Core is a self-described “endless arcade,” which portrays itself as a 90s cyberpunk fever dream come alive. Half no-code game creator, half playable game library, and all neon lights, this platform is a well-realized vision of the metaverse that everyone appears to be discussing lately.
Branding itself as the “portal to the multiverse,” Core is well-positioned to test the age-old proposition that says ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Mega firms like Facebook and Roblox may have already established massive platforms, but Core is seen to have laid the comprehensive groundwork to cater to the players and creators.
After logging into Core, the players are transported to the central hub. This hub is a fitting cross between a high-tech mall and a casino and a theme park. Notably, there are many shopping and entertainment spots within a few steps away in every direction.
Beautifully crafted giant neon signs beckon, which excites and attracts the players to hop into many of the available user-generated virtual worlds. Changing clothes and in-game gear or even inviting others to jump in with you takes just a few clicks. Cruising around and people watching is quite interesting in the Core.
If Core resembles Fortnite, it is not a coincidence. Core is developed by Manticore Games and is powered by Fortnite-maker Epic’s Unreal engine. The ties are deeper. In 2020, Epic spearheaded a $15 million round of investment in the firm and the platform is exclusively available via the Epic Games Store for PC.
In March 2021, Manticore managed to raise $100 million from a grab bag of several major investors and took its creator platform live.
Core is not yet a mainstream name. However, it has already solved one of the challenges that the other metaverse aspirants have to crack. Many analysts who have tested the platform say that their experience while moving from one place to another was quite smooth.
It is easy to find yourself in the wrong place but it is always interesting irrespective of where you go. Despite encountering a few incidents of user error, you can instantly get transported to a Deadmau5 show, an isometric pirate game, or an overgrown dystopian wasteland in one walk.
After taking a walk through several portals, many users say that it provided them with smoother online multiplayer experiences than any other game. Currently, Core appears great. That is believed to be a major strike against Roblox, which is ranked among the most successful firms creating a vision for the metaverse. Roblox was recently hacked by pro-Trump supporters who published various political messages.
Just like Fortnite, Core’s graphics are somehow but not much cartoony. Roblox’s under-13 base is now growing up, which is a factor that the firm is actively planning around. The not-so-young players might soon be seeking new virtual homes that have more mature vibes.
In that context, any aspiring edgelord can take themselves more seriously with Core’s wide array of custom outfits and avatars. The users also have an option of exploring the metaverse as a kitty.
Deadmau5 Is The Metaverse Resident
A majority of the content that is available on Core is UGC, user-generated content. That is a trendy name for an era-defining online phenomenon. Nonetheless, Manticore also has a lot of room available to partner with brands and different musicians for extensively elaborate themed in-game experiences.
DJ and EDM festival perennial Deadmau5 launched a sprawling and colorful series of experiences that is referred to as a “permanent residency in the metaverse.” Notably, Core is mainly home to user-made games. It is also a natural fit for education and entertainment, according to the team. Interestingly, some of the users have already started hosting game development classes.
— Goat lord (@deadmau5) October 14, 2021
As opposed to the recent shows that happened in other virtual worlds like Ariana Grande in Fortnite or Lil Nas X in Roblox, the team confirmed that the Deadmau5-themed content will remain live after its debuts. Thus, anyone can explore the content later on. The Manticore team compared this strategy to the way performers like Teller and Penn camp out in Las Vegas for continuous shows. Many agree that this metaphor is quite appropriate.
What’s different from Vegas is that the performers on this platform can be in two places simultaneously. Deadmau5 also said that he would participate in a music festival that was hosted on the Decentraland last week.
In the preview of the performance, Deadmau5, né Joel Zimmerman, wore one of his common giant animal helmets and cyborg angel wings. For anyone going for the ‘little black dress’ of the metaverse, a black hoodie is a great option. né Joel Zimmerman said:
“I think what drew me to it was the modularity of it all and how it gives more tools to creators.”
Players can hop around wildly in Core as they explore the multiverse world. As is common with virtual concerts, the interactive performance is highly-stocked with mini-games, melting psychedelic visuals, and a menacing Chain Chomp-Esque mouse that has turntable ears.
Zimmerman together with Core co-founders Frederic Descamps and Jordan Maynard say that every participant was guaranteed to have fun while participating in the concert despite the number of times that they view it.
At some point, you might fall into hot lava or get smashed on a conveyer belt by huge metal fists while a Deadmau5-themed villain looms nearby. Maynard said:
“I think it’s the only interactive concert you can die in.”
The team said that all shows hosted on the Core are visually a lot of fun and creatively interactive. They aim to resemble and compete with the concerts that are held in Fortnite, which sets the bar significantly high for this type of content.
Oberhasli is an elaborate virtual experience that showcases different worlds that are uniquely created by fans who have no game development experience. The unique worlds range from a spooky world that is dominated by floating space debris to an eerie jungle ruin.
The Core Deadmau5 performance kicked off on October 15, 2021, at 3 PM PT. It replayed over the weekend and is now available on-demand for anybody who wishes to get smashed into an EDM pancake.
The Core Platform For Creators
The Core tour can devolve into players and users running through secret gates behind a destructible wall and world-hopping speedily through game genres. Each of these game genres is remarkably polished for something that does not need any game or code development experience.
Shifting from one game world to the next takes a few seconds even with a shaky internet connection. You may find yourself even running through a place that appears like World of Warcraft’s (WoW) dark portal. During the tour, you can sail in an isometric pirate ship.
The WoW nod is not a coincidence. Descamps became nostalgic about the prime days of WoW machinima, narrative movies that are developed via captured gameplay. He managed to explain just like a serious longtime player could do. Previously, Maynard and Descamps worked on Rift, another fantasy MMO, which still commands a loyal following ten years later.
Today, everyone is raving about the metaverse. Nonetheless, only a few firms in the space trace their roots back to the smooth virtual gaming worlds believed to have united people for many years.
To show how it is easy to create in Core, Maynard quick-built a first-person shooter for his guests to play. The drag-and-drop process took two minutes of indulging into Core’s massive library of original in-game assets that were developed using its in-house system.
Anyone who wishes to create content on the platform, can get several 3D objects and choose a game mode from the available template choices that include racing, battle royale, and dungeon crawler. Using these objects, they can quickly create a polished-looking playable game that is designed in Core’s modular sandbox.
Setting a game in a chilly snowscape or even a barren desert on this platform involves just dragging and dropping. Interestingly, it lends the environment an expansive feel. Apart from gameplay, the out-of-box Core games appear significantly better than the UGC available in Roblox. However, the platform’s users do not mind the experience.
The depth of visual styles coupled with game genres is mind-blowing for anyone who comes from the UGC offered by the other platforms.
Anyone who creates content on the Core platform has a great array of monetization channels available, referred to as ‘perks’ by Manticore. The creator can offer in-game cosmetic items, charge for premium games, implement a subscription model, or sell Fortnite-like battle passes.
The available revenue is split 50/50 which is quite generous compared to the 25% that Roblox gives creators. Everyone is a creator in Core and no development experience is needed.
The team has confirmed that the platform is PC-only available for now. Nevertheless, Manticore is planning to bring more versions compatible with other platforms like iOS, from 2022.
Game creation might be limited to PC for now. But, the idea is to enable users to play Core games anywhere. This strategy boosted Fortnite earlier and Roblox more recently. Descamps said:
“[Game development] is kind of like baking: a very precise formula, technical, can take weeks to iterate.”
Interestingly, the technical stuff is eliminated which speeds up processes, leaving more time for play and experimentation on Core.