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RP1 is a metaverse startup that has simulated putting 4,000 people together in a single metaverse plaza, or shard.
In metaverse circles, that’s a pretty good technical achievement, as games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone will pack 100 or 150 players in the same digital space, dubbed in instance. They can replicate those instances infinitely, but someone in one instance can’t talk to someone in another, except through long delays. That’s why RP1’s work, while still in a prototype stage, could prove important.
Since the metaverse is envisioned as a real-time, synchronous experience, delays in interaction, or latency, are the enemy. Kim Libreri, CTO of Epic Games, talked at our metaverse event in January about the problem of the “sniper and the metaverse.” In a game like Fortnite, players are often grouped together in shards, or single servers, where they can interact (meaning fight) all they want. But if a sniper goes to a tall building or a mountain, and they can see someone far away, they might be scoping someone in another shard, and that’s a no-no when it comes to latency.
Sean Mann and Dean Abramson, the founders of RP1, aim to solve this problem by rearchitecting servers in a way that they can squeeze a lot more people in to the same space. Companies like Improbable and others are trying to do the same thing …