An online massive multiplayer Augmented Reality city-wide game created with FIWARE technologies

The FIWARE demos portfolio has recently been enriched with the release of the Gnome Trader game, developed under the FIcontent project by Fabio Zünd, Milan Bombsch, Mattia Ryffel, Marcel Lancelle, Stéphane Magnenat, from ETH and Disney Research Zürich.

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Gnome Trader is a city-wide location-aware Augmented Reality resource-trading game. Players can buy and sell food to gnomes hidden in newspaper boxes all around a city. Gardener gnomes produce food and sell it to the players at a dynamic price. Gnome families are waiting for the players to bring them food and will pay more as their storage gets low. Players will level up by finding new gnomes and trading. The virtual money earned in the game can be used to buy upgrades, such as a bigger bag to be able to carry more resources at once and resulting in a better trading efficiency. An online leaderboard also enables players to compare to each other.

One major point is that Gnomes are automatically registered and added to the game if enough players visit a new newspaper box that is not already registered in the database. Hence, the game can grow autonomously. Apart from normal server administrative tasks, no other developer intervention is necessary.

Thus, Gnome Trader could inspire more than one company to develop a sustainable business model with such a game using FIWARE technologies. Similar games might also be interesting for advertisement in specific locations, where each gnome could advertise a different product.

Advanced features are planned for Gnome Trader. For example player-to-player trading, which will greatly increase the multiplayer aspect of the game. Children as well as adults with access to a smart phone with Internet connection are likely to enjoy playing it.

Technically speaking, Gnome Trader uses various FIWARE enablers, such as the “Point of Interest” GE, the “Camera Artifact Rendering” SE, or the “Leaderboard” SE. The back-end runs on FIWARE Lab, and uses an ubuntu server instance running Node.Js and MongoDB.