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  A truly crazy idea  (Read 3053 times)
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Offline deltahat

Senior Newbie

Current project - Venture Capital

« Posted 2004-07-11 04:31:43 »

I had a crazy idea a few days ago and am looking for some feedback. Does the following sound plausible and do you think it would succeed?:

Suppose a game were created for the cell phone that leveraged built in GPS and a data connection to the internet. Using these technologies, a virtual world could be built upon reality. So, for example, there could be these powerful creatures from another dimension that have descended upon a city like New York and are bent on destroying it. Agents (people with cell phones) can be equipped with tools to detect and battle these creatures by loading the game on their phone. The game then uses GPS data to provide a geospacial game layer mapped to their actual coordinates in the city. For example, Central Park could harbor one kind of monster while Manhattan harbors others. Players would load different "tools" to detect and battle the monsters. One tool might serve as a proximity detector. Another might show the weakness of different monsters. A third might give a defense bonus to everyone in a 50ft radius. By sharing their Agent IDs, players could group up and experience a synergistic effect by linking their tools together, thus fostering collaborative play. Furthermore, players could trap the creatures they battle for domestication and battle. A competitive element could be introduced where players could battle each other for sport. The essential idea here is a geospacial MMPRPG, played in realtime in the real world.

So could this work or am I just crazy?
Offline shmoove

Junior Devvie


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-07-11 06:24:42 »

You're not crazy. Or at least you're not the only crazy person out there. What you're describing already exists. The buzzword for it is "Location Based Gaming".

Offline digitprop

Junior Devvie

« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-07-19 08:48:58 »

It's a compelling idea. Still, I think there is a set of problems that remain to be solved before this can take off.

For example, in Pac-Manhattan, users complained about the weak GPS signal they would get in the skyscraper canyons. In general, when using GPS, one would have to live with a very low accuracy and frequent signal drop outs. In urban areas, it would probably even be better to use the cell address to pinpoint the location of a cell phone.

Another problem is the audience: You need to get a critical mass of players located in small area. All of them have to be equipped with as-of-yet expensive, 'geeky' devices. This is probably best suited for PR campaigns and such.

Apart from that, I like the idea of taking the metaphor of a virtual world seriously, i.e. as a 'hidden' reality 'behind' the apparent surface. Reminds me of that movie where aliens control the world via invisible, subliminal messages on billboards etc.

M. Fischer .
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Offline nasa

Innocent Bystander

Java games rock!

« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-09-14 22:50:39 »

Yeah check out Mogi in Japan. It is very much like what you are describing. but you are on the right track mos def.
Offline BigStinky

Innocent Bystander

Java games rock!

« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-10-05 06:30:20 »

We've launched our first location-based game (swordfish) a couple of months back using the ideas that you are thinking...

The game itself is getting a lot of support along with the idea of creating virtual worlds from real worlds. We are also in the process of testing our geo-spatial multi-player engine to host more games.

As with anything there are problems with the technology, but  with a compelling gameplay you can work through any of the issues.
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