Welcome to the second Developer Update for 2024! It’s January
18 19 2024!
Yesterday we put out a video developer update, which you can find below:
We still plan to do them! They aren’t going anywhere, likewise we intend to do them every two weeks as we always have.
We should’ve! Our apologies (especially to the non-English speaking community that relies on it for translation purposes).
You can find it below:
I’d like to briefly talk about improving our communication overall with the creator community.
Last month, before we went on break, a series of unfortunate events happened due to bad planning on our part.
This meant that we pushed out an SDK without enough communication in a way that was extremely rushed. This confused creators, created a lot of problems for those making tools for our SDK, and just generally left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
It also brought up a lot of previous pain points creators have faced: in short, a lot of y’all who are building the bedrock of VRChat don’t feel like you’re being listened to. We’d like to change that.
We asked the community for some feedback in regard to this, and we got a lot of very useful responses. While we’ still got to talk internally about some changes we’d like to implement to make things better, something we’re going to be doing in the next week or two is re-organizing the VRChat Ask forums.
We’d like to make them more inviting for creators, and we’d also like to make them more of a two-way channel. While we can’t promise we’ll be engaging with every post, we want to make sure that we’re active and participating, engaging with creators who likely don’t feel heard right now. In short: you’ll probably see me posting a lot on there, along with other members of the community team.
We’d like to post SDK update discussions there, as well as establishing a place where creators both new and old can house knowledge.
So yeah – look out for that! We’ll likely have more improvements soon, too, but we’ve gotta do some planning first. Speaking of…
Yeah! We were supposed to talk about creator stuff today, specifically about what’s next for the Creator Economy.
So – let’s talk about what’s coming next!
First, I wanted to answer one of the biggest questions we’ve been hearing from creators:
Okay, fine. The answer is… soon! Specifically, we’re going to be doing two things to bring people into the system. First, we’ll start hand-picking folks based on data over the next few months. In addition to that, sometime before the end of February, we’ll be putting on some sort of application form or process for folks to opt in for consideration.
We expect to gradually expand the system from there.
Two of the biggest requests we’ve heard from creators is the addition of both one-time purchases and automatic subscriptions…
We’re doing both of these.
One-time purchases are really important for a number of reasons – they essentially enable the ability to purchase stuff outside of a group environment. That’s something we think will be very helpful for creators, so we want to try to get that in for them.
Subscriptions are also very useful for creators. Confusingly, our system doesn’t really have “automatic” subscriptions. You can purchase multiple months, but you can’t set up a recurring subscription. We’d like to add that in, too.
…and that’s all we’re ready to commit to, for now!
But rather than just leave things there and tell you to come back next month for more info – which, by the way, we’ll be doing this again next month – I’d like to explain why. Part of my goal this year as Communications Lead is to be a bit more transparent about what we’re doing and what plans are, even when things don’t quite work out.
So, right now – in January – we’re doing our planning for the rest of the year. Essentially, every year we set out some big goals for the whole team to achieve. Last year, as you can imagine, those goals included expanding to more platforms and launching the Creator Economy. This year, what those goals are remains to be seen.
Planning isn’t something we’ve always been the best at yet, and so we try to experiment a bit every year to get things more organized – and to make sure we’re working on things that are relevant to both us as a business and the community. In the past, we’ve sometimes spent too much time working on things that aren’t a really good fit for either. That sucks – and so we’re trying to use data to guide us a little bit more.
In short, we’re trying to find things that move the needle for us. What gets people making more stuff? What makes people stick around in VRChat longer? What prevents newbies from finding friends? What isn’t working about VRChat Plus? A lot of these questions have many answers – and as you can imagine, figuring out what problems to focus on and how is a big deal.
So that’s what we’re doing. As part of that, a lot of past planning has been put on hold, which means that discussing something like the Creator Economy right now might be premature. I certainly don’t want to come out and say we’re going to be working on A or B features when it’ll actually turn out to be X or Y.
Once that planning is done, we should have a better idea of what our plans look like this year, and can share more precise information about what’s coming next.
With that said – we’d like to give the community another video Developer Update, in February!
Specifically, February 22!
(Post-video clarification: Even though I’ve posted it above, I want to be really clear here: this is for the video – the next text Developer Update will be two weeks from now, as usual!)
On that date, we’ll have another Developer Update where we’ll talk about what’s coming next. It’s likely that it might be a big one, as we’ll want to talk about what’s next for the Creator Economy, as well as what’s next in general for VRChat.
That’s it for this Dev Update!
Our next update is scheduled for February 1, 2024. As mentioned above, we’re currently still very much in planning mode right now, so hopefully we should have significantly more to talk about then.