# Why Voxels? ![image](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/rkgPgFHGA.png) "Why do you care so much about cryptovoxels anyways? It's so niche" I was recently asked this, so lemme explain: - It was the first NFT I bought (sentimental value) - First live platform integrating smart contracts / virtual worlds (launched April 1st, 2018) - First NFT 3D avatar wearables (late 2019 - early 2020) - Many legendary cryptoartists / collectors first metaverse experience - Land was cheaper and platform was live <2 years before DCL - Historical, many infamous ppl in crypto own a parcel - IMO it's a perfect lab environment for interoperability - starts with non-standard data / file formats, like many games - what we can do can set an example for future others - no investors, reduces complexity for incentive alignment - Voxel art is highly accessible, any with zero 3D modeling experience can make stuff - To prove something about building an open metaverse through permissionless innovation - Got 5 years of interoperability experiments with Voxels --- **Underdog Story** I get that building the metaverse is a marathon not a race, but I want to cement Voxels into cryptoart history. IMO it is the Cryptopunks of virtual worlds. The project attracted many early believers in the metaverse and cryptoart before NFTs and Metaverse became hype words. Unlike most other metaverse projects, Voxels has no investors and is fully bootstrapped by parcel sales. The world was live with parcels available to purchase, with affordable pricing, almost 2 years before Decentraland's public launch. ![](https://i.imgur.com/o8Efprl.jpg) https://hackmd.io/@XR/cities Imagine you're an artist and the choice at the time was either >$1000 for a parcel for a platform with 90k supply and wasn't even live, or <$100 for a parcel in an organically growing city which you can immediately start building in. The data speaks for itself the tale of an underdog. Prices of Decentraland (Orange) vs Cryptovoxels (Pink) in 2019-2020 ![image](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/BJK4sNXz0.png) Number of LAND that was traded per month, eventually Voxels caught up to Decentraland. ![](https://i.imgur.com/nnrbq7p.jpg) --- **Voxel Art is Ultra Accessible** Part of what makes Cryptovoxels special is the accessibility of voxel art. ![](https://i.imgur.com/l2uGWrR.gif) It's also much easier for most people to pickup Magicavoxel and start making stuff than learning to 3D model in Blender from scratch (though there's plugins to import vox models to Blender and can export obj from magicavoxel too). Therefore focusing on voxel art interoperability can lead many more creators to create cross-platform 3D content more easily. Also with projects like Smoothvoxels to convert to and fro, we can get the best of both worlds for voxels and triangles! ![o5y1ry288w481-ezgif.com-resize](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/rkFpy_9fA.gif) --- **Interoperability Lab** ![brave_Ik8U75uTQS](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/ByxdgOqfA.png) Platform lock-in IMO is the opposite effect of having a sense of ownership. It's what tore Vitalik up when he lost his Warlock spell one day due to an update, and since then vowed to fight for decentralization. The incentives in crypto align towards having strong digital property rights, owning your data, right of exit. Interoperability is the unlock. --- **To Spread Culture** There's always been a strong gift giving culture within Voxels of creators sharing wearables with each another. I still carry the wearables gifted to me in Cryptovoxels. Gift giving is a wholesome and sacred practice worth spreading across the metaverse. ![Screenshot from 2024-05-05 17-40-05](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/rk6An_rM0.jpg) I started to explore VRMs in 2020, making one-offs and content to promote avatar interoperability. This has lead to much wider awareness and adoption of the VRM format, which back then was pretty niche and known mostly only within the Japanese / vtuber communities. ![openvoxels-2019](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/r1Uva4XMR.jpg) https://vimeo.com/455114096 Avatar Interopreability: September 5, 2020 It's part of a multi-year effort to catalyze the vision of a virtual economy that spans multiple platforms and engines, akin to the ancient Silkroad. I see the railways of the open metaverse built on interoperable open file formats / standards and permissionless payment systems. ![](https://i.imgur.com/aPlUCWh.png) There's already an ecosystem for cryptoart that encapsulates 2D media formats (jpg or gifs), but we still have a long way to go for 3D. We have made great progress with VRM adoption in the last couple years, but how many interoperable wearable collections do you know of? We're still early. ![VRChat_7TCm1KBZG0](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/SJgshdBM0.png) Voxel wearables look pretty awesome on other avatars. We should expand market reach for them, spread our culture amongst other metaverse projects, hence the need for interoperability. --- ## To Prove Something I was listening to a space the other week hosted by Improbable and Msquared (M2), the companies building the technology that will power Otherside. We share similar aspirations for building "a network of interoperable metaverses" as they have stated on their website. It's also a freakish coincidence that M2 sounds very similar to M3, however I'll save the comparisons for another day. M2 and M3 both deeply care about interoperability but are taking a very different approach for connecting disparate virtual worlds together. There were a couple soundbites that stuck with me from that space: - Improbable is building out 6 different "metaverses" that aim to be interoperable - Rob (CTO/Co-founder) asks "How do we get others to collaborate with one another?" It's a very different ballgame when you're working on solving interoperability challenges amongst platforms you're incubating internally versus in the wild. The difficulty level increases when thinking about game theory, technical challenges, incentive alignment, diplomacy, and other kinds of knowledge in order to obtain greater compatibility between disparate apps. Higher risk / higher reward though, yeah? I want to prove something, perhaps even just to myself. Although I'd much rather see others like M2 as collaborators than competition, I believe we can solve some of these challenges with a fraction of the resources with the right people looking for those unlocks that become force multipliers in the equations of creator workflows for making interoperable assets. IMO glTF extensions as good building blocks, which is something M3 is pretty active in supporting, and that the NFT metadata idea in the [Otherside Litepaper](https://otherside.xyz/litepaper) is a good idea too if places / creators adopt it. There's also precident as we have gotten multiple platforms like Hyperfy and Oncyber and many popular collections to adopt `vrm_url` in metadata so that platforms can automatically recognize that token as an avatar and enable creators to equip it from their inventory. Permissionless innovation is the way to solve things in crypto, which is something I waant to prove, and somehow get rewarded for to inspire more grassroots activities. --- We did an AMA last week about the wearables museum snapshot. Here are the notes + recording from that: https://hackmd.io/@XR/openvoxels-ama Manifest Destiny ![Screenshot_2024-03-31_22-56-58](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/S1r_y9uGR.jpg) ![Screenshot_2024-05-08_01-33-44](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/rk1lkcuz0.jpg) Some people are settlers, others are explorers. To go fast go alone, to go far go together. Tons of creators that were new to 3D art have been able to create incredible parcels and wearables in Voxels. ![image](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/SJeUzd5fR.png) ![image](https://hackmd.io/_uploads/r1kPMu9MA.png) gradually expanding from The Center