Building A Virtual World on Deso

AndrewVanDuivenbode

A Prediction

In the near future your social media profile will be a 3D virtual space in the metaverse.

Instead of posting to an infinitely scrolling feed, you will design the interior of your digital home.

In your studio is an exhibition of your best artwork, some for sale and some for show.

In your trophy room, replica weapons won in your favourite 3D shooter sit on a rack on the wall.

In the next case are NFT versions of the trophy you won playing football in university. Above them hang the NFTs of your web3 computer science degree.

In the middle of the room is the digital lambo that you won as a prize in the great Deso Derby of 2023.

In your family room you keep the shared photographs of your favourite holidays and your children’s progress as they grow up.

Visitors to your social media profile are not anonymous “likes” and a +1 for your stats. Visits are from the avatars of interested people who come to chat and make a real human connection with you.

You can set up your virtual space to be the perfect professional’s home office, or you can flick a switch to turn on Party Mode and host a Deso Disco on Saturday night.

You have control of your space. The best digital items you own are the ones you designed and built yourself.

This is what I would like our personal profiles to look like when meeting in virtual worlds become the normal and natural way to interact online.

Learning from the Past

The technology to make this happen is already here and a number of companies and organizations are already working on this including tech giants such as Facebook.

I believe that we are at a fork in the road in the evolution of a metaverse and we should look to our recent past to guide our next steps.

The web used to be a lot more decentralized than it is now.

Before the rise of the vast web 2.0 walled gardens of Facebook and Twitter your social media profile was a personal website.

A website that you built and controlled every aspect of yourself.

Some websites were hosted on private servers in the back rooms of academic organizations and forward thinking businesses.

Some websites and forums were even hosted in the homes of enthusiasts on their own DIY web servers or personal computers.

We give up this control for the convenience of free hosting and simpler online tools.

Now two decades later billions of us hand over ownership of our personal data, photographs and creativity to the social media giants where it is analyzed so our attention can be sold to the highest bidding advertizer.

Web3 technologies such as the Deso blockchain are part of the global reaction to this dangerous centralization of power.

It’s my belief that we should not repeat the same mistakes with the metaverse that we made with social media. You should not give up control of your online home, you should own it and be able to do whatever you want with it.

A Small Corner of the Deso Metaverse

Over the past couple of months I have been experimenting with combining the Deso API with open web technology - namely the web standards compliant WebGL 3D rendering API and JavaScript framework ThreeJS.

Currently at cloutrooms.app you can find what I believe is the first dynamically generated 3D virtual world based on the DeSo blockchain.

When I say dynamically generated what I mean is that there is no overall map or predefined structure to the cloutrooms environment as there are in - for example - video game worlds.

You can think of the cloutrooms web app almost like a blockchain browser that takes your Deso public key and uses it to pull in your images and profile data from the blockchain, and renders it on screen as a 3D room.

Right now I’m experimenting with different ways that you can customize the inside of your room.

I would like to make sure that you have as much control as possible so a key part of this is that you can upload your own assets - i.e. textures and 3D objects.

Deso is a network of creatives and developers so it makes sense for us all to be able to import our own work - whether that be a 2D mural for your room’s feature wall or a 3D sculpture in glTF format.

In the future I’d like developers to be able to import code to cloutrooms which will control the function of 3D objects among other things.

Cloutrooms is a full stack JavaScript app. JavaScript is one of the most known programming languages in the world right now and is something anyone can learn.

By using open and free technologies to build this environment I would like to make this not just an app for you to use, means for the Deso community to build their own metaverse the way they want.

The Desoverse Node

We have the ability to start building our own metaverse right here and now. So where does this lead us?

I can envision ready-made desoverse nodes being downloadable as docker containers, ready for anyone to spin up.

A desoverse node would consist of the same backend code that regular nodes use to interact with the blockchain, but instead of a website UI like Bitclout you would have an entry point to a 3D virtual environment.

Perhaps each desoverse node could represent a virtual geographical area where the homes of all users that signed up via that node would be built.

Running a desoverse node could involve being the “mayor” of that area and having the ability to set certain rules for the inhabitants.

Perhaps this would be democratic or perhaps not. Your inhabitants can always move to another node if they don’t like the one that you run. Decentralisation to the rescue again.

What's Next?

For my part I intend to continue experimenting with new Cloutrooms features to find out what is possible, useful and fun in this new environment.

NFT specific features such as special ways to display and auction your artwork are top of the list.

Utility NFTs are going to play an important part too.

With the right systems in place we can create a virtuous cycle.

We can build a system where any creator can profit from selling in-world items as NFTs, with a small item registration fee - or percentage of the sale - to fund the continued development of the project.

Utility NFTs made by Cloutrooms could be purchased for common items or premium features such as extra rooms or objects that perform a specific function. These NFTs will also have a large coinholder reward to ensure continued benefits for cloutrooms supporters.

To prevent people with limited funds from being priced out of the system, in-world actions could accrue points which can be used in place of deso for common items.

In short - there are many possibilities to explore and there is much to be done.

Can You Help?

First up, thank you to everyone that has purchased cloutrooms coin so far. The ability to use the FR to cloutcast to a larger audience has been essential to the continuation of this project.

I’m an independent developer with a small software product business. Most of my income comes from working on client projects.

This means that until Cloutrooms is generating enough revenue to cover the time of at least one developer plus hosting and marketing costs I will have to switch back and forth between client work and Cloutrooms in order to fund the project - this slows progress considerably.

Some large pieces of work are coming up such as mobile-friendly controls, avatars and a room designer for creating rooms with more complex shapes.

To help fund development of these features a special Cloutrooms NFT will be minted after the next release.

If you would like to support this project please consider bidding the NFT when it is announced, purchase some Cloutrooms coin from the project page or simply spread the word.

Thank you for reading. I’ll see you in the metaverse.

Andrew van Duivenbode. https://bitclout.com/u/Cloutrooms

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