Last year Decentraland focused on the growth and improvement of the platform while sticking to a motto of ‘Can’t Be Evil’, based on its intention to be built as an open protocol and a public good. Many features were added, a Desktop Client was released, new platform-wide events were held, initiating crowds of new DCL citizens, and the community was further empowered to contribute to and claim ownership of Decentraland, particularly with all the changes in the DAO Governance platform.

Since 2017, Decentraland’s mission has been based upon the belief that a virtual world shouldn’t be owned by any single corporation but should rather be built as an open protocol owned by its users. In Decentraland, anyone can extend the capabilities of the virtual world’s platform, audit it, contribute to it, and build on top of it—all the code is open source. To that end, in 2023 Decentraland will continue to be developed as a public good in the era of the internet. It will remain a decentralized, open source, virtual social world where creativity and self-expression are championed, and where the latest technologies are leveraged to create a fair and equitable platform for all.

Additionally, in 2023 Decentraland will continue to build upon its previous work of enhancing the user experience by further improving the platform’s performance and making Decentraland more fun and easier to use. Special attention will be given to growing Decentraland’s creator community by making creation in DCL more accessible to all and providing creators with better tools to help them unleash their creativity in Decentraland. Thus, 2023 is dubbed as, ‘The Year of the Creators’! 

Let’s dive into what you can expect from Decentraland in 2023.

Decentraland’s Goals in 2023

1. Unleash Content Creators’ Creativity

Become the most popular publishing medium for spatial content.

  • Supercharged development tools (SDK7 and Editor)

  • Monetizable user-generated content (Improvements to the Avatars and Emotes system, Smart Wearables)

  • Experimenting with a new publishing system (Worlds)

2. Make Decentraland More Fun

Become the go-to hub for safe, intuitive, and fun immersive social connections.

  • Enhanced Identity System (Profile, Badges)

  • Enhanced Communications System (Chat features & improved Voice-chat)

  • New and improved onboarding experience (Quests)

  • Integrated camera for screenshots and video recording (Camera Mode)

3. Improve Performance

Enjoy a smooth and immersive experience in Decentraland even on low-budget devices.

  • Improvements on desktop and web browser clients’ performance

  • Supporting the community in the creation of new ways to use Decentraland’s protocol and infrastructure

Year of the Creators

Decentraland’s experiences and content are key to creating a compelling platform. That’s why the creators of the DCL community are an integral part of Decentraland’s ecosystem: they are the artists that give a virtual world built on code its color and shape; they craft the feeling of the world, the experiences to be had, the Wearables that clothe avatars, the Emotes that make them an expression of ourselves, and much more. Ultimately, creators are the ones who bring Decentraland to life.

Being a creator is a mindset. A creator can be anyone who gets involved, contributes, participates, crafts, builds, or deploys. From organizing events, to designing Wearables and Emotes, to building with the SDK or contributing to DCL’s code, all that work is done by Creators. Decentraland is a platform for your creative expression and it’s just waiting for you to pick up a brush. This year, don’t hold back—jump in and get involved!

The Decentraland Foundation strives to empower anyone in the DCL community to become a creator by providing accessible tools and resources that can be used to create anything one imagines in Decentraland. Although lifting up creators and creating opportunities for their work to shine has always been a goal of the Foundation, this year extra focus will be given to removing barriers that curb creators’ creativity, ensuring that their work is discoverable and easy to monetize, and most importantly, that their numbers grow!

2023 Roadmap for Creators

For Scene Developers

Decentraland Editor

The first version of the Decentraland Editor was released in December, now it’s easier than ever to set up your environment to start coding a scene, just download the VS Code extension and you are good to go.

The next version of the Decentraland Editor will greatly reduce the need to write code, by providing UI options for many of the more basic tasks of creating a scene, making this aspect of creation more accessible.

  • Drag and adjust 3D models and assets. Scale, rotate, and move them freely.

  • Select an entity to view its component’s properties in a readable UI. You can also edit any properties, and add or remove components.

  • Visualize the hierarchy of parented entities in a scene as a tree, and use this tree to make changes.

  • Access the default 3D model asset packs to easily populate your scene with art.

SDK 7

The latest version of the SDK will bring with it big changes that will raise the bar on what can be done with Decentraland content. The Alpha version of SDK 7 is already out, so the full release will be coming in the following months.

Some of the new features that are already available are:

  • Brand new UI system, based on FlexBox. Use dynamic HTML tags to build out any UI you want. The new UI syntax includes handy abstractions like button and dropdown default types and 9-slicing

  • Improved performance thanks to an optimized flow of internal messages

  • Use the latest version of TypeScript (ES6). This gives you access to more powerful features, like the Map() function

  • Attach an entity to a player’s hand, following all armature animations.

  • Support multiple separate button actions in a single entity

  • Modify the pitch of an audio sample

  • Fetch the position of both the camera and the avatar, which differ in 3rd person camera mode

These are only the changes that are already available. Learn more about what other features are planned in the SDK 7 Manifesto.

SDK Playground

A lightweight editor meant for content creators to prototype and learn by doing, ideal for becoming familiar with SDK 7.

Scenes trigger avatar animations

Scenes will be able to take control of avatars and trigger custom animations. This will allow scenes to become a lot more immersive and social. If a player hits an asteroid with their pick, everyone else in the scene will also be able to see that player’s avatar hitting the asteroid. If you have a bar and you want avatars to be able to sip their drinks, everyone will be able to see that animation too!

Greater control over the camera

Allow the scene to control the camera, way beyond just 1st and 3rd person mode. Do scenic panning, focus momentarily on an NPC that’s talking to the player, or completely transform gameplay with a birds-eye view or whatever makes sense in your scene.

Smart Wearables (Beta)

Smart Wearables are Wearables with code attached that allow the user to see new content. It’s a bit like having an experience or scene, with all the capabilities of the SDK, that is portable as it is attached to the Wearable that can be taken and worn anywhere in Decentraland. For example, a Smart Wearable could be like a pair of glasses that when you put on, make everyone around you look like zombies or make objects appear that only you can see.

This will be a game changer that will enable new unimaginable ways of experiencing Decentraland. The first step is to build it and then make it secure, but then the potential of Smart Wearables can be unlocked. It will be up to you to test its creative boundaries!

Note: This will be a single-player experience at first.

Enhanced Documentation and Tutorials

Getting started on Decentraland can be a bit overwhelming, especially for new content creators. That’s why special focus is being given to updating and expanding the available onboarding documentation and resources.The Foundation is dedicated to making the process as smooth and easy as possible for creators.

Throughout the year, new documentation and resources will be released that will help content creators understand the basics of creating and publishing content on Decentraland. This will include everything from setting up a development environment to creating interactive experiences. Overall, these improvements will help to make Decentraland more accessible to content creators of all skill levels.

For Wearable and Emote Creators

Builder UX Improvements

Publishing a Collection is going to become more simple and streamlined, with useful shortcuts that will save you time and energy. It will become easier for beginners too, so everyone can become a Decentraland Creator.

The plan is also to open the Builder’s doors to mobile devices so you will be able to manage, publish, and put collections up for sale in seconds on the go!

Themed Campaigns in the Marketplace

As a proven success during the Metaverse Music Festival 2022, themed campaigns in the Builder and Marketplace will be available at high-visibility events like Metaverse Fashion Week 2023. Creators will be able to boost their sales during events by publishing tagged items that will be highlighted in the Marketplace in a section dedicated to the event. Contests will continue to be organized to add an extra element of fun and reward for creators.

FIAT Payments

Creators deserve to be rewarded for their mind-blowing work, so enabling a wider variety of ways for customers to purchase things from the Marketplace is a good way to help creators.

Buyers will be able to top up their wallets with MANA or buy NFTs paying directly with FIAT currencies using their credit/debit cards, or even from their phones with Apple and Android pay.

Better discoverability in the Marketplace

It’s going to become easier than ever for buyers to find everything they love from the amazing outfits and Emotes creators give life to, as well as the perfect plot of LAND needed for publishing a scene in Genesis City.

There are plans to update the mobile version of the Marketplace too! This will make it easier for anyone to buy Wearables and Emotes from anywhere, at any time.

Favorites in the Marketplace

Love is coming to the Marketplace! Everyone will be able to show their love by favoriting items and saving them in lists. Lists will be shareable, so if you want to share a curated list of the best outfits, the craziest Emotes, your top creations, or even your wishlist, you will be able to show your friends and followers easily.

Decentraland’s DAO in 2023

Over the past 18 months since its inception, Decentraland’s DAO has matured into a fundamental mechanism for decision making with a forum for high-level discussions about the Decentraland ecosystem and the metaverse as a whole. With the growing strength and self-governing experience of the community, the DAO’s processes and procedures have continued to scale, in order to meet the growing demand for governance and stewardship of progressive decentralization.

In 2023, the first two months are being dedicated to reassessing many parts of the DAO. As a result, the new year has started amid a temporary pause in the DAO’s grantmaking operations so the robustness and integrity of its policies and procedures can be improved. The DAO Community and Core Unit Operator Teams are focusing on expanding DAO responsibilities over the protocol and end user experience, while becoming more active in the strategic communication and promotion of the DCL ecosystem and creators economy. 2023 will also be a year focused on distributed decision-making and consensus building processes, seeing the roll out of community-led and facilitated working groups to support the development of well thought-out and implementable governance procedures. 

One of the key changes in 2023 is the introduction of a new version of the Grants Program, which allocates approximately 1.5 million USD per quarter into projects such as platform development, in-world content, social media content, and IRL events. Building on the lessons learned from last year, the terms and conditions between grantees and the DAO have been reworked to ensure accountability and effective use of funds.

In addition, a new system of Bidding and Tendering, which adapts the processes used by traditional public institutions to allocate funds in an efficient and transparent way, is planned to launch this year. This innovative process could help unleash the DAO’s creativity and attract new talent.

As the participation of Decentraland’s community continues to grow, the DAO looks forward to introducing new and engaging ways for DCL citizens to contribute. Whether it’s through badges, rewards, or other incentives, the DAO is committed to empowering the community and fostering a culture of creativity and self-expression. All Decentraland citizens are welcome to share their vision and participate in shaping the future of the platform, so feel free to speak up!

Major Decentraland Events in 2023

As a decentralized platform built by and for its community, anyone can create and contribute to events in Decentraland. While major events see a lot of engagement from large brands, that doesn’t mean they are solely for them. In Decentraland, the more people who contribute, the better something is, so take part in making 2023’s events amazing! Here are some of the biggest events forecasted for the coming year so far—get planning now so you can add your own touch to Decentraland’s most popular days in 2023.

JanuaryChinese New Year
JanuaryDCL Film Club
February 20DCL Birthday Celebration
March 28-31Metaverse Fashion Week 2023
AprilBeauty Fest
JuneDecentraland Pride
AugustHackathon
OctoberHalloween
NovemberDecentraland Music + Art Festival
DecemberHoliday Season
DecemberNew Year's Eve

Thank you for being a part of the amazing global online community that is Decentraland. Together, we will continue to shape the foundations of a fairer future that’s open to everyone and where creativity knows no bounds. We can’t wait to see what you create in 2023!

Read more about what happened in Decentraland last year in the 2022 Recap.

Follow the DAO proposal for Delegating the Reference Client roadmap to the Decentraland Foundation.