AMA Highlights #02: MetaScapes
Get an exclusive look into some exciting new Vulcan Forged projects: MetaScapes and Vulcan Fight League!
Hello and welcome to our latest AMA recap! Read through to discover the highlights from our second AMA of the year, where we cover all things MetaScapes and Vulcan Fight League.
Want to watch the AMA in full? You can do so here:
What is MetaScapes?
MetaScapes is our metaverse as a service product. It’s got quite a stylized look compared to VulcanVerse. The current assets in our Closed Alpha are placeholders to give a sense of the aesthetics we are going for. The building engine has been adapted from VulcanVerse but it’s a lot more flexible, giving more options for what you can do with terrain, the size of the paintbrush, pivoting every asset, and more.
In the AMA video above, you can see some Alpha footage from the cartoon theme. This is just one of the four themes that we are releasing. The assets are temporary for now like we mentioned above, but if you look at the cinematic teasers you’ll get a sense for what you’ll see in-game as models.
The whole idea of MetaScapes is summarized by Jamie as: “Minecraft for the blockchain”. You will be able to create your own MetaScapes and level them up with $PYR. The main difference separating this from a world built elsewhere, like Minecraft for instance, is that you can monetize your creations. You can select your theme (for example, the cartoon world above), upgrade the world, add assets and functionality with $PYR, and then create your plot offline. This is another point where it differs from existing games like VulcanVerse, where we have to be a bit more careful about the polygon count as it is loaded in real time, which also makes it more heavy on the servers. Every time you save your plot and render it in MetaScapes, you can update your non-fungible token (NFT) with $LAVA. To achieve this, we will be making smart NFTs that can have their metadata updated to reflect your changes. You can then connect that to other MetaScapes plots you have, or sell your NFT to others with the same theme as you.
That means that not only are you making a world that can be explored by you and your friends (or even created as a brand or company), but you can make a plot that’s monetized and whoever wants to buy it, can. Imagine being able to turn creative Minecraft builds into NFTs and have other people explore it.
The key is in the tooling that MetaScapes can provide to the community, giving you more opportunities to create what you want.
Can you explain why you think MetaScapes will bring value to the VF ecosystem?
If you think about it, let’s say only 30,000 people get a metascape. Within their metascape, they can add assets to it, update it to the blockchain and save it as an NFT. This creates a demand for $LAVA, a usage for $PYR, and extra volume in the marketplace trading. The more usage of MetaScapes, the more the economy is stimulated.
People love creativity and in MetaScapes it’s limitless. Unlike VulcanVerse which is limited by a finite amount of plots, millions of people would be able to make a metascape and invite their friends to it.
In the last AMA, you said MetaScapes is more about building things and not about gameplay. How are you going to keep the players busy when it is designed only for building?
Jamie thinks that we shouldn’t negate the need for people who want to create. MetaScapes provides an opportunity to show off what you can make and invite your friends to it. There are going to be four themes — cartoon, fantasy, modern and futuristic.
We are adding gameplay, but more in the sense that we are providing tools rather than direct elements of gameplay. One thing that we can confirm that we are adding is a paintballing feature, which you can choose to enable in your metascape with $PYR to create a paintball arena. Like the quest system that we are introducing for the community in VulcanVerse, which will evolve from an internal tool to something that all players can utilize, we will empower MetaScapes creators to build their own minigames. Paintballing will come first before we introduce the ability to create your own basic quests and mini games in MetaScapes (things like ‘find this NFT’, decoration challenges, sponsored activities from partners, etc).
In addition, VR is already added so we are already up to par with other existing metaverses like Horizon Worlds.
Our terramorphing system is more complex than in VulcanVerse right now, but a lot of it will be transferred across once the refactoring on VulcanVerse has wrapped up. To give you an example, you can morph the trees a lot more and pivot them. There are also far more terrains. Another thing you can do is create a path where water will run in your world, so you can introduce rivers, but you could also use that tool to create paths for assets like trains to follow. MetaScapes has offered us a unique opportunity to create something fresh from the ground up.
Is there a plan to add tutorials to help showcase how each tool works and what the possibilities are with it?
Yes, we intend to add tooltips. This is something that we want in VulcanVerse too — especially for first time users. We also intend for there to be video tutorials on how to use MetaScapes tools, both from us and the community.
Jamie indicates that we have 20 schools in the UK that will have an educational version of MetaScapes installed. Jamie has a background in education (including a Masters Degree) from before starting Vulcan Forged, so he has good connections in this area, especially in places like Kent and Sussex. This will give a younger audience their first chance to explore NFTs and metaverses. We won’t be using actual money there. Instead, it will exist as a free educational package, and give people what may be their first exposure to the technology and creativity in the virtual space.
Will MetaScapes run on square lands, or can entities define other ways to shape their surfaces so they can create sport fields, stadiums, spaceships, etc.?
You can actually create any shape you want with square lands. Every piece of land is 20x20 and can be connected with each other in every direction on top of a 2D grid. In this manner you can create anything you can imagine, from big stadiums to small farms.
Some larger assets will be sold with plots underneath. As an example, if you want to buy a baseball stadium asset that covers 20 plots, you would buy it and connect it to your existing MetaScapes with the plots. You can then decorate it, with the base included.
Will MetaScapes come with options to make stuff interactive?
Jamie says yes, we are making this from the base up so that anything can be added on top of it.
We plan to make worlds interactive with building assets that allow the player to interact with it. Imagine a door: instead of a static door, the player will be able to open and close it. Levers, moving platforms and anything with a kind of interaction can lead to another place of code. This way, a lot of interactive building assets can be linked to a type of gameplay or logic. We cannot share with you what kind of gameplay as the design on this part is not yet finalized.
Will MetaScapes be available for mobile platforms in future?
We discussed if this would be possible internally, but ultimately you wouldn’t be able to explore MetaScapes on your phone.
Current-gen mobile architecture is not fast enough to support the vision of the project, especially as the MetaScapes become bigger and bigger. At most, we could potentially look at allowing you to organize plots on mobile or trade, although even that is a challenge with the App Store and the scrutiny that NFT projects are under from Apple.
Our current focus is to target PC and build the groundwork for VR.
Will you build worlds for other companies and businesses in order to drive adoption?
In fact, we have a number of companies lined up already who will use MetaScapes to create their own ‘insert-company-name-here’-verse. As a purely hypothetical example, if the New York Mets wanted a baseball stadium or something, this would be using the MetaScapes engine to create it and allow people in for a certain cost.
These would be bespoke and separate from the four main themes that the public would get.
Will games be integrated into MetaScapes?
Yes, as mentioned before there are plans to allow users to integrate games into their world from a pool of supported games and assets. Design for these games are not finalized so we’ll refrain from talking too much about them, but mini-games such as platforming races and paintball matches are being discussed. We would like to provide all building tools so creators can make their own games, rather than just a single toggle of enabling and disabling each game. This makes it a bit more technically challenging but also allows for full flexibility and control for the creator.
I understand that some of the VulcanVerse engine will be leveraged by MetaScapes. Are there cool things coming for MetaScapes that will directly benefit and improve VulcanVerse?
OG Vulcanverse players should find the building and terramorphing engine quite intuitive. Tooling for both of these systems has been substantially enhanced, both in terms of usability and performance.
Right now, here are some of the key differences that the MetaScapes building engine has compared to VulcanVerse:
- Interactive assets which can accommodate gameplay
- Many more building and terrain tools
- More terrain optimisation for viewing things at a distance
- Offline building
- Freeform placement of tools instead of snap placements
- Dynamically generated assets based on user input
While we wait on refactoring in VulcanVerse, we can go crazy using the building engine over on MetaScapes. We hope to be able to incorporate some of the above features into VulcanVerse.
And now, let’s introduce Vulcan Fight League (formerly known as Galactic Fight League)
There is an enormous game design document already in existence for Vulcan Fight League (VFL), but in essence: the whole idea is that you are a MMA manager with a roster of fighters who you train in a variety of martial arts. You can pay coaches in $PYR and your character will get an upgrade in the skills that the coaches actually have. After each fight, there is a cryochamber that is rented out which each fighter has to go to in order to recover and fight again. There are gyms with different training sets and fighter apparel that exist as NFTs.
The design document is quite complex, and was all designed before Vulcan Forged acquired it. Their team will continue to develop it and it will be hosted on Elysium. This is a Unity game so it is actually fighting with characters, and not just text based.
The MVP will be ready in approximately 3 months, with current estimates for a beta version in 6 months and a full release at the end of Q3.
We can share more details on this, but for the most part we’ve been happy to let the team keep developing in the background.
That concludes our AMA on MetaScapes and Vulcan Fight League!
Thanks for submitting your questions for Jamie! We hope that you are as excited for MetaScapes as we are.
If you have more questions for our team, including Jamie, jump into our Discord and ask away! Please let us know in the #ideas-and-feedback channel if you enjoyed this AMA.
Until next time!