If It Walks Like A Shiba, Talks Like A Shiba… | State of Matterless #22

Good day! Here’s an update on what’s coming next for our closed beta build, which will arguably be our biggest update yet.

If It Walks Like A Shiba, Talks Like A Shiba…

Making our matterless creatures sufficiently real is hard work, and our team has made a bevy of improvements to the look and feel of the Shiba Inu in the current closed beta.

The most significant of these is finally implementing pathing and turning, which allows the Shiba to smoothly change directions as it moves, instead of instantly snapping. Much of this is thanks to Robin, who is now Matterless’s Chief Technology Officer! (Let’s hear it for Robin, hooray!)

We’ve also improved the Shiba’s animation logic so that it transitions between different animations without repeating them, increased its movement speed into a more confident stride, and added a new set of sounds that let the Shiba react aurally with barks and panting. Let’s get strutting!

Udon getting his Vitamin D intake

The new build will also feature improved lighting on the Shiba, which will give it a more vibrant look resembling the concept art more closely. We avoided making drastic changes to the lighting system so that the Shiba, along with other Incos (the official term for our Matterless pets), would have a consistent look across all AR objects that we create, such as our hovercars!

U Can Touch This

It’s one thing to make the Shiba look and move good, but just as important is making sure it responds convincingly to you and the surrounding environment. The linchpin behind achieving this digital reality is hand recognition technology. It detects multiple hands and distinguishes between the left and right hand; ironing out the inevitable bugs that crop up so that it’ll be ready for 0.5 is a top priority.

Placing matterless objects in the environment is another thing we’re doing to address instances of the dog clipping into objects and walking on air. For starters, the Shiba automatically spawns into the world as soon as an appropriate location is detected.

Now, the Shiba warps to different locations from further away, of from a bigger vertical distance; a much less awkward way of traversing distances than awkwardly walking on air!

Last but not least, the Shiba can now look at you and other points of interest thanks to gaze detection we’ve incorporated into 0.5! It’s a small but key detail, having both man and matterless being acknowledge each other with a simple look, and a step towards intersubjectivity.

Perhaps we should add a knowing nod after the Shiba recognizes you? What do you think?

Smoothing The Edges

Photo by Matthew Dockery on Unsplash

The new build will bring with it plenty of quality-of-life improvements to the Matterless experience in various subtle ways.

Users will now be able to log into the app using their email instead of Apple ID, and a Discord-style naming system will let everyone distinguish each other better, especially those with duplicate names (important for Karma Board hunters!).

We’ve improved the video recording feature; recordings can now go up to a minute from the previous 15-second limitation, and will now capture sound as well!

We can’t wait to see how you will react to them. We’re aiming to have Build 0.5 out for our Patreon supporters in early July, so now’s the perfect time to be an early adopter of the magic we’re making.

That covers this week’s update…man, I love it when a plan comes together! See you next time.

-Kerwin, social media manager



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Our mission is to prove to the world that digital things are real by creating genre-defining experiences in shared augmented reality. Magic is matterless.