Whirled is the third game created by Three Rings Design. It was announced at the Game Developers Conference in 2007. It is currently in the Open Beta stage, with a scheduled release later in the year. The principle behind the game is that it will be a web-based social world for chat and games, similar to the Playstation 3 game Home. Where Whirled differs from other games of a similar genre is that much of the content will be user created.
The games are being constantly updated, with a mixture of both player and developer content. Games can be created from scratch specifically for Whirled, or ported from a separate Flash source. Games can fall under several categories such as Word, Strategy, Action/Arcade, Card/Board, Words, Puzzle, Adventure/RPG, Sports/Racing, and Other. A few of Whirled's most popular games are:
- "Brawler Whirled" (Adventure/RPG)
- "QBeez Online" (Puzzle)
- "Bomboozle" (Puzzle)
- "LOLcaptios!" (Other)
- "filler" (Action/Arcade)
- "Tangleword" (Words)
- "Tree House Defense" (Strategy)
- "Corpse Craft" (Action/Arcade)
You can chat with other players, in which players can talk to each other. Game creators can choose to create trophies, which are awarded to players for specific achievements, such as reaching a certain level or getting a perfect score. Every game has a leaderboard displaying top-ranking players. A player's ranking for a game in Whirled is calculated by Whirled from the data which it receives from a game to award coins. You can make your own avatar, images and you can add your own iTunes music! All the rest is unknown for you to discover! Have Fun!
Whirleds and the Shop
Whirleds are places for groups of players to meet and chat with each other. The managers of a Whirled can place objects, known as "Toys" or "Furniture", in the different rooms contained in their Whirled. Anyone can freely enter a Whirled, as long as the Whirled's managers set it to be public. When in a Whirled, the player has a character based on the avatar they are currently using. Many different avatars can be stored and chosen between, but only one can be used at a time. Every avatar has its own specific states and actions. However, the default avatar that you start with, a piece of tofu, has very few. Whirleds are completely customizable with anything available in the shop. Each player has their own personal home, which is much like a Whirled, except that only the owner can edit it, and it is not listed with the Whirleds.
The Shop is where players can buy items to decorate their home or Whirled with. Users post their content to the Shop, where other users can then buy, rate, and comment on the items. A percentage of the profit from every purchase goes to the content creator. The type of an uploaded item affects how it will be used. Items are uploaded and categorized in the Shop and in your Inventory as being Avatars, Furniture, Pets, Backdrops, Toys, Games, Music, Videos, or Photos. The currency in Whirled is known as "Coins". Coins are earned by playing Games and people buying your content in the store. When a player buys or uploads something, they are then able to place it in a room or use the item at any time. Cheaper items are typically of a lower quality than those which are more expensive, so it is often best to save up Coins over time.
Players are given the ability to upload their own content to Whirled, which they can then place in their rooms or sell in the Shop. Content can be uploaded as many different types of objects. These include:
- Avatars (Your in-Whirled appearance, can only be a .swf flash file.)
- Furniture (Objects that can be placed in rooms, which are usually static, but can also be animated or interactive, though interactivity in Furniture is usually minimal)
- Backdrops (Background images for rooms, usually an image or Flash file)
- Pets (NPCs which are placed in rooms and walk around, and which can be programmed to talk, can only be .swf flash files)
- Toys (Objects which can be placed in rooms, where players can interact with them)
- Games (Playable Flash games written in AS3, which can award Coins and Trophies)
- Music (MP3 audio files which can be set to play in the background for a room)
- Images (Standard, raster graphic images which can be placed in rooms, used as a profile picture, or used in special "Remixable" items)
- Videos (FLV videos, like those used on Youtube, which can be placed in rooms for people to watch without leaving Whirled)
Anything can be uploaded as long as it is not Copyright-infringing or Mature, both of which are not allowed, and can result in deletion. Everything, excluding Music, Videos, and Remixable items, are just Images (ie. PNG, JPG, GIF, etc.) or Flash files (SWF).
On August 21, 2008, along with interface changes, came a new feature: the Whirled Passport. The Whirled Passport is basically a collection of stamps, which you earn for achievements in the Whirled, such as making a friend or uploading content. These stamps are generally just the equivalent of Trophies for the Whirled itself.
Because this feature promotes adding lots of friends, and uploading content to the store, many players have suggested that this might lead to issues with people spamming other players with friend requests, and a cluttered shop. Proponents of the passport disagree, claiming that since there is only a stamp for listing one item in the shop, there should only be one item listed per person, and that the people who spam friend requests will still spam either way.
Trophies are awards which can be unlocked by completing certain note-worthy achievements in trophy-enabled games. However, not all games are trophy-enabled. Socialization is one of the things for which Whirled was designed. The player's friends are displayed in a list, with the ones most recently online at the top. A player's friend list, home, and profile will always be accessible, unless they lock their rooms. When a player logs in, the first page they see is the "me" tab. It contains a list of friends who are on at the time, a list of recent activity by those friends, such as them befriending other players, winning trophies, gaining levels, or earning passport stamps. The player gains levels by earning Coins. Coins are the main currency on Whirled, and they can be earned by selling items in the shop or by playing coin-enabled games. Eventually, a secondary, "doubloon-equivalent" currency will be added, called Bars, which will be automatically exchanged with Coins. When Bars are added, content in the shop will cost a mixture of Bars and Coins.
Whirled is programmed in Adobe Flash 9
, using the Google Web Toolkit
. Whirled's use of the GWT allows it to work in most modern web browsers. Because developing content for Whirled requires knowledge of ActionScript
and Flash, there are plans for an online way to create simple content for Whirled.