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  1. #1
    Obscure Node Thuull's Avatar
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    Location Based Gaming

    Location based gaming hasn't really hit into PC gaming much yet, but I think it will due to the increasing prevalence of tablet gaming. Many tablet based titles are using location as a basic gameplay element and I think that's going to transition over to PC gaming, especially in certain genres like RTSs, and some RPGs...and especially as more and more titles are released that are non-platform specific.

    Obviously you can't throw location on top of just any game and have it really add anything, but for games built around the concept it may be one of those areas with great potential to to add immersion that most titles lack.

    I've played some of the earlier tablet based location oriented games. The RPGs are okay, but the RTSs are really intriguing. The ability to claim territory around where you live, or where you grew up, and defend it from other players, fight amongst yourselves to determine who "owns" that real work territory is a real hook.

    I've also played many of the current crop of browser based RTSs like Evony, Travian, etc...and the territory you fight over in those games is just completely generic, grid based territory...there is no personal tie to the location where those games place you.

    Am I completely wrong in thinking that real world location can/will add a layer of personalization that would be very enticing to compete with other players over?

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    It is amusing to game in areas you have local knowledge of, but I can see it getting pretty dull if I am locked to my location in a series of games; I drive the same roads to work every day and I've certainly stopped paying attention to them (although I now automatically avoid most of the potholes).

  3. #3
    Obscure Node Thuull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    It is amusing to game in areas you have local knowledge of, but I can see it getting pretty dull if I am locked to my location in a series of games; I drive the same roads to work every day and I've certainly stopped paying attention to them (although I now automatically avoid most of the potholes).
    Hrmm, yeah. How about in persistent worlds?

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    There's always Class 3 Outbreak, the zombie apocalypse game that ties into Google Earth. Apparently there's a minor outbreak in my city right now; hopefully it doesn't cause any traffic issues as I'm about to head out to the movies.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    I actually wound up getting my own village (they're randomly assigned) in Stronghold Kingdoms. That definitely gave me a vested interest in doing well, it was a nice touch. Managed to play for 17 hours before getting bored, apparently.

    That said, by far the best location based game I've played is Ingress. Really gripping, and the community based around it is brilliant.
    Itsbastiat, Dawngate
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  6. #6
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    Could those of you who have played some location based stuff give us some examples? For example, what is Ingress, and how does it use locations in play?

  7. #7
    Obscure Node Thuull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    Could those of you who have played some location based stuff give us some examples? For example, what is Ingress, and how does it use locations in play?
    I have a prototype game I'm working on, doing a live development model (players play the game while we finish development cycles).

    Our location based model for right now is user choice...the game plays on googlemaps APIs, and the player chooses their play location - can start anywhere in the world. In the future, we'll tie in to GPS functions on tablets/phones, but for PC we'll likely need to go with user supplied geolocation, i.e., they enter in their city/state/country in order for us to recommend a start location based on their real world location, etc.

    As far as play goes, it's fairly standard kingdom building, where players place towns onto an overlay on real world maps, using satellite view of googlemaps. The game map itself is all overlaid on this, with real world town/city names showing in the background and at all zoom levels, with player towns showing up on the map.

    Most of the games that use real world locations that are out there that I've seen use something similar, but a few have done stylized graphics over top of the real world overlay that hide the googlemaps/realistic view from the player. We may do that ourselves at some point in the future, but not sure yet.

    The whole idea for all (most) of these games really is giving the player the context of real world locations that they know about/care about, and letting them interact with each other with that as a backdrop.

  8. #8
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    Ingress is a locational game of consisting of game play elements of king of the hill,geocaching, and zone capturing. Players partipate by going to designated locales (Portals) and capture them by attacking and claiming the locale. Much like an MMO, players obtain resources by capturing, holding and hacking their faction's portals, and are encouraged to hold and further extend their base of operations.


    While the game is faily simple and doesn't take much to figure out, group play becomes increasingly important has you advance as it requires increasing amounts of players in order to build the higher tier portals in order to facilitate farming of higher tier items. As the saying goes, organization is key.


    For those interested, visit Niantic's site and apply for an invite as ingress is still in closed beta, and on an invitational basis.


    FOr those of you in vancouver and surround areas (Victoria, outside of GRVD), the resistance faction is actively seeking members, and I do invite you to send a quick email to


    resistance.vancouver@gmail.com


    And we'd be happy to try and set you up. Of course you are ultimately free to choose your own faction, but of course we'd like you to choose us, especially considering your using the limited invites we've been provided in game and the other faction does outnumber us right now.


    Meeker


    PS We organize locale pub nights to socialize =)

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    I don't think location-based gaming will take off, not on a big scale. The reason is that it would fuel racial hatred and nationalism. Internet makes people mostly anonymous, and they feel they can get away with various forms of asshattery. Now label people by nationality and you have a recipe for a disaster.
    pass

  10. #10
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    I don't know, it's been interesting traveling while playing ingress, as it's essentially provided me with a friendly contact in any city that has players. (coffee or a hellow at worse, round of beers best) I've known some players who have traveled internationally amongst the developed countries (G10 ish) and have reported that the community is always open to having an extra player or two swing by and have some fun... so it seems sometimes a game can pierce some barriers. That said, I would imagine it's quite different then playing in say a more hostile location, or what not, but so far Google has done well to get a decent community, with minimal oddities.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meeker View Post
    I don't know, it's been interesting traveling while playing ingress, as it's essentially provided me with a friendly contact in any city that has players. (coffee or a hellow at worse, round of beers best)
    That's the difference between playing face to face and country vs country. People are usually more pleasant in person.
    pass

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    Yeah the Ingress community isn't really separated by nationality so much as distance, and more significantly faction. Here are a couple of examples of it breaking down borders. I feel the Taiwan Straight link is particularly significant.
    Itsbastiat, Dawngate
    Bastiat, Planetside 2, Miller NC
    Therin Khatta, FFXIV, Cerberus

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    I don't think location-based gaming will take off, not on a big scale. The reason is that it would fuel racial hatred and nationalism. Internet makes people mostly anonymous, and they feel they can get away with various forms of asshattery. Now label people by nationality and you have a recipe for a disaster.
    Yeah. It's as helpful as "height based gameplay" or "sex based gameplay" or "age based gameplay". It's just slightly less obvious and offensive discrimination to the player base.

    That is, location tracking based gameplay produces a divide. As not everyone can be in the right location. Basing a game on real locations is a different kettle of fish though, as the player can still choose the location.

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