Yes, I am now a resident of HiPiHi – the Chinese virtual world since the first day of its private test. My feeling? Mostly exciting, a bit frustrating at the beginning, plus a bit boring.

If you think about your being one of the first 1000 resident and exploring a complete unknown world, it is really a cool feeling. OK, let’s get my life re-started: select an avator and get myself dressed up at the registration stage, download the client. It took 45min to get the 33M client downloaded because of the slow connection, which made me a bit worried. However, when I run it, walking, flying and driving my helicopter, it is not bad at all! After visited a few public places (beautiful places built by HiPiHi, see the screenshot), I manage to find an area to build my home (the resident can claim an 100mx100m area for free! ^_^). That’s it, my first day of my second life (looks a quite simple life, isn’t?). Well, do not get me wrong, the HiPiHi is not that simple, you can chat, have some funny action and lots of pre-defined objects (such as building, cars, trees, decoration, etc) for you to use. You can use the WorldMap to have an birdview of the HiPiHi world, and the small map can be used for you to instantly transfer to a nearby place. You can personalize your dressing, you height even the color your skin, etc. See the screenshot of the client below, I have put some English caption on it.

As you can see from the image above (it shows the Toolbar, click it to see a larger image), the two button, Social Networking and Backpack (背包) are currently disabled. I am curious about what the features are. The world should be built on the social connection, right?

What is the frustrating bit at the beginning? I tried to use the Arrow keys to walk, nothing happen, I know I could create some nice objects, but did not know I should claim a land first where you can place all the stuff you build. It took me quite a while to figure it out. Next time when you play it, make sure you read the manual which I found it today and it details almost every operation.

Hmm..where is the boring feeling from? The only reason is that I felt lonely, not many users around (only 100 users were invited in the first day) and also I did not know where they were since the Search function is not strong enough yet (you can only search for user by his/her name). Let’s give it a few more days to heat up…

The client is still a bit buggy, the world is too quiet, etc. Don’t be that picky, mate! I am telling you that I really had a nice day!

The birthplace

I am sitting beside a Lotus Lake (beautiful view!)

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Gang Lu

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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22 Comments

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  2. When can I try it out?

    I just got an email from the Hipihi staff saying it would be spring before it would open further but it sounds like there might be a way for me to get a chance sooner.

  3. Hello,

    I’ve installed the Hipihi beta, and once it displays the initial screen, which starts out showing 20.0% on the progress bar, it stops, just stops running, giving no error message.

    I don’t see any English language support, so I’m wondering how to proceed.

    The Terms of Service was presented in Chinese, though I selected English as the language during the installation process, and the forums at the Hipihi site appear to be entirely in English.

    Where does an English language only person go for support with Hipihi?

  4. Hi,

    I’m enjoying being in the Hipihi beta. I’d enjoy it a lot more if there was a manual I could read. However, I only read English. Do you know of an English version of the manual? Or links to further English descriptions of the programs interface?

    I’m trying to make an English translation of the pdf help file that came with the manual using Google translation, and put it in a zoho wiki, but it is tedious work with fairly bad results.

    The captions you provided for the main toolbar at the bottom are quite useful. Thanks for that.

    The url for my beginning of a Hipihi wiki is at http://hipihi.wiki.zoho.com. I’d love it if you could find the time to put an entry in it.

  5. I would be delighted if some Hipihi users would post something in the Hipihi wiki I have created at http://hipihi.wiki.zoho.com. If there is another wiki already in existence, please let me know.

    I’m enjoying being in Hipihi. I met a bunch of people last night but I couldn’t figure out how to add them to my friend’s list.

    I can’t type any Chinese names, that’s a separate problem from being my lack of knowledge of Chinese. There needs to be way to click on someone’s avatar and have their name get copied somewhere for pasting into chat. When you can’t type people’s names, you can’t direct comments to them, or refer to them in chat.

    Any information that folks could provide on the dialog boxes – like English labels for the options in the appearance editor, would be extremely useful.

    Clicking on options at random is not a good way to learn. Random clicking works ok when you can read the words on what pops up when you click, but when you can’t, and your click on something that is meaningless to you just produces more things that you can’t read, it is an extremely inefficient way to learn.

    A detailed guide to the interface, with all the button text and all the words that are shown on the dialog boxes, in Chinese, would be quite useful to non-Chinese speakers, since that would allow them copy the Chinese text and paste it into a translation program such as Google language tools. The translations may not be real good but they are much better than nothing.

    A multi-user graphic collaboration system such as Gliffy might be a good way for users to share knowledge about the interface. One could just upload screenshots of the interface into Gliffy, and people could add notes and questions about the various menus and dialogs boxes in their own languages.

    If anyone has any help or comments to me about Hipihi, they can be posted at suezannecbaskerville.wordpress.com, or put in the wiki at http://hipihi.wiki.zoho.com.

  6. I really like this idea.I hope to be one of the earliest residents to design my own place in the virtual world.

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  8. Hipihi is now in open beta. It’s easier to get an account now.

    The interface has changed a lot since Hipihi started.

    We English only people could use some help from some bilinguals. There is a partially translated English interface but it’s far from complete.

    My specific question at the moment is how to use the backpack. How do you rez an object in the backpack’s common area into the world as an object.

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