The metaverse has moved past being a buzzword to potentially becoming a trillion-dollar industry, opening up the doors to a new world of digital opportunities. From developers to 3D designers and architectures, the creation of virtual worlds and infrastructures will require the help of many professionals with skills including coding, 3D modeling and blockchain technology. Whether you already have the necessary experience or you’re looking to get started, here’s a closer look at the metaverse and ways of becoming a metaverse developer.
What Is The Metaverse?
First things, first - what is the metaverse? As the result of it being still an emerging technology, there's no widely accepted definition of the metaverse but simply the metaverse is a shared virtual space that is hyper realistic, immersive and interactive thanks to the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology. Some metaverses, like Sensorium Galaxy, will have several virtual worlds within it, where people can engage in a wide range of activities like attending music concerts or dancing the AI-driven virtual beings.
A recent survey of game developers in the United States found that over half of respondents settled on a definition that included a combination of multiple elements of technology, including virtual reality, augmented reality and video where users lived within a virtual world.
At its core, a metaverse is a mix between physical and digital that promises to be more appealing than current online infrastructures. We delved deeper into this topic in an earlier post.
What are the main responsibilities of a metaverse developer?
Designing and producing 3D assets for interactive and immersive worlds is one of the main tasks of a metaverse developer. These virtual items can range from infrastructures to games and experiences, but there’s no limitation to the creations that can be pursued inside the metaverse. Developers are responsible for building environments that run smoothly and are able to effectively integrate users into virtual experiences.
Technical Skills a Metaverse Developer Needs
Building a metaverse requires a number of technical skills, especially in connection to technologies like virtual and augmented reality as well as artificial intelligence and blockchain. This are some of the skills and tools to look at:
Software development: Fluency in software development tools is also crucial and developers can choose concrete areas of application like gaming, web or mobile development. Across all of these, developers should be knowledgeable in code architecture as well as UI/UX development, use of specific API and third-party libraries, along with security practices.
3D modeling: Creating 3D objects in the metaverse is not only essential to its expansion but also a great creative outlet for developers and users alike, who can even sell their creations as NFTs or collectibles. In this case, a developer is expected to be familiar with 3D modeling and there are multiple platforms that can be used for high quality assets, including Unreal Engine and Unity, or open source options like Blender.
AI: Artificial development skills are surely welcomed as many metaverses, including Sensorium Galaxy, host AI-based experiences and virtual beings with which users can interact. For this, a metaverse developer will typically be proficient in one or more programming language to be able to deploy AI models, including Python, C++ and R. In addition, developers should be able to work with deep learning (DL) algorithms and have experience with artificial intelligence frameworks such as TensorFlow, Caffe or PyTorch.
VR / AR: Proficiency in developing virtual and augmented content is a must for metaverse developers as users will be interacting with virtual spaces with all these technologies at their core. As such, a developer is expected to be familiar with such platforms and how they interact with wearable VR gear, for example, like Oculus, HTC Vive VR PSVR.
Besides the skills outlined above, metaverse developers will need to have creative skills and passion for understanding what kind of experiences would attract users to virtual worlds.
Careers in the metaverse for and where to find a job
The role of a metaverse developer can take many names and span different responsibilities.
As the metaverse continues entering a phase of rapid and heavy development, companies from small startups to tech giants are leaping in, making hearty investment in hiring professionals capable of developing their metaverses. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has led efforts to create the first fill fledged metaverse and being the owner of key technology like Oculus VR, it’s fair to say it has a leg up for sorts. The company has also put out Horizon Worlds, which is a preview of sorts into an upcoming metaverse.
Microsoft has focussed on virtual spaces that cater to professional and business environments, launching virtual offices for companies who want to have a space in the metaverse and use more collaborative and immersive tools for their operations. And Google too had indicated the it’s making some moves, but is yet to reveal a major metaverse project.
Besides tech giants, developers are in high demand across other platforms like Decentraland, Roblox and Axie Infinity. If you’re looking for a role in the industry, here are some of the roles you might see advertised:
- Metaverse Research Scientist
- Metaverse planner
- Blockchain expert and engineer
- Ecosystem developer
- Metaverse cyber security expert
- 3D Game designer
- Product manager
- NFT developer and strategist
You might be interested in checking out The Metaverse Jobs board for some of the hottest vacancies and industry news.
The race to develop the metaverse is only getting started, but it's heating up each passing day. As a space with immense untapped potential and innovation, there’s lots of room for growth and metaverse developers are a crucial piece of the puzzle in helping bring the metaverse to life. And demand for such professionals will only continue growing and prospects will widen as more players enter the market.