Croquet Announces Unity Beta Metaverse Tool ahead of GDC 2023

The novel platform will offer developers access to an unprecedented toolkit for metaverse experiences

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Last Edited: June 5, 2023

Demond Cureton

Croquet Corporation announced on Thursday last week it had launched its Croquet for Unity solution. The new JavaScript multiplayer framework integrates with Unity to provide a novel approach for developers.

The company will trial a Beta version of its latest metaverse solution at the Game Developers Conference 2023 in San Francisco in March.

With it, people can create Unity-based immersive experiences without writing or maintaining multiplayer code. It also eliminates the need to deploy servers, offering Unity developers access to the Croquet platform and multiplayer network. Additionally, it facilitates JavaScript-based Unity development, leading to a greatly expanded pool of developers with increasingly democratised solutions.

The latter incorporates Croquet’s global network of reflectors across four continents, allowing coordinated, seamless interactions in metaverse spaces via its Synchronised Computation Architecture.

This allows Croquet to synchronise the evolution of state over time via computations on the network, eliminating requirements to transmit physics, artificial intelligence (AI), and other complex computations.

For virtual worlds, this condenses computing power from multiplayer code to single-player code as gaming simulations operate on devices. Code is later executed across a shared virtual computer, operating “bit-identically” across clients to synchronise data and computations instantaneously.

This provides each user with a unique point of view, with reflector networks leveraging edge and cloud computing with multi-access edge computing (MEC) 5G networks. Such technologies significantly reduce latency, bandwidth requirements, and deployment costs, and accelerate time to market and player experiences.

By creating an unprecedented framework for shared immersive experiences, users can benefit from shared real-time physics, replicated non-player character behaviours, and complex gaming interactions. Previous networks in the industry have failed to accommodate bandwidth and complexity requirements for such simulations.

Comments on Croquet-Unity Integration

David A Smith, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Croquet, said multiplayer games were the most important and fastest-growing part of the gaming market.

He explained,

“Building and maintaining multiplayer games is still just too hard. Croquet takes the netcode out of creating multiplayer games. When we say ‘innately multiplayer,’ we mean games are multiuser automatically from the first line of code and not as an afterthought writing networking code to make it multiplayer.”

Brian Upton, Chief Creative Officer, Croquet, added that, due to his experience with multiplayer games across several engine, he was “well aware of the pain of setting up servers and synching player experience.”

Continuing, the veteran game designer for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon along with Smith, stated,

“Croquet has enabled me to write complicated multiplayer games by myself without even thinking about the netcode. I code the game like it’s single-player, and when a second player joins it just WORKS. And there’s no bandwidth limit to the number of simulation objects, which opens up the possibility of new genres of multiplayer games with interactive physics or crowd AI”

Those seeking to receive a sneak peek of the Beta trial can do so from April by joining its early access waitlist. Those attending the GDC 2023 can also reach out to Smith and others from the company for a live demo.

The Unity Asset Store will also host the free Croquet for Unity Package, which requires a developer application programme interface (API) key from the Los Angeles-based firm. Users must also receive a gaming or enterprise subscription to access its Croquet Multiplayer Network.

Croquet Updates

The news comes after the company’s metaverse platform earned it a WebXR Platform of the Year award at the 3rd Polys Web Awards event in early March.

Croquet also released its Microverse integrated developer environment (IDE) in June last year. Its Microverse IDE offers Web3 developers access and tools for creating interoperable, low-latency metaverse worlds.

Users can also leverage the platform’s high-performing virtual spaces and standards-based platform for optimal experiences. It also offers multiplane portal technologies to navigate separately and independently designed immersive, interoperable, decentralised, and secure virtual spaces.

At the XR Summit last year, Croquet’s top exec explained how his firm’s technologies were key infrastructure for building simulations across public and private 5G networks.

He said at the time,

“When you interact with something that you see […], your message gets sent up to the reflector, which can’t look at it. It’s actually encrypted and all it does is time stamp. That message is then sent to all the participants, and this virtual machine then basically computes the state of the system”

Speaking further, Smith said at the time that the Metaverse would integrate “augmented conversation where AI is a full participant,” facilitating real-time content generation for immersive worlds.




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