As 3Dwalkthroughs.com has been discussing over the last few months it is just a matter of time before the the convergence of the virtual worlds and social networking platforms kicks into high gear.
Today, a free tool, Metaplace has launched that allows anyone to create a 3D online world for a PC or mobile phone without any programming experience. It is quite possible that Metaplace might be the fuse that is responsible for the explosion of virtual social networking platforms.
Metaplace was developed by Raph Koster, a developer of multiplayer online games such as Ultima Online.
The main difference between Metaplace and other virtual worlds is that it is completely web based and does not require any large downloads. It has been built to be used for gaming, socialising or e-commerce, can be embedded in a webpage, facebook profile or blog.
“We are out to democratise virtual worlds and bring them to absolutely anybody,” said Mr Koster, founder of Areae, the company behind Metaplace.
“You can come to the site, press a button and have a functioning virtual world that supports multiple users in about 30 seconds.”
“We modelled this on the web,” said Mr Koster. “You can think about each world being a webpage and every object within in it is a link.”
Another feature of Metaplace is that once created, a link can be easily mailed to someone and instantly they are logged in to your world.
One of the biggest and most exciting aspects of Metaplace is that it is free. This will open up the door to many creative applications that were not previously doable due to budgetary concerns.
We are just starting to jump in with both feet and will report on our findings. I wonder how well it will intergrate with some of our existing products such as: 3D Renderings and 3D Floor Plans…check back soon and we will let you know.