GeoCasts – Build a Place Based Experience with Places API and #Firebase

In my spare time I’ve been working on a party game for Android where you can pick any 3 locations in the world, give them a code, and then, when you initialize the game with that code, you’ll help rescue a scientist, Alyssa, who is trapped in an alternate dimension. The interactive story has her guide you to three locations where your dimension overlaps with hers, where you can help her fix her interdimensional machine and get home.

Here’s Alyssa explaining it a bit:

So how is a game like this built? Well, the cut scenes of Alyssa that drive the scene forward were implemented using YouTube and the YouTube API — I’ll blog more about that part in the future. When it comes to the game itself, the picking of places, and detection of whether you are at those places or not is achieved using Google’s Places API. 

As part of the API, Google provide a ‘Place Picker‘ control, which will render a map, and then recognize places on that map, allowing you to select them. Once selected, you can get the unique place ID for that place. There are over 100 million points of interest around the globe that are supported, in a variety of categories, from restaurants, places of worship, bus stops to just about anything else you can think of.

You can see more of how I built it using the place picker and Firebase in this Geocast! Enjoy!