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Monday, January 5, 2009

As Lively Goes Down, NewLively Springs Up

Google’s 3D world Lively, as announced last year, was stopped on January 1st after being live just a couple of months. Their homepage is now displaying a good-bye message, and if you were among the (not so lucky) early adopters, your embedded rooms will now show a hand-waving and posing avatar crowd.

However, an unofficial contender for a replacement sprung up from 3D developers in Beijing, China: New Lively. I only tested this via BrowserPool* as I didn’t feel like installing an executable on this computer today – just as Lively did it, New Lively runs as an exe-powered plug-in to your browser – so I wasn’t able to see how fluid this worked. However, what little I saw looked indeed remarkably like the beginning of a Lively clone (probably close enough for Google lawyer’s to get that C&D itch, though I’m not sure they have any incentive for that).

Not Lively, but New Lively

The NewLively creators – who say they “work in various fields of 3D and computer programming” – in their FAQ explains their motivation behind creating this clone:

We created Newlively for three reasons: 1) to restore Lively users their lost cyberspace; 2) to put our strengths to test whether our executive management are functional; 3) to test and prove to ourselves that our skills and abilities are in fact cutting-edge.

The FAQ also answers the question of how long NewLively was in the works. According to the team, “From decision-making to the release of the trial version, it took approximately one month.”

[Thanks Ionut!]

*I can’t access the website for some time now, though their virtual computer tool still works when you have it installed.


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