Gbanga

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Gbanga
Gbanga company logo
Type Private
Headquarters Gbanga Studio, Zurich, Switzerland
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Matthias Sala
Julio Perez
Key people Robin Di Capua, Werner Sala, Chris Solarski, Christian Wittmer, François Lachausse
Owner Millform AG
Employees 5
Website gbanga.com
Type of site Location-based game
Registration Required
Available in English, German
Launched 13th April, 2010
Current status Active

Gbanga is a mixed reality, social gaming platform for mobile phones developed by Zurich-based startup, Millform AG. The platform runs on real-time locative media, developed in-house, which means that the gaming environment changes relative to the players real-world location. Players can interact with each other using built-in social and chat functions, which indicate their current real-world locations as well as online and offline status. Additional features enable social gaming in forms such as exploring, collecting and trading.

Games[edit]

Gbanga Zooh [1] was the first game to be published on the platform in August 2009, in cooperation with Zurich Zoo. The game encouraged players to maintain virtual habitats across the Canton of Zurich in order to attract and collect endangered species of animals.

The advent calendar game, Gbanga Santa, was launched in December 2009 in Zurich. Players solved puzzles to find the real-world locations of virtual gifts scattered around the city. Once found and collected, virtual gifts were then tradable for prizes provided by sponsors.[2]

April 2010 saw the launch of Gbanga Famiglia,[3] a game in which players can join or start their own Mafia Famiglia to take-over virtual establishments they discover whilst walking around the city. Establishments are linked to real-world establishments, so players must physically move between locations to play. A successful take-over depends on the Famiglia's power, determined by the number of Famiglia members and the cash total for special items collected.

In 2014, the sequel game Famiglia Rise and Fall was announced on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo.[4] The yet to be developed game technology is described to be an evolution of the previously 2-dimensional games that used flat material only. The new game uses the 3D engine Unity 3D and renders a 3-dimensional world based on open data from OpenStreetMap. Apparently, Millform Inc, the company behind Gbanga decided to use crowd-funding for financing the project to be more independent from traditional publishers.[5][6]

Technology[edit]

The J2ME-based version uses a real-time locating system referencing a network of cell sites to determine the players location, whilst the iPhone version of the platform uses GPS. The platform is available worldwide as an application download for the iPhone and J2ME compatible phones.

Whilst Gbanga Studio continues to develop games in-house, the playing community itself can also generate interactive content using Gbanga's Puppetmaster API, coded with Lua (programming language).

Awards[edit]

In 2011 Gbanga won the AppCircus Spotlight on Blackberry, hosted in Barcelona.[7] Gbanga was nominated for Business Idea 2010 by Internet World Business,[8] shortlisted for Best of Swiss Web Award 2010[9] and shortlisted in the category of Best Real World Game for the International Mobile Gaming Awards.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]