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Check Out These WebXR Mixed Reality Demos With Crossplay Between Quest 3 And Phones

Check Out These WebXR Mixed Reality Demos With Crossplay Between Quest 3 And Phones

Niantic and Meta partnered to fund three multiplayer mixed reality demo games that run in the browser and support both Quest 3 and mobile.

The demos were built over a ten week period using Niantic's 8th Wall web-based AR engine, which has a fully in-browser editor and offers cloud hosting for built projects. Niantic is the company behind smartphone AR games like Pokémon GO, Pikmin Bloom, and Monster Hunter Now.

The condition of the funding for the three teams was that their projects use 8th Wall's multiplayer module, which can enable cross-play between headsets and traditional mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Niantic Buys 8th Wall WebAR Development Platform
Pokemon Go technology company Niantic continues to stock up on technologies to power AR development with the purchase of 8th Wall. 8th Wall has helped power a large number of Web-based AR experiences for a variety of major brands and Niantic sees the purchase as offering developers a more accessible

The three demos are Cardboard Crashers, Magical Forest, and BeeQuest.

Cardboard Crashers and Magical Forest support realtime multiplayer with crossplay between Quest 3 and mobile. BeeQuest on the other hand is asymmetric - you can switch between Quest 3 and mobile and your progress is stored to your Google account.

I found the performance of Cardboard Crashers and Magical Forest very poor on Quest 3, with visibly low frame rate, which was surprising given they're both relatively graphically simple and ran well on my phone.

Another note: while the multiplayer fully works in Cardboard Crashers and Magical Forest, they doesn't include colocation, because WebXR anchors currently don't support sharing/networking. That means you'll have to manually align both the position and size of the board between devices to believably play in the same space.

We also tried to load all three demos on Apple Vision Pro in Safari, but they seemed to think the Vision Pro was a phone and tried to access the camera, only to obtain a virtual Persona webcam feed. Given the games are designed to be used with tracked controllers, Vision Pro would probably require specific porting anyways.

Cardboard Crashers

Cardboard Crashers is a turn-based game where each player sets the direction and force of their car with the objective of knocking the other player's cars off the board.

The game uses 8th Wall's physics module for the collisions between cars.

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You can access Cardboard Crashers at this URL.

Magical Forest

Magical Forest is a realtime exploration game where players each control a character with the goal of uncovering all the insects in the scene.

You have a book with magical spells you can cast to help out.

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You can access Magical Forest at this URL.

BeeQuest

BeeQuest is a game where you work for a bee colony to collect pollen and harvest nectar, and can fend off invading wasps.

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Compared to the other demos, BeeQuest has divergent core gameplay between headsets and mobile:

"In the real world, players can use their phones to follow the map and uncover AR flowers, where they assign players to harvest pollen and nectar. With these resources in tow, they can either continue playing on mobile or switch to a headset to manage their resources and use the pollen and nectar to create more honey and bees. On Meta Quest 3, players can also enter a battle mode to protect their hive from pesky wasps wanting to steal their honey."

To pull off the real world map integration on mobile, BeeQuest uses Niatnic's Lightship Maps module, the same technology that powers its games like Pokémon GO.

You can access BeeQuest at this URL.


Update: we were sent a public URL for BeeQuest shortly after publication, and this article has been updated to reflect that.

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