Remember Grand Theft Auto (the first one)? It was one of the first free-roaming top-down driving games, and looked a bit like this:
How about Metropolis Street Racer? The Sega Dreamcast game was one of the first to allow you to drive around accurate road tracks and backdrops set in real world cities including Tokyo and London:
Now I know what you’re thinking – “Wouldn’t it be great if I could re-live and combine the fond memories of those classic videogames, by driving around a true street network like in MSR but with a cute little car like in the first Grand Theft Auto?”. And what about if you weren’t limited to just a few cities, but could drive around anywhere in the world (well, anywhere that Bing Maps has road information for)?
Well, now you can.
Presenting….. (drum roll, please)….
Bing Maps Grand Theft Metropolis Auto Street Racer!
…ok, so my marketing department still needs to do a little bit of work on the name, but hopefully you get the idea. And, to be honest, there’s not much to do other than drive around (but, then again, arguably there isn’t that much to do in any driving computer game other than, well, drive around).
- Double-click anywhere on the map to set a destination.
- To jump straight to a location, enter a placename/address/postcode and click “Teleport” instead.
- Marvel as the dinky little car takes the real route to the chequered flag at the chosen destination, driving past photo-realistic imagery (well, actual photographic imagery) along the way.
- Click the “follow” checkbox to automatically pan the map to follow the car as it travels. Uncheck the box if you want to pan manually.
- Features such exotic locations as….
- Car sprite courtesy of: http://www.reinerstilesets.de/
- Concept inspired by: Grand Theft Auto, Metropolis Street Racer (produced by the, sadly now-defunct UK games developer Bizarre Creations), and Mike Williams’ Car Trip
- Everything else: me.
Ok, so I don’t expect it will win any videogame awards – it’s not much of a game, but it does demonstrate a range of Bing Maps AJAX v7 functionality – animation, dash-styled polylines, the geocoding and routing REST services, dynamically assigning CSS styles to a pushpin, adjusting for orientation of the map… if anyone wants to take this as a starting point to create an actual racing game, that would be awesome.