Digital Catapult has selected eight British studios for Niantic. The developers will participate in pitching sessions over the summer to earn a spot in the augmented reality gas pedal program supported by the Lightship toolkit.
Three finalists will be chosen from eight studios to move on to create AR projects for Cartoon Network, Niantic Labs and Wayne McGregor Choreographic Studio. These finalists will create game demos using Niantic’s Lightship augmented reality developer kit (ARDK) and receive up to $118,000 to develop.
Lightship ARDK includes software that allows developers to create real-time 3D maps using smartphone cameras and semantic segmentation to interact virtual objects with natural surfaces.
The future of AR
As part of the company’s push to popularize AR technology in games, Niantic recently released Campfire, an app created to organize meetings and events in the company’s VR game catalogue.
Niantic and Digital Catapult will provide technical support to studios to help develop new cutting-edge AR applications. The three studios chosen for the partnership will showcase final concepts in early 2023.
Each of the studios takes an original approach to make games. No Ghost uses a rigid narrative structure different from other VR and AR developers: VR game Madrid Noir was included in the official selection of the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Neurotech, meanwhile, specializes in developing AR and mixed reality games for children ages seven to 10.