In 2004, I was teaching myself to program in Linden Scripting Language (the programming language of Second Life), under the account name David Guillaume. As I didn’t have a premium account, I quickly developed a habit of hanging out in public sandboxes with several other players, one of which went by the name Kermitt Quirk – in real life, a New Zealander and resident of Australia named Nathan Keir. I recall Nathan telling me, in late November or early December, that he had an idea for a game and intended to prototype it over his Christmas vacation. He decided to call it Tringo (Tringo on Wikipedia).
While Nathan was developing Tringo, I acted as a sounding board for his ideas and provided a few useful contributions to the algorithms he used. It was finished before the end of his break and he released an early version soon after. Within weeks, its popularity exploded within the Second Life ecosystem. I don’t recall sales figures, but I know that Tringo sets, which he initially sold for 10,000 L$ (roughly 40 USD) each, sold like hotcakes. He earned over 1M L$ (worth roughly 0.004 USD/L$) within a few months.
Below is a screenshot of a few of us playing Tringo on the Second Life test grid, at some point in those early days.
After Tringo gained a strong following, rights to it outside of Second Life were sold to Donnerwood Media. As the first game to be independently developed in a virtual world and licensed for development elsewhere, it got media attention, including an article in the Wall Street Journal. Versions of it were soon made for PC, Game Boy Advance, and other platforms.
Related Links & Articles
- Play Tringo at kongregate.com
- Tringo article on Wikipedia
- Tringo featured on Clickable Culture
- Tringo in the Wall Street Journal (Second Life forum copy)
- Tringo featured on joystiq.com
- Tringo (GBA) featured on gamespot.com
- Tringo (GBA) featured on gamesutra.com
- Tringo (GBA) featured on gamesfirst.com