Thursday, January 31, 2008

Metaplace Live Developer Chat - Impressions

If you didn't get to take a look at the dev chat event help by the Metaplace devs, you can still read the transcript soon at the official site. I actually had to leave early because I was finishing my "lunch break", :P , but here's a basic rundown of what I saw.

Logged in and saw an irc-style chat room, and I got to type in my name.
The devs introduced themselves.
Some Q&A, general questions about various things, the whole team was answering questions.

Raph (President) and John (VP Production) demonstrated how you can call some web services from the client, including a live stock quote, a word definition, and even a live translation from babblefish. But that wasn't the coolest part, the best bit was a youtube search that we were all able to do right there. I'll insert a screencap when I get back to my home computer, but it didn't break or anything, seemed pretty fluid, even with 80+ people in the room. We searched for funny cat movies, and you know what THAT"S like, right?

But THAT wasn't even the coolest bit. The whole chat interface resized to about a third of the screen and we all found ourselves in what looked like a Town Square, a fully rendered environment. (It looked like a prerendered background image, looked great.) We all had avatars too, and were able to walk around and chat. When you chat a little bubble comes up like a comic book. I have to say it did get confusing trying to read all those bubbles, so I had to look at the chat log section of the screen, but that was half transparent, so it was a little hard to make out. But other than that it was relatively smooth. The motion was a tad jerky but that might have been from the Alpha state of the platform and the fact that there were something like 84 people there.
Also there was only one avatar look, that of the little girl with the red backpack from the press pack and the demo movie.

Oops, lunch hour is over, had to leave the demo, but I think they were going to do a bit more Q&A and that's it, so I'll just read the transcript.

I'll post some screenshots in a few hours, including the environment we were walking around, but i'd say it was a pretty good way for us to get an idea of what's possible with the platform. Stay tuned!
Forum member "rboehme" comments here also.

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