Video details

Embracing a New Identity: Integrating Meta Avatars in Already Established Product


This session explains the thinking and problem solving that allowed the UGC game platform Crayta, to welcome Meta Avatars into its ecosystem. Takeaways include insights into how another platform thinks about avatar appeal, and examples of technical problem solving to allow a user's avatar to travel between platforms.


Music hi. I've been making games for more than 20 years and in all that time I've been fascinated by games, characters and avatars. The reason for this is because I believe that if you do it right, nothing works better than a game character as the magic bridge that leads people into the virtual world you build. I'm jolly m. Webb and I'm the head of technical art at unit. Two games. We're a meta game studio based in Lempensfar in the UK. And this talk is about how a small team of our technical artists and engineers worked to integrate meta avatars into our existing games platform, which is called Crater. Crater is a free games making environment released in 2020. Crater's aim is to democratize gamemaking. And so the heart of Crater is all about user generated content and enabling new game makers to express themselves and collaborate. Together, we've built up a highly engaged community who've made thousands of wildly different in inventive games. So let's have a quick look at Crater and show some of the Crater avatars my heart from the startup Crater. Our three key values have been to build community, collaboration and creativity. These three values really do need to be at the heart of any platform that's going to focus on usergenerated content. And also these values work as a general manifesto for metaverse experiences. So welcoming meta avatars into creator was exciting. Enabling a meta avatar to jump into our platform to explore and create felt totally like what we imagined the metapers to be. And it supported our three key values. New avatars help build community. A larger community builds collaboration. More community and collaboration is a great environment to allow creativity to flourish. The appeal for building a bridge to bring meta avatars into Crater was clear, but the team had some questions. There were visual, fit and feel questions. The style for Crater and Meta avatars is different. How would the Meta avatars fit and feel in the Crater worlds? There were engineering questions. What were the steps to bring the Meta avatars into a different platform? Let's explore the visual, fit and feel first. The Crater and Meta avatars are different and that completely makes sense because they were designed separately to serve different goals on different platforms. Meta avatars have a focus on self. Their intent is to let you authentically represent yourself. This selfexpression has lots of opportunities for customization through clothing and accessories. And these options are based in realism. So the user's selfexpressed identity is rooted in the real world. The Crater avatars have less of a focus on authentically representing yourself. Their intent is more about transformation. This is a cosplay or a gaming expression of self, with the option to move totally away from a real world self to become a robot or an alien, for example. As game developers, we had a good understanding of transformative avatars. An avatar that's an authentic expression of selfload was quite new to us to get a feel for these new avatars. We did something really simple the team created Meta Avatars and we started running our morning stand ups in meta horizon workrooms. This taught us a lot. We began to really identify with our own meta avatars and to recognize the other meta avatars we saw in the meeting as our real teammates. As early tests began to work and we saw the team's meta avatars appear in Crater, we felt that same sense of recognition. This was a new type of identity for us in Crater and we valued it. Looking at the technical questions, the Crater platform and the meta platform are different. However, under the hood we found there are also a lot of commonalities between the advertising Crater and Meta. This meant we were able to use the Meta avatars SDK and successfully work with its functionality to integrate the meta avatars into the Crater platform. This put the meta avatars right into the heart of the Crater worlds. We'd wanted to welcome the meta avatars into Crater and to have them live great lives there to run, jump, climb, explore and fully interact with the new worlds. This is what the results look like. We were really pleased with how meta avatars and Crater have turned out and how well we felt they fitted into the world. We were also pleased with how our key value building community was supported. Adding Meta avatars really has built another bridge to welcome a larger and more varied community into Crater. Crater's two other key values are building collaboration and creativity. With the meta avatars welcomed into Crater, they can join in and collaborate and create as game makers and world builders there. Here's an example of Meta avatars building a world in criteria from the starting Crater, the team has always looked at ways to maximize the avatar's expression of personality through remote animations and themed spawns into the world. The meta advertising Crater share this functionality. Let's have a look. So bringing the new look and identity and meta avatars to Crater has enriched Crater. The effort has been totally worth it and it's been a lot of fun. The one key piece of advice I would give is this if your team is thinking of integrating meta avatars into your product, start using the meta avatars yourself first. It's absolutely the best way to learn about their appeal and potential. As I said at the beginning, I believe avatars act as the bridge to pull your audience into the virtual world you build. But in the past, I've been used to doing this with one avatar type per platform. One avatar type equals one bridge. It's been super fun to learn that you can actually build more than one bridge to your worlds and welcoming the meta avatars into traitor has done exactly this. The meta avatars gain the freedom to explore and create in a new platform and avatar variety. Community grows within Crater this cross platform travel really does feel like a metathirst experience, and it's happening soon. We really hope you'll be part of it and that when we release you'll, take your meta avatar and jump into crater. We would love you to try it out and hope that soon we see you out there exploring and making games in the metaverse.