Google officially enters the Gaming Industry

Google announced a 3D Virtual world called Lively at the Austin GDC.

Most importantly, Hanna quietly announced that while you can currently embed any Google Gadget into Lively’s world – such as YouTube videos or weather reports running on virtual TVs – the company will soon be providing an API for developers to create new interactive gadgets to run in the space. ……

…… And, taking that idea to its logical conclusion, Hanna said that the Lively team also had on its roadmap opening the API further to create entire 3D games entirely through Lively, to use, he said, “the economy that we’ve set up… and build own games on top of that – it opens up a world of possibilities” from his 11 year old daughter creating content to a startup building their “dream game” – not one based on what a publisher dictates.

Check the Gaming Industry article here and Google’s Lively page here. Check the follow Youtube video:

This is direct competition to Linden Lab makers of Second Life. Soon, the Playstation Home will launch on the PS3 and it offers pretty much the same experience. Second Life has the biggest install base as of now and I’m sure Google has a solid plan for Lively. Sony’s Home is not in the same space since its focused on PS3 users, but I could see Sony is already investing a lot of time and effort into it, they might as well make it accessible on PCs. We will see how this plays out.

Here is a video that shows Sony’s Home:

And here is an introductory video of Second Life:

The Havok Physics Competition

Havok and Intel are sponsoring a competition for best use of Physics in a video game and best knowledge base Physics entry. I will be one of the judges of the competition.

You can check the competition here and the judges page is linked here. Here are more details on the two categories of the competition:

Category 1: Most Innovative Use of Physics in a Game. Your entry must be a playable PC game demo that includes new or unique uses of Havok technology. We’re looking for new ways for the player to interact with the game through physics, showing different uses of physics than what can be found in PC games today. This can be a FPS, sports game, casual game, or any other type of game.

Category 2: Best Physics Knowledge Base Entry. We’re looking for the best contributions that can benefit the game developer community. This can be a code sample, optimization tip, technical whitepaper, a technical abstract of your demo, or any other technical content that shares your knowledge of game physics with the community.