After a LOT of work hours, I finally rolled out the curated drop system this morning and removed the old algorithms from the core.
What’s different know, you may ask? On first glance, not much has changed. The main difference is, that geotastic doesn’t depend on the radial search function of the street view service to find a relevant drop but picks a drop from a list of drops that were manually set up by me. In conclusion, that means that we aren’t dealing with locations anymore, that might drop you on top of a river, in a forest or in an otherwise unusable space.
Aside from the sheer amount of manual labor needed to cover every country in the world that has enough street view coverage, there are actually huge amounts of benefits to this approach. I made sure that (almost) every drop is on some kind of intersection for more possibilities to find clues. I also avoided dead ends, or long stretches of nothing to maximize the fun you can get out of every single drop. Of course, I wasn’t able to double check every single drop, that’s why I also implemented a drop rating feature after every round. So, please use it if you encounter drops that are bugged. I will make sure that those are removed from the pool asap.
Aside from the already mentioned benefits, I was also able to include countries that were previously not feasible to include. We went up from 58 to 72 countries. Especially Africa almost doubled in available countries, which should mix up the previously impervious strategies a bit.
In total, I placed almost 29.000 drops. Depending on the country and it’s street view coverage, the drop count per country ranges from around 200 up to over 2.000. In average, the drop count is around 500 which should be enough for now!
What about the city maps?
The city maps need those manual placed drops as well. I didn’t come around to cover those as well, so I deactivated them for now. They’ll be back in no time!
Any plans to build upon this feature?
Yes! The most interesting feature, that is now possible, would be a custom map editor. Every player could use the drop editor to create their own maps. This includes city maps for that everyone could create for their own home town to play with friends and family. I already began implementing the ground work to support it, so it won’t take too long until I will release it.
I hope you all enjoy the new system. Have fun!