Google has opened up its Maps API to mobile game developers, creating possibilities for a new breed of real-world augmented reality gaming experiences.
The company is bringing its 3D imagery, including over 100 million buildings, roads, landmarks and parks, to the Unity game engine.
This will allow developers to build their games on top of the real world and reimagine the environment in any style they see fit.
The company and its partners hope this will contribute greatly to new AR experiences that go way beyond what we’ve seen so far in Pokemon Go, for example.
In a video posted on Wednesday, the firm used the example of a treasure hunt game that required gamers to move through their own surroundings.
In a post on the Geo Developers blog, Google writes: “Game studios can easily reimagine our world as a medieval fantasy, a bubble gum candy land, or a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic city.
“With Google Maps’ real-time updates and rich location data, developers can find the best places for playing games, no matter where their players are.”
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Interestingly, the APIs will automatically update developers on road closures, partially to keep players safe when following real world paths.
The mobile developer Ludia is using the Maps API to create a Jurassic Park Alive game which is much more similar to Pokemon Go.
“With Google Maps data integrated into Unity, we were able to focus our time and energy on building detailed virtual experiences for our users to find virtual dinosaurs in the real world,” Ludia CEO Alexandre Thabet said.
Meanwhile, FourThirtyThree Inc is building a Ghostbusters game, which sounds altogether more appealing than hunting for Pokemon, in this humble reporter’s opinion.
CEO Han Sung Gin said: “Building game interactions around real-world places at global scale and finding places that are relevant to users and fun to play is challenging. Google Maps APIs helped us incorporate the real-world, user relevant locations into our game. Users from all over the world can experience the Ghostbusters virtual world through our game, leveraging Google’s location data.”
Would you be all-in on a Google Maps powered Ghostbusters game? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.