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GPS Games


top con
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howdy folks...

 

ok, here's my question. i am wondering what other games are out there for use with the gps. i know that my gpsr has games that you can play on it, like in a field or something. you walk and it follows you through a maze or whatever. so i was wondering if anyone has come up with any other games you can play with them. i know this isn't really caching oriented...more gps oriented. but i thought i'd post here.

 

i'm wondering this becuase i think it would be kind of a cool event game. my inspiration was a game we used to play in high school with cb radios. a few cars would drive around and play tag, communicating our position through the radios. i have been trying to come up with a similar game that can be played with gps, and maybe incorporate a cache at the end for the "winner". anyways, just wondering. thanks t.c.

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thanks for the link...

 

i've done some internet surfing, and realized that there are folks all over trying to come up with a similar idea. it seems that most of the games aren't stand-alone gps friendly...meaning you need extra equipment like a pda or somehting. but i think it would be possible to come up with a type of game that is based solely on gps. anyway, i'll have to keep thinking. and any input from the general population is appreciated!!

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yeah, i saw those too. they are pretty interesting, but i'm trying to come up with something that relies ONLY on gps. i know that people who are way smarter than I have been trying to do the same thing for much longer. most of the things they have come up with use a pda, cell phone, or some other external device to play.

 

i think it would be easy enough to design something like where you try to follow a line of latitude, or longitude, and whoever deviates the least from that line over the course of a mile wins. that's a pretty simple idea, but you get the point.

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that thought had crossed my mind as well. but then i thought that not all gps's have the tracking capability, so not everyone could play. but the idea does seem doable. like you could go to some waypoints listed, then see what kinda of a picture your track makes, and then have that picture used to solve a final puzzle....yeah, i've thought about that

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a thought just came to me....what if you you could integrate game pieces into it. everyone would have their own rock with their name on it, and they would drop it an mark the coords, then somehow, someone else would have to get the location and go find the "hiders" rock. then once that person found it, they would drop their rock at a location, mark it, then relay those coords on to someone else. i'm not sure how good of a game this would be, but i'm trying to get my brain working.

 

no one here has ever invented a game??!! didn't you guys play cops and robbers when you were kids? it doesn't have to be milton-bradley, but any ideas are good ones.....

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Dude, you're onto something with the named rocks.

What if all players where to meet at the same location, view each others Rocks or game piece, then scatter across town in different directions to drop their piece at a particular time, say 9am. After 9am, they can search for any other players to obtain their coordinates, and the person with the most rocks brought back to the starting place, is the winner.

 

Run with it. Sounds like the basis of a cool game. :lostsignal:

 

Edit to add: Might be better if played in a large park where each player can find a place where they are not seen by other players. That would eliminate any driving and potential for accidents etc. In a park, the game can be repetedly played until you get bored, or tired of all that running. I guess the objective might be to find anyone who is a player, and who hasn't already given your their coordinates, and try to find their piece if it is still in play. Might even get tired of searching for a particular rock that has already been plundered. Perhaps with teams would introduce a different strategy. Could drop the rock, mark the coordinates, then meet back at the starting place to decide how or when to start the gathering of other's coordinates. Call it: Rock Me GpSr, and of course play the Rock Me Amadaus tune loudly too.

Edited by Treasure Pirate
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That's a good point, how would you know if the rock you are seeking is already gone? That would be frustrating for everyone.

 

What if there were several points around the park with several items/rocks/coins, whatever, each color coded, so that the Red Team picks up the Red items, Blue Team the blue, etc... Then you race from point to point, collecting your color items, and when times up, or one team finds all 10 or whatever, they win. Maybe there could be a puzzle at each point that you solve to give you the coords for the next point. That way, there's no wrestling between players for the same thing at the same point.

 

I don't know, needs work still, but could be something there? Starting to sound like Amazing Race a little.

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Cool, now wer're getting somewhere. i think that the ieads with the "rocks" or gamepeices makes things more feasible. although there are obvious problems that i'm not sure how to overcome. the most glaring issue is how to relay coordinates without using an outside communication device like a cell phone. if everyone put out their own peice, and then marked the locale, how would the other team even know where to start looking. my only solution would be to somehow section off the game arena (downtown indianapolis or where ever) into quadrants. then each team would have like a square mile to hide their peice in. then at the shotgun, each team would go to the other 3 quads to find the pieces. there would have to be some way to narrow down the search area with puzzles, hints, or some other method. then after the alloted time, whoever found the most pieces wins.

 

the quadrant idea is my only solution to make a large game area small enough to be feasible. if this were in a park, it would have to be a large enough park to conceal the hiding AND the searching. cause if one team watched another team search, then it might tip them off to the location of the piece. hmmmm...itsgetting there.

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As Redcoyote 12 points out: "Starting to sound like Amazing Race a little."

 

I like the quadrant idea, providing some boundaries and separation. Unless all teams start at the apex of all quadrants, teams will hide closest to that apex for a quick advantage to get to the other quads, or they'll hide their gamepieces at the furthest point in their quandrant, providing more travel time for competing teams. Either way allows for strategy to take over how each team operates efficiently.

 

The game could be over in about an hour or two if only one gamepiece was hidder per team, so you might want to have each team hide 2 or 3, for subsequent rounds of play.

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crap, i already typed all this once, then somehow deleted it!! oh well...

 

so i definitely don't want a game that sounds like the amazing race....i hate reality tv....

 

anyways, in my quad drawing of the city, i had each team occupying about 10 square blocks as their home turf. that may seem like a lot, but when you take out buildings, roads, undusable space, the amount of actual game play area becomes pretty small. i think that this will help the game in that there will only be a limited number of places to hide your piece.

 

i also had the teams starting, like you say, at the farthest points on the grid. the corners of the quads. this could be a problem, but i don't know any other way to be fair. unless each team started at the center, then it would be a strategy like you point out. where do you hide it? close to the center, so the other team doens't have to walk far to get your piece, or far out, so they may not want to try to get yours cause it's such a long walk. interesting. maybe a center starting point is the best.

 

the other problem i see is the game pieces themselves. what could be used that would be recognizable to the players, but not the genereal public. rocks, or course, but maybe something that is almost easy to spot from far away. i say that becuase i was thinking that each team could take 3 or 4 waypoints inside their quad, but they only have to hide the piece at 1 point. or, they could surround the piece with 3 or 4 points, then that would narrow down your search area. so it would kinda be like a cache, but not as specific. that's why it would be nice to have a piece that you could hide in plain site.

 

ok, there are my continued ideas from last night. tell me what you think. or tell me if you think this is lame and then i can stop posting to this thread. :P

 

i don't want you to think i'm just rewriting all your guys ideas, but i'm trying to talk this out in my head as i go. i think you all have valid points for my little endeavor. thanks for the input

Edited by top con
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Stumbled into this thread and oh my! I've long been into somehow devising various games such as this.

 

Beginning to sound a bit like orienteering meet varients - whereby small markers are hung/placed about and...

i also had the teams starting, like you say, at the farthest points on the grid. the corners of the quads. this could be a problem, but i don't know any other way to be fair. unless each team started at the center, then it would be a strategy like you point out. where do you hide it? close to the center, so the other team doens't have to walk far to get your piece, or far out, so they may not want to try to get yours cause it's such a long walk. interesting. maybe a center starting point is the best.

...solved via assigning higher pts. for markers placed further away.

 

Indeed, we just did a fun geoevent here in the Emerald City whereby a list of 20 odd wpts were given to each team (in cars, w/ GPSr's, no mapping software allowed) - some were worth 15 pts (the furtherest away), some 10 pts. and the nearest 5 pts. At each wpt you needed to answer a simple clue (like: what's on the blue sign, etc.) The object was to glean as many points as possible w/in a 2 hr. time period (pt. deductions for returning late back at the starting point.) It all worked great for spreading out the cars/racers 'cuz everybody could strategize their own route. This was over a say 15 mi. radius area from the start.

 

Something similar could be done in a smaller area (big park) on foot.

 

But it was all preplanned/preset up. Whereas, I like your idea of teams initially dropping their own rocks/markers. So the game could be run fairly spontaneosly, over 'n over.

 

Rocks somehow seem better than some sort of markers (survey tape?) 'cuz they're natural (i.e. just a number or somesuch felt-tipped on each wouldn't leave geolitter should some markers not be found...)

 

...the other problem i see is the game pieces themselves. what could be used that would be recognizable to the players, but not the genereal public. rocks, or course, but maybe something that is almost easy to spot from far away. i say that becuase i was thinking that each team could take 3 or 4 waypoints inside their quad, but they only have to hide the piece at 1 point. or, they could surround the piece with 3 or 4 points, then that would narrow down your search area. so it would kinda be like a cache, but not as specific. that's why it would be nice to have a piece that you could hide in plain site.

Not sure I follow what you mean here. But seems to me rocks on the ground (vs. marker in plain sight) would add to the challenge - though I agree you'd need to somehow narrow down the search area...

 

I'm also wondering... how 'bout incorporating "projecting a wpt" into it. Maybe the teams set their wpts via coord + bearing + feet...

 

I also like the notion of somehow incorporating clues into it. Maybe the teams set wpts and devise simple clues to narrow down the search area...

 

Just random stray thoughts here. Perhaps way off base, but just brainstorming...

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thanks for the input glblgirl. i'm glad that other people are interested in something like this, and that you have done similar games. i think that the point system is a good idea, especially more points for markers further away. i hadn't thought of a point system, but that is one way it could work.

 

and i agree that some sort of simple puzzle of clue could be used to "score" the marker, but coming up with puzzles on a whim is not one of my strongsuits. nor do i think that simple puzzles would be easy to design and solve in a short amount of time. but it does seem to be a possibilty.

 

as far as surrounding the marker with waypoints, i just figured that if it was in a city, you could tell a team "go to this small park, or intersection", and then somewhere in a square block or so, the marker would be placed. that way a team could head to a specific place, but then still ahve to do some searching for the marker. that wasa why i figured the pieces shoud be something that could be recognized by the players, but not by other people.

 

i agree that survey tap would be too conspicuous, and rocks would be a better choice. but, if rocks were used, then it would have to be an identifiable rock. maybe a big chunk of obsidian, or something that fits in, but stands outm ya know. lemme know whatcha think.

 

and yeah, the whole notion started to design a game that could be played almost anywhere at anytime, assuming you had a gpsr and some rocks available.

Edited by top con
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Lots to mull over here top con.

 

Quick thought that springs to mind when you mention "surrounding the marker with waypoints"...

 

Reminds me (again) of the (most nifty) clue car rallies I used to do ages ago in Chicago (and later, designed and ran for charity in OR). There you had a map w/ numbered wpts. Some were true, some not. You started w/ an envelope w/ the first clue and the solution to each clue was always some number. Then you'd head to that number on the map. (all of this, not necessarily what we're planning here, but...)

 

Point is, in that case (and btw, this was at night, in cars, in a wide area of the city) - in order to be sure you had a correct number when you arrived at the vicinity of your chosen number on the map - there was always a striped pole as a marker (LOL, shades of "Amazing Race" again :laughing: ), and the actual wpt (in this case, a bag of clues for the next stop) was always hidden within a say... 500 ft. of the pole marker. Thus if you didn't find a pole marker, you knew you'd chosen a bum number on the map, wouldn't waste time searching in vain, and would go back to the drawing board to solve the clue. (btw, each team also had a full set of SEALED envelopes with the answer to each clue, so - you could opt to open one if you were truly stumped, but of course were deducted points for each opened answer envelope.)

 

Point izzz... perhaps that's what you mean re: marker surrounded by wpts? Perhaps a visible marker w/in somesuch feet of the rock...

 

Then again, perhaps pole/rock redundant...

 

But we still need somthing/somehow to get players within search range on the "grid" or whatever...

 

How 'bout...

 

O.k. so you determine the "playing field" (i.e. North, South, East, West coords of the entire play area) say... a half-mile square around some city landmark (or... the entire park boundaries, whatever)

 

Then you draw a grid (say 500 ft. squares - about 5x5 grid, 25 squares/wpts) overlayed on the play area - this done in advance and paper copies made to hand out to each team. Grid numbered w/ pts based on distance to go from start (i.e. center square or whatever). Then teams head to each square, drop rock somewhere within each square, and...

 

Then return to start, and switch - Team A races off to find the rocks on Team B's grid and vice versa...

 

Or... play area bigger - 1 mile, again gridded w/ 500 ft. squares. But now we're talkin' a 10x10 grid, 100 squares so... Now you've introduced the possibility of EMPTY squares. i.e. Team A drops rocks in just 25 of the 100 squares, and then (necessarily?) plops a pole mid square to let folks know they at least have a "filled" square to look for the rock in (vs. not, so move on to another square...) Obviously this version would take longer to play.

 

Goodness, so many possibilities - gotta luv "brainstorming", no? :laughing:

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hahhahaha, yes, i do love brainstorming.

 

i must tell you that i'm about out of time for this week. i only have internet at work, and i'm about to go home. so you have all weekend to think about this as i will. then on monday i'll post what else i've come up with.

 

that car rally game sounds like it has some usable features which could be retro-fitted for this game. the pole, or some larger marker, is a great idea. of course, how could we do that say downtown indianapolis? did the game you played have official status so that the city knew you were playing and not to remove the poles, or how did that work? plus, if they use striped poles in the amaz. race, then we definitely CAN'T use them here!!! :laughing:

 

but anyways, yes, i think if the search area were gridded, then it would be possible to come up with some sort of way to narrow down your search area. i have downtown indy drawn on a crude grid, and it's something like 10 blocks or so for each quadrant. that grid could then be broken up into quarter-sections, or 1/4, 1/4 sections...just like uspls. then the teams could give "easy" clues as to which small section lo look in. that's where the waypoints would come in. if the team took a point on each corner of a 2 city block square, then the other team would know it's somehwere within those 2 blocks. that's where it would be nice to have a fairly noticeable marker. if a pole was used, then the hides would have to be somewhat trickier, or the game would be over in no time flat.

 

yes, thank you for the dialogue. it's so much easier to figure things out when ideas are not stagnant!

 

also, i should note that part of the idea of the game is just to have a walk around. so i don't necessarily think that it should be ultra difficult or demanding. i htink that it should be challenging and fun, and not something that people are gonna get uptight over....you know, like a potato sack race! something fun, easy, and you can get good exercise. anyways, that's all i got time for. keep the ideas going, and i'll bet we could come up with a fun game to play! thanks!

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Tell you what we just did for an event . . .

 

:laughing: Placed new caches, each containing a numbered marker

:laughing: Geocachers were given the coordinates for each of the new caches; registration was between 1-2 PM and completion time was 4 PM

:laughing: Upon completion of all five caches, players brought their numbered markers back to the event

:huh: For each numbered marker, 1-5, they pulled one card out of a paper bag

:laughing: Best five cards drawn won

 

:D Oh, yeah, markers in each of the caches were sequentially numbered poker chips, best five cards were poker hands and we called it a poker run!

 

O.K., O.K. not EXACTLY what you were looking for, but it sure has some of the elements. :)

 

I too would be interested in some outdoor GPSr games. We're going to do an outdoor event, possibly in June and need a few ideas.

 

One idea, just for fun.

Give each geocacher with a GPSr a flag on a wire (like the phone company marks lines or you mark a 'wireless' dog fence with) and a Lat/Long

Have each geocacher mark 'Ground Zero'

The collection of, more than likely, dispersed flags should be an educational display of the differences in GPSr's accuracy

Nice application of how somebody can hide something and a searcher can be looking in a very different location.

 

JohnTee

Edited by JohnTee
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...i'm wondering this becuase i think it would be kind of a cool event game. my inspiration was a game we used to play in high school with cb radios. a few cars would drive around and play tag, communicating our position through the radios. i have been trying to come up with a similar game that can be played with gps, and maybe incorporate a cache at the end for the "winner". anyways, just wondering. thanks t.c.

 

Sounds a lot like an idea that has been sitting idle on my website for a number of years. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to develop it, but it really would be a fun game... at least for me. I sure wish someone would pick up on it.

 

Geotracker GPS Game

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That's a pretty cool site NAVDOG...and the game you guys came up with is pretty similar to some ideas i was tossing around. did you guys ever play it regularly, and if so, how did it go? it sounds like it would be a lot of fun, but i guess i think most things are fun in some way.

 

i also thought how much easier it would be to use radios, but i don't have any, and i don't think i'm gonna buys some just to use for that. i did think maybe we could place a cache somewhere that would ahve the radios locked in it, then if you got some people together who wanted to play, you could all go get the radios, and then read some directions that would be premanently placed inside. that might work...except i don't feeel real comfortable leaving new radios out in a cache. oh well, thanks for the link though...that was cool.

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Did a google search and found a few games . . .

 

JohnTee

 

GeoCache Games

 

Golfing Fools: Place a half dozen numbered golf balls about 10 feet apart. Then give them the coordinates and had them go to the golf ball they thought was the right one. You could even do a series of them and give points based on how closed they got to each of actual balls.

 

Multi Leg Race: Have them do a multi through the woods. Lay out two or more paths and have them race as teams. Tell them at the end they will retrieve the final, which they will have to bring back to camp to show their team won. What you don't tell them is the final for all teams is the same and is within eyesight of camp. Then wait for the teams to so up and start looking to beat each other. Make the early stages very easy and the final very devious.

 

Capture the flag with GPSr: Divide into two teams. Give them the coords of both flags/GPSr. Team A has to get Team B’s flag/GPSr to the home base (coords in the captured GPSr) before Team B gets Team A’s there. Guarding of the team flag/GPSr is allowed, but the team cannot touch their own flag/GPSr but they can form a human fence. No one is tagged out, tackled or other wise held, but blocking is allowed.

 

Fire Tack Patrol: Get fire tacks from Walmart or a local hunting shop. During the day place several tacks in trees close to a trail at eye level. At night give them coords that are about 30-50 from the tack. They will need to use their flashlights to see the tacks. Hidden on the ground below the tack is the coords for the next tack. The trail leads back to camp where the campfire is ready. (Have them each pick up wood while on fire tack patrol.)

 

Cache Race (2-8 players)

 

The root-cache location/time is posted so the players can meet. It is recommended you arrive at least a half-hour in advance as late entrants will be greatly disadvantaged. At the designated time, the root-cache is open to all players revealing different legs to the next waypoint. Players divide the legs amongst each other & teams of two or three may formed to support large groups. There may be up to 10 intermediate caches & some may be shared-waypoints from different legs. These intermediate caches contain the coordinates to the other waypoints along the path to the final destination. This effectively splits & combines the players during the course of the game to enhance friendly competition.

 

Eventually, all legs converge to the final cache which typically contains a cash-prize. The prize is to be shared within the winning team-members where applicable.

 

 

Capture the Cache (2 or 4 players)

 

This game plays a bit like paintball Capture the Flag. Two teams start on opposite ends of the designated playing area. At a specified time, both teams rush to the enemy cache respectively & obtain the coordinates to the winning waypoint. The winning waypoint is to be marked low to the ground with a flag & may be located anywhere roughly centered bewteen & perpendicular to the caches.

 

Of course the winners will be sitting around enjoying the fruits of victory when the losers finally show. This variation can be played very quickly & the ease of setup only requires 3 waypoints. In this way, many games can be played on a given day making it perfect for a tournament setting. Radios can further enhance setup with a couple officials spread over the course to keep the games moving along rapidly.

 

 

CacheMaster (2 or 3 players)

 

This variation plays in series & is best with a very small number of people. One person labeled the CacheMaster scouts ahead 5 minutes armed with 12 small caches & a radio. At each 5 minute interval, he hides a new cache & radios his position to the players also carrying radios. It is highly recommended that the CacheMaster create a random pattern leading away from the origin & back again. When the CacheMaster drops the final cache, he proceeds back to base & is not permitted to loiter around the caches. Players take turns acting as the CacheMaster.

 

 

Seeker (2-4 players)

 

One team goes out & place multiple flags or caches into the search area & returns to base while the other team then actively hunts for them. When playing flags, coordinates of all flags must be given to the seekers or the coordinates to another flag in the series may be written on the flags.

 

If playing caches, each cache shall contain the coordinates to another, all caches must be referenced from at least one other cache, & only one waypoint given the seeker. If played with 3 people in a round-robin fashion, there will always be one person out hiding flags or caches, one seeker, & one waiting turn which promotes fast games.

 

A variant designed explicitly for hunters or members of Special-forces & is great practice for improving your stealth. One or more players simply hides in a heavily covered area wearing camouflage & radios his position back to the seeker. The seeker hunts for the hiders in the underbrush.

 

 

Domination (2-8 players)

 

There are two teams, red & blue made of at least 2 members per team. At the horn, one member from each team draws a random waypoint from the cache & scouts the waypoint. Upon retrieval of the flag at each waypoint, another member from each team draws & scouts again. The game ends when a team first returns with their half of the total number of flags. In this game configuration, an even number of flags are mandated. If in fact an odd number of flags are chosen, the team with the most flags win.

 

 

All Out War (2 or 4 players)

 

This game is similar to Domination but progress is from opposite ends of the field. Each team places flags or caches for the other team to find within their own territory. Then they relay the coordinates to the other team. Additionally, it should only be played with an odd number of flags or caches. The object is to collect the most flags or caches in the allotted time. The horn sounds signaling the end of the fight at which time all players converge at the middle-waypoint (coordinates given previously by the offical) for scoring.

 

 

Relay (2 players)

 

In this variation, 2 players simply navigate from waypoint to waypoint in one direction. Upon reaching the end of their respective route, each player will follow the alternate route taken by the other player back to base. This keeps an equal playing field for both participants. Whoever makes it back to base 1st, wins.

 

 

Tag Race (4-6 players)

 

Each player on a team successively retrieves one of a double-flag at each waypoint. Player #1 retrieves from waypoint #1, player #2 from the 2nd waypoint, & so on. The 1st team to retrieve the final flag & backtrack to base wins.

 

 

Around the World (2-4 players)

 

The Red team navigates around the world in a clockwise fashion while the Blue team navigates in a counter-clockwise fashion. One player from each team starts & upon making base, his other team-member starts his round. When the 2nd team-member makes it Around the World, his team wins.

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That sounds cool. I was thinking it would be cool to try to spell out a word in script by walking with a GPSr and looking at the track log. Wonder if that could become a game.

Holy smokes! There's a local farm that does a corn maze every year. Last year I noticed that the maze seemed to be spelling something - the name of the farm! There were extra passages that seemed to be drawing some sort of pattern, but I couldn't figure it out, and they didn't have a map or an areal pic at the main booth, so I just had to wonder. Next year, the GPSr is coming with me!

 

This could be turned into a game. Send folks out & whoever covers the whole maze the fastest wins. Check track logs at the end.

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Actually, I wanted to do something that combines GPS and Hobo marks...maybe people leaving lists of coordinates at a starting "root" coordinate with various info symbols about the area, and you can make your way across the town / city / county / state / country using them...without ever having to log online, since all of the coordinates are at the sites and lead to other sites.

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