The company’s new APIs — tools for building software — will turn buildings, roads, and parks into “GameObjects.” In turn, developers can add their own textures, styles, and customizations to these objects so they blend in with the game’s theme.
This will reduce the rendering overhead caused by generating an entire virtual world on a global scale.
“Game studios can easily reimagine our world as a medieval fantasy, a bubble gum candy land, or a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic city,” Clementine Jacoby, product manager of Google Maps APIs, said in a statement.
“With Google Maps’ real-time updates and rich location data, developers can find the best places for playing games, no matter where their players are.”
According to Google, developers using the Unity game engine now have access to more than 100 million 3D buildings, landmarks, parks, and roads scattered across more than 200 countries.
Google Maps removes the need to know more about the player’s physical environment no matter where they are located across the globe.