So I have been working on a new version of The Expanse – this one is based in Unity. While i still believe the future of VR is in the open standards of web technologies, I think it needs just a little more time to get to its full potential. What I have decided to do in the mean time is prepare for that time by building a bridge between these two environments / game engines. The inspiration for The Expanse has always been to create an open platform that is controlled by the community and completely open – the less I have to decide the better. The web based version of The Expanse is relatively complete with some more polishing to be ready to release ( this will be happening very soon ) and what is exciting about the web is the possibility of integrating with other platforms. This is the main reason I open sourced the Aframe UI KIt and Shane’s Editor – to allow others to benefit from the content we create and be able to build their own platforms with the tools provided and to help shape those tools too!
The Unity client will help to provide more cross platform opportunities and allow us bridge even more gaps. I plan to open source as much of the unity project as possible to let other developers in the unity community benefit from the bridge between three.js / Aframe and Unity. My aim is to achieve feature parity with the current Expanse built with three.js providing the same geometries, materials and scripting capability. That’s right! The Unity based client will support scripting in both C# and Javascript and all this will be done in the client with a built in IDE environment – The Expanse will be the only platform to offer so much creative ability across so many platforms. The new Unity based version of The Expanse will launch on all devices simultaneously – that includes Oculus Go, Rift and Quest, HTV Vive and WMR devices. There will be the same rich customisation features and I still plan to support loading in WebVR content via an in-app browser. I plan to get a version on the relevant app stores as soon as i can – I expect to be ready to start the store submission process in about 3-4 weeks Woop Woop! I will be expanding the beta testers channel soon to include the new unity client too so if you interested then feel free to get involved and DM me for access to that group on this discord if you are not already included. These are exciting times and there will be lots of awesome things to come in the near future!

Author shaneharris

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