Adding Value to Mobile Game Development by Collecting Geospatial Data

Using Geospatial Technology to Enhance Mobile Phone Gaming

There’s been a surge in company’s building development kits, free of charge, to empower a user base to create on their behalf. One such company is Game Salad. They’re a hip little social gaming company with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Austin, TX.

Game Salad takes a totally unique approach to gaming. They are the providers of the back end video game designer and essentially crowd source content by giving away their tool kit free of charge. Game Salad has a unique way of capitalizing on their “gratis” intentions by serving in game ads to gamers, whom have downloaded a game created in the Game Salad environment.

Being a huge fan of film culture, I am really impressed with how Game Salad’s development kit was used by the Alamo Drafthouse to promote “Hobo with a Shotgun” with a mobile iOS game. There’s no denying that gaming is a great way for company’s to interact with their potential customers. However, gaming on mobile phones can open several new opportunities for businesses to leverage.

Game Salad is able to provide their tools for free due to monetizing on creators using their development kit to build a video game. This monetization is delivered through in game advertising. Currently it is widely recognized that Google is the leader of internet and mobile marketing, but there are a couple intelligent things that Game Salad can do to increase the effectiveness of their in game advertising. By introducing geography as an essential ingredient within their marketing algorithm, Game Salad could create higher conversion rates for their advertisers.

Adding Value to Mobile Game Development by Collecting Geospatial Data

Location doesn’t seem to be an integral part to Game Salad’s mobile marketing approach. By introducing location intelligence, Game Salad could open up conversations with company’s that are able to attract local businesses to advertise on their gaming network. Geospatial intelligence could be used by Game Salad to provide more personalized marketing messages to their gaming community.

For instance, imagine Game Salad knew that “Hobo with a Shotgun” was played most frequently within a mile of a sub shop between the hours of 11 and 1 on a particular intersection in a city. By collecting and visualizing this data, Game Salad could communicate this information to the sub shop. Game Salad could also add value to the conversation by informing the sub shop of ways that their marketing message could be fine tuned so as to be as relevant as possible to the sub shop’s potential customers. I would be interested in taking action, if I were to see a coupon displayed to me for my local sub shop while playing “Hobo with a Shotgun”.

When you take the above example and think in terms of Game Salads’ entire game archives, there becomes huge potential to collect data across several socioeconomic indices in order to collect a dynamic data set. This data could be even more powerful if it were to be informed by geographic analysis pulled from tools that already exist on most smart phones. There are several companies that already offer this level of Spatial Information Technology intelligence, but it seems as though some companies are taking their time in realizing the value added to their product by integrating it within their marketing algorithms.

My recommendation to Game Salad, and large data aggregation companies across the information technology industry, is to correlate functions used with your smart phone applications to a place in space. This location data doesn’t need to be limited to just points, because polylines and line segments have a place in analysis in order to differentiate between different types of traffic. Building a mass data management tool that is capable of parsing smart phone users that are stationary versus those that are riding in an automobile is pivotal in understanding how your users are utilizing their space. This is important to companies like Game Salad because it can help them determine users that are playing a game in bed from those that are traveling in an automobile. Over time, this data can tell Game Salad more about the places where their games are being played, which in turn helps Game Salad communicate their potential advertising clients about their marketing. This could ultimately help Game Salad add value to their customers, both purchasing advertising and developing video games.

Knowing how people transcend space, while using your mobile application, is a means of quantifying the psychogeographical perception of a given space. Knowing how use your application while being a given location creates rich data for developers to improve on and advance their advertising design so as to seamless and relevant with the reality that surrounds smart phone gamers.

Here’s a link to get started with the Game Salad development kit.

Here’s a link to read more on the “Hobo with a Shotgun” mobile application from Wired Magazine.

Feel free to reply with ways you’d add value to companies like Game Salad in the comment sections.

Thanks a ton,
@ROB_MOR