“We Are Not Facebook”: Building a Truly Decentralized Metaverse

Presented by STARL

Cryptocurrency has been central to the rise of the metaverse. Developers announce, and sometimes launch, metaverse spaces powered by a blockchain economy. These projects are pre-loaded with hype around the ownership given to creators and the potential users have to – one way or another – acquire massive amounts of crypto wealth. But these are all too often paid scenarios where developers are seemingly trying to squeeze as much profit as possible from the communities they create. This makes the promise of a decentralized metaverse look less like a future virtual utopia and more like a new offshoot of late-stage capitalism.

“The original vision of crypto is to cross borders, to provide access for everyone. That’s what we’re trying to do with the metaverse,” says Moe Larson, concept designer and project manager of the STARL Metaverse project. “But the burden of proof is on projects like us to show that we can set an example in space. We want to be able to find out who the real builders are, from the people who are just trying to increase the space.

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Larson, holder and developer of cryptocurrency, is part of a core group of once-skeptical cryptocurrency traders who have come together to launch the STARL Metaverse project: a graphically rich and beautifully designed interactive 3D universe in space and filled with games, virtual worlds and communities. It is also a hub for virtual social interaction and expression, as well as trading and collecting assets within a digital economy, supported by the unique STARL token, all created by a group of unknowns from very diverse backgrounds and from around the world. And the goal is to be the absolute best, truly decentralized metaverse project, Larson says.

The STARL Metaverse project is built around the unique STARL token developed and launched by renowned crypto developer Woof Decentra. The token was launched in one go – with no rollout schedule, no announced presale, no private sale and no development vault, completely watered down. There are no taxes on the purchase or sale of tokens, meaning they can be traded freely on the market.

Decentra described it as the new sign of a “STARL ecosystem,” which is intended to be completely decentralized and still community-owned. To that end, Decentra baked $200,000 into the contract as a base for trading (so each token is built with built-in liquidity) and then sent it to an address that can never be retrieved, meaning the STARL token can never be destroyed and liquidity can’t be artificially created. are manipulated. From a token’s perspective, the only benefit of this value is that the team works together to add value to it.

Larson, the concept creator and project lead, originally came up with the idea for a community-built, metaverse-like environment in space, using the STARL token as its currency. With no VCs or investment firms in the mix, the community started and has remained the driving force behind the evolution and expansion of the project every step of the way.

The people behind the scenes are on site every day as the platform evolves, an experienced development team and a passionate community of developers and designers. This community focus, plus a commitment to equal access for all users, was central to the project’s core values.

Building an ethical metaverse

“Because we’re community-driven, there’s no pressure from outside investment to make it profit-driven,” Larson says. “The vision is lost when dollars are the primary focus. We want to create something unique that celebrates community, artistic vision, honesty and fun. We consider it primarily a social responsibility.

Blockchain and Web 3 technology are among the most powerful programming languages ​​in history, he adds. And the fundamental spirit of these technologies is to give everyone a fair share of how payment and settlement networks are run, especially across borders. Ultimately, decentralization is about creating a system where the community decides how value is exchanged, without the corporate filter that may not look out for the interests of individual groups.

“Unfortunately, companies like Meta aren’t really there to give back to the community,” Larson says. “They want to mine data, sell ads, build products around their Oculus system — approaches that don’t always consider user interests.”

The challenge for the STARL Metaverse project is to change the public perception of crypto and NFTs, especially in the gaming world.

“Hopefully we can show that there is another way, a fair and fun way that people still get value for what they want to buy,” said Scott Brown, CEO of Wyrmbyte Studios and responsible metaverse and game development for the STARL Metaverse. . project. “We obviously need to sell NFTs to fund our vision, but we never want people to feel like you have to pay to get in, or pay more to be successful. We want what you buy to have value without being revolutionary. to be.

Every decision they make stems from that goal, Larson adds.

“If we want to close the gap and bring people to the gaming side, it’s essential to show that we’re not trying to do things that are only good for us, that are exclusive, that exclude people from the game. to play and get value as they see fit,” he says.

The evolution of the STARL project

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The first community build of Metaverse caught the attention of the game industry and soon Brown and Shahid Ahmad, of Playstation fame, were on board to take the project to the next level. Brown assembled his game design and development team, drawing on his NetDevil team and people from LucasArts, Pixar, Disney, LEGO and more. The Wyrmbyte team created the artwork from scratch, with community input throughout the process, creating a colorful and interactive space station fantasy with an appealing retro feel.

From the hub, users can access portals to private gathering spaces in the metaverse, such as customizable player living pods; public haunts like the graphically stunning large-scale MMO Warp Nexus; the Starcade, a portal to an 80s-style arcade where you can play games created by both professionals and the community; and more.

“The GUI level is incredibly high quality, especially for a crypto-based product,” Larson says. “We are trying to bridge the gap between gamification and the underlying mechanics of blockchain.”

And a recent collaboration with Amoeba Music meant building a concert hall for virtual live events. The arena was unveiled at a raucous launch party on May 6, 2022, with live streams from dublab radio and Subtractive. Partnerships like the one with Amoeba and dublab, who share music worldwide as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, are just the beginning of their goal of partnering with people who share their core values. †

As the metaverse evolves, they will host events designed to bring groups of people together, to attend seminars, meditation spaces, classes, community infrastructure, which will set them apart from the rest of the projects out there, Larson said. If you add inboard users to the gamification side, they expect to have a very large and active user base – and he thinks they are very close to being on track to be the first project to achieve this balance.

“Virtual space has become so much more important now because of COVID,” Larson says. “We have an interactive, engaging and engaging environment, without boundaries. We can build community, connect cultures and promote the exchange of ideas that would otherwise have been difficult or impossible.

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