Develop Conference 2012 talk


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Designing location based quests in an online persistent world brings new challenges and opportunities for game designers. I expose some of the insights about my development in LUA of quests and AI for the location-based game Gbanga:Famiglia.

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Develop Conference 2012 talk

  1. 1. Designing and Scripting Location Based Games Robin Di Capua Game
  2. 2. « I’ve Gamification played many video games, but I never thought that a game will make me walk outside in the rain...»Image courtesy of – a 29 years old Gbanga player 2
  3. 3. Collect animals and save the worldAutomated NPC animalsAI behaviour 3
  4. 4. Take over real-world locations to become the top family Real-world data feed Geo-fences
  5. 5. Gbanga Famiglia ca. 150m Item from Actual the Police Weather Car sidequest Gift box itemEstablishment Valuable item Phonebooth to from Santa to take over to collect call sidequest 5
  6. 6. Sidequests at PhoneboothsOur sidequests areintegrated in GbangaFamiglia as location-based mini-missions forplayers to get cool itemsand rewards.Phonebooths can befound around the world.Players receive arandom sidequest. 6
  7. 7. Technology overview Public (and internal) tools Internally hosted Quest Game/ Developer Gbanga User API quest Kit server Interface logic (QDK) LAMP, Low- Location/GPS, REST Web traffic/ Scripting Java, Lua Memcache, efficient iPhone, Java, API / HTTP ORM, Java, LBS protocol Symbian DB Quest designtakes < 2 days 7
  8. 8. Unlimited Possibilities• Event-Listeners: «Geofences»/Arrivals, Game interactions, Timers• Spawning items, characters/NPC, ghost players• Interact with players: chat, trade, give, notify• Create highscores, reward players with points• Communication with third party APIs 8
  9. 9. Spawn establishmentsFor example inGbanga Famigliawe listen to playermovements andthen createestablishmentsdynamically byusing external APIsfor local searches. 9
  10. 10. Dynamic creation on arrivalGTool:registerForEvent(session, “RELOCATION”, “”, “onArrival”)function onArrival(player, cell) local playerName = player:getName() local cellName = cell:getName() GTool:pl(playerName.." arrived in cell "..cellName) –- call ext. API and return bars, clubs, shops etc. local establishments = getMyEstablishments(cell) for _,e in ipairs(establishments) do if e[“type”] == “bar” then createBarInfrastructure(e) else if […] endend 10
  11. 11. QDK Puppetmaster API• Fast development • Main script < 10 000 lines of code • Quests take less than 2 days to be implemented• LUA based scripting • the whole game logic is implemented in LUA• Allows rapid iterations• Dynamic and flexible 11
  12. 12. Quest economy• Our game is free and has purchasable items, but how to tackle the B2B?• We also sell customized quests to clients that want to promote their product, business or generate walk-in customers.• We approached some businesses with ideas and budgets and here are some of our successful examples. 12
  13. 13. • Goal: generate awareness and walk in customers• Quest: find and collect Hotel Stoos symbols around Germany, Switzerland and Austria and trade them with the family boss.• Visit to check the leaderboard of the best collecting players• WIN a one night for two at the Stoos Hotel in a superior room or a wellness package including a champagne apéro and a 3-course dinner. 13
  14. 14. • Geofences to trigger item spawning only in Switzerland, Germany and Austria• Scripts set in players memory the total points achieved• The website retrieve player stats from our database and shows leaderboard and help section 14
  15. 15. Gbanga Promo Quest 15
  16. 16. • A quest for the Apple reseller Dataquest• Players can get discounts and the top players can win an iMac• Similarly to the Hotel Stoos quest players collect this time iMac parts and have to assemble an iMac object• The iMac item will contain a link to redeem a discount voucher• A website will show the leaderboard of the players that collected most items 16
  17. 17. Find all computer parts Collect andassemble computers Get voucher link Go to Dataquest shop for discountIncrease your score on the leaderboard
  18. 18. • Capture-the-flag: this quest saw students from two universities of Zurich fight to take-over cells around the two campus• The quest was developed for the users of the student social network Spocal, a swiss startup located also in Zurich. 18
  19. 19. • Implementation: we created two new mafia families representing the respective universities.• Players could then take over areas of the rival university to score more points• A leaderboard was showing the points of each team (red/blue) depending on how many establishments were taken over 19
  20. 20. Our quests…• …generally use our game Famiglia as a backbone to have a context and motivate our existing users to engage in such quests• …have different scale (city, country, worldwide)• …can fit all types of budgets• …are very fast to implement with our API• …more examples: Xmas Quest, Easter Quest, Maya Quest etc. 20
  21. 21. The future• Currently working on – mobile HTML5 – an Erlang server – WYSIWYG script editor• Currently talking to publishers for different regions• Looking for talented geeks and gurus 21
  22. 22. THANK YOU robin@ Twitter: @gbanga 22
  23. 23. Backup Slides 23
  24. 24. How does Gbanga Famiglia work INTERACTION RELOCATION Create establishmentsSCRIPTSTARTS TRADE Trade Challenge items IF WIN Increase Take over power of location family 24
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  29. 29. Purchasable Items• Police Megaphone: The Police Megaphone enables you to take-over the Mafia establishments at that location with 100% success. Pocket.• Respec Da Bass: Increase street cred and intimidate rivals. Drop the Respec Da Bass at any location to challenge the Mafia establishments there and in 10 additional neighbouring Cells.• G-Bolt: The G-Bolt power-up gives you the amazing ability to take-over every Cell you visit within a period of 10 minutes. Additionally youll automatically collect valuable items located at each location visited. Drop it in a Cell to activate and start running!• Bouncer: Drop the bouncer in a Cell you own to defend it against 99% of rival Famiglia attacks! Can be dropped and collected repeatedly at different locations. The bouncers weakness are special attack items.• Mafia Villa: Own your private Splendid Mafia Villa! Drop it at your favourite location to show everyone whos the top Mafioso in the neighbourhood!• Shady Fabrics Factory: Placed in an empty Cell the Shady Fabrics Factory creates 5 Warehouse establishments which will initially join your Famiglia. Factories cannot be taken from you. But the Warehouses might be taken over by rivals.• Weekly Candy Lab: Drop a Weekly Candy Lab in a CELL, the Lab then produces one "Precious Candy Item" (500,000 CASH), which appear in the Cell every Friday. You must go back to the lab to collect your Candy! 29