Opinions on location based gaming

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This topic has 7 voices, contains 13 replies, and was last updated by  Paul 2386 days ago.

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April 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm #110


Hi guys *waves*

Title says it all really but lets expand.

Its the time of year I have to think about a project for my independent study in my last year.

The idea of using a players physical location to directly affect gameplay is a very interesting concept to me and something I’m considering for my final year project.

Combined with clever use of accelerometers, compass technology and sound I plan to create a different style of gameplay which helps to immerse the player in the game.

Any opinions would be awesome.

Do you think this a worth while project?


April 27, 2012 at 6:51 am #111


We are looking at all the smartphone capabilities and how they can be integrated into game mechanics.
A couple of our staff are just going over to Mobile Gaming USA in San Francisco to, amongst other things, listen to talks from 2clams, PerBlue and CloudMade.
The market is waiting for a breakthrough product that really puts the GPS gaming function on the map. It will happen.

April 27, 2012 at 7:42 am #117


Hey Paul, this sounds like a pretty cool idea :)

What are you studying out of interest?
There’s a lot you could do with an idea like this,
Thinking briefly on it, hidden object games would be interesting using this kind of game where the game is treated more like a treasure hunt based on location etc.

April 27, 2012 at 8:23 am #120


One of our Programmers, James, has been playing a pretty cool augmented reality game on iOS that uses the GPS. Can’t remember what’s called off the top of my head!

The idea of making more use of the GPS for games is terrific. Its one of the few parts of the iPhone that hasn’t really been explored for gameplay in any great depth.

April 27, 2012 at 8:59 am #121


Good thinking Jay.
You could tap into the whole geocaching culture.

  • This reply was modified 2398 days ago by  Bruce.
April 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm #128


ah brilliant thanks guys.

I’m studying computer games design and development.

I’m defiantly going to explore this for my final year project my current idea is along the lines of a spy type game scenario.

The player becomes an agent and is set tasks. They may have to locate a hidden item in a busy town centre. against the clock but also they have to not attract attention to themselves.

running would result in attracting attention to yourself and enemy agents being sent after you. they would be represented in the digital part of the game. as they get closer to your location footsteps will get louder in your left or right ear. to avoid them you go the other direction.

When the player reaches the specified location they might have to solve a puzzle or decode something in game, or tilt and move the phone in particular ways. (possibly to defuse a bomb)

The multi player capabilities of this is very interesting as well.

To many ideas at the moment suffering scope creep :(

April 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm #129


Sounds awesome Paul!

April 28, 2012 at 10:32 am #140


Make sure you don’t send some kid onto a building site or across a motorway.

Is getting to a specific location gameplay or just a way to make the actual game harder? Some gameplay devices don’t really add to a game (like time limits) but they can be used to make a weak game more challenging.

I’d be wary of sending people to arbitrary locations for no reason other than a game they are playing.

I think there might be lots of potential in serendipitous gameplay like discovering hidden items and maybe virtual drop-boxes for passing items to other players.

April 28, 2012 at 10:46 am #141


yeah that thought had crossed my mind, my first plan was to design it to be played in my uni building which is the old hospital for worcester and you can go in the basement and stuff which is pretty cool. I am leaning however to finding hidden items etc like what has been mentioned.

Will have to be very careful of the power it uses while running in the background when they go about there daily life no one will play it if it kills there phone battery after half a day.

April 30, 2012 at 11:11 am #151


Hey Paul please check out the game called Code Runner on the AppStore as it uses exactly the same system and gameplay you’re proposing to implement. Might give you a source of inspiration:)

April 30, 2012 at 11:21 am #153



There was a game based on oyster card data. You raced from station to station, trying to beat your time, or get into the top 10. Maybe this is it:

I like the idea of location based gaming based around your daily movements. I have my doubts that most gamers can be bothered to get up and run around outside for the sake of a high score (quite apart from the safety issues). They can barely be bothered to use kinect.

You could maybe do something that is a crossover with fitness software. Try to make running around the park a bit more interesting.

April 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm #158


okay code runner looks awesome! so does pacmanhattan.


is another one i have been looking at

Im starting to think about a game that uses a gamers daily movements and life to affect gameplay now. Its just the issue of power usage that concernes me

April 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm #159


Might it be possible to activate the GPS only intermittently? Just grab a position every N minutes.
Or perhaps use the accelerometers to determine when the player is sitting still, and only use the GPS when he is moving. Hmmm… then it wouldn’t work in trains and cars.
Just thinking aloud.

April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm #160


I would of thought it is possible to intermittently activate the GPS.

One option would be if the player is about to travel anywhere then they open the game and select the option which will activate the GPS they then turn it off again when they have got to where they were going. It could be worked in to the storyline somehow to help hide the fact they are actually just turning the GPS on and off.

Then use the accelerometers to detect movement around the house, office, etc.

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