Niantic Lightship Global Jam Wraps Up Revealing AR creations from 60 developers

Ninja hopscotch, racing colorful pet pigs, and an art installation that has you carving swaths of augmented reality out of a real park in Croatia are among the stunning augmented reality creations developed during the Niantic Lightship Global Jam over the summer.

New York-based game development company Playcrafting teamed up with AR technology company Niantic, the creator of augmented reality hits like PokémonGO to launch the jam in June.

The jam wrapped up earlier this month after hosting virtual events in the U.S., Europe, and Japan with 60 paid developers who developed 14 creations using early access to the Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK). The overarching themes for the summer jam were discovery, exploration, and movement.

Niantic Lightship encompasses the full Niantic platform, including the suite of features and services that power Niantic games. Niantic Lightship ARDK is a robust set of tools that enable developers to create experiences and bring them to life with depth, physics, occlusions, multiplayer and semantic segmentation.

Developers can join the virtual launch event for Niantic’s Lightship ARDK on Monday, November 8th, 2021.

AR experiences created during the jams

U.S. Jam
Interdimensional Portals
Petricore Games
Peer into other dimensions and play a variety of absurd scenarios in this medley of minigames.

Tonchachi AR
Urban Electronic Games
An augmented reality pet simulator that features cute piggies. Walk, pet, feed, and race them.

Passage AR
Enva Division
Experience video chats in shared environments in this AR companion to the studio’s pixel-streamed, photo-real video chat program Passage.

Lex Avellino from Enva Division:
“The Niantic Lightship jam was exciting! The technology opens incredible AR opportunities for developers, and the Niantic team has a beautiful vision for how this grows. It is a great platform to work with, and the team offered lots of guidance. We can’t wait to continue building as Lightship develops!”

Solar Driftwood
A short-form atmospheric puzzle game that uses augmented reality to add new perspectives to puzzle-box levels.

Europe Jam
Star Bloom
A location-based sci-fi gardening game that has players retrieving tools in the real world from spaceship drops and then using them to cultivate unique plants that can stop the spread of a life-killing alien plan called Dark Vine.

Stuart Spencer from BELOUDEST:
“The Beloudest team had a blast getting to grips with the new Lightship ARDK and it’s already shaping up to be a step ahead of the competition in regards to real-time meshing, having taken a break from AR development for a short period it has reignited our passion for the AR projects. We are really looking forward to how it progresses in the future.”

Yord Studio
A powerful tool for creating interactive location-based stories, through rich self-contained experiences.

Blossom World AR
Tough Nut to Crack
A shared world experience that has users collecting items to influence the AR world being generated around them.

The Metaverse Park
Delta Reality
A merged digital and physical world where people can interact and communicate through augmented reality and virtual reality. Users augment the real work with digital overlays, which in turn augments the virtual representation of the world to make it appear more realistic.

Darian Skarica from Delta Reality:
“This ARDK multiplayer functionality changed our perspective on how multiplayer AR experiences can work. Until now we were looking at multiplayer AR as a board game, where players can interact with some content but are themselves ‘invisible’. They can interact with the environment, but they aren’t part of the game. Lightship proved us wrong – AR multiplayer experiences can have the same level of player integration as, let’s say, a VR game or standard FPS where players can become interactive parts of the experience or for the lack of a better word, targets.”

Gold Quest AR
Invisible Toys
A multiplayer quest game inspired by real-world escape rooms. Players work together to complete mini-games, solve puzzles, as they race to complete the quest.

Japan Jam
Turn Japan into a real-life role-playing game as you explore the world around you with the Kanji-catcher, which guides them through towns and neighborhoods, showing cool places to visit and delivering details about their surroundings. The Katcha! is also used to scan special spots to mine the local kanji for study at home and trading with friends.

Liam Conroy from NekoLogic:
“We really enjoyed the jam and the experience. We’re very excited to get involved with the ARDK at this early stage, and are looking forward to what it brings us in the future. Shouts out to Playcrafting for bringing us the opportunity and Niantic for the ARDK!”

Sports Day
AR meets track and field in this game that has you take on friends in a shared augmented reality track with customizable runners.

ken ken Ninjar
XRX Studio and Dendoh
A ninja-inspired hopscotch game that creates a course to race through in your environment.

Skeleton Crew Studio
A multiplayer game based on a race to discover treasure from a shared game map.

Friends Against the Invaders
Mad Monkeys
A Space Invaders-inspired multiplayer game that requires players to cooperate as they use a mix of unique two-player weapons to destroy enemies.

Written by
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