Rec Room works on full body avatars with arms and legs
Social app Rec Room plans full-body avatars.
While Meta is having trouble attracting users to Horizon Worlds, another early Metaverse effort is doing much better: As of spring 2022, the social app Rec Room had about ten times as many users as Horizon Worlds. Unlike Horizon Worlds, Rec Room can also be played on flat screens.
The startup of the same name opened its social virtual reality meeting place in 2016 and has responded to many of the community's wishes in its expansions. Among other things, users can work together to create additional levels. Another community request: Avatars should have legs. According to the team, this wish will be fulfilled in the future.
Does the Metaverse have legs?
Originally, the studio opted for floating torsos, heads, and hands. At the time, the developers saw their project as a kind of accessible VR counterpart to Wii Sports. Accordingly, the characters were meant to look simple and charming - and require little computing power. In the future, users will be able to log in with full-body avatars.
— Shawn Whiting (@ShawnRecRoom) January 25, 2023
In a blog post, the developer announced the creation of a small team called the "Avatar Initiative" that has been developing the new characters since late 2022: "We’re now a bigger team, VR technology has gotten and continues to get better, and we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t with how you look and move in VR."
The new full-body avatar with "arms, legs, fingers, and feet" offers more expressive possibilities, the team writes. Developers should also benefit from improved motion capture capabilities. The old avatars will still be available. The team is making sure that the full-body avatars support all the old items.
In October 2022, Meta unveiled more elaborate legged avatars for Horizon Worlds, but instead of new models, only animations were shown, presumably created via motion capture.