[MUD-Dev] MojoWorld, or a new product for generated content

Bruce Mitchener bruce at puremagic.com
Fri Aug 24 15:23:35 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


This is full of hype and all that, but might be cool.

 From their website http://www.pandromeda.com/:

--- begin quote ---
The MojoWorld^(TM) Parallel Universe

Now for the hard part: explaining what exactly MojoWorld
is. MojoWorld has been designed first and foremost to be fun &
intriguing. It has also been carefully designed to be an easy-to-use
software tool for graphic arts, fine art, digital effects and
digital movie making. But it's much, much more than that.

MojoWorld is literally a window looking into a parallel
universe. What you see in MojoWorld exists in the timeless truth of
mathematical logic. It is eternal; it has always existed, and always
will. Other intelligent beings in other parts of our universe may
already be exploring this eternal beauty; perhaps they did it
billions of years ago. Because MojoWorld is entirely
procedural--creating virtually everything on the fly, rather than
loading it from disk or getting it from an input device like a mouse
or tablet--all MojoWorld images represent mathematical theorems
proved inside your computer.

Okay, that's heady stuff, and not at all necessary to your enjoyment
of MojoWorlds. It's arcane enough that Doc Mojo got a PhD from Yale
for it, so don't worry if you don't completely understand it
all. 8-) But it has some very interesting implications, so please
bear with us while we explain a little further:

We call the parallel universe that MojoWorld accesses Parametric
Hyperspace. That's not just a cool name, it's also very
accurate. "Parametric" means that it is defined by the values that
the MojoWorld user interface controls: ordinary things like color,
position and shape, as well as esoteric things like fractal
dimension. Inside the computer, these things are all just
numbers. We call those numbers "parameters." It's a "hyperspace"
because it has more than the three dimensions we are familiar with
in daily life. MojoWorld has those three familiar spatial
dimensions, plus time. But it also has many other, higher
dimensions--one for each parameter, in fact.

Here's the easiest way to think of it: each parameter represents a
degree of freedom; an axis you can move back and forth along, as you
change the parameter's value. So, for instance, specifying a color
in MojoWorld adds three higher dimensions: one for each of the red,
green and blue values you use to specify the color. Each of these
axes corresponds to a higher dimension in Parametric Hyperspace:
it's just a different direction you can move in. You can see that,
in getting all the settings right for a scene, you've set a lot of
parameters, and thus traveled in many dimensions of Parametric
Hyperspace.

Any given MojoWorld corresponds to a point in Parametric
Hyperspace. A pure MojoWorld scene file, without added content such
as plants, buildings, etc. is just the set of numbers that specify
that point in Parametric Hyperspace. That point specifies an entire
planet, with unlimited detail. We call that information, quite
accurately, Transporter Coordinates. MojoWorld loads those
Transporter Coordinates and "beams" you to that location in
Parametric Hyperspace. You're then free to explore both the planet
you've been Transported to, and the subspace of Parametric
Hyperspace spanned by the Hyperspace Axis sliders in the Hyperspace
Mixer. MojoWorld Transporter^(TM) gives you all this for
free. MojoWorld Generator^(TM) provides this plus full access to all
of Parametric Hyperspace, all several million dimensions of it.

Okay, enough pointy-headed talk. >;-) What it all means, bottom
line, is that MojoWorld scene files are incredibly tiny, because
they only need to contain the Transporter Coordinates that specify a
point in Parametric Hyperspace--a relatively small set of
numbers. Nevertheless the place that MojoWorld beams you to has
unlimited detail. It's all generated on the fly. So MojoWorld sports
near-perfect scene compression. Sure, it's arcane, but it's the
perfect way to build cyberspace. And that's what MojoWorld is
building toward.
---- end quote ----

And:

--- begin quote ---
I know you've probably seen the turgid little press releases we've
put out recently, but I prefer the informal newsletter to keep those
of you who've asked for MojoWorld news, posted as to how we're
doing. Well, "it's all over but the planet building now" (or so we
wish). The Windows® version of MojoWorld 1.0 Near Space^(TM), which
comprises both the free MojoWorld Transporter^(TM) and the US $249
MojoWorld Generator^(TM) are both now available. "And there was much
rejoicing..." Man, it's been a long time comin'! Oh, and yes, the
Generator is available at the introductory price of US $199 for the
rest of this month.

Right, right, I know: the Mac and Linux versions are coming Real
Soon Now, as we say here at Pandromeda. ;-) If you're a Mac or Linux
user and would like to help out with beta testing, please email our
man Legume legume at pandromeda.com and he'll set you up.

When all three are finished, the MojoWorld engineers get to take a
well-earned break. Then we'll write up the MojoWorld SDK, publish
the API, and third-party programmers can start extending MojoWorld's
functionality by writing plug-ins (the first in-house one of which
went out last night).

Once all of that is in place, begins the free-for-all that we
designed MojoWorld to be. We want MojoWorld to take on a life of its
own in the user and developer community, to become something greater
than we of Pandromeda could ever create. We're getting tantalizingly
close...

The debut of the MojoWorld Transporter today marks the real
beginning of the community experience we've envisioned from the
start. With the free Transporter, everyone (with a fast enough
computer) in the world can explore and enjoy MojoWorlds, and
discover and share new places there. It's this community aspect that
gets me, personally, up and going every morning. It's the beginning
of something Big. I can't wait to see what people will find there
and show us! I can guarantee one thing: No one can foresee now, what
we'll find and create in this parallel universe. Very, very
exciting! It's no less than the beginning of a voyage of discovery.

So be sure to tell your friends about the free Transporter. You
might want to buy stock in Intel, Motorola, AMD, nVidia and/or ATI
before you do, though: to paraphrase the King, "there's gonna be a
whole lotta upgradin' goin' on."

To the hard core among us I say, "make us a mess of new worlds." 
Yes, yes, I know that at least half of you are Mac based; "we're
working on it just as fast as we can." Interestingly, my pals in the
Hollywood effects biz told us last week at SIGGRAPH that all the
major effects houses are moving over to Linux. This was music to my
ears, as it gives the Linux build of MojoWorld a powerful reason to
be.
---- end quote ----

  - Bruce

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