RPG with a GPS twist
The game features the protagonist, Taro, who starts off as a simple farmer but becomes a venerable savior as he fights to protect his homeland from the Shroud and its ancient, evil inhabitants. Players begin on an untended farm that they must work on to grow and harvest crops, maintaining livestock, etc. Doing so will allow Taro to accumulate funds and resources in order to repel the Shroud invasion and close the Breach portals that connect their world to his own. In addition, the game features several other elements such as fishing, mining, and real-time monster combat in order to provide a lengthy variety of activities for the player to immerse themselves into.
But the virtue of this game is that it can be played without GPS too. Last month The Shroud started on the AT&T network but without any location feature. “Helio was very enthusiastic about the location feature; it was a major selling point. But for some other operators it is less important. They are more hesitant because A-GPS cost them money and bandwidth”, said Sprogis.
In 2006 when The Shroud was initially announced the game was supposed to get out of the door quickly. But then, Your World Games chose to add new features which delayed the launch. “What was supposed to be a six months development project ended up in more than a year development”, said Sprogis. Ultimately when The Shroud was finished its distribution partner, Sony BMG, decided to end its games distribution activity, which further pushed back the launch. Finally, Your World Games signed another distribution agreement with Gamevil USA which led to a deal with AT&T and Helio.
While Your World Game is currently focusing on getting The Shroud distributed by as many wireless operators as possible, there are some plans shaping up for the future. Location-based gaming is a core know-how of the small studio. Back in 2001, President Peter Sprogis was awarded one of the first patents in location-based gaming: “Treasure hunt game utilizing GPS equipped wireless communications devices”. More location-based games are likely to come up in the future.