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MetaWorld Harnessing SpatialOS To Build Its Vast Virtual Environment

HelloVR announced MetaWorld, a VR social experience that encompasses a 10,000 square mile virtual environment that is open for you to explore fully. MetaWorld leverages Improbable’s SpatialOS to build its vast, persistent virtual world.

MetaWorld is a massive-scale, social experience set in an enormous virtual world. HelloVR said that everyone will share the virtual space of MetaWorld and that your actions will have a lasting effect. If you make a change to the game, such as build a structure, the game will reflect your changes for everyone and will last forever. HelloVR said that there wouldn't be any “world wipes,” so your changes will persist for the lifetime of the game.

MetaWorld leverages technology from Improbable, which is a company that helps make the persistent environment of MetaWorld possible. Improbable’s SpatialOS distributes the workload across hundreds, and even thousands, of cloud servers. The result is that everyone exists within the same world. MetaWorld doesn’t rely on instances or zones to limit the number of players connected to any given server. The entirety of MetaWorld exists on the same cluster of servers, which means you’ll never encounter a loading screen as you traverse the expansive world—and expansive it is.

HelloVR said that MetaWorld’s entire map covers nearly 10,000 square miles of traversable space. “There are no loading tricks or fake backdrops,” said Herman Narula, Founder and CEO, Improbable. “If you can see it, you can travel to it - step by step if you want to.”

MetaWorld features a realistic physics engine that allows for games and activities that make use of the physical environment and objects. The game also features advanced wildlife with cognitive behaviors that HelloVR mapped out through deep learning by IBM Watson. Wildlife will interact with other animals in a natural way. For example, foxes will hunt rabbits to satisfy their hunger. Animals will behave as if they do in the real world.

MetaWorld is being designed for room-scale and standing VR. The social experience is currently in development for HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, and PlayStation VR. HelloVR expects to launch an early "Pioneer Edition" version of MetaWorld later this year. The MetaWorld Pioneer Edition will include simulations of outdoor activities, such as camping, fishing and farming, among others. HelloVR will release the editing tools that will let you create things inside MetaWorld next year.

HelloVR is currently accepting signups for early access into MetaWorld. The company has not said when it will start sending out invites. MetaWorld is currently undergoing a closed alpha test.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • bit_user
    I don't understand why they're so keen on emulating the physical world. Sure, you want certain things to be similar, like Newtonian physics, so that it feels natural and intuitive. But the idea that many people really want to go camping in VR is pretty ridiculous.

    Likewise, why should it be constrained to 3D euclidean geometry? At a micro-scale, definitely. However, at a macro scale, the world would grow much better if they allow it to be non-euclidean, to some degree.

    I always hated the idea of artificial scarcity that supported the concept of a real-estate market, in Second Life. The whole point of computers and virtual worlds is to supersede the limitations imposed by our physical reality.
  • Metabot
    The same was said about Job Simulator. :)
  • bit_user
    18325963 said:
    The same was said about Job Simulator. :)
    That's just an app you fire up and play for a while 'till you get bored with it. A lot of its appeal is just down to the novelty of VR. Plus, most of what sucks about jobs is the monotony, stress, and the amount of time and energy they take away from other things.

    Anyway, this seems aimed at being a repeat VR destination. It's fine for them, if they want to try it. But, I think successful virtual worlds will eliminate many constraints of the physical world.