Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Group to discuss Virtual Worlds on the Web using Unity3d and Jibe

I've just started a new Google Group for folks interested in creating virtual worlds on the web using Jibe and Unity3d. You can join it here.

Unity3d is a very popular professional game development platform for creating 3d environments. Jibe is a platform that we've developed at ReactionGrid to allow anyone to deploy multiuser virtual worlds on the web that are built with Unity3d.

Unity3d and Jibe have some really cool affordances for developing immersive and interactive projects, particularly for educators. The worlds are accessible from a web browser, voice and text chat are both available, all content is based on industry-standard mesh models, and you can write scripts in C# and JavaScript. There are also ways to integrate a Jibe world with web-based CMS /LMS systems, and future versions of Jibe will also support deployment on things like iPads and other mobile platforms.

I'm not a professional 3d content creator, and I can barely script my way out of a paper bag. But I've managed to create my own Jibe world online. Learning Jibe and Unity3d is not insanely hard. Anyone can do it, really.

Which is precisely why I've started the Jibe and Unity3d Google Group. I'll be posting my own experiences to the group and sharing resources that I've found very useful. Bring your questions and creative ideas. Let's build a supportive and helpful community together!

And if you'd like to listen to a presentation I recently gave at VWBPE on the educational affordances of web-based virtual worlds, Jibe and Unity3d, please take a look at this video:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Office Hours in your Browser

We've been working very hard here at ReactionGrid on our virtual world platform called Jibe.

Jibe is a great way to give people access to virtual worlds through a web browser, and future versions will support mobile devices and even game consoles. You use the Unity3D editor to create environments in Jibe, and I've been having a lot of fun learning how to use it as well as finding cool places to get reusable 3D mesh content.

I now have my own Jibe-based virtual world online and accessible by anyone who wants to visit. You can access it in your web browser by simply clicking this link.

You'll often find me in my Jibe world during the day, so please stop by and visit. And feel free to visit and explore even if I'm not around. I'm still building things out, so please mind the mess. I plan on adding some fun interactive games and hidden secrets in the future.

I also host weekly scheduled Office Hours in my Jibe world if you'd like to join me and other people interested in Unity3D development and creating online worlds with Jibe. Please see my Office Hours page for more details.

-John "Pathfinder" Lester
Director of Community Development
ReactionGrid, Inc.