Throughout the summer and fall of 2016, in the sudden whirlwind that was Pokémon GO, it was hard to go anywhere in public without seeing someone attempting to catch Pokémon. Now, thanks to an upcoming platform called Motive.io, from the Vancouver company of the same name, location-driven application development will soon be accessible to everyone.
While location-based, GPS-driven, augmented reality games, such as Niantic's Ingress or Six to Start's Zombie Run!, have been around for many years, the concept was actively pushed into the zeitgeist with Niantic's release of Pokémon GO. Last year, it was common to see videos of thousands of people in Central Park trying to catch a rare and powerful pocket monster, or to hear stories of people that were trying to drive while playing the game and causing wrecks.
Now that the overboard popularity has died down from near hysteria to that of an insanely popular video game, could augmented reality hit again with a different type of mobile game? With the toolset offered by Motive.io, it's not only possible, it looks rather easy. Just imagine using an AR mobile app to gamify your job, or participating in a location-based scavenger hunt built right into the scheduling app at the next ComicCon or PAX—anything's possible when it's this easy.
Motive.io's software handles all the messy, hard work, including user accounts, hosting, and storage, and offers an easy-to-use web-based authoring tool along with a set of Unity plugins. The authoring tool allows the developer to make an application that reacts to certain types of locations, such as ATMs and banks, as the very Watch Dogs-style example in the video above shows. The application will then react in the desired way when it reaches those locations in the database.
Aside from location types, the software can trigger events based on GPS coordinates, date and time, and even specific weather conditions, among other things. Using the various combinations of triggerable events could allow a developer to put together a rather robust system of activities for a player to do.
Keeping in mind that every potential user will not be in walking distance to locations such as ATMs or banks, the team at Motive.io have also worked in a system they call Adaptive Content. This system is designed to help push users forward in situations where lack of access could stop them from playing. If an ATM or bank is not within range, then an alternative spot is selected, like a school, for instance.
Right now, the pricing for a five-person team is $195/month with 10 GB of storage and three projects, and there's a free trial for those who were lucky enough to get one at GDC 2017. Those that weren't lucky enough can sign up on their waiting list.
Other subscriptions will be available in the future. An individual subscription will run $59/month with 1 GB of storage and one project, and a studio-sized will be able to have 10 projects and 100 GB for $495/month. There will also be a subscription for enterprise users.
What location-based game would you like to create? Share below!