This is my personal avatar created with Viverse web tools. Picture: HTC.
Already pre-ordered the HTC VIVE XR Elite? Or maybe you’re still hesitant and want to try out what the HTC VIVE headset and the platform as a whole has to offer? Either way, you’re in luck. Until the new product reaches customers in late February or early March, you can already play the company’s own version of the metaverse: the HTC Viverse.
HTC introduced Viverse at the launch of the VIVE XR Elite, showcasing a metaverse designed to be easily customizable by its user, from your immediate environment to an avatar that represents you. This new universe is still in its infancy, but you can already start preparing to enter VR by visiting the Viverse website.
We’ll quickly guide you through setting up your first avatar, entering your first world, and experiencing the reality that the HTC VIVE XR Elite will reveal to you when it finally arrives at your home.
How to create your own avatar?
The easiest way to create your avatar is to use HTC’s web tools, which allow you to complete this task entirely within a web browser. Picture: HTC.
One of the characteristics of Viverse is its openness. To that end, HTC offers several ways to create or import an avatar to represent you on Viverse.
More traditionally, you can use the web tools provided by HTC through a familiar character builder-like interface (see top of this page) to create a full avatar (no floating torsos here).
If the slightly “cartoonish” look of the resulting avatars seems too unrealistic to you, you can also use the HTC VIVE Avatar Creator app, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Keep in mind that the most realistic avatars created by the app are based on a photo you took yourself. You can also customize your avatar with clothes, hairstyles, and accessories just like you would with the web tools.
You can also download a VRM file (accepted on several VR platforms) that allows you to make your avatar look like a hyper-realistic or cartoon character. Photo: HTC.
Finally, the creation method that is potentially the most exciting is HTC’s support for downloading the VRM file. This file type is a cross-platform container for your avatar. It can be transferred from many other existing virtual and augmented reality platforms such as VRChat, various Vtuber streaming tools (to hide your face), creation apps such as VR Studio, and even some web games. The possibilities for the appearance, size and behavior of your avatar are almost limitless thanks to the many tools for creating and editing avatars in this VRM format.
You can preview your look before you complete it and move on to the next step, signing in to HTC Viverse for the first time. Picture: HTC.
Once you’ve decided which method you want to use and you’re happy with how you look (don’t worry, you can always change or replace your avatar later), you can move on to the next step: enter your first Viverse. Peace.
Sign in to Veevers
Different worlds are available dedicated to certain sports, movies, shows and brands. Picture: HTC.
Despite HTC’s promise to enter these Viverse worlds by getting up close, wearing a helmet, approaching windows and drawings, and then crossing them to switch sides, the process is even more banal so far.
There are several ways to find a world to explore, but the easiest way to get started is to go to your avatar page and click the “Explore Worlds” button below your avatar.
You will see a list of available worlds created by professional users and individuals. Clicking on any of them will cause the world to load after a short wait, allowing you to walk around and interact with all the elements with a keyboard and mouse that should be familiar to any gamer. These same worlds can be explored much more naturally with VIVE XR Elite or another VIVE-enabled headset.
I never managed to wake him up, and maybe for the better. Photo: HTC.
The quality of one or another corner of Viverse can vary quite a lot, even when a big brand is attached to one of them.
One of the best places I found during my short stay was a world called “Underworld Hotel”, a tiny Japanese inn populated by several interesting characters such as a giant innkeeper and Casa-Obake, another hopping character on his single leg .
Such worlds usually contain things that may not be officially licensed. Picture: HTC.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are worlds that appear to be just rooms populated by a variety of well-known inanimate characters. For example, this world called “Chamber of Time”, which features various characters and locations from Dragon Ball Z at different scales. Interesting for a minute or two to explore, but certainly doesn’t push the boundaries of what the Viverse is capable of.
Create your own world
There is a lot of space and an entire floor that can be filled with furniture, interactive objects and even portals to other worlds. Photo: HTC.
Luckily, if you’re not happy with the options available, you can simply create your own world. When you sign up for Viverse, you get a free “starter world”. Currently, you can choose from three main templates, which can then be populated with items that HTC makes available to all users, as well as imported assets from other sources.
Of course, the more time you are willing to devote to it, the more complex your world can become. In this case, the phrase “the only limit is your imagination” is rarely so relevant.