Game Developer's Competition Announces Winners

Linden Lab, creator of the acclaimed 3D online world SECOND LIFE, announced the winners of the first annual Game Developer's Competition. Harvey Smith, formerly of Ion Storm and the lead designer of the award winning DEUS EX, and project director of DEUS EX: INVISIBLE WAR, judged the competition and spent time with each team evaluating their design and game play choices.

The winning teams include:* 1st Place: Deus Via: An original futuristic/Roman puzzle game where one or more players travel a colorful game board that they create as they collect symbols, cast spells, and avoid elemental monsters.

* 2nd Place: Route 66 Demolition Derby: Interactive car racing and demolition derby game features 8 different cars with various speeds and handling.

* 3rd Place: Games Parlour: Multiple board games includes a giant mah-jong board in a game room setting.

* 4th Place: Mysterious Journey: Players must journey deep within a mountain to face a series of challenges in order to win.

In February 2004, seven teams were chosen from dozens of entries to participate in the competition. Each team spent three months developing its game concept in SECOND LIFE's 3D digital world. SECOND LIFE residents were then invited to play each game and the most popular games were awarded. Winners took home cash prizes and the much-coveted use of free land for an entire year.

"Wow, Harvey's input is almost as exciting as my three acres of land," said Tiger Crossing, developer of DEUS VIA. "He gave the team some great tips on game design and the importance of a coherent theme. He also had some cool thoughts about ways to engage players and draw them into the game. Harvey's input was a bonus I hadn't anticipated when I entered the competition."

"In the early '90s, I played in an online text MUSH where players were allowed to create content in a virtual community," states Harvey Smith. "We used to dream of more powerful, visual tools that would fuel the online culture of creativity. Second Life is all about empowering the members of the community with tools that allow them to re-shape themselves and their worlds. I've been really impressed by what some of the contestants have done with the virtual environment in SECOND LIFE. The game designers, artists and coders participating in the contest have come up with games that are combinations of game mechanics and settings that are both classic and innovative."

Linden Lab was founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale to create SECOND LIFE, a new form of shared 3D entertainment. Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior development team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking. For more information, visit www.lindenlab.com.

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