The Future of VR roleplay: Aeksia

Bucky

Bucky

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Hey there everyone! Thanks for coming and reading our first blog post! I’m Bucky, the lead developer here at Strawberry Fields Interactive (SFI). I work to bring Aeksia to life using Unity 3D with the rest of the development team. In my spare time, I am an avid gamer, streamer, and role player across many platforms.

I originally got started in virtual reality (VR) after getting a Rift CV1 as a gift for Christmas of 2017. I sunk hours into games like Pavlov, Boneworks, and VRChat while learning how to 3D model, animate, texture and rig characters through the help of the friends I made in VR. Those friendships eventually became a great network for me to learn and socialize with, and it continues to grow today.  

How did I get into VR and RP?

As a drama kid and aspiring actor, one of my favourite parts about VR was the ability to become a character in such an immersive way and the freedom that came with acting in a virtual world. Understandably, some of my first experiences with RP came from random encounters with other players in the early days of VRChat. One night I could be Cole Cassidy from Overwatch, the next a Halo Spartan. It really was a playground of different improv opportunities. This all changed when I met the people behind KRWBY. This was the first group of friends I had made that had a plan around how they wanted to interact and did their best to fully act out their own abridged version of their favourite show and eventually started recording those interactions to share as their own show on YouTube. While the VRChat RP community was pretty small and dedicated back then, it began to grow with the success and popularity of various twitch streamers and YouTubers. You can find a Lore and history of the various groups on VRChat Legends. With that said, the page is an open wiki, so some entries may be inaccurate or out of date.

 

Speaking of Legends in the VR community, I had the chance to interview Oblivious (BR-16 from Neon Divide), the head of the Aegis RP group, and long-time VRChat RP Community member.

Bucky: What is your definition of VR RP? 

Oblivious: “Well, it is very much just Virtual Larp. In the same way with larping, you get an outfit, you get some props and find a space to work with, then get some friends and tell a story with it. But in VR your character becomes your avatar, your props are what you attach to your avatar and the special effects and animations and the space you play in is the world you’ve got, whether one you created or found. The only thing that doesn’t change is your friends”

Bucky: What keeps bringing you back to VR RP?

Oblivious: “It’s the characters, I love the characters I play, the stories they tell, the emotions that they experience that I can kinda vicariously experience along with them, and the things it teaches me. I have learned a number of things about not just other people, but also myself, from these characters, and I think that’s really important.”

Bucky: Where do you see the future of VR RP and RPG’s going? 

Oblivious: “VR roleplay is already such a new thing that it’s hard to predict where it will go, when it happened, it seemed natural, and it works. Looking into the future will be quite difficult, but we will see the proliferation of more community tools for the RP community to create their own systems and games. We will continue to see the community grow and improve alongside those tools and systems.”

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VRRP Community and its place in Aeksia

Across all the different mediums I have acted and RP’d on, I’ve noticed that the community is what brings me back more than any of the gameplay. The people that bring life and diversity and passion to their community are why these communities continue to thrive and why I continue to get involved.

While we work on developing Aeksia, we have been planning out what some of our social interactions will look like and how our platform will help promote the creation of a thriving community as well as accommodate existing communities. One of the most exciting things we have planned is creating a communal environment where there is a focus on meeting other players, sharing knowledge, and getting together to celebrate what makes them passionate. 

This communal environment will have a variety of different areas players can explore and engage in. Such as unique tables to go to play their own TTRPG’s, Open areas for RP, Marketplaces for sharing assets and knowledge, and so many more. We want to encourage players to create a self-sustaining community by teaching others as they enter the game and giving them the tools they need to create their own resources to use in-game. Aeksia aims to become a platform for storytellers and content creators. Whether it’s DM’s or players, we are creating a space for people to take creative freedom in their storytelling and use the tools we have provided to craft incredible experiences for the community to enjoy. Players will be able to craft their own avatars, maps, and items, and our marketplace will allow them to open up shop to sell and share their creations with the community. We want to encourage and reward the effort that community members put into creating content for Aeksia’s community.

But until then, you can find me over on the Aeksia Discord, Twitter, and by following our Kickstarter page where you can keep up to date on our progress in building Aeksia. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the days to come.

This is Bucky, signing off.