Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Odd but fun: online avatars

About a year ago a customer asked me to do a quick demo avatar for their Rails-based web site. We decided to use a trial license of OddCast.com's avatar toolkit. The demo was a lot of fun and very simple to implement (a few hours) but my customer decided to not buy the service. Anyway, I just received an OddCast newsletter that contained this link - make sure that you try uploading a picture of a face to animate; also move the mouse cursor around: OddCast avatars act like the old "X eyes" program, looking at the cursor. I used to do development work for both Disney and Nintendo, and the lesson I took away was to make things fun - entertainment is an end to itself. While browser based entertainment has a hard time right now competing with rich clients like World of Warcraft, browser entertainment experiences will keep getting better with JIT compiled Javascript, FLEX, Silverlight, etc.

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