Manyland. Where Dragons, Robots, Portals, Trampolines, Discoballs, and Imagination Meet.

January 21, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

Manyland is many things.  It is an infinite, open, shared universe where people can shape the world, their activities in it, the games that arise, and the themes they set.  It is a sandbox game to share with friends, where you can build and create whatever you can imagine (provided it can be built from 2D blocks).  It is an accessible community of dedicated players who like to call themselves “manyzens”, who share their creations and design challenging games and puzzles for each other.  And it is a tool set, designed to unleash your imagination and creativity, enabling you to chat, draw, make music, and build fantastic, playable structures.

Manyland Logo

Manyland

As with any open world, sandbox tool set, the world can, and does often, take strange turns with unpredictable outcomes.  The creators of Manyland, Scott Lowe and Philippe Lenssen, have a simple belief;  that every single pixel should be shape-able by its players, for full creativity.

Manyland doesn’t know if it’s fantasy, science-fiction, contemporary age; it doesn’t know how the universe was born; it doesn’t know what its structure, social phenomena, or politics one day will be. We’re as curious about how this evolves as everyone else, and there’s a lot of insights and fun to watch it evolve.

Manyland

Manyland

Manyland

Manyland

 

 

 

 

 

Getting into Manyland is easy.  You simply sign up with Google or Facebook, and you’re immediately dropped into a place called the Outer Ring, as a newborn.  From there, you use your keyboard to move around and jump, in classic platformer style, and start to explore.  You can immediately, and without fuss, start to shape the world around you.  Controls are simple.  You click and drag a block to duplicate and copy it,  and you CRTL-Click to delete it again.  You build, and you run and jump, and eventually after you find your pixelly little legs, you meet your first other human player, and make a friend.

The game employs a ranking systems, and everyone starts out at rank 1.  As you explore the world, getting to know other players, and the etiquette, you progress through the ranks.  Eventually, you will be invited to take a citizenship test, and become a full manyzen.  The community is self moderated,  and uses a system of “signals” to track your progress and reward you.  One important signal that the game employs, is the idea of up and down votes, where other players can vote your work and creativity up or down.  If you draw penises or offensive stuff, other players will vote you down, and eventually you will be banned and exiled for a while (rank 0).  But if you join in and make cool stuff, you will move through the ranks and eventually reach rank 5, and once you’re rank 5,  you can create truly anything, and also take the portal to the Inner Ring.  Once you’re in the Inner Ring, you have full access to all the building tools, and can create anything the system allows.  The Inner Ring is also more populated, and more sociable than the Outer Ring.

Manyland

Manyland Structures

The world is populated with structures and puzzles that other players have built and left for others to find and play with.  You can change them or expand them, or even destroy them.  Everything is shared and visible to other players.  As you wander around, you will stumble upon huge, elaborate structures that you can explore, or mazes, with teleporters and psychedelic slides that fling you into the air, and as you get deeper into the game, and more familiar and comfortable with the rules, you can start to make your own blocks and graphics, and even fully customize your own pixelly little avatar.

Manyland Editor

Manyland Editor

Every aspect of the game is player created and controlled.  You can draw new art for blocks or sprites.  You can assign atrtributes to your creations, making them suck or blow or teleport you around.  You can make them emit sounds to make elaborate musical instruments, and you can apply physical and mechanical parameters to create puzzles and mini games.

The scope and breadth of the creativity in Manyland is astounding.  As a player you have immense freedom to make and play and share with your friends.  Manyland is impressive as a game, as a concept and as a technical exercise, and you should go and play it right now!

Go and play the game here.

Read our interview with Scott and Philipp here.

Category: Browser, Cool, Exploration, MMO, Platformer, Puzzle, Reviews

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I am a man, not a machine, contrary to popular belief.