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Come Find Me! Using Location Data to Generate Game Content

At Mongadillo, we use location data to create a game world that directly reflects the environments the player is travelling through after the Zombie apocalypse. Here's a brief overview of how it works for the developer and player.

Jump on just about any gaming platform, and you'll encounter a slew of text-based games; some good, some bad, some great. With the introduction of tools like Twine, it takes just a few minutes to put together a branching storyline and have it online for players with a few clicks. Sometimes, these stories go beyond just basic interactive fiction and tackle serious issues, while at other times, they're just a good "Choose your own adventure" experience, offered by a variety of developers. There's even a hybrid style, best seen in Steve Jackson's "Sorcery!" gamebook games, where you're moving around the game world using actual character models, but making decisions and learning about the world from straight text.
 

Although you could call our games at Mongadillo "text-based", they're much more about creating an immersive role playing game that uses interactive fiction and graphics as the medium and a proprietary game logic engine that creates a deep player experience.  


The goal of our games is to make a story feel real, so, for example, with Survivor Z, we integrated the real-world environment with our fictional game content to create a new world that exists all around the player.  Using the Foursquare location API and data, we make every location the player visits in-game into a place in our game world. So Joe's House of Coffee on 42nd Ave. and Main St. becomes a post apocalyptic nightmare when you look at through the lens of Survivor Z.  The game engine places content in front of players depending on their current level, what achievements they have already seen, and what actions they may have already taken, giving each player an experience that is unique to him or her.  Our goal with this is to make it feel like a real post-apocalyptic world where places are familiar, but far from safe.


It's not just the player's own town they can explore. As part of our ongoing DLC, we offer a "City Pass" that lets players have access to a lot of other cities via a virtual plane ticket. \Want to see Dallas after Z-Day? Buy a city pass, and explore the real streets of Dallas and compete with other players for territory.


We have volumes of content available to players. As a player explores the game, we're constantly feeding them new storylines and encounters, which are presented as text in a graphic-novel format. We also offer in-game content purchases to add more story content to the game. Last year, we had award-winning DC Comics writer Joe Keatinge develop a storyline for us based on a story of his creation, that challenge, called “Comic Con Z” was a success and was available for one year from July 2013 to July 2014.

We're now working with other writers and fans to have them submit stories to us that they've written using tools like Twine. While our engine is home built, we can convert Twine stories to our platform, with the help of our in-house editor. We've hired a new part-time writer, and are expanding our content base along with developing our new games.  We have also developed our own proprietary interactive writing tool that we are preparing to release as a free App for OSX.  


 

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