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Google Lively to become online games platform

Mon 29 Sep 2008 7:00am GMT / 3:00am EDT / 12:00am PDT
Online

Creative director hopes Lively can replace corporate mentality currently 'sucking the life out of making games'

Following confirmation that Google intends to open its virtual world Lively to games developers, creative director Kevin Hanna has revealed the long-term goal is for the service to become an online games platform.

At GDC Austin earlier this month, Hanna said that initially the company will release an application programming interface (API), allowing users to create simple arcade or 3D games.

"There is a longer term goal of opening up the API so the architecture of Lively could be used as an online games platform," detailed Hanna, speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz.

The veteran of Microsoft – who now works at Google partner X-Ray Kid with a team that includes former employees of Sony, Disney, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. and Marvel Entertainment – hopes that Lively can be an entry point for developers who can easily get to grips with the Google technology.

"I'd like for it to be invisible, where when it makes sense to have 3D aspects of the web, that everyone will have already downloaded the plug-in, it's one of the first things you do when you install your machine, and you're able to just jump around and play in a creative space," he said.

"I feel like a big chunk of the games industry out there has a corporate mentality where you're first to be second, and I've been there, where they say, "'Make sure you include this aspect, and this aspect, and this aspect, to ensure that we have an 80 per cent market share.'"

This copycat attitude is dampening the creativity of the games medium, according to Hanna, who believes Lively can can be an inspiration to developers.

"It's sucking the life out of what should be the most creative and innovative medium out there, and I hope that this inspires those same 'passionate start-ups' and kids in college to actually go and produce games where they don't have to worry about the visual bar or the accessibility, because those things are already pre-established."

The full interview with Kevin Hanna can be read here.

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