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How To Build Worlds in AltspaceVR

AltspaceVR is a social app that allows you to hang out and converse with other people in a virtual environment as avatars. One of the great things about AltspaceVR is the ability to easily create and edit your own virtual worlds. This guide will explain how to get started, as well as discuss some extra settings and options.

First things first, enable AltspaceVR worlds beta.

To start making and designing Altspace worlds, you first need to enable Worlds beta within AltspaceVR. Find this option in the Settings menu (with the gear icon) and make sure the slider is set to enabled.

How to Make a new AltspaceVR world

You’ll automatically have a placeholder Universe and World created for you when you enable Worlds beta. You can just go edit the pre-made world now, and/or add more worlds.

NOTE: Creating a new world must be done in a browser. You can use your PC, your mobile device, Oculus browser, or even try using the browser in Altspace. 

Go to AltVR.com and log in with your email address and password. The Log In | Sign Up link is in the top right corner of the page. Currently it looks like you can only Sign In, and not create a new account directly through the web page.

After you’ve logged in, you’ll have a menu at the top of the screen, click More, and choose “Worlds.”

Then, Click on “My Worlds”

In AltspaceVR world building, Worlds are organized into Universes. You can keep everything in one Universe, or create new Universes if you want to have different collections of worlds based on theme or whatever categorization you fancy.

Click on “Universes” to see your Universes or start making new ones. For now, just open your default Universe.

Once you’ve opened your Universe, you can create or edit worlds within. You should already have a placeholder World here too, you can edit this one or create a new one.

Lets make a new one. Click Create World

On the next screen you can edit world options and information. Give your world a name and description. This will help you easily recognize your world, and make it more easy for guests to see what your world is about.

Choose if you want your new AltspaceVR world to be private or public.

Select a Template by clicking on one of the pictures. (It’s a little hard to tell which one is selected, but it will have a thin blue outline.) The template will be the basic environment— a room or landscape—which you will be able to build onto or decorate with objects.

These are the only settings you really need to fill out if you just want to start decorating and placing objects, but I’ll explain some of the optional stuff.

Flying and other world settings

You can change options for friends and guests by assigning “Contextual Roles.”

Notice: “Default contextual roles” are the roles that will be given to all guests—so I don’t recommend using all of these in that field. Include the settings you want, separated by commas.

pilot, megaphone_only
  • pilot: as you may have surmised, this allows guests to enable flight in your world. Flight can be toggled on in-game settings, or you can spawn a flight tool.
  • megaphone_only: this option allows users to use only the “amplify my voice part” of hosting tools. This is useful in big worlds where it’s easy to travel out of ear-shot.
  • terraformer: has ability to use the World Editor. Can move things and add and remove objects.
  • presenter: able to be on stage
  • moderator: can help keep out the riffraff for you—mute or kick other users
  • showcase_new_sdk: ability to spawn MRE SDK apps

Publish Your world

Once you’ve filled everything out that you want, click “Create World” to finish. This will publish the world and you can then go visit and decorate it in VR.

Decorate your world

Adding Objects

In your VR headset, open the AltspaceVR menu and Choose worlds in the bottom menu bar. Then, select “My Worlds.”

This will show a list of all of your published worlds. Enter the world you just made or want to edit.

Open the Editor and turn on Edit Mode.

In the bottom right corner of your view click on the World Editor

A World Editor panel will open. In the upper right corner is a button to toggle “edit mode” on or off. While edit mode is on, flight is enabled—Looking up while moving forward will raise you into the air.

Begin placing objects

You can click on items in the menu and they will appear in a small box to the right of the menu. Grab them using the grip button, and move them wherever you want.

Tips:
  • Be careful not to put things too low, as the floor will interfere with grabbing it again after you let go.
  • Holding left or right on the thumbstick while holding an object will make it smaller or larger.
  • Pressing up or down on the thumbstick while holding an object will make it nearer or further away.
  • Use “Rotation Lock” if you don’t want thing to turn while you reposition them.
Select objects from
  • Kits: contain 3d objects that you can resize and reposition. The featured kits were made by other AltspaceVR users and shared to the community. There are lots of things to choose from. You can basically build a world from scratch using objects from Altspace and Featured Kits.
  • Skyboxes: are dome images that make up the sky and horizon. Changing the skybox is an easy way to change your world from day to night, or have cloudy skies. There’s some very cool skyboxes to choose from in both Altspace and Featured sections.
  • SDK Apps: these are objects that have functions and you can interact with. Here you can find things to put in your world that will let your guests try on hats and masks, as well as a lot of other cool stuff. Again, check out Featured for really cool user created content.

Fine tuning and locking objects

In the World Editor panel when you add objects to the world they appear in the list on the left. You can fine-tune, customize, lock, and remove objects.

If you click on the gear next to an object you can edit its properties manually. Mostly, I use these options for Rotation. This is especially helpful when trying to get flat floors, or hang pictures straight. Tip: after you edit the rotation, turn on Rotation Lock if you still need to move it around a bit.

You can also choose if the object is Collidable, or if you can pass through it.

Adding photos

Photos and selfies that you take in AltspaceVR will appear in your photo library, but you can manually upload other photos and art to use in your worlds. From the AltVR.com website, click on photos in the menu at the top of the screen.

Click on the Upload tab of the photos menu

Click “Choose File”

Then click “Create Photo” to complete the upload.

Now these photos appear in the World Editor panel under “Mine”

Adding a Video Jukebox

Add a YouTube jukebox with the ability to let others add videos and voting for what is next on the playlist.

Do it easily using the AltspaceVR Video Jukebox Generator.

You’ll need to head over to YouTube.com, sign in, and make a new blank playlist (or select one you already have). You’ll need to copy the the link from your address bar, so that you can paste it into the Jukebox Generator. Paste the link, then click Generate. It will open a new page with some pre-made options to choose from.

Alternatively, you could use the default player, but AltVR does not recommend this for public worlds. https://video-jukebox.firebaseapp.com

I suggest using the Dance Party or Karaoke mode, or turning off downvoting, otherwise some people just downvote every song until theirs plays…and then the downvoted ones end up not playing at all, and it’s really quite annoying. As the owner and administration of the world, you can still manually skip to the next video.

Your generated link will come out something like:

https://video-jukebox.firebaseapp.com/?allow360=false&autoplay=true&category=&disableDownvoting=false&disableSearch=false&disableVoting=true&hidePlaylist=true&hideSearch=true&hudWidth=wide&initialPlaylist=PLetg744TF10BrdPjaEXf4EsJ1wz6fyf95&only360=false&playlistFillMode=all

All the settings are included in the address that the generator outputs. If you take a look at it closely. You can manually enable or disable specific settings by changing the true/false aspects of these properties:

  • ?allow360=false
  • &autoplay=true
  • &category=
  • &disableDownvoting=false
  • &disableSearch=false
  • &disableVoting=true
  • &hidePlaylist=true
  • &hideSearch=true

Create a browser under “Basics” in the world editor panel. Copy and paste the link you just generated.

Then you’ll have a video player that you can resize and reposition. Clicking on the player will show the playlist where you can vote (if voting is enabled), and access moderator tools.

Unity and creating worlds from scratch

NOTE: It is possible to create and upload your own kits and templates, using Unity on your PC, but that requires a lot further explanation than I can cram into this post. You can do quite a lot, but Unity is a lot to learn. I may do a follow up article and explain some of what you can do with Unity at a later date. In the meantime, if your eager to try that out you can get the Unity uploader from https://altvr.com/download-latest-unity-uploader/ and seek support and help from the AltspaceVR World Builders discord channel.

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