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Google Games

Google Opens Maps To Bring the Real World Into Games (engadget.com) 49

Video games may soon look a lot more like the real world. If you've enjoyed the thrill of driving through GTA V and spying out Los Angeles landmarks, then that's a sentiment you're probably going to start feeling a lot more often while you play video games. From a report: The search firm is both opening its Maps platform's real-time data and offering new software toolkits that will help developers build games based on that data. The software includes both a kit to translate map info to the Unity game engine as well as another to help make games using that location data. The combination turns buildings and other landmarks into customizable 3D objects, and lets you manipulate those objects to fit your game world. It can replace every real hotel into an adventurer's inn, for instance, or add arbitrary points of interest for the sake of checkpoints.
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Google Opens Maps To Bring the Real World Into Games

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  • I want games with cool interchanges in them when they have highways.

      Watch Dogs really got Chicago very wrong.

    Grand Theft Auto 6 needs to do it right and be on PC!

    • When they did Fallout 4, which took place in Boston, they explicitly decided not to use real world topographical maps for gameplay purposes and not to be strictly constrained.

    • You are aware that GTA V is on PC, right? And wasn't just a port either, included entirely new levels of detail because the PC could support it over the console versions, right?
  • by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @02:57PM (#56260875)

    Now our youth have even less incentive to actually get outside and do something.

    "Hey, you wanna go check out that park downtown?"

      "Nah, I already ran through it in Super Downtown Los Angeles, Zombie Edition"

    • "Now our youth have even less incentive to actually get outside and do something."

      Sure but they can train school shootings before doing them in real life 'reenactments'.

      Also nice to time the arrival of the police and possible escape routes.

      Heck it's a treasure trove for criminals.

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @03:19PM (#56261007)

    There used to be a scenery generator for X-plane that would download Google Maps tiles for ground scenery. But it was always against Google's terms of service before. Now it could be done legitimately. And if they opened up the 3D building data too, that would be great for scenery generation as well. Looking forward to it! Especially in VR... brings a whole new dimension to flight simulation (pun intended, although it is pretty amazing), especially with real scenery. The only problem with today's VR systems is it's too low res to really read the instrument panels very well.

    • by Chaset ( 552418 )

      Agreed. It's the "holy grail" to have real-time Google Earth style data fed into a flight sim so that you'll see real buildings and real scenery. Tie that in with real-time weather and air traffic data (yes, that A300 really IS flying THERE right NOW), and I'm sold!

      The other angle is that it would eliminate the need to install 10+ DVDs of scenery, as long as you've got an internet connection.

      There are hacks to tie Xplane to Google Earth, but it' would be great if it's IN the game.

  • by danbert8 ( 1024253 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @03:58PM (#56261215)

    It would be awesome if you could import real cities into a Sim City type game and improve and expand them.

    Ahh who am I kidding? EA sucks and would ruin any chance of it being a decent game...

    • It would be awesome if you could import real cities into a Sim City type game and improve and expand them.

      Ahh who am I kidding? EA sucks and would ruin any chance of it being a decent game...

      Sim City isn't the best city simulation type game anyway and hasn't been for a long time. "Cities Skylines" is the most popular and best in that genre. I don't think you can import cities from Google Maps- but you can import topographies into Skylines- and have a realistic topography to build your city on. So your city could be built on the realistic topography of London, New York, Oslo, or wherever.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        FYI there are tools that allow you to import Open Street Map data into Cities Skylines. The result is far from perfect but it gives you a great starting point for replicating a city.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        It would be awesome if you could import real cities into a Sim City type game and improve and expand them.

        Ahh who am I kidding? EA sucks and would ruin any chance of it being a decent game...

        Sim City isn't the best city simulation type game anyway and hasn't been for a long time. "Cities Skylines" is the most popular and best in that genre. I don't think you can import cities from Google Maps- but you can import topographies into Skylines- and have a realistic topography to build your city on. So your city could be built on the realistic topography of London, New York, Oslo, or wherever.

        Came here to say this. Cities: Skylines is your go to city simulator these days. There are already a lot of maps based on real cities. I think there's even one of Gabe Newell's head.

  • so Grand Theft Auto could now be the size of the metropolitan L.A. -- or Chicago -- or Miami

    That sounds great and all as long as they don't add in real world traffic... imagin getting off work early loading up the game and getting stuck in the rush hour traffic you just avoided in real life. HA :-D

    But it might help with level setting commute times. My mom swears it takes her 5 minutes to get to my house when it's really 15... The Sims game taught me no matter how fast I think I am it usually takes me 15

  • by Trogre ( 513942 )

    FlightGear could benefit from this.

  • Coming to a store near you!

  • One of the biggest difficulties Augmented Reality (AR) systems are trying to overcome is they have to predict every angle the user might view their world from, otherwise the AR overlay will just look wrong and won't be useful, but an updated pre-drawn 3D streetscape rendered in a game engine could help clear that hurdle. AR applications could potentially be a huge help to everyday people and workers with things like heads up navigation aids, lots of training applications, construction workers could "see" un

  • GTA 6 Driving through the real world where it will take you 3 hours of real time to drive out to the desert.
  • by technosaurus ( 1704630 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @06:42PM (#56262091)
    I once wrote a tool to partially automate localization of open source software using Google translate. ...Until Alphabet/Google changed their policies. Its not an isolated case either, more of their previously public apis are dead than alive and its really arbitrary (Google real estate could have been a cash cow) Google lost developer trust in this area years ago and wont gain it back without a huge public policy change. If you are going to use them, have a backup plan.
  • Soon you can show your kids/grandkids what it was like in the days when people drove their own cars. Grand Theft Auto VIII will be feature filled with authentic noise, smog, congestion and best of all--pedestrians! The young'uns may find it hard to believe it was really like that, but you'll have proof, of a sort.

    Meanwhile I'll continue to enjoy the exciting nostalgia of Grand Theft Covered Wagon in the wild west. Giddyup!

  • Am I the only person who thinks that this is going to be used by kids wanting to make games about shooting up their schools, or even worse, terrorists planning attacks in major urban centers?

    The Army already has their own game, so it's not exactly far fetched fiction at this point.

    https://www.americasarmy.com/ [americasarmy.com]

  • Actually coming up with maps for my games was an annoyance. Now I don't even have to bother. Grap some data from google, throws some walls up at the border and you're done! Stick it on Steam.

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