informa
2 min read
article

Feature: Taking Advantage Of GPS Location In Smartphone Games

In Gamasutra's latest feature, Will Luton, creative director of iOS game studio Mobile Pie, describes how location-aware technology helps bring players back for microtransaction monetization opportunities.
In Gamasutra's latest feature, Will Luton, creative director of UK iOS game studio Mobile Pie, developers of My Star, describes how location-aware technology helps bring players back for microtransaction monetization opportunities. While apps like Foursquare and Facebook are currently the primary way mobile users use "checkins", games can benefit from the technology, Luton writes. His team's iOS game My Star features Facebook Places checkins. "Offering game advantage based on location has great application in retention for free-to-play mobile beyond the immediate return. It encourages a cognitive link between a player's movement or future activity and the potential in-game benefit that could offer them. A user thinking about a game is more likely to play it again, tell a friend about it, or make an in-game purchase," he writes. "When a player taps the Poster icon in a My Star session Facebook checks for a user, before the game queries the device for a location. This is then passed to Facebook Places via a URL, which return five places with IDs, ordered by increasing distance. The game then uses these IDs to find any current posters at the location stored on the server. If any location hasn't before been discovered the server creates a new entry." Players, who are cast as aspiring musicians, can stick posters up on these real world locations digitally -- leaving a trace and contributing to their popularity (in-game) and their engagement with the game. "The poster feature was about giving users a new reason to play our game over a comparable one. The new use of location is a clear innovation and one on which My Star is sold." To find out more about the research that backs up these assertions and the effect they had on My Star, read the full feature -- Location Awareness in Mobile Games: Uses & Advantages -- live now on Gamasutra.

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, California
6.20.22
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
6.20.22
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
6.20.22
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
6.20.22
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more