Your next favorite AR game will be built on Google Maps

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Google Maps Games API

Apart from London, no Grand Theft Auto game is set in a real-world location. But that hasn’t stopped us from wishing for a chance to experience the thrill of driving a ridiculously expensive car at a foolishly dangerous speed in our own neighborhood, has it? Well, a major geoawesome development could make that dream GTA VI a reality: Google has opened up its Maps API to let developers use real-world maps in their gaming universe.

By using Google’s popular mobile gaming platform Unity, designers can access millions of high-quality structures from over 200 countries and turn them into game objects. Think 3D buildings, roads, cafes, parks, landmarks like the Eiffel Tower of the Statue of Liberty — virtually everything you are oh-so-familiar with — right inside your favorite video game! Google is also offering developers a lot of flexibility by giving them the power to customize colors, textures, and the sizes of these objects.

Google Maps Games API

“Game studios can easily reimagine our world as a medieval fantasy, a bubble gum candy land, or a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic city,” says Clementine Jacoby, Product Manager, Google Maps APIs.

And, of course, game makers will be able to use Google Maps data to zero down on player-friendly and the most suitable places for their desired gameplay. In fact, Google has already started partnering with developers who are using augmented reality with location-based gameplay a la Pokémon Go – the first game which made AR + location a worldwide phenomenon.

The very first games where you will see the magic of Google’s new offering in action are Jurassic World Alive, Ghostbusters World, and The Walking Dead: Our World. Each of the games will merge a popular fantasy realm with the real world to create an immersive experience for the player.

According to HAN Sung Jin, CEO, FourThirtyThree – the developers of Ghostbusters World, “Building game interactions around real-world places at global scale and finding places that are relevant to users and fun to play is challenging. Google Maps APIs helped us incorporate the real-world, user relevant locations into our game. Users from all over the world can experience the Ghostbusters virtual world through our game, leveraging Google’s location data.” Can’t wait!

Ishveena is a geospatial enthusiast and a veteran of creating and managing compelling digital content for organizations and individuals. When she is not making magic at her desk, you are likely to find her exploring nature, eating her way through life, or binge-watching funny animal videos.

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