There has been a growing interest in the application of collaborative virtual environments - CVEs in the WWW. However, most of the existing CVEs supporting systems are tuned to specific tasks and their architecture are, typically, tightly coupled to the applications. This makes any modification to the application dependent on programming, making CVEs construction and extension in large scale a challenging task. The ability to change an application without having to stop it is an important nonfunctional requirement for CVEs, especially if they are to be provided as Web services, available around the clock. This paper presents a novel solution for building and extending CVEs through the integration of interactive non-linear stories and virtual reality concepts. With this approach, CVEs applications can be composed as non-linear stories, which can be changed either completely or partly, making it easier for developers to build and/or extend CVEs applications. The innovative concept of this solution can make the development process of CVEs easier and faster, allowing their production in large scale. An art installation scenario is presented in this paper as a case study to illustrate how atomic simulations and VEML language can describe CVEs and extend them at runtime.
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