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|Dissolved||April 8, 2017|
|Launched||February 28, 2007|
Whirled was a website created by Grey Havens. It was announced at the Game Developers Conference in 2007. It was in the Open Beta stage, but never fully released. Until its downfall in April 2016, it remained in Open Beta to the public. The principle behind the game was that it would be a web-based social world for chat and games, similar to the PlayStation 3 game Home and Second Life. Where Whirled differed from other sites of a similar genre was that much of the content will be user created. Images from anywhere could be used and uploaded onto whirled and made as in-game objects. The site's domain became inactive (believed to be permanent) on April 8, 2017.
On August 1, 2016, an alpha for a revival of the site called Synced Online was launched, and was only accessible to players who had paid at least $10 for a Founder Pack, after which said players were given links accessible via Hamachi, where they had early access to account creation. Synced Online's official beta launch date with the public domain took place on August 25, 2016.
On August 31, 2018, a further developed Whirled clone launched under the name Whirled Club. This rendition successfully brought back parlor games, a feature lost since Whirled closed. On January 1, 2021, Whirled Club was relaunched as a downloadable client application, immediately after Adobe Flash was discontinued.
A few other slightly modified versions of the game were launched following Synced Online, such as Glowbe and TensorTown, but eventually all versions of the site ceased hosting excluding Whirled Club and Tensor Town.
Groups and the Shop
Groups are places for groups of users to meet and chat with each other. The managers of a Group can place objects, known as "Toys" or "Furniture", in the different rooms contained in their Group. Any player can freely enter a Group, as long as the managers set it to be public. Once in a Group, a player is displayed as 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, free avatar that a player starts with, an animated piece of tofu, has very few. Groups are completely customizable with any object available in the shop and can create custom trophies specific to the group. Note: Groups are what was formerly whirleds.
The Shop is where users can buy items to decorate their home or Whirled with. Users post their own content to the Shop, and other users may then buy, rate, and comment on it. 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 a player's Inventory as Avatars, Furniture, Pets, Backdrops, Toys, Games, Music, Videos, or Photos. The in-game currency in Whirled is "Coins". A player earns coins by playing Games and by other players purchasing their content in the store. Cheaper items are typically of a lower quality than those which are more expensive.
There are two ways of uploading in Whirled:
- Find of create an image and select "Upload" in the desired section of the user's items.
- Create an .swf file in Adobe Flash and upload it in the same way.
.swf files are popular in the Shop, therefore being more expensive for other players to buy.
On August 21, 2008, along with interface changes, the Whirled Passport was introduced. The Whirled Passport is a collection of stamps, which the player earns in connection to achievements in the Whirled, such as masking a thief, referring others to join, or uploading content. These stamps are similar to Trophies, which is another reward system in Whirled, except for the fact that stamps award the player coins for earning them.
Because this feature promotes adding many 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 are likely to spam, regardless of requirements to gain the stamp.
Whirled once had multiple currencies (Coins, Bars, and Bling); however, in a 2013 update, the latter two were removed.
Coins were the basic currency on Whirled, as well as the only currency left. They could've been earned by playing coin-enabled games. If a user lists an item in the shop in coins, other users can purchase the item using coins, with profits going to the creator. It has been the only currency ever since the update.
Trophies are awards which can be unlocked by completing certain noteworthy 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 and profile will always be accessible, unless they lock their rooms. When a player logs in, the first page they see is their home Whirled, which they can customize to their liking with their own content or with items they bought in the shop.
Whirled is programmed in Adobe Flash 9 and AJAX, using the Google Web Toolkit. Whirled's use of the GWT works 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.
In March 2010, at the Flash Gaming Sueprememit, Three Rings CEO Daniel James stated, "Whirled is at $300K revenue, $5M invested. Abject failure." He later clarified this statement on the Puzzle Pirates official forums, stating "Those are very approximate total investment in the project and total revenue to date. There are no profits. Whirled is wonderful in many ways, but its financial results are not yet good. We remain committed to trying to change that."
- "Synced". www.syncedonline.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
- "VPN.net – Hamachi by LogMeIn". www.vpn.net. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
- "Whirled". whirled.club. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- "Tensor Town". tensortown.com. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
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