Saturday, January 10, 2009

Real or Miniature

I created a quiz on Facebook! Can you tell which photos are of real things and which are of miniatures? Some people can!

I think this will take you to my quiz (Facebook membership required)

This started out as a regular photo!

The effect that makes the photo look like a miniature is called Tilt Shift. I've been interested in photos that have been modified this way since I first noticed it a few years ago, but never bothered to try it myself. Now there's a simple web tool that does the basic modification for you.

Check out Tilt Shift Maker!


Friday, January 09, 2009

Twas the Season...In Pictures!

One of the high points of my ourWorld holiday season was dressing up as Santa. I took a lot of in-game photos, visible on the ourWorld Photos Flickr account.

I received a lot of requests. The kids wanted, in order of popularity:
  1. A pony (an off-color inside joke, I think)
  2. A girlfriend/boyfriend. Sometimes specific, sometimes general.
  3. Money
  4. World Peace
  5. Puppy
To be fair, money and peace were a toss up, with money gaining a slight edge towards the end. My avatar now looks like it does in the sidebar here. That image is automatically updated and yes, you can click it to join ourWorld.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Deep End

I just received a comment about the ourWorld experience. This sort of feedback is really helpful as we try to mold our site's First Impression.

There are two factors that play off each other poorly.

  1. To provide a consistant new user experience, new users need to appear in a part of your world designed to accomodate them.
  2. When all sorts of new users appear in the same place, they tend to detract from the experience.
New users are more difficult to handle, in-game, than just about any other sort of player. They don't know what to do. They don't know what to say. If there's any kind of etiquette, they don't know it. They don't yet have a vested interest in the site or the community, so they're prone to a level of rude/crudeness that mellows as players settle in.

I like YoVille's party system, because its easy to find and it gives even the newest players a framework for discussion. TOPICS.

The ourWorld experience starts with a mission-based tutorial, but that doesn't last long, and it doesn't satisfy the need to establish communication with the other players. Those other players also don't know what to say, so its common to see a crowded room full of people not talking (or talking crap.)

I will say that once ourWorld players do make some friends, they have a lot of fun. Our loyal players are extremely loyal, and I think its because our work is paying off with a strong, entertaining, experience. (of course, I'm biased.)

No solutions today, but food for thought. That might be even better.