Metathis, Metathat, Metaplace
Sep 19, 2007 21:41:36

Word is out. Raph Koster, key designer on Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies has finally announced what his startup, Areae, has been up to for the past year. I'll be the first to point out that I gave a word for word description of his plans many months ago. Either I'm the true MMO Prognosticator or I'm just real lucky. Or, when I said what I thought he was doing, Raph thought it was so damn genius that he scrapped his other plans and built my vision. Anyway, enough back patting. What is Metaplace?
"Metaplace is a next-generation virtual worlds platform designed to work the way the Web does. Instead of giant custom clients and huge downloads, Metaplace lets you play the same game on any platform that reads our open client standard. We supply a suite of tools so you can make worlds, and we host servers for you so that anyone can connect and play. And the client could be anywhere on the Web."

Need a shorter description? Okay, it is the YouTube for games. It is the Flickr for interactive media. It is Second Life without the suck (perhaps). What can be built with Metaplace? Sounds like pretty much whatever you want. The sky is the limit and Areae is looking to the world for ingenuity and creativity. They'll bring the bowl, you bring the special sauce.

Here is a video of Raph Koster talking about Metaplace.
Here is Slashdot's coverage.
And the VirginWorlds postings so far.
And here is an alien:

Submitted by Brent on Sep 19, 2007 21:41:36 CST (comments: 6)


'This is for me!' by Rik
Submitted on 2007-09-21 00:28:14 CST
First time posting - but long time listener of virginworlds! Great show etc

I've been waiting for something on the horizon that would peak my interest in MMOs again and it looks like this is it (it's certainly lead to me posting on a site - which I haven't done since leaving my long term game about 6 months ago).

Lots of questions that need answering, lots of hype on the way, and we all know the dangers of getting our hopes up - but I have a feeling about this one. Will be keeping a close eye on it!

Keep up the great work brent - it's been really interesting watching what you've done with virginworld and seeing it go from strength to strength.

Hope to post more and perhaps start blogging in the not too distant future. Take care.

'Is Metaplace what we need?' by Gio
Submitted on 2007-09-24 23:50:49 CST
I really hate to hear Metaplace refered to as an MMO, or as a game in any context. Everything I have read and seen makes it look just like a social networking site, and I'm ok with it being that...except when it invades the gaming world. Don't get me wrong I wish Raph Koster and all of Areae the best of luck, but I'm not sure that this is what the MMO world needs right now. Also, there is already a stigma surrounding Myspace/other social networking sites and all of its adult users that likens them to perverts trying to pick up children or creeps in general and I can only see this getting worse when the media is presenting it as a game.

'The MMO tag is a bit much' by Scott
Submitted on 2007-09-25 12:27:45 CST
I agree about not calling Metaplace a MMO, it seems possible that they can develop or allow development of worlds with thousands of players but ultimately that remains to be seen. We're also looking at a platform that's being developed first, a game second.

If the game(s) that Areae or 3rd party developers create for their social gaming platform are worthy of the MMO title, then they deserve that title, but not the development and hosting platform itself.

Would you call the DIKU code itself a MMO? I think not.

'the toolset and the game' by hallower
Submitted on 2007-09-25 12:34:00 CST
All Areae's really talked about so far is their public toolset for making games... that's not what they're calling an MMO. They're planning on using that toolset to create their own game. I think Metaplace is the name of the toolset and server hosting serivce, not their upcoming MMO bulit from those assets.

'What makes an online game a MMO?' by Scott
Submitted on 2007-09-25 13:08:00 CST
I'm not sure the original comment was directed at Areae/Metaplace specificly Hallower.

The question I have because of all the recent discussion on Metaplace is what makes a MMO, a MMO.

Metaplace is an online game development platform capable of making MMO's, the games themselves will only be MMO's if developers develop and promote their games to achieve that status by supporting thousands of players in their worlds.

Its my understanding that in order to support hundreds or thousands of players in your Metaplace game you need to buy virtual currency, and pay Areae with that before they unlock additional support for your game to handle the increased usage.

Otherwise it seems pretty silly to me that the thousands upon thousands of Metaplace social spaces or games will instantly be "MMO's?" simply because the capability for them to be is there if a developer pays Areae the fee to scale the game up? or because the development platform technically supports it?

So is a MMO just a game platform that technically may support Massively Multiplayer Online play, or is it one that actually offers and is played by thousands of players in a Massively Multplayer Environment?

I know marketing folks already have their answer, but what about the rest of us. :P

'Adventure Construction Set Anyone?' by James
Submitted on 2007-09-28 16:15:28 CST
The youtube metaphor is a good one. I think Metaplace will lead to the production of much more garbage than quality content simply because the nature of user-created content 9-out-of-10-times is crap. I think it's a great idea, and a big step in terms of how your average computer user interacts with virtual environments, but does it excite me as a gamer? Absolutely not.

I know I'm dating myself, but fortunately I learned at a young age (with some help from EA's Adventure Construction Set) that I am a lousy game "designer," even when provided with the most user-friendly of tools. I think putting this technology out there will ultimate enhance the world of online virtual space and push it to places we haven't yet envisioned it could go--if only because of the old "if you put a thousand monkeys in a room of typewriters, eventually you'll get the Great American Novel" theory.

To post comments, please login.

More Blog Entries from Brent


RSS - Blog/Articles
RSS - News Feed
RSS - The Collective
Add MMO news to your site.

About aims to condense everything about MMORPG / MMOG gaming within a single source via news links, blogging, and podcasting. By extending the link directory to the community, everyone will get the news, credit and exposure that is desired and deserved.


Free 14 Day Eve Online
Trial from Virgin Worlds

VirginWorlds MMORPG News
Shut Up. We're Talking.
Massively Speaking
No Prisoners, No Mercy
Through the Aftermath
Brent's Other Podcast

1UP Yours
20 Minute Surrender
A Casual Stroll to Modor Podcast
A Life Well Wasted
Beneath Your Feet
Channel Massive
Fly Reckless
FYG Podcast
Games for Windows Radio
GWJ Conference Call
In a Perfect World Podcast
Killed in a Smiling Accident
Legendary Thread
Low Elo
Massively Online Gamer
Part Time Gamers
PC Gamer Podcast
SOE Official Podcast
SWG with Yivvits & MrBubble
The Big Freaks
The Instance
VirginWorlds MMO Podcast Collective
World of Warcast
Sites Updated Today
Eve Bloggers
Rock Paper Shotun
Sites Updated this Week
Sites Updated this Month
A Green Mushroom