Wild Pockets, a solutions provider for 3D game development, recently held the 2010 Bay Area Game Jam, held and sponsored by Microsoft at their Mountain View campus. Groups and individuals gathered to crank out games using the Wild Pockets Game Engine which enables developers to rapidly create 3D casual games. I had a chance to speak with a few people from Wild Pockets and learn more about their offerings.
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The Wild Pockets game builder is a web-based environment which offers: a drag-and-drop functionality for scene editing, global content library with tons of pre-created items, and API documentation. I’m not a developer so discussing the technical make-up of Wild Pockets’ offering is beyond the scope of this article.
Speaking with Shanna Tellerman, the Founder and CEO of Wild Pockets, I found her to be very knowledgeable of the gaming space. A Carnegie Mellon alumni, she founded the company in 2005 with a vision of creating a 3D game development platform. The bet on 3D is a big one as the gaming industry matures and an increasing number of non-gamers find themselves playing social games like Farmville, but Wild Pockets seems to be doing a great job of fostering their community and providing them value along the entire lifecycle of game development. I currently don’t have any statistics from surveys revealing consumer behavior and reaction to 3D games but for game developers to strive for simplicity is a no-brainer.
The downside to Wild Pockets is that it requires a plug-in, similar to Unity 3D, a 3D development environment for web, mobile and consoles. One Wild Pockets representative stated that Wild Pocket’s does NOT aim to be like Unity, asserting that the latter is targeted for hardcore game development with longer development lifecycles. Wild Pockets’ goal is then to focus on providing casual game developers an easy way to create 3D games and deploy games similar to the way YouTube videos would be – anywhere on the web.
Some games currently under development will even be easily embeddable in Facebook’s environment, complete with leaderboards and social integrations. In addition, Wild Pockets also provides analytics and offer a built-in transaction system to enable in-game monetization.
Wild Pockets aims to have its plug-in be ubiquitous and present in popular browsers, and eventually on mobile devices, but the team realizes that this will not come easy. Their strategy is to work closely with indie game developers with promising concepts that could have break-through success, carrying the Wild Pockets name with them. Also Wild Pockets offers a digital marketplace that allows users to buy, sell, trade, upload or share 3D models, textures, sounds, scripts, behaviors, and more – a model where Wild Pockets will benefit from every transaction while allowing developers to monetize their assets and modules.
With platforms like Unity gaining wide developer acceptance – will Wild Pockets be able to do the same for a separate market? We’ll be watching closely and wish them the best. Check out their website here.