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Google Games

Google Earth As a Game Engine For Ship Simulation 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-i-ask-is-a-tall-e-ship dept.
dinther writes "Yesterday the program Ships was released. Ships is significant because it is the first serious application that uses Google Earth as a game engine. In Ships, you take control of a selection of ships and drive them around the world (if you have that much time). Building games around Google Earth is now viable, thanks to its ever-increasing level of detail. From a technical standpoint, the Google Earth browser plugin has proven to be quite a capable platform to work with. Further tech details about the application are available as well."
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Google Earth As a Game Engine For Ship Simulation

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  • by Norsefire (1494323) * on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @06:49AM (#28009397) Journal

    The Google Earth Plugin is currently only available on Windows and Mac OS X 10.4+.

    Well, that's the first browser-based game I've tried to play that isn't cross platform.

  • finally... (Score:5, Funny)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @06:51AM (#28009417) Homepage
    finally a game that SHOULD account for piracy.
  • by sammyo (166904) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @07:02AM (#28009459) Journal

    Subs?

    There are AIS feeds for live ships at sea, it's only available when the ship is near a land receiver but for the ports that update, all the actual current positions of working vessels could be included in a 'sim'.

    But pirates would be more fun.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by digitalchinky (650880)

      I played with a military version of this about 12 years back when I was, er, military, though it was strictly a top down view only - unless you plugged the feed in to oilstock without permission, and wrote a small script to parse it all. After borrowing the world wide digital terrain elevation data CD's from another agency (again possibly without permission and subsequently taking up several gigabytes of drive space) you could even have a rudimentary google earth like view in 300 easy mouse clicks per refer

    • by maroberts (15852)

      I am waiting for 'Das Boot' version of this....

  • by MarcoPon (689115)
    Ports of Call 2009? :D
  • by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @07:23AM (#28009585)

    wouldn't this type of game cause an exponential increase of load on Google's servers??

  • by LS (57954) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @07:43AM (#28009705) Homepage

    Imagine if you could play GTA but across the whole world, dealing with drug cartels in Columbia and making weapons trades with the Russian mafia. Or recreate a WW2 battle. Google earth could become a platform for any game that is based in real world geography.

    The API may not be robust enough and the detail may not be comprehensive enough to do this yet, but it seems like it could be done in short time if Google so wished.

    The platform could become a general gaming engine as well, where you could select a universe (real world / Star Wars World / J.R.R. Tolkien world, etc) and visit other planets.

    I suppose google could call this Google Universe, a MMO engine based in GIS technology, with one of the Universes being managed by google based on real data, and any others being created by 3rd party developers.

    The potential is pretty exciting...

    LS

    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      Agreed, the ultimate game would be : Google Earth (except with the resolution and detail you won't get before decades) + SimCity (so you could build your own city in the real world and connect it to others) + GTA, so you could do all the aforementioned criminal stuff + driving + flying around.

      In the meantime I'd content myself with a Google Earth based DEFCON.

      • + GTA, so you could do all the aforementioned criminal stuff

        Plus Ports of Call, so you could move your car from continent to continent.

        We must not forget Oil Imperium, because you will need a lot of oil to power the cars and ships.

        Add a dash of Flight Simulator for flying, and it could be finished.

        More or less.

    • The API may not be robust enough and the detail may not be comprehensive enough to do this yet, but it seems like it could be done in short time if Google so wished.

      Why Google? Are they supposed to benefit from leveraging their terribly slow, inefficient, clunky-control-laden graphics engine or the freely available public satellite and height data?

    • Imagine if you could play GTA but across the whole world, dealing with drug cartels in Columbia and making weapons trades with the Russian mafia. Or recreate a WW2 battle. Google earth could become a platform for any game that is based in real world geography.

      The potential is pretty exciting...

      Sounds like a harsh realm [imdb.com] to me.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @07:43AM (#28009711)
    Introducing GTA: Earth!
  • News headlines (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by BigBadBus (653823)
    Is it me, or are there far too many headlines regarding games on Slashdot recently?
    • by Andy Smith (55346)

      Have you submitted any good non-gaming stories yourself?

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Andy Smith (55346)

      By the way, there are at least three grammatical / punctuation errors in the first paragraph of your Titanic book's web site: Two misplaced apostrophes and a missing hyphen.

    • Is it me, or are there far too many headlines regarding games on Slashdot recently?

      I think it's seasonal, I remember the same thing last spring.

      College students are out of classes, high school students are thinking about it. The spring sports seasons are wrapping up. More free time for kids/young adults = more game industry activity = more game industry discussion on teh intarwebs.

      Even the flash games sites are pushing major releases this month.

      This is without speculating on the changing demographics

  • Its clever but... (Score:3, Informative)

    by gnalre (323830) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @08:24AM (#28009999)

    Collision detection leaves a lot to be desired. However it is kinda cool to driver a cruise line up Rotterdam high street.

    But all in all I'll stick to ShipSimulator 2008

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @08:32AM (#28010099)

    congratulations! you've made the world's most boring game!

    coming next from the studios of dull-o-game are more tedious job with so sense of achievement related titles:

    canning factory tycoon. you work in a canning factory, making sure the machine that puts the labels on doesn't run out of labels. 70,000 hours of gameplay.

    night time security guard simulator. you play a guard in an office complex where nothing ever happens. walk around on the hour registering your prescense at various parts of the building. go home. do the same thing tomorrow.

    the sims 3. sit in filth and squalor because you don't have enough time to wash and clean because you are making some poxy computer character wash and clean *his* virtual place.

    • congratulations! you've made the world's most boring game!

      What? A pipemania clone?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by argent (18001)

      congratulations! you've made the world's most boring game!

      Doesn't seem any more boring than those real-time simulate-flying-a-747 games. My father in law used to play those. "Don't touch the computer", he'd say, "it's on autopilot, I'm coming in to Intercontinental in an hour".

      • what's really amazing is all those sim airline pilots who spend thousands of hours flying with the autopilot off as time on autopilot doesn't count for "promotion"...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HTH NE1 (675604)

      congratulations! you've made the world's most boring game!

      How does this upset Desert Bus [wikipedia.org] from this title?

      You are a bus driver, going from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada. You drive the bus in real time for the 8 hour trip, with little to keep your attention, save for a swinging air freshener and an occasional bug splat on the windshield. To make matters worse, the bus pulls to the right, meaning you have to keep your hands on the controller at all times. Let the bus go off the road and you'll be towed all the way back to Tucson in real time, which, depending

  • by snarfies (115214) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @08:43AM (#28010203) Homepage

    The only winning move is not to play.

    How about a nice game of chess?

    • by Tom (822)

      Is it a game, or is it real?

      I think the "or double-click to teleport anywhere in the world" part kind of gives it away... :-)

    • by cashman73 (855518)
      No, let's play Global Thermonuclear War.
    • The only winning move is not to play.

      However, at your discretion, you may also use GoogleNukewords to sell advertising space on the side of the missiles.

      One customer, Lockheed, has been making quite a bit with their "If found, please return for repair and recycling" ad.

  • by tmosley (996283) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @09:37AM (#28010825)
    I think it's time for a zombie outbreak game that is based on the real world, with totally open gameplay. It's time to find out if malls really are the best place to take shelter or not, and settle a bunch of other zombie based issues once and for all!
    • If you need me, I'll be down at the Winchester.

  • I am not sure if this plans to be done or if it's possible but what would be VERY cool for a game like this is if the color pattern of each building could be inspected in real time and a model of that building generated based on the shape and material of that building (e.g. a copper roof of an L shaped building). They could do the same for grass, rocks, trees, etc as well. The only guesswork would be what the rest of the building looks like but that could easily be rendered with a more generic set of textur
  • It's actually pretty cool - just tried it out with XP, Vista: IE, FF / OS X: Safari, FF, Opera (slow day...). Obviously, loading a layer on top of Google's API, because the best part is you can "sail" over/through anything! I chose the Container Ship (very slow maneuverability) and inadvertently "sailed" over land, then right through downtown Rotterdam. Also dragged the anchor across land - didn't seem to slow me down. The horn and anchor don't work in all browsers...

    All ships are defaulted to Rotterdam,

  • How much trouble it would be to add the ability for a game's level editor to grab info from Street View and then extrapolate the Street View data into a realistic 3-D environment? I would gladly pay a subscription for this level of functionality if I could play a FPS level that looked just like my neighborhood. My side hedges would make an excellent place from which to snipe.
  • For all I know, the ships I steer in this game could be real ships using Google Earth, GPS, etc to do their navigation. I could wipe out an entire species [wikipedia.org] in the guise of playing a game.

    Hmm... 275 points for running a tanker [wikipedia.org] aground in Prince William Sound? I'll get right on that!

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