The Temple Street Turfs building opening in Dreamscape circa 1996.
|Initial release||September 1995|
|Written in||C++ / Tcl|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS|
|Website||WorldsAway.com (now defunct)|
Dreamscape was the first graphical online chat environment built on the WorldsAway platform. It allowed users to create an avatar to represent themselves in a 2D world and interact with other users and virtual items. WorldsAway is a direct descendent of Habitat, which was the first graphical virtual world when it was released by Lucasfilm Games in 1986.
Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar created the first graphical virtual world, which was released in a beta test by Lucasfilm Games in 1986 as Habitat for the Quantum Link service for the Commodore 64. The service proved too costly to be viable, so Lucasfilm Games recouped the cost of development by releasing a sized down version called Club Caribe in 1988. It was then licensed by Fujitsu in 1988, and released in Japan as Fujitsu Habitat in 1990. Some time in the early 1990s, Fujitsu decided they wanted to bring the product to America and contracted Electric Communities in 1994 to create what would eventually become WorldsAway.
In 1994, Fujitsu Cultural Technologies was spun off as a new division of Fujitsu Open Systems Solutions, INC or OSSI for short. In conjunction with Electric Communities, the two companies began work on the WorldsAway project (which was codenamed Reno at the time). Originally, the initial plan was for the team to work from the Fujitsu Habitat code and bring it to the Mac and Windows operating systems. Unfortunately, this proved not to be possible due to the fact the underlying architecture was nothing like its predecessor Habitat due to being developed by a different team. This led to delays in the project whilst the kinks were being worked out.
The player chooses an avatar, which is the graphical representation of the player. The avatar can text chat, move, gesture, use facial expressions, and is customizable in a virtually unlimited number of ways. Avatars earn money, own possessions, rent apartments, and make friends. The environment itself is composed of thousands of screens, in which the player's avatar moves about.
- "The Game Archeologist Moves Into Lucasfilm's Habitat". Joystiq. 2012-01-10. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- Smith, Rob (2008). Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts. Chronicle Books. p. 38. ISBN 0-8118-6184-8.
- Robert Rossney (June 1996). "Metaworlds" (4.06). Wired. Retrieved 2008-02-26.