August 22, 2012
Red Robot Expands Its R2 Mobile Gaming Platform
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Imagine playing a game on your phone, but the events in the game are happening right across the street. That's the idea behind Red Robot's Life Is Crime and Forever Drive, two games for the iOS and Android that use location-based information to add a new element to the games. Now imagine that there are more games coming.
Red Robot is announcing an expansion of its proprietary R2 mobile gaming platform for third party developers today. While Red Robot is about to release a third game developed in house, games from third party developers that take location-based events and other elements will soon become available as well.
Three developers: Box of Robots, ShortRound and 50 Cubes will use the platform to develop location-based event games. Two existing developers: Asia-based Next Media and U.K.-based Supermono are already in development using the mobile R2 platform.
"Our platform is really a technology offering as well as expertise," Red Robot CEO and co-founder Mike Ouye tells RedOrbit.
The company hopes that it will encourage other game developers to create on the R2 platform and build location-aware games.
"We have three core technologies on the R2 platform," Ouye says. "A point systems index: places you're at, stuff around you," including locations such as Starbucks, McDonalds or a player's office. "Second: custom maps and rendering, advanced 3D mapping. The third [core technology] is regional: Organize the competition by region." Ouye says the regional technology helps advance monetization in games.
While Red Robot continues to develop games for the R2 platform, it hopes to encourage third party developers to get on board. The company said it has committed $2 million to furthering third party mobile, location-based game development on the R2 platform. The money will go towards funding and setting up revenue-sharing opportunities for third party developers.
Five third party developers who will develop mobile games on the R2 platform using location-based technology join Red Robot. The company hopes to encourage more developers to join the ranks. In building the ecosystem around location, a technology Ouye says is "always on" when it comes to smartphones. Red Robot looks forward to seeing what is developed with the tools provided on the R2 platform. "If we provide the tools around location, third party developers will build something totally unexpected," he says. "Give them a blank canvas with colors and bushes, and they can produce a work of art."
To date Red Robot has developed two games that run on the R2 platform using location to provide a setting for the games. Life Is Crime lets players build their way up the ranks of criminal gangs to build reputation and gain status. 3D maps that originate in a player's location gives an element of realism to the fantasy role-playing game.
In Forever Drive, players race against time through the streets of the future. An in-game track editor helps you put landmarks on the streets, then lets players race tracks other drivers created. Both games feature 3D maps that sometimes venture from a player's local setting, but are anchored by nearby locations.