Worlds Adrift is an upcoming MMO which is just about the most impressive virtual world project I've read about in some time -- primarily because it is a virtual world in the sense of being a persistent place with an environment that responds like an environment actually would. Built in Unity by a small indie team, it's using Improbable technology, which we wondered last year might transform virtual worlds. And to judge by this blog post about Worlds Adrift on the Improbable site, it looks like it has:
Imagine building a game world—not one based on scripted events, but on millions of individually simulated entities with rich behaviour. A fully physical, living, breathing simulated reality based on simple rules. A massive world with no artificial boundaries and where nothing is faked. An environment where thousands of players can interact simultaneously, where their actions have long-lasting consequences and create emergent storylines...
In Worlds Adrift, thousands of simultaneous players can interact with each other in a massive world that feels real. They can chop down trees, harvest the wood to build a ship, and then fly the ship from one end of the world to the other without running into a single artificial boundary or loading screen. If the ship succumbs to cannonball fire while fighting another group of players, its pieces will fall to the ground and stay there forever—or at least until another player salvages them, even if it’s two (real-life) years later. Or they can find the perfect vantage point to watch flocks of marvelous creatures going about their daily lives, feeding, fighting and reproducing. And when the sun sets, they can craft musical instruments, sit around a campfire, and share their latest adventures with each other.
None of this is faked. There are no scripted events; players create stories by interacting with each other and with the world, a world that feels real due to the complex behaviours that emerge from the interactions of thousands of players and millions of individually simulated entities with detailed AI, such as a fully functional ecosystem. Everything is persistent, so player actions have long-lasting consequences, creating truly meaningful experiences.
Much more here. If you're an Alpha/Beta user, please share your play experiences in Comments!
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