Redpill VR is a social VR music experience platform, similar in concept to Wave (formerly known as TheWaveVR). According to their website:
Redpill VR recently closed its Series B funding in early 2019 through a private strategic investor. We are currently building an Unreal 4 VR development team for our Los Angeles studio and are hiring for the following positions:
Senior Gameplay Programmer
Senior Environment Artist
Senior Network Programmer
Hmmm…sounds to me like they still need to hire a whole lot of people to actually build the damn thing! There’s no indication on the website as to when they expect to launch this platform. However, Redpill VR is already giving early demos to a few people:
Frankly, I wanted to slap this guy for his behaviour (among other things, he makes a remark about sexual harassment in VR which I found rather crude and tasteless). But this video does give you at least an idea of what Redpill VR will be all about, and a few visuals of what it will look like.
Here’s a few more images from their website, which I assume are closer to concept art than screen captures taken from the actual product:
Hello! We are a group of academic researchers who are conducting a research project about social VR. The project is about understanding why people use social VR, how they interact with one another in social VR, and how social VR supports their social needs, identity construction, and relationship building. If you have experienced any social VR platforms/applications/environments and are willing to be interviewed, please contact us and we will send you the information sheet, which provides more details about this research. You will be paid a $20 Amazon gift card after the interview is completed.
An hour in the metaverse needs to be better than – an hour on Facebook – an hour on Instagram – an hour on Twitter – an hour on YouTube – an hour on Netflix – an hour in Fortnite – an hour in anything we have now
Today is officially the last day of the week-long land auctions for the blockchain-based virtual world Somnium Space. You can check out the status of the auctions using their up-to-date land auction map (which might take a minute or two to load on slower computers).
Red parcels were those which were claimed before the auction as an incentive for investors in their previous crowdfunding initiatives (approximately 500 parcels in total). There are 4,500 parcels up for grabs this week to the highest bidder. Yellow parcels are those which have bids in the auction. Green parcels are those which have not been bid on.
Here’s what the map looks like (in two sections, top half and bottom half), as of today around 2:00 p.m. Central Standard Time:
As you can see, there’s a veritable sea of green parcels on the Somnium Space map, and not a lot of yellow ones. Compare this to the bidding frenzy that occurred in both of Decentraland’s previous land auctions, in which almost every single parcel of land was sold.
The team over at Somnium Space must be feeling a little surprised by the (relative) lack of response from bidders, and I must admit that I am feeling somewhat surprised myself.
So, why aren’t people (yet) flocking to Somnium Space as they did to Decentraland? Why aren’t people choosing to spend their money on cheaper virtual land that offers much greater creative possibilities?
One of the issues may be timing. Decentraland started off with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) at the height of the cryptocurrency mania, which generated a lot of money (millions of dollars) and a lot of interest because it raised so much money. Somnium Space started off with less of a bang, as a non-blockchain project which had blockchain added afterwards. At the time of Somnium Space’s land auction, the bloom has definitely come off the rose for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, which might explain the relatively sedate pace of bidding compared to the frenzy over Decentraland in their two previous LAND auctions.
Another reason might be that Somnium Space is still a relatively new and untested platform (particularly the new, contiguous version 2.0 landscape), and potential investors might be cautious, wanting to wait and see what the early pioneers are going to do with the land they bought. As someone said on the RyanSchultz.com Discord channel in talking about thos week’s Somnium Space auction:
Unless the worlds become bustling with life and events and creators and MONEY, nobody will ever want to buy more land (only if they are still sick with blockchain hype). Buying an abstract piece of “land” in some obscure world that might or might not become popular is a gamble, and the only winning party here is the House, aka the creator.
Decentraland may not compare that favourably to Somnium Space in terms of technical features, but it does hum with money—the millions of dollars that MANA and LAND speculators invested ensure that DCL gets the white-hot spotlight of more attention, including mainstream news media coverage from places such as CBC Radio and the BBC. Once a project gets that level of coverage, it almost takes on a life of its own. And Somnium Space will likely need to get that kind of attention, that kind of coverage, in order to succeed. (I mean, I’m covering it, but I’m just a niche blog with 600-6,000 viewers a day! That’s peanuts.)
It will be interesting to watch as both Somnium Space and Decentraland evolve and adapt to circumstances in future. I wish both companies every success in their endeavours, and good luck! They will both need it. (Remember, Facebook is planning to launch a social VR platform and a cryptocurrency next year. Don’t think for a moment that they haven’t considered combining the two in some fashion.)
UPDATE 7:34 p.m.: I wanted to add a time-lapse video of Somnium Space’s in-world building tools in action, since not a lot of people have had an opportunity to try them out yet: