Come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Kitely… it’s alive!
For the past few years I have been working on a startup with my partner, Ilan Tochner. Now we have finally opened it up to the world! It’s called Kitely, and what we do is provide virtual worlds on-demand. This means that instead of an always-on virtual world, these worlds exist only while there are people inside them. If the world becomes empty then we shut it down. When someone wants to enter the world, we restart it. Our users pay for their worlds only while they’re active.
In order to implement this we have created a cloud-based system, running on Amazon EC2. We currently use one Large instance to host our main server, and additional Large instances to host the virtual worlds. These instances are called “World Nodes”, and we start and stop them automatically in order to have enough instances to host all of the currently active worlds. We also keep a few empty nodes on standby, so that when someone wants to start a world we can load it into an existing EC2 instance instead of having to start a new instance (which takes much longer).
We opened up our service last week, but in the beginning only our friends and family came to check it out. That changed on Sunday when there was a MASSIVE spike in interest! Suddenly we were getting a steady stream of emails from the server telling us that new World Nodes have been started; tweets mentioning Kitely began flying; and we’ve been getting many questions and requests from our community. Ilan, our CEO, has been working around the clock to engage with everyone, while I have been working on adding the many features that we are still missing, and fixing the inevitable bugs that have been discovered by our users.
So come up to the lab, err, website, and try our service! You can create a virtual world in minutes, and it’s free while we’re in beta.