Exploring alternative rules of distribution of POI in location-based games based on spatial configuration and visibility

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An essential part of location-based games is the physical space where players perform gameplay. The players navigate in the city, their game world, and use the 2d map in their smartphone to inform their gameplay decisions and to show them the next point of interest (POI). This research aims to use space syntax, the city configuration, the way someone moves based on the geometry of the spaces to define new rules and a new logic of placing objects in the environment of location-based games. The visual field from the location of the player in the game environment can determine the decisions the player makes when navigating in the city. In the real environment, the game designer cannot change the geometry of the space, but he can use the visibility and spatiality of the existing space for different purposes and functions. First, this paper investigates existing location-based games and analyzes their distribution and logic. Specifically, the location-based games, Pokémon Go, and Ingress are discussed, which use a landmark-based logic. The main focus of this research is on selected areas in the central part of London. Initial findings indicated that a high percentage of POI in Ingress is placed in small spaces, spaces with low connectivity values, and spaces where the visual field is blocked by obstacles. Through these observations, new placements of POI are suggested, based on theories of spatial analysis, gaming, and existing literature. Space syntax measures offer a starting point to consider certain locations within the game environment over others. These possible placements developed, are evaluated by comparison with the logic of the selected games. Through visibility and street network analysis, a new way of placing objects in the real environment is created, taking account the player’s position and visibility in the play location and the surroundings. Another logic is also proposed, a combination of space syntax and landmarks, and it is discussed if it can add additional values, that the existing approach is lacking.


Location-based games, Augmented reality, Navigation, Wayfinding, Pokémon Go, Ingress, Physical space, Space syntax, Spatial Analysis, Street network Analysis, Visibility Analysis, Landmarks.


location based game (142), space syntax (120), th international space syntax (80), street network analysis (47), central london (40), location based mobile game (40)


Architecture, Data Visualization and Analysis for design, Natural navigation, Urban Design.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.47330/DCIO.2020.GZXS6328

Video Presentation: https://youtu.be/q0FH8VQ9FR0

Full text: Maciel, A. (Ed.), 2020. Design Computation Input/Output 2020, 1st ed. Design Computation, London, UK. ISBN: 978-1-83812-940-8, DOI:10.47330/DCIO.2020.QPRF9890