Bring the real world into your game with Google Maps Unity

By: Shaun Hudson
Tag(s): Geolocation
Published: Feb 23, 2021
Bring the real world into your game with Google Maps Unity

Now you can literally bring the real world into your game and engage your users through location in similar ways to Pokemon GO and Jurassic World Alive.

The Google Maps Platform Gaming Services is a development platform for creating games that feature world scenes constructed from Google Maps geospatial data, and rendered at run-time by the Unity game engine. The platform provides simple, powerful, programmatic access to geographic data.

Taking your business to the next level with Geolocation

Use the Google Maps data set to:

  • Create immersive experiences all over the globe
  • Completely customise your games
  • Design rich and engaging games in the real world
  • Rely on Google scale as you grow

Replicate real-world surroundings

You can create an immersive gaming environment that replicates real-world surroundings. You don't just get a high quality basemap of the player's location, you get one overlaid with buildings and world geometry, and it includes metadata that lets you understand the world and build immersive gameplay. You can then enhance this basemap with styling, building textures, lighting effects, and physical properties (collision detection for example).

Your in-game characters can walk along streets, and depending on the enhancements that you add, interact with the environment. You can place things like game prizes and monsters in game locations provided by Google (selected according to criteria appropriate for gaming), and then have players compete for/with them by navigating the real world, and interacting with your game world.

The Google Maps Platform gaming services is made up of two components - the Maps SDK for Unity and the Playable Locations API.

What is Unity?

Unity is a game development platform that can be used to complete various tasks relating to the development process across a range of platforms including consoles, mobile and virtual reality.

The Google Maps SDK for Unity is a set of development tools and services which allow users to extend the Unity game development environment with additional features, allowing them to create real-world mobile games.

Using geo data from the Google Maps database, the SDK generates a game world based on the user’s physical location, and allows for developers to render geographic features like buildings and monuments within the environment.

How to add a map from Google to Unity

To add a map to Unity, follow these steps”

  1. Download the Maps SDK for Unity 2019
  2. Unzip the SDK archive file
  3. Under the Assets menu in Unity, select ‘Import Package’ followed by ‘Custom Package’
  4. Select the file GoogleMaps.unitypackage and then click Open in the dialog box
  5. Select ‘Import’, and the files will be imported; you’ll then see a ‘GoogleMaps’ folder in the Unity Project pane
  6. You can then use this folder to add maps to your Unity project

Real life or fantasy? Why not both?

Real life locations are increasingly becoming popular in gaming, particularly with augmented reality mobile applications. Some intuitive uses of Gamification in Marketing have been engaging users using similar approaches too - we would love to talk over these with you!

Taking your business to the next level with Geolocation

As with any location based discussions, please get in touch to discuss how Maps Customisation and Google Maps Platform can use Maps, Routes and Places within your business or applications.


Contact Ancoris Google Maps Specialists



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