Create your own avatar and already explore the HTC metaverse for free

This is my personal avatar, created using Viverse web tools. Image: HTC.

Already pre-ordered the HTC VIVE XR Elite? Or maybe you’re still hesitating and want to get a taste of what HTC’s VIVE headset and platform has to offer in general? Either way, you’re in luck. Until the new product hits customers in late February or early March, you can already play in the company’s own version of the metaverse: HTC Viverse.

HTC introduced Viverse at the launch of the VIVE XR Elite, showcasing a metaverse designed to be highly customizable by its user, from your immediate surroundings to the avatar that represents you. This new universe is still in its infancy, but you can already start preparing your foray into virtual reality by visiting the Viverse website.

We’ll quickly guide you through setting up your first avatar, entering your first world, and taking a look at the realities HTC VIVE XR Elite will open up to you when it finally arrives at your home.

How to make your avatar?

The easiest way to create your avatar is to use HTC’s web tools, which allow you to perform this task entirely in your web browser. Image: HTC.

One of the hallmarks of Viverse is its openness. To this end, HTC offers several ways to create or import the avatar that will represent you in Viverse.

More traditionally, you can use the web tools provided by HTC through a familiar character builder-like interface (seen at the top of this page) to generate a full avatar (no torsos floating around here).

If the slightly “cartoony” look of the resulting avatars is too unrealistic for your taste, you can also choose to use HTC’s VIVE Avatar Creator app, available as a free download from Google Play or the Apple App Store. . Please note that the most realistic avatars generated by the application are those based on a photo you have taken of yourself. You can also customize your avatar with clothes, hairstyles and accessories, just like you can with the web-based tools.

The VRM upload option for HTC's Viverse

You can also download a VRM file (accepted in several VR platforms), which allows your avatar to be hyper-realistic or look like a cartoon character. Image: HTC.

Finally, the creation method that is potentially the most exciting is HTC’s support for uploading a VRM file. This type of file is a cross-platform container for your avatar. It can be ported from a number of other existing VR and AR platforms, such as VRChat, various Vtuber streaming tools (to mask the face), creative apps like VR Studio, and even some web games. The possibilities for your avatar’s appearance, size and behavior are almost limitless thanks to the many tools for creating and editing avatars with this VRM format.

An avatar created using HTC's Viverse web tools

You can preview your look before finalizing it and moving on to the next step, which is entering HTC’s Viverse for the first time. Image: HTC.

Once you’ve decided which method you want to use and you’re happy with how you look (don’t worry, you can always change or replace your avatar later), you can move on to the next step: Enter your first Viverse world.

Enter the Viverse

A selection of available Viverse Worlds and Collections

A variety of worlds are available that are themed around specific sports, movies, shows and brands. Image: HTC.

Despite HTC’s promise to enter these Viverse worlds by getting up close, wearing headphones, walking towards windows and drawings, then crossing them to switch to the other side, the process so far is increasingly mundane.

There are several ways to find a world to explore, but the easiest way to start is to visit your avatar page and click the “Explore Worlds” button under your avatar.

You will see a list of available worlds created by professional users and individuals. Clicking on one of them will load the world after a short wait, allowing you to walk around and interact with all the elements there using keyboard and mouse controls, which should be familiar to any gamer. The same worlds can be explored much more naturally with the VIVE XR Elite or another VIVE-enabled headset.

I never managed to wake him, and maybe it’s better that way. Image: HTC.

The quality of this or that corner of Viverse can vary quite a lot, even when a major brand is attached to one of them.

One of the best places I found during my short stay was a world called “Hotel of the Underworld”, a small Japanese inn populated by a few interesting characters such as the giant innkeeper and Kasa-Obake, another jumping character on his only leg.

A Dragonball Z-themed world in HTC's Viverse

Worlds like this tend to contain things that may not have an official license. Image: HTC.

On the other side of the spectrum are the worlds that appear to be mere spaces populated by a series of familiar inanimate characters. For example this world titled “Time Chamber” which featured various characters and locations from Dragon Ball Z at different scales. Interesting for a minute or two of exploration, but certainly not pushing the boundaries of what the Viverse would be capable of.

Create your own world

There is plenty of space and an entire floor to fill with furniture, interactive objects and even portals to other worlds. Image: HTC.

Fortunately, if you are not satisfied with the available options, you can simply create your own world. When you sign up for Viverse, you get a free “starter world”. Currently, you can choose from three basic templates, which you can then populate with the objects HTC provides to all users, as well as imported resources from other sources.

Of course, the more time you’re willing to spend on it, the more complex your world can become. In this case, the phrase “the only limit is your imagination” has rarely been so relevant.

Source: ZDNet.com

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