E3 2019 Interview: Calvin Labs Cross the AR/VR Divide With BOT-NET

Thanks to Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit, the consumer augmented reality (AR) industry has boomed over the last couple of years. In 2018, Calvin Labs released its first AR experience BOT-NET for iOS devices and soon plans on bridging the gap between AR and virtual reality (VR) with a Steam launch later this year. VRFocus caught up with Calvin Labs’ CEO, Brandon Biggs to learn more about the crossover title.

BOT-NET is a six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) first-person shooter (FPS) designed for iOS devices, putting players right in the middle of a robot war, with a mission to reclaim a tower and destroy the enemy. When loading up, a digital world overlays the real one, so in a small area players can use touch controls; dragging the left touchpad to move or swiping the right touchpad to turn. If they have a wider area to play in (such as a park), then the full motion controls can be used, so players can walk around, duck and cover as they fight.

Then in Fall 2019 BOT-NET will be making its way to Steam for Oculus Rift/Rift S, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality and Valve Index headsets. This will then allow both VR and AR players to either team up or go head-to-head online in an all-out robot battle. The studio also plans on supporting Oculus Quest.

In the video interview below, Biggs explains that Calvin Labs has used Apple’s ARKit to essentially build a VR videogame with cross-platform gameplay. The whole purpose of this idea is to get around the bottleneck of immersive multiplayer gaming, everyone doesn’t have a headset, but a lot more people do have a mobile device that can run AR applications. Therefore combining the two facilitates a far larger gaming community. That’s the plan anyway, so you’ll have to wait until later this year to see how the idea pans out (or take a look at BOT-NET now on iOS).

VRFocus will continue its coverage of BOT-NET, reporting back when further announcements are made. In the meantime take a look at VRFocus’ other interviews from E3 2019 with Oculus’ Jason Rubin, Vertigo Games, Gearbox Software, Ready at Dawn, nDreams, Digital Lode, Sensorium, Survios and Rebellion.

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