users. (Image left shows Outfits submenu.)
The purpose of the avatar menu generator is to allow users to add items of clothing, accessories, rooms, pets, purchased actions & complete outfits (e.g. sets of clothes) etc. to their character menu, via a simple image-based webpage generator; (topic).
I have also been looking into a clearer format for the avatar menus, so if you want to try my new structure then, at your own risk, rename your "menus.config.xml" within "C:\Program Files\IMVU\" and replace it with the modified file I have zipped here:
If you have ever greeted your friend with 'hiya' and launched into a kick or typed 'lol' and found your avatar laughing along with you? If so, you will know a few of IMVU's inbuilt macro commands. Try typing riff, tth, cry, wave, what, hm, clap, shocked or gag.
You might find that at least one of these commands keeps getting triggered when you least want it to. If that happens then its very easy to change it to something else:
Whilst IMVU is closed, open "C:\Program Files\IMVU\"
Drag "macros.config.xml" into a Windows Notepad window
Go to the "Edit" menu, select "Find" and type: hiya
When you find the line Keyhiya/Key change it to Keyhiyah/Key
Save and close the file
The animation trigger will now be hiyah and not hiya, or you might even want to change it to *hiya instead. Note that this method only applies to the default IMVU actions though, and not extra ones purchased from the catalog.
CSS Image Secrets
If you want to specify the size of avatar images & wish list images on your homepage (to avoid having your design stretched by oversized images), then you can add the following css code to the "Edit custom HTML/CSS" option on your "About Me" panel:
Left-clicking and moving the mouse forward/back zooms the camera in/out
Left-clicking and moving the mouse left/right rotates the camera angle left/right
Right-clicking and moving the mouse forward/back moves the camera down/up
Right-clicking and moving the mouse right/left moves the camera left/right
Holding down the right/left arrow keys move the camera right/left
Holding down the forward/back arrow keys move the camera forward/back
Ctrl key down with the forwards/back arrow keys pivots the camera view down/up
Nb. To hide/show chat bubbles when taking Print Screen style screenshots use Ctrl B.
I tend to have trouble on the right-click controls - where up means down, right means left etc. - so I would be keen to see them reversed. Then I would love to be able to switch from Avatar View to an RPG style Room View when navigating or photographing a room/objects. In Room View left-clicking and moving the mouse forward/back could move the camera forwards/back until you reached the edge of the room, and then left and right arrow keys continuing to rotate your view left and right as they do now.
IMVU Home Movies
I had come to enjoy using the movie command for making my own avatar videos so it is sad to see it excluded from current installers.
It seems the feature had to be removed as it was adding an extra megabyte to the download, but hopefully we will see its return once IMVU leaves
its beta status.
If you still wish to try it out - possibly in combination with the 'hide speech bubbles' command mentioned in Camera Controls above - you can return to an older client by replacing the Xs with the numbers for the version you are after here: http://www.imvu.com/installers/InstallIMVU_XXX.X_full.exe
Movie would take the format *movie [seconds] [delay] e.g. to record a sixty second clip: *movie 60 0
If you're curious to know what I'm running, my main PC is an Intel Core 2 Duo at 2 x 2.13GHz, 2Gb RAM, nVidia GeForce 7900 GT, Windows XP Pro. I try to keep it fairly up to date but I'm not interested in paying out to ensure its always 'top of the line'.
My other developer machines are as follows:
Intel Core Duo @ 2 x 2.0GHz - Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.4GHz - Ubuntu Linux
Mac Mini G4 @ 1.42GHz - Mac OS X Tiger
Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.66GHz - Windows 2003 Server
If you're wondering why I'm not using Vista as my main platform yet, I'll be avoiding making that upgrade for as long as possible! ;)
IMVU beta is currently compatible with Windows 98/2000/ME/XP (& hopefully soon Vista); now, although a Mac version is underway, IMVU are focusing on Windows while the client remains in beta.
Plenty of Mac users would like to be able to use IMVU now but that would not be beneficial at this stage, as I will explain.
Imagine that turning an application design into Windows programming code is the equivalent of translating a story you are writing into French. The problem is that whilst you are still adding new chapters, taking out paragraphs and rewriting sections there is continuous change. Now imagine that creating a Mac release is the equivalent of translating the French story into German - since windows machines and Macs don't support the exact same languages - and bear in mind that translation isn't just a word-for-word process. Thus you can understand how, if the Mac version was being updated as often as the Windows client, IMVU might never escape beta.
That is why the Mac release must come after the Windows version.
ChatCast beta was released in May 2006. You could launch ChatCast by typing *chatCast during a 3D chat in which you had at least one other avatar, type in the topic of your conversation in a dialog box, and the chat would appear in the listings for anyone to join.
On February 27th ChatCasts were taken down for some necessary presentation and moderation related updates. We are currently waiting for them to return but in the mean time there is Group Chat where you can invite multiple users to a chat room.
One concept that I have been thinking about for ChatCast security:
Chat ratings: Only adults would be able to hold either adult chats (18+) or R-rated access pass chats (R), youths under 18 could choose to hold under 18s chats (18-) and other chat rooms could be young adults (16+) or Universal for all ages (U).
Each room could then have an icon beside the room name to show its rating and you would only be shown room listings appropriate to you. As an extra catch to ensure correct ratings, AP actions should only work in AP rated ChatCast rooms.
Banning: Next, everyone should be made aware the chat rooms would be monitored by staff and moderators on occasion (without them visibly logging in), people should be able to 'report' chats that were under-rated for their topic/activities to log them for review, and failing to correctly rate your chat should result in you being banned from the ChatCast system (following a first warning).
To ensure people are dissuaded from creating new accounts after getting banned it might be safer to limit ChatCasts to Gold Pass holders. This would give the Gold Pass more functionality and reduce the system abuse by individuals. The negative side is that you would need to have to pay for a Gold Pass, but you would know that you were accessing a safer setup, and there is always the free alternative of Group Chat.
As you know, when you sign up for imvu you will receive a certain number of free 'promo credits' along with access to ways of earning more. You will find that within the catalog an item of clothing for your avatar might cost at least 600c (credits) and a new room about 5,000c, but this isn't a huge amount as you can earn at least 700c every fortnight without spending any cash (see 'Quick Links').
IMVU offer these free 'predits' to give new users a reason to look at developer goods without having to ask for their money right away, to teach them that the Credit has value and to give less wealthy members a way to participate.
In addition to predits you can purchase standard 'credits' with real money at a rate of around $1 for 1,000 credits, or cheaper if you purchase credits directly from community developers who want to turn their earnings back into cash.
The negative effect of offering so many free credits would have been that every time a new user signed up the number of credits within the economy would increase and the currency would be devalued. With credits becoming more and more common the catalog prices would have increased and the situation would have escalated.
Therefore imvu came up with a solution whereby the free currency that members could obtain became known as "promo credits" and was to have no real monetary value within the imvu economy; i.e. "only purchased 'credits' are passed through to developers for re-use".
The system appears to work but it is at the developers level that predits are now removed from the economy. If a member purchases an item with standard 'credits' the developer gets a number of credits from the sale, less the catalog submission charge, imvu & derivation fees, etc. If a member purchases an item with their free 'predits' the developer will gain 'developer tokens' instead. Tokens can be used to pay for product submissions and such - where dev tokens are worth around ten credits for catalog submissions and shoutouts - but as yet developers do not find them to have any real value.
So that in a nutshell is how imvu can offer you free credits without affecting the economy and why the developers will eat you alive if you suggest that users should be able to earn more predits still ;)