My Story Creating An Open Metaverse Virtual World Social VR Island Themed Space With WebXR A-Frame
At the time of this writing “Metaverse” is a serious buzz world, VR seems almost old to some, and everybody is hot and very excited about AR, even though the hardware is still rare, and really very expensive.
Over a decade and a half now I’ve been playing with developing and creating virtual world spaces. I guess that makes me a VR World Builder.
The latest ones resemble a private island. Sometimes science fiction themed, sometimes art gallery themed. It even had multi-user VR headset capabilities, something I now call Social VR.
Way back when, June 9th, 2007, I started inside a virtual world platform called Second Life. I spent over $200 buying Linden dollars and land (an early version of a virtual world currency and exchange system, predating crypto) and built a little sci-fi themed cafe. I held some irregular meetings there on science fiction discussions, favorite authors, movies, etc.
Later I decided that I wanted my own seperate virtual world space not constrained by the rules of the platform I was based on (think walled gardens). So I moved to a open source server derivative of Second Life called Open Simulator. Open Simulator could be hosted on a colaborative server composite virtual world platform called OSGrid.
You had to install and configure an executable viewer for the virtual worlds, all to get others inside and access to those VR worlds; which meant you had to explain how to install and setup those viewers to newbies (beleive me, not a simple explaination).
At the time there was something called the Hypergates, basically stargate-like portals linking the seperate virtual world servers together in a common teleport transportation system (which sadly no longer exist).
So at that time, then about 2013, I abandon my idea of a private sci-fi themed virtual world island and archieved all the data.
However, I was still interested in VR develoment in general. When something called WebVR (now deprecated), and later WebXR came on the scene, with the wonderful A-Frame entity component system; I jumped on the band wagon immediately!
Now its been years learning and reshaping my basic understanding of how to build virtual world spaces again, but this time using a browser as the viewer (Duh! But in crystal clear hindsight, a no brainer). Now even hardware VR headsets are capable of enhancing the over all immersive experience.
So, with no further delays, or my historical ramblings, I give you my virtual island now called “Treasure Island VR” (please give it some time to load and use the WASD keys, and left mouse drag to rotate, on a desktop/laptop to move around inside a Chrome/Edge/FireFox/Meta Quest WebXR or enabled VR headset and browser). See how simple it is to tell people how to get into the world, just click on the link below and wait.
If you liked my story and work, please clap me up, share this article with others who might be interested in building the open-source metaverse!
Social VR for the Metaverse with A-Frame WebXR
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My Treasure Island Art VR Gallery with Meeting and Video Complex by Michael McAnally, September 3, 2022.
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VR Server Menu. Tuned for the Oculus Quest 2.
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