iPhone GPS Games Use Google Services

No Comment 29 Views

Game development company, SideHobby, LLC, built both their new iPhone game and their company using only the "free" tools and development platforms provided by Google.

What began as a clever idea for a mobile phone game at the 2008 Nashville Startup Weekend event for entrepreneurs, became a reality this year with the launch of the game "gpsAssassins - Kill Your Neighbor" for the iPhone (available now FREE from the Apple iTunes App store http://itunes.com/apps/gpsAssassin). So many players have already paid to be among the first to play the game that SideHobby released a free version this week. Thousands of new players are being added every day now.

"gpsAssassins - Kill Your Neighbor," partially based on the real-life game played with squirt guns and first made popular on college campuses then among young urban professionals, is a multi-player, location-based game for mobile devices. The object of the game is to attack the people around you before they attack first. You play against your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers or strangers using the GPS location capabilities of your phone to track assassination targets and to be tracked yourself.

To build both their company and their product, business partners Nicholas Holland and Jackson Miller utilized all of Google’s tools for operations and collaboration with partners and developers around the world, including Gmail, Google Talk, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Voice, etc.

"Fostering innovation was the primary purpose of Startup Weekend," said Nicholas Holland, CEO of both Side Hobby and Nashville technology leader Centre{source}. "We took it to the next level, rethinking the resources necessary to bring a new product to market within the current razor-thin margins of mobile gaming. Google’s suite of free tools was the answer. Our business model would not have worked without Google."

They used Google Docs to create and present their award winning venture capital proposal at Fast-Pitch Nashville 2009. They used Google Sites™ for their intranet, YouTube™ for instructional videos, Knol™ for written game instructions, and Blogger™ for their corporate blog. Their first product, "gpsAssassins - Kill Your Neighbor," was developed and runs on Google App Engine™ and utilizes Google Checkout™ for an in-game ecommerce market and transactions.

"Utilizing Google we were able to build an infrastructure that will scale to hundreds of thousands of players as demand increases," said Side Hobby’s Jackson Miller, also creator of Statzen, a content analytics tool for bloggers. "The entire game-engine resides on Google App Engine’s servers, which allows us to constantly update the game, and provide our popular new scenarios (released every Tuesday) such as Spotlight (hiding doesn’t work), Aggression (all attacks do 200% damage), Revenge (all counterattacks do 200% damage), and Lucky Charms (double blood money rewards)."

The price of the game was set for launch at $4.99 and allowed players to buy in-game currency known as "Blood Money." Enough units were purchased to allow the company to reduce that price to $0.99, and in the latest version released just this week in the iTunes apps store, to provide the game now free of charge to anyone.

Brands concerned with location-based advertising have also expressed interest in the game, hoping to offer embedded game content based on GPS locations, to encourage players to visit specific stores and receive valuable branded game elements in return (branded weapons like a claw hammer from Home Depot, or hot coffee from Starbucks). Also helping to monetize the game for Side Hobby is a partnership with TapJoy, feeding OfferPal promotions during game play by offering Blood Money rewards to those who sign-up for promotions from Netflix, DirecTV, etc.

Currently there are more than 11,000 active players of the game around the world. The largest group of players is local to Tennessee, but California is quickly gaining on their numbers. Other markets with a significant number of players include the EU, Australia, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. The game is currently published only in English. Future translated versions will depend upon market demand. On average around the world, players are spending 11 minutes per session, and play 3 sessions per day. Also, in the works is a more politically-correct version (without the killing) tentatively titled, "GPS FlagTag," being developed by Side Hobby with assistance from students of Belmont University in Nashville.

Side Hobby, LLC, is a company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, offering software products for the mobile device market. More information available online at http://www.SideHobby.com.

In : PC

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required)

What is 5 + 14 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math.
Trending Now