Google-owned Niantic Labs has opened beta registration for its
new mobile-meets-real-world game, Endgame:
Proving Ground. The game is built on the same platform used
for the phenomenally popular game Ingress, which has more
than 8 million players from all over the world.
Endgame: Proving Ground is just one part of an epic
transmedia project created by bestselling author James Frey. Frey
is also writing a trilogy of novels that accompany the game and
both will be followed next year by a film. The idea is to allow the
audience to immerse themselves in the story of Endgame
through more than just one medium.
“Whenever I am doing a novel now I think about how I can use the
technology available to make it more than just a book,” Frey told WIRED in a recent interview. “I approached John
Hanke, who runs Niantic, and he said, ‘We’ve been thinking about
the same things.’”
The story has already kicked off on a website
AncientSocieties.com, but when users download the full game –
which will soon be available on iOS and Android — they will have
to join one of twelve lines, which are like tribes, and choose a
male or female character to represent them.
“Everyone who is reading the book can be part of this whole
Endgame universe, I think this is what makes us special,”
Anne Beuttenmueller from Niantic Labs tells WIRED.co.uk.
Like Ingress, players will have to fight over real-life
landmarks. If they go to these landmarks, they will gain artefacts
and weapons that will help them to duel with players from other
lines to win tokens. Rather than “portals”, the landmarks in
Endgame will be referred to as “key spots”.
“If you want to claim a key spot for your line, it’s good for
you to team up with other players,” says Beuttenmueller.
To help you coordinate with other players from your line,
there’s an in-game chat feature that is built directly into the
mobile game and will allow teams to plan missions. It’s impossible
to say yet whether Endgame will spawn the same kind of
cult following and far-reaching friendships as Ingress
just yet, but Beuttenmueller feels positive. “We give you a reason
to team up with other players, so it’s easier to claim the key
spot, so I definitely think this is going to happen,” she says.
Also new to Endgame is an in-game buying system, which
will let people purchase weapons. “We don’t want to have a
pay-to-win situation, so you also get them when you go to key spots
and find them,” explains Beuttenmueller. It’s an interesting
decision given that one of the things that has made Ingress so
thrilling is that it forces people to be active to get involved.
Activity and physical movement is an important part of playing
Endgame too of course, but duelling will be incredibly
important part of achieving success in the game.
If you want to be one of the first to use Endgame in
closed beta, head to AncientSocieties.com to