This week Toronto’s GS New Media announced that it will be using Sun Microsystems’ Project Darkstar to develop a virtual world based around the (apparently quite popular) children’s TV series “The Saddle Club”. Contrary to the name, Project Darkstar is not a moon-size space station part of Sun’s plans for world domination, but an open source software framework for creating massive online games and virtual worlds. Building a virtual world supporting thousands of users operating simultaneously in the same space raises difficulties beyond simple hardware and bandwidth demands; Darkstar is designed to address these.
The executive team of GS New Media is a well picked mix of tech and children’s media, sporting experience with Orange, blogTV, Webkinz, Disney, and Scholastic. The Saddle Club Virtual World is slated to launch in 2009.