Metauni uses Roblox for the 3D virtual environment with voice chat and Discord for community discussion and organisation. Roblox is necessary, Discord is optional (but fun!). Both applications can be used on PC, Mac, iOS and Android. To set up spatial voice, Roblox’s voice chat, you will need 5-10 minutes and a photo ID showing that you are at least 13 years old.
We recommend that you open the links in each step in a separate tab, so that you can refer back to these instructions:
- Create a Roblox account.
- Complete Age verification on the Settings page (under your Birthday).
- Toggle Enable voice chat to On on the Privacy page (if you don’t see this toggle and you completed Step 1, try refreshing your page).
- Enter the Rising Sea. Once you click “Play” you will see a prompt to “Download and Install Roblox” which you can ignore if you have already installed the game: wait and the Roblox application should be launched.
That’s it! Thanks for taking part in metauni. You might like to review the Roblox rules. If you are a speaker or an admin, see the instructions for speakers and admins.
The installation of Discord is optional but recommended:
- Create a Discord account.
- Join the Discord, the official Discord server for metauni. If that link doesn’t work properly for you, open Discord, click the large Plus “Add Server” button on on the left hand side, click “Join a Server” and paste
https://discord.gg/9yBaAxPSK8into the textbox.
3. The Basics
Roblox is a 3D game environment in which you move your character with the arrows keys or
W, A, S, D, jump with
Spacebar, and look around by holding down the right mouse down or doing a two-finger drag on a trackpad. You can click your mouse or tap your trackpad to interact with interface elements in the world (such as the whiteboards).
To use the in-game chat press
/or click on the appropriate icon in the top left corner of the screen. Roblox text chat is moderated, and you will be unable to post URLs and other kidns of information. We use Discord for this kind of communication.
Showing thanks. You can trigger animations by typing in the chat: type
helloto wave or
yayto applaud. You can access more animations, such as waves, by pressing
.. You can enable additional animations on the Roblox website.
It’s convenient to quickly toggle between fullscreen and windowed, which is
fn + F11on a Mac, but you’ll have to first disable the “Show Desktop” shortcut in System Preferences.
You can zoom into your character’s point of view by pressing
Iand then out again with
Note that on an iPad, using the Home button to switch to another running application will cause Roblox to quit, so you should plan for keeping Roblox in the foreground for your entire talk.
4. Spatial voice
Roblox voice chat (spatial voice) is positional, which means that you only hear people when you are close to them and the volume fades to nothing as you move away. You can see who is speaking by looking for a green coloured microphone icon above their head.
When you join a game, including when you are teleported to a new place by a portal in the metauni Hub, your voice chat will be muted. You will need to click the microphone icon above your head to unmute.
Voice chat is unmoderated, but you can have your account suspended or banned for abusive behaviour (use common sense).
The microphone status indicator above your head has the states shown below. From left to right, these represent: loading, loaded and muted, loaded and unmuted. There is an additional state that may encounter, which looks like loading but with a small red triangle with an exclamation mark. This indicates some problem with the voice chat. If you click the icon, usually the voice chat system will reset and begin to work; in rare cases you may have to leave the experience and rejoin.
You can mute other players (i.e. block their voice) by clicking the microphone icon above their head. However, since this icon only appears when they are speaking, you may be unable to unmute them in the same way. You can change the block status of other players in the Roblox menu:
Spatial voice is still in beta, and there are known issues:
(GitHub issue) You may accidentally mute other players by clicking on their microphone icon. If you notice this, check the Roblox menu.
(GitHub issue) If you suddenly stop hearing another player, or they stop hearing you, we recommend that you (a) try unplugging your headphones and plugging them in again, and waiting a few moments to see if this resolves the problem, and if not then (b) try leaving and rejoining the experience.
Spatial voice is more demanding on your Internet connection than the other parts of Roblox (e.g. the 3D spatial environment). You may find that, for example if your WiFi signal is low, you are able to join the Roblox experience but spatial voice refuses to work (e.g. it continues to show the red triangle). Sometimes simply moving closer to your WiFi router will fix the problem.
If you installed Roblox on Windows from the App Store, try installing the version of Roblox from roblox.com.
4.2 Privacy and age-verification
The official instructions are here. Roblox says that they never store “raw ID document data” but in order to verify your age, they send the picture of the government-issued ID that you upload to a third-party company called Veriff (FAQ). They say in the FAQ that “Information uploaded to Veriff is retained for a period of 90 days. After this period, the uploaded data is removed from Veriff.”
A human will be involved if the automated verification tool (the Robot) is not able to reach a decision on its own. This may occur, when the picture is blurry or the Robot runs into some other difficulty in analysing the verification session.. In the case of fully automated decision-making, where the decision has a significant effect on you, we will be transparent about such processing.
5. Boards and Orbs
The image below shows two metauni whiteboards (we call them metaboards). To use one, just click on it with your mouse or tap on it on a mobile device. The rusty-looking sphere half in the ground is an orb which is a “public announcement” system for talks in metauni. If you walk up the orb you will see some prompts appear above it; follow the instructions in the prompts to Attach as Listener. Now even when you are away from the location of a talk, you can hear whatever the orb hears (e.g. the speaker at a board) by clicking the speaker icon on the left hand side of your screen (detach from an orb by clicking the red button).
- If you have trouble connecting to Roblox (and you have clicked Retry a few times) you might have to turn off your VPN.
- You may have problems using Firefox on the Roblox site.
- If your mouse gets locked try zooming all the way in with
Iand then out with
- When drawing on the whiteboards you might want to turn off the in-game chat by clicking on its icon (next to the Roblox icon in the top left).
- If you’re having connectivity issues (which often manifest as Roblox voice chat not working) make sure bandwidth heavy applications like Dropbox are disabled.
Some advice for using metauni with VR devices: