Back in February, the first glimpses of Glitch, a new massively multiplayer online game created by Tiny Speck, were shown to the world. Stewart Butterfield, the co-creator of Flickr and co-founder of Tiny Speck, gave us a walk-through of the game at that time. Even in its very early stages, it looked pretty damn good. And the potential was very apparent. Now it’s even more apparent, as the game gets ready to enter beta testing.
For the past several weeks, Glitch has been doing extensive alpha testing. Tiny Speck has set up Twitter accounts for the game to allow eager users to cut the invitation queue and try it out right away. We’ve heard from a few of those testers that the game is getting pretty solid — and addicting.
These testing rounds for Glitch have only been open for hours at a time. But they’re progressing to the point where a full-on beta test is getting very close, we’re hearing. A recent tweet from the Glitch Twitter account confirms this:
Good test, good test. Thanks everyone. There won’t be a test next week (company wide offsite meeting, planning beta), but: more asap!
That said, the switch from focusing on the underlying technology of the game to the actual gameplay itself only occurred recently, we hear. And while these tests are running smoothly, data is also being wiped out from time to time as changes are made. Tiny Speck also plans to test (whether it be alpha or beta) Glitch for the next several months before they fully open the game in 2011.
The game itself involves you creating a character and traveling through exotic worlds doing various actions. As you do this, you progress through levels, collect currency (currants), and do things to alter your energy and mood. You can also collect badges and skills along the way. Some actions in the game include harvesting plants, petting pigs, buying houses, raking dirt, drinking butterfly milk, and eatting sammiches.
Update: Butterfield sent us the video below showing off some of the updates they’ve done with the avatars in the game. But he also notes that even these are a bit old, and they’ve since added a bunch of new options. “They are pretty badass -– you can fine tune each facial feature and the expressive states and animations take those into account,” Stewart says. “[This is] definitely the most sophisticated flash-based avatar system we know about,” he continues.
While you wait to test it out, can find some of the latest artwork and music for the game here. Hopefully they still plan to include the Mike Arrington character (below).
Some of the skills you can earn: