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 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!

Submit Your Pictures to the Sinespace Pick of the Day Contest, and You Could Win 500 Gold!

Having launched the Sinespace Pick of the Day series on this blog, I wanted to open it up so that anybody can submit a picture of someplace in Sinespace that delights and inspires them!

If I select and run your submitted picture (on the blog and/or the official Sinespace blog), you win a prize of 500 Gold to spend as you please on the Sinespace Shop!

Here are the rules:

  1. Pictures must have been taken by you, of a region within Sinespace. It must be a picture primarily of a region, not an avatar (although you can certainly include avatars in your picture). You may submit a picture of your own region, or of a region created by somebody else.
  2. All pictures must be of high quality, and high resolution, but no larger than 2.1 MB in size (otherwise, they will have to be resized to fit on the official Sinespace blog, and then they will then have to be reduced in quality).
  3. IMPORTANT: You must email 1) the picture to ryanschultz [at] gmail [dot] com, along with 2) your avatar name (for the photo credit), and 3) the name of the region where you took the picture. If you do not include all three items in your email, your entry will not be considered for the contest.
  4. Creative use of the built-in Snapshot tool in the Sinespace client is encouraged! Here are a few examples to give you an idea of what you can do. To start, just click on the Snapshot button, the leftmost button in the row of blue buttons along the bottom of the Sinespace client:

From there, you can then select from a wide variety of camera angles and filters, avatar poses, colourful overlays to add pop to your photo, and more!

You can also use any gestures, poses and animations from the Sinespace Shop.

Here’s a useful pro tip: if you want to take a picture without the transparent blue sit icons hovering over the chairs, have your avatar sit down somewhere, and they will all disappear! Here’s an example, a shot I took at the Localhost Connection Café and Hangout in Sinespace:

Winners will be contacted via email, and given a special code to redeem their prize of 500 Gold. Have fun and good luck!

This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here). 

Sinespace: Congratulations to the Winners of the Carnival Games Contest!

Punkerella’s Carnival Fishing Game

Bibbi and Punkerella are the winners of the Sinespace Carnival Games Contest, winning first and second place respectively! Contestants were challenged to create a unique and engaging mini-game using the Sinespace SDK and Lua.

The First Place winner is Bibbi for Western Shooting Gallery, winning a prize of USD$5,000 (available in the Sinespace Shop for 999 Gold).

Bibbi’s Western Shooting Gallery

Here’s a short interview with our winner Bibbi:

Ryan: How did you come up with the idea for your Western Shooting Gallery?

Bibbi: Simply put, it was the first thought I got when thinking of a carnival game, which was just a basic booth where you shoot moving targets.

Ryan: How long did it take to create your game, and what tools did you use?

Bibbi: It took about a month, to a month and a half. The obvious tools would be Unity, and the Sinespace SDK, then on top of that (as far as I remember) GIMP and Blender.

Ryan: What advice would you give to other content creators who want to create games in Sinespace?

Bibbi: Keep on learning, it never hurts, and who knows what will come of it.

Ryan: What do you plan to do with your prize money?

Bibbi: Not sure yet, there are many things I’d like to do, but I’m trying to resist that temptation of spending it all in 1.5 seconds. But if you must know what’s on the list, it’d be to get 4 monitors and go with a multimonitor setup (2 on each side of my 40″ tv) lol, a NAS storage system as my computer is at max capacity on HDD space (It has 6 internal and 2 external, totaling 10 terabytes) lol, and possibly a resin 3D printer.

One thing I plan on doing, though, is help my friend upgrade his laptop to a mini-itx build, as that thing can’t play any new game as of like 6 years ago, which barely gets more than 10-20fps for Minecraft. Hopefully I can build him one better with his money and some of this money!

Punkerella wins USD$2,000 for her Carnival Fishing game (also available to purchase in the Sinespace Shop for 999 Gold).

Punkerella’s Carnival Fishing Game

I asked Punkerella the same questions:

Ryan: How did you come up with the idea for your Carnival Fishing game?

Punkerella: Well, the game was a made by two of us. I do the art and design, Booradley does all the hard bits like coding and animation. He came up for the idea for this one, I think it was the game idea that seemed like the most fun for him to make. But we wanted a game that was not based around guns or shooting, and that would not feel intimidating to most people.

Ryan: How long did it take to create your game, and what tools did you use?

Punkerella: We actually started it a day or two after they extended the contest deadline, since before that we had decided we were two burnt out from the “Out of this World” contest to dive in again so soon. So spare time for around a month, I guess. Boo used Unity, and I used mostly 3d Coat, Unity, and a little bit of Gimp and Maya.

Ryan: What advice would you give to other content creators who want to create games in Sinespace?

Punkerella: Advice around working in Sinespace is a tricky one, I have answered that in a few places a few different ways. But really it very much depends on what their background is.

My advice to people who have never done virtual world content is quite different from my advice to someone who has never used Unity. If you are a designer coming from Second Life, Unity itself is likely to be your biggest hurdle. So just understand that your first item will likely take several days or even a week of tutorials and trial and error.

Obviously, it is pretty quick and easy to get clothing, accessories, furniture, etc… once you wrap your mind around how it works. But you need to learn about Unity’s layout, Sinespace pack and components, colliders, and of course the rough resolution and content guidelines that will let your things through moderation.

Just know that you are learning something that will take you a few days, but will give you a great deal of flexibility and freedom once you get there.

Ryan: What do you plan to do with your prize money?

Punkerella: We plan to buy the kids each a nice Lego set and probably put the rest of the money in an account where we are saving up to go to Disneyland. (Obviously much in the future when we can leave our houses again!)

Congratulations to all the contest entrants! Watch for new contest announcements coming soon!

This blogpost is sponsored by Sinespace, and was written in my new role as an embedded reporter for this virtual world (more details here). It was originally published on the official Sinespace blog, here, on April 2nd, 2020.