The creative team from AltspaceVR announced new updates during their Town Hall that lets users be themselves in VR.
AltSpaceVR released their biggest update of the year that delivers new options to bring your own personality and flair into the virtual space with customizable avatars that allow you to add hats, facial hair, glasses, hairstyle, and new outfits. Gone are the generic looking boxy avatars that AltspaceVR users are familiar with, now allowing you to represent yourself in any way you want.
The new update also brings a new winter themed campfire (the central social hub of AltspaceVR) that will show up later this month, a native video player with better controls, live streaming through Microsoft’s very own Mixer that will give you access to live streams from gamers from all over the world, a revamped Holograms Against Humanity game, and an improved navigation menu.
The new menu will let you navigate the many many events held in AltspaceVR, and allows you create your own event right from the menu in VR. Creating an event the old way, meant logging into the AltspaceVR website through a computer and setting up the details of your event online.
During the hour-long town hall meeting, Keegen, the program owner from AltSpaceVR, introduced key team members behind the new virtual environment to assist her during the presentation. Patrick, who is one of the lead developers at AltSpaceVR, and Sean from the art and design team booth switched back and forth as they announced new features from a spectacular rooftop environment called the Vista.
Patrick, a lead developer at AltspaceVR said, “This is easily the biggest release we’ve ever done, we have a bigger team,” adding, “this is just the beginning of the kind of transformation you’ll be seeing.”
On top of all of this, Keegan and the AltspaceVR team announced that Reggie Watts from The Late Late Show will be returning for a once-in-a-lifetime live VR experience that could put you and Reggie together for a live improv event at a later time.
The new AltspaceVR will have an impact on all devices. Not only will the Oculus Go and Gear VR have access to the new updates, but users will finally be able to use their arm and hand more naturally by being able to grab items such as a basketball and throwing it through a basketball hoop with a true physical motion.
Some concerns of the new update were expressed by users during the Q & A portion of the town hall. With so much excitement around creating a more human looking avatar, some users had questions regarding the future of the robot avatar. They were of course the first avatar AltspaceVR offered users when the VR environment launched in 2015, and many users have been using that avatar since they first started a profile.
One AltspaceVR user named Henry stated that he has been using the robot avatar since he first became part of the AltspaceVR community and was concerned that there wasn’t an update for robots. It also opened up the question of if the robot avatar would be part of the new AltspaceVR. “Our goal in general is to give you as many ways to customize your experience as possible. We want you feel like yourself and our hope is that you can start to feel like yourself in VR too. You might feel like a green pink robot and I want to honor that,” said Keegan.
It’s unclear if AltspaceVR will continue to offer the robot avatar beyond the update, but Keegan offered some hope stating that she loved that people loved their robot avatars and that the AltspaceVR team would figure out how everyone can be themselves in the virtual world.
Overall, people at the town hall were incredibly excited for the new updates and it’s apparent that AltspaceVR is growing beyond being just a social platform.
There is a passionate community of people building a life inside of VR where they can express themselves and have a voice that helps steer the development of a new world. AltspaceVR is not only becoming that new world, but it’s taking the steps to let you do it with your own unique style and have a voice within the virtual space.