Is this the time that 3D sticks?

We’ve all heard about Second Life. I loved it, but it didn’t “stick” for a whole bunch of reasons. Meaning, it didn’t go mainstream, even though it had a HUGE amount of hype. Why not? Well, it was an island that you had to go into. Problem is, only gamers do that and Second Life wasn’t enough of a game. World of Warcraft came along and took a lot of the gamers away from it. My son used to be really interested in Second Life and for the past year he’s been playing World of Warcraft.

Another reason? It wasn’t accessible from the Web. You couldn’t get into a Second Life scene from a Web site until you downloaded the app, signed up, and all that. Even then it took forever to start up and just wasn’t a Web-compatible experience.

Another reason? Each island could only have 75-100 people on it. Company after company told me they were really excited by Second Life, but after they hit this limitation their excitement went way down. Why? Because few companies were going to spend the money to build a really compelling island to only have 75 people able to partake. The ROI just wouldn’t be there.

So, what’s next? Well, a variety of companies are trying to come up with 3D schemes that will overcome these issues.

Vivaty, today, comes out with one answer. It’s too early to claim they’ve nailed it (they haven’t yet, especially because they haven’t gotten a Mac client out yet) but they get very close to building something really interesting that’ll get a lot of corporate types interested.

Last week I interviewed Vivaty’s CEO with my cell phone during which he gave me a demo of how it all works. It’s very cool. My blog or Facebook page could have a 3D scene embedded on it, and you could “dive into” the scene and walk around. These scenes are very graphically rich. I could put videos, photos, and other details around, along with prebuilt furniture and other things.

One disappointment? Right now it’s a Windows only thing and requires Internet Explorer. Firefox support is coming “within weeks” and Macintosh support is being built out, but probably won’t be here until sometime around the end of the year. That alone will keep the hype down on Vivaty, because most of the top bloggers I know are now using Macs.

Anyway, this is worth checking out, just to see the latest in stage of the art 3D worlds.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. The market for web based virtual world like approaches is really big and there are tons of project like Vivaty on the market, which are heading in this web-based directions right now.

    But I don’t agree with your opinion, that games like WoW have been the problem for platforms like Second Life. It’s much more about the usability and accessibility of those platforms, which keeps users away from it.

    Downloading a client, installing the software, high hardware requirements, a totally different new interface and complex construct “a whole virtual world” in which you have to orientate yourself.

    That are massive barriers, which are much to high for the casual internet user. And that’s exactly the reason why web-based platforms like Vivaty are growing right now much faster than Client/Server based solution. (even if you still need to download a piece of software)

    They take place in the browser and they are much easier to use – but of course they are also are not as flexible and as powerful, as a platform like Second Life – but as always: the mass of user don’t needs this complexity and is happy, if they have a platform where they can be and do things together with others on the web in real-time.

    And that’s basically a big strength of avatar based solutions taking place in three dimensional environments.

    I have just recently blogged about Data Portability and Virtual Worlds, to point out that these 3D / avatar based virtual environments are extensions to existing social media platforms like social network sites and that the market needs to develops platforms, which perfectly fit into what is happening right now in terms of Data Portability in the realm of social media, to become widely adopted by the users.

    Here is the link:
    http://pixelsebi.com/2008-07-04/data-portability-and-virtual-worlds/

    The way Vivaty goes is definitely not a bad one to get to this point! Good to see you blogging about stuff from the virtual worlds scene btw. ;)

  2. The market for web based virtual world like approaches is really big and there are tons of project like Vivaty on the market, which are heading in this web-based directions right now.

    But I don’t agree with your opinion, that games like WoW have been the problem for platforms like Second Life. It’s much more about the usability and accessibility of those platforms, which keeps users away from it.

    Downloading a client, installing the software, high hardware requirements, a totally different new interface and complex construct “a whole virtual world” in which you have to orientate yourself.

    That are massive barriers, which are much to high for the casual internet user. And that’s exactly the reason why web-based platforms like Vivaty are growing right now much faster than Client/Server based solution. (even if you still need to download a piece of software)

    They take place in the browser and they are much easier to use – but of course they are also are not as flexible and as powerful, as a platform like Second Life – but as always: the mass of user don’t needs this complexity and is happy, if they have a platform where they can be and do things together with others on the web in real-time.

    And that’s basically a big strength of avatar based solutions taking place in three dimensional environments.

    I have just recently blogged about Data Portability and Virtual Worlds, to point out that these 3D / avatar based virtual environments are extensions to existing social media platforms like social network sites and that the market needs to develops platforms, which perfectly fit into what is happening right now in terms of Data Portability in the realm of social media, to become widely adopted by the users.

    Here is the link:
    http://pixelsebi.com/2008-07-04/data-portability-and-virtual-worlds/

    The way Vivaty goes is definitely not a bad one to get to this point! Good to see you blogging about stuff from the virtual worlds scene btw. ;)

  3. Being able to see 3D worlds in stereoscopic 3D would help any online 3D endeavor. The technology to do it exists now, but web capability is still a bit down the road.

  4. Being able to see 3D worlds in stereoscopic 3D would help any online 3D endeavor. The technology to do it exists now, but web capability is still a bit down the road.

  5. “especially because they haven’t gotten a Mac client out yet”

    You’re kidding right? Are you serously trying to argue that the reason they haven’t “nailed it” is because it only runs on 9 out of ten of the world’s computers?

    Pur-leease!!!

  6. “especially because they haven’t gotten a Mac client out yet”

    You’re kidding right? Are you serously trying to argue that the reason they haven’t “nailed it” is because it only runs on 9 out of ten of the world’s computers?

    Pur-leease!!!

  7. Jamie: Macs have a lot more market share for consumer computers than that. And, anyway, all you have to do is attend a few conferences to see how Mac-heavy the early adopter/influencer crowds are. They are the ones who decide whether something else is “hot” or “interesting.” If these crowds don’t tell the less tech passionate, they won’t hear about it. Hence, fail.

  8. Jamie: Macs have a lot more market share for consumer computers than that. And, anyway, all you have to do is attend a few conferences to see how Mac-heavy the early adopter/influencer crowds are. They are the ones who decide whether something else is “hot” or “interesting.” If these crowds don’t tell the less tech passionate, they won’t hear about it. Hence, fail.

  9. You might be interested in knowing that we started testing today with the new version of our online Floorplanner tool and added an improved 3D that will be available to all our users soon. Feel free to play around with the plans in the demo : http://beta.floorplanner.com/demo and click on the 3D button to see your designs in 3D right in any browser or OS.
    btw the 3D is based on on the opensource Flash 3D initiative Papervision3D

  10. You might be interested in knowing that we started testing today with the new version of our online Floorplanner tool and added an improved 3D that will be available to all our users soon. Feel free to play around with the plans in the demo : http://beta.floorplanner.com/demo and click on the 3D button to see your designs in 3D right in any browser or OS.
    btw the 3D is based on on the opensource Flash 3D initiative Papervision3D

  11. Robert,
    Hmmm…I do wonder quite how relevant “early adopters” are. Don’t get me wrong, every new company needs people to evangelise their product but I’m sure there are enough non-mac-wielding people out there to do that.
    Cross-platform is (obviously) important but I think there are more important things for people to worry about. I believe that nailing a client on one platform and gaining mindshare on that is more important than porting it to other platforms.

    I also suspect that many of those mac-owners also have a Windows machine tucked away somewhere even though they don’t like to admit it (cue retorts of “I don’t have a Windows machine ergo, Jamie, you’re wrong”) . Furthermore, any mac computer built since the move to Intel will, today, run Vivaty’s client.

    So, in my opinion having a mac client is important … but not as important as you think it is. Just my two-penneth worth. I suspect most people replying here will disagree but heigh-ho…!

    cheers
    Jamie

    P.S. It depends which conferences you go to.

  12. Robert,
    Hmmm…I do wonder quite how relevant “early adopters” are. Don’t get me wrong, every new company needs people to evangelise their product but I’m sure there are enough non-mac-wielding people out there to do that.
    Cross-platform is (obviously) important but I think there are more important things for people to worry about. I believe that nailing a client on one platform and gaining mindshare on that is more important than porting it to other platforms.

    I also suspect that many of those mac-owners also have a Windows machine tucked away somewhere even though they don’t like to admit it (cue retorts of “I don’t have a Windows machine ergo, Jamie, you’re wrong”) . Furthermore, any mac computer built since the move to Intel will, today, run Vivaty’s client.

    So, in my opinion having a mac client is important … but not as important as you think it is. Just my two-penneth worth. I suspect most people replying here will disagree but heigh-ho…!

    cheers
    Jamie

    P.S. It depends which conferences you go to.

  13. With all due respect, so called early adopters/influencers can decide what is hot in their sight, but 90% of the people simply don’t care about them.
    Twitter is hot – 90% of people does not know what’s that
    FriendFeed is hot – 90% of people never heard of that
    SMS is not hot – everyone uses it.

    We try to make the “early adopters” make more influential than they are.
    You know who persuades a lot of people about WoW being cool? The guy who is not tech savy, not an early adopter but loves Fantasy.
    SecondLife is advertised by non-tech savy people, who like it – note: there are more European and Asian people on SL than US residents. Most of them never heard of the “early adopters” crowd.

    Sometimes, just really sometimes we should poke our head out of the echo chamber.

    On the Macs. Sure, in the US probably they have a lot more. Problem is, the world is not made up of the US. And here, for example it’s about 1 MAC for 80 PCs.

  14. With all due respect, so called early adopters/influencers can decide what is hot in their sight, but 90% of the people simply don’t care about them.
    Twitter is hot – 90% of people does not know what’s that
    FriendFeed is hot – 90% of people never heard of that
    SMS is not hot – everyone uses it.

    We try to make the “early adopters” make more influential than they are.
    You know who persuades a lot of people about WoW being cool? The guy who is not tech savy, not an early adopter but loves Fantasy.
    SecondLife is advertised by non-tech savy people, who like it – note: there are more European and Asian people on SL than US residents. Most of them never heard of the “early adopters” crowd.

    Sometimes, just really sometimes we should poke our head out of the echo chamber.

    On the Macs. Sure, in the US probably they have a lot more. Problem is, the world is not made up of the US. And here, for example it’s about 1 MAC for 80 PCs.

  15. “make more influential than they are.”
    wanted to be
    “seem more influential than they are”

    One of these days I will learn to type.

  16. Watch out for Adobe in this space… Flash Player 10 has hardware rendered 3D graphic elements which will eventually be used to create 3D scenes. You won’t have the same power as an installed desktop application but you will also have peer-to-peer features including direct transfer of audio, video, and data to other players. I don’t know what the impact will be but it will be much easier to build real-time collaborative 3D experiences into web pages.

  17. Watch out for Adobe in this space… Flash Player 10 has hardware rendered 3D graphic elements which will eventually be used to create 3D scenes. You won’t have the same power as an installed desktop application but you will also have peer-to-peer features including direct transfer of audio, video, and data to other players. I don’t know what the impact will be but it will be much easier to build real-time collaborative 3D experiences into web pages.

  18. Hi Robert,

    I think your instincts are dead on. Within 10 years, I think 3D could be mainstream on the web. As someone currently working in this space (I work for http://www.3dvia.com), I can assure you that there are a lot of companies with big plans for 3d on the web, virtual worlds and otherwise. You can even count Microsoft and Google among their ranks.

    Microsoft and Google are taking a different approach to the virtual world with their Virtual Earth and Google Earth products. First they are building the real world, and step by step they are coming closer to a fully immersive environment. First Google earth did buildings, then interiors; avatars don’t seem that far off.

    Other projects such as Ogoglio (http://ogoglio.com/) are taking yet another approach that directly addresses your point on the failure of Second Life. They are trying to create lightweight 3D experiences that blend easily with the web paradigm. They are definitely a company to watch.

    My company, among other things is in the infrastructure, hoping to become the backbone for many of these companies. Our site is a 3d model sharing community, where users can publish their work under Creative Commons, helping to build a catalog of content that can be reused in virtual worlds.

    There are a lot of 3D technologies currently vying for a place on the web, and I think you are right to suspect that some will stick. My guess it will be the technologies that have some combination of openness, ease of use/lightweight-ness, and fun factor. As we have seen from World of Warcraft, a game can make a great rallying point for a virtual community, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the first winners came from the gaming industry.

    Matt

  19. Hi Robert,

    I think your instincts are dead on. Within 10 years, I think 3D could be mainstream on the web. As someone currently working in this space (I work for http://www.3dvia.com), I can assure you that there are a lot of companies with big plans for 3d on the web, virtual worlds and otherwise. You can even count Microsoft and Google among their ranks.

    Microsoft and Google are taking a different approach to the virtual world with their Virtual Earth and Google Earth products. First they are building the real world, and step by step they are coming closer to a fully immersive environment. First Google earth did buildings, then interiors; avatars don’t seem that far off.

    Other projects such as Ogoglio (http://ogoglio.com/) are taking yet another approach that directly addresses your point on the failure of Second Life. They are trying to create lightweight 3D experiences that blend easily with the web paradigm. They are definitely a company to watch.

    My company, among other things is in the infrastructure, hoping to become the backbone for many of these companies. Our site is a 3d model sharing community, where users can publish their work under Creative Commons, helping to build a catalog of content that can be reused in virtual worlds.

    There are a lot of 3D technologies currently vying for a place on the web, and I think you are right to suspect that some will stick. My guess it will be the technologies that have some combination of openness, ease of use/lightweight-ness, and fun factor. As we have seen from World of Warcraft, a game can make a great rallying point for a virtual community, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the first winners came from the gaming industry.

    Matt

  20. Robert, if you’re interested in some history on MMOs, check out the guy at mmogchart.com, it goes back several years. He has some good historical data.

    The problem with SL isn’t just bigger better MMOs. SL isn’t really a game, it’s more like a sim. Yes, it is cool that you can make RL money in a SL business. Without some compelling non-business activity it’s not worth paying a subscription fee to make other people money. That’s the real limit in the business model for SL. It’s full of entrepeneurs making money off each other, no one else is really interested for long.

    As to “what’s hot” for gaming, that’s easy. Look for where the gold farmers go and that’ll tell you what’s hot. If you don’t know what they are, ask your son. :)

  21. Robert, if you’re interested in some history on MMOs, check out the guy at mmogchart.com, it goes back several years. He has some good historical data.

    The problem with SL isn’t just bigger better MMOs. SL isn’t really a game, it’s more like a sim. Yes, it is cool that you can make RL money in a SL business. Without some compelling non-business activity it’s not worth paying a subscription fee to make other people money. That’s the real limit in the business model for SL. It’s full of entrepeneurs making money off each other, no one else is really interested for long.

    As to “what’s hot” for gaming, that’s easy. Look for where the gold farmers go and that’ll tell you what’s hot. If you don’t know what they are, ask your son. :)

  22. As a 3D artist I’m impressed by Vastpark and Blink3D. Vastpark has a friendfeed room to show off it’s lovely capabilities. Blink3D is web-based if you want it to be, and has a really easy workflow for getting assets out of your 3D package and into a scene. There is a small but growing community hoping that one of these can be adapted to serve as a 3D client for Metaplace, which is capable of sooo much. -

  23. As a 3D artist I’m impressed by Vastpark and Blink3D. Vastpark has a friendfeed room to show off it’s lovely capabilities. Blink3D is web-based if you want it to be, and has a really easy workflow for getting assets out of your 3D package and into a scene. There is a small but growing community hoping that one of these can be adapted to serve as a 3D client for Metaplace, which is capable of sooo much. -

  24. You can’t talk about online 3D anymore without mentioning the new Google Earth API. It’s essentially a 3D engine that can be embedded in your website to show any type of 3D scene (not just earth). Check out the demos and see for yourself (Windows only). It’s gonna be big. Can’t wait for the Mac version ;-)

  25. You can’t talk about online 3D anymore without mentioning the new Google Earth API. It’s essentially a 3D engine that can be embedded in your website to show any type of 3D scene (not just earth). Check out the demos and see for yourself (Windows only). It’s gonna be big. Can’t wait for the Mac version ;-)

  26. @Joe
    I have to correct you. There are people who are not making any money out of it – like me and my friends – and we are there since. Well, a long time.
    Appeal? It’s not pre-canned, we can make our own fun. True, it means you have to make an effort, actually have to think about what your goal is, but if you like real RP then it is one of the bests.

    For the subscription fee, you don’t have to pay, SL is fully functional even if you don’t pay anything.
    As for the not long. I don’t know. Is 1.5 years long? 2 years, 3 years, or like some friends 4 years?
    I think until I keep meeting creative and fun people there, I don’t really care if it has entrepreneurs too.
    But that’s just my two cents.

  27. @Joe
    I have to correct you. There are people who are not making any money out of it – like me and my friends – and we are there since. Well, a long time.
    Appeal? It’s not pre-canned, we can make our own fun. True, it means you have to make an effort, actually have to think about what your goal is, but if you like real RP then it is one of the bests.

    For the subscription fee, you don’t have to pay, SL is fully functional even if you don’t pay anything.
    As for the not long. I don’t know. Is 1.5 years long? 2 years, 3 years, or like some friends 4 years?
    I think until I keep meeting creative and fun people there, I don’t really care if it has entrepreneurs too.
    But that’s just my two cents.

  28. Hi Robert, nice to say hello in DC recently at the MCCXXII gathering http://www.flickr.com/photos/seesaw8/sets/72157605833460015/.

    As one that has used virtual worlds, in particular Second Life extensively since Fall 2006 it is good to see your interest once again in the space.

    You raise important points regarding Second Life in terms of ease of use, Avatar number per island(simulator) restrictions(that amazingly still persist), and I would add hardware requirements in terms of a suitable graphics card, memory, processing power, and reasonable broadband connection. Another factor that has hampered Second Life in the eyes of corporations and government are security and ‘griefer’ issues, as well as the ability to undertake shared workspaces and applications inherent to the 2D web (a niche being filled by offerings from the likes of Qwaq, Wonderland, Forterra, Active Worlds, Open Sim, etc.).

    Second Life does have an active core user base, and if the parent company ever turns around some of the issues you and others point out, it may yet thrive. Similar to what attracts users to enjoy your content posts, what I have found drives stickiness in these environments is community building, shared user interest, and for many the ability to create, own, or give away content. Further the idea of being able to undertake business and commerce in these environments is compelling.

    At March 2008 SXSW Interactive I sat in on a virtual worlds group that debated whether rich 3D worlds or less rich web based ‘flash type’ offerings were better or might dominate. I believe the general consensus is the rich 3D worlds are much better and as technology and other hurdles are worked out will come to be normative in the future. However, shorter term some of the browser based, low-footprint offerings may precede this. Also, there is big interest in this technology being more mobile user-friendly, of which again low-footprint offerings may well be required.

    In any event, nice to see you open up this discussion, appears that you recognize the importance of 3D, and hope you weigh in more on the space.

  29. Hi Robert, nice to say hello in DC recently at the MCCXXII gathering http://www.flickr.com/photos/seesaw8/sets/72157605833460015/.

    As one that has used virtual worlds, in particular Second Life extensively since Fall 2006 it is good to see your interest once again in the space.

    You raise important points regarding Second Life in terms of ease of use, Avatar number per island(simulator) restrictions(that amazingly still persist), and I would add hardware requirements in terms of a suitable graphics card, memory, processing power, and reasonable broadband connection. Another factor that has hampered Second Life in the eyes of corporations and government are security and ‘griefer’ issues, as well as the ability to undertake shared workspaces and applications inherent to the 2D web (a niche being filled by offerings from the likes of Qwaq, Wonderland, Forterra, Active Worlds, Open Sim, etc.).

    Second Life does have an active core user base, and if the parent company ever turns around some of the issues you and others point out, it may yet thrive. Similar to what attracts users to enjoy your content posts, what I have found drives stickiness in these environments is community building, shared user interest, and for many the ability to create, own, or give away content. Further the idea of being able to undertake business and commerce in these environments is compelling.

    At March 2008 SXSW Interactive I sat in on a virtual worlds group that debated whether rich 3D worlds or less rich web based ‘flash type’ offerings were better or might dominate. I believe the general consensus is the rich 3D worlds are much better and as technology and other hurdles are worked out will come to be normative in the future. However, shorter term some of the browser based, low-footprint offerings may precede this. Also, there is big interest in this technology being more mobile user-friendly, of which again low-footprint offerings may well be required.

    In any event, nice to see you open up this discussion, appears that you recognize the importance of 3D, and hope you weigh in more on the space.

  30. Hi Scoble,

    I understand your points but I think some of them are weak.

    1. Accessible from the web:
    WoW is not accessible from the web, and its a huge success. You can find many more examples.

    2. It doesnt run in a Mac and “most of the top bloggers I know are now using Macs.”
    Lately the opinion of top bloggers regarding gaming in a mac has not influenced me. I’ll play in my windows machine for a long time. Cheaper machine, cheaper upgrades and more games.

    Your arguments help selling, but they dont seem crucial to me.

  31. Hi Scoble,

    I understand your points but I think some of them are weak.

    1. Accessible from the web:
    WoW is not accessible from the web, and its a huge success. You can find many more examples.

    2. It doesnt run in a Mac and “most of the top bloggers I know are now using Macs.”
    Lately the opinion of top bloggers regarding gaming in a mac has not influenced me. I’ll play in my windows machine for a long time. Cheaper machine, cheaper upgrades and more games.

    Your arguments help selling, but they dont seem crucial to me.

  32. Scoble, I having a hard time understand your argument that because you go to some conferences and see a lot of people with Macbooks, that means software companies won’t have “nailed” their product until they come out with a Mac version. You do realize that your sample size doesn’t even qualify as measurable to draw any conclusions.

  33. Scoble, I having a hard time understand your argument that because you go to some conferences and see a lot of people with Macbooks, that means software companies won’t have “nailed” their product until they come out with a Mac version. You do realize that your sample size doesn’t even qualify as measurable to draw any conclusions.

  34. AARGH. They do one thing very wrong, and since moving from the UK to Holland I see it as a problem for quite a few sites.

    Geo-Location and automagically choosing a language for you, and giving yo u no way to override it. This little issue is driving me insane at the moment.

    Where does it say my first language has to be that of the country I am connecting from in the great internet handbook for developers/esigners?

  35. AARGH. They do one thing very wrong, and since moving from the UK to Holland I see it as a problem for quite a few sites.

    Geo-Location and automagically choosing a language for you, and giving yo u no way to override it. This little issue is driving me insane at the moment.

    Where does it say my first language has to be that of the country I am connecting from in the great internet handbook for developers/esigners?

  36. Robert, your post inspired me to write a rather long answer in my micro-blog to your question. The executive summary: Yes, 3D will stick (like pictures, sound and video did), because it adds another dimension and we always want more media – we want the web to be media-rich. And we die if we can’t socialize (as if you didn’t knew that). I think as soon we can meet in 3D spaces within our normal browsers we won’t go back to flat pages ever again.

    As to the Mac question I think you nailed it down, but not only for the “early adopters are Mac users” reason. I think we shouldn’t mix up applications for computers with applications for the web. The web is – and always has been – cross-platform. Any application that isn’t will simply not make it to the masses.

    JamieT, how would you feel if you couldn’t read http://www.nytimes.com? How about not being able to play the news flash? Outragous, right? It’s unthinkable to offer something, anything on the web professionally that only the mayority can use (but not everybody). And I can not imagine that anyone would feel comfortable to show their profile or their blog only to 91 out of 100 people. Friends. Potential clients. Let alone the vast mayority of early adopters and influencers ;-)

  37. Robert, your post inspired me to write a rather long answer in my micro-blog to your question. The executive summary: Yes, 3D will stick (like pictures, sound and video did), because it adds another dimension and we always want more media – we want the web to be media-rich. And we die if we can’t socialize (as if you didn’t knew that). I think as soon we can meet in 3D spaces within our normal browsers we won’t go back to flat pages ever again.

    As to the Mac question I think you nailed it down, but not only for the “early adopters are Mac users” reason. I think we shouldn’t mix up applications for computers with applications for the web. The web is – and always has been – cross-platform. Any application that isn’t will simply not make it to the masses.

    JamieT, how would you feel if you couldn’t read http://www.nytimes.com? How about not being able to play the news flash? Outragous, right? It’s unthinkable to offer something, anything on the web professionally that only the mayority can use (but not everybody). And I can not imagine that anyone would feel comfortable to show their profile or their blog only to 91 out of 100 people. Friends. Potential clients. Let alone the vast mayority of early adopters and influencers ;-)

  38. Robert:

    I think that any service/company/guy in his basement that tries to make a splash in the 3D online world (this includes SL) needs to address the usability issues that SL has faced.

    When you limit the machines that can use the service as strictly as SL has, you won’t get widespread adoption. The inability of many Dell machines to actually use SL was, in my opinion, one of the key elements that kept SL from taking off.

    Sure, there are shifts in attitudes that need to take place, but I think the technological limitations hurt as much if not more than the users’ attitudes/views of what the net could be.

    Kevin

  39. Robert:

    I think that any service/company/guy in his basement that tries to make a splash in the 3D online world (this includes SL) needs to address the usability issues that SL has faced.

    When you limit the machines that can use the service as strictly as SL has, you won’t get widespread adoption. The inability of many Dell machines to actually use SL was, in my opinion, one of the key elements that kept SL from taking off.

    Sure, there are shifts in attitudes that need to take place, but I think the technological limitations hurt as much if not more than the users’ attitudes/views of what the net could be.

    Kevin

  40. Scoble, out of curiosity, what’s your son’s character name and realm, if you care to divulge?

    At least tell us whether he’s Alliance or Horde.

  41. Scoble, out of curiosity, what’s your son’s character name and realm, if you care to divulge?

    At least tell us whether he’s Alliance or Horde.

  42. Hi Robert, nice to say hello in DC recently at the MCCXXII gathering.

    As one that has used virtual worlds, in particular Second Life extensively since Fall 2006 it is good to see your interest once again in the space.

    You raise important points regarding Second Life in terms of ease of use, Avatar number per island(simulator) restrictions(that amazingly still persist), and I would add hardware requirements in terms of a suitable graphics card, memory, processing power, and reasonable broadband connection. Another factor that has hampered Second Life in the eyes of corporations and government are security and ‘griefer’ issues, as well as the ability to undertake shared workspaces and applications inherent to the 2D web (a niche being filled by offerings from the likes of Qwaq, Wonderland, Forterra, Active Worlds, Open Sim, etc.).

    Second Life does have an active core user base, and if the parent company ever turns around some of the issues you and others point out, it may yet thrive. Similar to what attracts users to enjoy your content posts, what I have found drives stickiness in these environments is community building, shared user interest, and for many the ability to create, own, or give away content. Further the idea of being able to undertake business and commerce in these environments is compelling.

    At March 2008 SXSW Interactive I sat in on a virtual worlds group that debated whether rich 3D worlds or less rich web based ‘flash type’ offerings were better or might dominate. I believe the general consensus is the rich 3D worlds are much better and as technology and other hurdles are worked out will come to be normative in the future. However, shorter term some of the browser based, low-footprint offerings may precede this. Also, there is big interest in this technology being more mobile user-friendly, of which again low-footprint offerings may well be required.

    In any event, nice to see you open up this discussion, appears that you recognize the importance of 3D, and hope you weigh in more on the space.

  43. Hi Robert, nice to say hello in DC recently at the MCCXXII gathering.

    As one that has used virtual worlds, in particular Second Life extensively since Fall 2006 it is good to see your interest once again in the space.

    You raise important points regarding Second Life in terms of ease of use, Avatar number per island(simulator) restrictions(that amazingly still persist), and I would add hardware requirements in terms of a suitable graphics card, memory, processing power, and reasonable broadband connection. Another factor that has hampered Second Life in the eyes of corporations and government are security and ‘griefer’ issues, as well as the ability to undertake shared workspaces and applications inherent to the 2D web (a niche being filled by offerings from the likes of Qwaq, Wonderland, Forterra, Active Worlds, Open Sim, etc.).

    Second Life does have an active core user base, and if the parent company ever turns around some of the issues you and others point out, it may yet thrive. Similar to what attracts users to enjoy your content posts, what I have found drives stickiness in these environments is community building, shared user interest, and for many the ability to create, own, or give away content. Further the idea of being able to undertake business and commerce in these environments is compelling.

    At March 2008 SXSW Interactive I sat in on a virtual worlds group that debated whether rich 3D worlds or less rich web based ‘flash type’ offerings were better or might dominate. I believe the general consensus is the rich 3D worlds are much better and as technology and other hurdles are worked out will come to be normative in the future. However, shorter term some of the browser based, low-footprint offerings may precede this. Also, there is big interest in this technology being more mobile user-friendly, of which again low-footprint offerings may well be required.

    In any event, nice to see you open up this discussion, appears that you recognize the importance of 3D, and hope you weigh in more on the space.

  44. Hi Robert,

    Thank you for this article. Here’s my perspective. First, the background and then I will make the point that I want to make.

    The background: Everyone loves good stories and we actually live in the stories that we tell ourselves. Even when someone tells us a story, we tell the same story with our context in the background.

    Now the point: 3D provides a better framework for telling a good story. We live in a 3D world and that’s where we are comfortable with. So sooner than later (when the technology catches) we will see more 3D offerings that will just “WOW” us.

    Now, for the power of storytelling, when I started advising a thought leader in this space called Heartwood Studios, I was blown away by how they told the story of Dallas Cowboys stadium using 3D and animation. Here is a link to the story:

    http://www.hwd3d.com/portfolio/entertainment/cowboys.php

    With this story, Dallas Cowboys won the right to hosting Super Bowl XLV and successful procurement of 2010 Cotton Bowl and 2009 & 2010 Big 12 Conference Championship.

    Now, without 3D they might have been able to find an alternate way to tell the same story in a powerful way. But, I doubt it.

    The time for 3D is NOW and it is encouraging to see so many investments in this space.

    Best,
    Raj

  45. Hi Robert,

    Thank you for this article. Here’s my perspective. First, the background and then I will make the point that I want to make.

    The background: Everyone loves good stories and we actually live in the stories that we tell ourselves. Even when someone tells us a story, we tell the same story with our context in the background.

    Now the point: 3D provides a better framework for telling a good story. We live in a 3D world and that’s where we are comfortable with. So sooner than later (when the technology catches) we will see more 3D offerings that will just “WOW” us.

    Now, for the power of storytelling, when I started advising a thought leader in this space called Heartwood Studios, I was blown away by how they told the story of Dallas Cowboys stadium using 3D and animation. Here is a link to the story:

    http://www.hwd3d.com/portfolio/entertainment/cowboys.php

    With this story, Dallas Cowboys won the right to hosting Super Bowl XLV and successful procurement of 2010 Cotton Bowl and 2009 & 2010 Big 12 Conference Championship.

    Now, without 3D they might have been able to find an alternate way to tell the same story in a powerful way. But, I doubt it.

    The time for 3D is NOW and it is encouraging to see so many investments in this space.

    Best,
    Raj

  46. I agree that 3D on the Web is heating up as an emerging trend. The challenge will be for those operating in the space to simplify a very complex medium but also maintain a high level of quality so consumers won’t become frustrated with the user experience. At that point, it will be ready to move from a niche interest to wider consumer adoption, much like what happened with online video.

  47. I agree that 3D on the Web is heating up as an emerging trend. The challenge will be for those operating in the space to simplify a very complex medium but also maintain a high level of quality so consumers won’t become frustrated with the user experience. At that point, it will be ready to move from a niche interest to wider consumer adoption, much like what happened with online video.

  48. I would say Halo 3 and eventually Grand Theft Auto are the leading 3D Web environments.

  49. Somewhere in my friendfeed I bookmarked a virtual world made in Flash 9. Flash 10 will be off the hook.

    You all really shouldn’t be looking at the second life angle, though. Totally wrong place to be focusing now.

  50. Somewhere in my friendfeed I bookmarked a virtual world made in Flash 9. Flash 10 will be off the hook.

    You all really shouldn’t be looking at the second life angle, though. Totally wrong place to be focusing now.

  51. Robert I started reading thinking you were talking about Google’s Lively, out today and I’m guessing soon to be the virtual world most people use. Vivaty is going to be the victim of very unfortunate timing – they won’t have a chance to establish a foothold.

  52. Robert I started reading thinking you were talking about Google’s Lively, out today and I’m guessing soon to be the virtual world most people use. Vivaty is going to be the victim of very unfortunate timing – they won’t have a chance to establish a foothold.

  53. Mac matters not because hipsters use them, but because this is a communication technology. @Roland, SMS is hot. But if SMS did not work on 10% of phones then it would be useless. You couldn’t text anyone unless you knew what brand of phone they had, so you wouldn’t bother. The web works on everything, email works on everything, facebook works on everything. The Microsoft Network (back before it was a website) worked on 90% of computers, but that’s just not enough for a communication technology. Vivaty is adding Mac support because they want to be a communications technology. The day it works on everything, then it will have a chance of mass adoption.

  54. Mac matters not because hipsters use them, but because this is a communication technology. @Roland, SMS is hot. But if SMS did not work on 10% of phones then it would be useless. You couldn’t text anyone unless you knew what brand of phone they had, so you wouldn’t bother. The web works on everything, email works on everything, facebook works on everything. The Microsoft Network (back before it was a website) worked on 90% of computers, but that’s just not enough for a communication technology. Vivaty is adding Mac support because they want to be a communications technology. The day it works on everything, then it will have a chance of mass adoption.

  55. Isn’t “It wasn’t accessible from the Web” more or less the same as early cars which were modelled after horse carriages ?

    And with all the socialness around the web going on… when was the last time directly interacted with a group of them ? I mean I can never meet up someplace with all the ‘friends’ on facebook, 3D Environments can accomplish that and personally I think they’ll overshadow the web.

    Yes it’s been overhyped and please stop comparing SecondLife with WoW. Although they’re both software, SecondLife isn’t a RPG it’s a social virtual environment.

    And although one region is maxed at 100 simultaneous people atm, as technology will progress (computing power/bandwith) that bar will be raised. It’s the failure of companies to try and adopt to this new culture and shift in marketing approach that made most of them fail. Big bucks and big buildings aren’t enough for leading companies to get the same amount of virtual exposure.

  56. Isn’t “It wasn’t accessible from the Web” more or less the same as early cars which were modelled after horse carriages ?

    And with all the socialness around the web going on… when was the last time directly interacted with a group of them ? I mean I can never meet up someplace with all the ‘friends’ on facebook, 3D Environments can accomplish that and personally I think they’ll overshadow the web.

    Yes it’s been overhyped and please stop comparing SecondLife with WoW. Although they’re both software, SecondLife isn’t a RPG it’s a social virtual environment.

    And although one region is maxed at 100 simultaneous people atm, as technology will progress (computing power/bandwith) that bar will be raised. It’s the failure of companies to try and adopt to this new culture and shift in marketing approach that made most of them fail. Big bucks and big buildings aren’t enough for leading companies to get the same amount of virtual exposure.

  57. Gaby Benkwitz (http://scobleizer.com/2008/07/08/is-this-the-time-that-3d-sticks/#comment-1990493),

    I completely agree with you. Web offerings SHOULD work everywhere, I don’t believe I said anything to the contrary. In fact I said this: “Cross-platform is (obviously) important”.

    I obviously misled so perhaps I should clarify. I disagree with what Robert alluded to, that being that the lack of a Mac client is Vivaty’s biggest achilles heel right now. The argument that “they need a mac client because most people who go to the same conferences as Robert use Macs” also doesn’t sit very well with me.

    I knew I’d get chastised by stepping into the Mac vs none-Mac debate. I should learn to keep my mouth shut :)

    -Jamie (a user of Mac and none-Mac computers)

  58. Gaby Benkwitz (http://scobleizer.com/2008/07/08/is-this-the-time-that-3d-sticks/#comment-1990493),

    I completely agree with you. Web offerings SHOULD work everywhere, I don’t believe I said anything to the contrary. In fact I said this: “Cross-platform is (obviously) important”.

    I obviously misled so perhaps I should clarify. I disagree with what Robert alluded to, that being that the lack of a Mac client is Vivaty’s biggest achilles heel right now. The argument that “they need a mac client because most people who go to the same conferences as Robert use Macs” also doesn’t sit very well with me.

    I knew I’d get chastised by stepping into the Mac vs none-Mac debate. I should learn to keep my mouth shut :)

    -Jamie (a user of Mac and none-Mac computers)

  59. [...] As of today Vivaty Scenes is going public and inviting everyone to join their community. Scenes allows users to create rooms and equip them with furniture within the web browser. Other users can come visit and chat with each other. It’s nothing similar to the eXhibition:editor3D, but it’s nice to see 3D content getting more attention. Robert Scoble wrote about Vivaty in his blog. [...]

  60. Second Life is one of the 3D MMORPG games that I don’t want to play anymore. Though the graphics are outstanding, a lot of difficulties pulls it down away from the top spot.

    Indeed, World of Warcraft is far better than this game. Trust me, my fellow gamers!

  61. Second Life is one of the 3D MMORPG games that I don’t want to play anymore. Though the graphics are outstanding, a lot of difficulties pulls it down away from the top spot.

    Indeed, World of Warcraft is far better than this game. Trust me, my fellow gamers!

  62. Kaneva looked to be the best of both worlds when it came to Second Life 3D environments meets average end user 2D blgging…

    …but, over a year after it officially launched, it’s still in Beta and many things about it (blogging ability, integration w/ sites beyond YouTube, etc.) simply don’t work…

    I think this will only catch on AFTER it can be run 100% within a browser and offers something unique other than being a glorified chat program.

  63. Kaneva looked to be the best of both worlds when it came to Second Life 3D environments meets average end user 2D blgging…

    …but, over a year after it officially launched, it’s still in Beta and many things about it (blogging ability, integration w/ sites beyond YouTube, etc.) simply don’t work…

    I think this will only catch on AFTER it can be run 100% within a browser and offers something unique other than being a glorified chat program.

  64. I can’t believe how stuck in the flat internet you are. You need to rethink your opinions on Second Life, which has stuck and dominates the field in 3D internet content. Thank goodness it isn’t “web compatible” why would I want to stay moored to flat, dull, lifeless internet technologies.
    As far as WoW goes, it’s not the same thing at all. It’s a role playing game, and its fine for people who want to role play and don’t really want to have to create content. The only content in that game is created by someone who works at Blizzard, it’ll never be a “platform” where individuals and companies create and publish internet content. I can’t believe I took the time to post to this old technology, see you guys in about 4 years as you scramble to catch up.

  65. I can’t believe how stuck in the flat internet you are. You need to rethink your opinions on Second Life, which has stuck and dominates the field in 3D internet content. Thank goodness it isn’t “web compatible” why would I want to stay moored to flat, dull, lifeless internet technologies.
    As far as WoW goes, it’s not the same thing at all. It’s a role playing game, and its fine for people who want to role play and don’t really want to have to create content. The only content in that game is created by someone who works at Blizzard, it’ll never be a “platform” where individuals and companies create and publish internet content. I can’t believe I took the time to post to this old technology, see you guys in about 4 years as you scramble to catch up.

  66. Hi Robert
    Which platform will take hold is now the question- with Vitality and Lively just out. And, Lively is on MAC first! Have you heard any comparisons of the two yet?

  67. Hi Robert
    Which platform will take hold is now the question- with Vitality and Lively just out. And, Lively is on MAC first! Have you heard any comparisons of the two yet?

  68. There seems to be a lot of talk around town about 3d worlds, i’ve been using one for months now called ExitReality (www.exitreality.com) .. seems to be a lot more advanced than Vivaty and ahead of Google’s lively.

    Allows 3D interaction in all social networks already… I’ve got about 20-30 friends now conversing with me on my facebook page… in 3D… right now!

  69. There seems to be a lot of talk around town about 3d worlds, i’ve been using one for months now called ExitReality (www.exitreality.com) .. seems to be a lot more advanced than Vivaty and ahead of Google’s lively.

    Allows 3D interaction in all social networks already… I’ve got about 20-30 friends now conversing with me on my facebook page… in 3D… right now!

  70. I’ve been doing a bit of reading lately on Vivaty and have posted a couple of questions on various blogs about how this compares to ExitReality (http://www.exitreality.com) which is also hitting the social scene but it looks more flexible with its features??

    Does anyone have any iclue about how to create content for Vivaty sites (is it vrml, x3d??) and what potential impact Vivaty’s monetized features will have on brands wanting to be on the Vivaty platform? It looks as though they control the hosting and being able to give away free 3d viral items??

    It is great to see the development in this space. Personally I don’t think this will replace 2d web viewing, rather people will seek content that leverages the 3d space in ways 2d can not.

    FYI – I am on a mac platform running bootcamp (Vista) for these platforms. I hate it and am confident that the 1st to offer a Mac plugin will benefit greatly from it. Most designers are on Mac’s and they are likely to be very interested in this medium moving forward.

  71. I’ve been doing a bit of reading lately on Vivaty and have posted a couple of questions on various blogs about how this compares to ExitReality (http://www.exitreality.com) which is also hitting the social scene but it looks more flexible with its features??

    Does anyone have any iclue about how to create content for Vivaty sites (is it vrml, x3d??) and what potential impact Vivaty’s monetized features will have on brands wanting to be on the Vivaty platform? It looks as though they control the hosting and being able to give away free 3d viral items??

    It is great to see the development in this space. Personally I don’t think this will replace 2d web viewing, rather people will seek content that leverages the 3d space in ways 2d can not.

    FYI – I am on a mac platform running bootcamp (Vista) for these platforms. I hate it and am confident that the 1st to offer a Mac plugin will benefit greatly from it. Most designers are on Mac’s and they are likely to be very interested in this medium moving forward.

  72. Macs? Elistist. :-)

    Yes, this is the time that 3D sticks because collaboration is integrated by the simultaneity of the gadgets in aggregate. IOW, as a GUI, the fact of worldness means ‘the same screen”. Collaboration follows. There is a compelling use and it works. It is still awkward. Style will change that.

    IBM and Second Life demoed avatars teleporting. Closed? Open? Only the second option is a true metaverse.

    So the top questions:

    Who owns the standards?

    Is an economy required?

    How is professional content licensed?

    The answer is the same: It depends on who’s metaverse you are in.

    When that changes, you’ll have a real market. But yes, this time it sticks.

  73. Macs? Elistist. :-)

    Yes, this is the time that 3D sticks because collaboration is integrated by the simultaneity of the gadgets in aggregate. IOW, as a GUI, the fact of worldness means ‘the same screen”. Collaboration follows. There is a compelling use and it works. It is still awkward. Style will change that.

    IBM and Second Life demoed avatars teleporting. Closed? Open? Only the second option is a true metaverse.

    So the top questions:

    Who owns the standards?

    Is an economy required?

    How is professional content licensed?

    The answer is the same: It depends on who’s metaverse you are in.

    When that changes, you’ll have a real market. But yes, this time it sticks.

  74. Ronald Hesz sez: “Sometimes, just really sometimes we should poke our head out of the echo chamber”

    That is the best refutation of the LongTailSuperBlogger myth I’ve ever read. HA!

  75. Ronald Hesz sez: “Sometimes, just really sometimes we should poke our head out of the echo chamber”

    That is the best refutation of the LongTailSuperBlogger myth I’ve ever read. HA!

  76. Also check out SceneCaster (www.scenecaster.com) and their Facebook app (http://apps.facebook.com/scenecaster). They have over 1 million users on FB and have a very advanced business model that ties into eCommerce sites like eBay and Amazon as well as brand websites. While they don’t have avatars yet, they offer a higher level of customization and personalization of the 3D space.

  77. Also check out SceneCaster (www.scenecaster.com) and their Facebook app (http://apps.facebook.com/scenecaster). They have over 1 million users on FB and have a very advanced business model that ties into eCommerce sites like eBay and Amazon as well as brand websites. While they don’t have avatars yet, they offer a higher level of customization and personalization of the 3D space.

  78. I tested both Lively and Vivaty last night. Vivaty wins by a considerable amount. The two impressive bits with Lively was the security and the fact that I could drop a world on my blog and it just worked. But for all the features that count in terms of a 3D experience, Vivaty was much much better.

    Sometimes the bigCo flops and the startup with the pedigree gets it exactly right. Sometimes business models are not nearly as important as good technology and real media chops. Hesz is exactly right about the echo chamber. The original Vivaty basis in X3D/VRML is vindicated. The A-listers blew it this time.

  79. I tested both Lively and Vivaty last night. Vivaty wins by a considerable amount. The two impressive bits with Lively was the security and the fact that I could drop a world on my blog and it just worked. But for all the features that count in terms of a 3D experience, Vivaty was much much better.

    Sometimes the bigCo flops and the startup with the pedigree gets it exactly right. Sometimes business models are not nearly as important as good technology and real media chops. Hesz is exactly right about the echo chamber. The original Vivaty basis in X3D/VRML is vindicated. The A-listers blew it this time.

  80. You guys might want to do your research. Google just started a 3D service a few days ago called Lively. The main use is to embed rooms into webpages – mainly social networking sites. 3D is slowly coming around, and it’s evolving quite nicely.

  81. You guys might want to do your research. Google just started a 3D service a few days ago called Lively. The main use is to embed rooms into webpages – mainly social networking sites. 3D is slowly coming around, and it’s evolving quite nicely.

  82. Does anyone know how many simaltaneous users can fit into one of the Vivity rooms? I’m curious about brand issues mentioned in the post re: not enough ROI.

  83. Does anyone know how many simaltaneous users can fit into one of the Vivity rooms? I’m curious about brand issues mentioned in the post re: not enough ROI.

  84. Jamie: Macs have a lot more market share for consumer computers than that.
    How much please… Figures numbers to say macs are relevant to the greater majority

    And, anyway, all you have to do is attend a few conferences to see how Mac-heavy the early adopter/influencer crowds are.

    and early adopters are not always the final say. their numbers aren’t indicative of the populous as a whole. They are a small slice as is the late adopters.

    They are the ones who decide whether something else is “hot” or “interesting.” If these crowds don’t tell the less tech passionate, they won’t hear about it. Hence, fail.

    A small slice of the pie decides for the rest of the pie..interesting analogy but if that had been the case beta would of been the vcr of choice. HD-DVD would be the choice over blu-ray. The case of lcd vs plasma is still being played out. There are lots of things that early adopters have used that come mainstream, but you are making it as everything that early adopters users use are made into mainstream and everyone has to conform or buy into it. Just wont happen that way.

    The mac audience has always been a niche audience. Always has. Always will. I owned a Imac G3 and G4 and my first thought of these were “cute” I am a a FPS and virtual world gamer. SL has a large learning curve and for right now because of the way SL’s infrastructure is and the current technology is the way it is. The current limit on a private island is 100 and while that wont work for larger companies. I dont see anything of compable program on the horizon anytime soon.

    Sure there are plenty of immersive 3d type chat and private messenger programs out and ones that will embed into you web viewer. this is all in its infancy, but to call Virtual worlds irrelevant is not the case. Yes for now its a niche because of the learning curve and limits placed on it by the technology out right now. Give it time and better technology and it will be better, everything grows slowly in this upcoming area. But to say one is better than the other is not correct. Since each program type of 3D serves a slightly different purpose.

  85. Jamie: Macs have a lot more market share for consumer computers than that.
    How much please… Figures numbers to say macs are relevant to the greater majority

    And, anyway, all you have to do is attend a few conferences to see how Mac-heavy the early adopter/influencer crowds are.

    and early adopters are not always the final say. their numbers aren’t indicative of the populous as a whole. They are a small slice as is the late adopters.

    They are the ones who decide whether something else is “hot” or “interesting.” If these crowds don’t tell the less tech passionate, they won’t hear about it. Hence, fail.

    A small slice of the pie decides for the rest of the pie..interesting analogy but if that had been the case beta would of been the vcr of choice. HD-DVD would be the choice over blu-ray. The case of lcd vs plasma is still being played out. There are lots of things that early adopters have used that come mainstream, but you are making it as everything that early adopters users use are made into mainstream and everyone has to conform or buy into it. Just wont happen that way.

    The mac audience has always been a niche audience. Always has. Always will. I owned a Imac G3 and G4 and my first thought of these were “cute” I am a a FPS and virtual world gamer. SL has a large learning curve and for right now because of the way SL’s infrastructure is and the current technology is the way it is. The current limit on a private island is 100 and while that wont work for larger companies. I dont see anything of compable program on the horizon anytime soon.

    Sure there are plenty of immersive 3d type chat and private messenger programs out and ones that will embed into you web viewer. this is all in its infancy, but to call Virtual worlds irrelevant is not the case. Yes for now its a niche because of the learning curve and limits placed on it by the technology out right now. Give it time and better technology and it will be better, everything grows slowly in this upcoming area. But to say one is better than the other is not correct. Since each program type of 3D serves a slightly different purpose.

  86. An engine this post didn’t mention is Unity3D (http://unity3d.com). After doing a lot of work with Adobe Director (horrible) trying to find a good way to create 3D content and games for the browser, I was turned on to Unity.

    This is the one to watch people. It’s a Mac only development environment right now (but that is soon to change) and games and 3D content can be published to any platform (Windows, OSX, iPhone, Wii, browser). I’ve been working with it for several months now and have found few downfalls. Amazing workflow, incredibly simple interface, and you don’t have to be a game programmer to put together some amazing things. If you know JavaScript, you’re good to go. And if you want to get more advanced you can throw in some C# (uses Mono) and Boo (Python), or even develop plugins using C++. To top it off it has an incredible shader pipeline that allows you to create pretty much any shader you can imagine. And the compression of the published files is incredible. A prototype I created in Director was 15mb when it was published and sloooow. I recreated the same prototype with Unity and the published file was only 2mb and the quality was way better than Director!

    Some people may disagree, but I think that the web browser is the next big gaming platform. And in my opinion, Unity is THE best solution out there right now. If you’re wanting to play around with 3D in the browser, then do yourself a favor and check it out.

  87. An engine this post didn’t mention is Unity3D (http://unity3d.com). After doing a lot of work with Adobe Director (horrible) trying to find a good way to create 3D content and games for the browser, I was turned on to Unity.

    This is the one to watch people. It’s a Mac only development environment right now (but that is soon to change) and games and 3D content can be published to any platform (Windows, OSX, iPhone, Wii, browser). I’ve been working with it for several months now and have found few downfalls. Amazing workflow, incredibly simple interface, and you don’t have to be a game programmer to put together some amazing things. If you know JavaScript, you’re good to go. And if you want to get more advanced you can throw in some C# (uses Mono) and Boo (Python), or even develop plugins using C++. To top it off it has an incredible shader pipeline that allows you to create pretty much any shader you can imagine. And the compression of the published files is incredible. A prototype I created in Director was 15mb when it was published and sloooow. I recreated the same prototype with Unity and the published file was only 2mb and the quality was way better than Director!

    Some people may disagree, but I think that the web browser is the next big gaming platform. And in my opinion, Unity is THE best solution out there right now. If you’re wanting to play around with 3D in the browser, then do yourself a favor and check it out.