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Netbabyworld

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Netbabyworld is one of the first browser-based social gaming sites, known for its distinctive low-polygon 3d imagery, centered on an ensemble cast of characters. Founded in 1999, Netbabyworld developed as a merge venture with the Swedish company PlayCom (formerly Game Design Sweden).

Characters

Digger

Slacker

Ninja

Pekka

Moniq

Boss

Copernicus (Copern)

Games

Netbabyworld created around 20 games from 1999–2003, initially through Macromedia Shockwave, then later moving to their own proprietary PlayCom engine.

Shockwave games

Cycling

Probably the first of the NBW games, Cycling was quickly removed. The player mashed one or two buttons to move a cyclist along a track, similar to the 1980s series Summer Games.

Hi-jump

Another early game, Hi-jump is a two-button game where Digger

Ninjagirl

Ninjagirl II

Ninjagirl III

Now unavailable, Ninjagirl III allowed players to create and share their own levels.

Boat race

A top-down jet boat racing game where the player can choose between Slacker, Digger and Ninja, competing in circuit races against the other two players.

15-Love

A tennis game where the player is represented by a floating racquet.

16-Beat

In this game, the player is represented by Slacker, receiving a music lesson from Copernicus.

Tune Inn

Post Office

PlayCom games

Burger Inn

The first of the PlayCom-based games, Burger Inn sees the player represented by either Pekka or Moniq, earning money by flipping burgers for Boss.

Boatrace Gold

Now unavailable, boatrace gold was the only PlayCom game to run outside of a browser. The player raced in a 3rd-person, 3-dimensional environment.

Mobile games

Mini-Ninja

A mini-golf game featuring Digger.

Unreleased games

Jock-Strap

A 3D boxing game featuring Slacker and Digger.

Netbaby Grand Prix

The Netbaby Grand Prix Concept was developed for Nokia in a joint venture with Daydream Mobile and Terraplay. Netbaby Grand Prix is a racing game and allows up to three players to compete simultaneously in real-time over networks.

Reception

While the site enjoyed a great deal of popularity through this period, winning the 2002 Webby for best game site [1], Netbaby's monetization model was unclear.

The Playcom website states that "In April 2003 PlayCom was acquired through a management buyout by the management team, as well as key employees from former Netbaby World." It was around this time that the community features were removed, and site updates ceased.

Legacy and influence

As of 2009, Netbabyworld.com is still online and serving the Shockwave-based games. A former member of the team, Nick Sakellariou, has released a mobile version of Ninja Girl[2].


External links

References

  1. 2002 Webby nominees & Winners. Webby awards..
  2. Ninja Girl. Nick Sakellariou..

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