Rec Room Building Optional Full-Body Avatars
Rec Room has revealed that it is currently developing full-body avatars although these won’t be replacing the existing floating beans.
Rec Room was launched in 2016 and has had avatars without functioning legs and arms. In a recent blog post, it says that it is now embracing “the best practices for VR” while still ensuring the avatars are charming and approachable and avoiding the uncanny valley effect. The blog post states that Rec Room has put together a small team dubbed the “Avatar Initiative” charged with developing full-body avatars. According to the studio, this allows for better tracking of movements in virtual reality. The studio says the changes will also make Rec Room “more understandable” when you share it with friends.
At the end of last year, we assembled a small team called the "Avatar Initiative" to take the next step towards full-body avatars.https://t.co/H9ZMCbbB9T pic.twitter.com/oyYA97sQ5m
— Shawn Whiting (@ShawnRecRoom) January 25, 2023
It is important to keep in mind that it will not be mandatory to adopt the full-body avatar. Users have the option of choosing a new full-body avatar or remaining as a floating bean. The team says they are going to “work hard” to avoid changing the look of the avatars for users. The team also confirmed that there will be full-body avatar support for all existing items as well as outfits. Rec Room hasn’t provided a release date for the full-body avatars but it said it would be sharing its progress as it builds the new functionality to allow players to offer feedback.
Rec Room isn’t the only platform incorporating full-body avatars. Horizon Worlds has also followed a similar step. At the annual Meta Connect event in October last year, Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that Horizons will add third-person legs later in 2023. Meta demoed this at the event with motion capture technology rather than live VR.
Rec Room is already available on a number of virtual reality platforms including PC VR, PSVR, Meta Quest as well as the Pico platforms. On Quest, juniors can’t use the app.
There are also flatscreen editions of the app on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, Android, and iOS platforms and there is cross-progression support.