Google Maps gets new features for better AR gaming

Google AR preview
Google AR preview (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Maps Platform has been updated with three new gaming-focused features.
  • Maps Platform games drew nine million daily users in November.
  • New features offer performance enhancements and more control over territories and landmarks.

Google has game developers in mind with three new features just added to the Google Maps Platform. The company says the ten mobile games that currently employ the platform have been very successful, with nine million daily active users (DAU) in the last month. New features will improve graphics performance for some Maps tasks, as well as give developers more control over where users should go and what will happen when they arrive.

One new feature, Playable Territories, will allow developers to carve the landscape into playable regions with natural borders like roads and rivers. A game could instruct players to capture a region or perform different tasks depending on where they are. Players could also be directed to territories that are busier or quieter, depending on what the game calls for.

A Mixed Zoom feature will draw maps more efficiently, so that the area near a player includes a high level of detail, with less information as the viewer approaches the horizon. This will allow developers to show a wider bird's eye view without drawing so much processing power, as Maps will use vector tiles to redraw areas in the distance. Google will also give developers a new ranking signal that will call out map features of artistic interest, "like museums, gardens, and art galleries."

Philip Berne