Some years ago there was Glitch, an innovative MMORPG whose client ran in the web browser, and offered non-violent and whimsical play. The land of Ur in that game was overseen by eleven sleeping Giants, and players could create customized characters to roam around, explore, collect things, complete quests, earn achievements, and generally have fun. While there were still dangers (in the form of The Rook, a horde of malicious crows that occasionally attacked) it was mostly pretty chill. It was essentially a platforming world, but there were fun twists on the formula.
They hired on Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari Damacy, Noby Noby Boy, and later on Wattam, and although they closed before many of his ideas could be implemented they did manage to release the area Shim Shiri, which was kind of a shortcut hub for the game’s world. Scattered throughout the world were the mouths of gigantic creatures, you see, which you could dive into, zip down their digestive systems, and be pooped out the other end in Shim Shiri. Then you could go to another creature’s butt, jump right up it, and emerge elsewhere! His ideas were recorded on the Glitchipedia on the Glitch game’s website, which is still up.
Glitch was never very popular, but it gathered a passionate fanbase. I started playing Glitch, as often happens with me, right after it was announced that it was closing permanently. I could see, even in the limited time that I was there, that it was special.
Glitch was run by Tiny Speck and created by Stewart Butterfield, who founded Flickr, and afterward went on to create Slack. It’s rumored that Slack’s humble beginnings were in Glitch’s communications code.
If you get the feeling that you missed out on something cool, well, you did. But not forever! Metafilter user fiercecupcake recently informed us of a couple of Glitch revival projects. Tiny Speck thoughtfully contributed all of Glitch’s assets to the public domain soon after they shut the game down to aid in others who wish to revive the game. One of these, Odd Giants, is currently in alpha and playable! It’s implemented as a Unity stand-alone application instead of running in a web browser, and it is a fairly substantial download at around 1.3 GB, so keep that in mind. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
It tends only to have a small number of people online at any given time, but perhaps there lies the seeds of something great? Well, likely not, it is a fan recreation of a dead MMORPG, but perhaps, just perhaps….