Dmitry Filippov, a second-year student at the Faculty No8 “Information technology and applied mathematics” of Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University) created a startup “Heavy Geeks”, where he transferred the map of the entire real world into the game “Parallel 42”.
Dmitry and his team want to create a parallel virtual universe based on a map of the entire Earth. Look out the window – this whole world will be inside the game.
The basis of the virtual map is the Open Street Maps service, which provides detailed data for the whole of our planet: the location, shape and heights of buildings, roads, trees, lights, traffic lights and other objects. Almost terabytes of this data young inventors transferred to their servers and tried to recreate something as similar as possible.
“Parallel 42” will be a sandbox game like “Minecraft” or “No Man’s Sky”, where you can play with friends. The specific plot has not yet been written, but it should have many interesting activities. In the movie “The First Player to Be Prepared,” there was something similar. For players, it will be provided a customization of characters, will be created additional game objects like cars or NPC-bots (Non-Player Character) walking around.
The most common question, which is asked, – “How does the game differ from the panoramas of Google or Yandex?” It’s simple: Filippov’s team gives people freedom in the virtual world. They do not have to move along predetermined paths, they can interact with each other. Of course, all the panoramas everything is more real, without photos. But in the game’s reality there will be a change of seasons! Young developers also plan to tie the day and night shift to the real time of the day, and even tie the weather to the real one – the one that is now in the region shown on the map.
Filippov tried to create a virtual similarity of our world many times, but manually, simulating each building or object. This, of course, unrealistic work. It was made many games based on Open Street Map, but it was taken only its individual pieces and territories. Team of Dmitry sets itself the task of making such a virtual card seamless. In some games there are “stitches”: you reach the border of some location, you press, for example, the door – the game goes on to load a new location. It is impossible to keep the entire card in the computer’s memory at once. In the new game there won’t be such “stitches” due to dynamic communication with servers: some pieces of the map will be loaded and drawn, others will be deleted from memory.
The whole map is now on Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Servers are paid by the team itself, which is expensive, so they are looking for investors, but this is difficult in the gaming industry. Few people today are investing in game development; they can only buy a ready-made game that has potential. Whether their project will succeed is not yet clear, but young researchers will try. They are actively thinking about how to commercialize the game with the help of advertising embedded in virtual reality.
The closest goal of Dmitry Filippov is to complete the work on the generation of virtual world and work it out in more detail than it is now. Then he will deal with the gameplay, the plot content of the game. It will have two versions: for Windows and Mac, plus VR headsets — virtual reality glasses.