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Announcing new styling and gameplay features

Creating engaging, immersive real-world gameplay is hard. Like, really hard. A year ago, when we launched Google Maps Platform for gaming, we partnered closely with game developers to make sure we’re building a platform that meets this challenge. We used the power of Google Maps and our real-time global understanding of the world to take mobile gaming to the next level.  

Imagine what you can build when your game can adapt to a player’s environment real-time. With Google Maps Platform, you know if a high-traffic road is congested or when it will close for construction at night. You know when a business district is packed with people (and other players) during weekdays or deserted on the weekends, when a player is on public or private property, and when restaurants and shops open and close each day and over time. We make it possible for you to understand and adapt gameplay to locations and their context. This way, any player can experience the best game possible no matter where they are in the world.  

Today we’re making new features available to build gameplay that’s even more contextualized and more engaging – biome, elevation and pathfinding.

Pathfinding gives you access to the power of Google Maps’ routing algorithms to enable experiences in motion – anything from directing monsters to chase a player around, to flying a plane to drop off supplies at a safe house, to collaborating on missions through a futuristic city.  We help you connect game worlds with the real world.

Video of Parallel Recon

Come check out this demo at GDC

We’re adding the ability for you to design gameplay around biome data, which gives you access to information about a location’s land cover type.  Now, you can make cacti grow in the desert, have players hunt for insects in a grassland, or place raccoons in a back alley dumpster.  Or how about a vacuum-wielding space monster that gains power by sucking up different landscapes?

Video of Space Janitor

Come check out this demo at GDC

We’re also adding terrain elevation, a feature that will be really exciting for those of you who are tired of building flat worlds. With this feature, you can style the hills, mountains, and cities to bring even more customized locations into your game.

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Build something awesome

Designing immersive real-world games is about more than just placing gameplay in the physical world, it’s about making real places essential to how players experience the game. It’s about where a player is, what time it is, and what’s around them right now. It’s about making your  game world the real world, powered by Google Maps data and backed by Google infrastructure. We have been mapping the world since 2005 and now you can take what we know about the real world and put it to work in your games.

Ready to build something awesome? To learn more, come say hello at our Google booth or listen to our talk Tuesday, March 19th, 3:00-3:30 pm Room 2016 at West Hall at GDC or visit us at g.co/mapsplatform/gaming.

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