At the DEMOfall 08 conference today, Sim Ops Studios debuted a free tool for creating 3-D games online in a web browser, called Wild Pockets. It gives a casual users, the tools needed to build rich and interesting games online, and share them with family and friends.
The web based game creation tool allows you to create a game by dragging and dropping objects into a 3-D world editor. There is a large library of objects and environments to choose from, including some basic primitives to particle systems. There is also an option to import images in the editor from your computer or the web.
The official press release states:
With an easy to use interface and innovative social features such as collaborative game development, a user-generated digital marketplace, and embed tags for viral game distribution, Wild Pockets gives game creators of all levels everything they need to create the next breakthrough game online.
Paul Preece, Founder/CEO of CasualCollective.com further added:
“The Wild Pockets platform provides fast and easy 3D content generation capabilities and makes it simple to distribute the games created. The platform could help us make the leap to next generation 3D casual games.”
While this promotes the concept of Open Source Gaming, there is still lots to cover to get to my Open Source Gaming paradise (will do a report on it soon). Sim Ops weren’t the first to present this concept either. Microsoft presented PopFly earlier this year that uses its Silverlight technology, and even export it to number of social networks including Facebook. Electronic Arts also has a SimsCarnival site where you can create your own game. And then there is XNA Game Studios, which is a set of tools for more professional game developers to easily create games for Windows or Xbox 360.
Wild Pockets is much simpler though, and builds on the concept of Social Networking. You can start building a game and invite your friend to join you as you both colaborate simultaniously. The technology is not aimed at hardcore console gamers but rather casual players on the PC. When your game is finalized, you can embed it on any website. It requires a special plugin to be installed in order to run. The company is releasing its developer tools today and expects a full launch in early 2009.
Feel free to share your comments about this, and stick around as I write about my idea of Open Source Gaming.