Need a new social gaming addiction? Glitch, the long-awaited, Flash-based, browser-centric MMO brought to you from the minds that birthed Flickr, was launched earlier today.
The quirky non-violent massively multi-player game, set in the minds of eleven giants, finally left a lengthy beta Tuesday. The central idea in Glitch is that in order to save the future, players travel back in time and shape the creation myth. There is one shared world, actions are in real-time and everything action you take will develop and evolve the world for everyone else.
“A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play,” wrote Stewart Butterfield on the game’s blog today, quoting James P. Carse in order to emphasis how open-ended and immense he believes the game will be.
The team behind the new social phenomenon is San Francisco start-up Tiny Speck, which is comprised of people from early Flickr such as: Eric Costello, Cal Henderson and of course Stewart Butterfield. Tiny Speck also hired Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi to work on all aspects of the Glitch world.
Because the game isn’t focused on violence, Butterfield expects to draw players from a large pool, from FarmVille lovers to hard-core gamers. The social aspect will be a major part of game play; unlocking skills and individual achievements, such as pushing past the edge of the world, will benefit all inhabitants. Designers expect to be surprised by the communities formed and the new cultures created in the open-ended Glitch world.
The game is separate from Facebook, but uses the social network site to connect with friends. With Glitch, you’ll have the ability to IM friends, view a friends’ activity stream and interact with forums. Though the game is free, players can purchase additional items and even subscribe to Premium service if they’re really into it.
“I wanted to make a game where it wasn’t an act of combat, because play I think is a really valuable part of life,” Butterfield said.