Independent MMO developer Three Rings (Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates
, Bang! Howdy
) launched Whirled, a browser-based, "player-created virtual world" that serves as a platform for developers to create and sell custom multiplayer games and virtual goods.
Whirled is open to player creations and customizations, inviting developers to upload a variety of content, from image furniture to mini-MMO games. The platform's Flash ActionScript APIs allow for avatars, pets, and toys, supporting multiplayer games with arbitrary numbers of players driven by client or server-side code.
"Three Rings is taking a 'ridiculously open' approach to Whirled by publishing metrics, transparent business terms and a large part of the code-base as open-source," says Three Rings CTO and co-founder Michael Bayne.
"To kick-start creativity, Three Rings offers the source code and assets for all Three Rings' original games and other content as examples for developers to explore and modify to their own nefarious ends."
Whirled's library so far provides over 12 complete, multiplayer example games, including Corpse Craft
and Brawler Whirled
Creators can sell their games and virtual goods to users for two different type of virtual currency, Coins and Bars. Gamers earn coins by playing Whirled games, while Bars are purchased using credit cards, PayPal, SMS, Target pre-paid cards and other payment methods.
When selling their wares, creators accumulate a third currency, Bling, which can be cashed out for real-world money. "Not only can you make money selling virtual goods, but also Whirled offers a lifetime revenue share on new players referred to the game -- you can simply embed a game or Whirled room into your blog or website, or tell a friend, and we'll take care of the rest," adds Three Rings CEO Daniel James.
With Whirled's launch, the company announced its Flash Game Developer challenge and the Whirled Game Developer Bonus Bling Pool, offering various cash prizes to developers who create titles using the Whirled APIs.