The inspiration for Gravity Racer was born out of a nostalgic dream to bring together the fun and simplicity of Mario Kart with retro/classic car design. Leveraging augmented reality technology opens up the possibilities and brings a simple racing game to life within your environment.

What it does

Transform any room, public space, or a natural environment into an insane gravity defying racetrack! One of the great joys of XR is combining real-world environments with simple gaming experiences. Our game intelligently deploys ramps, jumps, and power zones to smooth your path and boost your speed!

Retro audio & visual effects combined with a futuristic edge unique to XR provide a truly unique experience for all ages. A simple points system rewards smooth driving, gaining speed and catching air.

How we'll build it

We intend to build Gravity Racer using Unity Game Engine and Magic Leap’s World Reconstruction Features. Initially, the user will be prompted to scan the play space. During this time, we will use either Meshing or Plane Extraction to build a virtual model of the play space. We will likely have a fun/visual mini-experience to “gamify” this initial scan, and begin to create immersion & excitement. Once we have the geometry, we will “flatten” it into a 2 dimensional map and then use pathfinding and Perlin noise to create a winding track that span the floors, walls, and even ceilings of the play space. Once we have the basic mechanics in place, we will add virtual obstacles such as jumps, boulders, lava rivers etc, and also turn real world obstacles into virtual obstacles for more accurate representation of the physical space. We will evaluate both Magic Leap Hand Poses (virtual steering wheel, RC remotes etc.) and Magic Leap One Control for race car controls. Additionally, we will leverage Hand Poses to allow the user to interact with the world; ie. throw a banana on the track or manipulate a virtual obstacle to throw off their opponents.

Challenges We're Expecting

Our biggest challenge will be successfully using the geometry model obtained to create physics defying tracks that feel smooth and utilize real world objects/surfaces in the room. We also are expecting to spend a lot of time fine tuning the steering/accelerate mechanism to feel natural using the controls provided by Magic Leap.

What's next for Gravity Racer

The only limit to possibilities for Gravity Racer is the imagination. With a game like this, it’s relatively simple to set up various gameplay variations. Not only that, but many vehicle types could be designed to give the player endless customization options. An obvious extension is to make Gravity Racer a multiplayer game.

Some possible game modes include:

  • Rally! Place rally points in various places in the room, the player (eventually the players) must race to each point in order and then cross the finish line!
  • Tag! Many racers are moving about the area. One racer starts with a monster car, and chases the others. Each one the monster car hits joins the monster team and chases the others!
  • Arena! Various cars move and race around a section of the room. Get points for ramming others, play to X hits!
  • Mega-jump! Get up as much speed as you can, and hit the jump! See how far you can fly!

Boosts & traps are simple and add complexity and fun to the game.


  • Pushers Drive over them and get knocked quickly forward!
  • Invulnerability Pick this up, and blow through other cars and traps!
  • Reactionless Lose all inertia! Hard to control, but make crazy corners - aka bananas


  • Energy Walls You can’t drive over these, hit one and get stopped dead
  • Gravity Traps Lay on the track: Hit one of these on the wall or ceiling, and get knocked off!
  • Flame Walls You can drive through them, but you get scorched! Slow down and/or take damage!
  • Wormhole Drive in one place, come out another! Surprising!

Our Team

Gravity Racer was conceived by a group of coworkers at Akili Interactive; a prescription digital medicine company combining scientific and clinical rigour with the ingenuity of the tech industry to reinvent medicine. Akili is famously developing a mobile racing game that taps into brain chemistry and is proven to improve symptoms of ADHD in children.

Our team members have a wide variety of skills in engineering and design and a unquestionable passion for mixed reality. The research and development team at Akili has experience developing multiple projects in AR and VR using Unity Game Engine. We’ve used OpenCV as well as Vuforia for marker-based as well as marker-less AR. We’ve written pure VR experiences using Google Cardboard to immerse people in new worlds. Past employers include Unity, Lucas Arts, Disney, and MonkeyFun. We've worked on games such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Mafia franchises, League of WAR:VR Arena, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, and other independent VR titles.

We have an engineer specializing in visual effects & cinematics with over 25 years experience in AAA console game development. One of our engineers is very active in the XR community and has created numerous webXr and native experiences for conferences, meet ups, etc.. He has also created video games sound visualizers on both web and native platforms. He contributes to the open source community and is passionate about the democratization of 3d on the web, declarative markup, and extended reality experiences. Our wide breadth of knowledge in game design, UX/UI design, 3d modelling/rendering, vfx, and mixed reality game development give us a powerful edge in creating a unique and groundbreaking game for all to enjoy.

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