You can now create social VR worlds in Rec Room using professional tools
The social VR app Rec Room offers creative people new possibilities. The 3D worlds can now be created with professional tools like Unity.
Meta is currently working on implementing its own virtual reality hangout Horizon Worlds for non-VR devices. The social VR app Rec Room, launched in 2016, has already been playable without VR headsets since 2019. That's on PC, some consoles, and even smartphones.
One of the most popular tools is the "Maker Pen." With this editor tool, several users collaborate on levels and games, directly in the world with simple interfaces. From now on, advanced developers will have their chance. In the new "Rec Room Studio", they can work on rooms, games, or virtual works of art with professional tools from the Unity engine.
Professional levels in the Rec Room Studio
The tool, which is still in beta, allows direct publishing from the Unity editor. On the official blog, Rec Room Studio explained that switching between building techniques is seamless. Creatives could relatively easily start a level with the Maker Pen, switch to the pro tools, and then switch back to the Pen.
So, users get access to Unity and also to some apps from which the engine typically imports assets such as graphics. These include Blender and Maya for 3D visualizations or image editing in Photoshop.
During the beta, some more functions are to be added. Already available are the import of assets and textures, a terrain editor, the Unity ProBuilder, complex animations, custom sound, and events programmable with circuits.
Until now, Rec Room was content with a rather simple comic design and often large, angular surfaces. Creations therefore usually looked a bit plainer than in the PSVR title Dreams, for example, with its artistic brushstrokes.
More stylish design thanks to the Unity engine.
The new Unity connection could give Rec Room creations more expressiveness, even if technical limits exist. After all, the app should still run on cheap Android smartphones and older iPhones. The free Rec Room Studio is only available in a closed beta for now. For the next test run, interested parties can already sign up on a waiting list on the official Rec Room website.
The makers don't have to worry about the success of the platform at the moment. PR boss Shawn Whiting announced records at the Rec Con event: more than 82 million active users are now browsing Rec Room.
Some @recroom stats 📈 from Rec Con
82M+ RR players
Over 500M friends made
5B+ room visits
1M+ new rooms created per month
5x more $ paid out to creators vs last year (https://t.co/7UO22Rbg10)
133B paintballs fired 😂 pic.twitter.com/5onYBzfh35
— Shawn Whiting (@ShawnRecRoom) September 23, 2022
According to statistics from April, the number of Rec Room users at the time was around ten times that of Horizon Worlds. Monetization of levels and creations is also developing positively: in the first quarter of 2022, the company paid out more than one million dollars to creators, Venturebeat reported in June.