Whether you call them virtual worlds or a metaverse there’s no denying that to build one you need money and plenty of creators to build the thing. Most of the big ones – Horizon Worlds, Rec Room etc – already have grant programmes to encourage those who want to build amazing metaverses to do so. One of the newest on the scene, Astra, has followed suit by launching its own $250,000 programme.
Astra aims to be a one-stop metaverse for shopping, gaming and socialising, leveraging crypto and NFTs as part of its commercial backbone. To do this the platform launched the grant programme earlier this month looking specifically for: “Developers and Creators with an interest in world-building, design, and experience,” to build upon Astra’s existing infrastructure, which uses Unreal Engine – the team were previously awarded an Epic Megagrant.
The programme is designed to cover a wealth of roles across the Web3 ecosystem, from NFT Strategists, Game Economy Designers and Unreal Sound Engineers, to Environment architects, Digital fashion designers and DeFI developers, awarding $10,000 USD to successful applicants. To begin the process you’ll need to join Astra’s Discord channel with a step-by-step guide on the rest of the application process found on this Twitter thread.
As detailed in its whitepaper, Astra will have all the things you’d expect from an up and coming metaverse, events and concerts you can attend with friends, spending your crypto in virtual shops, buying LAND and earning Thrills, Astra’s in-game currency. It’ll heavily utilise NFTs for gaming purposes, playing will enable you to win fashion NFTs for your avatar for example. Astra has already held and will continue to run game days, hosting digital paintball sessions for early adopters.
As the above road map indicates, Astra will be growing its community not only through the grant but also via a hackathon in Q2, followed by launching LAND sales in Q3.
One interesting aspect of Astra’s road map is its virtual reality (VR) plans for the end of the year -(the Apple headset might be a bit optimistic). Making it clear that the company believe’s VR “is the future of Metaverse-based experiences” putting Astra far more in line with platforms such as Somnium Space – which also employs blockchain and NFTs – rather than The Sandbox or Decentraland which have no immersive capabilities.
Astra is one among many metaverses looking to attract fresh talent to help with expansion. As this continues through 2022, gmw3 will keep you updated.