Here’s the quick TL:DR for what is in this Netvrk Devlog 15, covering the month of October. In the Studio Update, we cover the schedule and adjustments to the Roadmap as we head to the first Alpha and into 2024. In the Development section, we cover the work on the first Alpha, and how we are looking into the next year as we expand the world. In a new section, we cover our use of AI and how it is designed to add fullness and dynamic interactions to our world. The Blockchain team talks about what they are doing to help commerce happen in-game, and expanding the utility of the $NTVRK token. And finally the Community section covers our recent DAO proposal and some contest results.
Let’s dive in!
Recently, the team took a look at the progress of the Alpha build candidate, reflecting on the time the upgrade to Unreal 5.2 has cost and the planned features for the first release, and determined that adjustments to the schedule were necessary. These adjustments are reflected in the newly updated Roadmap located on the Netvrk.co documents site. In this new schedule we determined that a second Alpha is in the best interest of the project as it does two things. First, it allows us to down-scope the first Alpha without committing extra work being exposed for the first time in the first Beta release. Second, it allows us to change the priority of some of the features planned for the Beta. This means bringing forward to Alpha2 some work we expect will be valuable to the project and the community. These features center around the utilization of the $NTVRK token for interactions between players, commerce in the world that we feel sets us apart as a project. Alpha2’s limited live-time window lowers our risk while allowing us to test in a live environment.
The Netvrk partnership with the Coolio estate continues to be one of the most exciting aspects expected in our 2024 releases. The estate is very web3 aware, recognizing the cycle that the market is moving through and where the next few years will take us, and they continue to advise us of their various inroads. To that end, TMZ and the Coolio Estate have asked for some teaser elements to help promote the coming Coolio virtual museum as they work to promote Cookin’ with Coolio, the newest offering recounting his work as a renowned chef. We are excited to see Netvrk featured on the TMZ network during this media campaign, and continue to look forward to the release of the virtual museum.
Work on the Alpha release candidate continued for the month of October, still centered around taking advantage of much of what the Unreal 5.2 upgrade made available. The team continues to work on performance and optimization improvements, this month focused on loading time and application size. To make these improvements, some data such as Avatar UI images will be stored locally. These kinds of changes mean a quicker loading of large memory items like the environment and the avatars, and quicker entry into the world.
As the two scheduled environments continue to be refined, we are utilizing some of the newest Unreal features for the physics of the water featured throughout Genesis Island. The water now reacts to objects and characters as they intersect, and the players now walk naturally slower as they travel in the water, and enter a swimming mode when the water is deep enough. All of this work came at a low cost to the schedule but a big gain to the immersive nature of the world.
Work in the Server Hub environment has gotten even more detailed, taking advantage of the nanite system in Unreal 5.2. Details and refinements to the floors and walls, and an expansion into the exterior dock where the yachts are moored were all part of the work done by the art group. With this latest upgrade, we are able to have extremely highly detailed modes throughout the world but allow the experience to run on less powerful PCs when it is required.
Genesis Island is large, with various biomes that reflect the features and diversity of a large virtual world. And even while the Alpha has the development team working hard, others in the studio are looking at the future roadmap with the larger world in mind. To that end, the Alien biome is getting more concept attention from the design and art teams. Having a strong artistic language to inform the world design has always been a cornerstone for this project, and the struggles in the web3 market has not changed that principle
Development – AI
A group within the development team has been asked to work on the development of the AI NPC characters, as so much of that technology holds great promise in creating a fully dynamic virtual world. This team is building an AI module that will be used both in Netvrk and available to other projects that use Unreal that produces world inhabitants at a large scale. Through the interface, developers will be able to provide a backstory, personality, knowledge base, and even unique voice and inflection to each character that exists in the world.
This work is being done in collaboration with various partners and technologies, allowing our team to leverage their expertise and suit it for our growing world. This includes using Nginx Proxy for a scaling solution, and Elevenlabs for the voice customization.
The goal of all of this work is to provide a virtual world with a community that is robust and interactive, a world unlike any that yet exists in the gaming space.
Blockchain Team Update
The Blockchain team has successfully implemented the Referral system, with the exception of integrating the User Interface, a task currently in the conceptualization stage by the design team. The final iteration of the Referral system will empower users to earn rewards, tokens, and various other incentives for referring new players to the marketplace, once it becomes fully operational.
With this work completed, the team has put their attention to the minting ‘in-world’ functionality that is also on our roadmap. As commerce is a major principle to our world, players need the ability to convert items that player creates, or discovers, into a digital asset. This means minting these items into NFTs without leaving the game experience. It is a large undertaking for the team, expected to take a considerable amount of time to develop and test.
Result of latest DAO proposal
By now, you are likely aware of the result from our recent DAO proposal, ‘Netvrk DAO Proposal #3: Unclaimed Rewards’. The DAO voted in favor of ‘Community Investment’ as the way forward for unclaimed rewards. As mentioned earlier, more DAO proposals are in the works to provide in-depth details about this decision. We appreciate the community’s feedback and engagement, and we’ve taken your insights to heart. In response, we’re preparing for an upcoming proposal that is centered on whether there should be a grace period for stakers who may have missed airdrops or if the current distribution policy should be upheld strictly. Stay tuned for our announcements on Discord and Telegram to be notified when we roll out the next proposal.
Winner of the X contest
We asked you to share your dream destinations, and the responses flooded in with inspiring and diverse choices. From the enchanting landscapes of Tibet to the stunning architecture of Burj Khalifa, from the pristine shores of the Phi Phi Islands to the vibrant culture of Bali, you sure know how to pick ‘em! We’ve just drawn the winner for this contest, and it is CryptoRock16 who will get an Archetype Avatar! Send us a DM on X with your wallet and we’ll have it sent over to you.
Thank you again for your attention and we’ll look for you all in our social channels, on Telegram and Discord!