For awhile now, competitors to the virtual world have been cropping up and stealing a bit of the market from Second Life. However, there has been more of a specialization in the space, bringing up titles like Habbo Hotel, Playstation’s upcoming “Home“, or the popular Club Penguin. Being so, Second Life has seen little in terms of direct competition.
Well, enter Vastpark. After anxiously submitting a beta invite request, I looked around to find out more of what Vastpark claims to be. More importantly, I wanted to know just what the rest of the world was thinking about it.
I hesitate to grasp the concept of Vastpark for a few reasons. My primary complaint is that it doesn’t really sound like it has anything special or with purpose. Is that my problem? Well, maybe. As fun as a virtual sandbox world is to me, it has a short lifespan before I lose interest. Second Life provides a lot of interest in terms of what the people have done with it and how it relates to MyDisguises, don’t get me wrong. But for my buck, I need a goal and a reason.
Vastpark enters the stage likely with a few things on their minds. If they want to succeed, they’re going to have to improve upon what SL doesn’t do so well. Primary to these issues is performance. If they can somehow manage to make the Vastpark experience a seamless and entertaining one without choking users into massive upgrades on their machines, then maybe they’ll capture the good of SL while improving upon the bad.
They do seem to boast a robust development toolset, and frankly this will be the first virtual world to be in direct competition with SL on this front. In the pre-sculpties days, prims ruled the roost and Second Life was still the best thing out there. It’s hard to see exactly what else Vastpark could have planned that would revolutionize the tools of creation set by SL. Maybe they’ve truly hit a spark.
The business model sounds much like one you see when registering a website. Here’s the info via Kotaku:
In case you’ve tired of your virtual self in Second Life, VastPark is coming (for some people, at least – the first new users will be given access soon): it promises “a virtual content platform featuring free tools, revolutionary distributed content syndication and enables you to deploy your own virtual world or online game within seconds royalty free.” Metaversed explains:
It’s free to use and purchasing a “Pro Creator account” allowing 1Gb of storage and bandwidth will be US$19 for 2 years. One can still publish using a free “Basic Creator account” allowing you to try it out, and they were giving away three year Pro accounts if you were among the first 250 people to publish content.Once you’ve created your world, you can open portals to worlds other users have created. Content creation tools include basic 3D building functions and texture mappers, as well as scripting tools. There’s also a built-in syndication system where content developpers can allow some things to be used in other people’s worlds and easily update that content system-wide from one place.
Sounds interesting in theory, we’ll see if it pans out. Perhaps the media can find a new darling and the New York Times can start writing out-of-touch articles about VastPark instead?
Keep your eyes here and on Kotaku for more information. We’ll be following. Oh, and I seem to have just gotten my beta invite!:) I’ll let you know how it goes!