2.9 Desktop Release Notes (Open Campus - 3/23/2023)

August 28th, 2023



With the advent of version 2.9, Open Campus now features a new avatar system, support for more languages and the ability to add laptops to desks.

New avatar system

Virbela’s new avatar system offers users enhanced customization options, providing greater representation and inclusivity for all users.

One of the major benefits of the new avatar system is the ability for users to choose from a wider range of options, including different skin tones and body types. The new system allows users to better represent themselves in the virtual environment, with fewer restrictions and assumptions based on gender.

But this is more than just a facelift for Virbela. The new avatar system is a complete overhaul of how avatars operate within the platform. This means faster development of new functionality and improved management of system performance. Virbela is now better equipped to continue refining and improving the platform for its users.

One of the key principles guiding the design of the new avatar system was a commitment to conscientious choices that reflect Virbela’s values. For example, the avatars remain cartoonish rather than trying to create a lifelike representation of humans. This is because technology is not yet advanced enough to create truly human-like avatars without triggering a sense of discomfort or revulsion in users.

Virbela also limits fantastical options for avatars, ensuring they resemble the professional world rather than taking on a creature-like appearance. Avatars are designed to find the right balance between individuality and a sense of community, with intentional limits on some options to prevent users from becoming too tall or muscular.

The new avatar system is not interoperable with other virtual worlds and platforms, but instead focuses on providing optimized experiences and a coherent visual identity for enterprise customers. The goal is to further social community engagement by creating a shared social community where users have access to a range of individual customizations while still being a part of the same community experience.

Users will need to re-create their avatars from scratch once their campus migrates to the new system. However, Virbela is happy to work with customers on the timing to ensure a smooth transition. Virbela plans to deprecate the old avatars by the summer of 2023.

The new avatar system does not impact how users interact with the world, and there is no change to how users log in and use the Virbela dashboard. The animations remain mostly the same, with continual improvements planned for the future.

Overall, the new avatar system is a major step forward for Virbela and its users, providing enhanced customization options and improved system performance. The commitment to conscientious design choices reflects Virbela’s values and creates a more inclusive virtual environment for all users.

Please refer to our FAQ with more information:

New Avatar System Frequently Asked Questions

After the release, all users will spawn into the closet scene to create a new avatar. No data from the previous avatar will transfer over to the new avatar.


While in the closet, arrow keys no longer rotate the avatar. To rotate, click on the avatar and drag left/right.


With the new system, the camera does not automatically zoom into the section of the avatar that is being customized. To zoom in/out, click the magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner.


Jackets are automatically paired with a shirt underneath. If a user selects a jacket, they will not be able to change the shirt that is underneath it.


Our new avatars are complex and require a lot of data, and it takes a second or two for all that data to come together. Instead of having users wait, Virbela spawns them as a gray avatar. The gray avatars should disappear almost immediately.


In this release, holiday-themed clothing/accessories are not included.


Badges do not display in the closet scene, but will still display in-world.


Support for new languages

This patch includes two newly supported languages:

  • Thai (TH)
  • Malay (MS)

Previously, some areas of the new campus scene were not localized, which Virbela has resolved in this release. Most of these updates are centered around the fast travel map.

For reference, Virbela already supports the following languages: 

  • Chinese
    • Simplified (简体中文)
    • Traditional (繁體中文)
  • English
  • French
    • France (Français)
    • French Canadian (Français Canadien)
  • German (Deutsch)
  • Hindi (हिंदी)
  • Italian (Italiano)
  • Japanese (日本語)
  • Korean (한국어)
  • Polish (Polskie)
  • Portuguese (Português)
    • Brazil (Brasil)
    • Portugal
  • Spanish (Español)
    • Mexico (México)
    • Spain (España)

Customers can now add laptops to their desks

Users can now have monitors on their desks!

The laptops have their own webboards that operate just like the webboards on the wall.

Customers can enable these laptops by going to the configuration tab in the Virbela dashboard. The configuration name is “Team Office Single Desk Screen”.

Other updates

  • Improved logging for file uploading
  • Reduced the likelihood of failed patches
  • Turning on private volumes in the Large Boardroom scene no longer sends users to the auditorium