What is VU?
Well…I get this asked so many times and every time I`m struggling
It is difficult to compare it to anything we have done in the past. Something like this was just not possible. But today we have these really powerful technological innovations happening all around us. Stuff is going to change and it’s going to change fast.
Thanks to VR you can now do more than just enjoy being a part of your favorite digital world/community, now you can exist inside your favorite digital world. That’s a big deal.
Thanks to blockchain we can put the digital economy in the hands of the players in a more organic and (as good as) incorruptible way. That is also a big deal.
The list goes on and on. And all of these technologies are evolving at a rapid pace, so the only digital world you can build on top of this crazy tech wave is a world that grows more organic, an ever expanding world that is constantly adapting to the changing landscape.
So while what is VU is hard to answer, what is not hard to answer is this:
What are we going to do?
Here we go:
We start with phase 1: we build our first city on our first planet in our first galaxy.
CITY 01 aka GENESIS
The construction of Genesis is already underway. Becoming a citizen of this city will be totally free and available to anyone with compatible VR hardware. (as of now Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows MR systems). If you do not have VR hardware you will still be able to be part of it using web browser and mobile devices, but only VR allows you to really be there.
Every player that signs up in 2018 will get a free apartment inside Genesis and a basic avatar to get started. Players that participated in the VU token sale will receive an additional exclusive avatar and a little surprise gift for supporting the early stages of VU development.
Players can heavily customize their avatars and their apartments, this part of VU is comparable to the Sims, where you simply enjoy your virtual life and friendships in your virtual home.
Moving around your room is simple, every avatar has a smooth locomotion system that allows you to walk around the virtual space in a natural way. Interacting with the world around you is intuitive. If you encounter something in the world you think you should be able to interact with, you will be able to interact with it without needing much explanation. It’s fun to try and figure things out by yourself, it’s not fun having to sit through endless isolated tutorials.
concept art of COVE, a public transportation hub in GENESIS
Moving around in a city of this size needs better options than just walking, so we are creating a public transportation system that will take you anywhere you want to go. If you want more freedom, we are also creating a wide variety of personal transportation vehicles, from fast and sporty hover discs to handy autopilot shuttles that carry you with your friends to your destination.
Let’s talk about how the city is being constructed. There are four different districts in the city:
1. Residential district
2. Entertainment district
3. Commercial district
4. Financial district
What can you do in the residential district?
This part of VU is similar to games like SimCity. Players will be able to purchase plots of land and create buildings on top of it. Whenever a new residential district is ready for sale, all its available plots will be put on the city’s auction house for VU tokens. Whoever wins the bid on a plot of land becomes the owner of the said plot. Undisputable and recorded on the blockchain.
Once you are the owner of a residential plot, you have a choice of possible buildings that can be built on top of that particular plot of land. Let’s say you pick an 8 story high building that houses several luxurious player apartments. Once you ordered the building construction will start and once it is finished you are now the owner of this building. Next, you will be able to sell or rent your luxurious apartments to players who want a little more than just the basic free apartment everybody gets. These transactions between the owner of the building and the purchaser or renter of the apartment will all be handled by smart contracts on the blockchain. As a building owner, you will be able to set various parameters of these smart contracts so you have full control over your digital assets.
What can you do in the entertainment district?
A thriving city needs people and lots of it. So in order to do this, we will create high-quality VR arcade-style experiences that are free to play for anyone. This will attract a large number of players to the city. These will be very fun and immersive virtual reality adventures in a wide variety of settings and styles. Some of them are designed for solo play, some of them require a group of friends to work together, some of them will be more of a multiplayer battle royale style gameplay.
concept art of a multiplayer VR Arcade deep dive experience in the GENESIS entertainment district
There will also be plots of land for sale in the entertainment district. Owning one of these plots allows you to build a virtual entertainment business on top of it. Let’s say you purchased a plot of land right next to the public transportation hub in the entertainment district. You realized there is going to be a lot of foot traffic there so you believe this is a good spot to operate a virtual business. The particular plot of land you purchased allows for several types of entertainment business to be built on. You might decide to build the city’s first mini golf course.
Once you place the order the construction begins. Once completed a set of modular mini golf blocks become available to you that allow you to design your own mini golf VR experience. This part of VU is similar to Minecraft. These modular blocks come pre-programmed so the only thing you need to do is combine them as you see fit.
Before your virtual business is ready to open its doors, you need to configure your ticketing machine (which is essentially a smart contract). You define the price per game of golf and what cryptocurrencies you are willing to accept (for now we are focussing on VU, ETH, and BTC). After all of that is set, just open your doors so other players can walk in, purchase a ticket with BTC, ETH or VU and and enjoy a game of mini golf in the business you designed and constructed.
This is just one example of the many many different possible entertainment businesses you are able to create in the genesis city.
What can you do in the Commercial district?
If running an entertainment business is not your thing then running a virtual shop in the city is another option available to you. I talked earlier about customizing your avatar, apartments and different transportation options. All those elements will be sold in different shops that can be found in the commercial district. The vast majority of these shop will be constructed and operated by you, the players.
concept art of two players jumping in a portal to the other side of GENESIS
Let’s say you won a bid on a commercial plot that became available recently. As the new owner of this plot, you can construct different types of commercial virtual businesses on this plot. You decide to construct the first coffee shop of the city. Once construction is complete a set of building blocks will be made available to you allowing you to design the interior and features of your shop.
Again, you need to setup your price for each item you want to sell and configure your ticket machine so users can purchase your delicious, energy-restoring, beverages.
If your virtual business is getting popular it might be a good idea to hire some other players to help you out with running the business. As a business owner, you are able to enter a variety of agreements with other players(again a smart contract on the blockchain). So if you like the idea of roleplaying a friendly barista in VU on Sundays and getting paid in cryptocurrency for it, that is a possibility in VU.
What can you do in the Financial district?
The biggest attractions here will be the auction house. This is the economic center of the city, where players can place items up for bid/bid on items from other players. We also find the city planners office here, where plots of land of new development phases get auctioned to the players. Another point of interest in this district is the job board, where players can browse through the available positions in various virtual businesses throughout the city or look for someone to help with your business.
And lastly, what can you do outside the city?
concept art of two players catching fish, to sell at the market when they return to the city
Outside the city is our highly immersive LivingVR world. Created from the ground up to feel as immersive as possible. Teeming with virtual life, beautiful sceneries and waiting to be explored by you. Let’s say you are exploring further than you have before and suddenly you discover a cave behind a waterfall. Inside it, you find rich copper deposits. You know copper is a desired resource in the city since its an ingredient in many crafting recipes for a wide variety of building blocks. You mine the copper and haul it back to the city. Once there you list your copper on the auction house and collect the cryptocurrency once someone wins the bid on it.
And it is not just resource gathering that can be done in VU, there will be plenty of quests available for you and your friends to experience exciting adventures with plenty of loot to be had!
concept art of a replicator, taking raw resources and turning them into valuable items
Be careful though, inside the city players are safe but outside the city, there is no protection so going into the wilderness comes with a certain risk.
The start of a journey…
All of this is what we are starting within 2018. But this is just the start of an ever expanding world that eventually, one day might resemble something like the metaverse concept. We still have a long road ahead of us but the first brick has been laid down, and that is to me, very very exciting!
The whole VU team is tremendously excited to build this universe with your help, so if this all sounds like something you would like to be a part of then please sign up for our closed beta (more details coming soon). Construction of the genesis city has already begun, and we are eager to show you what we have been working on!
Looking forward seeing you all in Genesis
Learn more about Virtual Universe and VU token by visiting our website and signing up for email updates, visiting our Github, following us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram, or being part the discussion on Telegram and Discord.