Building the Burrows — Behind the Scenes with Beyond
In this update:
Just weeks ago, Burrows revealed in all their glory. From Dens to the limited edition Studio Snoop Dogg, you all got a taste of what life will be like in FLUF World, and your very own keys to the kingdom.
As we await our collective journey to the promised land, and the immersive virtual experience that lies Beyond, we sat down with the team working tirelessly to bring your metaspaces to life.
In this blog, we’ll deep-dive into the Beyond studio to get to know their team, process and what’s right around the corner.
But first, a recap…
The Den, The Suite, The High Rolla and Studio Snoop Dogg. Four distinct Burrows, each with their own utility and features were rolled out over three days to those lucky enough to mint them.
Speculation was rife on which traits were GMI this time around. Zigor, Lambo, Mansions, 9 traits… while everyone had their theories, we can finally reveal the Alpha you’ve all been waiting for (we have to bribe you into reading these long blogs somehow)…
BURROW TRAIT ALLOCATIONS
In the tradition of ‘every trait counts’, hints were dropped at Christmas and along the way in Discord. When Snoop hopped on the scene and handpicked his favourite Fluf, Deal With It Glasses and lucky #420 were added to the mix.
But whether you minted a Snoop or a Den, in the wise words of Aaron McDonald, you’re all GMI. Each Burrow is a guaranteed space in FLUF World’s impending geography, complete with land parcels and their own surprises in store. As a crucial new addition to our growing world, they’re central to activating the utility of other collections; a key piece of the puzzle, ready to unlock gaming, content production & distribution, and the inclusivity that should be a staple of the open metaverse.
As you can imagine, a lot goes into making this happen. Perhaps the understatement of the century, the shared brief we presented to the legends at Beyond was laden with challenges, not just for the ambitious nature of the project, but the tight timeframe, and the hidden complexities that go into producing 4 distinct Burrows for 10,000 possible Flufs.
Like always, the team went above and Beyond. Early concepting with their Art team of three, led to the creation of 3D assets, textures and optimising; the foundational blueprint for FLUF World’s destined real estate. Their Dev team of six then set to work on core app functionality, asset pipeline development, NFT asset download functionality, character integration, interactable features and more, with a production team of two managing internal and external teams, sound design, product, creative and development.
If the image above sums up your response to the last paragraph, we’ll break it down for you: this shit’s complex. Developing a mobile & PC/VR gaming experience, particularly with no single core character, but thousands of potential fur and accessory combinations is an Unreal task few would be bold enough to tackle given our 6-month timeline.
Fortunately for us, the Beyond team aren’t ones to turn down a challenge. Right from the jump, be it the initial concept art that caused shaking en-masse, navigating various challenges, or the reveal of the four incredible 3D Burrows in the collection, each stage has reaffirmed the pride we feel partnering with an incredible team who share our vision for an open metaverse that empowers the communities at its core.
When we quizzed Beyond on some of the behind-the-scene intricacies that go into a mega-development like Burrows, here were some of the standouts:
The project has been unique both in the context of the world we’re building, and the blockchain integrations that define it. These include being able to select which aspects of the game to download and include in a user’s game based on their on-chain assets. For this, the Beyondteam had to design and build their own pipeline to bring NFT characters into the game engine.
Imery Watson, Creative Director with a resume that includes films like Lord of the Rings and Sweeney Todd, left no stone unturned in his initial concept designs. Produced in 3D rather than 2D, these were used as a base, before retexturing, optimising the geometry and adding lighting to set the mood. The high-resolution spaces used for PC/VR have 4K textures which had to be retextured using Zbrush & Substance, providing a maximum size of 1K on hero pieces and less on smaller assets.
With the team developing for both iOS and Android, the different platforms required a different response, with specific testing, fixes and recompiles happening across each.
Each Burrow racked up a hefty timeline; The Studio Snoop alone required over 300 hours of art to take it from a concept to its production-ready stage.
And the list goes on. With the finishing touches being applied, and the mobile app almost ready for roll-out, soon, you’ll be venturing Beyond Opensea into the hidden wonders of our metaverse.
WHAT’S TO COME
So what exactly will Burrows unlock? VR gaming, interaction with friends, breeding and tokenomics to name but a few. Burrows are the next major stage in FLUF World integration, bringing each part together as a cohesive sum; a rich, inclusive world, we hope you’ll enjoy exploring and calling home.
It’s also one giant leap towards creative autonomy: Interactive collaboration. Content distribution from your own personal metaspace streaming hubs. Burrows are your ticket to free and open content sharing, in channels that belong to you.
Now, for the app roll-out:
Version 1 will be your first opportunity to step inside your virtual space and take the grand tour. From your mobile device, you’ll be able to walk, run and hop through your pad with your chosen Fluf.
Lounge in the Den, gaze out at the Great Tree, get to know the nightclub, or soak up the detail in Studio Snoop. Like any new home, this is about getting a feel for your surroundings and settling in.
V1.1 & Beyond
Now that you’ve found your feet, it’s time to party.
We have an aggressive timeline to introduce customisation features, with multiplayer and game utility to follow soon after. Then, it’s on to different devices, VR and Beyond…
As our world grows, layers of complexity and utility will make your Burrows living, changing spaces that evolve with your Fluffle.
The journey starts here.
We could go on, but for now, we’ll leave you with the final Alpha leak of the piece. This Friday, you’ll have your first real sneak peek of the Burrows app in action. The Beyond team will be dropping an exclusive trailer showing live gameplay in each of the 4 Burrows.