Apr 202011
 

Gary is representing MUVEDesign at three conferences coming up that reflect the nature of the three keys areas of the business.

  1. At the TV Show Australia next week he is presenting about Social Television now and in the near future and how Inspiring the stories of tomorrow with social mediawill make TV truly and finally interactive

    Santa Clara Convention Center

  2. In Santa Clara, CA he is opening the business track by presenting New Augmented Reality Business Models at the worlds biggest Augmented Reality Conference known as the Event
  3. And in June Gary is presenting at GameTech on Pervasive Entertainment and the exciting merging of Games, Film/TV, Geo-Caching and Social Media

Gary is also presenting at various adhoc conferences such as Creative Sydney here where he is MC’ing & presenting on various Transmedia & Multi-Platform Content sessions.

More details on each of these below and if you want to speak to us about how MUVEDesign can help you realise your projects in these areas look at our service area and contact us here.


 

‘Multi-Platform’ TV Show

Australia 2011 27-29 Apr Sydney

The TV Show is Australia’s only multiplatform TV conference. It is the first forum bringing together the value chain for multiplatform TV, with an emphasis on finding innovative ways of bringing services to the market. Content will enable decision-makers to evaluate technology, the costs involved and gain knowledge of roll outs and implementation.

  • How to be a successful new entrant in the multi-platform TV market by harnessing innovation
  • How to better understand and engage with customers across multiple devices
  • How to develop new, interesting formats that will attract viewers and advertisers
  • How to use Apps to extend the TV experience across multiple screens
  • How to launch new services and build new revenue streams through Social TV
  • How to integrate Social TV apps within the EPG
  • How to create hype and build communities around branded entertainment
Gary’s audience centric, social TV element followed by an interesting panel looking at community building around TV content.

Day 2  2.10pm Inspiring the stories of tomorrow with social media

  • Including audiences in the creation of your stories
  • Differentiating your content with social features
  • Listening to the audience to produce more compelling stories
Mr Gary Hayes, Director & Founder, MUVEdesign.com & Storylabs.us

2.40pm Panel discussion: How to distribute and market content on social networks

  • Getting the best from the social nature of TV
  • Virally distributing programming
  • Influencing conversations about your programme
  • Marketing your programme more successfully and cost effectively with social media
Mr Iain McDonald, Founder & Executive Creative Director, Amnesia Razorfish
Ms Vanessa Stoykov, Chief Executive Officer, Evolution Media Group

 


 

The Augmented Reality Event 2011

May 17-18 Santa Clara, CA, USA

The Augmented Reality Event 2011 will feature industry luminaries: Bruce Sterling, Vernor Vinge, Will Wright, and Blaise Aguera y Arcas. ARE 2011 will include more than 100(!) speakers in 30 sessions organized into 3 tracks: business, technology & programming, and production & design.

The 2 day event will feature more than 33 hours of talks running the gamut of AR essentials in 3 tracks: Business, Technology and Production:

  1. Business – For executives of established and start-up AR companies, as well as mobile hardware companies – in search of business models and promising verticals for AR;  a venue to form partnerships, learn about latest innovations, and most importantly speak with clients.
  2. Technology – For Developers, programmers and technologists seeking the latest and greatest engines and tools for AR; learn from case studies and post mortems delivered by experienced developers from the leading companies in the space.
  3. Production – For Producers, designers, project managers (in gaming companies, agencies, marketers, brands, and artists) hungry for proven techniques to leverage augmented reality to advance your brand, attract and keep your customers, and build successful campaigns and products that will delight users.

Day One – Tuesday 17-May-2011

  • 8:15-9:00 am ARE 2011 Press Conference  Moderated by Ryan Wagner Great America XK – First Floor. Opportunity for AR companies to announce new products with major tech media
  • 9:00-9:45 am Keynote: Bruce Sterling Wired Main Theater
  • 10:00-11:00 am AR Market: Today and Tomorrow Business Track  (Great America J – First Floor)
    • Gary Hayes (MUVEDesign)- New AR Business Models
    • Laurel Papworth (Community Crew) – Building Mobile AR Social Communities for Business

 


 

GameTech

21-22 June 2011 Sydney

Video games and interactive entertainment has come of age, and it’s serious business. Games have emerged as the pinnacle of consumer entertainment. The interactive entertainment industry is now faced with unprecedented popularity, unparalleled growth and significant opportunity.

“The global video gaming market is expected to grow at a CAG Rate of 8.9% to reach $76.1bn in 2013”*

The benefits of this are not just restricted to the video game developers and publishers- all areas of the value chain and the wider industry arereaping the rewards of this growth opportunity. As users are shifting towards new platforms developers and publishers are changing their business models to wrestle for market share.

  • Gametech is a 2-day conference blitz of learning, inspiration, solutions, and networking. It is the most comprehensive event on games and interactive entertainment in the region, and will provide an unparalleled event experience.
  • Gametech is for those who wish to benefit from the explosive growth in video gaming. Whether you are part of the industry value chain or whether you are considering interactive entertainment as a tool for your business.
  • Gametech features visionary presentations, insightful case studies, lively debate and expert information on timely cutting-edge business topics of interactive entertainment and gaining from video gaming technology.

Gary’s is presenting on key areas of Merged Media and how Gamification is acritical component of all multi-platform content forms

1355 – Pervasive Entertainment – Games, Film, Music, Print & TV merging with audience networks

  • Assessing the concept of Pervasive Entertainment and how it is affecting the games industry
  • How are brands extending to transmedia?
  • Reviewing the business models behind geo-social / augmented reality games
  • Learning form relevant case studies
  • What models of media production, distribution, and consumption are implied by these future
  • visions of entertainment?

Gary Hayes, Director MUVEDesign & Founder StoryLabs

ROUNDTABLE 15.10 - Unleash the Power of Interactive Entertainment – Diversifying Your Product Offering with Video Games

  • How has the appeal of video games widened to new audiences?
  • Underlying the process of developing games to compliment existing products
  • Is there a limit as to the nature of business capable of benefiting from games
  • Finding the right monetization model to support a standalone games product
  • Key ingredients for successful games for social media platforms
  • How can games and interactive entertainment incorporate features such as user-generated content, sharing, rewards and referral programs?
  • Key steps to monetize new social gaming environments?

Sam Doust Creative Director, Strategic Development
 ABC

David Peattie Managing Director
 Hasbro

Hugh Baldwin Director of Television and Content Acquisitions 
Nickelodeon, MTV

Gary Hayes Director MUVEDesign & Founder 
StoryLabs


Oct 252010
 

Gary is presenting on an Ad:Tech Augmented Reality panel later this week in Tokyo going beyond simple AR business models (see this post from over a year ago) and current delivery, real world possibilities, and talking about a near term futures and opportunities, especially in the area of branded location based augmented reality games and services. There will also be discussions related to barriers to adoption and how to open up the market – similar to topics Gary addressed in this recent presentation to the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association Mobile board…but here is the Ad:Tech Tokyo panel (sadly Zugara had to pull out of the panel but Gary will show some of their work)

Augmented Reality – A Showcase What The Marketers Need To Know – October 28th 5:40pm – 6:30pm

“Is AR just like a lift-the-flap book?”
What value can AR offer for people and enterprises?
The session outlines various definitions of AR such as location based platform or image recognition platform and how the technology provides valuable insight for marketing. Exploring various case studies, we will discuss the current situations and issues for AR as well as its future.

Gary Hayes CCO, MUVEDesign & StoryLabs

Akihiko Tokuhisa CTO, Digital Advertising Consortium Inc. Moderator

Masataka Hosogane Executive Creative Director, Mobile Communication Development Department, Communication Design Center, DENTSU Inc.

Gary will be showing several of his Augmented Reality branding overview videos such as the recent Recognition – Business Opportunities but also one of three Location Based Augmented Reality Story developments in this space  called ‘Time Treasure” – a rudimentary, story rich LBARG (location based AR game?!) that MUVEDesign are currently story designing & coding for Android tablets. A hort 2 minute taster video embedded below…

Without giving the plot away, the structure of this game is quite straightforward. There are ten layers of time from 2050 back to 5000BC that you slowly penetrate following stories, clues and trails all based at POIs (points of interest, precise locations) around your city. The traditional MMOG talking-head quest and story givers are a unique part of this as well as a range of capture & loot quests that require you in some cases to do a little ‘real world’ grinding… ok not too much 🙂 For me the challenge as always is about creating strong ‘call to actions’ and constructing a narrative backbone to make it worth your while walking and in some cases running around town! I will do a post when this reaches a full working pilot.

We will keep you updated in the next months of progress on this and the branded client games also in progress.

Oct 092010
 


This is a brief description and support page for the October 2010 released iPad app Social Media Counts one of several non-client commissioned MUVEDesign smartphone apps.

Get it via the iTunes App store now or go to the Apple App preview page

1.0 RELEASE VERSION 1.0 – Description and screen shot

Social Media Counts is an amazing and hypnotic real time display of eighty four user, content and business metrics across social media, games, mobile and traditional or heritage media. The data is based on actual reported numbers which are listed in the embedded info panel and this rolling ‘count-up counter’ is a projection forward in time based on these real numbers. With over 40 million impressions already of the embeddable flash version across the web this counter gives real insight into the tsunami of content, proliferation of devices and the money being made from a range of entertainment and services.

Features

include the ability to switch in real time between the social. mobile, games and heritage lists as well as step forward in increments of day, week, month and a fixed view of a year ahead. You can also reset the counter at any point using the ‘begin’ button. An info screen contains a list of most of the data sources used in the counter and a web link takes you to a web page with these listed and links to the sources pages also.

Please Note: The application is intentionally not highly interactive as it is meant to be used as a display in portrait mode only, making it readable at presentations and demonstrations to others in small meeting environments as it allows easy visibility of the amazingly large growing numbers.

The app will be updated regularly – approx once a month with updated statistics where available and suggestions are always welcomed for new, remarkable figures (make sure you have a reliable per day, month or year figure though!)

For reference here are the current list of real time counter metrics being displayed:

Social Media Tab

new blog posts, members added on Facebook, US dollars spent on virtual goods globally, tweets sent on Twitter, videos watched on YouTube, iPhone apps downloaded, US dollars spent on Facebook gifts, hours uploaded onto YouTube, new Twitter accounts, text messages inside Second Life, US dollars made from global messaging & data, iPads sold, new members on LinkedIn, pieces of music bought on iTunes, searches made on Google, emails sent globally, US dollars made in ad revenue on Facebook, sms’s sent worldwide, photos uploaded to Facebook, images uploaded to Flickr, new internet users globally

Mobile Media Tab

new mobile phones shipped, US dollars generated from mobile games, sms’ sent worldwide, new phones GPS enabled, US dollars made by global mobile data, WiFi and 3G iPads sold globally, iPhones sold, GBs sent across all mobile devices, hours of mobile video watched in USA, US dollars made from all mobile services globally, new users of mobile social networks, US dollars spent on mobile advertising worldwide, new mobile subscribers globally, new portable pcs / laptops shipped, mms messages in the US, iPhones unlocked, US dollars made from mobile music, people using location mobile services logged onto the web using mobile, made from mobile video, new mobile 3G subscribers globally

Games
join a ‘social’ game from Zynga, US dollars made from MMOG players China, quests completed by WoW players, US dollars revenue from games sold in US, user2user tranactions Second Life, transactions in Eve Online, game units sold worldwide, US dollars spent on virtual goods globally, new global MMORPG subscribers, US dollars generated from Virtual World ads, logged into Fantasy Westward Journey, virtual goods created in Second Life, US dollars invested in Virtual World companies, new US kids (3-11) subscribing to VWs, messages between Second Life users, players transactions in Eve Online, US dollars net revenue made World of Warcraft, portable game units sold, user hours by Chinese online gamers, messages posted on Gaia forums, user hours by Second Life users

Heritage Media
US dollars made at the US box office, US dollars lost to US economy due to movie piracy, read a newspaper in the US, Dollars TV revenue generated globally, single music tracks downloaded, attend a US orchestral concert, US dollars made from global print ads, US dollars total spend making Australian films, US dollars total spend on making UK films, US dollars wages for jobs in US movie industry, US dollarshardcover books sold worldwide, kindle books sold just by Amazon, people in US tuning into radio, US dollars made from music concerts worldwide, US dollars made from DVD & Blu-ray in US, US dollars lost by pirated music & movies Spain, US dollars made from all music worldwide, hours of TV watched by all UK viewers, movie tickets sold US EU China Japan,US dollars spent on new TV sets in the US, printed press page views

Oct 052010
 

MUVEDesign can help you deliver a range of cutting edge projects. As well as editorial consultants and service designers (we are currently developing two in-house Augmented Reality Games plus several iPhone and Android apps) we can build and develop for clients across the following platforms:

APPLE SDK

We are registered iOS 4.1 developers with several apps coming out via the App store soon. We can also place paid apps through onto the store for clients

ANDROID SDK

We are part of the Android development community and can develop applications for android tablets and mobile devices and distribute into the Android market for clients

GEO LOCATION DEVELOPMENT

MUVEDesign are registered developers on both the Layar and Junaio location based browsers that work on Android and iPhad platforms. We can also develop Junaio Glue, marker or pattern based recognition

MARKER & IMAGE RECOGNITION AUGMENTED REALITY

We can develop simple AR marker webcam services using the industry standard Flash AR toolkit or utilise some of the latest technology such as Qualcomm’s Augmented Reality SDK which we are beta registered for

GAMES AND VIRTUAL WORLDS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

MUVEDesign can naturally build a range of social media sites such as WordPress/BuddyPress networks, Drupal or Joomla installs and is well known already as a key Second Life developer but also can create standalone games using software such as Unity – for iPhone, Web, Standalone Mac & PC and even Wii games.

Jun 292010
 

Personalizemedia.com just posted a detailed look at a video entitled Augmented Worlds Video Part One – Recognition. The focus is looking specifically at the business model implications of the widespread use of a large tablet AR device and super fast, always on tagged/recognisable content. There are other videos in the series covering education, games & stories as well as utility near futures – but though it would be cool to cross post the video here too! Enjoy and read more about the video on the link above

AUGMENTED WORLDS Pt.1 - Business Opportunities: RECOGNITION.

An ‘iPad 4.0 – like prototype’ stroll around an augmented Sydney. Video, music devised & created by GARY HAYES of MUVEDesign.com – there are some key assumptions with this video detailed here –

ASSUMPTIONS WITH THIS CONCEPT

OK this tablet device with camera is running on a very fast connection, instant video and image so we are assuming city wide wifi or 4G type service connection. Also some elements pop up immediately so we can assume the user in the video (me) has setup some preferences or it has learned what type of service I like so it gives instant fulfilment vs dropping into endless menus (more on the interface next). Also the device is extremely aware of its location to a few inches, so we can assume that some of the ‘recognition’ elements are speeded up, being tied into precisely where the user is stood/orientated ‘combined’ with recognition – this will speed up the overall process vs using only Kooaba like Smart Visuals Recognition which puts a lot of pressure on server-side processing.

Notice on the  of the interface I have put the words “CONNECTED TO: Sydney CBD People and Places cached data” which is basically pointing out that the speed of recognition to data display is super accelerated when all information is pre-cached, and the way intelligent caching works means the more popular the ‘target’ the faster the response. Privacy – there are a few sequences here and in the longer video that show people being ‘recognised’. Obviously a real concern at the moment, so the concept video assumes the users being targeted have given their consent to outdoor recognition…I know this is a post in itself (see one of mine recently) but lets assume like TagWhat and FourSquare like services, users are allowing their ‘trusted’ friends and companies (for benefits) assess to being recognised – at least for the purposes of this concept!

Oct 182009
 

Because who used to be our audience are now co-creators and spending time across a sea of media and devices. This counter from MUVEDesign’s Gary Hayes gives a brief insight into the torrent of social and anti-social content that only the best professional transmedia properties will be heard above the noise. Contact MUVEDesign for a consultation!

Aug 052009
 

MUVEDesign are now developing a range of augmented reality apps, particularly aimed at the new iPhone 3Gs and are happy to accept enquiries from interested parties. For those unfamiliar with AR there are some videos below that give a sense of the area. Simply put AR is the physical, real world seen through a live often mobile ‘camera’ (web cam, iPhone etc) then in real time, digital content is layered over the top – locked & linked to locations, people and other visible real world elements.

We have come a long way since cardboard cutout VRML back in the 90s. It is interesting to watch a revolution take place at the moment in Mixed & Augmented Reality and one particular subset, augmented reality. Gary produced a compilation in 2008 of various AR and MR area in this short video (at the bottom of this post you will find a transcript)

Another exciting area of AR is emergent game play. This example from a Japanese company called Geisha Tokyo Entertainment is your very own augmented reality Geisha Girl. It is interesting watching a story develop so imagine the potential now for story tellers or performers who can give their ‘participant’ audience the tools to bring the storyworld out into their personal space. I think in advance of the oft mentioned ’surround-o-film’ (yes holograms of Bond jumping around you in your front room, god help us!) this is a simple and elegant solution – given we all have webcams built into laptops, games consoles, mobiles etc etc: With this particular package you get two cubes and two sticks but imagine a cube for a range of characters or sets for your latest film or kids TV show, perhaps available as a premium.

Finally the combination of Augmented Reality and Social Media is probably the most obvious and compelling near term offering. Being able to layer the rich social web over the top of the real world adds real value. This video speaks for itself.

Below is the slightly futuristic transcript from my video compilation above, for those who can’t hear the narration. :) (BTW a better audio version available as a 50MB download here). Attribution for most clips appear in this post.

Is this reality? Is this fantasy? In 2008 the great transition truly began. Whereas a decade earlier we used to ‘log in’ to cyberspace, now we began to semi-permanently inhabit virtual space and the digital world started to leak out into everyday life. It began to infiltrate our shopping malls and became integrated with our everyday lives. Humanity started the relentless journey towards the natural future where virtuality became a greater reality,  and where digital fantasy and organic reality were inextricably intertwined.

Through the early 2000s pervasive wearable computing started to break down the walls that used to separate our virtual existence from our physical one. This same technology also allowed us to embed ourselves seamlessly into virtual worlds which is where we could truly experiment with future forms of entertainment, art, education and business.

augmented_realityIn these new places we became the real time, living celebrity. Many of us became avatar stars, pixel gods – exalted as those linear film and TV icons. This became the only place for many. By 2007 hardcore gamers were already spending fifty five hours per week ‘inside’ these shared worlds and learned to forgot about the real world. This became the place where their most meaningful hours were spent. Everyone began to blend the two domains, combining them in new ways, driven by an invisible urge. Thus started the global meshing, of today’s mixed reality.

But in 2009 questions were asked. As in the many films that hinted at our transhumanist future, would the physical embodied self ever become redundant? Would we truly evolve as self contained, digital entities? May we as well be slumped in a chair with a cable plugged into our heads? Regardless, as the real world became inhospitable we all started to crave for the immersion and began moving our physical selves into these spaces. Even more than that we wanted our peers our un-virtual audiences to be able to share our experiences there. It became a contagious as the most poignant moments and memories were the ones in virtual space.

But we needed to look beyond these screens and into our own souls. Find the truth written along the ‘thin white line’ that separates analog from digital, person from avatar. This was the beginning. It always was. As far as the meshing or blending of reality and virtuality, in 2009 they were the equivalent of grainy black and white movies seventy years earlier. Our experiences were simultaneously part real, part virtual but it didn’t matter which was which anymore. Both were valid and they depended on each other. Those early parallel existences of twenty years ago started to move humanity forward, released our imaginations and we coexisted with our precious and ultimately fragile, physical selves. The great crossing had begun.

May 232009
 

A cross posting from JustVirtual but there has been lots of excitement about Second Life becoming a more ‘evocative’ engine (visually speaking) for at least 18 months with lots of posts and short demo videos. Recently the Illclan’ers posted an item suggesting we are quite close to having an official Linden Lab release here, Dynamic Lighting and Shadow Engine Coming to Second Life. They like me are also very interested in the ‘controlled’ lighting effects using artificial (isn’t it all?!) light sources vs the ambient ‘sun’. But for starters here is a quick ambient test video…

A quick exploration of some of my old builds which may not be there much longer! Using the Space Navigator and running Windlight in Day cycle mode (the sun and moon take a minute or two to do a full rotation)  to produce lots of moving shadows across the landscapes, people and builds. Rather than just show shadows I was keen to tie some ‘psych trance’ music into fast moving space navigator footage hence the constant movement – all shots took into account the timing with the shadows too.

The whole process was about 1 hour of capture, 1.5 hour edit and 2 hours on music track. Music was composed on Logic Pro mostly using Spectrasonics Omnisphere plug-in software ‘processor-eating’ synth.

I had access to a top end NVidia GTX280 high spec graphics card and quad processor machin so I put all SL graphics settings at max for once! The video was captured at PAL resolution using Fraps and the raw files edited using Adobe Premiere.

To have a go at this yourself make sure you have a top flight graphics card from NVidia or ATI and then download the Shadow Viewer client from Kirsten here or I believe a more recent one (that I used) from Boy Lane here. I am not sure of the widespread use of shadows given the grunt your computer needs to handle this, windlight, voice on top of all the usual networking issues – but for those with computer horsepower it definitely brings the place to life.

shadows_sl

Published & created under creative commons – attribution, non-commercial, non-derivative, 23 May 2009 in Sydney, Australia

My Second Life sim builds included: Esperance (AFTRS), ABC Island, Melbourne Laneways, Thursdays Fictions, Deakin, The Pond and others. (I would have loved to show some more commercial & arty builds but non-disclosure and all that!)

Mar 112009
 

Below are my introduction slides from ad:tech 2009 earlier this week. It is such a short time (each panel is given 50 minutes) to cover such a vast area and myself, Jeff (habbo.com.au) and Mitch (SmallWorlds.com) were all struggling to impart tons of great info/examples and have enough time to get interactive. I hogged the first 15 minutes by giving a broad overview and some examples I have been involved in that fitted the brief of the talk.

Below are my slides, a little descriptive text below that and at the bottom of this post some deeper insight into SmallWorlds (given most of my readers probably know Habbo already? – If not, Why Not!? ). I included one slide from Jeff Brookes set looking at Hitwise’s stats on browser worlds and other sites in terms of session length which will no doubt raise a few eyebrows!

Virtual Worlds & Business: What’s The ROI?

Virtual worlds are maturing at a rapid rate and brands are realising there are valuable business opportunities within them. Whether the objective is engagement, research or brand presence, virtual worlds are proving to be a legitimate marketing channel. In this session our panel will look to provide insights into the business benefits of working within a virtual world.

Presenters

  • Gary Hayes, Director, Laboratory for Advanced Media Production, AFTRS & CEO MUVEDesign (Australia’s leading SL developer!)
  • Jeff Brookes, Regional Director – Asia Pacific, Sulake Corporation (habbo.com.au)
  • Mitch Olson, Co-Founder, SmallWorlds.com

There were several important messages in my introduction. Firstly making sure we all understand the different platforms social virtual worlds are operating on so I briefly described

  1. Layered or Parallel worlds – cute 2D type avatars that move over the top of 2D web
  2. Browser Worlds – walled garden that run inside web browsers, often as isometric views as flash or shockwave
  3. Client Worlds – anything from 20MB to 3GB downloads of data and the world is obviously much richer than browser worlds but do need higher spec computers
  4. Console Worlds – a relatively new kid on the block, social spaces that exist on games consoles. All the rendering grunt is there and the avatars are often linked to the PS3, Wii or XBox360 real life account. PS3 Home is the easiest way to match to worlds like Habbo or There.com
  5. Note there are hybrids of the above and I would put ExitReality down as a hybrid of 1 and 3 as it turns a web page into a client style world

Here are the images of the above part of the presentation

worlds_platforms

I decided that a good ‘spine’ to hang the introduction on was the sort of negative questions floating around from those who don’t really understand what’s happening with web 3.0, the live virtual world space. This includes the paranoid printed press, a few out-of-touch businesses, and digital media companies/consultants more interested in iPhone/mobile games or Facebook widgets which is something they can truly explain (read: make money off).

Press hyperbole or myths?

  • Virtual Worlds are on the decline?
  • There’s no one in them?
  • & people don’t spend long there?
  • They are for kids or social ‘games’ not business?
  • There are no marketing models?

But I then addressed each question in turn showing real world stats and examples. Obviously in recession investment in new tech/services are going to be hit and recent reports do suggest a consolidation of investment into kids worlds, hinting at a lowering of VC in the ones I highlighted in my presentation, but this whole area is still something education & business are advised to R&D and understand fully – as a minimum. As we know it will be new ways of doing business, more immersive and efficient ways to collaborate and alternate forms of entertainment that will be partly what will bring us out of recession.

I finished the talk with a quick overview of the main models that virtual worlds (and most online games) can be monetized. Items 1, 3 and 4 were picked up in a talk on the 2nd day of ad:tech looking at how Nike engaged with console ingame campaign experts Massive across a few platforms.

  1. Static Advertising
  2. Promotions & Sponsored events
  3. Virtual Goods & Product Placement
  4. Dynamic InWorld Advertising
  5. Branded Spaces
  6. AdverWorlds & AdverGames

After my talk some great examples from Jeff Brookes from Habbo followed by Mitch from Smallworlds. I am always fascinated by the methods Habbo engages with its loyal and large community and was equally fascinated by Small worlds thinking too and how they are ‘integrating’ themselves with the existing 2D social networked web. This video by the infamous Robert Scoble features Mitch Olsen and Ted of SmallWorlds

They talk about the main traditional world features but then go onto the interesting areas of embeddable worlds (the Google Lively Killer app – not exploited), API integration with almost anything (twitter feeds, YouTube vids, FB updates on walls anyone) and the most interesting ‘missions’. You are encouraged to explore, meet folk, shop and basically get involved – Mitch says this is like the LinkedIn profile thinking, until your profile is 100% filled in you feel like you are missing out. I likened it much more like World of Warcraft, set players tasks, set them group tasks, give them rewards. This to me could be SmallWorlds real killer applet. At the moment they have around 400 000 users and that looks set to take off in the next months.

Tony Fendall blogged about a particularly cute feature that allows (his words) –

One important thing which was missed is that they didn’t have time to talk about all the cool micropayment features (which Ted alludes near the end) such as Gambit, OfferPal and Zong. Gambit and OfferPal are both services which allow users to earn SmallWorlds currency by completing tasks. These tasks include things such as answering surveys and give amounts of currency proportional to the amount of effort put in. This is a great way for players (who may not have a credit card) to still be able to earn a premium SmallWorlds experience. Zong is a simple cell phone payment service, where by users can pay for a premium SmallWorlds experience using their mobile phone. For an excellent look at how we have integrated Zong into SmallWorlds, check out this YouTube video created by the developers at Zong:

Note a cross post from Gary’s other main blog personalizemedia

Jan 292009
 

I have talked a lot about Mixed Reality Entertainment on my media blog personalizemedia and how one of the most innovative uses of virtual space is to extend the TV or Film property into a 24/7, participatory environment.  The reason for doing this is to drive traffic to the TV or Film but also to keep existing followers loyal to the branded property. There is more detail about the reasoning on my posts on Big Brother in Second Life (Witnessing the Birth of an Entertainment Form) as well as posts nearby on CSI in Second Life and many of MTVs properties in There.com. There are moves around the world including BBC and many European broadcasters who are creating worlds alongside and in some cases in front of the TV episodics. So it is great to see this trend continuing as the current series of Heroes being extended into Habbo

The agreement was brokered by the William Morris Agency and marks the first time ‘Heroes’ has partnered with a virtual world.

..but not in the usual way. As reported by LA Times “‘Heroes’ hops on to Habbo’s virtual world” they will be introducing a virtual-only character Syn Anders who will act as a bridge or guide to the TV series. NBC themselves give more detail here.

While following directions from a mysterious virtual messenger, the new character will take the audience on an adventure as she discovers the history of ‘Heroes’ through a journey that travels back and forth between Habbo.com and the ‘Heroes’ Evolutions site.  “We’re excited to work with Habbo to introduce a new character that will extend the enormously popular and Emmy® Award winning ‘Heroes’ interactive story beyond the official Web site on NBC.com,” said Stephen Andrade, senior vice president, Digital Development and General Manager, NBC.com.  On Habbo.com, fans of the show will be able to interact with the new virtual hero through a variety of in-game activities. Habbos participating in a weeklong quest will discover their own special powers and will be recruited as new heroes. Those who successfully complete the mission will be awarded various virtual prizes.  On the ‘Heroes’ Evolutions site, the new virtual hero will be woven into several of the in-universe, interactive extensions of the on-air show, including a character profile, the Primatech Paper Assignment Tracker and new chapters of the ‘Heroes’ graphic novels.

This is a great use of virtual worlds and it also shows that you don’t need richly rendered environments to be able to engage with participants in these spaces. Also in terms of the ‘linking’ paradigm,  it is close to my level 3 wikipedia cross-media definition

Excerpt “Cross-media 3.0 – Bridges. – The truest form of cross-media where the story or service structure is specifically authored to drive the audience using strong Call-To-Actions, across media devices to continue the journey. The content placed on the other platform is critical to staying in touch with the experience and the narrative bridges tease you towards investigating or moving to another media form/platform. Obvious examples include a TV show that ends suddenly and gives you a URL to explore more. It may be an SMS that teases and points you towards a live concert in a city square which then leads you to a TV show, then to a podcast then to subscription emails. The trigger, or bridge, is the critical component of this in motivating the cross-media action.”

Of course I would encourage all TV producers to think about their current audience and whether they want to reach them this way. More importantly you need to think of the appropriateness of creating inworld characters or environments for them to exist in – serious games (from documentaries) and childrens episodics are hot ones at the moment . The real effort is more about having great characters that are persistant in the space but beware of bots or NPC’s (non player characters) pretending to be real, this can have a strong counter productive effect. More later.

Nov 122008
 

Gary Hayes Builds

Social Media and Web 2.0 is a lot about providing the tools and therefore the means for everyone to create content, that they believe others may want to see. I have personally created a lot of corporate, professional entertainment and music films over the years using high end equipment but now, like many millions around the world, find it a fun and satisfying process to be able to create films and stories in virtual worlds, aka machinima. (Quite a few are over on my personal virtual blog justvirtual)

There are literally millions of machinimas emanating from the likes of World of Warcraft, Sims, Movies, Halo, Second Life, Half Life and many more. Most are done for the love vs the money and some make it onto the big screen. For the creators it is about expressing ‘their’ world and experiences to each other but of course there is something else as important here.

Laurel Papworth talked recently about a machinima I did in Twinity and the ‘free advertising’ it offers for the brand or platform. For me it is also about creating an environment where simple tools encourage large numbers of people to come together remotely and do real-time, collaborative content creation for extended periods. It makes the world very, very sticky when they have shared creative goals and purpose – not just pre-constructed game play. Some may say game quests are social too and I believe when the players get ‘creative’ with the mechanic and ‘bend the rule’ together it certainly is.

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Sep 082008
 

As part of a commercial report on the evolving range of social virtual worlds I recently ventured into fifty plus worlds to sample the creative, business and educational potential. My video is an indicative capture of each world/environment as a seven minute video for 2008 posterity. It demonstrates how ubiquitous, popular and streamlined many of these spaces are becoming across the intraweb / ‘cloud’. With over 300 million frequenting or registering for the non-game based worlds over $900 million of new investment last year in 2nd and 3rd generation services there seems to be no stopping them.

75MB MP4 Download available at http://www.justvirtual.com/SVWS_2008.mp4

A few immediate things that struck me on my travels:

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Jul 082008
 

A video insight into the build process of the new Deakin Arts Education Centre Island built and designed by MUVEDesign’s Gary Hayes completed early 2008.

Jenny Grenfell, Arts Lecturer at Deakin said:

“This Deakin University Arts Education community in Second Life aims to stir the imagination. It is a world we create and create within. It is at once a work of art and a place to inspire, make, share and present art. Our presence in SL is both for performance and is in itself a performance.

Our Second Life existence is an extension of our involvement in the real world where we are passionately immersed in the practices of teaching and learning in our art forms of visual art, drama, music, dance, and media.”

Medium rez 105MB MP4 available here. Music composed and performed by Gary Hayes. These images with comments can be seen here.

Video, music & 447 Images © Gary Hayes and Deakin University

Below is the flickr slideshow embedded as an alternative

Mar 082008
 

Thursday’s Fictions built in collaboration with Physical TV has received much critical acclaim since its launch in mid 2007 here is a sample first 20 of voluntary comments delivered in-world. If you have Secondlife installed on your machine click this SLURL to go there now

One of the Five Must-See Sites in Second Life. Bettina Tizzy, NPIRL featured in New World Notes

Deakin

  1. MaYa Miquel – This must be the best sim I’ve ever seen in secondlife. And I’m playing for a while already. I totally love it. thank you!
  2. Dizzy Sparrow – This is a very interesting place and would very much like for there to be more… are you going to be building things for the other days? Please say you are! 🙂
  3. bebop Kohime – the most amzing place ive ever see in secondlife cant wait unyil the other tunnels are finished, thank you
  4. Vedas Enoch – This is by far the most interactive and fun thing I’ve done on SL. Great job!
  5. Trigit Amat – Congratulations! This is one of the most interesting and nicely done places i ve seen in sl! Keep up the great work, i ll come and see the progress regularly! Thank You from Trigit Amat (Trigital Vox)
  6. Lor Gynoid – Cleverly done. I applaud the imagination that went into Thursday’s Fictons.
  7. Kali Idziak – This sim is absolutely brilliant. Thank you for your efforts.
  8. Sinclair Bracken – I thought it was fantastic. I hope you’ll keep it here, and even add to it. I love the poetry, and the sense of mystery. Really wonderful. I may not have gone all the way, and it seems as if there’s more to experience, and one is left with questions, but it’s really great.
  9. Anni Aluveaux – Thanks for the experience, it was exciting.
  10. Jenene Lemaire – amazing build so far, please finish this, one of the best I have seen so far. I want to see this movie now as well. Never heard of it before visiting this sim. Really pleased to have found this.
  11. Kronos Kirkorian – Gary, Just came back to wander through this exhibit again. You’ve done a remarkable job here. Thoughtful, clever, insightful and compelling. You have become very skilled in the use of SL on many different levels. I hope you are proud of the effort, I have not seen anything in SL that comes up to the level of what you have accomplished here. Regards, Kronos Continue reading »
Jan 032008
 

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Virtual Worlds Necessitate Corporations Develop Personality followed by Gary’s top 15 tips to becoming human in the metaverse (and 2D socio-nets).

I have been doing a lot of work moving brands, properties and companies into Second Life recently and in the process I am often forcibly reminded of the divide that naturally exists, in these new worlds, between ‘the corporation’ on one hand and ‘the individual/community’ on the other. The 3D Virtual World is being used in many ways by the natives (aka the public, a bad definition I know), living out their fantasies in a very chaotic but social way. In strong contrast to that we have companies who are naturally bland, characterless, faceless and in the worse cases anti-social.

American Apparel

It is not all bad as we are seeing something very positive emerging and being played out as both sides manouver and become better aligned. We are also seeing the next phase as the early mistakes pull out and leave the new entrants to learn from those errors. So I have collected some of my thoughts below on how companies need to approach the development of their personality.

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