So it turns out Raph Koster is building the metaverse and a sandbox MMO on top of it

In fact, the MMO is 'reasonably far along' in construction

    
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Last week, we covered Playable Worlds’ Raph Koster’s teasing about a metaverse. This week, he’s delivered a lot more than a tease.

“We have built a metaverse platform,” he says. “Oh, it’s not done. We’re probably going to be working on this for years. But I say ‘built’ because, well, we have the basics of this stuff working.”

“We have a working massively multiplayer server. Further, it’s a true persistent state world, where everything you do is saved. Worlds change, evolve, and develop based on player actions (or AI or simulation, for that matter). It’s running on the cloud right now. But it’s not just a server. It’s a network of servers. Whole MMO worlds can bubble up and go away on the fly based on player demand. It’s a heck of a lot more efficient than something like a headless Unreal server. And you’ll be able to hop between worlds without needing to switch clients. It permits a single, shardless, ever-expanding, ever-changing online universe. We’ve already got it working with full server-side game logic. Meaning – each world can have completely different gameplay, without needing to change code or take the server down for updates. We’ll even be able to map your controls from the cloud, because when we say different gameplay, we mean it.”

Koster’s plan, clearly, is to let players craft their own spaces, across multiple devices, to make “AAA virtual spaces as straightforward as the Web” with what he describes as the “plumbing” that current engines can’t do and that “very few people on Earth know how to build.” He points out that he knows that when folks hear that somebody’s “building the metaverse,” it sounds silly, but in this case, they’ve pulled it off.

If your eyes are glazing over at all this because you just want to hear about professional AAA MMORPG please and thank you, then good news for you because Koster also reiterates that he’s not just making a metaverse; he’s also building a sandbox MMO using his new metaverse as his foundation.

“Now we are building a game on top of it. We’re reasonably far along on building it, actually. For most of you, that game is what you’ll see and experience. As we’ve said in previous posts and interviews: We are building a modern sandbox MMO. A game that fulfills the dream of living worlds that we’ve all had for a couple of decades now. It’s just built atop a modern, re-usable, scalable platform. A platform that lets us make a game no one else can make.”

Source: Playable Worlds. Cheers, Yrys!
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Neurotic

Anyone but Koster, and I’d be like “Yeah, right buddy!”

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Melissa

I want to believe.

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Randall Kilgore Jr.

So Koster is like “we’ve actually been doing something, believe it or not, and it’s big! We’re kinda far along on it, but not. Also it’ll be something long awaited for! But we can’t say or show anything.”
This is incredibly par for the course these days, but I guess legacy game devs still haven’t learned the backlash of hype without substance.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

It’ll be more ambitious, be more fleshed out, and release sooner than Star Citizen, though!

Gipfeli
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Gipfeli

yay! excited for this one for sure :] !

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Anstalt

More good news!

After last week’s blog, I kind of expected the MMO to come first, and then the expansion towards a metaverse to come later.

However, on reflection, it totally makes sense to plan and build the metaverse infrastructure first then make sure a single game, the new sandbox, can actually run on it properly.

I’m also curious about the ability for players to create their own stuff and add it to the metaverse. Like many here, I’ve long dreamed of being a game designer but the games that have that sort of infrastructure never appealed to me. I’m trying to learn Unity right now too, and whilst it’s fun, I bloody hate programming!

Karetyr
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Karetyr

As long as the MMO is close to Star Wars Galaxies’s original vision (remember the Farmer tree?), I’m willing to wait another decade for it.

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Raph Koster

So many comments, I’ll try to answer a few here:

I’m sure it’s going to be great, but show me instead of telling me.

We will. But it’s a fact of the modern game business that we have to make noise periodically. Sorry if that is frustrating — it’s kinda frustrating to me too, tbh, I’d rather just build the thing!

How does this compare to SpatialOS?

It’s quite different. SpatialOS is basically a layer that lets you put headless Unity or Unreal servers together in the cloud. You gain the ability to use Unity/Unreal’s toolchains that way, but it does mean you live with tech that was not designed for MMOs.

In our case, we have built an MMO server (which structurally is pretty different from a game engine meant for shooters) with a bunch of capabilities that help make and live-serve MMOs. Just as one example, in Unreal, you need to do a build to update game content. In our system, you don’t.

Sounds like Roblox for adults.

Techwise, kinda. But you’re assuming what the product is. Our game is not Roblox for adults. Our game is a sandbox MMO, as we have said before. You should expect to see a lot of sandbox MMO features, plus some new stuff. :)

I’m also curious if it’s its own engine or could incorporate an unreal / unity.

We use Unity for the rendering.

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Michael18

Thanks for the responses, very interesting!

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Raph Koster

Sure thing! Next week, we will talk very specifically about how this tech makes better games. After all, that is the point.

Mark
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Mark

As someone who has quietly spent the last two years learning Unity and Unreal (and who played UO for years), I cannot wait to hear how I can pivot to develop content for this platform.

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Bruno Brito

We will. But it’s a fact of the modern game business that we have to make noise periodically. Sorry if that is frustrating — it’s kinda frustrating to me too, tbh, I’d rather just build the thing!

Not frustrated, just jaded. Don’t take it personally, Raph. Best of luck on your project!

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PanagiotisLial1

Does this is mean it will be sort of like Entropia without their real mony currency economy and more flexible?

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Raph Koster

I have not logged into Entropia in like 20 years, so I don’t really know what it is like.

Um, I guess I would say that if you liked my other games like SWG and UO, I am building one with that flavor.

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PanagiotisLial1

Yes I love sandboxes. For comparison I was also following Fractured MMO and I do play EVE. Didnt get to try SWG(and I am SW and Scifi fan) but I loved and still like a lot UO, so its music in my ears. As for Entropia they had some sort of connection between worlds from what I remember when I tried it. What I noticed is most sandboxes that ended up having success was also those that kept a decent social economy(ingame), probably cause people do not like to bother only with battles and want to be a part in a chain of a living economy.

I guess you are too early in development but will be hoping to hear more on your game and overall project

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Amadahy

As long as there’s no Facebook.

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Bruno Brito

Raph, i get paid for drawings, not for ideas. I’m sure it’s going to be great, but show me instead of telling me.

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Michael18

How does this compare to SpatialOS?