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Show HN: I built a fun video meeting app with 2D physics and proximity chat

Hi HN!

https://flat.social is a web video meeting app for organising fun online meetings & social events. Each participant can move around and talk with others in their proximity.

Here is a quick demo if you wanna see it in action: https://youtu.be/Y2yH3twjrx4

I’ve been on it solo for around a year right now. Tech used is Next.js, Typescript, PIXI.js on the front-end and Node, Mediasoup, Socket.io and Matter.js (physics engine) on the backend.

Feel free to jump in into the demo room (https://flat.social/f/Flat.Social-Demo) to say hi, I’ll be hanging out there throughout today.

Would love to hear your thoughts on it!

  • 166 points
  • β€’ 14 days ago

  • @pawelwentpawel
  • Created a post

Show HN: I built a fun video meeting app with 2D physics and proximity chat


@firatcan β€’ 14 days

Replying to @pawelwentpawel πŸŽ™

Hey there,

Great work! I loved how responsive it's. There is fun to play with animations. The flying emojis, and animations!!!

Love the backgrounds but needs some improvements as well :)

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@sophrocyne β€’ 14 days

Reminded me of https://www.around.co/ , but they’ve clearly grown beyond the simple β€œfun video calls” value prop since I last saw them and raised venture.

Fun idea!

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@severak_cz β€’ 14 days

Strange. I wanted to show app formerly called Caala to which I contributed but it disappeared from github. I wonder if this is because it became this.

Also - which JS library do you use to voice chat and video calls? I wanted to implement voice chat myself.

EDIT: it was just archived - https://github.com/capnmidnight/Calla

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@ab_testing β€’ 14 days

Wow, very interesting. What tech stack did you use to build this. Also the video chat components, is that an open source plugin that was customized for your app or was that also coded from scratch.

I am just surprised that a solo developer or a small team can build something so interesting and fun. I would'nt even know where to start.

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@mcelearr β€’ 13 days

Love the way that you interact with the space. Feels very intuitive. Nice job!

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@hkon β€’ 14 days

Wow, looks great.

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@WoodenChair β€’ 14 days

How is it different from InSpace? https://inspace.chat/

What’s the future revenue model? How expensive are the servers?

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@rhythmofrest β€’ 14 days


@apineda β€’ 13 days

Wonder if you could make using a camera optional?

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@jrm4 β€’ 13 days

This seems a kazillion times smarter then literally every goofy metaverse thing I've seen lately. Well done.

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@herschel113 β€’ 13 days

Also see https://workadventu.re/ .

Already seen it working well for 1000+ visitors congress meeting hub.

Plus it has some well matured Web 1.0 capabilities: Everyone can host space by a simple file server and link with other existing spaces. As the rooms / spaces do not need to be hosted on the same server the application is served by.

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@sgt β€’ 14 days

Really cool - just spoke to Pawel for a bit, then I teleported into space.

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@gsempe β€’ 14 days

The video / virtual env seems very well integrated. I have to admit the demo video made me smile

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@KMag070 β€’ 13 days

This looks fun. Well done on making super responsive and interactive. I can already see challenging this with my team XD

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@dmje β€’ 13 days

I started off thinking ...man, ANOTHER damn video calling app / virtual workspace / etc...

...and then I started scrolling through some of the fun stuff, like using avatars in games..and as I scrolled I thought more and more "this is fun...I could use this".

Haven't actually dug in and tried it, and don't know if it'll stick - but getting over the hump of my cynicism is definitely an achievement worth celebrating - well done :-)

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@midenginedcoupe β€’ 14 days

One thing these types of tools also need to consider is online safety. I've seen others implement things like personal boundaries, hiding from others, and avoiding being boxed in by others. Just to name a few.

I couldn't see anythig on your website that addresses any of these sorts of concerns?

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@CodeBeater β€’ 14 days

This seems to be a take on Gather.town with more realistic graphics. My team has been using Gather for almost a year now, so I'll give it a shot.

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@brumm β€’ 14 days

This really surprised me! It's super polished already and works great! Gonna try to do our company's virtual happy hour here. Great job!

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@aklarfeld β€’ 14 days

This is absolutely awesome. As someone who has used Gather a bit, this blows it out of the water. Incredibly intuitive and fun way to move around and talk to your friends and coworkers. Once you realize that you don't need, nor want, the 8-bit paradigm to interact with folks, Flat.social clearly becomes the superior way to interact virtually.

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@seabea β€’ 14 days

I'm surprised so many people are allowed to use video conferencing platforms that aren't Zoom/Slack/Teams.

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@korm β€’ 14 days

Very creative. Is this HRTF-like spatial audio or are you just modulating volume based on proximity/walls?

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@weh β€’ 14 days

Ah, Memories of hours using the Palace Chat come up again. Hours of editing Avatars and hanging out with old friends. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Palace_(computer_program)

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@krm01 β€’ 14 days

Looks fantastic. I'm tinkering with a better way to communicate with text (Slack just doesn't work), but this seems to be really great for video meetings.

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@mentos β€’ 14 days

Hey amazing work. I attempted a 3D version of this in 2020 using playcanvas and Agora.io but ran into the realization that navigating a 3D world is not intuitive for non-gamers. Also, 2D is great because it lets you author new content 10x faster and be more performant than 3D. Really love how you implemented a physics engine to make it all that much more playful. Curious to know what your pipeline is to create the environments?

I agree with some other comments on here about trying to offload more processing on the client but for now I think you have a viable product to first find your market and then you can work to optimize later. No idea if its technically possible but I wonder if you could create a slack plugin to make it as few clicks as possible for remote teams to spin one of these up? Ideally you could render it in the slack channel but that's probably not feasible (unless you're able to pitch Slack/Discord on it?). Great work, good luck!

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@mattanimation β€’ 13 days

looks eerily similar to https://dotdot.social/

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@puranjay β€’ 14 days

This looks amazing! Congrats

The games look particularly interesting - I've been in meetings where everyone uses awkward verbal games to break the ice, but this would be so much more fun

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@l7l β€’ 13 days

Looks like a wonder.me copycat

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@smrtinsert β€’ 14 days

Looks like a very fun stack!

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@failTide β€’ 14 days

Love your UI - nice work.

Edit - no way for me to delete my account though

Just as a note - the reason I decided to stop using it was it was too hard for me to find anyone else on there, just kind of gave up and left.

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