We have come a long way from Pokémon GO—an AR game which made us hit the streets for no reason but to capture “creatures”. But the real masterpiece of Augmented Reality games is yet to be discovered, and with the latest news about Google offering AR game developers the access to Google Maps APIs, the standard of AR games are going to break the records for sure!
What’s so important?
Obviously, every one of us is familiar with Google Maps and Google has announced that game developers can use Google Maps APIs, but what is so special? Every AR game deals with real world physical environment and infrastructure. Now that Google has given access to the Google Maps APIs, game developers don’t have to bother a lot about designing the infrastructure anymore. The real-time updates and rich location data available within the APIs will take care of environment design, while the developers can focus more on game development. As Clementine Jacoby, Product Manager at Google Maps says,
We help you design gameplay around real-world locations so you can choose places that are appropriate, unique, and fun to play, no matter where your players are.
Is that all? No, the word is The Maps Unity SDK. Google has also integrated Google maps APIs with Unity game Engine. This feature enables the real world infrastructure and environment components—roads, buildings, parks and more to be automatically converted to GameObjects in Unity. This leaves only the object texturing and designing to game developers. “Our new Unity SDK does all of the heavy lifting, No Google Maps expertise needed” says Clementine Jacoby. They can customize the objects to suit their Gaming world as turning ATMs into treasures or Supermarkets into Supply stores. Imagine games that use your real world locations and views? This is what the future holds for us with Google Maps APIs.
The unlimited access to Google Maps data and the features to build the games on Google Maps, backed up with Google Maps Infrastructure has created wide range of opportunities. Besides that, the Playable Locations API allows designing interactions around the real world locations. The upcoming game Ghostbusters World incorporated the Google Maps APIs in the development process and as stated in the Android Authority, Hang Sung Gin, CEO of 4:33 creative Lab which created the game,”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”.
The Google Maps APIs in location-based AR games is a combination to die for with Ghostbuster World, The Walking Dead: Our World and Jurassic World Alive on their way. Opportunities are wide and publicity is huge. Let’s see if it’s up to the hype!