This is a list about terms we often use and do not want to explain again. If you think there is one term missing, do not hesitate to tell us.
This describes a concept, where the reality is enhanced with additional information by a computer. A heads-up display in a jet-fighter would be an example. You can see everything through the cockpit-window, but see also information about altitude or tactics projected directly on the glass. In the mobile gaming industry augmented reality is often used to enhance the camera-view on the world with additional information like nearby friends or venues.
That is the key game mechanic for GSG’s. With a check-in you are declaring your interest in a specific location. That is useful for two reasons: First, currently the location detection of smartphones is not accurate enough to tell exactly where you are. Second, it does not necessarily mean that you have interest in a venue, just because you are there. For more information you could also read this article in the Wikipedia. We also wrote an article about the future of the check-in.
This is a business model widely used in geosocial games. You get the gaming app for free, but in the game you have to pay for additional content like special items, statistics or customization. A very common thing to buy in freemium games is the virtual game currency to speed up your efforts.
Geo Social Game (GSG)
This is quite an enhancement of Location Based Games. In addition to them, in GSG’s is a social element added that makes the competition more challenging. So you play against or with human individuals instead of computer generated players. Because it is also a LBG, these individuals are locals from your city, maybe neighbors, friends and familiy. For more information about the difference between GSG and LBG read our article.
This term describes games, that include information about the setting at players current location into the game. These information could be like weather conditions, crossing particular streets or borders, getting nearby specific landmarks or points or just beeing in a specific height above ground. For instance your character in the game could be faster if the sun is shining or you complete a quest after being in ten different regions in one day. The game is aware of your location, but it is not based on it.
Location Based Game (LBG)
In Location Based Games the reality of your surrounding has a more direct impact on the virtual reality of the game. The game tries to reflect your current location, mostly realized by showing your location on an actual map. So instead of games that are only location aware, the location does not only influence your gameplay: it gives your gameplay the foundation – the game is based on it. There are actions in the game, that can only be done in specific locations. The game tries to use the feelings players have about there surrounding, there hometown, to give the actions in the game a higher meaning. So instead of defending just some random village from an virtual attacker, you are now imagining to defend your home town with your parents in it from the Soviets or whatever stereotype real-world villain is on hand.
While Augmented Reality just enhances the reality with additional information, Mixed Reality Games are enhancing your virtual play with reality elements. So you do not just play a game in the virtual space but also have to interact with the reality surrounding you. Reality does not only add information to your game, but is also involved in the gameplay.
Open Street Map (OSM)
From Wikipedia: OSM is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. The OSMaps are created by there users and can be used under a free license. The license enables game designers to adapt the layout to their games and also to lower production costs. That is why we believe that OSMaps will replace the currently often used Google Maps in the long run.
PIN / Position Marker
That is the sign on the map, that marks your current location. Usually it is shaped like a pin and includes graphically some game elements.