Gamechef, believe it or not, was born out of a failed social network. You can't even really go far enough to say it was a social network, because it had 2 users, and they were both admin accounts. What started as first a comment section browser extension for the entire internet, and then an interesting coalescence of Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter, morphed into a social media platform for sharing media, and then eventually GameChef. Making website has been the last 2 years, and finally a marriage of interests happened in this idea.
Game Chef, above all else is a place to create, share, and play games online in a web browser. It seems that making games has been an intergral part of our lives, always living in the periphery, but alive nonetheless, and after burnout after burnout, it finally dawned on us that maybe there's some merit to combining something interesting (games), with something we're good at (making websites).
Stemming from this social media idea, creation is important. Currently there is no way to share flash games that allows you to actually play them on different websites (maybe we get there one day), so we knew we had to enable people to at least upload their own content.This would serve two purposes:
We of course started with our own content, and as we got building, we worked out the kinks to land on a relatively easy WebGL HTML5 based workflow for uploading games and experiences to play. You build in WebGL, zip up the build files, stick them on our site, and you're golden. That's it, no frills.
Once this was worked out, we felt pretty good about the service we were providing. Eventually we want to pay creators using ad revenue, but for now our main focus is on providing a free hosting site for WebGL and WebXR games in your browser.
Sharing is caring, and we care. That made very little sense, but we do care about sharing, and we designed with that in mind. While right now you aren't able to directly embed our games into other websites, that is on the roadmap. One thing we do have is very linkable content, free content, and a very encouraging attitude toward people putting things up to share with their friends/communites.
We are more than a game sharing site, but we are definitely that as well. While of course the typical upload and share a link is available, we have big plans to introduce some pretty wild concepts. One we're excited about is save data. You'll be able to generate content in a game, export it, share it with your friends, and they'll be able to view the content from within the game. We have a working prototype here.
So yes, we want to transcend just being a place for creators to upload and share, but we still are building with that in mind, as it's definitely a part of our vision for the website. This is a bit of a pandora's box with where we'll take this, but we plan to keep the site as a place you can upload, host, and share WebGL Html5 games, either for mobile-friendly applications or for VR games using WebXR.
Saving the best for last, obviously we're a game and experience website, so we want people to play the games. When we decided on this site, we first started building with the idea that we could host games that people could play on their computer or phones without having to download things. We also knew that we really wanted to support creators, so we hoped to sort of have a synergy form where people upload their games, people play them and give feedback, everyone wins.
What we didn't anticipate, was just how easy creating games in VR has become. Now easy is relative, but we've been around software long enough that it paled in comparison to some of the (failed) projects we tried before this. With the advent of the Quest, and more importantly, the invigoration of WebXR, we went from a website people could host games on, to a website that had actual things to do for VR users.
I don't think we're alone in thinking that there just isn't enough out there for VR right now. It's getting better, but having been in the space for years, I can confidently say that maybe a handful of games have come out that I'd even want to play, and they all cost money, are probably too short, and require a ton of investment for an inevitable let down.
We're not claiming to be hosting any games of the year (yet), but we want an excuse to put on our headsets more than once a month. If there is constant content coming out for VR, or if there are fun flash games I can play when I've got 15 minutes to kill, then I'm more inclined to play. In essence, free, online flash game-esque VR games just make sense to us.