Well… this January I’m seeing a lot of closings and endings. Cloud Party has announced it will be closing in February. The announcement is on their blog here: Cloud Party Joins Yahoo.
I am not sure what it means when they say they are joining Yahoo. If Yahoo were buying Cloud Party, we would be reading an acquisition announcement. So, it looks like the talent behind Cloud Party has been hired by Yahoo. What would Yahoo want with virtual world programmers?
A bit of Googling and I find the acquisition announcements and stories. Tech Crunch has this article: Yahoo Acquires Virtual World Gaming Startup Cloud Party, Will Shut It Down. Darrell Etherington, the author of the article, has the take that it will be something to do with gaming. But, he points out this is more likely a talent acquisition than a technology acquisition.
I think the fact that they are providing an exporter for Cloud Party builds suggests they are done with this virtual world.
In May of 2013 Yahoo bought PlayerScale. So, as Darrell points out, the combination of the two at Yahoo might produce something interesting. Or it could just be a talent grab to enhance Yahoo as Microsoft looks at buying Yahoo.
Cloud Party hasn’t said much about their Terms of Service (ToS) lately. That changed as they pointed out the major difference between CP’s and LL’s ToS’s.
See: A quick review of our Terms of Service
This dramatically illustrates what is needed to operate a virtual world service and what a company thinks they can get away with. The free market allows competition. There is usually someone that will cater to people’s desires. In a free system they can do that. In this case CP is hungry for users. So, we ‘users’ get treated better.
I see it as the difference between big established companies verses small start ups. Management has different concerns.
Inara and Hamlet have just written about Cloud Party and Oculus. I am happy to see that Cloud Party is thinking Oculus Rift. But… really!?! In a web browser?
If you saw my previous post you know that browser-makers are dropping plugins. Right now they can’t drop all of them because the replacement, HTML5, is not advanced enough to be able to provide the same functionality and performance. So, adding Oculus Rift support doesn’t seem practical to me. After all the system has to render twice as many frames to create 3D display for Oculus. Browser based 3D rendering is just barely performing at acceptable 2D display levels now. And that is with many rendering features dropped to keep performance acceptable.
If you try to use shutter glasses you soon learn that you must have a monitor and video card capable of generating 120 FPS. Sixty frames for the left eye and sixty for the right. The same sort of thing is true for Oculus.
But, there is a huge push to get Oculus to mobile devices. The movers and shakers in the game field think it is possible and that the large money is in mobile. I have my doubts, but lots of money is being thrown at the problem. So, we are likely to see some type of solution emerge. A big question is: ‘When?”
See: Cloud Party Becomes First Virtual World to Officially Support the Oculus Rift; Ex-Linden Cyn Skyberg: “We Are Getting Very Close to the Original Concept of VR”
See: Cloud Party: Oculus Rift support and more.
And with Oculus, I hear performance is everything. Poor performance often results in simulator sickness. May be I could market sim-sickness bag attachments for the Oculus…
Cloud Party is advancing. New stuff is being added. There is a video out that shows a hover-bike in operation. Looks fun.
I still think vehicles in Cloud Party, Second Life, and OpenSim are lame. But, they can be fun.
Cloud Party™, the other virtual world, announced yesterday the development team has released a new feature: animated attachments, think avatar wings and tails. I suppose one could use the attachments for ears too.
The team warns against animating faces as they are working on facial customization.
Without digging into how they work I can’t say much. But, the new attachments apparently get passed emote information. They have a picture of wings drooping as the avatar slimps in response to the ‘sigh’ emote.
Cloud party is steadily moving ahead. Last week, or a couple, they released new ‘regions’. The land choices in Cloud Party now go beyond just sky-islands.
Slowly, or quickly – depending on your perspective, Cloud Party is getting all the features of Second Life™
This week Cloud Party rolled out some new features. Hamlet at NWN wrote about some of the changes: Cloud Party Adds Free Customizable Spaces, Social Sharing.
New Cloud Party Home Page
The home page of CloudParty.com has changed. The page has images of “Builds” you can use for a private space.
When you sign in you have an option to select a NEW BUILD, where you will be building, or you can visit an existing build listed in the lower part of the home page.
The thinking is you could cobble to gather an auditorium for meeting very easily for a business presentation. Rather than work on building an environment you can concentrate on your presentation.
For free you can have unlimited small regions… clouds… whatever. You also get 5 free market place listings. Basic Support is part of the package.
For US$15/month or $12/mo if paid annually you get unlimited small, 2 medium size, private builds, 20 Market Place listings, and basic & billing support.
For US$100/month or 80/mo annual, you get unlimited small, 4 medium, 2 large, privates builds, 100 market place listings, and Online Support.
There were 4 small builds when I visited. They say there will be more.
I see that Henimations has a place in CP. So, we can look good dancing…
Cloud Party says they have been quite for a time because they have been so busy. They say they have been in rebuild mode for some time… whatever that means. But, they say great things are coming any day now…
See: So…what’s up with Cloud Party? And technical updates!
The contest voting starts Wednesday this week. The Art in Cloud Party contest closes to entries Wednesday at 12 noon, I think PDT. That is also when voting for your favorites starts. For more information see: Weekly Update for Week of June 3, 2013.