Pokémon GO got a lot of people in the real world to get up from their chair, and chase virtual creatures. Now, Google wants to add to the line of AR-based games with its mapping service at the center of it. The company has opened its Google Maps API to allow developers build more of such games in the coming days.
Google announced through its blog that it is opening its Google Maps APIs to game developers who want to build location-based games similar to Nintendo’s Pokémon Go. With the APIs, it will be easier for developers to build games as they will be able to pull data from Google Maps, instead of manually creating map-based models.
As part of this development, Google is bringing its Maps to the Unity game engine and making buildings, roads, and parks into game objects in Unity. Developers can add texture, style, and customization to match the look and feel of the game. As Google explains, “This means that they can focus on building rich, immersive gameplay without the overhead of scaffolding a global-scale game world.”
Developers will also have access to over 100 million 3D buildings, roads, landmarks, and parks from over 200 countries, which will allow them to build engaging gameplay across the globe. Google says that the games built on top of Google Maps’ global infrastructure means there will be faster response times, and the ability to scale on demand.
As Mashable notes, there are already a range of games which have been built using Google Maps API. These include Jurassic World Alive, Ghostbusters World, and The Walking Dead: Our World. Interested developers can head to Google’s developer site to know more about the new APIs. Google will demo the new tools at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week.