Developer Update - 18 January 2024

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:

Wait, are you not doing text updates anymore???

We still plan to do them! They aren’t going anywhere, likewise we intend to do them every two weeks as we always have.

Why didn’t a text update go out yesterday, then?

We should’ve! Our apologies (especially to the non-English speaking community that relies on it for translation purposes).

You can find it below:

Developer Update Video Transcript

On Communication with Creators

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…

What’s Next for the Creator Economy?

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:

When can I start selling?

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!

Transparency and a Look Behind the Curtain

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.

The Next Video Update

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.

Lookin’ Ahead

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.

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Though we fully understand that not all comments can be replied to. I sometimes feel like more popular users get more replies than others.

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Thank you for posting the text update!

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We try to respond to everyone! Sorry if it seems like we miss out. One of our goals this year is to be better at communicating, so you’ll see us around a little more often. Hopefully that fills some of the gaps.

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Will you ever consider renaming the avatar performance ranking system so it can be better understood globally between mobile/quest/PC players/platforms?

Instead of having it be:

  • PC: Excellent / good / medium / poor / Very poor
  • Quest: Excellent / good / medium / poor / Very poor
  • Mobile: (same as quest but no Very poor)

Have it be global between everyone, and just specify what (mobile/quest/PC) users can see up to.

  • Global: Phenomenal / Excellent / Great / Good / Okay / Average / Medium / Moderate / Poor / Very poor
  • Pc: Very poor + .
  • Quest: Poor and under.
  • Mobile: Good and under.

(just to compare to the current names; Phenomenal is “Excellent” for quest; Okey is “very poor” for quest; Average if “excellent” for pc e.t.c… )

It would make it easier/clearer for:
1: Event hosts; allowing them to enforce a maximum avatar performance, without having to worry about quest users seeing different ranks to pc users, and pc users having to tell quest users what the rank of their avatar is.
1: Avatar creators; It would be easier to understand and go though all the ranks, rather than having 4 ranks with 2 different “meanings” as each other, meaning different things depending whether its (for example): “Good” (but pc) or “Good” (but quest).

There is no need to make a massive change to what the current rank stats are, just reordering a few stats to allow the new system to flow together/to one another, and change their names and in-game display rank names.

It would be super easy to make this change as it’s just changing the names of things and adjust a few stats that don’t match up between excellent(PC) and Poor(quest), and would benefit so many people! So please consider! <3

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I’m really looking forward to it! Are you maybe planning to do these big “what’s next” updates once every half a year or so ? In the past it’s always been sad to see that something gets announced but then for a year we don’t get to hear anything about it including if It’s still a planned thing or if it has been dropped, or some major issues occurred and delayed it heavily and such, we only get to know such things from knowing the devs, without any official word.

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Thanks!
Comments and interactions here are also generally higher quality when compared to Youtube comments.

I second this, would make work flow easier in some cases

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Accidentally replied to wrong post earlier

  • I don’t think that’s really possible due to how Quest/PC stuff works, There is completely different upload so I’m not sure if such system would make sense :thinking:
    Example: On PC the avatar can have 1m polygons but on Quest it can have 500 polygons
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Yes.
This makes less headache’s happen.
<3

Bottom text.

It’s not uploading the same for pc and quest, its about just the names of the ranking system. Most things would remain the exact same, the only things that would need to be altered that I can see would be “Particle Trails Enabled” and “Particle Collision Enabled”.

It would many be a visual change, nothing that would effect much uploading.

You can see the difference on the performance ranks page they have : Performance Ranks | VRChat Creation

(The ONLY downside is the fact quest users would no longer be able to view Very poor avis, but VRC has already been considering this for a while, however the system vrc has been considering is blocking Very poor(quest) not very poor(PC), which would make quest users not see 90% of avis on vrc. I’ve spoke with other creator friends, and they all say if they wanna do that, it should block very poor(pc); HOWEVER, quest users cant tell the difference between Poor(PC) and Very poor(PC), so there wouldn’t be any good way of implementing that.

However, if it was a global system like this, then they could easily do that without completely messing up creators and quest users because of the strict limitations on quests.

I hope that helps to explain it better! ^o^

This is generally a good idea, I think. I imagine a lot of overall naming conventions might have to change in the future as we stop seeing things as “Quest” and “PC” only.

With that said, the whole system is (IMO – speaking less on the team’s behalf and more my own here) too complicated and probably needs an overall larger refresh.

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Content made for android & windows content are incompatible. The content built for these platforms are completely different due to the OS & hardware differences. Android devices (Phones & Quest) have much lower specs compared to the average Windows system a VRC player uses. IMO, the disconnect makes a shared global rank unintuitive.

The perf system needs an overhaul at some point but more ranks is not the answer.
I believe a weighted % system is going to be our savior some day.

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Thank you for your quick improvement.

Though some say this update is almost empty because nothing has been decided, I don’t accept this as such.

  • make them (the VRChat Ask forums) more of a two way channel
  • engaging with creators who likely don’t feel heard right now.
  • a bit more transparent (snip) even when things don’t quite work out.

These messages are essential. I hope you will continuously do so. (I think the last one is the most critical.)

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I dont think it can really work like that because there are some cases where two avatars could have the same rank on one platform but not on the others. While you could change the way the performance rankings are determined entirely, i think a good solution for right now would be making the performance rankings available for both PC and Android on all versions of the game. In fact it would be best if the avatar stats were able to be loaded without enabling someone’s avatar. But if you can see the Quest ranking on PC and vice versa, then it will prevent people accidentally using an avatar that is super unoptimized on the other platform.

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Honestly as an avatar creator/seller, what I’d like to see with the creator economy is a way to purchase private avatars that are added to your account. Right now the only way to have a private avatar is to upload it yourself, which requires having unity, vcc, and knowing how to upload. You also could have someone else upload but that is against the TOS and dangerous. Some creators also want to sell their avatars without selling the files for them. It would be much easier if you could upload an avatar that others would be able to purchase or add to their account as a private avatar. They also should be able to be “public” or “private” in terms of availability to purchase (public, anyone can find and purchase the avatar, private, you would need a link/invite).

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It might be best to use “factual indicators”. What makes something poor or good after all. That is the sort of value that should be communicated.

So imagine a movie sight lists movies as “short, medium and long” or some place rates sounds as “quiet, medium and loud” what do they mean? Is the top speed of your car medium or fast?

I realize that there may be more than one value that goes into the computation but how much poorer is poor than good?

Seems this question a bit off but I still want to take an oppunity to ask…
When we will have Udon related feature updates? For example, persistent data save and load, custom photo saving etc.?

I’m waiting for these for so long, as we are still copying encoded string to notepad to save games, and we still need to drop the camera into a sphere to get the world generated pictures…

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Is there any update on this fix/feature? I know it was mentioned in early December that we’d hear more in the next Dev update.

This is awesome to hear, and exactly what we could hope for. Refining the functionality, ease of access, things that affect the smoothness of primary systems and UX that are used constantly (such as how many clicks it takes to join someone, and how much your eyes have to wander to find the buttons to click) is very important!


Time lost of users being on can be anything from lack of friends or content, to performance overall (there is plenty research on performance vs user retention). Though a lot of indirect things can affect this - for instance, the overuse of orange status and it’s complete lack of information as to what anyone is up to, deters people from visiting as many friends, and can lead to the sensation of boredom or loneliness, due to lack of interaction.

…How to solve this, i don’t know. I have in the past suggested having the world name and thumbnail visible but not joinable without request (no instance id visible over api) as a possible improvement, as it will provide incentive to request. Orange status is contentious to say the least, some say it’s necessity, others want to eradicate it from existence, but it is a huge issue nonetheless.