Have you ever wondered what it would be like to immerse yourself in a virtual world? You may have heard of the term «Metaverse» before but are not quite sure what it is or how to go about creating one.
In this article, I will explore the Metaverse and discuss why it is more than just roads and buildings. I will also review the complexity involved in creating a metaverse and the steps necessary for success.
Introduction to the Metaverse
The Metaverse is a virtual world that exists beyond the traditional bounds of cyberspace.
It is a place where people can interact with each other and with software in a three-dimensional environment.
The Metaverse is also more than just roads and buildings; it is a place where people can create their own content and experiences without depending on gravity, climate or authorities. You are free to define the rules of your Metaverse.
Creating a Metaverse does require extensive planning and effort. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Choose your platform: There are many different platforms that you can use to create your Metaverse. Some popular choices include Nvidia Omniverse, Unity3D, and Unreal Engine. As of 2023, new platforms have emerged that offer text-to-3D environment capabilities, see my list of AI tools.
Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, so be sure to do your research before choosing one.
- Define your goals: What do you want to achieve with your Metaverse? Do you want to create a virtual world for people to explore, or are you looking to build an interactive experience for users, e.g. interact with abstract 3D data visualization?
In my opinion, we should aim for abstract virtual worlds to enable experiences that are not possible in real life. Because copying the real world will always be poorer than the original. Even with 3D glasses.
Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can begin planning out your world.
- Create some content: The Metaverse is only as good as the content that exists within it. Be sure to populate your world with interesting places to explore and things to do.
I’m arguing that virtual worlds need to look like you’re on drugs. In other words, totally fancy. Also, content needs to constantly update itself in a data-driven way. Or why else would a user come back?
Don’t underestimate the testing phase, though! Compared to a conventional website, you have to consider additional complexity around space, time, interaction, sound effects and 3D navigation.
- Promote your Metaverse: Once you’ve built up some content, be sure to promote your Metaverse so that people can find your 3D visualization.
What is the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is a virtual world that exists on the internet, where people can interact with each other and with computer-generated characters and objects.
It is also a term used to describe the shared experience of users in a virtual environment.
The Metaverse is more than just roads and buildings. It is a place where people can come together and interact with each other, as well as with computer-generated characters and objects. The Metaverse is constantly evolving, with new features being added all the time.
If you’re interested in creating your own Metaverse, there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll need to create a 3D world that people can explore.
This can be done using any number of software programs or game engines.
Once you have your world created, you’ll need to populate it with characters and objects. You can create these yourself, or you can use existing assets from other games or 3D modeling programs.
Finally, you’ll need to set up some way for people to interact with each other and with the characters and objects in your world.
Why the Metaverse Doesn't Need Roads and Buildings
The Metaverse is a virtual world that exists beyond the physical world.
It is a place where people can interact with each other and with digital content in a way that is not possible in the physical world.
Therefore, the Metaverse does not need roads and buildings nor meeting rooms because it is not constrained by the laws of physics.
In my understanding, a metaverse therefore does not look like the (poor) image of our real environment, but like a virtual entity that can grow in all directions without top and bottom and whose dimensions are generated from data sets.
The Metaverse also has its own economy, which is based on virtual currency. This currency can be used to purchase items in the Metaverse or to pay for services.
Challenges in Developing a Metaverse
There are many challenges in developing a metaverse.
Perhaps the most difficult challenge is creating a convincing and immersive virtual world that people will want to visit and explore. And then revisit, because the experience was so compelling.
This virtual world must be designed in such a way that it is both interesting and easy to navigate. Which in itself is a major challenge.
It must also be able to accommodate a large number of users without feeling crowded or slow.
Another challenge is creating avatars that people will want to use.
But, these avatars must not necessarily be realistic or convey emotion as they will always fail to convey our real personality.
Avatars should instead represent our «digital» value add that a user can bring to the Metaverse, e.g. years of online experience.
I will write more on how to customize and control avatars in a separate post.
A third challenge is ensuring that the metaverse is accessible on a variety of devices and platforms.
It must be possible to view and interact with the metaverse on 3D headsets, desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Albeit the experience might differ from device to device.
The metaverse must also be accessible to people with different levels of technological literacy and expertise.
Finally, the developers of the metaverse must find ways to monetize it.
There must be some way to generate revenue from the metaverse in order to keep it running and expanding.
This could include charging users for access, selling advertising space, or offering premium features or content for purchase.
Exploring the metaverse is an exciting experience that provides players with a wealth of possibilities.
It allows them to create their own virtual worlds, explore and interact with other players, and immerse themselves in a unique environment where they can be whatever they want. Or what the metaverse creator foresaw.
With the right tools and strategies, anyone can build their own metaverse and become part of this expanding universe. So there will be many metaverses and not just one central one.
It’s usually a good idea to start by exploring existing metaverses like The Sandbox, Decentraland, Roblox, Metahero. From there, you can begin to build your own vision of what your metaverse should represent.
Kuble agency’s Metaverse Academy might be another starting point. They are based out of Zurich, Switzerland.
Below is a link on how I conceived a Metaverse based on 6 specific topics.
Neal Stephenson coined the term "metaverse"
In his sci-fi novel «Snow Crash» from 1994, Neil Stephenson coined the term «metaverse». Read more about it on my downtown metaverse post.
Open letter to Neal Stephenson
I know it was a metaverse because people told me they had seen my «3d construct» before. That was impossible, of course, because I had just invented the concept myself. But they insisted and told me to read the book «Snow Crash» by Neil Stephenson…
Currently, I observe that the vast majority of «metaverses» are at best «copyverses», namely imperfect 3d copies of our reality.
But in metaverses only limited gravity exists, there are no building authorities and no climate. So why should there be buildings and trees there? Metaverses are places where you visualize things that you can’t visit in real life.
In order to bring the idea across, I’m currently thinking about how I can take my concept from 1996 and bring it into the present. Maybe your CPO Tony Parisi, inventor of VRML, would know ;-)
Would Lamina1 be a suitable platform for this endeavor?
Here’s a video of the looks from 1996.