We created an arcade-style flying game on Google Maps, where people could destroy real pools around South Africa, with an arsenal of aircraft and weaponry. The more they destroyed, the greater their chance of winning a trip to the driest place on earth – the Tierra Atacama desert.
People could choose their aircraft, each of which came with its own arsenal. As a person increased their score, they unlocked faster aircrafts with better weaponry.
Navigating the game was easy. Using a crosshair, a person could target a pool, click to destroy, and their chosen aircraft would fly in and drop their chosen weapon. Each bomb dropped left a smoking crater behind in Google Maps, which other players could see.
Our main challenge was loading times and memory within the browser. We used the Google Maps API to make each click on the map into a crater. The craters then clustered as you zoomed out to create a single larger crater. Doing this reduced the amount of clusters that needed to be loaded, using less memory.
The more people played the more craters that needed to be displayed. This could have resulted in a crater overload issue. We cleverly restricted the zoom level to 15. Showing a smaller area meant less craters needed to be loaded, which allowed the game to function throughout the campaign period.