Real and virtual have finally met in fun – reporting on Mogi, the brilliant location-based online multiplayer experience in Tokyo.
Now phone networks are faster and more mobile devices know where they are, permitting a second generation of location-based multiplayer games. Undoubtedly the leading second-generation mobile phone game is Mogi: Mogi uses both the position of players in the landscape, and the landscape itself to generate play.
Mogi is a collecting game – “item hunt”. The game provides a data-layer over the city of Tokyo. As you move through the city, if you check a map on your mobile phone screen, you’ll see nearby items you can pick up and nearby players you can meet or trade with.
Mogi was developed by Newt Games, based in Paris France. I talked to CEO Mathieu Castelli at his home there. He discussed the true integration of items in the environment: “some items only appear at certain places, at certain times.” For example, Castelli cites the creatures in the game: “We used the map to give creatures some interesting behavior. Some creatures only hunt at night. Some hang around close to parks.” If a player wants to find that creature, they’ll have to travel near a park in the evening hours.