Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mobile gaming in the street

GPS has mainly come to consumers as car navigation. But creative applications are not abundant. But slowly outdoor games, based on GPS, are coming up. In the Netherlands TNO developed the outdoor game Triangler, which can be played for team building. But now the Belgian company La mosca goes further and has commercialised outdoor city gaming. The company La mosca has been set up by Kristof Van den Branden. He started La mosca in 2006 after ten years experience as an Internet Consultant and as a (web) editor/reporter. He already had the idea of the city games in 1998 as a passionate board game player. He only thought the time had come to give shape to the concept in 2005. The IWT (Institute for the promotion of innovation through science and technology in Flanders) granted La mosca a subsidy in 2006 to carry out an Innovation Study. This provided La mosca with the knowledge to explore and enter the market well prepared. This resulted in The Target going into production by the end of that year (the first La mosca game). The Target and the second game (CityTracks) were ready at the start of 2007.

In the target three police teams have to catch an escaped gangster. He is terrorising the city because a client will give him money for every crime he commits. Three policemen are sent to catch the man before he manages to collect € 1,000,000 and leaves the city. The gangster has to steal (virtual) objects that are located all over the city to be able to commit the crimes: a knife, a rope ladder, explosives, etc. Every time he steals an object or commits a crime, however, the police find out. This ensures the gangster leaves a trail of his activities in the city that can be followed. The police satellites also succeed in exactly localising the gangster every 6 minutes and the policemen can continuously check how far away they are from their “target” (the gangster). But the gangster knows how to intercept the satellite signals and is given the same information as the players on his screen... and he has a few special defences to shake off any police pursuit... The game will last for two hours and is finished when a policeman shoots the gangster virtually or when the gangster succeeds in collecting the required one million euro.

For the game minimally four and maximally twelve players are required. For the game Nokia 6110 Navigators are being used; the event companies lend them to the players. These mobiles are solely fit for satellite communication; it is for this reason that players still can not use their own mobile.

La mosca is a publisher of city games. Besides The Target, it has developed City Tracks and City Team Conquest. It has commercialised city gaming by licensing event companies. And these are finding ways to sell games events. The games can currently be played in Antwerp and Ghent as a private player. In the Netherlands, the game can be played under supervision in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht as a private player. The game can also be played by companies. And the game can be adapted for special purposes like the launch of a new product.

Blog Posting Number: 901

Target: outdoor games

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