Cloud Party is a new 3D virtual world on Facebook now in open Beta that's described as "a world built by people like you". It just apparently went online, so I've only explored a few minutes, but as you can see above, it's got the look and feel of Second Life circa 2003. That's no surprise, because Second Life co-founder Cory Ondrejka (who's now with Facebook), and Cryptic Studio's ex-CTO Bruce Rogers, who founded a startup called Walletin with Cory before also joining Facebook with Ondrejka, are investors and advisors to Cloud Party. (I just confirmed that directly with Cory.)
If you're not a Facebook user (and a lot of NWN readers are not), here's what Cloud Party has so far:
Along with an avatar you control with point-and-click interaction or MMO-style keyboard controls, there's a virtual currency system (Cloud Dollars), user-to-user chat, and direct interaction with world objects (with physics, etc.) Judging by the name, I'm guessing there's some kind of cloud streaming involved, but however it works, the 3D graphics are pretty smooth for Facebook. (I haven't had a chance to interact with other avatars, but then, I'm early to the Cloud Party party.) Along with Cory, many Lindens past and present are already playing around in Cloud Party, and I have a feeling we'll hear more about their involvement (as fans or supporters) soon. In any case, I plan to talk with Cloud Party's CEO, Sam Thompson (another Cryptic veteran, along with most of Cloud Party's development team), in the coming days. In any case, looks like there's still some life in the 3D virtual world ideal, and Lindens who've long ago left Second Life are still hoping to see it grow.
Hat tip: RjDj's Robert "Dizzy Banjo" Thomas, who first spotted Cory's involvement in Cloud Party via Facebook's ticker.