The above video has been gaining attention since first appearing on You Tube at the end of August. It’s advance promotion for a new virtual worlds platform called Sinewave.space, built using the Unity 3D engine, and which may be opening its doors to initial users in December 2015.
The company behind Sinewave.space is Sine Wave Entertainment, a name which may be familiar to many Second Life users, given it is also the company behind the highly successful Sine Wave animations brand in-world.
Spearheading the work is Sine Wave’s CEO, Adam Frisby, a man who has considerable experience with virtual world platforms, having been one of the founders of the OpenSimulator project. In Second Life he is probably better known as Adam Zaius, the man behind such ventures as Azure Islands and the DeepThink virtual worlds development agency, which operated in both Second Life and OpenSim.
Nor are Sine Wave Entertainment new to the virtual worlds market. They’ve built and operated a number of virtual world spaces themselves, and they’ve produced virtual world spaces on behalf of clients, with all of their products created using the Unity 3D engine.
Perhaps the largest of their own environments is Wet.fm, a music-focused virtual environment claiming some 400,000 “live audience members”, 120 artists and some 600 music events held to date.
Chief among client-oriented spaces the company have developed is Flybar, a “multiplayer social game and on-line cinema for [the] globally distributed Spanish language soap opera Cuéntame cómo pasó“, and which claims 1.2 million unique visitors since 2012, together with the Gojiyo virtual world / platform The latter was originally developed for India’s Godrej Industries and boasts 1.7 million registered users. It also appears to have what might be called associated games or spin-offs, such as Jiyopets.
Reading the available information about sinewave.space, it’s interesting to note the similarities in approach between it and Project Sansar. For example, both platforms are intended to be white label environments in which creators can build their own branded spaces, and then promote / market them directly to their potential audience, complete with sign-up portal, etc., without that audience necessarily being aware that the space they are entering is part of a platform providing many such spaces / experiences.
Further, both companies indicate the spaces within each platform could potentially be of unlimited size (Sine Wave indicate bandwidth, and Linden Lab the physics simulator, as being the only practical limitations to “land size”); both platforms will offer a mix of “in-built” tools as well as support for a broad range of 3rd party tools for content creation – although Sine Wave would appear to be significantly further down the road in this. Sine Wave and Linden Lab also appear to be steering a similar course in terms of offering central user account management, virtual goods marketing, etc., which can be used across multiple environments running on their platforms.
Which should not be taken to mean I think the two are in any way connected – I don’t. Rather, I find it interesting that two companies, each with their own approach to building and running immersive 3D spaces, have arrived at a similar conceptual approach as to how to build a platform aimed at being flexible enough in design and implementation to appeal to a wide cross-section of potential use-cases, without necessarily tying creators / clients / partners – or indeed, users – to a single branded environment.
Obviously, there are differences as well. For example, Sine Wave have indicated that among the worlds running on Sinewave.space will be a number of their own spaces – such as the aforementioned wet.fm, which is due for a re-launch under the sinewave.space banner in the near future – with the Sine Wave portfolio listing a number (all?) of such spaces which might be candidates for inclusion.
Sine Wave also have the advantage of building on an engine – Unity 3D – with which they have many years of experience of both operating and using to build virtual spaces, rather than starting entirely from scratch. Lessons learned from past efforts can be put directly to use. They are also well-versed in the tools an capabilities contained within the engine without having to go through an internal learning curve as a part of the development process, and they have experience in combining the tools within the engine with their own tools – motion capture, animation, etc. – to present creators with an integrated tool chain.
As it is, and as noted earlier, Sine Wave are seeking content creators – region designers, clothing designers, animators and gesture designers, vehicle builders, and more – and in doing so, they’re offering those signing-up a 70/30 (in the creator’s favour) revenue split on all content sold within the platform’s worlds when they are opened to users. Those interested should follow the above link to find out more.
It’ll be interesting to see how sinewave.space develops over the coming months, both independently as with Project Sansar as a possible frame of reference (and even vice-versa), and I hope to be able to provide updates on progress through these pages.
Note; this article was largely drafted prior to show #84 of the Drax Files Radio Hour podcast, in which Drax talks to Adam Frisby about Sinewave.space. You can hear the conversation starting at the 34:30 mark, with an introduction by Drax.