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Session Name:

The Planet is Our Game Engine: Designing and Learning from Location-Based Games


Already quite popular in Asia, location-based gaming is a rapidly growing segment of the game development market in the rest of the world. By using the GPS functionality that now comes standard in most smart phones, game developers are embracing the technology to add different and interesting new strategic elements to their games based around players real-world locations. This talk features two of the most well-known location-based mobile game developers: Ville Vesterinen, CEO/Founder of Grey Area, makers of Shadow Cities and Pete Hawley, Chief Product Officer of Red Robot Labs, makers of Life is Crime. -- Vesterinen will talk about how to design for location in mobile, social games and how to address issues such as: the critical mass challenge, the importance of sense of location, and the open world feel along with the challenges that it will pose in location-based social games. Additionally, he'll talk about the distinct patterns and characteristic for location-based games including how stationary the game play is, the role of geo-data and the brittle social graph. -- Hawley will discuss the future of location gaming after a year of player feedback and location gaming data. Why map tiles stifle gameplay, why exploring an alternative of the real world on a global scale is just as powerful as local places and how maps, exploration, discovery, reward - some of the core tenants of any game - work so well in location gameplay design, particularly when applied to social and competitive behavior. Both developers will share key insights based on real-world live application experience into location-based game design and be available to answer questions from the audience.

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  • GDC Online 2012
  • Peter Hawley
  • Red Robot
  • Ville Vesterinen
  • Grey Area
  • free content
  • Smartphone and Tablet Games Summit
  • Smartphone / Tablet Games