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.”