Metaverse Newscast Episode 2: My Interview with Noz’aj About Beyond, Winner of the Best Domain Contest at the FUTVRE LANDS Festival in High Fidelity

I’m pleased to announce that the second episode of Metaverse Newscast is now available on YouTube! It’s an interview with Noz’aj, the winner of the Best Domain Contest at the recent FUTVRE LANDS Festival in High Fidelity for his epic, monumental science fiction experience called Beyond. As I have said before on this blog, it is one of the best VR experiences I had last year.

The interview includes a tantalizing peek at only a few parts of Beyond. You are encouraged to visit the domain yourself and explore it in full. It is well worth your time!

If you missed episode one, it’s available on the Metaverse Newscast channel. I’d like to thank my hard-working producer and video editor Andrew William! We plan to release one episode per month. Coming up in February is an in-depth interview with the talented Sansar scripter Galen!

Bronze and higher-level supporters of my Patreon fund-raising campaign (starting at only US$1 a month) will get exclusive previews of all Metaverse Newscast videos before they are released to the general public on YouTube. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all my patrons for helping to support both this blog and the Metaverse Newscast show. And stay tuned for more patron benefits!

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UPDATED! High Fidelity Pick of the Day: Beyond is a Monumental, Epic VR Masterpiece

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Noz’aj’s User Icon on YouTube

Ever since I first got my Oculus Rift VR headset in January 2017, I have spent almost two years visiting just about every virtual reality experience imaginable—everything from games such as Obduction, to meditation apps such as Nature Treks VR, to social VR platforms such as Sansar. I have had some truly awe-inspiring (even spine-tingling!) moments in virtual reality, which have absolutely demonstrated the powerful creative potential of the technology. Many of them I have written about in my blog.

At yesterday’s well-attended FUTVRE LANDS Festival in High Fidelity, they had a Favorite Domain Contest. Seven HiFi domains (regions) were entered into the contest, and voters had to use the new Vote app on the user interface tablet to visit all seven domains before casting a vote for their favourite. All seven were interesting and fun to visit, but one stood out for me.

In fact, I will go so far as to make this statment: Beyond, which was the winning entry in the contest, is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in a VR headset. I was completely and utterly blown away by what Beyond’s creator, Noz’aj, had done within High Fidelity.

Yes, this is a rave review. It’s the best thing I have seen in VR all year (and I have seen a lot).

The only thing that even comes close to Noz’aj’s achievement in its epic and mysterious content, its monumental scale, and its use of atmosphere-enhancing soundscapes is Cyan’s puzzle game Obduction, which I absolutely adored playing. If you are a fan of Cyan and its games (Myst, Riven, etc.), you simply must drop what you’re doing, and come and experience Beyond. Seriously, it’s just that good.

I am so impressed, and I so much want you to experience this masterpiece for yourself, that I am not even going to post any pictures of Beyond! All I am going to do is point you to the very brief teaser trailer that Noz’aj has posted to YouTube, which gives a hint of the flavour of the experience:

The domains entered into the Favorite Domain Contest will only be available until November 25th, 2018, so I very strongly urge you to pay a visit to Beyond and fully explore this epic, monumental experience before it’s gone. You will not regret it!

Here’s a link to Beyond.

UPDATE Nov. 19th: I have encountered a few problems trying to get back into Beyond in the past 24 hours (perhaps it’s just taking a very long time for the domain to load), but Noz’aj tells me:

Hi Ryan. Thank you for the kind words on your blog. As far as I can tell, my domain is still up. I host it on Digital Ocean. There is also an instance being hosted by High Fidelity which you can get to through the FUTVRE LANDS domain.

So it would appear that the link I have posted above is to a permanent version of Beyond, while the copy hosted directly by High Fidelity is the one which will be taken down on November 25th.

Noz’aj adds:

My original instance will be staying up and over time it will be expanded.

I have lots of ideas, I’m just not sure if there are enough hours in the day to get it done :wink:

I can’t wait to see what Noz’aj does next!

Also, a hint: if you follow the path all the way through to the very end, you will eventually land up back in the spaceship where you started. Set aside at least an hour to explore every nook and cranny of Beyond.

High Fidelity Pick of the Day: FUTVRE LANDS

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Thomas Dolby performing She Blinded Me With Science at the FUTVRE LANDS virtual reality festival in High Fidelity.

I’ve spent the whole afternoon at the festival (both in and out of my Oculus Rift VR headset) and I have been BLOWN. AWAY. by what I have seen and heard today!

Technical glitches aside, this festival (with well over 200 avatars attending both in San Francisco and from all around the globe) has been a remarkable achievement!

Congratulations to High Fidelity CEO Philip Rosedale and his team.

November 17th Events in Sinespace and High Fidelity

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I am deliberately breaking my self-imposed vacation from the blog to announce two daylong events taking place in not one, but two different metaverse platforms this coming Saturday, November 17th! It’s going to be a busy day!

First, Sinespace is celebrating its second anniversary with a full day of events, including a keynote address by Sinespace’s lead developer, Adam Frisby, and a talk by game developer Warren Spector. Here are all the details.

And over at High Fidelity, there is the FUTVRE LANDS Virtual Reality Festival taking place. According to the press release:

FUTVRE LANDS is an entertainment festival without traditional festival headaches like long lines, heat stroke and sudden downpours. Free and open to the public, it offers the VR-curious an opportunity to venture into social virtual experiences. Anyone can access FUTVRE LANDS via a VR headset, desktop or Google Daydream-enabled Android device. The event lineup includes Oculus Rift VR headset giveaways, the fan-favorite “Last Avatar Standing” trivia game show—where participants earn High Fidelity Coin (HFC) cryptocurrency—and live performances headlined by five-time Grammy nominee Thomas Dolby (“She Blinded Me with Science”).

Full details on the festival can be found here.

(Aaand, I’m going back on vacation... )