Most well developed VR platforms have their niche and AltSpace is no different. For a while now, AltSpace has seen slow growth. They were acquired by Microsoft years ago, but since then, they haven’t seen much success. Regardless, I believe there are some scenarios that play better on Altspace, than on other VR platforms.
Great Uses for AltSpace
AltSpace advertises itself as a platform for large events. This is what they do best. Their platform can handle large amounts of players in a single environment. The world owner gets access to awesome presentation tools that can be customized and developed in app. The platform also runs well on Quest, which makes it very accessible.
The second great use for AltSpace falls under the same category of events. I believe AltSpace is an awesome platform to host experiences targeted to new VR users. A lot of people can access the app using their Microsoft account. It is accessible on PCVR, desktop, and Quest. New players can create avatars in game, making it easy to get started. And finally, you can offer a room code to make it easy for new players to join a specific world.
How to Build a AltSpace World
I first learned how to build on AltSpace a couple years ago. Since then, Microsoft has updated their documentation and have made it very easy to upload content. The documentation is a very good resource for building in AltSpace. You will need the Unity uploader and other plugins linked in the documentation.
I created a video tutorial showing how to upload VR.Space content to AltSpace. I followed along with the documentation, so the video isn’t necessary to learn how to upload content. The documentation, as it stands today, is definitely more than sufficient. Below the video embed, I will discuss a bit about AltSpace world creation.
Altspace content is organized into three categories. You have Universes, Worlds, and Templates. You can think of a Universe as a folder that contains a group of worlds you’ve created. You can have multiple Universes if you choose. The World is the actual space you load into. A Template is the actual uploaded content.
Creating a world is easy and you can do it from the AltSpace website. First you create a Universe. Select your Universe and choose create world. In the world options, you must choose a world Template. Select the template and finish the world creation form, then you are done! The world is created and you can join it.
When it comes to creating a custom world, what you are making is actually a custom template. You upload content to AltSpace as a Template. Once the Template is made and uploaded, you can create a world and choose that custom Template.
To create a custom Template, you must use the proper unity version that AltSpace runs on and you must use the Unity Uploader, provided by Microsoft. All of this is provided in the documentation. After you import the Unity Uploader, you will see the AltSpaceVR category, in the taskbar, at the top. You can use the options in this category to access the plugin window. In this window, you will be able to upload your AltSpace Template.
On the website, you must create a Template. In the plugin, you will choose the template (created on the website), and you will choose the Unity Scene you want to upload. Choose the platforms and press “Build & Upload”.
The documentation and my video tutorial offer more details on uploading content to AltSpace.