What Is Somnium Space? — A Compelling Deep Dive Into This Immersive “Ready Player One” Metaverse
written by Robin Prock
“Going outside is highly overrated.”
That’s how James Halliday — the inventor of the Oasis — saw it. In “Ready Player One” he is the one who bestows the metaverse upon the beleaguered humanity.
In there you can take any shape or form — dragon, vampire, human, it doesn’t matter! — you complete missions, collect valuable artifacts, earn money, meet your friends, smell, feel and sense a vibrant digital world…
…so much so that most players never want to take off their headsets again. Somnium Space wants to create a world like that — a world where you can truly say: “Yes, going outside is highly overrated!”
But how deep can you already dive into Somnium? What is the vision of the team? What is technically possible? How do you make money in this blockchain metaverse — with NFTs, land, and valuable coins? And of course, how do we, MetaGameHub DAO, invest in this metaverse?
Let’s find out:
Ready… Player… One…
1. “Ready Player One” in the here and now — what is the jaw-dropping vision of Somnium Space?
When you enter the Oasis, you feel like a child visiting Disneyland for the first time — but there was one serious problem: The Oasis was centralized.
So centralized, in fact, that the plot of Ready Player One revolved around only one thing: Who will win control of the Oasis?
In Somnium Space’s Metaverse, this won’t happen. While Somnium is still centralized — the team runs the servers and makes the decisions — the users own their assets, and they determine what the metaverse looks like. With their games, with their land.
This is the vision behind Somnium:
- The goal is to create an open, social and persistent (you can’t pause it) virtual reality world, secured by the blockchain.
- Everyone should be able to buy land and build on it — with games, hubs, concert halls…
- Everyone should own their avatar and items as NFTs.
- And everyone should be able to monetize their Experiences to make money.
- It is the next level of communication, e-commerce, and entertainment…
…and one technology (besides blockchain) is supposed to make this vision possible:
2. How you can experience the Somnium Space — The technology behind this immersive Metaverse
MGH’s Metaverse Development Team has experienced it first hand:
A live concert in Somnium Space.
Singing, an avatar stood on stage, the music resounded clearly through the headset and a small horde of avatars watched the singer — some motionless like a windless sea, others fidgeting and dancing like Michael Jackson.
The technology that makes this possible? VR! — Because Somnium is a “VR-first metaverse:”
- It supports all popular PC VR headsets — so from VALVE, Oculus, HTC VIVE, HP, and all Windows mixed reality headsets. It allows full-body tracking, finger tracking, and lip and eye tracking.
- You can download the VR client for free via Steam or the Somnium website.
- Likewise, you can immerse yourself in Somnium Space with your mobile phone, laptop, or tablet, using SomniumWeb directly from the browser. VR is also supported here. However, with the web client, you can only see the land you are on. Only with the VR client the whole world.
- Construct fancy buildings, statues, castles… whatever comes to your mind with the Builder Tool on your land or test land — without having to code or attend a 3D modeling Bootcamp.
- Developers with more experience can use the “Unity SDK”. With it, they can upload full-body avatars, design elaborate scenes, insert animations — and finally drag and drop everything onto their land… like a coffee cup onto the kitchen table.
- Somnium’s high-performance servers allow thousands of players to sink into this world simultaneously — without being cut off by annoying loading bars.
- Later, you shall also feel, smell, maybe even taste at some point, because Somnium is working on integrating multisensory masks…
…VR is the technology breathing life into this world. But every digital world needs an engine to drive it — an economy that gives value to the users and thus connects them emotionally to this world. How did Somnium solve that?
3. Trade, play, and build in the Metaverse — Join the Somnium Space VR Economy
In Ready Player One, you had action, fun, mountain climbing with Batman — yet the economics behind it remained “unanimated.”
So what drives a VR metaverse? Somnium has found an answer in CUBE and versatile NFTs:
The Currency of Somnium Space: CUBE
CUBE is an ERC-20 token that is limited to a maximum of 100,000,000 tokens. It is the sole means of payment in Somnium; and you use it, for example, to:
- Buy and rent Land,
- Pay for avatars or wearables,
- Get tickets for Experiences (a live concert)
- Or pay for means of transport — for example, for a car or a teleporter…
…and everything is peer-to-peer!
If you meet another player on the Somnium sidewalk, you can immediately buy his avatar, his land, his T-shirt — without going through a marketplace.
And don’t be afraid of too high gas fees! Somnium Space also runs on Polygon, so you pay almost nothing for a transaction.
Still, an economy doesn’t live on tokens alone, but on things, you can buy with them. So what NFTs does Somnium Space have in its VR showcase?
The Stunning NFTs in Somnium Space
- Land: Like any blockchain metaverse, you can buy land in Somnium Space. Think of it like real land, where you have your blockchain house, your blockchain garden fence, and your blockchain doghouse… or something cool like a concert hall, a paintball world…
…of course, even in Somnium Space, the land is not unlimited — otherwise, it would be nearly worthless. It is limited to 5,025 parcels, of which about 53 percent are still owned by Somnium.
The land sizes are:
- S (200m², height limit: 10m)
- M (600m², height limit: 25m)
- XL (1500m², height limit: 50m)
MGH has snagged a large XL land for our Metaverse development. Find out what we’re planning to do with it below.
First, however, the remaining NFTs:
- Somnium WORLDS: With Somnium WORLDs and Somnium Unity SDK you can design your own games, with their own economy, with their own physics. You decide if players shoot, fly, run… if they explore an alien planet, a prison island, Atlantis? This game instance is represented by a WORLD NFT. So you can instantly trade your game peer-to-peer if you want to. And one more thing:
Somnium WORLDS come in three sizes:
- S = 75 MB
- M = 200 MB
- XL = 500 MB
The size describes the amount of space you are allocated on Somnium’s secure servers. Other NFTs from Somnium are:
- Wearables: This is “cosmetics” for your avatar. Maybe a jacket, a hairstyle, shoes. Like in a “wearables booth” you can display your creations on your land and offer them for sale.
- Tickets: In “John Carpenter’s They Live”, aliens live among us — disguised as old ladies, policemen, construction workers. Only with special sunglasses, you could see their true form. Tickets work in a similar — but less creepy — way: they are your entrance to a concert or an experience. Only players with tickets can see and hear the experience. For the others, they are invisible like the aliens without sunglasses.
- Means of transport: Players run through the world at 4 mph. Clearly too slow! That’s why you can rent a car or use a private/public teleporter to reach your destination faster. You can create these cars or teleporters yourself and monetize them…
So, Somnium Space is a VR metaverse with an appealing Sims look, where you can buy land, create games and experience fantastic Experiences.
Like in the Oasis.
However, there is one problem:
So far, Somnium Space is a vast but empty world. The fan base is small but loyal. For example, only 10 to 20 players come to daily meetings and events.
Why is that? Why is Somnium Space still “under-visited” even though it’s the closest thing to a “Ready Player One” experience?
We could identify 5 decisive reasons:
4. Why is Somnium Space a VR party no one wants to go to (so far)?
- Missing Network Effects: According to Metcalfe’s Law, the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users. The more users, the more valuable the network. Why? You can meet more interesting people; there are more developers building outstanding games, you can buy more, consume more, experience more… this is missing in Somnium Space so far. Few users attract few users.
- Hardly any partnerships: The Sandbox can boast Snoop Dogg, Walking Dead, Bored Apes, CyberKongz… these attention magnets are missing in Somnium. True, Somnium has partnerships with Sony or the Blockchain Gaming Alliance — but with no well-known brands developing an exciting world. And that leads us directly to the next point:
- Tough competition: What do you think of first when you hear Metaverse on the blockchain? Probably Decentraland or The Sandbox. Somnium Space is also one of the “big four” along with Cryptovoxels, but is often overshadowed by its competitors.
- VR is still a niche: For almost twenty years now, people have been saying that VR is the future. A future that is late like a delayed train. Why? It’s still comparatively expensive; there’s no “blockbuster game” yet that has catapulted it into the mainstream; the headsets are still largely clunky and unwieldy; and lastly, you have to take your headset off every 30 to 60 minutes because otherwise, your head will spin like a pinwheel.
- VR Optimization: Precisely because Somnium Space is optimized for VR, your experience isn’t quite convincing without VR. On a mobile phone or laptop, the controls are a bit awkward — and you won’t dive as deep as you would with a VR headset…
…nevertheless, we believe in Somnium Space for the long term, otherwise, we would not have bought an XL land:
5. How MGH is investing in Somnium Space
Just as a leitmotif runs through an opera, our mission runs through everything we do: Navigating through the open Metaverse together!
In the same way, we will navigate with our community through Somnium Space. For this, we have bought an XL land and a Somnium WORLD NFT in the medium size (200MB).
As you read this, our amazing MetaDev team is doggedly building an MGH community hub — a central meeting place for the MGH DAO in Somnium Space.
There you will be able to participate in an immersive VR experience in meetups, AMAs, events… be surprised by what we have planned and what this world will look like!
6. Conclusion: What’s going on in SomniumSpace?
The text began with the quote, “Going outside is highly overrated.”
That’s where every metaverse wants to go — we own, play, interact, work and socialize digitally. And it is more incredible than the real world.
Somnium Space wants to be such a metaverse. With VR, haptic suits, and later multisensory masks, you should feel, experience, and savor the digital world.
There you can meet your friends, play exciting games, go to live concerts, buy land, develop land, and trade peer-to-peer with others.
However, Somnium Space is still a party that hardly anyone goes to.
But the possibilities are there. And as soon as VR takes off into the mainstream, so might Somnium Space.
At MGH, we believe in this, which is why we are building one of our MGH Hubs on our Somnium land.
Be curious about what awaits you there!
How Can You Stay up to Date and Keep in Touch with MGH?
- If you want more information about MGH, visit our Website
- For a sharpshooter-like view over the whole project, read our Whitepaper.
- Work together with us in a Working Group.
- Follow us on Twitter.
- Follow us on Instagram
- Check out MGH on LinkedIn.
- Discuss, write, and celebrate with us on Telegram.
- Talk, laugh, and enjoy the time on Discord.
At MGH we bring together DeFi, Data, and the Metaverse by following one core principle: “Navigating through the Open Metaverse together”. We accomplish this in four clearly defined steps:
- DAO Governed LANDs: MGH DAO collaboratively acquires, populates, and monetizes LANDs and respective in-game assets.
- Valuation Algorithm: Our Valuation Algorithm allows fair pricing for LANDs and will be gradually adopted to more Metaverse Assets.
- Dataverse Tools: MGH DAO is developing intuitive data tools which can be leveraged by users and ecosystems alike.
- Intuitive Metaverse d’Apps: Use MGH DAO’s tools to navigate through the Metaverse and leverage MetaFi.