Being able to see 50 avatars at once can be both a blessing and a curse. Avatars are typically complex objects, and having 50 of them moving around you at once can cause a noticeable reduction in performance. To help you tune Outerworlds for best performance on your computer, there exists the concept of near and far avatars.
Near avatars are rendered in their normal, full complexity. Far avatars, however, all appear as the same model. Typically, the model used for the far avatar is much simpler than a standard avatar and is thus much faster to render. By adjusting how many near and far avatars you can see, you should be able to achieve an optimum balance between performance and avatar realism.
To adjust the balance between near and far avatars, go to the Chat settings dialog box (select Settings... from the Options menu.):
In this dialog you can choose how many avatars are "fully rendered." This value can be anywhere from 0 to 50. These are your near avatars. The remaining number (the total number of avatars minus the number of fully rendered avatars) will be your far avatars.
Whether a particular avatar appears to as you as a near or far avatar has no effect on your chat messages to and from that user.
Note that special avatars are always fully rendered, regardless of whether or not they are within the near avatar limit.
Choosing the Far Avatar
If you are a world owner you will need to pick a model to represent far avatars in your world. The browser automatically looks for and downloads the avatar called "far.rwx" from the avatars folder on your world's object path (the actual file will be called "far.zip" since all .rwx files are stored compressed on the web.) Simply choose whatever model you would like to use to represent far avatars in your world and save it as "far.zip" in your avatars directory. This model can be anything, even a fully polygonal avatar, although obviously that is not recommended since it would defeat the purpose. A simple facer model with an image of an avatar works very well as the far avatar (as with all other objects, if the far avatar model has textures, they are pulled from the textures folder.)
The far avatar cannot be animated with .seq files.
Logging chat to a file
If you would like a record of all of your conversations saved to disk automatically, simply check the Log chat to file box. Each new Outerworlds chat session will be appended to the previous sessions in the log.
Disabling "chat balloons"
By default, when people speak their messages are printed both in the chat window and also above their heads in the 3D window. If you find these "chat balloons" distracting, you can di