Strangelings is a new breedable animal game in Beta for the web and iPhone/iPad with a very interesting background: It's being developed by several ex-Linden Lab staff, backed by angel funding from Philip Rosedale and other Linden luminaries, with a crossover connection to Second Life itself. Founded by Chris Collins (formerly Logan Linden), his new company, FMI Games, is creating a game that is, Chris tells me, "focused on the gaming market and bringing a new type of game out to Mobile/Tablet and Web by taking one of the most successful games in Second Life, breedable pets."
Chris was a right hand man to Philip Rosedale during Second Life's salad days, and when I asked him, Philip told me just why he's backing it:
"Well first of all," Philip tells me by e=mail, "I think Chris is absolutely great as an entrepreneur and designer. Next, I think the whole idea of breedable animals, with all the emergent complexity and behavior that comes with the idea of those animals interacting in a virtual world is just amazing...
"We have seen the beginnings of these types of experiences in Second Life already, and I am betting Chris and his team will take the idea 100x farther and discover many fascinating things. I'm happy to be along for the ride."
What is that ride, exactly? Let Chris explain:
"We are taking a unique approach in that we are the first to have a web and tablet/phone based game that has a Second Life tie-in. We see this is being really important, as many of the features that will be available in the game come from the success of the game in Second Life. Not only will users be able to breed and interact with their animals but they will also have an Auction built in HTML5 where they will be able to make real money with their animal with a breeding algorithm that gives the user the ability to create billions of different looking animals."
Along with himself and the founders of Ozimals, another ex-Linden (Hamilton Hitchings, Hamilton Linden in SL) is also a founder.
As noted, the game, while playable on the web and iOS, has a Second Life component, in the form of an island: "This week we started the Second Life marketing side which included the launch of a full Mesh based sim and a very cool avatar of our first animal that people can get when they visit the island."
The iPad and web game is being developed by veterans of Disney and others. While Second Life is part of the launch, the investment money is going beyond it: "All the investment is actually outside of Second Life," says Chris, "building out a platform and the game to run on the Web, tablet and mobile, which is a massive market and growing. We are going after the 80 million-plus people playing casual games. The Second Life component is a tie in allowing Second Life residents who like breedable games to get early beta access to the main game, experience a great looking island and get a great avatar that is based on our first animal."
Will it work? With the backing of the Ozimals creators, I'd says it has a fairly decent chance. Personally I think the Strangelings look kinda odd and cute-weird rather than cute-cute, but then again, I'm not the collectible kind. What is certain is that many Linden Lab veternas remain serious about taking the best content in Second Life, and bringing it out to the wider online world.Tweet