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?
The team behind Decentraland’s VR client is seeking a grant for continued development of VR support for Decentraland. We propose to add several VR features, including hand tracking and hand-based menus, better avatar handling for VR, and enhancements on the VR user interface. We will continue improving the performance and reliability while also maintaining the VR client. We propose to set up a CI/CD pipeline for the VR client. The team is honored to be considered for a DAO grant for the continued development of Decentraland VR. We are excited to be part of Decentraland’s journey toward making the metaverse a fun, immersive and vibrant economy that increases accessibility to Decentraland citizens all over the world!
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. 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.
A summary of proposed activities is provided in this section, with additional details in the specification section of this proposal.
Feature enhancements: The team proposes to add several VR enhancements, including hand tracking, more natural avatar movements for VR, and enhancements on the VR user interface. Additional details on this is provided in the specification section.
Improving performance and reliability: 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. Additional details on this is provided in the specification section.
Maintenance: 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. Additional details on this is provided in the specification section.
The team proposes to build upon previous VR client efforts by submitting the current grant proposal, which is fully dedicated to the Decentraland VR client. The team is honored to be considered for a DAO grant for the continued development of Decentraland VR. We are excited and grateful to be part of Decentraland’s journey toward making the metaverse a fun, immersive and vibrant economy that increases accessibility and financial opportunities to Decentraland citizens all over the world!
The team proposes to add several VR enhancements, including hand tracking, more natural avatar movements for VR, and enhancements on the VR user interface.
Using hand tracking (instead of controllers) is a more natural way of interacting in the metaverse. A hands-based experience will require some engineering to include items like palm-based menus, selection interactions, teleporting/movement, and other interactions that would otherwise require controller buttons/joysticks. 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 also investigate VRM avatar support.
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.
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.
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 requires close coordination with the Decentraland foundation team and will result in a major improvement in frame rate, memory usage, and overall stability of the VR client. This is because the asset bundles are more optimized than loading in the GLTF models directly.
The team will also work closely with key Decentraland areas and community members such as the Museum District to ensure that content is VR-friendly and performant.
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.
As part of this process, we seek 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.
The items outlined in this grant proposal will be managed and completed by the Ong Innovations team and our associated partners.
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)
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:
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.
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.
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.