by 0x9a739c2e212754c3d8432cb717dc9437e5b3dfae (Sean#dfae)
Should the following Tier 6: up to $240,000 USD, 6 months vesting (1 month cliff) grant in the Platform Contributor category be approved?
In this proposal resubmission, the team behind Decentraland’s VR client is seeking a grant for continued development and expansion of VR support for Decentraland. We submitted a grant proposal on November 8, 2022, which did not meet the voting threshold. We received constructive feedback in the proposal’s forum discussion. Based on the feedback received, the team has resubmitted the grant proposal and incorporated the community requests. Project details are provided in the description and specification sections of this proposal. The team is honored to be considered for a DAO grant for the continued development of Decentraland VR.
In May 2022, the community voted to approve a Decentraland DAO grant that expanded the scope of the DAO-funded Decentraland VR client. The VR client was ported to run natively on the Meta Quest, a significant technical milestone that made Decentraland’s codebase Android compatible.
The team brought the PCVR and Quest VR clients to parity with the web/desktop versions of Decentraland by bringing all screen UI and pop-ups into VR and made in-game interactions work with the VR controllers.
The VR client team also made stability improvements, implemented a new VR user interface, and made heavy strides towards squashing bugs and incompatibilities related to the Android headset conversion. For the final deliverable of the previous grant, the team published Decentraland VR to the SideQuest store, which can be downloaded at: (Decentraland VR on SideQuest - Oculus Quest Games & Apps including AppLab Games ( Oculus App Lab ))
In this grant proposal, the VR client team seeks to continue maintaining, enhancing features, and improving the performance of the Decentraland VR clients over the next 6 months.
Summary of proposed work
A summary of proposed activities is provided in this section, with additional details in the specification section of this proposal.
New Minimum Viable Experience approach: Shout out to Yemel for this item! Our team agrees with community feedback from our previous grant proposal that rearchitecting the current Decentraland VR client may be in the best interest for the long term success and efficiency of the project. Our proposed approach is outlined in the specifications section.
Feature enhancements: The team proposes to add several VR enhancements, including hand tracking, more natural avatar movements for VR and VRM avatar support, and enhancements on the VR user interface. VRM support is also in response to this DAO proposal that passed by Morph.
- Maintenance and Stability: The team will continue to maintain the VR client over the next 6 months, fixing any breaking issues that may occur and keeping the VR client in sync with any changes from the main Decentraland branches. The team is committed to improving the performance and reliability of the VR client. This includes increasing frame rate and reducing crashes and other bugs.
- Marketing, PR and Social Media, store submissions: Shout out to Gino for this item! Per community feedback received on our previous grant proposal, we’re dedicating a portion of the grant budget towards Marketing and PR for raising awareness of Decentraland VR. We will also push the client to more stores in order to bring Decentraland to a wider audience.
New Minimum Viable Experience Refactor
The team agrees with the approach proposed by Yemel that we need to start building a dedicated Decentraland VR client from the ground up. This is in contrast to the current approach, which is a VR port of the existing Decentraland client. In order to maintain continuity and keep a version of Decentraland VR available to the community, we propose to work on this MVE refactor in parallel to maintaining and enhancing the current VR client. This is because any work done towards the current VR client such as hand tracking or VRM support (and more) can also be used on the new MVE.
VR Feature Enhancements
The team proposes to add several VR enhancements, including hand tracking, VRM Avatar support, and enhancements on the VR user interface. The VR client will still maintain controller support. The hand-tracking update will not replace controller support, but will be an alternative way to interact within Decentraland VR. We will also look at enhancing the avatar movements to leverage expanded movement in VR. For example, waving hands, limb movements (crouching), and more avatar movements that follows the user’s physical movement. We will expand upon the VR UI implement during the previous grant to make it easier to access quick actions like emotes, mic settings, and teleportation to parcels.
Maintenance and Stability
The team will continue to maintain the Decentraland client for the duration of this grant period (6 months), fixing any breaking issues that may occur and keeping the VR client in sync with any changes from the main Decentraland branches. This includes increasing frame rate and reducing crashes and other bugs.
The largest component of this category will be to convert Decentraland existing asset bundle system (currently only set up for the web client / WebGL) and make it android-compatible for the standalone VR clients. This will result in a major improvement in frame rate, memory usage, and overall stability of the VR client because the asset bundles are more optimized than loading in the GLTF models directly.
We also propose to set up a CI/CD pipeline for the VR client and implement a synchronized release schedule with the primary Decentraland client.
We will seek to automate this process as much as possible to reduce future manual maintenance needs.
Marketing, PR and Social Media, store submissions
Per community feedback received on our previous grant proposal, we’re dedicating a portion of the grant budget towards Marketing and PR for raising awareness of Decentraland VR. This will involve regular social media posting, video and tutorial publications, blog posts, interviews, press releases and other dissemination methods. We will also push the VR client to more stores to reach a wider audience. This includes being published first to Meta’s AppLabs store, and then to its full store which will make Decentraland VR available to an estimated 15-20 million players and vastly lower the technical hurdles to get it installed. We will also look to publish Decentraland VR to the SteamVR store.
High level budget breakdown
The items outlined in this grant proposal will be managed and completed by the Ong Innovations team and our associated partners.
The team comprises
Sean Ong (Team technical lead / manager)
Clint Campbell (XR developer)
Paul Gumpert (XR developer)
Clinton Reddie (XR Developer and Ong Innovations development partner)
VeeRuby (Ong Innovations development partner)
AppVolks LLC (Ong Innovations development partner)
Additional information on our company, team members, and partners can be found in the links below
Roadmap and milestones
The team will report progress to the Decentraland community on an ongoing basis and will monitor the project’s forum closely for questions or to provide updates as needed. The team will summarize major activities formally in a monthly report.
The proposed project will be completed within 6 months based on the following milestones and timeline:
Begin MVE Refactor. Begin additional store publication. PR and Marketing. Set up CI/CD pipeline, work towards automating syncing between main Decentraland and vr-client branches. Progress on Android-based asset bundles for improved VR client performance. Initial phases of VR client enhancements and hand-tracking support. Continued maintenance of Decentraland VR.
Continued work on MVE Refactor. Published on Meta AppLabs Store. Published on SteamVR Store. PR and Marketing. Drafts of VR client hand tracking update for community testing, progress towards enhanced VR UI, and hand-based UI. Continued performance and stability updates. Continued maintenance of Decentraland VR. Work towards VRM Avatar support.
Efforts to publish to full Meta Store (Meta store is invite only, so no guarantee of publication.) PR, marketing, press releases. Finalize VRM Avatar support. Continued Decentraland community and beta tests. Testing, bug fixes, user feedback collection. Full release of Decentraland VR client with new features. Continued maintenance of Decentraland VR.
Vote on this proposal on the Decentraland DAO