The Google Maps Platform is now open for game developers to make Pokémon GO-like experiences
In order to help more game developers create Pokémon Go-like experiences, Google opened up its real-time Google Maps data and released a Unity Software Development Kit (SDK) for a limited group of game studies back in 2018. The studios have since released ten games built on the Google Maps Platform, which are played by more than 11 million players each month. The number of immersive real-world games on the Google Play Store is likely to shoot up soon, as Google has now opened the Google Maps Platform to all mobile game developers.
According to a recent blog post from the company, any independent mobile game developer can now get access to the Semantic Tile API and Playable Locations API to build their location-based games. To do so, developers can follow this link to create a billing account, set up a Google Cloud Project, and then download the Maps SDK for Unity. Once the Maps SDK is downloaded, the two APIs will be automatically enabled, and developers can start building games by following the instruction in this quickstart documentation.
Since the initial launch, the company has added new features like Mixed Zoom and Pathfinding to the Google Maps Platform, which will allow developers to create better experiences for their players. The Mixed Zoom feature renders a high level of detail for areas close to a player, while areas further away display progressively lower levels of detail. In effect, this will help developers generate expansive maps that span thousands of meters while using less processing power. The Pathfinding feature, on the other hand, will enable developers to create more complex in-game characters.
Access to the Google Maps Platform will also allow developers to add a real-world mode to existing titles with new location-based in-game features. You can follow this link to learn more about the Google Maps Platform and how you can use it to create a unique immersive game or AR experience.
Source: Google Cloud blog