The inspiration behind Your Meta World, was to create a truly decentralised and free Metaverse which could solve some of the problems facing the NFT and Crypto markets as of late. Many NFT collections released within the last 1-2 years have promised the world to investors and delivered considerably less. The NFT market has become a "flippers" game and even worse than this, many collection creators have fine tuned a rug pull system in which they market their collections to new investors, cash out after a mint, and then abandon a project leaving investors with little more than a 2D profile picture of a meme.
Even in more well established projects with considerable funding such as Sandbox and Decentraland, users are forced to participate in land sales if they would like to properly take advantage of what these applications have to offer. By definition this is centralisation of the Metaverse, as land becomes a finite commodity whose supply is controlled by a single entity with an agenda to maximise profit.
This is not what Web3 should look like!
What it does
Your Meta World is a Metaverse style project with which offers users a
3D VR traversable Metaverse, within which they can display and interact with their NFT's, meet other users, attend digital events etc.
A suite of free NFT tools which allow users to easily create, modify and recycle NFT's in various ways and in multiple mediums and dimensions (2D, 3D, Sound Files, Video etc.).
An integrated marketplace where users can buy, sell and rent their NFT's and NFT creations. As well as build generic and bespoke new experiences from existing NFT's and offer these to other users.
The end vision for Your Meta World is a 3D digital universe within which every user owns a freely expandable plot of land. The land is used initially to display the NFT's in their wallet as artwork inside of their spaceship.
This universe will be connected to our marketplace, which offers a unique suite of tools for both NFT interaction and creation. We are still in the early stages of building this marketplace, but users can already lazy mint 3D objects, Unity scenes and video files and view them in VR.
If the user wishes they can expand their initial plot of land to connect with additional Unity scenes, or replace this with another one (Micro Grant has been awarded by Filecoin to complete this functionality). These scenes can either be created and uploaded by the user, or they can be purchased from other users on the Your Meta World NFT marketplace (marketplace is already live, but is still being worked on).
Inside of this universe users can have parties, gatherings, movie screenings, competitive gaming competitions, lectures and more. NFT's will power this ecosystem as fully fledged digital items which exist in more than two dimensions, and can provide multiple assets at once (sound files, C# scripts, Unity assets etc.).
As of right now, the foundation of this functionality has already been built. Users can
- Claim their own spaceship inside of Your Meta World and display their 2D NFT's as artwork
- Transform their 2D NFT's into 3D objects which they can then pick up and interact with in VR
- Mint a 3D object as an NFT and sell this on a marketplace
- Pull their 3D NFT's into a VR traversable environment and pick them up and interact with them for the first time!
- Switch between Theta and Ethereum blockchains seamlessly
- Mint 3D Unity scenes as NFT's which a wallet can then seamlessly integrate into their account in Your Meta World
- Mint Theta hosted video content as an NFT, and pull this into Your Meta World at runtime. Users can build custom Unity scenes around this, and then mint the Unity scene to create an NFT inside an NFT.
- 5, 6 & 7 are new additions to the project specifically for the Theta hackathon. 1 has been upgraded specifically to accommodate for this additional functionality. Our REST API and backend have also been upgraded to accommodate these additions.
How we built it
The project has two main parts
- The frontend website and web tools
- The Unity 3D applications which make up the "Metaverse" part of the project
These are connected via our custom REST API
The front end of Your Meta World currently has two parts (however these will be merged into a single application later this year). The first part is the vanilla front end which contains many of our tools, including our wallet authenticator, Unity scene pinner (to Pinnata), 3D object NFT minter etc. Most of these are in vanilla JS and utilise Moralis's API.
The second part is our React JS NFT marketplace which is natively on the Ethereum network, however we have integrated both the Theta main net and test net into it it recently (most features work better on Ethereum main net currently though, more dev time is needed to finish this properly). Most of our time has been dedicated to the Metaverse side of the project thus far, however the time is almost here to turn our attention to upgrading our existing marketplace to be the best in the world!
The Unity aspect of Your Meta World is once again in two parts (again, this will be merged into a single Unity app shortly). The main part is our NFT spaceship, which is built using Unity's High Definition Render Pipeline combined with XR modules. We make HTTP web requests to our backend server using a simple C# script, and then manipulate the incoming JSON to create some amazing visuals and interactions with NFT's inside of a users wallet.
We also have recently built in a HTTP request for switching Unity scenes to a scene which a user has as an NFT inside their wallet. This opens up the door for users to create immersive Unity projects, mint these as NFT's, and then sell, rent or give these projects our for free on our marketplace.
Our second Unity application is our 3D GLTF sandbox. This project allows users to interact with their 3D object NFT's inside of VR. Once again, JSON is being retrieved from our backend server and through some clever Unity scripting and third party GLTF modules, we have been able to pull this into a fully fledged VR traversable 3D environment.
Our backend is made up of Mongo DB and Express.
Challenges we ran into
Accomplishments that we're proud of
I am a sole developer with a full time job, so one of the things I'm most proud of is being able to create such an ambitious project working evenings and weekends (it's not finished quite yet though).
There's still much work to be done, but I feel that the scope of this project is massive and there is the potential to change the Web3 landscape forever. Your Meta World makes Web3 accessible for anyone and everyone, and once finished and launched properly will allow users with almost every type of skill set to build an amazing collaborative platform with branching storylines and experiences.
What we learned
Don't take sleep for granted.
How the Theter ecosystem works, and what the goals of the platform are.
There are some great Web3 API's and libraries out there which can save you a tremendous amount of time when building features from scratch.
What's next for Your Meta World
The first step is to finish off our suite of NFT tools (we're almost done!) and aggregate them all into one single web application that's built inside of our marketplace. Whilst functional, our marketplace needs the most work to build something which will rival the most popular NFT platforms in usability, design and most importantly functionality. Our desktop applications also need to be cleaned up and aggregated into a single piece of software.
From there we will continue to innovate and create exciting features that allow builders and even consumers to shape the Web3 landscape. Even those with little or no technical expertise will be able to contribute to building on their own piece of the Metaverse.
We would love to launch our very own NFT collection, which will grant users exciting avatars and wearables that they can use in game. Whilst these may unlock secret places in Your Meta World, we will remain committed to never closing off the tools which we offer to the general public for free. Your Meta World will never be a pay to play type scenario. We will welcome creators to come along and produce interesting and exciting experiences which they can sell, rent, or give away for free inside of the app.