I thought this was a great capsule of what Multiverse.net is all about.
Gamasutra – SxSW: Corey Bridges, Master of the Multiverse
“We’re trying to enable the independents to be able to get in and innovate in this space, whether it be for games, or other non-game virtual worlds. But the fact that this has struck such a cord within the game industry itself, speaks to the fact that…you go into game making, and for many people it’s this irrational passion, like wanting to be a musician. It’s like ‘I’m called to do this, this is what I’m on this Earth for, I’m going to follow my bliss, boom – off I go!’”
I think their business model is right on. I love the idea of having independents be able to hit the ground running with low up-front costs (in this case, zero, at least for software) and only pay if they make money. I’m a huge fan of that approach, and I really want it to work, for both selfish and ideological reasons.
And with 9000 development teams apparently using it, I’m pretty sure that even if version 1.0 contains a few technological dead-ends or hard-to-use features (and it is inevitable for a first generation SDK), they’ll have enough feedback and enthusiasm to make version 2.0 really spectacular (of course, I may be one of those 9000 registered downloaders–but only to evaluate it for a client of mine).
If it does take off, it could form the basis of a new Netscape Navigator for 3D — a ground-breaking 3D client that opens up the web to new possibilities. Never mind the fact that Netscape was ultimately eclipsed by strong market currents. It really did set the stage, and many of the standards, for what has come. Of course, if you read this blog, you also know that my personal take is that we should get existing browsers, like Mozilla and Explorer to add the fundamental 3D systems to make this work without a whole new client, since a lot of Web3D will want to be hybrid 2D layout and 3D. But that’s another story…
BTW, not to be critical of a fine product. But the biggest present limitation of Multiverse (or benefit, depending on your POV), and the main reason my client chose not to use it is the client [software, not to be confused with the client, paying.] was that like the early Navigator app, it was not that well suited to custom or niche applications, at least not until a wave of 3rd party plugins arrived.
In this case, generic MMOGs (with guilds, quests, experience etc..) are the main focus I see. If someone wants to drop in, say, a new rendering engine or better linkage to the 2D web, it’s not yet simple enough, from my cursory investigation. I could be wrong, but even if I’m right, I expect that’ll be fixed in time, and ultimately their complete source code will be released (or reverse-engineered) for developers to roll their own.
I certainly hope they get far enough along before Microsoft tries to muscle in this time. Ssh. Don’t tell anyone that 3D is just about here.