PerBlue’s Parallel Kingdom was featured on Venture Beat yesterday in a story called New Generation of Location Based Games Catches On. From the article:
Then thereâ€™s Parallel Kingdom (pictured) for the iPhone and Android platforms, designed by a company called PerBlue in Madison, Wisc. It has 125,000 registered users, of which around 15,000 are active on a weekly basis, with an average session time of 18 minutes. Players typically play the game for 1-3 months.
Parallel Kingdom is reminiscent of role playing games (or RPGs) on the computer or a games console in that it is loaded with features such as a fighting mechanism, a virtual aid to the player, leveling up the character, instant messaging with other players, trading items and food and so on. The character can move in a certain area of a map in the game (projected on Google Maps) and proceed to other areas as they play the game further.
Parallel Kingdom used to be completely tied to playersâ€™ location, which meant a player had to physically move in the real world before being able to move in the virtual game worldâ€”a feature the designers thought would be cool, but the players didnâ€™t. â€œWe learned that the hard way,â€ Says Justin Beck, CEO of PerBlue. â€œThe feedback we got from our first iteration was almost uniform: It sucks!â€
Now Parallel Kingdom is more lenient in the way actual location is featured in the game. Players donâ€™t really want anything to hinder their experience of a game. If they have five minutes to entertain themselves, the last thing they need is to be told to get off the couch and move.
â€œWe also found that people in general donâ€™t go to that many locations in their lives on a daily basis. They go to school or work, to the gas station, or grocery store and so on. And if you, as a game designer, make them go to a specific location, then you are playing them. So we try to make things that are fun and location-relevant, like checking out where your friends are in the game,â€ Beck explains.