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Onverse (ONV)
Onverse, LLC. | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Real Life | Status:Beta Testing  (est.rel N/A)  | Pub:Onverse, LLC.
Distribution:Download | Retail Price:n/a | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:n/a
System Req: PC Mac | Out of date info? Let us know!

Onverse Interviews: Steve Pierce, CEO

By Jon Wood on October 05, 2009

Steve Pierce is the CEO of Onverse LLC, a company hard at work on a new MMOG project. This project is a bit unique to the space and Steve answers our questions as we explore what exactly Onverse is.

MMORPG.com:

For players who aren’t familiar with the game, can you tell us what Onverse is all about?

Steve Pierce:

Onverse is a place for friends to hang out, play games, explore for points, and go shopping for clothing, furniture, costumes and pets. While it is considered an MMOG, it's a step outside the traditional MMOG box into a place where we're really not constrained to a specific genre or gameplay style. We've built it as a social core to expand out from into all genres of games. This social core that you see now is more of the web that will hold our future games together. You can see our first game attachment in IceFall, an action/shooter game where players compete for points atop a crumbling game-board with snowballs and power-ups. This is just a taste of where we are headed, from casual games to more traditional MMORPG features and content.

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MMORPG.com:

So, is this something you’d consider more similar to a Facebook or Myspace style application rather than a standard MMORPG?

Steve Pierce:

Onverse, in its infancy, would be categorized as a social or casual MMOG or virtual world. I suppose the design is more akin to a social network than it is say a fantasy MMORPG, but we have a background in this genre of game, so you will see some commonalities. While the world geared more towards a digital representation of the "real" you, many of the mechanics are pulled from the traditional genres. For example, we have item tiering and rarity, exploration, loot gathering, character customization and player housing. As stated before though, we intend to move out from a more social core into more traditional mechanics, such as quests and grouping.

MMORPG.com:

What level of customization is available to users in terms of their avatars and apartments?

Steve Pierce:

For avatars, you start out creating a simple avatar on our website as your starter avatar. Once in-game, you then have 15 other levels of customization from different clothing and accessory slots to body, hair and color options. We currently have over 900 clothing choices from free stuff to premium full-body costumes.

For housing, everyone can get a free apartment in one of two apartment buildings, each with different views. Each floor of the apartments, and our housing communities have 40+ places to live within the same instance, so friends can live next to each other. Once you feel established and want to move to a larger pad, we have many options ranging from deluxe apartments to free-standing bungalows, cottages, houses, villas and mansions. We have very user-friendly furniture placement mechanics allowing you to build some very elaborate housing styles with ease. We are nearing 1000 furniture items currently as well.

MMORPG.com:

What is the revenue model for Onverse? Will users be required to use an item shop to get specific items? If so, how many options will be available to users who don’t necessarily want to pay for their stuff?

Steve Pierce:

We are free to play and we run on a dual-currency model. People can explore with their tools or play games for Player Points, which can purchase about half of the items we have to offer, including the best items in the game (rare point items). Our other currency is called Cash Coins and they can be acquired through a variety of ways such as purchase, inviting friends or completing advertising offers. Cash Coins will get you the other half of the items, which are premium items, large homes and limited-time-only items.


Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

There are games available within Onverse. Can you tell us a little bit about those and how they work?

Steve Pierce:

While we are still establishing some of our core mechanics and reducing barriers to entry (we're only 3 months into a beta), we were able to crank out our current featured game, IceFall, in three weeks. This should showcase our ability to continuously add more games and game-like activities. You can expect more games like this to hit Onverse in the near future, especially after our core is established. Players also start with 3 upgradeable tools, a shovel, hammer and net. With these they can explore the world and find objects to smash, dig and catch for points.

IceFall is an action/shooter game. Players travel to the lands of King Frosty, a quirky snowman who is tired of the lights from the Hub encroaching on his lands. He has challenged all Onversers to compete in his ice towers, for riches, or certain doom. He wants to "thin the herd", so to speak. Players are teleported onto the game-board that is encased in glass for spectators to watch. The board begins to crumble as the players commence in a king-of-the-hill snowball and power-up throw-down. Stay on top as long as possible to score points, or fall into the Cloud Abyss and try again.

MMORPG.com:

What is the target demographic for Onverse?

Steve Pierce:

We wanted to have a look and presence that would appeal to women and teens. We approached our avatars and world with a casual player in mind and to-date, it appears we're hitting our targets. We currently have about a 65/35 ratio of women/men and our average age is 18. We also have a ton of Mac users, about 40% of our base. We hope to spread appeal to more of the mass market with the attachment of different game genres to the world.

 

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