I’ve been a member at MMORPG.com for a long time now. I used to come here a lot to check our rating when I was working for SOE as a Design Manager on EverQuest II a few years back. It’s good to see that this community still keeps it in high regard!
For the past couple years, I went off on my own, returning to my home state and starting a small game studio. It has very much been an indie effort to-date, but I think the talent we bring to the table shows itself in our game. I encourage you to check out our world, we’re very passionate about the creation of fun and compelling games.
Onverse, or the Online Universe, is a social virtual world. Now… don’t let me lose you there. A lot of people think “virtual world” and their minds drift to visions filled with brain-boggling complexity and scattered virtual porn clubs. No, no, no… Onverse is more of an MMO. We’re content creators and you’re content devourers. I should mention though that if it weren’t for games like Second Life, we might not be here, something I truly thank them for and think they have a great product, we’re just different.
A social world is a world that revolves around hanging out with friends; it’s as simple as that. We built Onverse in this style because it is a great platform to build out from. Why build a world focused on sci-fi, or vehicles, or maybe a western? Why not build a place that you can come back to from any genre of game? This is what this social world platform gives us. We’re the place you always come back to from your adventures to unload your loot, buy stuff and chat with your friends. It also allows us to really connect with our players, because they can have a direct influence on what gets developed and attached. Why would we not listen to people and build what they want? We already know it will be enjoyed.
Okay, enough with the babbling psychoanalysis… what the heck can I do in Onverse? In this early phase of beta, Onverse is all about exploring with your equipment to get Player Points (PPs), using those PPs at our central shopping area, the Hub, and taking your new gear back to deck out your pad and outfit your avatar. You can also check out our first game attachement, IceFall that just came out. There are plenty of socializing activities as well such as chatting, dancing in our clubs or participating in seasonal events. The Shark Tank dance club is particularly popular, where you can get your groove on inside of a giant aquarium filled with sharks while listening to hip-hop and dance music.
Everyone can get a free apartment in Onverse. Each apartment community has 40 apartments where you can live next to your friends. When your apartment gets too full of furniture and you’ve accumulated a good amount of PPs you can ditch your apartment and upgrade to a house. Volcano Island is our first of many planned housing communities, each with their own theme. There are over 40 homes in these communities, ranging from small bungalows to huge mansions. There are stunning views from these homes of pirate ships, a live volcano, reefs, sunset, geysers and waterfalls.
Oh, did I mention that we are fully integrated into a web social network as well? Set up your profile, your photos, your videos, find friends and keep tabs on them, leave comments, mail, etc. This allows you to keep up with friends, even when you can’t log in or don’t have time. We constantly monitor our forums as well so we can move in the directions the community wants. We even have a forum dedicated specifically for user-ideas for furniture and clothing. If we like your idea and it’s feasible, we’ll put it in the game.
Onverse is still in its infancy, just 3 months into beta, but already we’ve had five updates filled with hundreds of new items, new areas, new stores, and more. Our most recent update included player-owned pets and a new action/shooter game, IceFall.
We are still in a process of solidifying our foundation and reducing barriers to entry, but the future of Onverse is blanketed in ideas. Our goals are to, as I stated above, branch out new things to do, games to play, places to go, and content to devour. We plan to bring more web functionality game-side, so you can use your uploaded media in the world, as well as bring more game functionality web-side so you can keep up on everything in the world just by hitting your web profile. Above all else though, the goal of Onverse will always be to give you and your friends a fun place to hang out online.
I’ve been a gamer for almost 25 years. Games are my passion. In this amount of time we’ve gone from the Atari 2600 to near-photorealistic motion-controlled experiences. I often think of what games will be like in another 25 years and it blows me away. There is no place I’d rather be when that day comes than right in the heart of it, and I hope Onverse can grow to give me that chance. The question is: do you want to be a part of it too?
I truly hope you check out Onverse. If so, say hello to StevEO!