Amazon yesterday soft-launched their 2-sim Amazon Developer island, targeted at developers using Amazon Web Services. While acknowledging that it is not complete, they are keen to start getting feedback from interested SLers so they are better able to launch a fully rounded offering in a few weeks time.
The build has been done by my very good friends at Virtuool, and cool wolf-man Joshua Culdesac's paw-prints are certainly all over it. If you've not seen their work before, can I commend you to this article and this one. Unusually for me, today's article is only "Part I". Why? Well, I simply didn't have enough time to fully explore the island last night, yet still picked up more information than I can comfortably blog in one sitting.
Given the company name, the island is naturally themed on the Amazon , though it also has a more general South American vibe going on: pumas roar at you from the bushes; alligators snap at you as you take a cruise in a fishing boat that would not look out of place on Lake Titicaca.
There is so much going on here it is going to take me some time to untangle. For starters, on arrival there is a 3D model of the island over which lies a glass plate, strong enough to bear your weight. As you click on information panels, a little guide-bot scoots across the plate and illuminates the destination on the island that matches your selection. Quite simply - brilliant!
I then took a cruise, whose gently meandering route took me past many of the buildings, before I jumped ship for a closer look. One area that I particularly enjoyed is the hovering meeting rooms. These could almost double as "speak your weight" machines, since they track (and display) the load in the room, and adjust the speed of the rotors accordingly, so as to keep you hovering in the same place. Niiiice....
I scouted out the Web Services Museum, but this is still awaiting its display cabinets. However, it did remind me that Joshua has developed a cool tool for building such structures. I had seen a demo of the building tool a couple of months ago, so it's good to see it put to use here.
This build is full of interesting, diverting details - almost to the point of overwhelming you on a quick visit.
What I love about Virtuool builds is:
- the sense of humour
- the left-field imagination
- the clever use of scripts to provide engaging animations and effects
- ... and lots of other stuff too...
PS: Oh... the green rocky thing that comes up to provide a path across the river?... is it supposed to keep going up? :-)