Flickr is one of Vancouver’s greatest Web 2.0 success stories. Born in Yaletown, bought by Yahoo, and continues to go strong (at least me and my 14,000 photos hope so). Today (like “today” as in midnight Pacific time) Stewart Butterfield’s latest project has a name, a look, and some light shed upon it.
Over the summer Stewart let the world know that Tiny Speck was the new project he was starting, and it would be a game of some sorts. Okay, we’ll buy that. Flickr started out as a game, so, this isn’t a stretch. CNET got the exclusive on tonight’s “launch” of Glitch (don’t forget their Twitter account):
Glitch, at its most basic, is a 2D Flash, Web-based, social MMO with a heavy puzzle-solving component. Or, as the team likes to call it, a “collaborative sim.” Its back story centers on a great but very dark future, and a group of scientists who discover a path back in time to create the optimistic future everyone wants. “The whole world was spun out of the imagination of 11 great giants,” Butterfield, who often speaks in a soft, hard-to-hear voice, said. “So you have to go back into the past, into the world of the giants’ imaginations and grow…the number of things in the world, grow it in terms of physical dimensions, to make sure the future actually happens. So all the game play takes place in the past inside the world of the giants’ imagination.” Images: Stewart Butterfield’s new gaming start-up Practically speaking, Glitch is a social game (see sidebar for more detail about the game) about learning how to find and nurture resources, identify and build community, and proselytize to those around you. It’s not about epic, bloody battles. “Rather than you and me fighting each other with swords,” Butterfield explained, “it could be you and me having rival religious factions battling each other for converts.”
I’m intrigued. I’m not a big gamer. I haven’t been for years, but there is something here that I’d like to try. Maybe it’s getting in at the beginning. Maybe it’s because (insert movie voice-over) “From the people who brought you Flickr…” caché is just too much to pass up.
Is there room in this world for another game? If Facebook is any indication, yeah. If nothing else I hope this isn’t going to be another Facebook game I’m going to have to ignore and block. Games are great, games that make me pester my friends on Facebook I can do with out, thank you.
Along with CNET’s “and now we bring you…Glitch!” post the companion piece on Stewart’s journey to make Tiny Speck is probably worth more of a read, since I think it gives a little more insight into what is going on in the greater scheme of things.
Interesting how Stewart is unveiling Glitch just as Vancouver is welcoming the world. I think it’s fitting, actually. Flickr revolutionized how we share pictures and is one of the best things to come out of Vancouver, makes sense to launch something when Vancouver is again in the spotlight.