Several developers around the world are all chasing the dream of delivering the first social VR MMO space to really hit mass adoption. Against Gravity have gotten close with Rec Room, but it’s less of an MMO and more of a VR lobby for multiple games and custom “rooms” for people to visit, similar to Altspace. High Fidelity, VRChat, Sinespace, and Sansar are all closer to the idea of what a de facto VR MMO hub might look like, while others such as Meta World are still toiling away in development. Now, Hypatia is about to enter the ring.
Today, TimefireVR are announcing that their persistent “virtual city” that’s “shaped by the imagination of its residents” named Hypatia is set to launch its full Grand Opening tomorrow, August 28th. It seems to garner inspiration from established principles in experiences such as Second Life and the aforementioned existing VR communities. Previously it was listed on Steam in Early Access with a price tag, but now the Grand Opening is shifting to a free-to-play model. You’re advised not to purchase that version since it will be free as of tomorrow.
Reportedly the developers have a major focus on the shared world experience rather than “isolated activities.” For example, “citizens” as they’re described can paint, sculpt, and animate art pieces, perform plays, take photos, and much more within the living world.
Instead of queuing up for a separate instance to partake in a mini game, you’d instead go visit a building inside the world that houses the activity. When you race boats between islands or visit zero-gravity shopping malls, you do so within the dynamic world.
With this launch there will also be several landmarks around the city that citizens are encouraged to explore, such as the Centrum main hub and social space, the Mango Shopping Story with lots of toys and tools, Sprite Park, thee Creative Art Studio, Theater Du Nul, and much more.
We’re waiting until launch to dive in for ourselves and offer hands-on impressions, but so far it sounds pretty similar to what’s being done in other social VR worlds. However, a major focus on keeping things dynamic and collaborative while specifically targeting VR could help set it apart.
Hypatia officially launches via its Grand Opening tomorrow, August 28th, on both Steam and Oculus Home for Vive and Rift and will also feature non-VR support. You can follow the game on Twitter and Facebook for more details.