This evening in VRChat, the VRCon 2022 Film Festival will be celebrating 30 VRChat films made by filmmakers from across the world! The event takes place today, Saturday, Dec 17th, 2022, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, with an after-party.
Just a quick heads up: French electronic music superstar Jean-Michel Jarre will be performing once again in VRChat! Here are teh details:
Jean-Michel Jarre, VRrOOm, and VRChat are happy to invite you to the live preview of Jean-Michel Jarre’s latest opus “Oxymore”, an immersive concert which will be simultaneously played at the Hyper Weekend Festival’s first edition @Maison de la Radio in Paris in multicanal format, and on VRChat in 6DoF binaural format, in an effort to bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds.
Jean-Michel Jarre’s Oxymore will be broadcast live on VRChat in Oxyville, XR capital of music and sound, designed by Russian artist Pavel Pavlyukov and produced by VRrOOm.
In both the virtual and physical worlds, the 50 minutes exclusive concert will be played on Jan 21 at 9:30pm and 11:30pm, Jan 22 at 9:30pm CET and 11:30pm CET, and Jan 23 at 9:30pm CET. In order to exactly match the real-world concert restricted conditions, each concert session will be limited to 200 people max.
The Quest-compatible VR concert experience is free to access on VRChat! Book your tickets now, on a first come firsrt serve basis; make sure you will be able to attend when you book your ticket, as the places are limited! Thanks a lot and we are happy to welcome you to this new, groundbreaking music experience in social VR.
Ron, VRChat’s chief creative officer, and Tupper, the community manager for VRChat, were the hosts who shared the next year’s roadmap with us, with a plea to keep in mind that things can change, as often happens in software development projects! Other VRChat staff joined to talk about projects they were working on.
They report that VRChat Plus (i.e. premium accounts) has so far been amazing, with lots of support. VRChat Plus on Oculus is coming soon, and VRChat Plus gifting is coming as soon as possible.
There was a discussion of the server growing pains encountered as the number of concurrent users has risen over time. Here’s a picture of the VRChat server team, in VRChat!
Tupper then talked about some of the persistent bugs that the team is attempting to fix: audio bugs, problems in the Social menu, avatar load hitching, etc. (starting around the 27-minute mark in the livestream). He created something called the Bug List Bodyslam (seen in the bottom left hand corner of the following image), a graphical representation which helped determine which bugs were highest priority:
Did you know there was a bug called the “head-pat alignment”? 😉 (VRChat users often greet each other by patting each others’ heads.)
The Art team (Rocktopus and Technobabel) talked about the new user interface (UI). Aspects of the new UI have already been released (i.e. some of the features in VRChat Plus), and will be rolled out gradually over time, instead of one big UI overhaul. There will be a new Quick Menu, which will look like this (video at the 38:00 mark):
The next section was about improvements to avatar dynamics. bones, etc. Kiro, a client-end engineer for VRChat, joined Tupper for this part of the presentation. Among the new features are avatar-to-avatar interaction: avatars actually being able to touch themselves and each other, sparking visual or audio effects! Please watch the video at 55:30 mark in the Twitch livestream to see this feature in action.
There was much, much more which I have not touched upon in this blogpost, so I would recommend you read Kent Bye’s series of tweets for a better summary, or set aside a couple of hours and watch the Twitch livestream itself. I really do wish that other social VR platforms on the marketplace would do something like VRChat’s annual developer livestream. Some do (e.g. Sinespace), and others don’t (several companies which I will not name).
It’s wonderful to see a company like VRChat respond to its community and lay out its future plans in this way!
Join us for a special Endgame episode in VRChat on Saturday: we’ll facilitate a support group to discuss how we can cope with COVID-19. It’s stressful to be isolated, but we can come together in social VR to navigate this pandemic. Saturday 3/21 at 11:00 a.m. PST @PsychNoah
PsychNoah is, of course, Noah Robinson (a.k.a. Psych; Twitter; LinkedIn), a clinical psychology doctoral student at Vanderbilt University and the founder and CEO of Very Real Help, and one of the three regular hosts of the Endgame talk show in VRChat, along with Nomono and Poplopo.
Given how I have been struggling with both anxiety and depression during the coronavirus pandemic, I do intend to be in the studio audience for what promises to be a fascinating, wide-ranging, and educational discussion. Although users are urged to ask questions, you can also just sit back, watch, and listen, and enjoy something that is becoming ever rarer in the real world—being part of a crowd!