Writing on LinkedIn, Tommy Palm, CEO of Resolution Games, has outlined his vision for entering the metaverse. While all the talk is of bold, big moves, he suggests that the sensible route to the future – and the one most likely to produce results in any kind of realisable timeframe – could be to take tiny steps instead…
The “metaverse” is everywhere you look these days, and it seems like the tech community is largely in agreement that it will exist in some form or another someday. Today though, it’s still very much in its infancy. That in itself makes it an exciting time, with many questions left unanswered in terms of just what the metaverse should look like; how it will grow and take shape, as well as how companies and brands will participate in a way that’s truly meaningful for the next generation of digital citizens.
But at the very heart of the many conversations surrounding the metaverse, you’ll find the same questions: how do people want to be connected (and how do we make this happen in the metaverse)?
So how do we get there? Let’s be honest… as someone who has been R&D-ing this for years, I can say that no one knows for sure what the metaverse will look like. But I’ve got my thoughts.
Do video games have the answer?
From the telegraph and telephone to the messaging app that you’re carrying around in your pocket, technology changes how humanity communicates. The internet was the last major innovation on this front — and we’ve seen it iterated on for decades.
And while seemingly every industry has touched the development of the internet in some crucial way, it’s video games that have really been at the forefront of this iteration. From asynchronous multiplayer games, to voice chat, to MMOs, and now giant action environments like Fortnite, video games have experimented endlessly with how to foster deep and meaningful social interactions using the latest technologies.
But what is it about video games that brings so many people onboard to try something new? The answer might be obvious, but I think it’s key to building whatever it is the metaverse will eventually be: they bring people together around a common interest.
The ‘tiny’ path to a metaverse
Now here’s where it gets interesting… While some are taking the meta approach to move things forward, we’re taking the “tiny” approach. Why? Because that’s what our players want, and that’s how we see the metaverse shaping up: as a series of tinyverses focusing on specific interests that bring people together as an entry point into a (possibly) larger metaverse.
Here at Resolution Games, we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating opportunities for meaningful social interactions between our players. With games like Blaston, Demeo, Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale and Acron: Attack of the Squirrels!, we’ve noticed time and again that people come for the game and find themselves staying for the community, so we’re always experimenting with new ways that players can find each other and have fun together.
And our interest in creating social experiences isn’t limited to gameplay.
At the very end of 2020 we released Ozo Lounge — a unique social space where users with a shared interest (in this case, our futuristic dueling game Blaston) could come together to meet and interact outside of the game. Ozo Lounge provides new activities built around fostering conversation, and even opens gateways back into the game where new friends can jump into a match together while others spectate. And because it was released as a free update to the game, our players all had easy access to explore an immersive social setting at their leisure.
Welcome to our newest tinyverse!
Demeo has always been a deeply social experience, but with the introduction of Heroes’ Hangout, players can come together in a setting that fits their style as they reminisce about past quests, interact with mini-games, and sit down with the new friends they’ve made to launch a session of Demeo from around the Hangout’s gaming table.
Connecting people is crucial, but finding a reason to connect them is the string that ties it all together. While it’s hard to imagine exactly what the metaverse will look like in ten or twenty years, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some element of “tiny” at its very core.
By creating small environments tailored to interests and providing users with plenty of optional activities that foster new relationships and interactions, the metaverse can work for everyone. It’s the difference between becoming a regular in your neighborhood pub and trying to make friends in an airport.
If you love fantasy role-playing and the fun of tabletop games, be sure to check out the Heroes’ Hangout in Demeo. You might just become a regular.
Tommy Palm started programming games for Commodore 64 back in 1986 as a hobby. In 1999 he founded Jadestone AB, working as concept creator and game designer on more than 20 game titles including Championship Manager Online, Karlsson på Taket (mobile), Dirk Dagger, Niko, Free Zombie Hero, Elin’s House, World in War and Kodo. His team has been awarded ten prizes and numerous nominations at IMGA and IGF Mobile. In 2009 Tommy and Alex spawned Jadestone’s Mobile department into a new company, Fabrication Games, which was acquired by King in 2012. In 2015 he founded Resolution Games where he currently works as CEO.