Great news you want to work on it @awonnink! In case you or anyone want to talk on Discord about this, add me as
DaniGA#9856. Also as @forerunrun says, I’m willing to help if you share the repository or with anything.
@forerunrun I think it’s impossible today to expect with details how the blockchain part will work for metaverses. Ethereum (the main blockchain for NFTs) is going to change this year (hopefully) lunching Ethereum 2, and the common tokens ERC721 and ERC1155 are too simple for build all the NFT industry above it, makes it too complex to develop advanced things and makes it very difficult for others to use your implementation as a standard. These standards are based on the idea of leave the metadata elsewhere and contracts must know how to interpret that json (meaning that you can host your metadata on centralized sites as Drive or Dropbox, so it’s not the most decentralized solution to build on top of it a whole industry). There are better alternatives within EVM (I put the ethereum virtual machine as a reference because all other blockchains want to be interoperable with EVM) but this issue is on standby since ETH developers are focused on the merge, sharding, rollups…(ETH2). Ethereum’s plan is to stop using Ethereum 1 (the current chain) because it will become increasingly expensive, the next version will be layer 2-centric. It is reasonable to think that after that, there will be a new wave of protocols/standards, for example, it is possible that we will not connect with a wallet on web3 sites but with a blockchain profile, where we have our assets in several wallets and we choose permissions to external smart contracts about what to do with assets (for instance, ERC725 it’s fucking epic). So, I mean, is too early to be worth focusing on the web3 part IMO for metaverses, it is very likely that if you work there it will be obsolete quickly. This does not detract from the fact that the first implementation of NFT avatars will be using ERC721 (each company is likely to release its own version first and eventually standardize), but I don’t think it is their long future.
Anyway, one can use web3.js or ether.js together with metamask to ask the person whether to connect their wallet to the site to see their NFTs. Then with that tokenID you can query the tokenURL where their metadata is stored (name, description, image…) and do whatever you want with it. There are several NFT galleries in 2d web that instead of an image, allow you to put an html/js (in a sandboxed iframe, without external calls), which would be what you should use for three.js based NFTs, I think.
In fact, this thread comes from that exploration I started a few months ago, doing procedural/interactive/generative NFTs. However, even if it is 2d artwork, galleries like oncyber.io or spatial.io do not yet run these html-based NFTs, their limit is to run gifs or videos for the moment. So I started talking to their developers to try to move things along, and the answer was always yes we want to but I didn’t get the impression that they saw it as a priority at all, but they know generative art, so it’s a matter of time. However I got tired waiting and started looking for the solution on my own and my conclusion was that I need help, and here I am!
I would focus on personal/branded webspaces, like your webpage but as a 3d space (where you can walk virtually). I want to learn A-frame for this. And in there, to create a way to include 3d scenes. The target audience of NFTs galleries is not programmers but common people. Developers will find that they cannot customize the scenery and in order not to have something “default” you have to pay too much money for a scenery NFT to customize your space. Then developers/creative coders will start creating their own webspaces (mainly as a gallery/portfolio using web3 commerce/tokenomics) and this will end up in influencers and brands having their custom version as well. Once webspaces are here, next step would be to make it multiplayer, so each viewer is in the same session at the same time (so a web-space-time?). Then you will have your personal metaverse. And yes, there’s a huge business opportunity for developers here.
At that point it makes sense to talk seriously about how to standardize avatars. But at the moment, there’s not even much avatar-ready hardware out there (with facial gesture/body recognition), although Facebook is supposed to bring this out this year with their Cambria project. The point is that until that hardware is massified (in the early adopters market), avatars are not going to be relevant. Once you can see each other’s laughter in VR with some kind of realism, NFT avatars are going to explode in popularity. This will be a fascinating year for anyone interested in these topics