Check out these iconic Sydney landmarks in Buy Somewhere

Brodie Fogg 6 December 2016

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Buy Somewhere transforms the world around you into one giant board game. Here's our first look at Sydney.

If you attended PAX AUS 2016 in Melbourne, there's a high chance you stumbled upon a colourful booth with oversized board game pieces. It's also likely you met the folks behind the upcoming Australian mobile game Buy Somewhere. A location-based game à la Pokémon Go, Buy Somewhere turns the world around you into a fully interactive board game about buying and selling real estate. Think of it like a real-world game of Monopoly.

Despite its worldwide success, Pokémon Go's world was a barren one, peppered with the occasional Pokéstop and wild Pokémon. This is where the team at Buy Somewhere are aiming their sights; littering the world with iconic landmarks and buildings to make you feel like you're truly in the world.

Here are 5 examples of real world locations in Buy Somewhere's game world:

1. Skyscrapers, hotels, restaurants and cafés on Bridge St

The image below gives a good idea of how each building in Buy Somewhere is represented. The towering purple buildings are skyscrapers, the medium-sized red buildings are hotels and the smaller yellow buildings are bars, restaurants and cafés. This is not only intended to make the player feel like they're playing in the real world, but Buy Somewhere developer Nick Griffiths hopes players will start using the colour coding system as an actual map to hunt down local bars and restaurants.

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2. View of the Opera House from Hickson's Road Reserve at Circular Quay

The image below shows four of Buy Somewhere's player tokens taking in the view at Hickson's Road Reserve. The team at Buy Somewhere saw street-level view as important factor in making the player feel a part of the world.

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3. St. Mary's Cathedral

This towering golden monolith below is St. Mary's Cathedral. Just like in Monopoly, you can visit properties that are currently owned by other players. One of Nick's biggest gripes with Pokémon Go was that its map felt like a desolate wasteland completely devoid of life. To avoid the same grim fate, the team have populated Buy Somewhere's world with player tokens that you can visit and compete with at owned properties. The team also has plans to include cosmetic upgrades for players to customise their tokens with, allowing some individuality amongst players.

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4. The Harbour Bridge from the Quay

Four player tokens take a stroll down Hickson's Road with the iconic Harbour Bridge towering in the background. The Knight, Pig, Train and Dragon are just four of many tokens the player will be able to choose from. Nick Griffiths is a Nintendo romantic who is particularly fond of the earlier Mario Party titles. His love for the good-natured competitiveness has influenced a lot of the design choices and gameplay elements in Buy Somewhere and is his first port of call when it comes to answering the question: "How do you make a video game about real estate fun?"

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5. Sydney Harbour

Here we see every current member of the Buy Somewhere token family lined up in front of the Sydney Opera house. Far off in the distance, you can see the outline of the Harbour Bridge. This was one thing that really stood out in Buy Somewhere's demonstration, the real-world distance at which landmarks and buildings can be rendered. It's got the potential to encourage real-world exploration in a way Pokémon Go never could. Better yet, those gigantic, golden landmarks can actually be purchased once you've accrued enough in-game experience and capital. Shot_05

Since its impressive presence at PAX, Buy Somewhere has caught the attention of the public and mainstream tech and gaming media. The team are looking at releasing worldwide next year, so whatever happens, 2017 is going to be an exciting year for this local team of developers and artists.

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