Developer of the hugely popular Pokémon GO, Niantic Labs, has taken to Twitter to showcase a new prototype that the company have been working dubbed Codename: Neon. The title, showcase in a short video posted on the new Niantic Engineering Twitter account, is a multiplayer augmented reality (AR) gaming experience that allows for intense neon filled battles.
Codename: Neon leverages cross-platform AR technology that has been built using low-latency AR networking techniques to allow for eight players to run a shared session. This session then allows for multiplayer, first-person shooter battles to be played in which allow for each user to fire neon orbs at each other, earning points and competing for the highest score in real-time.
The prototype facilitates high performance shared AR experiences along with cross-platform technology. The gameplay session seen in the below video was recorded on both Apple iPhone 8’s and Google Pixel 2 smart phones, running in conjunction to each other in the same session. This functionality brings a new level of possibilities to the world of crossplatform AR gaming and is a milestone for both the company and the technology.
Writing on their blog post about their new Niantic Real World Platform, Niantic Labs mention that one of the biggest challenges to overcome in creating multiplayer, visually compelling expertness was latency. Without the correct timing their is no way to build an experience that can be enjoyed by all those taking part to the same degree. To address this, Niantic Labs have developed a proprietary, low-latency AR networking solution that enables unified, cross-platform play with a singe code base, ensuring development is fast and easy.
The develop note that the Niantic Real World Platform could be used for a wide range of different application, they are focusing their efforts on building gaming experiences to showcase its power for now.
Codename: Neon comes hot off the heels that Niantic Labs had acquired Matrix Mill to advance their AR platform. With the success of their first title Ingress and now the ever growing Pokémon GO, it is no surprise that Niantic Labs are using their position to develop new and exciting AR opportunities and build a powerful platform as a foundation for future titles.
You can see the demonstration of Codename: Neon below and for more on Niantic Labs in the future keep reading VRFocus.