Pokemon GO developer Niantic already has a lot of projects baking in the oven. The developer is working on its next game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and it continues to release major updates to Pokemon GO, most recently adding Pokemon trading features. But even with other projects in the works, Niantic has now revealed two new concepts for multiplayer games.
Both games are built on Niantic‘s new cross-platform AR technology (augmented reality technology), which “facilitates high performance shared AR experiences using low-latency AR networking techniques.” The first of these games is called Codename: Tonehenge and is described as a real-world AR multiplayer puzzle game. Gameplay sees players drag heavy, virtual stone structures to certain points, rotating the statues to unlock energy orbs that in turn are used to unlock a jigsaw which must then be solved by the players.
The other game is called Codename: Neon and has been described by some as AR-powered laser tag. This game again utilizes an orbs system as players run around to collect orbs before using them to attack enemy targets in exchange for points. The win condition is simple enough: just secure more points than the enemies by the end of the game.
As the “Codename” titling suggests, Neon and Tonehenge are works in progress and although the videos are of gameplay footage, Niantic isn’t yet ready to release them to the world. However, the developer is very committed to its vision of cross-platform AR technology.
Niantic didn’t create this technology by itself and the new tech comes after the developer purchased cross-platform AR developer Escher Reality five months ago. The developer has big plans for the technology and this shows in these game demos and in its company acquisitions.
Niantic’s executives have also spoken repeatedly about their desire to push the AR development sector forward, including building AR games with more of a focus on audio and not just visual mediums. Moreover, the developer purchased social developer Evertoon last year to work on social features for AR games. Evertoon is also known for its work with emojis and 3D avatars, presenting some interesting developments for future Niantic projects. So while it’s yet to be seen exactly how all of these ideas may be combined, these new multiplayer game concepts show that Niantic is working hard to tie them all together.