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Google Games

Google Earth As a Game Engine For Ship Simulation 84

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.

  • 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 L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @07:42AM (#28009695) []

    No, it really doesn't.
  • 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...


  • by digitalchinky ( 650880 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @09:47AM (#28010933)

    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 reference frame. Want to change the view angle? Remember that 300 mouse click sequence I just showed you?

    They were fun days.

  • Re:congratulations! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2009 @12:30PM (#28013283)

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

    How does this upset Desert Bus [] 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 on how far along you are, can take up to 8 hours as well. If you manage to make it all the way to Vegas, though, you get a point. You then have seconds to decide whether to drive back for an additional point. And then again. And again. No pauses, no game saves, not even a periodic reminder from Keifer Sutherland that events are occurring in real time.

    But hey, there's an idea: remake Desert Bus using Google Earth data!

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's