It has 'meta' in the name, so it's good, right?
May 17, 2009 12:44 AM   Subscribe

Metaplace Raph Koster's customisable, isometric, browser-based 3d environment has now entered open beta. caveats: Registration required, some Beta flakiness (previously)
posted by Sparx (16 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Isometric and no 720°

posted by toroi at 12:52 AM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Isometric and no Syndicate

posted by slater at 1:06 AM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Isometric and no Avernum?

...what? I'm a nerd.
posted by loquacious at 1:45 AM on May 17, 2009

I stand by my previous comment (which I rediscovered when I was considering posting about this myself, not because I have any interest in virtual worlds, but purely because of the name). But if anybody else sets up a MeFi World in there, I might hang out.
posted by wendell at 2:32 AM on May 17, 2009

This resembles a strange humanoid build of that game "Furcadia"... the patches look quite similar, too.
posted by Malice at 3:15 AM on May 17, 2009

Are there any open source virtual worlds?
posted by DU at 3:37 AM on May 17, 2009

posted by mattoxic at 4:34 AM on May 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

DU: some parts of SecondLife have been opensourced, I thought they claimed that eventually all the base code would be opened.
posted by sammyo at 4:39 AM on May 17, 2009

I wish Raph the best of luck, he's an inspirational game designer. But I just don't see how this is going to work.
posted by Nelson at 10:57 AM on May 17, 2009

I spent about 20 minutes with this.. It's very impressive, and the authoring tools have a lot of flexibility. With the tutorial I created my own home world with a nice custom graphic, a swastika doormat (quickly erased after I proved the point to myself). I also put in some fierce tigers I bought, opened them up in the editor to find there's a whole modular AI thing in there. The tiger came loaded with "wander", "follow", and "play sound" behaviours.

Walking around a bit there's clearly a lot of richness and depth in the assets and behaviours. Most of the other worlds you can teleport to seem to be mini-games of various sorts, a simple high seas sailing game, a Bejeweled-like game (ant farm), etc.

The isometric graphics really turn me off. They don't look like retro-cool pixel art, just ugly graphics used because of technical limitations. On the plus side it becomes easy to import and use a lot of user-generated art without requiring real 3d modelling, that's a huge bonus.

I'd love to see something like this work. User generated content is the big aspect of MUDs that's been lost in the past 15 years of MMO development. But I just don't see how it's going to appeal to enough people to devote the time to really use it all.
posted by Nelson at 11:29 AM on May 17, 2009

I made a world exactly like my own and had myself watching myself, watching myself.
posted by Senator at 11:50 AM on May 17, 2009

I created the username MetaFilter, so at some point there'll be a MetaFilter_world
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:25 PM on May 17, 2009

I made a world exactly like my own and had myself watching myself, watching myself.
Watching yourself do what?
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:43 PM on May 17, 2009

Watching myself watching myself. Then I could create another exact world and be watching myself, watching myself ,watching myself. First rate entertainent.
posted by Senator at 3:54 PM on May 17, 2009

I think I've stood apart from the thread long enough to give my own opinion as poster.

Brilliant idea - The fact that you can program your own parts is great - in that respect it's very similar to an old skool MOO only with graphics. That should be awesome...

But what can you actually do with it? The games I've seen created are embarrassingly painful to play, to the point of unplayability. You can check out other people's artistically created environments, and some of the popular ones they list are very pretty. but you can't actually do much with them, and the graphical limitations affect even the best. It's like a return to DOS games, graphically.

It does provide interesting hooks to the outside internet, but not in a compelling way that would make me think of actually using it for a specific purpose that could not be acheived more simpy elsewhere. Plus, I have a limited broadband owing to geographical concerns so I find it a trifle slow. Irritatatingly slow when it comes to menu options.

That said - I think it rates as best of the web in terms of sheer audacity of purpose. The potential is huge but the execution so far is painful. It's only in Beta, so undoubtedly fine tuning can occur. Isometric FAAAIL notwithstanding, it's a blank slate with some interesting tools - can it be put to good purpose?
posted by Sparx at 5:25 PM on May 17, 2009

Raph Koster: Brilliant idea, but...(I'm being murdered every 5 seconds, I can't be a Jedi or fly a space ship, the graphics suck and it is pointless) etc.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:05 PM on May 18, 2009

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