How to Develop a Metaverse | Metaverse Development Company
The term "metaverse" was first used by Neil Stevenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. The American science fiction writer came up with a world in which real people ran away from the dark reality of the future into colorful virtual worlds. “He is in a computer-generated universe, which his computer draws on his glasses and pumps into his headphones. In the jargon, this imaginary place is known as the Metaverse, "says Neil Stevenson.
This is very close to what Mark Zuckerberg is talking about when talking about his Metaverse. But, for the sake of fairness, it is worth noting that the very concept of the virtual Internet appeared long before Stevenson's Snow Crash. This image was one of the key themes in the cyber fiction of the 1980s. In particular, William Gibson wrote the novel Burning Chrome back in 1982, which details the virtual Internet, which he calls "Cyberspace".
For example, Mark Zuckerberg explains his metaverse as a new version of the Internet, "where you not only watch content, but you are in it." Venture capitalist and writer Matthew Ball gives a more practical definition in his essay: "It is a vast network of persistent, real-time rendered 3D worlds and simulations that are capable of maintaining the continuity of identity, objects, history, payments and can be experienced by an unlimited number of people simultaneously, in which everyone will have their own sense of presence".
If we bring together the opinions of Zuckerberg, Ball, and other famous people who develop this concept, then we get the following definition of the metaverse: it is a set of immersive virtual spaces where people can be present, create, explore and interact with other people and objects in the same virtual and/or mixed reality and perhaps also experience this interaction, for example, through the tactile Teslasuit.
In such virtual worlds it will be possible to spend time with friends, work, play, study, shop, create, and much more. In this case, you will have one avatar that will freely move from one space to another, from one game to another, from the Facebook Metaverse to the Microsoft, Google or Fortnite Metaverse. And this avatar will retain its appearance, clothing, contacts and other properties - as if it just moved from one room to another.
In practice, the user's interaction with the metaverse will be similar to the Internet we are used to, only instead of phones, computers, and browsers, we will put on virtual reality helmets or augmented reality glasses and with their help surf the Internet, chat in Zoom, play Fortnite and study on Coursera. At the same time, the transition between all these sites, most likely, will take place through your personal virtual start room (like the one that is found in almost all multiplayer video games, as in the same Fortnite).
It can be noted that you already have such personal "rooms" - your phone screen with applications or a Facebook page that opens you "doors to virtual worlds" (ie applications) where you can watch TV shows, chat with friends, learn or play video games. It's just that in the case of the metaverse, all this will not happen on the screen of your smartphone, tablet or computer, but in glasses of virtual, augmented or mixed reality (this is VR + AR).
Examples of such applications for the metaverse already exist, for example, Horizon Workrooms from Facebook, a VR platform for remote work designed for virtual meetings with colleagues as avatars. Or the old Second Life - a real-life online simulator with great possibilities.
Another example is the online platform Roblox, which allows anyone to create their own and play games created by other people. Avatars in Roblox can already move between game worlds while maintaining their identity, appearance, and clothing. Virtual conferences and concerts at Roblox are also held. And the platform also has its own currency - Robux.
This platform is so popular that big brands like Nike have started to create their own worlds in it, where you can play, communicate and even play sports. In fact, Roblox is an already designed metaverse, just without virtual reality and only for projects related to video games and entertainment.
At the same time, almost all lands, items and games in Decentraland can be transferred, sold and bought. In addition, you can create a game and charge an entrance fee or hang a banner on your house and receive money for advertising - there are many ways in this world both to realize yourself and to make money on your creativity.
This technology will be responsible for the continuity of the identity of the avatar and objects, which we talked about earlier. All avatars, objects, structures, skills and other unique things in the metauniverses will be implemented in the form of NFTs, since this technology today is the best way to identify and transfer ownership of digital assets both between people and when transferring an asset from one metaverse to another.
For any metaverse to work, it needs a technology that will scan the real world, create a 3D image of it and transfer this model to the virtual world. And this technology should be fast enough and produce excellent graphics because with input lag and a bad picture, it will be difficult for users to immerse themselves in the virtual world. Such technologies already exist, but they are not perfect enough - the same Kinect for Xbox from Microsoft.
When Mark Zuckerberg talked about his Metaverse, he emphasized that people will also interact with virtual spaces without plunging into them. For this, Meta is developing smart glasses with full augmented reality - Project Nazare. Meta says that the new device will be the first full-fledged AR glasses, which will make it possible to create MX, XR-reality - when you look at the real world, but at the same time you see elements of virtual reality and can interact with them, as, for example, in a game Pokemon GO, but cooler.
With MX / XR, new business models can be created, such as shopping with virtual clothing fitting or virtual machine testing. By the way, this is the easiest way to create a metaverse application.
Building really interesting metauniverses will require enormous computing power, which must be done without interruption or crashes. The easiest way to achieve this is by distributing computations and storage between multiple nodes, as, for example, is done in blockchain technologies or torrents.
It will also require quite powerful artificial intelligence to develop future metauniverses. It is needed to interact more closely with people using smart assistants like Google Now, Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft Cortana. In addition, AI is needed to create and audit software, build more reliable protection for users' data and money. And, of course, artificial intelligence can enrich the biological forms of the virtual world, that is, make NPCs smarter in games.
Also, developing the metaverse and related applications will require a faster Internet connection between the system and the user, through which huge amounts of data will be transmitted - from audio files to high-resolution textures. Only the fifth generation of mobile networks - 5G - will be able to cope with the increased load, the peak download and upload speed of which is much higher than that of 4G - 10 GB/s versus 100 MB/s.
They are completely autonomous participants in the metauniverses with the same "rights" of a human user. Like any ordinary user, such programs can roam from one server to another, from one virtual game to another. At the same time, such AI algorithms will be able to study, describe, test and improve the existing spaces of the metaverse and its individual elements.
A prime example of the potential of these nomadic programs is the approach Hello Games took to create No Man's Sky. Using procedural generation, a team of 4 artists created a virtual universe containing 18 quintillion planets. Unable to visit and appreciate these worlds one by one on their own, the artists created a huge fleet of autonomous virtual robots. These robots wandered between the planets of No Man's Sky and made short videos about the most interesting things they encounter to share with their developers.
As with any other IT project, the development of the metaverse and related applications starts with an idea. It doesn't have to be groundbreaking or VR / AR-related. It is enough that your idea brings tangible benefits to the target audience or somehow improves one of the elements of the metaverse. For example, you can start a cryptocurrency project to move avatars and objects between different metauniverses, or create a new controller for virtual reality.
Here are some more ideas for creating metaverse applications:
Where to look for technical partners and what to look for when hiring them is detailed in the article: «How to choose a developer company».
Before the selected development team starts creating the design and writing the code, you need to decide on the business part of the future project. That is, you need to start building the metaverse with an analysis of the market, competitors, and target audience. So you will understand in advance the prospects of your idea and find the best ways to implement it.
Based on the information received, the customer, business analyst, project manager, and/or lead programmer draw up a technical task - a list of functions and requirements for the project. This helps to more accurately determine the scope of the upcoming work, the composition of the development team, and select the optimal technology stack.
At this stage of the development of applications of the metaverse, the information architecture of the system is created, user flows are developed and optimized, and the design of user interfaces is developed. This is what UX / UI designers do. The result of their work will be a prototype - an animated visualization of the interface in the form in which it will be presented to the end-users of the future product.
At this point, your team of programmers starts coding your Metaverse application. They implement the front-end and back-end components of the future project and integrate external services such as payment gateways or liquidity pools. The process of writing the code itself is usually divided into backs and takes from one to several months of real-time, depending on the complexity of the project.
Here is an example of a technology stack for building a metaverse application:
This is done by QA specialists. They check the created product for bugs, functionality, usability, load, compliance with the specifications prescribed in the technical task. All of this usually takes about 20% of the development time. If your application uses smart contracts, they also need to be tested. And this should be done not only by in-house QA specialists but also by independent auditors such as Techrate and Certik (this will take from several weeks to a couple of months).
Once the application is built and thoroughly tested, it is deployed to local or cloud servers. If this is a mobile application, then it must be added to the stores of mobile applications: App Store, Google Play, Microsoft Store, Amazon App Store, and others. This requires a few more days to a month of real-time and several hundred dollars.
The process of creating an application does not end immediately after release. Usually, the development team needs some more time to catch all the bugs, check the user reaction and improve or add (or remove) some features. In addition, you also need to organize the work of a support service that will help users solve problems with your application and collect feedback from them.
The Metaverse is not just a new trend or an improvement in existing technology. This is a paradigm shift in content consumption, which over time will lead to the death of the Internet in its current form. And if you intend to become a part of the future version of the Internet, then you need to think now about creating either your own metaverse or applications, technologies or services for foreign metauniverses.