So yesterday, I bitched and moaned about the use and reuse of the Seducity Engine. This brings up a good question, though. What else is there out there for the developer that wants to ramp up a quick sex environment without writing the server software from the ground up?
This week, the Multiverse Platform made the blog rounds. Basically, it's a middleware layer for MMOG's that will allow developers to quickly ramp a game idea to online fruition, sort of the same way FPS engines work. Where FPS engines are generally made for shooting each other (thus, the "shooter" part of the acronym), MMOG engines can easily be extended into virtual world (or at least, virtual environment, a small scale, genre-ized metaverse), creating 3d social spaces for people to meet, talk, and do other non-gamey things.
Like, say, have sex.
Of course, Multiverse isn't the only thing out there. There's also Big World Technology, which is basically the same thing. However, both of these obviously cost money. So what's the free solution? Users interested in an open source, academic, decentralized platform might want to check out Open Croquet. Based in the Squeak SmallTalk variant (a very, very, very hot language), OpenCroquet is meant to run as a personal server to a personal world. Unfortunatly, it's still in the early development stages, and probably won't be ready for prime time for quite a while.
Really, though, who needs graphics? Remember, there's always text worlds, where the only graphics updates you have to worry about are anti-aliased fonts. The software is free, and the world is as rich as the user's minds. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to turn toward the UK and pray to Bartle.
This is, by no means, a full list of all the software out there. It's simply something to get all of those out there that want to build a virtual world to explore their fantasies in, but have little or no engineering experience. Sure, you'll still need artists, designers, at least a couple of engineers, server space, time, and capital, but those are the only things between you and your new fetish-based world!