Meta says the Metaverse is "not just VR" and shows a new 3D world
Meta emphasizes the importance of traditional devices in building the Metaverse. With Crayta, Meta is experimenting with another 3D world for PC and smartphones.
It could take three to five years before Meta stops losing money with its new focus on the Metaverse: With this message, Mark Zuckerberg addressed shareholders at the end of May to prepare them for a long test of patience after the stock market slump.
To make the transition from social media giant to Metaverse group more understandable, Meta's Metaverse manager Vishal Shah recently spoke out: "We've said before that the metaverse is not just VR-there will be multiple ways to access it, including the devices we have right now," Shah wrote on Twitter.
Crayta is a creative 3D world for mobile and PC
Shah mentioned "Crayta" from British developer Unity 2 Games as a model for the Metaverse on flat screens. The social game builder in the style of Sony's Dreams (with VR mode) launched in Google's cloud gaming service Stadia in 2020.
Last year, Meta bought out the British development studio behind Crayta, and on June 8, 2022, the streaming title finally launched on the in-house service Facebook Gaming.
In a Facebook video, Mark Zuckerberg presented that collaborative building of environments, levels or games should be straightforward. Similar to the social VR apps Rec Room or Horizon Worlds (launching soon in Europe), a group of players met with the Meta CEO. However, all participants sat in front of a PC or smartphone. No one used a VR headset.
The small team got started right away and built the company's own campus courtyard "Hacker Square" within a few minutes. They filled the space between the office buildings with attractions such as a Ferris wheel and a pirate ship with animated octopus arms.
Such collaboration in the cloud is, in Zuckerberg's eyes, one of the greatest strengths of his Metaverse vision. He loves being able to create his own space or game directly in the virtual world, the Meta chief said. Even as a young gamer, he discovered his love of developing via the detour of games.
When people think of the metaverse today, Zuckerberg said, they often think of 3D experiences with virtual or augmented reality. But Crayta aims to show that these types of experiences are also easily accessible and fun via 2D platforms.
Cloud connectivity, he added, makes it easier to move from play to creative design. Meanwhile, even people without a powerful computer could take that step and get creative.
Meta's main metaverse platform, Horizon Worlds, is also slated for web, smartphones and consoles. Currently, it is only available for VR.
Low entry barriers
From my experience, I can confirm that the beginner-friendly Crayta tools are easier to use than Sony's complex Dreams. When you get into Crayta, you immediately meet other newcomers with whom you can build or play levels together.
On the other hand, the environments, with their often plain design, have less personality. In Dreams, you can express yourself in a much more elaborate way, down to details like individual brush strokes. Advanced developers will find a code editor in Crayta that has more influence on the game mechanics.
Long-time Crayta users don't have to worry about their creations for the time being. The free cloud streaming app will continue to be available on Google Stadia alongside Facebook Gaming.
Latency in the cloud
However, the best place to play Crayta is the Epic Games Store. There you can download the program in the classic way and install it on your PC. This way, the controls are crisply direct when jumping or aiming, even in cooperative online rounds.
However, I still notice a slight delay when streaming via DSL. Most of the time, it remains bearable. Especially in races or fast shooter levels, this delay can interfere with the timing. Click here for an overview of all Crayta versions.