Metaplace’s public debut

 Posted by (Visited 8092 times)  Gamemaking
Jan 312008

Edit: in case it wasn’t clear — this was a “sneak preview” sort of thing; we are not live to the public, it was just for a few hours. 🙂

Well, we didn’t make a big deal about it, but Metaplace has now officially been played by actual players, and not alpha testers. Today we did a dev chat using Metaplace itself as the platform for the IRC-like text chat, and in the middle of it we also showed off a little bit of a more graphical space with avatars. It was a chance to both talk to folks and also to shove a high number of people at the server and client, including guest logins, to try to stress things a bit.

It all went spectacularly well, too. We expected things to blow up, but nothing did. Extremely low CPU usage, even with over 80 simple avatars walking around and chatting in one relatively small space (small enough that there was no real network culling going on). That’s a decent achievement for any virtual world system. 🙂 Bandwidth was a bit high, but we know things to work on there that are easy big gains. Seems like fairly few weird browser issues — which is easily the biggest bugaboo with doing something so Web-based. I have seen that a few folks failed to get in at all, and we’ll try to track down why…

We’ll be posting the official chat log with our next blog post, probably. But in the meantime, a few of the VW-centric news sites were in:

Our friends over at the Electric Sheep were also on hand. And of course, there’s blogs by bunches of folks who attended, like TBowl, Feeding Change, Oh No, Aliens!, Cooking XP, and Dr. Offset’s. Edit: Dr. Offset’s has a little bit more, and there’s Emergent Future’s take here.

A couple of those have pics of the (brief) graphical demo. Everyone’s only one avatar… we’ll have to save character customization for another day. 😉

Video games and stereotypes

 Posted by (Visited 8439 times)  Game talk
Jan 292008

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”– Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

A discussion has evolved in this thread about the degree to which entertainment of various sorts affects us, and I thought the quote apropos.

It was interesting to read up a bit on the controversy surrounding Cooper Lawrence, her statements about Mass Effect, her later retraction (NYT, reg probably required), and of course, the concerns of the original study that was done at U Maryland.

And frankly, the whole thing is full of silliness. Consider this statement:

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Jan 292008

I did another Escapist Interview, all about Metaplace this time. Which suggests that I should point out that there’s a live chat happening soon:

Thursday, January 31 at 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time. You probably want to update your Flash player to the latest version.

More details are here.

…all professional game developers were once users. It’s not like some magic switch gets flicked the minute that they become a pro that makes their stuff good, and we’ve all played pro stuff that wasn’t that good. There’s just a spectrum, from good to bad, and whether or not people are pro or amateur has nothing to do with that quality line. The pros tend to get access to money and the good guys tend to gravitate toward being pros, but it doesn’t mean that an amateur cannot make good content. Maybe they’re just a hobbyist, maybe they’ve never had tools that were good enough, maybe they’ve never been given a chance.