There are two great links that go further into the explanation than we will cover here. The links will be listed at the bottom of this article, and we recommend you read them carefully.
The Palace is a 2 dimensional (you can move left or right, up or down) image based chat program based on the Server-Client model.
You can get to the full size picture and see what the palace looks and feels like. The picture was taken during a feast. Many palaces have special event such as, dances, birthday parties, games (tag is a particular fun one in a large palace where you can run from room to room as someone tries to capture you), radio stations, etc. The activities of the palace of the years have grown significantly; and if you join in, then there'll be even more fun times ahead.
A bit of the history of palace (for more click here) is a good thing to have as a new user. Palace now is a FREE CHAT site, but in the beginning it was established as a "for profit" venture by Time Warner Interactive. Jim Bumgardner (click here to see Jim's web site) and other technical people at Time Warner Interactive wrote one of the first Virtual Communities to be visited by paying clients. The Palace was launched in 1995 and is still around today, just fitting a new niche that we at Gorean Palaces are trying to promote.
The palace chat room's popularity peaked in during 1999 and 2000 when the band KORN hosted a palace where they could talk to their fans, and their fans could listen to KORN music. Week end marathons were hosted by many of the top palaces and people literally stood in cyberspace lines to enter the main rooms in the Palace.
But Technology moved on, the 3-D chat rooms such as Second Life and Red Light Center moved in and took many of the users to new PAY sites. Second life has a vibrant population and if you look at their fundamental concepts you can find many similarities to The Palace Free Chat Rooms.
1) Background pictures for the chat rooms
2) Movable Avatars (Dollz they are call now)
3) Scripting by the user to control their avatar (Borgs, even before the TNG Borgs)
4) Multiple levels of support in the palace
a) Owner capabilities - the God of the palace
b) Wizards - to help keep the peace in the palace and to help new users
c) Membership - the members had rights that others did not
d) Guest - the introductory package.
Interest in the wild (the internet population) is still very high. The problem with palace since the sale of the program to Open Text Corporation, who bought the rights the Palace software and technology as part of a bankruptcy settlement, is that no one is advertising online. When Palacetools closed down due to costs, others took up the slack. Palace Planet is a great resource site, iPalace and Phalanx have taken on the job of harvesting users of the over 700 palaces on the web by developing new clients with more power and more suited for the Vista's and the future operating systems.
The best live directory for palace chat is The Palace Portals where each home lists their palace and you can see which homes have people in them and you can read a small description of what the home is about.
Palace will not die because of the fundamental flexibility and adaptability of the programs. Someone can upgrade the client software and add flexibility, another can improve the tools available on the servers, and together the Palace Chat moves forward.
Wikipedia - The Palace Computer Program. Provides great background on the history of Palace
Palace Planet - The Manual Space. It contains great links to getting started in palace.