One game making waves within the growing metaverse scene alongside Fortnite and Roblox has been the user-generated focused online game Core. Developed by Manticore Games, Core is an online platform that gives players the tools to create a variety of activities and share them online, and it's grown considerably since its debut last year. It's now taking its concept a bit further by teaming with electronic DJ and producer Deadmau5 for a experimental music experience created entirely in Core.
With the upcoming Oberhasli event, Manticore Games worked with Deadmau5 to show off some of the latest creation tools with Core and debut new music and mini-games created by the artist himself. Just before the debut of the first live performance on Oct. 15 in Core, I got to experience an early showing of the Oberhasli concert and heard from the devs about the current landscape of metaverse games.
For those still wrapping their heads around what the so-called metaverse is all about, it essentially involves interactive platforms that remove the barriers between genres and aesthetics, allowing players to blend various types of characters, settings and other activities into a seamless experience. One moment you could be taking part in a fast-paced competitive shooter, and the next, you could jump into an event resembling game show obstacle courses or strategy simulations involving fantasy characters.
While Fortnite and Roblox are at the forefront of what we call metaverse experiences, Core has been steadily gaining more attention for offering players open access to developer tools, giving users the means to craft games and events and share them with others online.
The fun of Core is in the experience of world building, crafting elaborate events that can draw players in, and that's what the Oberhasli music festival is all about. Compared with Fortnite's takes on music concerts, Core's Deadmau5 event felt more interactive, like I was taking part in an elaborate funhouse that quickly transitioned into a surge of bizarre and vibrant imagery that felt in tune with Deadmau5's signature sound. Deadmau5 will run shows personally on Oct. 15, 16, 17, and afterward, the Oberhasli event will become a permanent mainstay activity in Core for anyone to check out on their own time.
Attendees start in an EDM music hall, with Deadmau5's Core avatar running the show. But when the first major beat drops, the floor gives way, pulling users through various environments that reverberate and pulse with the rhythm of the music. It felt like a light obstacle course in some ways, but ultimately it's about seeing Deadmau5's music brought to life through a trippy visual experience. Right after the event, you can hop into Deadmau5 curated mini-games, which include a Fall Guys-style game show where players compete to reach the finish. Frederic Descamps, CEO of Manticore Games, said Core's approach has been in the works for sometime. "The concept of the metaverse has definitely entered the zeitgeist in tech and in gaming these days, and I would say that we were doing it before it was called out," Descamps said. "To give credit where credit it due, it was really Tim Sweeney [founder and CEO of Epic Games] who reactivated that concept in 2018. A lot of people give attention to Ready Player One, but that was really just one of many things that captured the blend of sci-fi with fantasy. Where Core is different is that it's very rooted in UGC (user generated content), this idea of opening the world to the creativity of almost anybody. That's the beauty of it, we can just see what happens with it." The Oberhasli event is, in some ways, Core's first step into the mainstream. With Fortnite recently having concerts, movie trailer debuts and other real-world media seeping into the online world, Core is seeing one of the first examples of cross-over media that's bespoke for the game. For Oberhasli, the devs said Deadmau5 used the same tools other players had to create a unique social hub where visitors can mingle, along with Deadmau5 themed mini-games (made by the artist himself) that tie into the music experience. Core is still in its early stages compared with other metaverse games, but it shows great potential in the kinds of activities that can be crafted in the game. Currently, Core is on PC as an Epic Game Store exclusive, but the developers at Manticore Games are looking to expand further to other platforms. Along with consoles, they're also experimenting with mobile, with the plan to let players dive into Core and craft new experiences on the go.