Lost in the whirlwind of launches over the past few days including the iPhone 4, its new operating system iOS4, Salesforce Chatter and Google Voice; a small gaming company’s public launch got lost in the mix from the tech blogosphere. Atmosphir is more than a game, it’s a platform for gamers to customize virtually everything including their characters and new levels. Once a user has created a new level, that user can share the level with the entire community.
It’s truly unique gameplay and shows promise that the game won’t stale over time. In comparison, Zelda has 16 titles while Mario has god knows. What if these two classics allowed you to extend the game, or allowed users to create a bundle of levels that could be brought together to create new stories so the game would never end? The game manufacturers, like I would expect Atmosphir is doing, could simply enable new features of game play while maintaining the service.
This brings up an interesting thought; What’s the point of building something that isn’t inclusive of a platform or at least contains a fully open API to build on top of? Creating software today that doesn’t allow strangers the ability to tinker seems like a road to failure. I can’t think of a company that is creating cutting edge stuff that isn’t working on a platform. Yahoo! has BOSS(Build your Own Search Service), Salesforce has Force.com, Microsoft has Azure, Amazon has AWS and Pervasive (the company I work for) is even getting into IaaS or Integration as a Service with our DataCloud2 platform.
It doesn’t stop there, smaller companies are also jumping on the bandwagon to extend their niche. The hottest thing in mobile right now is location, but developers don’t have to worry about curating their own location data or features; Simple Geo, Geo API and Location Labs all have platforms with location data and services ready for consumption. Further proof is what some companies are calling Font as a Service or FaaS. Fontdeck and Typekit allow web designers access to an encyclopedia of fonts via web services which should help push the adoption of HTML5 and CSS3 further faster.
Here’s a video overview of Atmosphir