We wrote about Recce back in July: a rich, interactive searchable 3D map app created by U.K. startup eeGeo and backed by $4 million Series A funding, which aggregates data feeds from other services such as Twitter to create an animated bird’s eye view of a city and what is going on in it. At the time the company said it also planned to use its location platform for gaming — and it’s now delivered on that promise, by launching its first game: a GPS-based iOS app called Go Deliver – London, in partnership with games studio Midoki.
In keeping with the real-world location theme, the gameplay of Go Deliver requires gamers to pick up their iPhones and travel around London collecting and delivering virtual packages to actual locations. For added spice, gamers can also compete against each other to pick up the same packages so there’s an incentive to get to delivery locations quickly. There will also be a social graph tie-in in future so you can easily find Facebook buddies to play with.
The Recce mapping platform technology has been used to power the interactive gaming environment so the game closely resembles the original Recce app, just with an added gaming layer slapped on top
Go Deliver has a freemium model: it’s free to download/play but gamers can spend on in-app purchases. eeGeo tells TechCrunch it is also looking at tapping up revenue opportunities by tying in the shops and other real-world locations that gamers visit as they play — in a sort of scavenger hunt meets FourSquare meets Groupon style mash-up. It will also court brand sponsorship for the packages — so you could find yourself delivering a Skinny Mocha Frappuccino to Buckingham Palace, say, or a Ginsters Pasty to the Treasury.
eeGeo’s Rian Liebenberg tells TechCrunch: “Over time, we will tie package deliveries to physical places with actual rewards, i.e. pick up a virtual bag of coffee beans and get a reward for dropping it off at a Starbucks. That reward might be a coupon, or similar, and since we can physically place the player at the actual Starbucks location, you could personalise the reward to individual stores. Secondly, we’ll also have sponsored packages by brands, once we have a certain critical audience — think of this as CPM ad model in a game construct.”
For its part, games developer Midoki, says there are several advantages to using Recce’s platform vs adding a gaming layer to something more basic like Google Maps — such as not having to use up bandwidth downloading new data during gameplay; and the rich and dynamic nature of the platform which allows the map to be augmented with things like moving vehicles or dynamically squash a building to improve the gamer’s view. The platform is also easily editable so the rendering style of the city can be changed.
“This means that games using the tech won’t need to look all the same. The environment becomes a true component of the game,” says Midoki’s Daniel Martinez-Normand. “The result is a huge dynamic city that works as a true game environment, not just a map. It’s really exciting for games and we have lots of ideas for the future.”
A version of Go Deliver based on San Francisco will follow “very soon” — with more cities said to be in the pipeline.