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'Whirled' Announced

by Rainier on March 8, 2007 @ 10:20 a.m. PST

Indie MMO developer Three Rings, known for Puzzle Pirates and Bang! Howdy, announced Whirled, a web-based virtual world based on games and player-created content. Currently in private alpha testing with a limited invited audience, Whirled will have a public beta later this year.

In Whirled players chat, change avatars, decorate rooms, play games and make things, all via the web. Easy navigation based on your friend network and in-world activity lets you find popular rooms, group lounges and party games. At every point, players are encouraged to create and upload their own content: avatars and furniture, pets, and Flash games, all using Whirled's easy creation and 'remixing' tools. Successful creators stand to profit handsomely in U.S. dollars from sales of their work.

"Whirled is about having fun -- and making fun!" said Daniel James, CEO of Three Rings. "We've made a tremendously easy place for people to hang out, play games and then create their own stuff, from avatars and furniture to complex multi-player games. Using Flash opens up Whirled creation to the vast number of skilled Flash artists and developers. We're excited to see what in the Whirled people make!"

Whirled continues Three Rings' innovation with the business model of free play with sales of virtual currency and items. Players upload their creations to the Whirled catalog and can earn in-game money, which can be translated to U.S. dollars. This follows the success of Puzzle Pirates and Bang! Howdy, which allow unlimited free play with an open player market between virtual currency and attention.

Three Rings is seeding Whirled with multi-player games such as "Chiyogami Dance Battle," a dance-off game played with Whirled avatars, "Underwhirled Drift," a kart racing game, and classic word, arcade and puzzle games. Three Rings will be releasing the source code for its own games and other creations in the hope that players will further customize the Whirled. Three Rings pioneered this open-source approach to empower game creators at Game Gardens, where over seventy games made with the Three Rings toolkit can be played. Game Gardens games will also be available from Whirled.

"We hope that our players make Whirled their home, and are inspired to contribute and create at whatever level they wish. Peas," said Michael Bayne, Three Rings CTO.

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