Create a Halloween World or Avatar for the VRChat Spookality Jam and You Could Win Some Great Prizes!

VRChat has announced a new creator jam contest for Halloween! According to the official announcement:

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween in VRChat through our latest seasonal jam where our talented creator community transports us to mysterious and often terrifying worlds, or shows us what it means to haunt the night with their creative and uncanny avatars.

Be warned! Jam opens EARLIER this year on October 1st to give people all month long to enjoy our spooky content! You can submit and update as often as you like until the October 22nd deadline.

Prizes include Valve Index VR kits, Oculus Quest 2s, and HTC Vive 3.0 trackers! For all the details and full terms and conditions, please check the Spookality page here.

You can read more details about the VRChat Spookality Jam, and enter the contest, here on the Itch.io website. All content submitted must make use of VRChat SDK3 to be qualified for entry. World submissions must use VRCSDK3 for Worlds and Avatar submissions must use VRCSDK3 for Avatars. While the use of more advanced features within the SDK (such as Udon and Avatars 3.0) is recommended, it is not required. There isn’t a requirement for your content to be cross-platform compatible, but it will play a very strong role in the judging, so please keep that in mind.

VRChat will be updating the VRChat Home on October 29th, 2021 to showcase the winning content, so you will be able to explore and enjoy it over the Halloween weekend!

Image source: VRChat Spookality Jam page

Given the huge creative community active in VRChat, I am quite looking forward to seeing the results of the jam!

EDITORIAL: 24 Hours in Second Life—A Wedding, a Light Show, and Some Choreography! (What the Newer Social VR Platforms Can Learn from SL)

As I have often said before, Second Life is the perfect example of a mature, fully-evolved metaverse, which the newer social VR platforms would be wise to study and learn lessons from. Just because it doesn’t support virtual reality does not mean that you can’t learn something from its 18-year history.

One of the ways in which I keep my finger on the pulse of Second Life is to head to YouTube, do a search for “second life”, then sort the results in reverse chronological order by the time they were uploaded (i.e. most recent videos first). Usually, I scroll back 24 to 48 hours to see what the latest SL videos are, and I always find something to delight and surprise me.

So I did this yesterday evening, and today I wanted to share with you three videos which perfectly illustrate all the wild and wonderful ways in which people are using Second Life. Platforms need to attract content creators, and in this SL has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations! See also this blogpost.

First, the newer social VR platforms need to ask themselves: Can you host a wedding? (In VRChat at least, the answer is “yes”.) Second Life weddings are big business, and you might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of wedding venues, many stores selling wedding dresses and bridesmaid outfits—and even businesses which specialize in making professionally-edited wedding videos!

Another question the newer social VR platforms need to ask themselves: Do you support particle effects? You can see the particle effects in Second Life at work in the fireworks in the previous wedding video, and here is another example of the creativity which can be unleased with the proper particle and light systems!

Finally, I ask the social VR platforms: Can you dance? Second Life boasts what may well be the single biggest selection of avatar animations on any platform (a quick search of the SL Marketplace pulls up tens of thousands of dances), which lets you unleash your inner musical director and create stage shows like the following:

So don’t be so quick to dismiss Second Life as antiquated and outdated! There’s life in the old girl yet! 😉 The creators of the newer social VR platforms might just want to spend a bit of time investigating, and get some ideas for new features or as-yet-unexplored new market niches in the metaverse!

Who knows? You just might yet entice a future wedding videographer, lightshow mastermind, or musical choreographer to your new platform!

VRChat The Movie: Coming Soon!

Machinima (/məˈʃiːnɪmə, -ˈʃɪn-/) is the use of real-time computer graphics engines to create a cinematic production…Machinima-based artists, sometimes called machinimists or machinimators, are often fan laborers, by virtue of their re-use of copyrighted materials…

Machinima (Wikipedia article)

Well, you knew this was going to happen sooner or later: a full-length feature movie shot entirely in VRChat, complete with in-jokes that only diehard VRChatters would get! (Actually, I’m sure it’s not the first movie shot in VRChat, but I’m pretty certain it’s the most ambitious machinima project in VRChat to date.)

Here’s the three-minute teaser trailer for VRChat The Movie:

The cast and crew involved in the creation of this cinematic masterpiece participated in a live discussion panel held at the recently concluded VRCon 2021 (the actual content starts at the 26:45-minute mark for some strange reason in this livestream of the event):

The project even has a page on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)!

Attend the VRCon Film Festival in VRChat on September 12th, 2021

One event which somehow escaped my notice is VRCon, but I did see a message that they were holding a film festival on the final day, Sunday, September 12th, 2021, starting at 11:00 a.m. EST. Various short films, machinima, and music videos shot in VRChat will be shown.

Here’s the lineup (you can click on the following image of the line up to see it in a more readable size in Flickr):

VRCon Film Festival

See you there! You can obtain more information about the VRCon festival from their official website, including a complete schedule of events.