Thursday, December 19, 2013

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Shuttered MMO Glitch May Have a Second Chance, Thanks To The Work of Ardent Fans

Whimsy Glitch
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Ever since the assets for Tiny Speck's defunct browser-based MMO Glitch were released into the public domain last month there's been a flurry of renewed interest. With art and even code now within reach multiple groups are piecing the game back together, one street at a time.

Progress is progress, but considering how splintered these groups are it's hard to say if any of them will be able to pull it off. Here's what I mean:

Whimsy Glitch XMas preview

There are (as far as I can tell) four separate groups working to recreate/restore Glitch, operating independently in spite of the fact that they are working more or less towards the same goal. Project Eleven (@ElevenGameMMO) seeks to recreate the Glitch servers in an open-source format, but then there's Whimsy (@PlayWhimsy), a "reimagining" of the short-lived MMO that aims to run on both computers and phones/tablets and the source of both of the screenshots used in this post. Children of Ur (@ChildrenOfUr) already has a bare-bones demo with sounds and UI so convincing that I almost thought I was logging in to the original game, while Minimum Viable Ur (@mvurxi) is aiming to be more of a "chat room game" inspired by Glitch's environments.

There are subtle differences in each of their approaches, but I can't help but wonder if they would all be better served by combining into one cohesive group effort. Maybe it's best not to look gift development in the mouth (that's how the old saying goes, right?) but it will take a lot of work to rebuild an MMO of Glitch's scale. It seems like the less fragmented all that effort is, the better it will be for everyone involved. Then again, who knows. Some of these projects have been progressing steadily enough that I could be eating my words in just one month.

Fingers crossed.

Mixed reality iris 2013Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Timesand has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan andwith pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.


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All we need are 11 Giants.

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