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Onverse is a free online 3D virtual world, social network and gaming platform developed by Onverse, LLC. Onverse, LLC is a privately held company based out of Tempe, Arizona. Its name is a portmanteau of "online" and "universe."

History

Onverse, LLC was founded in late 2006 by Stephen M. Pierce II, former Design Manager for Sony Online Entertainment, who had grown tired of the corporate environment and felt he was "ready to build his own world."[8][9] Development of the online world began in late 2007 when Pierce was able to convince an engineer, Wesley Macdonald, to take on the project.[10] The staff soon expanded with the addition of Eric Hoefer (an artist), Ben Steele (an animator), and Scott Mitting (a web engineer).[11] After 18 months the Windows client opened to a public beta on June 15, 2009.[12] On August 6, 2009, the Mac OS X client opened to the public.[13]

Technology

Onverse is built on top of a highly modified version of the Torque Game Engine.[14] Using Torque means it is available for both Mac OS X and Windows operating systems.[15] The game can be run with high or low-detail graphics. High-detail produces better images, whereas low-detail reduces lag on less powerful computers. The patching system was developed in-house, allowing it to be compatible with many operating systems.[16]

Features

Social Network

Onverse is both a social network and a virtual world.[17] Its website includes popular features of social networking, including: avatars profiles, media sharing, user comments, microblogging and an interactive forum.

Virtual World

Main features of the virtual world include:

  • A large amount of free content (e.g., apartments, clothing, furniture, tools)
  • Player Points (see Economy) to purchase upgraded tools, furniture, pets, clothing and homes[18]
  • Games and puzzles that produce rewards
  • A large variety of settings to chat and interact with other avatars in
  • Official competitions and events for Cash Coin rewards (see Economy)

VIP Subscription Service

Players have the to option to subscribe to a pay-to-play service (dubbed "VIP Club"). [19] This subscription offers many benefits to players including:

  • 20% off of the price of all in-game items
  • An increase in inventory space of 50%
  • 20% increase on the total amount of furniture that can be placed in one's home
  • Exclusive items
  • A monthly stipend of CC, The amount depends on what package you have purchased
  • Access to alpha-level content
  • Logo showing VIP status within the game, next to your name.

The World

The Learning Center

The Learning Center consists of a series of tutorials. All new players spawn in the Learning Center in the hopes that they will complete the tutorials. Completing the tutorials is optional, but encouraged.

The Hub

The Hub is the central shopping district and contains many themed stores. The Hub features the Shark Tank Nightclub, a popular hangout destination. It is notable because its entrance is shaped like a shark's mouth. The Hub contains Metroview apartments, a large apartment complex that features free apartments, deluxe apartments and penthouses. The Hub also encompasses surrounding areas including Blue Water Bay. To celebrate the 2009 Holiday Season the Hub was decorated with snowmen, Christmas trees and falling snow. The Hub was decorated to celebrate Independence Day 2009, and Spring 2010 as well, albeit on a smaller scale.

Volcano Island

Volcano Island was the first community available. It has a tropical island theme (i.e., Hawaiian) with many different areas and secret caves. The island gets its name from "Old Smokey," a large active volcano. Housing is Tuscan themed and encompasses dwellings such as bungalows to mansions. Volcano Island has a few island-themed shops and Paradise Apartments which contains apartments and deluxe apartments.

Paradise Estates

Paradise Estates are located on islands outlaying Volcano Island. Each island is home to four estates, which may have one mansion and one or two smaller structures. Estates gave players the ability to place objects on the terrain surrounding their house, which was previously impossible.[20]

Ancient Moon

Ancient Moon is a distant moon that orbits the Onverse world. Ancient Moon is the largest area of the game and has many points of interest, most notable "The Temple of Suul", a giant maze users must traverse cooperatively in order to gain a reward.[21] Housing in this community is notable because it is a departure from previously seen housing; players live in biodome-esque areas. The Sol Apartment complex is home to apartments and deluxe apartments. Ancient Moon now has its own set of estates similar to Volcano Island's Paradise Estates.

Minigames

IceFall

IceFall was the first minigame in Onverse. IceFall is a simple first person shooter game where 8 players can play simultaneously. Gameplay takes place on a floating platform formed by square tiles. Players try to collect PP while attempting knock off their opponents by firing snowballs or by acquiring additional power-ups while avoiding being knocked off themselves. There are four versions of the arena that have different entry costs: 0PP (Free), 100PP, 500PP and 1000PP.[22]

Splatball

Splatball is the second minigame in Onverse. Splatball is a paintball shooter minigame. In the future, players will be able to purchase different Splatball guns. Players compete against one another trying to "splat" each other in the process. Splatball was released with the 0.8.3 update. The game features free-for-all battles and team battles.

Economy

The Onverse economy runs on a dual currency model: Player Points (abbreviated as "PP") and Cash Coins ("CC.")

Player Points

Player Points are the free currency in Onverse. PP are acquired through the use of tools or by playing games (e.g., IceFall). PP can be used to buy approximately half of the items in the game.

Cash Coins

Cash Coins are the paid currency in Onverse. CC are used to purchase exclusive/rare items, pets, mansions and penthouses. CC can be converted to PP by an NPC at a rate of 100CC for 1,000PP. CC can be purchased online or be freely obtained by recruiting new users and participating in promotional offers.

References

External links

Template:3D virtual worlds Template:Torque Game Engine games

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