Developers can prototype their VR games in Horizon Worlds, says Meta
Meta promotes its proto-metaverse Horizon Worlds for professional game prototyping.
In the U.S. and some European countries, users are already meeting with Meta Quest 2 in Worlds to tinker with spatial objects and try out games. In April, Meta announced monetization in Horizon Worlds, allowing creators to earn money with Horizon Worlds.
But it should also be worthwhile for professionals to enter the virtual world. On its VR developer blog, Meta recently explained how well collaborative environment creation is suited for the prototyping phase of larger games.
Simple VR game prototyping for Meta Quest 2
Even professional studios can work out ideas together in Horizon Worlds before they become a real game, according to Meta. That's much more effective than sending 2D sketches around and constantly putting the VR headset on and off, as is common in everyday development, it says.
To lend credibility to this statement, Meta lets the studio Arvore have its say. The studio is known for playful VR experiments, for example in Pixel Ripped 1995 or the physically intense arcade shooter Yuki.
"Our teams are currently working on two large, not-yet-announced Quest 2 games, and both of them had their initial prototyping phases done within Horizon Worlds," says Arvore CEO and Co-Founder Ricardo Justus.
It is unclear if part 3 of the Pixel Ripped series will be included. Creative Director Ana Ribeiro has at least mentioned that a third part is in the works.
The biggest advantage of Horizon Worlds is the ability to jump into the same room with team members and test players at any time. Game designers could immediately see and understand the idea intuitively and spatially and change it directly - for example, in case of inappropriate proportions.
During the beta phase of Horizon Worlds, users still complained about the lack of prefabricated objects. Meanwhile, Meta seems to have improved on this point. The blog article describes buildings, props, code blocks, and a terrain editing tool.
Various sound and light gizmos allow for campfires or flashlights. Individual parts and colors of objects should now be easy to change.
Experiment with game concepts directly in VR
With classic tools, on the other hand, the São Paulo-based studio had trouble communicating ideas effectively in the early stages. "Horizon lets me focus and collaborate on creative ideas without constantly getting distracted with switching from headset to a screen, or scaling/rotating/moving objects with a mouse and keyboard," says Creative Director Rodrigo Blanco.
Designers and creators take creative risks more easily in Horizon World, Meta says. They test how basic gameplay works in practice without fear of failure. Different parts of the team can work together on game mechanics or design aspects, even if they have little prior technical knowledge.
If desired, this can be done sequentially: Similar to the artistic game builder Dreams, editing rights can be assigned to other users.
Blanco advises developers, however, to see Horizon Worlds only as a notebook for their team and not to invest too much energy in a concept. After all, the results cannot be exported - apart from screenshots or videos for later recreation. Horizon Worlds uses its own engine with a physics system tailored to it.
If you would rather not give away any ideas, you should also not make your worlds publicly available, but only invite colleagues for prototyping.