Spatial News™ #039
Updated: Jan 12
This week we focus on player retention in games, the metaverse, defining Web3, mind-melding, Willow's Awe, bridging the German & Finnish XR communities, Digital Bridge 2022, Landz mint & more!
Welcome to the 39th edition of Spatial News™! Let’s take a moment of silence for the passing of Antonio Inoki, a professional wrestler, promoter of mixed martial arts, and politician who fought Muhammed Ali to a draw in 1976 in an early precursor of MMA. He lived quite a remarkable life.
What causes player retention in games?
Here’s an interesting model of player retention by Celia Hodent, former Director of UX on Fortnite, and shared by Joakim Achrén.
“Perception is about seeing something in the game and understanding its meaning and function. - When you perceive something, your motivation and needs towards the meaning intensify, giving out emotions that then grant adequate Attention to the thing in the game. - Perception and Attention lead to learning things in the game, which intensifies the Perception and Attention loop. You keep learning, which makes you intrinsically motivated. Learning is fun. - Think Clash Royale; you and your opponent drop units, and your Perception and Attention loop is intense. Skills are developed as you learn more and more. - All that learning is stored in your Memory. The next day, you will remember how much fun you had while learning the game, and you will return to the game because of intrinsic motivations.”
I have a strong hunch that Perceptual Control Theory can flip this model on its head. Any takers willing to apply the theory to player retention? A world of insight is there for the taking…
Defining web3 from a developer's perspective
The Blockchain Gandalf breaks the definition down to its compounds.
“A web3 website is: 🌏 a website 💻 containing code 🔗 that allows the site to interact with a blockchain 👛 and other blockchain related software. That's it.”
While alchemy occurs in Keir’s lab, word wizardry is manifesting the metaverse from the ether.
The metaverse does not exist yet—here’s what you are being sold
(I’m not picking on you, Kelly, I promise. I just like poetic and thematic balance. See SN#037.)
“What they call what they sell you doesn’t matter if it meets your business need. You can find value in 3D virtualizations in use cases like training, testing store layouts, try-before-you-fly vacation lets, and beyond, all of which can be achieved with current technologies and the current version of the web. To test and learn your way toward meeting the business challenges of the new paradigm of Web3 and the true metaverse, demand clear definitions from your supplier, question proposals where blockchain plays no role, and look for what you can learn from applying AI.”
These gentlemen (the article’s authors) see the metaverse as the “experience interface for Web3”, which is where we part ways (for now because who knows).
Shared by Rachel Noonan, MDes
And if you haven’t read Prof Bob Stone’s ”The Metaverse – a genuine opportunity for future work practices and businesses or yet another over-hyped view of the future?” which provides even more specific advice, then what are you waiting for?
Metaverse Mind Meld
Theo Priestley and I had a bit of a mind meld two weeks ago (and it wasn’t the first or second time either). Here are some tidbits.
1) “we'll be able to enter a text prompt and AI will generate a metaverse from it”
“Between MidJourney, DALL-E, and now Stable Diffusion it won't be very long before we'll be able to enter a text prompt and AI will generate a metaverse from it. Fully realized 3D and immersive environments aren't that far off, I'd hazard a guess at less than 2 years before we could have a plug-in for Unity or Unreal Engine to be able to procedurally generate virtual worlds that we could move through and interact with purely with a phrase or few words.”
See the news bite “Meta wants to read your mind… literally” in SN#038 for my version.
2)‘Is there a need for more than one internet?’
“Actually, I say ‘why not?!’ which is precisely where web3 needs to head to achieve anything near the principles it's supposedly putting forward, or to give as much freedom as possible to the idea of a metaverse that's decentralised and open for all.”
I can’t remember where I specifically wrote about this, but I’ve been thinking along similar lines. Do we really want to build our metaversal future on the infrastructure born out of U.S. military research and owned by public utilities and telcos? Do we share the same values? (These are rhetorical questions, of course.)
For some context, want to hear A Brief History of the Metaverse: Military Metaverse? Check out this podcast with co-hosts Mark Pesce and Tony Parisi.
This next point isn’t a mind meld with me but one with Dragan Stiglic.
3) The Metaverse Needs An Operating System
In SN#033 I shared a comment that Dragan posted on LI. “Sure, you can start building on someone else's land [read: infrastructure]...But who's in the power?” One of the key ways to “build on your own land” is, as Dragan puts it, to “Motivate creations of new operating systems”.
Theo (hopefully) does that in his latest article while hitting pay dirt of what makes the metaverse more than a synonym of “virtual world” or “linked virtual worlds”.
“Interoperability, for example, doesn’t come from building bridges between platforms, it comes from being there at the root level, deep within an operating system itself.
I think it’s fun to see that folks like Theo are reaching similar conclusions. Theo also follows the rabbit hole like a Viet Cong tunneler. His article is very informative and reads like the latest piece in ‘Metaverse Archaeology Digest’.
Spatial News™ from Finland:
MiTale’s Willow’s Awe
MiTale created a “narrative-driven dungeon crawler, think of it as Mouse Guard meets Witcher” at the Global Quantum Game Jam 2022. (We wrote about quantum games in SN#029.) ”The quantum part is used in dungeons (randomization) and the protagonist has ‘lucky coin’ which when tossed enters the superposition and then gives the additional layer to the outcome which will effect the narrative side of gameplay”
Screenshot from Willow’s Awe
Follow the link to try it out!
(Shared by Natasha Skult, CEO of MiTale and Chairperson of IGDA)
Register for the XR in Europe: Berlin-Brandenburg Meets Finland webinar
“Let´s start a dialogue between the German and Finnish XR ecosystem, discuss current trends, hear use cases on how Finnish and German XR companies can leverage knowledge through cooperations and find new inspiring contacts.”
(Shared by Melanie Krautwald.)
Consider me registered.
Digital Bridge 2022: “Metaverse: Now and After” panel recording
Last week I attended Digital Bridge 2022, Astana’s (that’s Kazakhstan) IT forum. Here is the recording of the panel (starts at the 6 hrs 15 min or so mark) I, in my Spatial8 garb, took part with Google, SK Telecom, and our ecosystem partner MeetinVR. (Full disclosure: this was my first panel. So, now I get to put ‘Speaker Extraordinaire’ in my LI profile.)
Some thoughts on the event and the trip in general:
The Kazakh people are very friendly and helpful overall and the folks at Astana Hub, the organizers, took really good care of us speakers. I’ve never seen so many people at a tech event in my life. By official counts, there were 25k (!) people at any one time. Keep your eyes on Central Asia, things seem to be afoot there tech-wise. Blockchain and XR are both booming in Kazakhstan, for instance.
Every building in Astana is a megalith. The city has a Turko-futurist vibe and could easily house 10 million people (though only 1 million people actually populate it).
The weather on the steppe swings more wildly than a barroom brawler. It was about 30°C (86°F) the weekend before I arrived but snowy when I left on the following weekend. It’s also very dry and windy during this time of the year. Usually, my lips are like dromedary humps and contain enough liquid to last me a week, but after one day of steppe weather my lips looked like they were stampeded by wild horses. (See for yourself in the video. I wasn’t licking my lips to be like LL Cool J.)
There’s more, but then I might sound like I’m showing off. I’ll end by saying that it’s definitely worth a visit. Thanks for the memories, Astana!
<Your Spatial AD Here>
Landz NFT Deployment in Spatial is Going Down on 13th October.
Holders will be able to customize & personalize their Landz NFT assets on Spatial with the project’s upcoming deployment.
Landz Estates is a premium real estate NFT Collection comprising 5000 Mansions, 1500 Museums, and 500 HQs. With gravity-defying designs, the Estates’ NFTs boast interoperability unlike ever before. All Landz assets are interoperable across various metaverses, including but not limited to The Sandbox, Spatial, Decentraland, SuperWorld, PolyLand, Somnium Space, etc.
Whether you own virtual land parcels on these platforms or not, as Landz Holder (and members of our club), you will be able to deploy your real estate assets across all these platforms in just a few clicks.
With their recent “REVEAL” being a huge hit, the recurring question that the project has been receiving for the past few days is - “when do holders actually get to use their NFT assets?”
Well, the Landz team is happy to announce that their First-ever Deployment in Spatial is scheduled for 13th October 2022.
Using Spatial’s in-built customization options, holders will be able display their NFT art, products, and services, use screen share, hold virtual events, corporate meetings, etc.-- the use cases are just limitless.
So, are you ready?
The mint is still ongoing at
Check them out today on their website and Twitter, and join their Discord for exclusive information, offers and more.
Thanks for joining us for our first of two editions this October, Spatialists!