The Electronic Cafe International Palace

If you already have The Palace (tm) software, click here to join the ECI Palace.

Shortcut: How to Get the Software

If you haven't downloaded The Palace shareware client yet, click here. To get to the ECI Palace, and many other Palace sites, check out The Palace Directory. You can also get to the ECI Palace by clicking on the big "E" at the top of this page. The graphics for the rooms will load automatically as you navigate through (if you wait patiently), but if you want to download the ECI Palace graphics all at once, Mac users click here (1.8M), and Windows users click here(2.1M). If you want to know more, read on.

ECI Palace General InfoDose

The Palace, a creation of Time-Warner Interactive's Online Ventures division, is a Client-Server system for creating 2-D graphic MUDs (multi-user dimensions). It's one of the first really user-friendly systems of its kind, and definitely the first to make its Server software publicly available.

Like most modern Internet applications, The Palace software consists of a Client (run by a User on their local machine) and a Server (run by a Host on a remote machine). The Client takes care of whatever the User is doing, and maintains the User's graphic display by pulling preloaded files off the hard disk. It communicates constantly with the Server, which resides on a Host machine somewhere, and which is responsible for maintaining everything else about the virtual world, its behaviors, and the location of other Objects (including Players' Avatars) in it.

You need the Client to get into a Palace site; the Server is run from the site itself. While logged into a Palace site, you see yourself (and others in the room) as 44*44 pixel "heads" with "props" which can be rearranged in many ways (registered users can create totally new ones). You can use props and active background objects by simply clicking on them; you can take and drop objects from your inventory; you can move from room to room simply by clicking on doors and other hotspots; and of course you can chat (either by speaking "aloud" to everyone in the room or privately to one person at a time). All of this activity takes place against an assortment of 512*384 256-color GIFs which illustrate the backgrounds of these "rooms."

Getting oriented:

* Take your Web Browser out to The Palace and have a look around. You'll find pages explaining The Palace, a Directory of Palace Sites currently running, a number of Palace Discussion Groups, and the Downloads Page (where you can get a copy of the Palace Client which you'll need to get inside). Download the Client for your platform. You might also want the PALACE.FAQ. If you prefer FTP, go to the palace ftp site. There are some docs in the Mac directory that even Windows users might want.

* Once you've downloaded the Client and set it up on your hard disk, open up a socket via WINSOCK or MacTCP or whatever you use, and launch the Client from your desktop. Select FILE, CONNECT and type in the address 9998. This will take you into TWI's Palace site, where you can play around and check it out.

* If you register your software with TWI (for $20, see the FAQ on the Palace Server for details), you get the ability to create your own props and faces, run your own Server, write scripts for your Objects, and several other neat functions. Registration We will welcome new and impressive scripts in the ECI Palace; the more time you spend as a registered Palace user, the more you will appreciate the power of IPTSCRAE, the Palace scripting language.

* TWI has made their Server software available; this means that anyone with an IP address can quickly and easily set up their own Palace Site. These new Sites are added to the Palace Directory on TWI's Web Page as they come up, and anyone with a Palace Client can log into any Palace Site. Once you have the Client, Mac users can click on any link in the Palace Directory Page to jump straight to that Palace site. This does not yet work for Windows users, who have to launch the Palace Client by hand and type in the address desired.

The ECI Palace was built by:

Tod Foley , As If Productions, and

Janice Norton and Gary Ream , Hands of Time Animation & Design

see The Hands of Time Website(3-D specs highly recommended)

ECI Home Page