HitPoint has just finished up development on a new mobile game based on the DreamWorks movie How to Train Your Dragon 2. The game, Dragons Adventure: World Explorer, is currently available as a free download on select Windows 8 tablets and Windows Phone 8 devices. Dragons Adventure is the result of a collaboration between HitPoint, DreamWorks, and Microsoft, and has been in the works for several months. The game has several pretty unique and innovative features, mostly centering around incorporating location-based, live data into an augmented reality experience.
In Dragons Adventure: World Explorer you play as Hiccup or Astrid and fly dragons from the DreamWorks franchise over a 3D-rendered map of the real world styled to look like Hiccup’s home island of Berk. Local points of interest show up in the world as medieval buildings. It’s not uncommon to fly over a Starbucks transformed into a medieval mead hall, or a Hilton styled to look like an ancient viking inn. You’ll even see different numbers of vikings milling outside those locations based on how popular the venue is. The game also factors in the time of day and weather conditions of the place in the world you’re traveling through, so while it might be a bright sunny afternoon outside your house, you can navigate your dragon though a rainy evening in Paris.
The most interesting part of Dragons Adventure though can only be experienced on a road trip. Hop in the car, select a destination, and the game will use your device’s GPS to plot a route out for you, complete with a viking ox-drawn cart that travels along with your car as you drive (just make sure you’re playing as a passenger!). Along your route you’ll receive quests to rescue stranded vikings, pick up lost sheep and bring them back to your cart, attack evil viking towers to free friendly imprisoned dragons, and explore the area around you to find new local hotspots you may not have known about. Device sensor controls let you fly your dragon by tilting the device, just as if you were holding Toothless’ reins yourself! Check out some screenshots from the game below, and download it here if you’ve got a Microsoft Surface or Nokia tablet, or here if you’ve got a compatible Windows Phone 8.
Developing Dragons Adventure was both a huge challenge and a great experience for the HitPoint team. It’s the first real-time 3D game of this scope that we’ve developed, and there was no shortage of technical hurdles we had to overcome. The biggest challenges came from the integration of the various real-world data streams into the game. The world map uses data pulled from HERE Maps to paint Berk-themed textures onto the game world’s terrain. The viking buildings that pop up throughout the game are populated based on local point-of-interest data from Foursquare. The local weather is obtained from a Weather.com live feed. Getting all of these features integrated, playing nicely with each other, and incorporated into the game’s quest design was no small task, but I think HitPoint did an amazing job pulling it off, and so far those that have played the game have had similar opinions.
We’re definitely proud of the product we were able to build with DreamWorks and Microsoft, and hopefully there will be some more interesting updates to come down the road. In the meantime if you’ve got a compatible device go check the game out and let us know what you think!