The Great Metaplace Meep-In

 Posted by (Visited 8035 times)  Gamemaking  Tagged with:
Feb 272009
Some sorts of meeps

Some kinds of meeps

A meep is a fuzzy critter I made in Metaplace that is sort of a cross between the things Marvin Suggs beats on in his Amazing Muppaphone and a Miyazaki soot sprite. They come in a variety of colors and with a variety of behaviors — some like people, some are shy, some have big teeth… I put them on the marketplace, and they quickly became popular on the service.

If you have been on Metaplace, you may have noticed that people get “meeped” instead of “poked.” This was put in by our web guys as a joke, originally, when meeps became popular. Sure enough, everyone started asking, “What is meeping?”

Well, last week we decided to rename the feature to “nudge” or something else mundane. Too many people in our user testing were getting confused, didn’t know what it meant, or were commenting on it. So with regret, we decided we needed to change the term. Meeps would remain running around the worlds, but the feature needed to be easy for new folks to understand. We figured some of the veterans would not like this, but that everyone would understand and be supportive.

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Dunbar’s Number matters online too

 Posted by (Visited 6581 times)  Misc  Tagged with: , ,
Feb 272009

Of course, this is completely unsurprising to me, since we demonstrated it via datamining of MMORPG metrics five years ago. There’s some interesting stuff here about “core” or tight-cluster friends versus the extended network, however.

The rise of online social networks, with their troves of data, might shed some light on these matters. So The Economist asked Cameron Marlow, the “in-house sociologist” at Facebook, to crunch some numbers. Dr Marlow found that the average number of “friends” in a Facebook network is 120, consistent with Dr Dunbar’s hypothesis, and that women tend to have somewhat more than men. But the range is large, and some people have networks numbering more than 500, so the hypothesis cannot yet be regarded as proven.

What also struck Dr Marlow, however, was that the number of people on an individual’s friend list with whom he (or she) frequently interacts is remarkably small and stable. The more “active” or intimate the interaction, the smaller and more stable the group.

— The size of social networks | Primates on Facebook | The Economist.

As someone with a larger-than-normal extended network and a smaller-than-normal core network, I kind of live with this every day as I use social media. There’s a lot of talk about the issue of “unbalanced” followers/following number on Twitter, for example, or about whether social media are used as marketing tools by some folks. In my case, the answer is undoubtedly “yes,” though perhaps my style of personal marketing is fairly informal. At the same time, as I have commented to folks at the office, the first anonymous brown-paper-wrapped package you get at your home address, first death threat, first random fan phone call at dinner, completely changes your perspective on social media…

BBC’s on Flash

 Posted by (Visited 5083 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Feb 262009

The BBC News blog has a piece about web gaming and how the industry is changing, with a pile of quotes from yours truly. It was a very fun conversation with Darren Waters.

The relaunch of a 10-year-old video game inside a web browser is not just a chance to wallow in some nostalgia, but also a strong pointer to the direction in which the video games industry is heading, and a potential herald of the future of rich internet media on many types of devices…

…The shift to the network – both in terms of delivery of content and at the end of point of the experience itself – is touching every aspect of the media industry and for video gamers it means a lot more fun in a browser near you soon.

Metaplace CNET article

 Posted by (Visited 4077 times)  Gamemaking  Tagged with:
Feb 252009

Everyone has probably heard about this already via other sources, but here it is:

Built to run inside the browser on any Internet-connected machine, Metaplace employs a simple, 2D, Flash-based graphics system that fronts for a fairly sophisticated set of content creation tools and what may one day be a complex open-ended economy built around user-created content.

In fact, because of the 2D and Flash nature of Metaplace, it’s easy to miss that the platform offers users some of the easiest virtual-world building tools that have ever been made available.

— Metaplace: Platform for user-created virtual worlds | Gaming and Culture – CNET News.

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Another silly game design meme

 Posted by (Visited 6517 times)  Game talk  Tagged with:
Feb 252009

This seemed amusing, especially since I am barely blogging and need content. 😉

Hi Raph! 🙂

Inspired by “#backflick” on Twitter, I’ve started #backgames:

I’ve written 15. Here are a few, to whet your appetite….

*Cave Story* A traveller lands on a floating island, helps the Doctor enslave the Mimigas, then falls asleep & forgets everything.

*Katamari Damacy* A prince must hide the stars, by rolling them across the earth’s surface, until they break into small everyday objects.

*Asteroids* A spaceship tends a galactic garden, growing tiny rocks into huge boulders.

Thought your visitors might like to submit a few of their own?

— Gabe aka Mr_Staypuft JustOneMoreGame