Novoking is quite impressive looking.
I, SuezanneC Baskerville, have made it into Novoking after several days of floundering around. The delay was apparently at least almost entirely due to my inability to read Chinese. It’s possible the instructions might need to be better written. Also it was real late in the morning when I was doing my initial downloading and installation – I may have read what I needed to do in the instructions, but too early to do it, or when I was not ready, and then forgot what I needed to know by the time I got to the point I needed to know it at.
What I failed to do basically was to complete the registration for the beta completely. I already had a forum account. I got my acceptance email with a registration number, and needed to put that number somewhere in the Novoking site, and add some info like a security question and answer, and I hadn’t done that. So the delay was not due to any technical problem on Novoking’s part but rather due to the language barrier, if you want to put it nicely, or due to my ignorance, incompetence, and lack of meticulousness when trying to decipher the Chinese registration page.
Caleb Booker, journalist with a blog at http://www.calebbooker.com/blog got to Novoking before I did, and I asked a question or two in his blog comments and he gave me some information that was valuable in getting it through my head that yes indeed, I was going to have to go back to the Novoking registration page and figure out what I done wrong or failed to do.
Another factor help me figure out what I was doing wrong in an somewhat odd way: another Novoking beta tester, from what I gather not a member of the Novoking company, gave me an account, with a nickname and login name and password already set up. Unfortunately the account had male selected as a gender, which I’m not sure you can change, and I wanted to be my usual login name and password, and I would never quite get over the feeling that it wasn’t a good idea to use an account someone else created. However, the username and password this unknown benefactor provided did work, and I logged in with this wrong account and verified that my computer, Novoking’s network, and the internet in between did all work together properly. And looked around and took some some pictures.
Then I reread the registration letter from email@example.com and reread the Google translated version of the novoking fourms and did a Google cross lanaguage search for phrases like “Novoking registration” and read the translated search of this result. Once I had as much info as I could stand to get, I went to the Novoking web site and logged in with this not-really-me username and password. I clicked on some links and buttons I didn’t remember for sure I’d clicked on before and translated the resulting pages. At that point I knew for sure that I hadn’t completed the registration process – my memory is flakey but I’m sure I’d remember being asked to make up a blood group and make up a constellation and such other superstitious stuff in order to register for a virtual world. The Ideashape forum, a forum for English speakers of Hipihi, among other things, also asked the same type of stuff.
So I logged out from the not really me account and logged back in as SuezanneCB. Shortly thereafter I was inworld in Novoking showing my nickname Suezanne – Novoking has both a login name and nickname. It was once again the middle of the night, or else at the last possible minute before needing to get to work. So I appeared in Novoking, in a black bra and thong panties, took a picture of my mostly bare backside, and had to quit.
This evening after work I fired up Novoking and used the printscreen button and SnagIt to capture some shots, then used Photobucket’s bulk upload command – which didn’t work from my Opera web browser; I had to switch to Firefox to get it to work – and uploaded the files.
It’s important when putting pictures on Photobucket to describe them. Search engines get to read the descriptions, I believe, and not the filenames. Photobucket mangles the filenames anyway. So all the work one does in typing out long filenames goes to naught for the purpose of making the files you store on Photobucket findable by the public. After typing in some descriptions and alt tabbing back and forth between an explorer window and the upload Java applet I got tired of that and opened a command window and did a DIR /b > filenames.txt and produced a text file with my nice descriptive filenames. I opened that file in SCiTE text editor, deleted the .jpg on the ends of the filenames and copied the result, then pasted that into notepad on the other computer. Then I pasted the lengthy filenames into the description fields on the Photobucket Java Bulk Upload applet one by one and doublechecked and triplechecked to try to avoid having any nice long but inaccurate descriptions for the pics. Then I clicked upload and a few mintues later I was done.
The Novoking environment designers have produced some very nice builds.
Novoking has some nice special effects: the atmospheric haze, the “fog” effect that makes distant objects in the earth’s atmosphere look blurred and less bright, is done quite well and make the scene look good. The water ripples and reflects, but it’s not just the water that reflects; the glass on the phone booths and the windows on the buildings reflect. The trees look good. Your hair moves, and on the the lucky girl that had a dress, her dress moved.
The avatars look nice. The interface looks nice and seems fairly simple to operate, so far as I got with it. The animations are good, although the transitions from one animation to another could be improved.
Flying works, but the flying animation is pretty bad really, and so far as I could figure, you fly at one height or not at all. Hopefully I’m wrong on that. Remember, I can’t read the interface, so there could be a message on the screen that tells me how to fly at different heights and I wouldn’t know.
Enough description, I’m tired. If any other English speaking Novoking tester that has received their registration code from firstname.lastname@example.org can’t get inworld and can’t figure out what to do with the registration code give me a buzz and I’ll see if I can help.