- Game developers can now use Google Maps APIs to design their augmented reality games.
- Google has integrated the Unity game engine into Google Maps, making it incredibly easy for developers to create AR games.
- Developers will be able to test out the new system at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco next week.
Augmented reality games like Pokémon GO have been incredibly successful, and new AR games like Ghostbusters World and Jurassic World Alive are poised to be huge. But developing the games is tricky because you have to understand the real-world physical environments around your players, no matter where they might be on the planet.
That’s why Google is now offering AR game developers access to Google Maps APIs. Using Maps’ real-time updates and rich location data, developers can focus more on making their games awesome rather than worrying about designing interactions with real-world environments.
To make things even easier, Google mixed the Maps API with the Unity game engine. Buildings, roads, parks, and other real-world objects are turned into GameObjects in Unity automatically, so developers only have to worry about texturizing and designing those objects to fit their game’s universe.
The two AR games mentioned earlier in this article utilized Google Maps APIs in the development process. Han Sung Gin, CEO of 4:33, which developed Ghostbusters World, said, “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.”
Google will present a demo of the new Google Maps Unity engine at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco next week if you care to give it a test.