Zat Home Zat Home Zat - Tools for the Future of the Internet
  1. Ecommerce
  2. Intranets
  3. Multimedia
  4. Online Games
  5. Computer Based Training
  6. Interactive Television
  7. Distributed Applications
Spin World
About Zat
Search Site

Scenario 4:
Online Games

Gabe Peters is one of the leading game designers in the world. He has written games for all ages, from children to adults. He does not write noisy "twitch" games (like Quake or Doom). Instead, his games are more cerebral, like Myst, Civilization, or 7th Guest (which typically sell more copies than most twitch games). He often writes games based on popular books or movies, and his games usually feature stunning visuals and high-quality sound.

Like all game designers, Gabe knows that the Internet holds tremendous promise for games. No longer will he have to compete with other CD-ROMs for scarce shelf space in retail computer stores, or pay exorbitant amounts to get any sort of distribution. He can try out new ideas and develop new kinds of games for specialized tastes that would not have been commercially viable in the old days.

And the Internet will not just be a new distribution channel. Gabe envisions games that grow over time — with new rooms, new puzzles, and new adventures — so that the players will come back over and over. He also wants to build games where players interact with each other; for example, where players compete to solve a puzzle, or, even better, where it takes more than one player to cooperate to reach a goal.

Gabe is bursting with ideas for new games. Unfortunately, even though he has tried every authoring tool available, there are no tools to help Gabe build these new games. For games that are played over a network, current tools offer no help, or only provide simple things like streaming video. For games that grow over time, Gabe needs database management facilities. For games where the number of players changes over time, current tools offer no help at all. Gabe does not want to hire large numbers of programmers to write these games — programmers are expensive. And besides, games should be written by game designers!

Then someone tells Gabe about Spin. Spin has the multimedia features that Gabe requires, but also has the networking abilities that he craves. Games written using Spin can access databases over the Internet, and dynamically add new players to an ongoing game. Because he doesn't have to hire programmers, Gabe can create specialized games that appeal to niche markets. When he does utilize programmers, the programmers and game designers can work together, using Spin as a common language through which they can communicate (rather than trading cumbersome storyboards and prototypes back and forth).

By having more than one person work simultaneously on the same game, Gabe can create games much faster than before, even creating games that are released at the same time as the book or movie they are based on. This gives his games much larger exposure and provides significant co-marketing opportunities. By sharing components between games, Gabe can produce more games, so he can reduce the price of his games to the point where they become an impulse buy, like a book or a music CD.

Games that are created using Spin run on all popular platforms, so game designers do not have to create multiple versions. Consumers are less wary of these games because they have far fewer installation or compatibility problems. With increased consumer acceptance, along with the significantly lower cost of producing games using Spin, more and more games are produced. The price of games goes down while profits go up, and the market begins to take off.

| Previous Scenario | Next Scenario |

3D Zat Logo