VastPark and NICTA: Badumna beta

The title of this story would have to be one of our most obtuse, but the story behind it is hopefully a little more transparent.

VastPark is a developing virtual world platform well known to regular readers. NICTA (National ICT Australia) also has a number of years pedigree in some of the technological underpinnings of virtual worlds. In the case of the collaboration with VastPark, peer to peer (P2P) is the focus. The joint project announced this week involves the release of the beta version of an MMO P2P engine, christened Badumna (which incidentally are a genus of spiders). It’s a promising development and a further shot in the arm for VastPark.

The issue of being able to have more than 50-60 people in one area of a virtual world is one that’s received a lot of attention. Some argue that having many hundreds or thousands or avatars in one smallish space would bring a much-needed buzz to popular virtual worlds. Others argue it’ll just become a crowded mess (imagine voice capabilities in such a scenario). What partnerships like this do is ensure that we’ll actually have the option of finding out what population level works best:

According to NICTA’s P2P Project Leader Dr Santosh Kulkarni, Badumna can support millions of users with minimal infrastructure. “It provides a significant competitive advantage over traditional network engines,” he maintains. Badumna has already been successfully integrated with the platform of 3-D virtual worlds platform provider VastPark.

Of course, this claim has been made before by multiple developers – a notable Australian example being Project Outback. That said, NICTA have serious credibility in their area and VastPark have a lot more development runs on the board than Project Outback ever did (though there was a NICTA connection involved there too).

I think it’s safe to say that P2P as virtual worlds network engine has plenty of life in it yet – check out the NCITA project page for more details.

Project Outback bites the dust

At SLOz we’ve covered Project Outback a couple of times (here and here), mainly because its CEO, Rand Leeb-du Toit, is Australia-based and was rightly touting an upcoming new virtual world competitor.


On Rand’s blog yesterday, I noticed the following few words: “since the demise of the virtual world I was working on”, so I’m assuming Project Outback is no more. We contacted Rand for comment on why Project Outback had ceased:

“Partly because of the dynamic nature of the space…there have been some fundamental shifts over the Summer of Facebook, hugely positive trends that have validated my decision not to continue with Project Outback. ”

It’s a shame this has occurred – particularly if the spectacular performance claims that were claimed had come to fruition.

Project Outback’s potential engine

Thanks again to 3pointD, there’s some interesting information on Peer to Peer developments and how they may relate to Aussie-driven SL competitor, Project Outback (formerly known as Outback Online).


We’re currently in process of finalising a Q&A with Yoick CEO Rand Leeb-du Toit to discuss his views on virtual worlds in general and Project Outback’s place within what is a fast-growing user space.

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