Develop 2012: Gbanga's Robin Di Capua on the opportunities of location-based games

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Develop 2012: Gbanga's Robin Di Capua on the opportunities of location-based games
Develop in Brighton 2012 is coming to a close, but there are still plenty of talks to attend.

Robin Di Capua, game designer at Swiss developer Gbanga, was speaking about 'Designing and scripting location-based games'.

Gbanga is a persistence location-based virtual world platform using Google Maps data, where you explore, collect items and communicate with friends.

In the place to be

The studio has launched various games on the platform, including an animal game in conjunction with Zurich Zoo and Mafia-themed iOS game Famiglia.

The latter is based around a cell structure, roughly of 150 metres in length. The Google Maps data is used to fix real-world locations, which can be taken over, while items in the world are dynamically generated in real world locations using Lua scripts.

There are also random side quests, which are triggered via a virtual phone booth system.

These are written using Gbanga's QDK, which allows for rapid implementation. This has resulted in quests being created within Familglia for business such as hotels to drive foot fall and backed up with real world rewards such as wellness packages or free rooms.

Another example was a collection game for local Apple reseller Data Quest, with players rewarded with virtual goods and discount vouchers in the real world.

The company also hopes to open up its platform for other companies to create new games or quests. 

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.