Gaming vets seek $600,000 for MyWorld Kickstarter

Press release: WorldWizards and Playmatics announce the MyWorld Project.

BOSTON — Three online game industry veterans want to give you the chance to design and create your own World of Warcraft-like game. To this end, Boston based-WorldWizards and New York-based Playmatics have teamed up to launch the MyWorld project on Kickstarter this week.

MyWorld is intended to allow anyone regardless of art skills to build their own Massively Multi-player Online Roleplay games. It is entirely web based with no need for any equipment to build or run your game beyond the web browsing computer you already own.

Jeff Kesselman

Jeff Kesselman, CTO and principal of WorldWizards is a 15 year veteran of online game development having worked on networked games ranging from hardcore games such as DukeNukem3D to massively multiplayer games like ZooKingdom.

“The creativity and insight of MMORPG players is really remarkable,” says Kesselman. “One of the most common topics in the forums for such games is ‘what I would have done differently if I had designed this game.’ MyWorld is a dream project of mine that has been in development for a decade as the answer to that– a way to let every player design and run the game their own way. Kickstarter has given us the chance to move from dreams and prototypes to a real, finished, ready to play product.”

In addition to 15 years in game development, Kesselman spent nine years at Sun Microsystems where he originated the Red Dwarf game server technology now in use in massively multi-player social games around the world. “MyWorld was the project that was always in the back of my mind while I was designing the technology that became RedDwarf,” says Kesselman.

(Image courtesy MyWorld.)

Although other MMORPGs have attempted to allow users to design small pieces of additional content that get added to the shared world, no one has given each creator their own, independent world before because of the server costs that would entail.

“A traditional MMORPG architecture dedicates server resources to simulating a chunk of physical space. While they are very good at cramming lots of people into that space, they really depend on lots of players sharing the spaces to operate efficiently,” Kesselman explains. “RedDwarf is different. Server resources are assigned on the fly to players, not locations. This turns out to be a very efficient solution that scales both to large numbers of players playing together as well was large numbers each in their own environment.

We can do MyWorld,because, with Red Dwarf, 2,000 players spread across 200 worlds costs us no more to support then if they were all in one world. But we can still scale up to that 2,000 players in one world if that particular world is very popular. That allows us to run the servers for everyone’s worlds and take that burden completely off our world-builders. Its actually much cheaper for us to run them all then it would be for them to rent cloud servers individually by themselves.”

The MyWorld project combines Kesselman’s technical knowledge and experience with the design and game production capabilities of Playmatics LLC, a New York City game company owned and operated by Nick Fortugno and Margaret Wallace. Fortugno is the world renowned game designer behind Diner Dash and teaches game design at the Parsons New School of Design in New York City. Wallace is a serial game entrepreneur having founded both Skunk Studios and Rebel Monkey previous to Playmatics. She has long experience in the game industries on both the east and west coast and is deeply connected into the new media scene in New York.

”The MyWorld project,” according to Fortugno,”is an exciting design challenge. We have to design not just a single game but an entire system for MMORPG game development. Making this truly accessible to everyone is something that has never been done before. Just designing the asset and functionality sets needed to give the users an adequate palette to realize their own visions with is a major challenge.”

“The upside potential of this project is huge,” comments Wallace. “The social nature of these sorts of games make them a natural for viral propagation. If people are interested in looking at each others’ farms, you can imagine the draw of exploring an entire world created by your friends. We intend to leverage social media as a way to invite players into your world. Once they have seen what you have created, many of them will get the itch to create themselves.”


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