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What Is The Metaverse And What Does It All Mean?

What is The Metaverse? When did The Metaverse start? What does The Metaverse mean in the digital world? Will there be a single Metaverse? Can we build a Metaverse without programming? How does metaverse work in programming? Let’s start to answer these questions.

What is The Metaverse?

Simply put, The Metaverse is a digital world simulation software with data that allows users to simulate and experiment with elements of real life blended with a virtual life. These digital worlds can be built in 3D and can be experienced by the user in an immersive first-person view which makes the user feel like they inhabit that virtual digital world.

The Metaverse term comes from the combination of the Meta and the Universe terms. Meta in Greek means “Beyond” thus Metaverse term means something like another universe (or universes) that is beyond this universe. In other words, it defines a virtual life of users that can be simulated by software with data and/or databases.

When did The Metaverse start?

In reality, while the term Metaverse is new, many examples exist as the creations of game developers stretching back in different ways across a good number of years in various games and applications. Previous terms of the Metaverse were Role Playing Game, Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) Game, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing (MMORPG) Game, Persistence Universe, Life Simulation. All of this software works with data that can be manipulated by the users within the software mechanics and rules.

According to Wikipedia, role-playing games began to influence by the new genre of video games arise from early mainframe computer imitations of RPGs, with Akalabeth and Rogue both published in 1980; the genre inherited many of the settings and game mechanics of RPGs as well as the name and went on to have its varied history. During this time, RPG-themed adventure gamebooks and solitaire RPGs such as Choose Your Own Adventure (1979–), Endless Quest (1982–), and Fighting Fantasy (1982–) series also gained popularity. An animated television series based on Dungeons & Dragons was produced in 1983, also called Dungeons & Dragons.

The first graphical MMO Game, and a major milestone in the creation of the genre, was the multiplayer flight combat simulation game Air Warrior by Kesmai on the GEnie online service, which first appeared in 1986. Kesmai later added 3D graphics to the game, making it the first 3D MMO.

This was followed by The Realm OnlineMeridian 59 (the first 3D MMORPG), Ultima OnlineUnderlight, and EverQuest in the late 1990s popularized the MMORPG genre. The growth in technology meant that where Neverwinter Nights in 1991 had been limited to 50 simultaneous players, by the year 2000 a multitude of MMORPGs were each serving thousands of simultaneous players. This led the way for games such as World of Warcraft and EVE Online. The Second Life and other Life simulation games are also good examples of this early incarnation of what is merging as The Metaverse.

There are hundreds maybe thousands of these kinds of games. The latest games are Elder Scrolls Online, New World, Star Citizen, and virtual environments by NVidia, Amazon, Facebook are some of the candidates to be a Metaverse.

Can we build a Metaverse without programming?

We can build metaverses without programming. For example, a teacher can choose a space in the corner of the class this can be a metaverse area. Every day the teacher gives one cube (maybe sugar cubes) to each student and wants them to put that cube into that space. After a few days, students can see that they start building a new environment, a new universe. In this example physical space is the server, cubes are data received and recorded in the server, days are intervals and students are the clients. This is a very simple Metaverse analogy.

What Is The Metaverse And What Does It All Mean A user wearing a VR headset

How can we build a Metaverse by programming?

In software, first, you or your team will need experience in creating software of less abstract forms. You should know how to develop multi-user online applications too. You need to know advanced graphics programming, database, data streaming, web sockets, and other data transfer methods needed. If you are planning 3D environments you need more team members to develop this virtual area, character developers, scenario writers, digital architects, digital artists, sound artists, texture editors, mechanics, etc. You may need AI developers, security developers, online support staff, and many other personals are needed.

If you can find a venture capitalist with deep pockets too that’s going to be an advantage. 🤪

On the other hand, you can develop and create a simple metaverse by yourself and you can let users grow this environment. The Minecraft game is a good example here. In C++ Builder you can develop these kinds of games easily.

Why is The Metaverse becoming popular?

The Metaverse is popular nowadays because the gaming industry is growing in sophistication and fast, always-on internet connectivity is becoming ubiquitous People are more comfortable with online game playing and it’s no longer the preserve of the nerdy teenagers as it was the 1990s. It’s helped by the fact that those same nerdy ’90s kids are now adults with jobs and spare time to spend online. It’s not outside of their comfort zone to converse and hang-out socially online. Technology is also developing extremely fast and new technologies allow users more realistic experiences which helps foster adoption too.

In the last years, by the rapid developments in technologies such as in faster graphic cards technology, multi-core CPUs, better internet connection speeds, and faster servers, new technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), 5G technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and more; the Metaverse has emerged as perhaps the second iteration of the Internet, supporting persistent online 3-D virtual environments, 3D worlds through conventional personal computing. Facebook’s Marc Zuckerburg certainly thinks so and he’s in good company with many other tech investors sinking funds into the concept of a blended virtual universe.

Will there be only one Metaverse?

I don’t think there will be a single metaverse that includes all users any more than there is one word processor, TV streaking service, or donut shop. We will see many examples (as it started early by games), but some significant brands with capable applications may be able to execute on their plans and, if they get it right, capture significant market share. Better graphics, better effects, better user goodwill, are key to be popularity. Brands that support these kinds of projects can be also help promote an image of being current to the times and trends – but the vision and the user experience are much more important. For example, we have a lot of improvements and news on the VR Technologies with great brand supports on both device and software side but still they are not popular enough because of some restrictions with the real environment.

How does the Metaverse work in programming?

From a programmer’s point of view, The Metaverse is software combined with a comprehensive set of data that is used to simulate a digital environment where the users can interact with each other and manipulate the database within in the physics assumed. User interactions can be done by classic devices such as desktops, laptops, cellphones, and this experience can be enhanced by other peripheral devices such as sensors, VR headsets, wearable other digital contents, 3D holographic displays, etc. That means, a Metaverse needs to be developed as a software program and it should have a database that can be manipulated and grown by developers and users. This database may hold all the environmental data such as world shape in 2D or 3D polygons, characters, textures, audios, blob objects, any file formats and streams.

Here is a schematic view of the simplified Metaverse system:

In this slide, the green area contains the whole metaverse data which is stored on the server-side and can be used by developers and other users. The graphical display can be directly produced in code or via 3rd party graphical engines like Viewport3D, OpenGL, or other game engines such as Unity. User interactions can be captured by physical devices, by VR devices, or by other devices with sensors.

Which programming language is best to use to build a Metaverse implementation?

Actually, many programming languages can be used to develop and build your own Metaverse. On the other hand, you need to use the CPU and GPU of the device natively, sensors of the device that runs the application, and other peripheral devices for the user interactions, camera, microphone, audio, and maybe touch displays in an efficient way. Efficient usage with the large scale of all those things can be done by the compiled programming language. For professional, full speed development, C++ Builder and Delphi can be used with their support for parallel programming and multi-tasking features, 3D OpenGL support, Viewport3D features, Effects, Animations, Camera, and Sensor usage abilities, and the other 3D and 2D support for the Multi-Device applications. The C++ programming language is very powerful in all areas and super-fast. It is also well known among professional developers. Server and socket connection can be done, both Client and Server-side models can be developed for databases. Other 3D Engines like Direct-X, Unity3D, Unreal Engine, Vulkan 3D cross-platform, and Lumberyard can be used to design 3D environments.

C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs.

There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups; it can be downloaded from here. For professional developers, there are Professional, Architect, or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder and there is a trial version you can download from here.

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 35+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and some other operating systems. He graduated and received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University. He is the founder and CEO of ESENJA LLC Company. His interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Artificial Intelligence, 2D & 3D Designs, and high-end innovations.
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