Metaverse Chat and Polkacity Game Demo Explained

In this video, the product manager for the Polkacity game representing the Tintash dev team working on Polkacity explains the game demo and talks about what they have accomplished up to date and how they will proceed. The manager explains that Polkacity will add ports, boats, and bridges to the city to increase engagement. The game includes Shader Graphs to enable avatar customization and change the textures of the hair, skin, and clothes. The manager also talks about the lights at night. Once we add light baking, the nights in Polkacity will come alive!

One of the most important aspects of the demo is the explanation of the chat feature. We intend to make the Polkacity chat like a real-life chat in a city. As you walk around in the city, anything you say will be broadcast with speech bubbles. A group of people talking in polkacity will be seen by others, and they can join in the conversation. This will be more highlighted when we move the VR features in the future. Even in the beta version, you will be able to see others talking from far away and run to join in the conversation. This brings in a very good social aspect to the game and brings us one step closer to the metaverse.

Chat Photo by Adam Solomon on Unsplash

Here is what he said in the video if you would like to scan using text:

1. Terrain setup

We will start off with a view of the world that contains Polkacity. The terrain is set up to include beaches, plains, and mountains, and with the consideration to be able to expand the landmass as our city grows.

In the future, we want to add ports, boats, bridges, and more to keep users engaged, provide them more means to explore the world, and utilize more NFT assets.

2. Road network

We implemented an American grid-style city layout and referenced modern New York architecture to guide our art direction. We’re hoping to go towards a more natural rectangular grid style as we keep improving the city.

3. Procedural generation of city blocks

We have 12 variations of city blocks, all set up as prefabs in Unity, and the procedural generation system we’ve developed allows us to populate the useable area around the road network with these prefabs based on the parameters we set with only a few clicks. We can set the ratios of the blocks and enable rotation to introduce a bit of natural randomness in the city.

4. Cityblocks setup process

We set up a pipeline to work on our city blocks, which started from gathering references and setting art direction, creating these 3D assets from scratch, placement of these in the prefabs, making scale adjustments, adding props such as streetlights and plants, and finally adding light probes and lighting settings.

The Magenta color you see sprinkled across the map is the Polkacity brand color. We’ve used that to mark all the NFT buildings and interactive objects around the city.

5. Avatar Customization

The male and female models we’ve used in the game have been sourced from Mixamo. The model animation and rigging was a particularly tricky part which the team resolved really intelligently.

Another creative endeavor here is the use of “Shader Graphs” to enable avatar customization. Shader graphs enabled us to change the textures of the hair, skin, and clothes without getting into the complex domain of stitching wearable models on top of our avatar model.

I think here, the quality of the result speaks for itself!

6. Creating and joining game rooms

We’re going with a ‘game-room approach for our Beta release. Like many multiplayer online games, we’re going to give users the ability to either join an existing room or create their own. They can set the max user limit for their room, and we’re planning to add the ability to create private rooms as well. We’re using Photon PUN to enable multiplayer features in the game, and currently, it suggests a max limit of 16 users per room.

7. Car spawning and driving

In addition to building NFTs, there’s a number of vehicle NFTs as well. We had to put a lot of effort into optimizing the vehicle 3D models to make them game-ready.

Each user will be able to select their owned NFT vehicles from the Kiosk and drive them around.

And of course, we’re having to make a number of tweaks and adjustments to enable a bug-free and smooth driving experience for the user.

8. Chatting

When ideating on the chat experience for Polkacity, instead of going with a standard instant messaging chat experience, we got inspiration from games like Second Life to implement a speech bubble approach. We want our chat to emulate what we would experience walking around in a city.

By having speech bubbles, everything a user says is broadcast out in the open, and passers-by can join conversations, and this, in turn, would enhance community building of Polkacity users through the game.

You could see people talking from far away and run to join the conversation.

9. Day/night cycle

We’ll close out this demo with the day/night cycle, which is simply our cherry on top for the beta release. The transition already looks beautiful, but the final step is going to be a process of light baking in our scene, which is going to really highlight all of the efforts we’re currently putting into the area and probe lighting, and make our Polkacity nights really come alive!

We hope you enjoyed this, and we’re looking forward to your feedback on what more you’d like to see here. Like, share, and subscribe for more updates. Stay safe, and hope to see you back for the next demo.

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