Don't be 3dvil
July 8, 2008 8:19 PM   Subscribe

With 'Lively' Google tries something more interactive in the 3d space after buying SketchUp in 2006.

Tools to create modifications to the environment and avatars haven't been announced... Also, no OSX version yet.
posted by acro (38 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You had me at "sex island". You lost me at "requires Windows Vista or XP".
posted by saraswati at 8:38 PM on July 8, 2008 [4 favorites]

I thought this was going to be about the Don Ingalls lively which is a pretty cool piece of tech.
posted by rdr at 8:42 PM on July 8, 2008

Nice landing on the googleblog referrer list.
posted by carsonb at 8:46 PM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite] case you missed it, you know.
posted by carsonb at 8:51 PM on July 8, 2008

Will we be able to use spore creatures as avatars?
posted by empath at 8:52 PM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Looks kind of boring but who knows what the kids are into these days. I have a friend who works at a Silicon Valley Startup that makes 3d chat avatars for people. I can't imagine why someone would want to use one, but apparently someone does.
posted by delmoi at 8:54 PM on July 8, 2008

It's VRML all over again.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 8:56 PM on July 8, 2008

It's like they ran out of stuff for all the new hires to do.

I'm glad I'm not starting work there in a month.
posted by smackfu at 9:07 PM on July 8, 2008

Yeah, this is pretty crappy at the moment, even with the Beta/Labs qualifier. The navigation is painful, the commenting system is wonky, and I don't really see what future it has at the moment. I'm wondering... did they make this from scratch or buy out somebody? There are many other much more fleshed-out 3D world programs out there...
posted by Rhaomi at 9:09 PM on July 8, 2008

The real question is: how non-standard will its Django implementation be?
posted by signal at 9:13 PM on July 8, 2008

3D chatrooms are the future. 1998's future, that is.
I might be entirely missing the point of it, tho
posted by _dario at 9:19 PM on July 8, 2008

(Runs to get his Microsoft Virtual Chat VRML t-shirt on.)

Did I miss anything?
posted by maxwelton at 9:49 PM on July 8, 2008

I'm glad I'm not starting work there in a month.

You can't be serious? Who wouldn't want a job where you don't "really" have anything to do and get to sit around and implement cool ideas you've had kicking around in your head just for the hell of it?

(That said, people at Google get 20% of their time to work on side projects, and a lot of Google labs products come from this, I think. So it may be that rather then think this might make a lot of money for Google in the short term, someone might have just thought it would be fun to do, and maybe provide an advertising venue sometime, and maybe not.)
posted by delmoi at 9:53 PM on July 8, 2008

There's a Monster Island, and a Sex Island, but no Monster Sex Island?

Google, what happened? You used to be cool.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:56 PM on July 8, 2008 [6 favorites]

I just don't see any way this is useful or fun.

For chat, it's way more of a hassle than instant messaging, email, etc. If users want to set up a chat room to plan something with friends, they'll all have to have this for it to work. If users want an IRC-style talk-to-anyone room, IRC already has more street cred (at the expense of ease of use). Forums abound, Twitter is taking off (or its competitors). I see this as an annoying and useless interface to meet a need that has been met in a variety of ways

For gaming, it's not a game. There are already places like Habbo Hotel (and a crapton of MMORPGS) which offer lots of social space already. Entering the market this late will mean it takes a lot to win over new users.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 10:02 PM on July 8, 2008

Maybe I'm just grumpy tonight, but is anyone else sick and motherfucking tired of Google? Pardon my language but like seriously.
posted by loiseau at 10:30 PM on July 8, 2008

Does Lively offer virtual childcare?
posted by serazin at 10:54 PM on July 8, 2008 [4 favorites]

Can I create an avatar of Fonzie on a motorbike and set it to perpetually jump a shark tank in Lively, then go do something marginally less worthless with my time? Because that's the only think I can think of doing with this crapdablet.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:58 PM on July 8, 2008

My only hope is that it may, finally, provide an easy way for you to punch someone in the face over the internet.
posted by Jimbob at 12:21 AM on July 9, 2008 [5 favorites]

I tried Lively last night and it was the best VRML throwback ever. I found myself staring at a tiny graphics window in my browser and waited 10 minutes for one room to fully load, and once it did, I had a grand old time manuvering around with an FPS rate in the single digits while people around me spammed actions with sound and asked important questions about everybody's age, gender, and physical location in the real world.

If this is 1998 then I want my dotcom-era salary back, dammit.
posted by Spatch at 5:26 AM on July 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

If this is anywhere as hard to figure out as SketchUp, it won't go anywhere.
posted by tommasz at 6:41 AM on July 9, 2008

Lively may be a bunch of crap destined for the scrapheap, and VMRL may be as useful as a Model T Ford, smart money would certainly back the development of highly customizable avatars that can move between applications. People will invest unbelievable amounts of time and effort into styling and personalizing these. They're important to them. If people care, buy stock. But is there a credible effort at the moment to develop an application neutral avatar, usable in a variety of social apps?
posted by fcummins at 6:42 AM on July 9, 2008

zomg snow crash for realsies this time?
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:04 AM on July 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sex Island? Second Life has Sex Continents!
posted by adamrice at 7:57 AM on July 9, 2008

No sex for Mac. Boo hiss.
posted by Mister_A at 8:01 AM on July 9, 2008

No Linux, no Mac ... no me.

posted by aldus_manutius at 8:34 AM on July 9, 2008

Don't worry, you're really not missing anything much at the moment.
posted by Spatch at 9:12 AM on July 9, 2008

Sex Island? Second Life has Sex Continents!

Ahhh yes, I remember the last time I was in continent...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:12 AM on July 9, 2008

My friends who still work at Google are as baffled as I am at this release. The Palace? Really? In 2008?
posted by Nelson at 9:23 AM on July 9, 2008

Oh, also, don't believe the nonsense about this being a "20% project". There's no way something this complex was launched as a spare time thing from a couple of dedicated people working late at night.
posted by Nelson at 9:26 AM on July 9, 2008

Sex Island and Monster Isle appear to be the same.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:07 AM on July 9, 2008

Grumble. Grumble. Maybe I'm stuck in the 90s, but I'm really waiting for someone to do VR chat right. Responsive (like a FPS), scalable, decentralized (like the web), accessible (multiple OSs, low CPU requirements), democratic and consensus based, but moderated against spammy penis ads and furries and goreans. (Yes, I'm a hypocrite.) And scripting language/design environments that don't suck.

And where are the home VR helmets that we were promised? And home body motion capture/tactile feedback could also be done pretty cheaply with current tech, too. Screw flying cars. Even so, is voice chat really all that hard to pull off?
posted by Skwirl at 12:15 PM on July 9, 2008

Ultimately, the only thing interesting about Second Life is user-level scripting. Without that, browser integration or not, Lively is doomed.

Skwirl: Voice chat is not the no-brainer you think it is. While you can customize an avatar in many ways, including into things completely divorced from your real self, you're pretty much stuck with your voice.
posted by JHarris at 1:19 PM on July 9, 2008

JHarris: you're pretty much stuck with your voice.
Not true. Realtime voice-altering technology exists right now, and I fully expect to see it added to Second Life at some point, so that middle-aged men can more convincingly roleplay teenage girls. And vice-versa.
posted by adamrice at 1:58 PM on July 9, 2008

You know... this Lively thing actually got me interested in the Internet again, for a little while. It's frustrating as hell, and slow, and sucktastic... but even though it tried to drag my computer down a black hole, it was still interesting.

Anyway, since this has the support of a real company that at least supposedly gives a shit about people, maybe it'll be better than Second Life. Here's hoping, anyway.

I'm still waiting, I guess, for the world of Snow Crash to materialize.
posted by limeonaire at 9:52 PM on July 9, 2008

Oh, and btw, someone needs to create a MetaFilter room in Lively.
posted by limeonaire at 9:52 PM on July 9, 2008

Although I must say, the 3-D world I'm most looking forward to inhabiting right now is the upcoming Diablo III.
posted by limeonaire at 9:56 PM on July 9, 2008

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