Google unveiled a platform a year ago that allows game developers to create location-based games based on Google Maps technology. And now the company is unveiling new options for art styles and games just before the game Developers Conference.
A number of game developers have used the platform over the past year to create games like Ludia's Shooter World: Alive. These games used the power of Google Maps and a real-time global understanding of the world to take mobile games to the next level.
But creating a fascinating, immersive game in the real world is tough, Google said. Google therefore publishes some improvements to the Google Maps platform, including biome, height, and pathfinding.
"Imagine what you can build when your game can adapt to the player's environment in real time," the company said. "You know when a business district is packed with people (and other players) during the week or abandoned on weekends when a player is on public or private property, And when restaurants and shops open up and close every day over time. "
These details can help the developer understand and match a game to their locations and context. In this way, each player can experience the best possible game no matter where they are in the world.
Pathfinding provides developers with access to the power of Google Maps routing algorithms to enable traffic experiences – everything from managing monsters to chasing a player, flying an airplane to bring down supplies in a safe home, and collaborating on missions through a futuristic city.
Google also adds the ability for developers to design gameplay around BOMA data, which gives access to information about the type of terrain coverage of a location. Now, developers can make cacti grow in the desert, have players hunt insects on the lawn, or place raccoons in the back alley alley.
Google also adds terrain height, a feature that will be really exciting for those tired developers of building flat worlds. With this feature, developers can categorize the hills, mountains, and cities to bring additional custom locations to the game.
Designing immersive games in the real world is more than just placing a game in the physical world, it's about making real places essential to how players experience the game, Google said.
"It's about where an actor is, what time it is, and what's around them now," Google said. "We're mapping the world since 2005 and now you can take what we know about the real world and put it to work in your games."
Google will talk about this on Tuesday, March 19th, at 3pm. Room at 2016 Moscon West Hall at GDC 2019.