September 19, 2007 8:20 PM   Subscribe

"We modelled this on the web," said Mr Koster, "You can think about each world being a webpage and every object within in it is a link."
Raph Koster has unveiled Metaplace, an easy to use virtual world creator. The BBC reports: article, video of Raph demoing the app [youtube].
posted by MetaMonkey (16 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Some more details from gigaom. Metaplace's Studio's Community Manager explains why gamers should care
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:20 PM on September 19, 2007

I never Metaplace I didn't like.
posted by Poolio at 8:25 PM on September 19, 2007

SWG and UO were both brilliant disasters, I guess this is Raph saying, "Ok, YOU try and make it work."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:25 PM on September 19, 2007

Man, that alpha application asks a lot of questions...
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 8:49 PM on September 19, 2007

Yeah, mailing address required? Why?
posted by crawl at 8:55 PM on September 19, 2007

This needs a filter.
posted by sien at 9:11 PM on September 19, 2007

Soon as it's out of Alpha it will just fill up with furries anyway.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:45 PM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

The concept is great, but something like this is made or broken completely on the execution, and he's given out absolutely no details here at all.

"We speak web from top to bottom"
Yeah, thanks Raph, I'd like a little synergy and paradigm shift on the side.

*signs up for alpha*
posted by breath at 12:11 AM on September 20, 2007

I warned Matt this would happen if he didn't aggressively protect his Meta-trademarks...
posted by wendell at 12:12 AM on September 20, 2007

oh no. not again.
posted by silence at 2:00 AM on September 20, 2007

Some of the other KoL guys and I had lunch with Raph and saw a demo of this after the San Diego Comic-Con. Since I signed an NDA, I'm not comfortable going into much detail even now that the project's been publicly announced, but it looks very powerful and very cool.

Think about that thing Sony's doing for the PS3, where every player has their own little virtual apartment that they can fill with furniture of their choice, game trophies, and such. Now imagine that everyone on the internet has one, and to get there you just click the link on their myspace page or whatever, and it loads in a new browser window. Now imagine that some of these people have taken the time to implement elaborate games in their 'apartments', from Tetris to Spacewars to even, theoretically, World of Warcraft.

What will basically make this or break it, though, is the number and quality of templates and resources that are available at startup... most people aren't going to be able to code their own stuff, so there will have to be a huge amount of samples and parts ready for them to copy and snap together lego-style. If he has the content ready, he'll likely have something major on his hands.
posted by rifflesby at 3:47 AM on September 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think it's groovy, and have signed up for the alpha. A lot of the coding is done in lua...which I just love. It's a brilliantly easy little scripting language. I want to play with it, but I'm sure, considering how late I signed up, and the fact that I'm not a professional game designer, and I've worked for press that covers games, I probably won't get in until beta or even open trials. Sigh.
posted by dejah420 at 6:49 AM on September 20, 2007

Ah... this must be the thing I turned down an employment offer about. I'm really not sold on the idea, but time will tell.
posted by Foosnark at 8:32 AM on September 20, 2007

It'll be interesting to see what comes of this all... Raph's a smart guy, fer sure, but it's hard not to see this as the newest version of an idea that's been tried before, and never really worked well (I mean the ability for users to create 3D spaces, add to them etc., from Active Worlds to VRML to Atmosphere to Second Life). Personally, creating my own 3D space, ala Facebook in a virtual format, doesn't really do much for me (but I'm old enough to own a real house...)

The other thing it looks like to me is Gaia Online, which is doing really well (and already has a sizeable user population... something like 1 million users, I believe).
posted by emmet at 8:51 AM on September 20, 2007

Raph's great and I'm excited to see innovation in this area. But the startup world is full of the detritus of failing at this MMOG-mets-social-sandbox idea. World's, Inc. and There come to mind. The successes like Habbo or Club Penguin are the ones that focus on community marketing not technology or game design.
posted by Nelson at 9:27 AM on September 20, 2007

I signed up for the alpha testing, and hopefully "web from top to bottom" means that I can create games based on real-world data... Like stock prices, Flickr tags, google maps, and metafilter comment threads. Neat. But, in the end, it will probably end up being successful only when it becomes a vector to vices like porn. And snow crash.
posted by hanoixan at 4:12 PM on September 20, 2007

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