Hi, I’m Daniel Perano, the founder & designer of MyWorld. About six years ago, I started a hobby project to build a small, lightweight virtual world engine. That little side hobby grew to become the MyWorld project. Whether you’re considering joining and supporting the project as a Founding Member or you’re just passing through, I’d like to take a few moments and tell you my story about how I fell in love with virtual worlds and why I set out on a journey to design the next generation of virtual worlds.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a passion for open worlds in computer & video games. As a child playing 90’s era games on a PC, I always wanted to abandon the preset storyline and just “live” and play in the virtual world created by the game’s authors. I had the good fortune to be the son of a highly skilled software developer, and as soon as my ten-year-old self found out that computers were programmable via special computer-specific languages I knew I wanted to make my own games too. That, of course, wouldn’t come to pass for a while.
Fast forward several years, and I stumbled across a magazine article about Linden Labs’ Second Life. This was the first I’d heard about “virtual worlds” – online 3D platforms where anything you could dream of making or doing is possible. This sparked my interest in online virtual worlds, and after a couple of years of my curiosity and fascination fanning this spark into flame, I had my first experience with the online virtual world. Here I must pause and make a confession – my first interaction with this virtual world that I was so anxious to experience was an act of utter fraud. At the ripe young age of fourteen I snuck onto Second Life as an underage user, and, as you might guess, my residency there was short-lived. Not long after my ill-fated start on Second Life I made my way to OSGrid, where I could legitimately have an account and be a permanent member of the community despite being under eighteen. I spent countless hours across multiple years on OSGrid, and I experienced everything that world had to offer – building simple creations, scripting in LSL, making deep friendships with people across the world, heart-wrenching grief when one of the best friends I’d made in any life, virtual or real, suddenly passed away, and then healing when somebody I barely even knew spent hours comforting me. There was no going back – I was forever hooked on virtual worlds.
As much as I loved the virtual world, however, I was always annoyed by the technical limitations and inevitable bugs that seemed to pop up right and left. By this time I was a reasonably decent programmer (having learned to program in Java and C, and write scripts in LSL), and I decided that I’d set out to make a “better” virtual world engine, one that was a bit more powerful and (hopefully) didn’t have so many bugs in it. That was the birth of MyWorld, and although I didn’t realize it at the time, it would alter the course of my collegiate and professional life until virtually every aspect of my learning became focused around developing the skills and knowledge that I’d need to make MyWorld succeed.
Over the following years, I spent thousands of hours on the MyWorld project. The first couple of years were largely devoted to learning – I voraciously studied anything I could find related to game programming, computer graphics, and designing efficient distributed computer systems. Whenever I learned something, I applied it to the project – I tried out countless designs for everything from the server architecture, to the networking engine, to the client: trying, altering, discarding, re-designing, and trying again until I found something that fit both what I’d learned from industry experts and what intuitively seemed the best and simplest solution to whatever problem I was facing.
I’ve come a long way from the rookie programmer who started the MyWorld project, and MyWorld has evolved over the years into the foundation of a system powerful enough to be a platform for massive, multiplayer online (MMO) games in addition to general purpose social virtual worlds. What hasn’t changed is that I still believe in the power of virtual worlds to touch and enrich people’s lives. My passion is to make virtual worlds be everything that they can be, and for me that means taking this next step to launch MyWorld, LLC, release the MyWorld project, and enrich people’s lives by providing a user friendly virtual world platform that makes the most of modern technology. Somewhere along the way, I realized how powerful a platform like MyWorld would be for independent game developers and small studios interested in making MMO games. Once MyWorld’s core as a virtual world platform is stabilized, we’ll be building a set of tools so that developing MMO games is accessible to game developers who previously did not have the resources needed to take on a project of that scale.
This brings us to the end of my story about how I fell in love with virtual worlds and why I started the MyWorld project. I hope you’ll stay in touch! You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and chat with us on our Discord server!
I hope to meet you in MyWorld soon!