The Go Game App: Possibly The Best Researched Location Game in History

The Go Game App: Possibly The Best Researched Location Game in History

The Go Game App is location based, about urban adventure, and apparently more like ‘a scavenger hunt on steroids.' Available only on the iPhone, users are able to integrate video into the core of game play resulting in a plethora of possible scenarios.

Kat Popiel
  • 11 april 2011

The Go Game App is location based, about urban adventure, and apparently more like ‘a scavenger hunt on steroids.’ Available only on the iPhone, users are able to integrate video into the core of game play resulting in a plethora of game scenarios.

Most magical is the user’s ability to design their own game, reminiscent of the ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ books. Currently, the choices are: team building, school, birthday, bachelor and wedding, seeming to target the most obvious social groupings. Yet to take it up a notch, users can pick the rating for their game – go PG13 ‘Justin Bieber fights the bad guy, mostly with his shirt off’ to NC17 ‘grown-up party animals need only apply’.

Considered the best researched location game in gaming history, its credibility might be due to its founders Ian Fraser and Finnegan Kelly, who between them have 10 years combined experience for Google, Apple, Zygna, Facebook, Microsoft and EA Games.

The Go Game app is downloadable for free at the Apple App store and was launched during SXSW when the app was themed within the context of Austin.  It is rolling out in 10 cities with 20 more are expected by the summer.  Content is at the core of the games semantics with video/music pairing equally important to create mood and ignite continued play.

PSFK does a Q&A with co-founder Finnegan Kelly via email.

Outside of corporate or private parties, how can you see The Go Game app being used in other social situations?

Eventually, we’d like to use the App as a game platform for larger events — be they branded games, marketing efforts, fundraisers, or just for kicks. Our plan is to become a trusted game ally to our customers by bringing crazy fun, small customized (yet scaleable) parties. We want to build on that goodwill to make larger games. But honestly, we’re not doing this to sell coupons down the road. We do it because people should experience magical, insane levels of fun in their lives. That said, if we can use The Go Game App to make the world’s greatest flash mob come to life at a New York Yankees game — dude, we’re game!

What creative process have you gone through to ensure the content is realistic and accurate for each city/scenario?

Like a Latke-Maker from the old world, we’ve lovingly scouted and written each gamezone from scratch. Since 2002, we’ve scouted, written and run games in almost 500 cities across the US. For the App, we’ll start with 10 cities, then quickly follow up with 20 more. The Creative Process is much like this: we get to see about 50 live Go Games every month, so we have a good idea of what missions ‘work.’ By that we mean – designing missions that are challenging (yet ‘get-able), understanding what you can get away with in public/private spaces, helping populate the game with ‘Plants’ (actors/friends who want to be ‘in’ on the game). We also will be featuring our all-time top 10 creative missions and have commissioned custom soundtracks to pair them with.

Tell us more about the role of music in forming a true to life environment for each game.

Right now, music is the grease that makes the creative missions come to life. As I mentioned above, we made music just for the app. For example, if a team is given a creative challenge that reads: ‘Recreate your teams’ favorite video game — with your bodies’ they may choose to frog-jump across the street (and film it from high above). We then offer them a variety of video game soundtracks to accompany the video. The results are awesome.  There’s no ambient music playing during the game experience. We’d like to incorporate that in a later version of the app.

Any particular trends you’ve noticed through the development of this app?

We see ourselves as ‘quaint’ in that we have a market niche we’re trying to fill – an app that we will charge money for. There’s an insane amount of buzz about Geo-Location, couponing, customer loyalty, etc. You can check-in, tell your buddies where you are, and maybe even win a free cookie! But few products deliver an end-to-end customized mobile experience that is truly fun, memorable AND scalable.  To some degree, our product goes against the current zeitgeist – crowd-sourced content and never-ending game play, towards a model built upon the Classic Go Game: top-down, well-crafted content, delivered in a finite time period. To fanstastic results.

Any plans to integrate social media into some aspects of the game?

You can share your photo and video creative missions via your Facebook wall. Shortly we’ll have Twitter integration. Sharing the creative photo/video challenges will honest-to-god make Facebook a better place to hang out. The submissions that teams make are awesomely funny, way better than baby pictures.

The Go Game has hosted over 10,000 events in more than 500 locations across the globe totaling over 1 million players so far.

The Go Game


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