In a historic moment for sailing, we see the sport move into the Metaverse and Virtual Reality (VR) for the first time.
On February 24th 2022, Australian software development company MarineVerse launched its product on the Meta Quest store and released the first mainstream VR experience.
Since the 24th, MarineVerse has seen a large spike in users worldwide. While there are many improvements and developments in the works, the reviews have been fantastic, recording a 4.5 out of 5 user experience.
The MarineVerse experience in Virtual Reality lends itself to both ends of the sport and will provide tremendous benefits for both beginners and experienced sailors. MarineVerse founder and lead developer Greg Dziemidowicz explains.
For next-generation and prospective sailors, the user experience to make it a smoother transition from learning to sail to racing is at the forefront of importance and provides people new to the sport with different experiences including cruising and different challenges relating to sailing.
For the 1.0 release of MarineVerse Cup, the MarineVerse team goal was to create an experience that will be welcoming to the newcomers. Initial user reviews suggest that MarineVerse Cup successfully welcomed many new players to sailing:
Check out the Learn To Sail instructional videos:
How to sail upwind
How to play multiplayer
How to race in MarineVerse
How to create an avatar
As MarineVerse moves through the launch phase and recalibrates its plans, the focus is on developing the fundamentals of the game Dziemidowicz explains.
For the enthusiastic racers that want to continue honing their skills over a cold winter or during the off-season, we will continue working on improving our multiplayer racing experience, including implementing basic racing rules and tools for “protest hearings” to evaluate what happened on the racecourse, live leaderboards and race replays is a major development that is under way.
The app received a positive reception also from experienced sailors:
Several other updates are in the wings, with more value being added to the Sailing Pass, with new boats planned. From feedback, there will undoubtedly be a catamaran added shortly, a smaller popular learn to sail dinghy and maybe even a foray into windsurfing/kitesurfing late in 2022.
Some of the key advancements will be around sail shape controls, just like sailing in real life means more time one the water (in the game) will result going faster, winning more races and getting more out of your sailing experience.
Lastly, as we can see from the various reviews, the real benefit of MarineVerse and the Metaverse is that you can meet like-minded people and enjoy the experience with others, creating a great social environment. Developers are always engaging with the community and observing how the app is used. A big focus is making sure people are always meeting people in the lobby and can socialise with others in a fun, engaging manner. This will be a perfect tool in time for all facets of the sailing industry, from conducting board meetings in the clubhouse to committee meetings at your local sailing club in the Metaverse. This environment will continue to evolve post-launch. If you haven’t got in a headset and purchased the game yet, do so and have a go, this is going to be quite the journey.
by Marc Ablett