Huobi Ventures Weekly Report #39
Huobi Ventures Weekly Insights
Insight provided by Alex Dong of Huobi Ventures
The biggest problem with the metaverse right now is that the different games are still (purposefully) isolated from each other. While their respective worlds may be large, they are closed ecosystems and nothing can be transferred between them — no resources, skills, content, or friends. As composability and interoperability become important concepts for game developers with a metaverse, the following issues need to be reconsidered:
- Identity: In the metaverse, players will need a single identity that they can use in both games and game platforms. There is no need to recreate identities in different games.
- Social: A shared network of friends
- Properties: Asset Interactions Across Games
Take Roblox for example. The Roblox platform provides the same services as Unity or Unreal, including graphics rendering, audio playback, as well as social services, etc. However, Roblox still falls short as a metaverse. While there is some limited sharing between games on the Roblox platform, there is no interoperability between Roblox and other game engines or gaming platforms. To fully unlock the metaverse, game engine developers must innovate in:
- Interoperability and Composability: a) User Identity (Hello/Spruce/Sismo) b) Common Content Format to exchange content between engines (Pixar Common Video Format/Nvidia Omniverse c) Cloud-based content storage d) Shared payment mechanism e) A common API of games realizes cross-subverse interaction
- Multiplayer system innovations: a) Serverless multiplayer games, cloud-based automatic hosting b) Game matching mechanism c) Anti-cheating and anti-harassment tools d) Game Guild
- Innovations in automated testing services: automatic training of new NPCs, automatic identification of errors
The latest generation of stand-alone games already requires 100GB of hard drive space, and as more experiences move from the physical to the digital world, the demand for high-quality digital content will continue to increase. In addition, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, game content is more frequently created by artists located around the world. Three areas of innovation will emerge in digital content production
1. AI-Assisted Content Creation: Almost all digital content today is still built by human beings, which requires more time and cost to publish modern games. AI-assisted tools can help artists and non-artists create content faster with higher quality, reducing the cost of content production. Innovations in AI-assisted content creation will include conversion tools that can convert photos, videos, and other real-world artifacts into digital assets, such as 3D models, textures, and animations. Examples include Kinetix, which creates animations from video; Luma Labs, which creates 3D models from photos; and COLMAP, which creates navigable 3D spaces from still photos.
2. Cloud-based asset management, building, and publishing system: The metaverse will be huge — even bigger than the biggest games today, so all existing content storage problems apply to the metaverse. Additionally, the “always-on” nature of the metaverse means that new content needs to be streamed directly into the game engine; it’s impossible to “stop” the metaverse to create new builds. The Metaverse needs to be able to update itself instantly.
3. Improved collaboration tools: Both the Unity and Unreal level editors only allow one designer to edit one layer at a time. This slows down the creative process because teams cannot work in parallel in one world. Both Minecraft and Roblox support collaborative editing but lack professional design functions. Real-time collaborative world-building, which allows multiple level designers or “world builders” simultaneously edit the same layer and see each other’s progress in real-time, supportss control across the board and change tracking. Ideally, level designers should be able to switch seamlessly between playback and editing for the fastest iteration possible.
About Huobi Ventures
Huobi Ventures is focused on growing its venture investment portfolio and supporting blockchain projects through long-term investment strategies.Huobi Ventures aims to identify strategic opportunities across different blockchain verticals to complement and expand Huobi’s product offerings. Acquisitions will be integrated into Huobi’s growing suite of blockchain-enabled applications and services to expand the business into new markets.