SXSW08 – Virtual Worlds, Indies Spell Doom for Big Media

Joystiq has a report from one of the South by Southwest sessions by Corey Bridges, one of the people behind Multiverse. Multiverse is a tool enabling small development teams to make big games. i talked about a couple of Multiverse projects in my interview on Teevee Ontario last week. LunarQuest is the University of Florida’s virtual world for astrophysics training. Another Mutliverse application enables new hires to explore a virtual office tower identical to their real-world place of employment. There, they can get the lay of the land and fill out all their paperwork before setting foot in the brick-and-mortar workplace.

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LunarQuest: making astrophysics instruction less boring (?)

Bridges made some bold claims about the indie developer uprising during his session:

The talk turned out to be surprisingly inflammatory as Bridges predicted the death of the traditional video game industry in favor of near-universal adoption of virtual worlds.

Click to read SXSW08: Virtual worlds and indie games to dethrone publishers.

i can totally get behind the democratization of game development that ran rampant at this year’s Game Developers Conference, and i’m very interested to see where all of these game creation tools are headed. That said, i’m not very impressed with the Multiverse demos so far. They look dated and wanting.

Multiverse's Dark Horizon

Hey Dark Horizon: 1997 called. They want their graphics back.

Habbo Hotel visionary Sulka Haro puts it best when defending his game’s retro pixellated graphics: 3D is destined to look dated in a few short years, but 2D graphics have reached the point where an attractive 2D game is always going to look like an attractive 2D game.

… and then there’s Club Penguin.

Club Penguin: When does the hurting stop?

Club Penguin: where virtual worlds go to throw up.

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