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  VW2007 Notes:  “Platforms and Technologies”  
Posted 2007-03-28 by Tony Walsh
Best quote of the panel goes to Linden Lab's Joe Miller, who said the company is going to open source Second Life's back-end: "We will not succeed if only one company owns the grid."

Anyway, my grossly-abreviated notes follow. Caveat emptor...

Corey Bridges, Co-founder, Executive Producer, & Marketing Director The Multiverse Network
We are platform makers. This is the start of the mainstreaming of virtual worlds. The most popular/money making virtual worlds are MMOGs. MMOs have more purpose than just entertainment. What Multiverse does is make this technology available for downloading, enabling indie developers to get in and create new stuff. Our standard business model is based around developers--they don't pay us a dime until they charge consumers. It's such a blank canvas. What if you just want a nightclub or island? You can do that in Multiverse. We are trying to enable the full potential of this medium.

There is a universal browser, you install the client and can use it to access any Multiverse world with 1 click. We are trying to build a network of virtual worlds. Worlds can be stand-alone, rigid and strict, or a competitor to Second Life. As a world-maker you can choose to connect or not connect user profiles, avatars, economies, etc.

Our tech is based on open and existing standards.

Rick Giolito, President, Trilogy Studios
What is Trilogy Studios?
- 20+ developers formerly from EA with "vast" experience in traditional game spaces (AAA titles)
- Virtual worlds are feeling "really hot and exciting." I like to call it "world simulations."
- We are working on the just-announced "Pimp My Ride" virtual world.

When we first looked at the There technology, we said "oh my god." Not just the technology, but the economy.

We are used to production pipelines that are very art-centric, developed by engineers for engineers.

We need to develop tool sets that are built for rapid iteration and quick prototyping, with 1:1 workflow that minimizes recompiling, with end-user-based tools for quality content creation. If you allow people to do anything you want, some will create good stuff and some will create crap--this could be a lot to wade through to find the nuggets of goodness. Our sensibility is in creating finished, polished products.

John Bates, Evangelist, Entropia Universe

Shows a user-created machinima [promo-style] video created about a year ago.

We have over 600k registered users, we have a real-cash economy. The platform was built from day one to enable real commerce. We are more stable than most banks, running millions of dollars through the system. A lot of what the other panelists have talked about are already here in Entropia. [gets cut off by moderator]

We are locked down, unlike Second Life, which has stuff like CopyBot. You can do direct bank transfers to/from the game. We had someone buy a $100k asteroid last year (says "maybe some of you don't know" as if it wasn't plastered all over the media). Talks about how the virtual asteroid is a huge money maker for its owner.

Joe Miller, Vice President, Platform & Technology Development, Linden Lab

Next speaker disses previous speaker, says he's actually going to talk about platforms.
Aspects of Second Life
-- community
-- user-created content

There are a serious of platforms, Web 1.0, Web 2.0, 3D Internet (seems to position Second Life as 'a' or 'the' 3D internet). The relationship between employer and employee is changing. More entrepreneurial spirit. What is Second Life? "It's just like first life, but you can fly." Spends some time talking about how different Second Life is from MMOGs (pushing this, in my opinion).

210 square miles
2M unique assets created daily
500 events daily
15M concurrent scripts running at any time

43% female
avg age 33 years
60% of active users from outside North America
77% of users customize their avatars

Collaborative creativity is our killer app. People do in Second Life exactly what they do in real life.

All the machines are hosted by Linden Lab and separate hosting facilities with "trusted" machines. Soon we'll be updating simulators to support multiple copies of the world with different versions, reducing down time during upgrades. We will be open sourcing the back-end of the system. We will be using open protocols, running multiple grids. We will not succeed if only one company owns the grid.
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Comment posted by Gary Hayes
March 28, 2007 @ 8:02 pm
Hey Tony,

Thanks for sharing all this in your usual altruistic way - its just like being there !

Best Gary
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