I would like to make the case that VR avatar support is an essential part of the webXR-VR ecosystem (and “our engine”).
(1.) VR worlds will continue to grow, and continue to become more accessible. (They will also continue to become “more interesting”: club loner - https://www.instagram.com/p/CPM7B1hB-4q/ - I went, it was insane! ← in case it’s unclear, that was in VRChat).
(2.) WebXR-VR worlds will continue to grow, and continue to become more accessible (https://edmidentity.com/2021/04/25/secret-sky-2021-livesets/).
(3.) Most webxr metaverse-type experiences are being written in threejs.
(4.) Babylonjs has an advantage over threejs in including high level gaming abstractions, but it’s not something that it can “rest on,” because companies like webaverse and xrengine are rapidly building out their stack, including support for avatars (and also bots) (and also full body tracking, etc.).
(5.) Babylonjs is a “game engine,” but what are people building virtual worlds with-- game engines! VRChat is built with unity. To “keep pace” with the development of the metaverse, at the very minimum, I argue that Babylonjs should have avatar support (in addition to other forms of locomotion and collision, but I know that is coming).
(5.5) ~half point-- what is a game? what is a metaverse? what is fortnite, wherein which you have a multiplayer game, a concert venue (Travis Scott and Fortnite Present: Astronomical (Full Event Video) - YouTube), a construction sandbox engine, etc. aren’t future media a combination of all these things?~
(6.) Here is my most important point: if babylon doesn’t stay at the cutting edge of supporting metaverse-like VR features, it may be “cut off at the pass” lose the enormous future marketplace of the webxr-VR metaverse (and/or maybe even a big chunk of future gaming, if future gaming really is gonna go the direction of 5.5 ~ that’s highly speculative, tho).
-I’ve only worked in the engine a year; so, there’s a lot that I don’t know-- though I have built a complex multiplayer VR world in it.
-There are several community projects (again, vrspace, cryptovoxels, maybe frame?) that have avatar support; I don’t understand the relationship between “features that develop in the wild” vs. features that are developed in house, or brought in house; this is very unclear to me, particularly bc my history with the engine is only a year. e.g., I don’t understand when/if these kinds of engine/platform distinctions are competitive and/or collaborative.