5 principles needed to humanize metaverse experiences

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Imagine the moment you arrive at the theater for a concert, talk, or play. Expectations increase as you walk through the warmly lit entrance. ticket in hand when going up the stairs The door opened to reveal the large scale of the space. The murmuring audience and a stage with spotlights Once you’ve found a seat, the lights will dim. And the music that was turned on was louder. The show is about to begin.

Events are determined by rituals. A sense of increased excitement and progression of storytelling. From the moment you get close to the entrance to the end of the final applause. A well-designed theater gives a sense of shared opportunity and purpose. In the past, people were great at making these places. This is an area that enhances the quality of our community experience. in the physical world And it’s very possible to create them in virtual reality.

With virtual reality (VR) continuing to go mainstream – this month, news is coming about two new headsets from Meta and Sony, both aiming to broaden VR adoption. Therefore it is necessary to create a virtual space that accepts our humanity. As someone who designs virtual locations with thousands of users. I want to share the learnings my team and I have put together. for other designers It can create an experience that will stay in memory long after the headphones come off.

Get inspired by the real world but notice the difference

The basis of the virtual event space is similar to the real-life venue. And so is the design process. Often our design teams bring in architects to ensure we learn from real-world principles.

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“There are specific considerations to the audience, the show, and the context — it’s just that this audience consists of the avatar and the context as a virtual one,” says architect Christopher Daniel, who designed both the physical and virtual venues. “We had the opportunity to work on features from a concert hall in Berlin or a theater in Buenos Aires. Avoid physical limitations and create virtual places that feel both magical and real.”

Remember that virtual spaces have different needs, however. We’ve found that virtual viewers need more space between seats to feel comfortable. And the line of sight from one seat to the other must allow the audience to be in the room at the same time. as well as around the world in separate physical environments. This means that the avatar tends to move more often and erratically than it does in the actual place. to ensure that other viewers will not be disturbed Usually we place each seat higher than it should be in the actual space. The seats will spread more.

Be specific to your material selection.

Creating believable virtual experiences is an exercise in world building. Whether the environment is fanciful or fact-based, feeling “real” is a key factor in immersive potential.

We experience the virtual world up close. This means that every environment requires great attention to detail. From the type of stone used to the cut and the wood grain. Think mahogany or red cedar, not just “brown wood.” The high level of craftsmanship will make your space feel like a destination people will want to return to.

Design a virtual space with sound in mind.

The most convincing virtual spaces are multisensory, so careful use of sound elements is key to bringing viewers into new worlds. There are many techniques to consider. including environmental sounds spatial anchored sound Echo to reward specific interactions. or a combination of individual items

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regardless of your method Powerful spatial audio will add clarity to a space while adding interesting visual impact. The sound of waves crashing against the distant shore. or a seagull that flies overhead It can liven up a space, so consider how your landscape contributes to your audio visualization.

Pay attention to your audience

Virtual Reality presents a new challenge for creators: when you can create anything. How do you choose a starting point?

The initial discovery process is the key to a deeper understanding of the area’s objectives and target audience. How would you like your guests to feel? How will the area serve them? Or surprise them? The aim is for artists User experience (UX) designers and technologies Be inspired by this step. while keeping the audience and the purpose of the event first.

At this point, what is creating constraints and defining environments? noWe often use Miro and Pinterest boards to highlight elements that should be avoided, such as low ceilings, spotlights. flashy chrome So that we don’t have to create something generic or unique. This process helps creative teams remove ambiguity. Create a shared visual vocabulary. and convey various assumptions

Think of your virtual activity as a story.

in each virtual event We are telling a story that has a beginning and an end. Just like acting in real life This ensures that attendees feel that the storytelling is progressing. It would be helpful to offer advice inspired by scriptwriting basics, such as the classic three-act structure.

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For example, the beginning of each event should serve as your first scene. which is characterized by staging and acting welcome your guests take them around and provide introductory information that inspires them to explore further. It is important to gently introduce participants — many of whom may be new to virtual reality — softly from the start before adding complexity.

That additional action should be effective in the presentation of the keynote or performance of the event. resulting in different audience responses Participants also need to understand what to do when the main task is over by providing clear next steps to leave the area and move on.

Humanity will remain important even as technology evolves.

Like most technologies, Virtual Reality is evolving exceptionally fast. Today’s designers are faced with the task of optimizing the experience for the limitations of today’s headsets. while preparing for further evolution. The future presents even greater challenges. for example Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon not only create concept art. but also create a whole virtual world

Designing spaces with narrative at the heart will continue to be a human differentiator. As we go out into the metaverse, don’t forget our humanity.

Michael Ogden Served as Chief Creative Officer of VR company. hypnotizewhere he used the creative lab inside the Atmospheric.

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