Get ready to Dominate

GPS Based gaming

GPS technology has been made available to all smart phone users for almost 5 years now but mobile games have yet to capture this feature and incorporate it into a game. With Dominion, we plan on changing that. GPS technology gives us an opportunity to combine a virtual playground (the phone) with the physical world.

GPS gives us the ability to access the user’s current position as well as close-by buildings around the user. Using these inputs as a base, we can create a simple king-of-the-hill multiplayer game. Anyone with an android phone that goes outdoors can play this sort of game. Because most, if not all Android users are familiar with GPS technology and google maps’ UI, it becomes easy to understand how this type of game can be played.

The underlying fact here is that GPS technology allows us to combine the real and virtual worlds by creating a link which affords gameplay interactions to take place.

General Overview

We use the player’s real world location to capture real world locations in a mirrored virtual environment. Mixing GPS mobile phone technology with game design, this project aims to provide a prototype for a location based game that needs to be played in physical as well as virtual space. The project will involve elaborate design of the game, combining the virtual and physical playgrounds, plenty of coding in java for Android and HTML5, and dealing with the game's backend/ database. There are very few examples of other products with these goals in mind, some have even sprung up over the course of this project but they simply utilize the “check-in” feature where you essentially log-in to a location you are visiting. Our game leverages real world space as the virtual playing field and allows users to take action to claim real world locations as their own virtual property. Our client and advisor is Professor Michael Nitsche, and this project fits into his research interest that looks into the relationship between physical and virtual spaces. It looks into the way that virtual and physical interactions affect each other and can be arranged on a dual playing field.

The game is fairly simple. One player creates a game and sets boundaries on the map. This defines the virtual and physical playground. Up to 5 more players can join this game (for a total of 6). Players travel to various locations and “capture” the buildings by being near them and hitting “capture!” button. Players can then attack and conquer other players’ buildings and destroy them in the virtual space. Once a Player’s buildings are destroyed, he is out of the game. The last Player standing wins.

Each player has a life token which is to be placed in any of the buildings. If the building with the life token is destroyed, the player of which it belongs to will automatically loose. Life Tokens can be moved at anytime without the player needing to be near the building to pick it up or place it down.

Initial Design

For our initial design we created a board game using poker chips, sticky notes, and other random objects. This allowed us to simulate the gameplay of the game before we got into the more technical side involving Android and HTML5. Here are some screenshots of the board game ->

We used fruits to differiate players on the board and their position.

An overview of an active game

The entire playing field

We use separate markers to distinguish between the different states of a building (under attack, conquered)

Initial GUI

Flash Site was used before we switched over to HTML5





1st Android GUI Iteration

2nd Android GUI Iteration

This was our first GUI for the Android version




3rd Android GUI Iteration

This version was a lot closer to what we finally ended up with




Game Mechanics

Elements Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Orange

Super effective = 2x damage weak against = 0.5x damage normal = 1x damage

Red is super effective against Blue Red is weak against Orange

Blue is super effective against Green Blue is weak against Red

Green is super effective against Yellow Green is weak against Blue

Yellow is super effective against Purple Yellow is weak against Green

Purple is super effective against Orange Purple is weak against Yellow

Orange is super effective against Red Orange is weak against Purple

Every player has one attack token which represents which building is being attacked. Every player has one life token.


Technical Implementation

This is our class diagrams and software structure




Post Morterm

Click to view /download the post-mortem