Google Shriek View: Class 3 Outbreak

By John Walker on November 30th, 2009 at 11:23 pm.

The tabloid papers would offer far more interesting headlines.

I have a lot of respect for those who see a new piece of tech, or a new online tool, and their instinctive response is: I wonder how that can be a game. That’s very much the approach taken to Google Maps by Australian indie team Binary Space. 2010’s Class 3 Outbreak will take place within the top-down view of Google’s mapping technology, where a zombie attack is taking place. A squad of humans as they try to stay alive in the real-world streets for as long as possible. It’s a splendid idea, no matter how omnipresent zombies may be at the moment. Take a look at the video below.

There’s also a simulator working on a similar idea on the game’s own site, but I cannot get it to do anything under Firefox nor IE. If anyone can fathom how to get it working, let us know below.

The potential for games using tech like Google Maps seems extraordinary – once it’s a faster, neater piece of kit, and the internets run fast enough to use it smoothly, imagine the real-world backdrops that could be used with games overlaid. In the meantime, this seems a splendid first generation idea.

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27 Comments »

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  1. Railick says:

    Hrm, we need a DEFCON with real to life map from google me thinks? Or a direct Risk clone using same said technology with modern army pieces.

    • Spoon says:

      I don’t know about that. What advantage would Risk or DEFCON have using google maps over a standard map? Maybe I am thinking too narrowmindedly, but it seems that they are both too large scale to benefit from zooming in to street level magnification.

    • Dodo says:

      No advantage, just pure awesomenessn;)

  2. robrob says:

    Anyone know what that music is?

  3. Barchetta says:

    Strikes me as an evolution of ‘The Last Guy’ on PSN. Couldn’t get any decent performance out of that vid – I think my internets is snafu – so I lost any coherence as to the ‘strategy’ – is it playing more like a Google Maps Left 4 Dead than the ‘herding’ of TLG?

  4. Krondonian says:

    While it certainly looks nice, it seems the problem is height.

    In the video the guys there were just walking over trees, which ruins the illusion the picture creates. I can’t see any way of getting around it, unless a limited area is allowed, and the devs corden off obstacles. Of course that greatly reduces the point of using satellite imagery.

    It would be awesome however in the future if more places were built in 3D in sketch-up and put into Google Earth, a la New York. That would solve the height problem.

    • EGTF says:

      It’s not perfect, but look at 1:57-2:00 and it goes to a outline view of the people as they move underneath the trees.

    • Sam Bigos says:

      Actually, you see when they walk under trees it only shows their outline, so they must have set up a limited area and programmed in where trees and buildings are.

  5. duel says:

    ahh, I saw the simulator of this on the site, I had no idea it was going to be a game! This is such a neat idea!

  6. KaiserBob says:

    If you watch it again, you can see the character icons change color to indicate that they are no longer in the open.

    You can’t walk on trees but you certainly can walk beneath their canopies.

  7. Pl4t0 says:

    so it’s releasing in 2010?

  8. dinosaur Sr. says:

    How fast are those guys moving? They seem to be chewing up asphalt kinda fast for a group of pedestrians.

  9. WilPal says:

    Zombies are so overused recently, but i can overlook that because this is so awesome and has clearly been in development for some time.

  10. Spiffy new comment system says:

    Reminds me of The Last Guy for the PSN.

  11. Shalrath says:

    Was that Grand Theft Auto 2 sound effects I heard?

  12. Shadram says:

    One idea is Syndicate, with randomly/procedurally generated missions set in real world cities.

  13. Chiablo says:

    I tried the “zombie outbreak simulator” from another site. It’s interesting, but the only interaction with google maps is that it’s the background. You could put floral wallpaper as the background and the zombies would behave the same. They walk on buildings and trees indiscriminately.

  14. Scandalon says:

    Meh. Obviously you’re not familiar with Zombie, Run! (http://www.zrli.org/zombierun/about.html)

    It’s an android based game that uses google maps and your location (well, location of the device it’s running on). The only real drawback is that google maps aren’t, of course, a live view, so it’s pretty fun in, say, a park or college campus, not so great in a parking lot, what with the running into cars and such.

  15. malkav11 says:

    I guess I don’t really see the Google Map usage having any really important gameplay effect. Has more the feel of a gimmick to me.

  16. BlueMaxima says:

    Couldn’t get it working in Firefox or IE? Try upgrading to the latest version of Flash Player.

  17. Sinomatic says:

    Was wondering myself….the guitar sounds Jeff Buckley-esque to me.

  18. yhancik says:

    Zombies! Zombies zombies, zombie zombies zombies. Zombies zombies :p Zombies, zombies, zombies (zombies zombies), zombies, zombies zombies zombies zombies.

    Zombies? Zombies zombies!

    Zombies zombies, zombies zombies zombies zombies – zombies – zombies zombies.
    Zombies zombies zombies zombies ;) Zombies’ zombies zombies, zombies.

  19. RogB says:

    nice idea, end result is a bit poor though :(

  20. Peace of Eight says:

    What’s up with that funky down-tempo mood music in the background?

  21. Bronte says:

    Awesome idea. But after the leaping zergfest of L4D, these sissy zombies don’t do it for me any more!

  22. mcnostril says:

    Huh.
    All I could think of watching that was some sort of modern day Close Combat game.