VRChat already exists even before VTubing was a thing, The platform was home to loads of various worlds which dwellers can explore alone or with friends at their own time. Some VTuber and related events are hosted on the platform, such as the seasonal Virtual Market.
We put our Spotlight this time into the Manilaverse, a VRChat world created and maintained by Excelynne, a VTuber who mainly streams on YouTube but is more frequently seen talking to friends and strangers on Discord.
History of the Manilaverse
"Back in July 2022, I decided to create a VRChat world that could simulate Manila in a way that's not completely a replica of it but an inspiration," Excelynne told VTuber NewsDrop.
"Since there was a popular Filipino world called Panaginip, I wanted to have something that kind of gives more of the Filipino-esque touch."
Excelynne sought the help of 3D modeler YaN_95, who is no stranger in making VRChat worlds. "I helped out in some of the scripts as well where he was lacking on."
Development for the VRChat world was done over the course of 6 months. "It took me a month of planning for the world. That was July 2022. In August, I relayed my plans to YaN_95, [then] in September, the initial draft of the world was put out.
"October was more on script functions and a bit of aesthetics of the world, which he mostly covered. I help out in providing some details to the scripts. November is the finalization and adding details to the world."
The world's tagline is "Where Memories Are Reminisced." This actually refers to the pictures which were originally displayed inside the Prism Complex: "...but YaN_95 decided to put 'recognizable' areas in the Philippines."
Manilaverse was first released to the public on December 2, coinciding with Excelynne's first year of streaming on YouTube as a VTuber.
Things You Can Do at the Manilaverse
Manilaverse has a lot of activities in store for those who will visit it. "The world is open to everyone from anywhere in the world... Basically, it's [a cross-platform world] wherein both users of different platforms can meet." You can access the world using the PC or through Meta Quest.
- You'll land first in the park area where instructions and the change log are provided.
- A Smart UI system is provided to all users, enabling you to teleport to specific locations, set up a group chat (text channel), call another user in the same world instance and customize the world's performance and lighting settings as you see fit.
- There are three ways to explore the world: By foot, by driving or by riding the train.
- Driving at the Manilaverse is made real through a fueling system and a rescue function in case your car (or bus) flips.
- The train stations have the look and feel of the MRT-3 train system. Stations are named after the three main regions of the country, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
- Scenic areas include the beach, as well as its own Prism Complex that has pool/billiards, drawing tools and a crazy 8-ball ready for use.
What Makes Manilaverse Unique?
Excelynne takes pride knowing that it's the largest Filipino-inspired world in the game as of this time, "we even have a calling system which is not an easy feat to do (Thanks Yan95). It kind of resembles some areas in the Philippines but definitely not exactly the same place."
Some areas are resembling the areas surrounding the Guadalupe bridge in Makati City, just a few miles away from the central business district.
When asked if there will be more stuff in the future, Excelynne responded, "...adding more stuff means it'll become heavier to load. For now, it'll remain as it is."
To cap it off, we asked Excelynne what is perhaps the best experience in creating the Manilaverse. "Naming those brands you'd see anywhere and naming the places that would sound funny. Just pull up your map in the Smart UI and you'll see what I mean."
With pop culture references drizzled long the map, the Manilaverse stands out as one of the good places to explore in VRChat.
Special thanks to Excelynne for the interview opportunity. Manilaverse can be accessed through VRChat on Quest, Desktop and even Mobile (Beta).