Augmented Reality is going to reshape the entertainment experiences of tomorrow, altering how we engage with the digital and real worlds. At Niantic, we’re building towards this immersive future by transforming how people interact with the world, and each other.
We view AR as a sea of opportunity and we can’t navigate these waters alone. We know developers are key to creating the new kinds of experiences that get people to explore and connect with the real world. Collaborating hand-in-hand with WB Games to create Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was just the first step in opening up the Niantic Real World Platform to more creative development minds.
Niantic Creator Program and the Niantic Beyond Reality Fund
Working with talented developers to help them achieve their visions in location-based experiences and augmented reality is a key purpose behind developing the Niantic Real World Platform, so early next year, we're going to launch the Niantic Creator Program.
We're inviting all developers with a passion for real-world experiences to apply to collaborate directly with us, starting today at www.niantic.dev
By joining the program, creators can expect access to Niantic opportunities, the first of which will be the Niantic Beyond Reality Fund. This new fund is designed to bring inspiring, innovative real-world AR projects to life - from early prototypes to complete commercial experiences. The Beyond Reality Fund will give creators the opportunity to pitch their ideas directly to Niantic to secure funding and kick-start their creations.
Another opportunity will be gaining access to the Niantic Real World Platform augmented reality development kit. This proprietary toolset is created from all of the knowledge and experience Niantic has acquired building real world games like Pokémon GO and Harry: Potter Wizards Unite.
Finally, participants will be notified of opportunities to learn from the incredible developers here at Niantic on how to best leverage these tools, and gain insights from our learnings in building and shipping location-based and AR experiences worldwide.
Aspiring developers can apply for the Niantic Creator Program here.
Niantic Beyond Reality Contest
The Niantic Creator Program is a direct extension from this year’s Niantic Beyond Reality Contest. Through the contest, we chose ten developers to work with - we provided funding, as well as access to the tools and services we use to operate Niantic’s own products. This was the first time external teams were given the keys to the Niantic Real World Platform, to create, experiment and produce their projects. We brought them to our HQ in San Francisco for a weeklong event to both onboard them and have them learn directly from the folks that have built and continue to work on these tools every day.
In just 4 months, all 10 teams - from seasoned game developers to university students - had created a Niantic powered experience. Last month, these teams came back to San Francisco to show off the creations. Here’s a quick recap:
Of all the amazing projects, JC Soft, a talented family team, won the grand prize with their incredibly inventive game Run to My Heart. It truly exemplified my hopes for this contest. It has a quirky, unique creative vision, and - most importantly - leveraged the various features of the Niantic Real World Platform in new and different ways.
Our runner up teams including Dibs Studio which created Wild SanctuARy and Escality which created CryptOS built some truly innovative and thoughtful AR experiences. You can get a glimpse of these games here:
We also want to take a moment to thank all of the participants in the Beyond Reality Contest including:
- Bio-Squad K - MechaChicken
- Cute vs. Chaos - HappyGiant
- ExplorAR - Team ExplorAR
- Flint and Steam - Land Lubber Games
- The Gettysburg Battlefield - HitPoint Studios
- Kymera - Team TriHeart
- Novagarde - Ninth Wonder
Among our biggest takeaways from the Beyond Reality Contest was that we really can help developers of all kinds and spark a diversity of AR creations. We are aiming to do even more next year through our Niantic Creator Program.
We’re looking forward to shaping the future of AR together with the many talented developer minds around the world and to create unique experiences the world has never seen before.
—Kellee Santiago, Head of Developer Relations