Making New World Studio work for you

I’ve written about New World Studio before, and just reviewed their Community and Licensed editions.

The following are instructions for how to run the Community Edition the first time, and how to configure it without paying for the Licensed Edition. (Though the Licensed Edition makes the configuration a lot easier, and adds in a bunch of other functionality. I upgraded, because I like supporting OpenSim development, and because I’m lazy and don’t like configuring things myself. Though I totally can.)

So. First, here’s how to have your own virtual world in five clicks of the mouse.

Go to the New World Studio downloads page and click on the Community Edition version you need — it’s available for Windows, for the Mac, and for Linux. Go have coffee — the download will take a while, since it includes every single component you need to run OpenSim. Unzip the file, open the unzipped folder, and click on NewWorldStudio.exe. Click on the first button, labelled Start 3D world.

Start panel.

Start panel.

Now sit back and wait as New World Studio does all the hard stuff. It configures your Apache server, your MySQL database, your OpenSim server, loads a starter region, and creates an avatar for you. In a couple of minutes, the first button will flash red, and become Stop 3D world, and the second button — Login to 3D world — will turn blue. Click that second button to enter your world.

New World Studio control panel when the OpenSim server is running.

New World Studio control panel when the OpenSim server is running.

New World Studio now loads up a viewer, and logs you into your very own, private virtual world. If you know how to use Second Life, think of it this way — you are now the owner of a region, and are saving yourself $300 a month plus a $1,000 setup fee. You can now do anything you want here. You can build, your can change the terrain, you can change your avatar.

The default New World Studio starting region, and the default starting avatar.

The default New World Studio starting region, and the default starting avatar.

If you don’t mind having just one region to work on and having “NewWorld Studio” as your avatar name you’re done. You can stop reading. Go have fun building!

Configuring your world

But say you want a different starting region, different avatar, or more than one region? What do you do? And can you do it without becoming a network engineer?

One option, as I mentioned before, is to upgrade to the licensed version of New World Studio, which, in addition to offering all the configuration option listed below in a very nice, easy interface also adds backups, upgrades, firewall configuration, and other nice features. Another option is to dive into the OpenSim configuration files. I’ve done that before. I’m not doing it again.

But there’s an easy way to do a lot of customization pretty quickly, just by editing one file in Notepad.

But you have to do it before you start up New World Studio for the first time. Oh no, you say — I’ve already started it! That’s okay, just go back to the beginning. Delete the whole New World Studio program folder that you unzipped — or rename it or move it somewhere else — and unzip your original zipped download again.

If you’ve deleted it, pull it out of your trash.

But this time, after you unzip, don’t jump right in and run the installer. Hold on and take a look at the NewWorldStudio.ini file.

You can open it with any text editor, such as Notepad. It’s a small file, and pretty understandable, but I’ll walk you through it.

First, look at the [World] section. This is where you can change some things about your OpenSim installation.

Edit these settings to configure your world.

Edit these settings to configure your world.

First, you can change the name of the world. Where it says Name = New World Studio just replace New World Studio with something else, anything else. Such as Name = Monkey Planet.

Then look at the InitialRegion = OpenVCE line. OpenVCE is the conference center that you start it by default. You can change it, but not to anything. You have to pick from a list.

To see the available options, go back to your New World Studio unzipped folder and open the regions folder.

As of this writing, the other options are Flat 21Business District (LindaKellie.com)Mountain Retreat (LindaKellie.com), and Undersea Observatory (blog.wsd.netjreeve). Copy those names, and put them into the NewWorldStudio.ini file like this: InitialRegion = Flat 21 or InitialRegion = Mountain Retreat (LindaKellie.com) making sure you get the names exactly right. Copy-and-paste, to be totally sure.

If you want to use a region that doesn’t come provided, such as an older region you’ve saved before, or one you downloaded from Kitely, or one your friend gave you, or one you got from LindaKellie.com or OpenSim Creations, create a new folder for that region and name the folder with the region’s name. Put your region’s OAR file into this folder, and rename it to just region.oar. Put the name of the folder into the NewWorldStudio.ini file. That’s what I did. I copied over an OAR file I saved two years ago.

Moving on. We’ll skip the port number — that’s for when you have multiple copies of New World Studio running on the same computer. I don’t want to get into a discussion of port forwarding here.

The next option is SizeX and SizeY. These refer to the size of your world. Do you want to keep it at one region? Leave both values at 1. Do you want a four-region world? Set both values to 2. Now you’ll have a 2×2 world, with the four regions arranged in a square. You can also put them all in a line — just set SizeX = 4 and SizeY = 1.

How big can you go? It depends on the power of your computer, and how much stuff you plan to have on each region. Intel was able to run more than 1,000 regions on a single computer. Of course, that was Intel. On an average home computer, you should easily be able to do four regions, or push it as high as 16.  If you need more, just create duplicate copies of New World Studio. I have mine set for nine regions, in a three by three configuration.

The next line is IsMegaregion = False. If you’re going to have more than one region running, you might want to set it to True so that you don’t have to deal with border crossings. Keep it False if you plan to save your regions as individual OAR files in the future. I have mine set to True because I plan to save the whole nine-region thing as a Multi-Region OAR, which I can then upload to Kitely (the guys who originally donated the multi-region OAR code) or share on OpenSim Creations.

PosX and PosY refer to your region’s position on a giant map. You can ignore this if you have a private world, but if you’re going to be hypergrid teleporting to other grids, keep in mind that you can’t jump more than 4,096 regions in any direction, and you can’t jump between regions with the same coordinates. So if you want to be able to travel to the OpenSim Creations grid, you’ll need to be within jumping distance of 1000,1000, which is where they’re centered. I recommend coordinates like 4076, 4019 — unusual numbers, so that other folks aren’t likely to put their grids on the same spot. But OSgrid is centered on 10000,10000. So if you want to jump mostly to that grid, the 7000-neighborhood is a good place to be.

Next is the line that says ShowOsWindow = False. Change it to ShowOsWindow = True if you want to see the server console window while OpenSim is running. The server console is where you would type in advanced commands, such as saving regions as OAR files, exporting inventories as IAR files, moving and renaming regions, and other advanced functions.

The last item in this section I want to point out is the line that says IpAddress = localhost.  In order for me to be able to travel to other grids, I had to look up my computer’s IP address and replace localhost with the actual number. So, in my case, it became IpAddress = 24.181.235.84 — if you can’t get your hypergrid jumps to work, one thing you can do is try changing this setting.

Settings for your avatar.

Settings for your avatar.

Moving on to the [Owner] section, this is where you change your avatar name and initial appearance. New World Studio comes with four starter avatars — just pick the one you want. Note that you need to spell the names correctly, and if using Benjiro 2 or Cara 2, remember the space before the 2.

Starting avatars are CC licensed, with avatars by Slim Jammies and clothing by Linda Kellie.

Starting avatars are CC licensed, with avatars by Slim Jammies and clothing by Linda Kellie.

Finally, one more thing you might want to change is your choice of default viewer. The standard installation launches Imprudence. But what if you wanted to use a different viewer — like, say, Firestorm?

The answer is in the [Software] section of the file.

First, change UseCustomViewer = False to UseCustomViewer = True.

Then look up the address of your viewer. In my case, on Windows, I right-clicked on the viewer icon on my desktop and selected Properties. The address was in the Target: box: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Firestorm-Release\Firestorm-Release.exe” –channel “Firestorm-Release”  –settings settings_firestorm-release_v4.xml –set InstallLanguage en

You don’t need all of that. Just the first part that’s in the quotation marks — in my case, C:\Program Files (x86)\Firestorm-Release\Firestorm-Release.exe — your address might be different, if you installed the viewer to a different folder, or you want to use a different viewer.

Copy that, and change CustomViewerPath = nothing to CustomViewerPath = C:\Program Files (x86)\Firestorm-Release\Firestorm-Release.exe — you don’t need quotation marks. Now when you click on Enter world, New World Studio will automatically log you in with your preferred viewer.

My final edited NewWorldStudio.ini file.

My final edited NewWorldStudio.ini file.

The rest of the settings have to do with the MySQL database and other stuff you shouldn’t fiddle with unless you know what you’re doing.

After you’ve made all the changes, start NewWorldStudio.exe.

It took me a few tries to get it configured right, with just the right number of regions, the right avatar name, the right IP address, the right viewer, the right starting avatar, and the right starting region.

My personal island paradise

My personal island paradise. The little islands you can see in the distance are eight more regions I can build on.

But it was totally worth it. The first thing I did was jump over to my company grid, at hg.hyperica.com:8022. Then I jumped to hg.osgrid.org:80:samsara then to the Freebie Mall region on OSgrid, where I picked up a new red cardigan and brought it home to my little personal grid. Remember to set your home position before your first jump, or you won’t be able to come back. My first project will be to put up a permanent hypergate up to my office on Hyperica, and to my favorite shopping and meeting places.

If you’re like me, getting this working through trial and error, I recommend making copies of things along the way — copies of the NewWorldStudio.ini file, for example, once you’ve got the settings right. Or if you use your own OAR files for starting regions, making copies of those region folders.

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maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Tuna Oddfellow

    I have been a virtual world early adopter since August of 2005. My passion is creating and learning the inner workings of the technology and pushing it to it’s limits.

    I made a resolution that this was the year that I create a home in the open metaverse, once and for all. After reading your review and set up walk through, I took the plunge and got a licence for New World Studios for the year.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

    Yours,

    Tuna Oddfellow

  • How to switch default viewer:

    You can change UseCustomViewer = False to UseCustomViewer = True and back again, even while New World Studio is running. I do this to switch viewers easily, without having to add my local grid to the grid manager, and type in my avatar name and password. (Yes, I’m that lazy!)

  • How to load IAR files:

    Say you’ve got an old inventory archive you’ve exported previously — or downloaded from LindaKellie.com. Here’s how to import the whole thing into your NWS world.

    First, make sure you can access your OpenSim console. If you don’t see your console — it’s just a window with a bunch of complex text in it — set ShowOsWindow = True in your INI file. If OpenSim is running, shut down the world to edit this file, then start your world again.

    You will need to type everything by hand, so I suggest copying your IAR file and pasting in into your bin folder — it’s in NWS folder, under apps, under OpenSim, under 0002. Make the name short and easy to type, too.

    Then pull up your viewer and create a new folder under My Inventory — I just called mine IARs. For easy typing.

    Then go into your console and type the following:

    load iar FIRSTNAME LASTNAME FOLDERNAME PASSWORD FILENAME

    So, in my case, that would be:

    load iar Maria Korolov IARs 123456 LK-LANDSCAPE.iar

    Then hit ENTER and watch it go.

  • HOW TO LOAD OAR FILES

    Okay, I’ve got my nine-region minigrid. One region is my starting region. The other eight are just “pimple islands.” So ugly. I can use the viewer to upload new terrains, or I can upload entire new regions to replace the pimples.

    To do this, go into your console — if it’s not running, set ShowOsWindow = True in your INI file, as for the IAR uploads below.

    Then, since you’ll have to type everything, I recommend copying your desired region file into your bin folder — it’s in NWS folder, under apps, under OpenSim, under 0002.

    Now decide which region you want to change. You can fly around with your viewer to pick the region, click on about terrain and get the region name that way. Or you can go into your viewer and type:

    show regions (hit ENTER)

    That will show you all the regions on your mini grid. If you named your grid Monkey Planet, like I suggested, your regions will be named Monkey Planet 1, Monkey Planet 2, Monkey Planet 3, up to Monkey Planet 16 or however many regions there are.

    Switch to the region you want to replace by typing:

    change region Monkey Planet 3

    Or whatever the region name is. You will notice that the prompt will change to tell you what region you’re on.

    Now load your OAR file:

    load oar FILENAME

    You can also use a URL here, to load OARs directly from the web without having to download them first! Linda Kellie has instructions on her site for how to do this with her OARs.

  • HOW TO SAVE BACKUP OARS

    Go into your console — if it’s not running, set ShowOsWindow = True in your INI file.

    change region NAME OF REGION YOU WANT TO SAVE

    save oar FILENAME

    That saves one region. Useful, if you have a one-region world. Or if you have a multi-region world, but have megaregions turned off.

    To save all your regions into a single mega-OAR, add the –all setting:

    save oar –all FILENAME

    For example:

    save oar –all MayBackup.oar

    More info here: http://opensimulator.org/wiki/OpenSim_Archives

  • Adagio Greenwood

    Wow, thank you, Maria! I copied all of your instructions for OAR and IAR files to a file and will be trying them out. I just configured my 2×2 mega with your instructions above and started it up in NWS. Pretty easy really; had to restart a few times afterwards as it seemed to get hung up sometimes when I wanted to teleport from one region to another. But very easy for a scaredy cat non-techie like me. :o)

  • HOW TO CHANGE A REGION NAME

    Be careful with this! You might want to make a backup of your whole NWS folder before fiddling with these files!

    Shut everything down. Go to your NWS folder, then the apps folder, then OpenSim, then 0002, then bin, then Regions. Open the Regions.ini file in Notepad or another text editor.

    You will see something like this:

    [Monkey Planet 1]
    RegionUUID = 693586c6-2326-4d7d-8d04-a21ca9fb4514
    Location = 7005,7017
    InternalAddress = 0.0.0.0
    InternalPort = 9000
    AllowAlternatePorts = False
    ExternalHostName = 24.181.235.84

    If you only have one region, your Regions.ini file will be short. If you have more than one region, then you’ll have several sections like this, one right after another, one for each region. Don’t fiddle with the port numbers unless you’re running several grids simultaneously, and know how to do port forwarding.

    To change the name, just change the first line. From, say, [Monkey Planet 1] to [Welcome Island]. Make sure to keep everything else untouched, including the brackets around the region name.

    You can also change the region locations here. Keep in mind that if you have more than one region, they are arranged in a pattern. Be very careful when moving regions not to mess up that pattern. For example, if I decided to move my whole grid from the 7000’s to the 4000’s I’d just change the first digit of every Location coordinate from a 7 to a 4, keeping the other digits the same, so the 7006 would become 4006, and 7017 would become 4017. That way, the regions will stay in the right relation to one another.,

  • HOW TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE NWS GRID

    You can unzip your NWS installation file more than once, giving the NWS folder a different name each time. Say, NWS – Work Grid, and NWS – Play Grid. Run NewWorldStudio.exe in the first one, setting up the grid the way you want to. Then make a shortcut of NewWorldStudio.exe, put it on your desktop, and rename it so that you know which grid it’s pointing to. Then do the same for the other installation. You can have as many grids as your computer will hold. And if your computer can’t hold them, you can also put the whole thing on a USB stick!

    Just don’t run them all at once on the same computer because by default, each installation of NewWorldStudio uses the same set of port numbers. Run one, then completely shut it down before running another one. If you want to run multiple grids at once — say, if you’ve got a big powerful server — then each grid and each region should have its own separate port.

  • Leora Jacobus

    Just GREAT!! Thank you Maria for this GREAT tutorial! I bought the paid version though for I want to have it as easy as possible, but before I istall that I want to mess around a bit with the free version following your instructions step by step. And the great thing about it is: as it all is of the “Sim on a stick”- Type you can allways save the complete folder to some other directory (or another harddisk) so that if everything ends messed up you can start all over with the virgin- version.

  • AviWorlds

    yeah…But I think paying 20 bucks is well worth it so I do not need to do all that..:)

  • Gjo BIng in SL

    This is probably such a newbie questions, but I am a 6 year Second Lifer and I have The posting above seems clear enough to encourage me for to try it for the 4th or 5th time… but I still can’t make it work on my Mac.

    I followed the instructions above, which seem very clear and helpful. But when I…

    “Unzip the file, open the unzipped folder, and click on NewWorldStudio.exe”, I am told that “You can’t open the application NewWorldStudio.exe because Microsoft Windows applications are not supported on OS X”.

    Of course they aren’t. I know that.

    (And yes, I downloaded the Mac version – the folder is called “NewWorldStudio_CE_2.1.0_0003_Mac”).

    Help? Anyone?

    Thanks

    • The NWS page, right above the download link, states that you need to have mono installed before running OpenSim. You also need mono if you’re on Linux.

      mono is something like an emulator that allows Windows programs to run on those machines.

      And — I’m sorry to say — I don’t know how to install mono. I have my daughter do it for me when I need it. Apparently, all the kids are using Linux these days and I’m a behind-the-times old fogie.

  • Sammy Greenway

    This is why we need to get the government out of our lives. They have no right telling us how to live our lives. That is what the USA Stands for. The USA has a long history (not perfect, but evolving) of defending individual liberty, one of the first human rights is the the right of individual self governance I shouldn’t have to hire a law firm just to start a business in my spare room.

  • GridHopper

    Another world unzip and go. nothing new there. Downfall will be asking money for whats already free to all. unless its for childrean who can’t follow simply instructions.

    • It’s not that we can’t follow instructions. It’s that following technical instructions is not fun and we’d rather be doing something else with that time.

      I know a lot of tech-oriented folks can’t understand this, since they love the techie stuff. But think of it like putting on makeup. If you had instructions for how to do it you could, right? I mean, putting on makeup isn’t brain surgery. But it would take you a lot longer than someone who was practiced at it, you might make mistakes along the way, and you’d hate every minute of it. But some people love putting on makeup, and do it for fun, and can’t understand that some people don’t.

      I’m kind of in-between. I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, try to get away with the least that I can.

      And I don’t like installing software and using a console that won’t even let me cut-and-paste, but I force myself to do it when I have to write a review or learn new software for the first time.

      I’d bet the majority of people are in the I-could-do-it-if-I-had-to-but-I’d-rather-not category. And that’s who the premium Licensed Version is for.

      • I stopped wearing makeup a few years ago, this is tmi, but I wanted to join in the spirit of your comment, because it seemed like a fun idea-)))

  • Maria thanks for the article and all the information you supply! I have loaded NWS on a PC but I prefer Mac and have been looking for an idiots guide to setting it up in MacOs but still waiting. Hopefully someone will enlighten me on this blog…

  • Jim

    I’ve been a SLer since 07, but stopped after the educational purge. Little experience with OSs. Q: Can other AVs visit the sim using the hypergrid?

  • HelloThar

    Thanks OP’

    I’m a beginner programmer and your tutorial has helped me how to get started in configuring my very own OpenSim from scratch. I like how your website has used illustrations and explanations for the code of line in the notepad too. Since I am more of a visual person, this has helped as well too.

    Now I am looking forward to setting up a Voice in the OpenSim and mesh enabling. I wonder if it is possible to change line of code to make things run much more smoother than the existing L Script coding and or possibly integrate quality scripting programs that can work with Unreal Engine 3.