Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Google Lively

Google dropped a bomb on the virtual world market today by releasing a new virtual world called Lively. I'm not writing a deep review yet, my first impression is that it feels like IMVU. It is better then IMVU though, you can at least move your avatar around a room, but the best part is that it runs in a browser(via a plugin). Sadly there are no content creation tools yet, or the ability to upload models, I heard those are coming.

What I really am hoping for is some sort of scripting tools to make interactive objects. That would really open up the possibility space.

I'm excited though, some people see it as yet another dress up virtual world. But I think with Google backing it has a lot more potential by the simple fact alone of the amount attention this will get. Add to that possibilities of Google earth and Sketchup mashups.

The Vesuvius Room in Lively:

Going Loco With The Loco Pocos

No, it's not WindLight...
Damien Fate and Washu Zebrastripe, both over 5 years old in Second Life, are launching a completely new experience in the Second Life® world. This time, they went for Extreme Cuteness and redefining the whole "tiny" experience.

Apparently, all tinies in existence use the same "avatar distortion animation" created years ago. They evolved over the years — from rounded prims to sculpties — and with more details like flexi tails, HUDs, and accessories that continued to improve. However, Damien got away with all that and created his own "tiny distortion avatar animation". One that allows Loco Pocos to sit properly on any "human-sized" chair without tricks. Combined with a HUD that allows avatar personalisation, lots of emotes (I won't call them "anims" or "Gestures" since they are so much more than that: they change the sculpties to show different emotions, they animate the avatar, they emit particles in 3D, they have sounds recorded by professionals, they're a completely different experience!), and even changing the attached clothes and accessories... it's something unlike every other experience in SL. Damien redefined the way you interface with your avatar, in a way that Linden Lab never imagined — a simple way, using icons and not text, and just clicking on them will do whatever you wish to do with your avatar, without needing to remember what command to type on your AO (or what AO to wear!).

The "store" that sells the Loco Pocos and their customisable accessories is not just a shop. It's an experience by itself! There are games and puzzles to solve, some on your own, some with friends together, and you can claim unique prizes (not available for sale) if you complete them. It'll take you several hours of fun to complete each one, and Damien promises to release a few more every month or so, as well as new items and accessories every week. This is something well planned and organised. A Renaissance in the tiny experience, which actually has little to do with the "fad" started two years ago. Loco Pocos are unique in the whole experience; in fact, like I often said to Damien, it looks like if Disney created a new virtual world. It's not SL at all; it's something magic and quite different from what you're used to! And, again, that was totally intended...

You can take a look at the Flickr stream for Loco Pocos, visit the website, but nothing will replace the experience of buying one of the cute Loco Pocos avatar for a mere L$350 and have fun on Loco Pocos Island :)