Meet “Contraptions,” A Multiplayer Mixed Reality Experience using Snapdragon Spaces and Niantic Lightship VPS
Contraptions is a cooperative multiplayer physics puzzle game enabled by the integration of Lightship VPS with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces using Lenovo A3 Smart Glasses.
  • “Contraptions” was created by Niantic’s “Tiger Team,” a group of spatial computing pioneers who have spent nearly a decade together creating world-first mixed reality (XR) games and experiences based in Aotearoa, New Zealand

  • Niantic’s Lightship VPS is the visual positioning system for the Lightship platform that allows for centimeter-level precision at hundreds of thousands of locations around the world enabling the persistent anchoring of AR content and colocalization of multiple players

  • The combination of Lightship VPS and the Snapdragon Spaces(™) XR developer platform allows developers to build precise location-based experiences for headsets that use Snapdragon Spaces

At Niantic, we are excited by the future of location-based AR, especially when we’ll all be able to wear AR glasses to explore the world together. While broad adoption is still on the horizon, we can make the future happen today thanks to XR devices like those powered Snapdragon(™) XR platforms. Creating experiences that fuse digital bits with physical atoms outside is what we focus on building in both the tools we create, like Lightship, and the playable demos we make, like Contraptions.


“Contraptions” is a cooperative multiplayer physics puzzle game enabled by the integration of Lightship VPS with Snapdragon Spaces. Snapdragon Spaces provides reference designs for hardware manufacturers to create Mixed Reality headsets powered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc’s leading Snapdragon processors and an SDK which allows developers to create experiences for these devices. Lightship VPS allows us to anchor virtual content to a specific location and for players wearing the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 to quickly and easily localize to that location and join the game.

As game developers we can design and deploy the experience to suit the physical location with confidence that all of our colorful Contraptions will stay in place as players come and go. Thanks to the accuracy of VPS we know where each player is and can bring them together in a multiplayer session.

Lightship’s cross-platform support also allows us to include mobile phones in the multiplayer session so that a spectator without a headset is able to observe the game and we can broadcast it to a nearby screen. This is a huge win for both playtesting (how often have you wondered what your players on an HMD were seeing!?) and making the game visible to observers in situations like trade shows.


When a player wearing a Lenovo A3 joins “Contraptions” their environment is suddenly filled with clanking machines spitting out a never ending stream of color coded magical marbles. As they look around they will see other players wearing absurdly fancy hats and a central machine with receivers for the 3 different marble colors.

Players must reach out and manipulate track pieces with hand tracking in order to create a path for each marble type to reach its intended destination. Track pieces range from simple straights and curves to aggressive launchers and bouncy trampolines. Up to four players work together by talking through the oddball challenge before them and passing track pieces to each other, trying many possible solutions until all the marbles are consistently rolling, bouncing, and launching into their targets.

As each Contraption is completed it glows with the colors of the rainbow and finishing the full set results in a raucous celebration of the team’s success!

Future Development

While only the earliest of adopters have headsets today, in 2024 many new devices will be coming to market and before you know it they’ll be everywhere. Making great games takes time so we’re working hard to make Lightship ready for developers to have tools to create amazing experiences as the future emerges.

Snapdragon and Snapdragon Spaces are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated. Snapdragon and Snapdragon Spaces are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Published March 25, 2024
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