Friday, July 11, 2008

My initial reaction to Google Lively Virtual world

OK, big news in the Virtual Worlds industry this week. Google has released its "Lively" world. This is a short review aimed at people who are well versed in virtual worlds (so sorry for the tech speak).
Dera Kit in the room

Dera Kit says Hi from Israel -- in Hebrew (WELL DONE)

Look and Feel
1. Lively is a plug in (for browser) that allow you to present, edit, and use 3D rooms.
2. It takes few min to load the plug in (one time) and then you can visit rooms.
3. The rooms can appear on any page, using gadget, HTML, etc.
4. The room itself include the background, objects in it, avatars. there are 2 special objects to show pictures (or stream of pictures -- and u do need Picasa for that). and to show video (and yes you do need You Tube).
5. Avatars are very carton-like -- the entire system look and feel like IMVU (with the ability to move your avatars freely in the room).
6. As in IMVU you can make the other avatar do things (if you kiss someone it will animate both). There is no permissions on that at this point. not even what IMVU has and not request (like Second Life has).
7. Loading speed is terrible. Very slow. You may need to wait 10 min for a full room with avatars to load.
8. once all is loaded speed is reasonable to fast. You can move your avatars quickly.
9. The editor for building rooms is cool. Lots of options to move around objects and connect them to URLs.
10. Any user can comment on an objects. This seems like a nice features.
11. There is an infrastructure for buying and selling virtual goods. Although all prices now are zero.
12. HEBREW -- Yes it is working fine. COOOOL.
13. The name "Lively" -- is Google stabbing Microsoft Live? am not sure. Kind of fun.


1. This is a good development for the field. Google will be able to connect this easily with other services, and truly build a 3D tool.

2. It will take Lively a lot of time to get to the level of IMVU and much more time to get to the level of second life. BUT many many people will be able to use LIVELY. From my perspective, (see 3D3C Framework for real virtual worlds) Google Lively is has 3/5 in 3D, 3/5 in Community, 3/5 in Creation, and 1/5 in Commerce.

3. Google is in an excellent position to continue this development with connection to their
  • Vast user system (no need to develop one);
  • Connect (using Sketchup),
  • Earth (your avatars can visit together Disney
  • Money (with Google Checkout that already have your credit card).
  • Ads -- need I say more. Google AdSense/AdWords can easily connect with this.
4. Second life will no be affected so much by this. If at all, people that play with Lively with graduate to Second Life. Linden -- and I'm sure they are doing it -- will have to focus its efforts on their direction.

5. IMVU-Like worlds: wow these guys really need to think about their position. They may need to connect with Yahoo or Microsoft if they wish to survive.

6. All of us. I really want to see how LIVELY is developing in the nest 3 months -- I want to see that Lively is not Google Answers (shell I say the late).

BTW: If you have specific questions please comment here and I will try to post answers in the blog.