Niantic, the developer behind the success of the blockbuster Pokemon Go, announced its next augmented reality game — and again, it’s full of adorable creatures. Called Peridot, the game is about caring for and raising magical creatures. Think of it as Pokemon Go crossed with a Tamagotchi, with added real-world and AR elements.
Here’s the basic premise, according to Niantic: “After thousands of years of slumber, Peridots are awakening to a world very different from the one they wandered in, and they will need your help to save them from extinction. ” In practical terms, this means that you’ll take care of the creatures by training, feeding and playing with them, helping them grow from cute little babies to grown adults before eventually breeding more.
One of the defining aspects of peridots is that each creature is unique. They all look different – thanks to a combination of handcrafted and procedurally generated assets – and have distinct personality traits. Niantic says they also have their own DNA; this ties into the aspect of reproduction, which the developer says is “modeled after how DNA works in real life.” There are different creature archetypes, like unicorn or cheetah, and these can be mixed and matched during breeding to create all new adorable little creatures.
(And no, although they are unique digital assets, peridots are do not NFT. “It’s a really interesting idea, and it’s something we’re obviously looking at,” senior producer Ziah Fogel said. The edge. “But right now, we’re focused on testing and improving the core gameplay experience to make sure it’s really fun and accessible.”)
Like Niantic’s previous games – including, more recently, Pikmin Flower – much of the gameplay requires stepping out into the real world. This may mean looking for nests in the wild, necessary for reproduction, or satisfying your Peridot’s needs by taking walks or finding him specific food. It should also be noted that despite a storyline about saving a species from extinction, there is no death in Peridot. “There’s no punitive element to this game,” says Fogel. “Creatures will never die. Instead, we try to reward players to come back and play with their creatures more often.
Likewise, AR seems to be an important component of the game; just like in Pokemon Go and similar games, part of the experience is seeing these fantastical creatures in the real world. Peridot is being built with Niantic’s Lightship platform, and the developer claims that the game’s virtual creatures can “recognize different real-world surfaces such as dirt, sand, water, grass, and foliage. and react accordingly.
Since the resounding success of Pokemon GoNiantic has primarily focused on other licensed properties like pikmine, Harry Potteretc, Transformers. Peridot will notably be the developer’s first entirely original property since Entrance. And while the new game doesn’t have a specific release date, Niantic says it will roll out to “select markets” in April on the App Store and Google Play, while “additional markets will be added as testing and iterations during the soft launch continues.