I get a lot of crappy e-mails.
A lot of them are patch notes for games I didn’t know existed. Others are pyramid schemes or offers to join illegal online advertising rings.
But recently I received an interesting press release from the bros at GamePlan. The product they were peddling wasn’t stupid at all and had nothing to do with profiting from human trafficking.
Right off the bat, I was interested.
GamePlan is actually software, an “app” as you kids call it, that lets you use your phone or tablet like a general planning D-Day. That basically amounts to a map on which you can place markers, draw commands, and define areas. You and your friends can see each others’ markings updated as they’re made. It’s not astonishing, but you’ll feel like a badass calling out enemy encampments, delineating attack routes, and, of course, drawing giant penises all over the map.
Speaking of maps, GamePlan has files available for quite a few popular games for free download, or you can boot up a high-res image of your own making. When friends join your lobby, they’ll get a copy of the map file, ensuring you can all collaborate sans problème. While a couple maps I downloaded (Operation Metro comes to mind) were a tad blurry, the devs (and the eventual community) will be updating their databases somewhat regularly. Failing that, you can make a better version yourself.
During my time with the app so far, I’ve been generally impressed with both the existing features and the long-term potential. This isn’t going to come in handy during particularly fast-paced matches of Starcraft 2, but could facilitate more precise team movement in titles like Battlefield 3, World of Tanks, or hell, even Madden! I’m actually surprised regulation NFL, FIFA, and MLB fields aren’t part of the existing map pool, as any sport enthusiast’s dream has always been to pepper a virtual arena with sloppily drawn Xs and Os.
Of course, you’ll want to supplement your doodles with lots of condescending shouting. There isn’t any built-in voice communication, but since this is a product you use on your goddamn cell phone, I don’t think that’ll be a problem (unless iPhones can’t multitask yet. Can they?) Whether you chat with your homies on speakerphone, via Bluetooth, or on some non-phone communications network is up to you. Or you could always just let your increasingly harried arrows and waypoints do all the talking.
To prevent the map from getting completely overrun with phallic symbols and tank stamps, you can designate certain players as commanders or squad leaders. Your markings (as general) will be visible only to them, and their markings will be visible to their individual squads. It’s a cross between Battlefield 2 and Ender’s Game, essentially. I guess that makes GamePlan your Ansible! I haven’t had the chance to test this feature (what with the program being so new), but it seems necessary, especially given the small screen space on most phones.
Even though GamePlan isn’t paying me nearly enough to do this, I want you all to check out the app for yourself on Google Play. Or, if you’re using an iPhone or iPad, have your butler look it up for you. (or I guess click here)
You can also learn more at the GamePlan website or, assuming you’re too lazy to read, I’ve embedded a video explaining everything I touched on with my fancy words up top. Check it out and let me know what you think!