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Koster's Areae Unveils Metaplace 84

Posted by Zonk
from the mega-pocket-sized-mmogs dept.
Some nine months ago veteran MMOG designer Raph Koster announced his new game company, called Areae ... but not what they were making. To go along with the TechCrunch40 Conference, the company has finally taken the wraps off of their project: Metaplace. Essentially, Metaplace is going to be a virtual world toolkit. The whole thing is built on open standards, and attempt to 'bring virtual worlds to the web', instead of keeping them boxed away in a separate little garden. As the site puts it: "We knew it was all coming together when one of our team made a game in a day and a half. And then stuck that game on a private MySpace profile. You can inherit someone else's world (if they let you) and use it as a starting point. You can slurp whole directories of art and use them as building blocks. Cut and paste a movement system or a health bar from one world to another. Use an RSS feed for your NPCs. We made puzzle games, RPGs, action games... and set up doorways from one to the other." Virtual World News and GigaOM have writeups of the presentation at the TechCrunch Conference, while Areae's Community Manager Tami Baribeau writes in a post why gamers should care. Over at his site Areae President Raph Koster just breaths a sigh of relief.
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Koster's Areae Unveils Metaplace

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  • BBC article on it (Score:3, Informative)

    by advocate_one (662832) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @07:55AM (#20665749)
    can be found here [bbc.co.uk].

    What I want to know is can these worlds be private so as to keep out griefers etc. and only allow in those you want in it.

  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @07:56AM (#20665765)
    So in essence what this is:

    A set of API-s that connect various games into a single community. They host it, and if you don't waste many resources it's free. If you do (i.e. become popular), it's no longer free, you pay hosting fee.

    They have an example client, most likely Flash-based, 2D isometric game that renders their "world" definition.

    Koster, in his own words, can't program a damn thing, and in my opinion, the way he imagines this working is waaaaay out there.

    Quote from him:

    "You have to admit it; the whole concept of 'play anywhere' is pretty neat. How often have you wanted to play a game with your friends, only to find out that their video card can't support the game? Have you ever been trapped in an airport for longer than expected with just your cell phone or an ancient laptop? We plan to show you just how good a game can look in a browser, and just how much fun it can be to play. Imagine people playing YOUR RPG on their cell phone, or in their Facebook, or in the sidebar of a gaming blog. That is accessibility, and we're out to show you just how awesome it can be."

    Oh right, accessible gaming! The same RPG in 2D Flash, 3D, and Java! This will work amazing right? No, it won't. It'll be a disaster.

    Let me foresee how this will go:

    1. We'll see few games attempting to work on multiple platforms, and thus they will remain ridiculously simple so they can be played at all on anything from a cellphone to freak gamer personal computer desktop.

    2. We'll see some more fun games, which you can only play on one platform, either 3D only or 2D only.

    Either way, he expects to deliver the API-s, the sample isometric world viewer... and then expects their "users" to code everything, from the hot 3D versions, to the cellphone clients.

    I only can sigh, and forget I wasted my time on trying to comprehend what the hell was he doing, since he's apparently trying to market it as something big, and it's not.

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.

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