Niantic, the developer behind the blockbuster smash hit Pokémon Go, has announced its next augmented reality game — and again, it’s full of adorable creatures. The game, called Peridot, is all about caring for and breeding magical critters. Think of it like Pokémon Go crossed with a Tamagotchi, with some real-world and AR elements thrown in.
Here’s the premise, according to Niantic: “After thousands of years of sleep, Peridots wake up in a world vastly different from the one they used to roam in, and they’ll need your help to protect them from extinction.” Practically speaking, this means taking care of creatures by training, feeding and playing with them, helping them grow from cute little babies to mature adults before eventually breeding more.
One of the defining aspects of Peridots is that each creature is unique. They all look different – through a combination of handcrafted means and procedural generation – and have different personality traits. Niantic says they also have their own DNA; this ties in with the breeding aspect, which the developer says is “modelled after the way DNA works in real life.” There are different archetypes of creatures, such as unicorn or cheetah, and these can be mixed during breeding to create all-new cute little critters.
(And no, despite being a unique digital asset, the Peridots are not NFTs. “It’s a really interesting idea, and it’s something we’re clearly looking at,” senior producer Ziah Fogel tells Custom Hour. testing and refining the core gameplay experience to make sure it’s really fun and accessible.”)
Like Niantic’s previous games – including most recently Pikmin Bloom – much of the gameplay has to be played in the real world. This may mean looking for nests in the wild that are necessary for breeding, or to meet your Peridot’s needs by going for walks or foraging for specific foods. It should also be noted that despite a storyline about saving some sort of extinction, there is no death in Peridot. “There is no punitive element in this game,” says Fogel. “The creatures will never die. Instead, we’re trying to reward people for players who come back and play with their creatures more often.”
“The creatures will never die.”
Likewise, AR seems to be a big part of the game; just like in Pokémon Go and similar games, part of the experience is seeing these fantastic creatures in the real world. Peridot is being built with Niantic’s Lightship platform, and the developer says the game’s virtual creatures can “recognize various real-world surfaces such as dirt, sand, water, grass, and foliage” and react accordingly.
Since the breakthrough success of Pokémon Go, Niantic has mainly focused on other licensed properties such as Pikmin, Harry Potter and, soon, Transformers. Notably, Peridot will be the developer’s first all-original property since Ingress. And while the new game doesn’t have a specific release date, Niantic says it will roll out to “select markets” on both the App Store and Google Play in April, while “additional markets will be added as testing and iteration during soft launch continues. ”