Back in April this year we mentioned VastPark, an Australian-flavoured virtual world platform. In the months since they’ve been working away at their next phase, something code-named ‘When World’s Collide’. The VastPark site is currently accepting sign-ups for their beta-testing of ‘Worlds Collide’. It’s great to see such steady evolution in virtual world evolution occurring locally.
VastPark’s full press release on the progress (thanks to Brad Howarth):
Today at the XMediaLab “Digital Worlds” conference in Melbourne (Australia), VastPark is announcing their upcoming Virtual Content Platform for creating and running your own virtual world and online games.
This release of VastPark, codename “Worlds Collide”, marks a turning point in virtual world platforms due to its ease of use and speed of deployment. Liz Chung, Sales and Marketing Manager says “You can start from nothing to having created and published your own unique world online in literally a few minutes. And if you’re a content creator, you can get your content syndicated across many virtual worlds. The future value of this sort of viral distribution is huge.”
Bruce Joy, Founder and CEO, said “VastPark puts the power of virtual worlds into the hands of corporations, organisations, game clans and anyone who has a great idea”. Joy claims that VastPark changes the way virtual worlds are created by making them as easy as creating your own blog but with far more creative options.
A unique feature announced today is a method for 3D content professionals and hobbyists to syndicate their content so that it can be used across many virtual worlds at once and enable them to maintain and update the content themselves. This has the added benefit of making it easy for people with limited training in 3D content to still be able to publish their own sophisticated 3D worlds filled with professional content. Craig Presti, Lead Developer of VastPark believes “This is going to enable 3D content to become a viral media. I’m hoping that 2 years from now some 3D artists are going to be household names because finally their work will be able to be seen and experienced by a brand new audience of people. In fact, I see this as a new medium of expression – one that will end up being a significant part of the web.”
Another feature has been a dream for many ever since the original Matrix® film: Independent virtual worlds can open doorways to each other so that they form a seamless connection and users can travel directly from world to world to world. “We think that this feature alone is going to revolutionise the way 3D worlds are perceived online” states Henry Tsai, Head of Development at Everyday Interactive Networks (EIN). EIN is the first partner offering 3rd party support, development services and extensions to the VastPark platform.
When questioned about the business model for VastPark, Bruce Joy claimed “We always want users to be able to get in and do things free of charge. We made the platform because we wanted the tools ourselves. So we decided long ago that individuals can create and run a cool virtual world free of charge. We earn money from the larger worlds and by offering special features. For instance, we’re considering adding low-cost subscriptions for the creators of private and commercial worlds. The foundation of our business is that what we offer will always be free for end users and even our Creator tool and 3D world browser will always be free downloads. Each world is owned by somebody, they can set their own policy on membership to that world. It’s just like the Web all over again.”
VastPark claims that game developers will find the tools familiar and the platform is designed to support social communities, real time virtual meetings and online games including casual fun games and FPS CounterStrike®-type games. ”