On August 26th, we had an AMA hosted by Polygon. Our team spoke about their Web3 journeys and experiences and the creative spark that led to the idea behind VeVerse. We specified many of the possible use cases for the virtual worlds, highlighted our accomplishments so far, and shared our ambitions for the near future. Here is a text recap of the AMA for those who missed the live event. We are very grateful to Polygon for providing us with such a great opportunity to share our vision of Metaverse as a Service.
Polygon: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining in. We are going to be joined by VeVerse shortly. And we will talk about what VeVerse is.
Vasily: Hi, good morning. I am Vasily from VeVerse. Thanks for having us.
Polygon: Can we start with a little backstory and your Web3 journey? How did VeVerse start?
Vasily: A friend of mine who is a photographer came to me in 2016 and told me: “You know what? There is a new thing called Etherium, and you can mine it with your GPU on your home PC. I didn’t believe him at first. I installed the mining software on my PC. Then I calculated how much I would earn and tried to mine some Etherium. And I mined exactly as much as the calculation had predicted. So I was fascinated by how, from thin air, I was able to generate value. Eventually, we came up with a mining pool that I co-created with my partners at that time. Egor joined us later to help us build and scale. So we launched a mining pool for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. This was our first endeavor in web3, in crypto, specifically. And then Unreal Engine 4 came out. It provided accessibility to building virtual worlds and building experiences for virtual reality. And I started experimenting with it because I have a degree in architecture, so for me, building virtual worlds is a passion. The simplicity of the tools that UE provides was fascinating. I questioned myself: “Is it possible to create an online museum where all the artifacts from the various museums from around the globe are always present and users are able to curate personal colleсtions, share them with friends, invite someone to see them, and host events and guided tours. Egor and I started discussing this idea. Is it possible to do something like that? What the architecture of this software should look like? How can we scale it so every museum around the world can become part of it? And not only museums. Any creator who is interested in publishing a virtual world. Because right now, how does one usually share their virtual creations? As screenshots on Art Station? Or maybe a video? Would it not be cool to actually visit a virtual world, live in it, and do something meaningful inside it? And that is how VeVerse started.
Polygon: Can we briefly hear about your background, W3 and Wenzel?
W3: Yeah, sure. Aside from being a contributor at VeVerse, I am a core contributor at LE7EL which is a DAO tooling and communications platform with an Aragon grant. I am also a member of the Due Diligence Committee of Stacker Ventures, which is one of the first decentralized venture funds. When it comes to my knowledge and background, I am experienced in web3 product design and management, development of White Papers, tokenomics, fund-raising, etc. So I am more on the business side of things. Now I will pass it to Wenzel.
Wenzel: Originally, I came to Web3 during the Defi boom. I was very eager to use all these technologies like automated market making, DAO tooling, and so on. I have a technical background. I have been establishing start-ups for more than ten years. Currently, I am doing smart contract development. Solidity, mostly. I am a member of the Tech Committee at Aragon. I am also doing DAO tooling with W3 and helping with all the smart contracts required for VeVerse.
Polygon: All right. Amazing. So we have Tech. We have Business. And we have somebody who has overall experience and expertise. Thank you, gentlemen, for joining us. Now we can proceed with what VeVerse is all about. What kind of vision and mission do you want to achieve? Who would like to start?
Vasily: I would be happy to do that. Do we have an exact Metaverse already in existence? Do we have what the Metaverse is meant to be? Right here and now. I think we do not have one yet. And I think it is a huge field for experimentation and evolution. We have to walk a long way towards the true Metaverse. The most important thing right now is to have a certain number of tools that creators can use to unleash their creativity and imagination to build something we have not even thought about. And that is what VeVerse is all about. We want to provide creators with these tools. We want to provide them with the ability to build any kind of experience in the Metaverse. The metaverse is actually a virtual space where one can have social interactions in a persistent world with digital property secured by NFTs. We already have some prototypes, like Decentraland and Sandbox. But they give just one kind of experience. You just walk around as your avatar. It is really cool as it opens new ways of communication and interaction. But can it be more? So VeVerse aims to provide tools to build any kind of experience. It can be a video game: racing, space exploration, or a shooter. Or it can be an educational experience. And they will all be based on the key Web3 principles. We provide basic tools like voice communication and multiplayer server infrastructure so that developers and creators can create new worlds and new experiences in just a matter of days instead of years building them from the ground up.
Polygon: All right. Would you, W3 or Wenzel, like to add anything?
W3: We see a lot of attempts now to democratize the player’s side of things, like making it easier for players to engage in virtual worlds. But what you also have to do is to think about the creator’s side of things. You have to be a professional and have a huge operation to get a virtual world off the ground. This leads to a lot of creative energy being lost around the world. So, basically, we want to make it much-much simpler to build a virtual world and thus unleash a lot of this creative potential around the globe.
Polygon: You are talking a lot about virtual worlds, creating virtual experiences, and using NFTs. But I would like to ask a more specific question. I have read that you guys are looking at creating virtual tourism destinations. How will this match the social experiences one gets in the real physical world? How will the virtual world try and match the real experience?
Vasily: That is one of the most interesting parts. We already have many enthusiasts and companies from around the world creating digital doubles of cultural heritage objects, digitizing artifacts from various museums and whole archeological sites. This is the new way of creating content and sharing it. VeVerse provides an option not to just see a single object in the center of your screen but to visit and walk through these sites, and have live or prerecorded guided tours in such virtual spaces. I think it is really fascinating how we can use and utilize it as a new medium for delivering content, experiences, entertainment, as well as education.
Polygon: I have read on your website about the experience of the real world that you want to bring to the Metaverse, be it virtual tourism, be it gaming, be it education. What stage is VeVerse at now? Are you already live or still in the test phase? Are you approaching your release date?
Vasily: We had a closed beta at the beginning of the summer and are now approaching the public Beta stage. We will have a test net running. We will provide our Metaverse SDK for Unreal Engine so that developers will be able to create and publish their worlds. The cool thing is that all these worlds will be interconnected by Portals. It will create something like what we have seen in Ready Player One when all experiences are connected together through Portals. It is something that we already have in VRChat and other games. But in VeVerse each world will be an NFT on the Polygon network. A person owning this NFT essentially owns the game. So you will not only be able to create an experience or a video game but also trade it. I believe it is a new dimension.
Polygon: What will be the utility for users? If they are putting money on that NFT, what will their return be on that investment?
Vasily: W3, could you answer that, maybe?
Polygon: A short elaboration. You have just touched upon this particular aspect of the tradability of NFTs. So I would like to know if there is any utility at the end of the day for anybody purchasing or investing in NFTs. What is the return on the investment and how will that happen in VeVerse?
W3: First, we are enabling NFTs for creators so they can immutably govern their own world and make it tradable so players will not touch that part at all. It’s up to creators to make their NFTs because they can have their own NFTs on the Polygon network and make them valuable for their users. As for the users, I think, now is the unique time in history to actually just experiment – buy NFTs, learn what it is all about. The more knowledge you have, the more easily you can spot good buying opportunities for NFTs. So I believe it is up to the creators on top of VeVerse to create NFTs that are valuable as an investment.
Vasily: The creator of a certain world will have to implement the rules of how transactions are charged inside this world, how royalties work, and so on. The creator can become a platform holder, like, say, Apple, and establish a platform fee for all the transactions in this particular world. And these fees can eventually go to the owner of the NFT. If you create a successful virtual experience and sell it to another person. The new owner of this NFT will earn all in-game revenue.
W3: I think Wenzel can explain the specifics technically with all the records and so forth.
Wenzel: I would like to add that in our plan, a world NFT will not be just a simple token representing a world. We also plan to store all the metadata related to world management, like the token used for transactions and royalties – all these parameters will be stored on the blockchain. We also expect that world NFTs will eventually be owned by DAOs. If we talk about users or players, they can buy tokens of such a DAO and get their share of the revenue that this specific virtual experience produces. We also see the possibility of co-marketing between the worlds. As earlier mentioned, VeVerse is interconnected by Portals. The Portals are also NFTs, so the owners of worlds will need to set up a connection between the worlds and the NFTs associated with these worlds. We also expect that there will probably be some additional revenue streams coming from the players traveling between partner worlds. This is the essence, but we have more features coming to VeVerse that we will reveal later.
Polygon: Sounds great. VeVerse as a DAO. Why would you, guys, want to create a DAO in the initial phase of your business?
Vasily: Our DAO has not actually launched yet. We want to have a DAO uniting all the creators of virtual experiences and games. We are currently only preparing to launch it.
Polygon: Could you share the date when we can expect the launch of VeVerse DAO?
Vasily: No date is set in stone yet.
Polygon: It is great to see that more and more start-ups are building on the Polygon network. We have recently shared a report that 37000+ dApps have been built on Polygon. And these numbers are growing despite the conditions we are facing at the moment. So it is great to see focused teams that are not dragged down by the current market conditions and are still working to bring the best projects to their users.
Now I would like you to shed light on the marketing perspective of your projects. What is VeVerse doing to get traction and share its vision? W3, would you be willing to answer this question since you are a business guy?
W3: I think Vasily would answer this question better since he has been working locally in Silicon Valley, but I can say that here in my part of the world, which is Norway, we are in talks with different kinds of creators as well. One of them is quite big, but we are not ready to go public with any names yet. It is going to be a huge operation. Now I would like Vasily to comment on the business development as well.
Vasily: One of the unique things we have, maybe the most unique, is that we provide a White Label solution for building your own Metaverse. Having chosen one of the White Label plans, you will be able to have your own ecosystem, similar to Decentraland or Sandbox. You will be able to tailor it to the vertical you are targeting. If you are building Metaverse for education, you will be able to add required actions and interactions using Unreal Engine. You will also be able to integrate third-party APIs for e-commerce, onchain intelligence, create your own “VeVerse”, and have a Windows or macOS app with your own name and branding. VeVerse provides interoperability of assets between all these ecosystems. This is what people who are familiar with VeVerse like about our project. We have a wait list of businesses looking forward to our launch. It is really exciting to see the number of different use cases they are aiming to introduce using the tools we provide and the platform we have.
Polygon: Amazing! So what is the plan for VeVerse for the next few months?
Vasily: We aim to release our SDK as a public Beta in September. We also aim to launch a test net on Polygon in the same month. Our users and creators will be able to experiment with owning and trading virtual worlds, try the gated NFT access to virtual worlds, host virtual events, and, most importantly, build their own virtual worlds or even whole metaverses. These are the next major steps we are going to take.
Polygon: VeVerse is the grantee of Polygon DAO. How has the experience been with the whole Polygon team? Could you kindly share that with us as well?
Vasily: The support from the Polygon team was tremendous. We are very happy to receive the vouchers from Polygon, Certik, Tatum, and Infura. It opens new development possibilities for us. We are very grateful to Polygon and its partners. I would recommend everyone who is building something on Web3 to apply for a Polygon grant to get the support we are having right now. This is really cool. Thank you.
Polygon: Thank you. Welcome to Polygon. We would like to have projects that are trying to create a breakthrough in the Web3 space, that are driving the adoption of Web3, and that are creating opportunities for users to participate in Web3.
VeVerse team is globally spread. We would like to know more about your team and its background. Would you like to talk about the team behind your project?
Vasily: The project that we are trying to pull off is really complex. It consists of so many layers. It has the infrastructural layer for hosting all the multiplayer servers. It has a Web3 API to provide creators with no-code tools to build NFTs and virtual experiences. So it is really challenging to have all this expertise together and different people simultaneously working from different parts of the world. We have animators, 3D artists, and Web3 software developers, like Wenzel and W3. But most of the work is carried out by my co-founder Egor, who is a very experienced full-stack engineer. He is pulling off this very hard and sometimes stressful development gig. He is coping with burnouts. He is supporting the team. And he is organizing the whole development process so that I can focus on the vision and the business side of things.
Polygon: You have an amazing team with great experience and expertise. Thank you, VeVerse team, for joining us, taking us through your project, and sharing what you, guys, are trying to build. You are trying to create a different part in the Metaverse space.
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