Game Development Reference
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The Rise of Location-Based iOS Gaming
With the success of location-based services like foursquare and Glancee (which was recently purchased by
Facebook), you're likely to see more interest in games based around that functionality—an interest game deve-
lopers would do well to tap into.
“[A] few years in the future,” argues Tiger Style's Smith, “it will be a lot more common for people to share
their current location, such that you will routinely look at a map to see where your friends are, what they're do-
ing, what their status message is, and what photo they've posted from there. I think there will be opportunities
to take advantage of this data stream to make some really interesting game experiences.”
The biggest gaming beneficiary for location-based services? Quite probably, the game genre that already
largely takes place in the real world. “I've always been fascinated by the potential of Alternate Reality
Games—ARGs—in which you, for example, look through your mobile device to see another world overlaid on
the real world, since these games cross the fourth wall to merge a structured fantasy with reality, and the player
has to respond to both,” says Smith.
However, Smith thinks these ARGs won't be the esoteric exercises we've come to expect from the genre. “I
think the locational games that will really take off will be much more casual in nature—just fun little games you
can play with strangers pertaining to the places you've both visited, whether that's your local supermarket or
famous international landmarks. I can imagine leaving markers, traps, notes, and pictures for other people and
being worked into a game where these real-world locations are relevant.”
On this point, RjDj's Robert Thomas concurs. “I also think more and more of the virtual will become
overlaid and interwoven into our daily experiences using every possible trick developers can think of with these
devices,” he says. “It's all going to be about who provides the best and most useful experiences.” (See Figure
14-3 . )
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