For years, I have wanted to use a racing game that would provide realistic driving in my neighborhood. Well, The first game like that is coming soon on Ovi Store. This is a 2D top view, which reminds me of the original GTA (I loved that game, even though it didn’t have the 3D experience that made the latest versions big hits). Not quite what I was expecting, but definitely a good first step.
I now hope that Google will be up to the challenge, and that a few guys at Google are using their “free” time to develop such a game using Google Maps data. I guess that, if these things don’t come, it must mean that 3D programming is indeed difficult; or it could be that gamers expect full 3D game with nice models of the buildings, trees and scenery. For me, the idea is not to have the best 3D experience with the exact buildings (although that would be nice too). The precision I want is on the road itself and on the simulation, because I know the road very well in real life.
Another reason may be price. The use of Google Maps is free, but I am not sure how much Google would charge to build a game with Google Maps data. After all, all these mapping companies are supposed to be worth a lot of money.
This kind of ideas are funny, because they remind us that execution is sometimes very hard. I am sure that some game executives already had the idea to develop such a game. But it hasn’t happened yet, and I am still waiting to be able to race up La Gineste with a few friends from the good ol’ time. Until then, I will keep racing in San Francisco or London with two kids sitting on my lap.