tz1and is one of the newer projects on Tezos. It’s a virtual world and marketplace, which can be easily accessed using a modern desktop Browser. WebGL is required and currently there is a limited support for mobile. The smart contracts behind are not audited yet, but this is not a secret and the project is in an early stage. But of course it’s fair to say, that you should make yourself familiar with potential risks. The source code can be reviewed via github.
In New Kids On The Blocks (1) the project was mentioned earlier already. Today it’s time to speak about some further impressions of the first steps into this new world.
Buying yourself a place
If you want to settle in tz1and you first need to get yourself a place or parcel. There are two option for this right now: a) you place a bid for places which are offered on secondary market b) you follow a procedure to apply for buying a place on primary. If you want to apply for primary, then you first need to connect with the team via discord, search an application channel and fill out a google form with details. After this and if your application is successful, you will be informed via discord, that you can now buy a place out of the newly minted primary market items. Now you can go to www.tz1and.com/auctions and browse the available places on primary.
The prizes on primary are all set to a certain prize level (obviously based on the overall size of the place), which is low compared to more prominent virtual worlds on the Blockchain, especially if you compare those prizes to ETH platforms.
Overall, the buying process is still a bit complicated and increases barriers for those who are not familiar with discord or those who are not willing to fill out forms in advance of a transaction. So in regards to usability or user experience, the process could be designed more frictionless. On the other hand it’s perfectly that there is a manual verification process in form of an application, especially in early stage projects.
One interesting conceptual approach is to mention here: tz1and is planning to expand the land consequently, but according to the limits connected to technical feasibility. This means, that new places will be minted and swapped on primary in the future – or: tz1and will expand furthermore. In consequence there is no focus on artificial scarcity to influence the prize development, but a focus on fairness. Therefore, additional ‘fresh’ places will be minted, so that those without any land will be able to buy a place on primary for a fair price (based on cost coverage).
On secondary market you would be able to directly buy a piece of land. But the costs are then driven by speculation or any kind of market or rarity logic. This only makes sense, if you don’t want to go through the application process or if you have a certain location in mind.
As said, you can easily access tz1and via desktop client. To explore the world, it’s not needed to sync your wallet. The easiest way to go to a location might be the map: www.tz1and.com/map
You can use the teleportation booths represented as markers to directly jump to an area in the map.
Some areas are older than others. In consequence there are areas where you will find a lot of buildings or 3D objects and other areas which are nearly empty. Every locations has its coordinates, like https://www.tz1and.com/explore?coordx=705&coordz=170. You can use the coordinates as suffix to go to a dedicated point of interest or share it with your friends.
To explore the space you need to use your keyboard and the mouse. The keyboard preset is pretty much oriented to what you know from 3D games. So you can move around and use the mouse to look at what is interesting to you. More actions are available, but especially relevant if you want to build / edit your own place or for buying objects of other people. It might be, that you find yourself stucked in a window. With the press of ‘X’ you then are able to unglitch yourself. All in all, the exploration of the space is pretty straight forward. The only real downside so far is, that the speed of movement is very low. It takes a bit to move from place a to place b and with the press of shift you will move even slower (and not run, like you learned it through 3D shooters). A guess is, that the speed was oriented to the editing process, for which it can make sense to have a finer precision in your movement, so that the placement of objects can happen more detailed. But for the exploration the movement speed implicitly demands a bit of patience by the user.
Building objects for you new home
If you decided to buy yourself a place, you most probably want to build something on top. The current version of tz1and supports GLTF / GLB formats. You could use Blender or other 3D Modelling tools to create an object. After this you need to make sure to export the file within the given limitations (which is connected to the mesh complexity and final file size). If you have created an object which exceeds the limitations, then you could try to reduce complexity or compress material related textures furthermore. You will find some websites / services online or you might want to search for a proper plugin or github repository for this job, depending on your technical skills. After you built a proper GLTF object, you can mint it. Like you would mint an artwork on any other NFT marketplace. Your wallet needs to be synced with the tz1and dApp and you need to press ‘M’ for minting. Then you will see a dialogue by which you can upload your file and add some information. And in the same way you would define the edition size and royalties for any other NFT, you can do this here as well:
After the minting, your item will be available in your inventory (which you can access with the press of ‘I’). You can pick it up from there and place it somewhere on your ground. For the placing you should know how to scale and rotate objects. After that you would decide how many editions of your object you want to place and if you want to make it available for others by swapping it with a price. Once you did this, you will have to save all the editions to your place by pressing ‘U’ (Update). If you are not familiar with 3D-creation you can buy objects from other users to ramp-up your item inventory.
Buying / Selling 3d content
Because the whole world is a huge marketplace as well, you can walk around and buy items of other creators with a right-click on the mouse (the operation requires an additional wallet verification of course). When you look at objects somewhere in virtual space of tz1and, you will see which items can be bought and which are not available for collecting. All items you buy will be made available in your inventory, like the items you potentially created. You can place these items in the same way on your ground as the items you created. Which means, you can create and sell, buy and re-sell 3d content.
Think of tz1and not only as a virtual space to explore, but also as a huge marketplace for 3d content. What’s your profile page on objkt.com is the place you own on tz1and. You can not only show off your latest creations, you also can sell the items by placing them on the ground.
Size doesn’t really matter – Welcome to the flea market!
It’s very funny that you can scale up / down the size of all objects. You can shrink a house to the size of stamp and place it to ground to sell it. Some places look like a virtual flea market, where people placed dozens of miniaturized version of the stuff they want to sell on the ground or on a table.
It’s also funny that things disappear when they sell off. Let’s say you decided to sell one (out of n) edition of something you created and place it to the ground. When someone comes along and decides to buy it, then the object you placed will consequently disappear, because it’s no longer yours. Of course all other editions will still be in your inventory, but the edition you decided to sell is gone and now in the inventory of the one who did the purchase.
First experience in sum
I tested to explore the world a but, to buy land, create some objects, to buy and sell some items and to finally edit the own place.
Because the project is in an early stage, it would not be fair to criticize anything. In addition it is to mention, that there is basically one person behind, that’s why I think it’s great what we see here. Everything works (besides some minor glitches), barriers (technically and cost related) are relatively low and it’s already useful. The contract can be used to mint and buy or sell created items. The limits for the item complexity (in format, size and mesh complexity) are ok for this stage, because of operational costs on the one hand, but also user experience on the other. The overall world can be accessed best with the map and the URL parameters are helping to bookmark places.
Some interesting concepts
- The land will expand and is not and element for artificial scarcity control
- It’s not a voxel only experience. Creators can create very free, which can become tricky (in regards to the overall consistency & experience), but which can become very interesting as well. People can add content in a very free way, as long as it fits to the limits.
- Size does not matter: tz1and is a huge flea market, where you walk along and buy miniaturized houses or cars
tz1and has a limited feature set by now, but it is a very promising project already. On the website you will find some FAQ including some statements about the Roadmap. The discord server is open for people who want to contribute with ideas or discuss certain topics. The project somehow perfectly represents the open mindset of the Tezos Creator Community, because it obviously is set up to be collaborative, inclusive and as barrier-free as possible (compared to ultra exclusive platforms). That’s why I think this project should be supported by the creative community. It will be very interesting to see, what kind of world will evolve in this part of the metaverse: check out tz1and!