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Armchair Wherigoers


Jaz666
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A thought has occurred to me, with the ability to play any cartridge in the emulator, will this new game see Armchair loggers?

 

I wouldn't want to create a "wow-factor" cartridge only to find that some visitors had already worked out the surprise locations at home.

 

I suppose putting "questions to answer" that can only be answered "on-the-spot" could be one way to deter anyone tempted to cheat, but I think there should be an option in the compiler to stop the cartridge being loaded in the emulator if the creator so wishes (I've not played with the builder enough yet, so apologies if the option is already there).

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Jaz666
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If you played the tutorial you might have noticed at the end you were given an unlock code to use on the website. This is something you, as the author, can add to the end of your cartridge while making it impossible to actually complete the cartridge solely by using the emulator (say by requiring environmental input that can only be found at the physical location).

 

The emulator was included mainly so the other has a way to quickly test their work, although many people seem to be using it at the moment to get a feel for Wherigo in general (which is great).

Edited by OpinioNate
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Where do you enter that code?

 

Nuwati

If you click on the title of the cartridge to bring up the details page, there should be an Unlock button underneath the Download button. I entered my code in and something caused my IE to crash (may have been the most annoying firewall in existance), but when I brought it back up and logged in again, the Unlock button had changed to a green Completed banner.

 

Took me awhile to find the unlock button though. :)

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There are tricks to verify someone is playing at that particular place and not using the emulator. I list a few below. While I'd love to take credit for a few of these ideas that I think might be original, some have doubtless occurred to others:

 

-- Environmental Input: Others have already covered this. Ask the player what is on a plaque, count something, or observe. I came up with the idea of having a password in a physical cache at the location to enable the user to pick up an item. For instance, you find a screwdriver in a cache and it is tagged with something not unlike a TB tracking number. Enter that into your Wherigo player and you can pick up the screwdriver virtually.

 

-- Hidden Zones: If the player is on a trail or in a park, you know what s/he must pass in order to arrive in the next zone. Hidden zones of all shapes and sizes can be created between the origin and destination zones. If a player does not pass through the hidden zone en route to the destination, we know the player cheated. Sure, I'll let you continue to play, but in the end you won't get the unlock code or cartridge completion flag set.

 

-- Timers: I know how long it will take you to get to a destination, even by running. I will know you cheated if you arrive there ahead of time. Same thing here: you can continue to play, but you won't have a completed cartridge afterward.

 

-- Altitude Check: If you know the altitude at a location, you can always check for that. The emulator won't give you the correct altitude. However, I am not sure that phone and older Bluetooth GPS receivers will provide the altitude, making this a sketchy way to check.

 

I think that covers everything: what you see/know, how you get there, how long it takes, and where you are (lat/lon and altitude). Anything else I come up with might have to be a trade secret.

 

In the end, armchair "Wherigoing" is like armchair caching. And how many among you regularly reconcile your log books to what is online? How do you know the person found your cache if you don't check? If you're like me, you just don't have time to check with all else you're doing. The same thing with creating Wherigo cartridges: will you have the time to add all these logical checks or will most of you let it slide?

 

Personal Bias: If I see a cartridge not for my area, you can bet I'm going to use the emulator to run it. I'd rather play and experience it than not ever get that chance. At least it shows me an area and I get a learning experience. Even if I can't upload it as complete, I'm still going to look through it.

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If you played the tutorial you might have noticed at the end you were given an unlock code to use on the website. This is something you, as the author, can add to the end of your cartridge while making it impossible to actually complete the cartridge solely by using the emulator (say by requiring environmental input that can only be found at the physical location).

 

The emulator was included mainly so the other has a way to quickly test their work, although many people seem to be using it at the moment to get a feel for Wherigo in general (which is great).

 

Too bad that the completioncode is relatively easy to find in the cartridge... so you can log the cartridge without leaving your comfy chair :grin:

As it is now, you will always need to upload a log or additional info to be somewhat sure that the logger followed your flow in the cartridge. As I see it now, it does not seem to be that hard to create a decompiler for the cartridge... :)

Edited by Kalkendotters
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If I see a cartridge not for my area, you can bet I'm going to use the emulator to run it. I'd rather play and experience it than not ever get that chance. At least it shows me an area and I get a learning experience. Even if I can't upload it as complete, I'm still going to look through it.

 

An idea occured to me last night as I was logging a few carts that I'd played on the Emulator.

 

Just as Travel Bugs have the option for Discovery without doing the old Drop/Retrieve or Grab - how about a third Log type? Like Simulated, or Googled, or Played the Lackey, or whatever. I'm sure there are tons of honest cachers who would love to experience these carts - but time and/or distance forbids it.

 

Write Note - to me - indicates something I want to tell the owner or future players. Played - to me - means I physically went to the site and experienced the location. Surely there can be a third option?

 

Just a thought...

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Or you could just require people to upload the completed cartridge file. I'm not sure how the completion code is created, but if it's the same for every player, and when someone else downloaded and played The Arena under my supervision it was, you could make an embedded graphic with the completion code.

 

If I ever make a cartridge (coming up with a top quality, fully fleshed out idea is difficult), I'll allow people to play it through without restrictions. However, at the very end if the elevation is equal to zero, the cartridge will not be marked as complete. This will separate armchair players from those in the field while still giving everyone an experience. It's great because the check is easy to set up and doesn't complicate things.

 

And, let's be honest, we do want people to play our cartridges using any means. The more creativity and time we pour into it, the more we want others to experience and talk about it with us. At the moment, I think people care less about badges and the number of unlocked cartridges than they do just playing what their peers put out. Plus, the more cartridges you play, the more you get ideas of what elements work, what doesn't, and what to refine further.

 

Gee, that sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it? Wasn't that close to the sentiment with geocaching--less about the numbers, more about sharing a special experience, showing something to people, and improving on ideas?

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Do you get credit for a cache find for completing a (You Can Play Anywhere) wereigo cartridge?

I have completed two of them but have no wereigo caches on my found caches. :laughing:

 

It's not going to be that easy my friend to get a Wherigo icon (and they really are my friends!)

 

Not all Wherigo cartridges are Wherigo caches. And with the ones that are, there is a physical container and a log book you must sign.

 

On a related note: I've noticed that when you are on the Wherigo site that there isn't a link on a cartridge page to the coresponding cache page (when one exists).

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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Our latest Wherigo will NOT run in the emulator and it CANNOT be completed by opening the .gwc file in notepad.

 

Even if we were to make the source code open-source it would still not be possible to complete it without visiting actually visiting the intended location, answering the questions and actually finding the cache! :drama:

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Hi:

In our current Wherigo "Highland Fling", the emulator is blocked so it can't easily be played and the physical cache has a code word that is entered to complete the tour. I didn't bother to encrypt the responses though.

Regards,

Tom Birchmire the Bugsy of Blu Eyz and Bugsy

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I am working on my first cartridge but it's not quite ready to be published yet. What I am going to do is leave the cartridge open so people can play it and experience Wherigo's if they don't have a device that supports it yet. However, for people playing on the emulator, where I would normally open a location for the cache location, I am going to display text that says the cache can only be found by playing it on a real device. I am also not going to unlock the cartridge if they play it on the emulator. I figure this way more people can be exposed to Wherigo by playing it, but it keeps people from finding the cache the easy way.

 

-Mallock

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I am working on my first cartridge but it's not quite ready to be published yet. What I am going to do is leave the cartridge open so people can play it and experience Wherigo's if they don't have a device that supports it yet. However, for people playing on the emulator, where I would normally open a location for the cache location, I am going to display text that says the cache can only be found by playing it on a real device. I am also not going to unlock the cartridge if they play it on the emulator. I figure this way more people can be exposed to Wherigo by playing it, but it keeps people from finding the cache the easy way.

 

-Mallock

Yes, that is a good idea. Reminds me of making a trial version of software. The same went for my cartridge: you could play it up to a certain point, after which it would run the check for the emulator and prevent you from continuing. That way you would only get half the experience and you wouldn't know where all the zones were.

 

I have another idea for a play anywhere cartridge in mind. You can play it as much as you want on the emulator, but your score will be saved to a different variable and would not count. The geocache portion would require you to beat the current high score, capped at a certain number. A screen shot or completed cartridge upload would need to be supplied to verify the score. For kicks and giggles, I thought of something like a Whack-A-Mole game with power-ups and temporal variances. Like all things, that would require something called time, which is at a premium at the moment.

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I took the same approach on the one I've put together so far. You're welcome to play anywhere or to play in the emulator, and both ways will actually allow you to complete the cartridge and claim it on the site, but neither way will open the final info for the cache location. The only way to get the cache position (short of decompiling the cartridge) is to play in the field, in the "normal" mode.

 

On the latter point in the previous post, I'm interested in your idea on keeping score. I've thought of doing something similar, but I wasn't sure if you could actually access the uploaded save game. I've got four completions on mine right now, but there's no indication I can see of checking someone's uploaded cart. Got any tips for how to actually get that data, or is it still speculative at this point that we'll be able to access the uploaded saves?

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On the latter point in the previous post, I'm interested in your idea on keeping score. I've thought of doing something similar, but I wasn't sure if you could actually access the uploaded save game. I've got four completions on mine right now, but there's no indication I can see of checking someone's uploaded cart. Got any tips for how to actually get that data, or is it still speculative at this point that we'll be able to access the uploaded saves?

Same answer: the feature has yet to be added. If I had the cartridge today, I'd do one of two things: require the user to take a screen shot or put the score through a formula and have the value be added to the user's log as a confirmation. I'd then take the value and perform the reverse procedure to make sure the value and score matches. It's a shame you can't trust the general public these days.

 

:):):D:D

On the bright side, I have caught up on my cache logs, cleared my defect list at work faster than anticipated, added this month's picture to my profile, and moved the new month's graphic to the Statbar Modifier. So the big question now is which cache I'll find for my one-a-day streak (day #427--approaching the number of FTFs I have).

 

Dang it I wish I wouldn't have read this thread. So much for my Whack-A-Rat game I was going to make :D. I guess I'll have to think of something else now :D

Collaboration is a wonderful thing, wouldn't you say?

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On a related note: I've noticed that when you are on the Wherigo site that there isn't a link on a cartridge page to the coresponding cache page (when one exists).

 

I believe reading Groundspeak is working on this. For now, it's up to the author to include the link.

 

Hi,

 

I like the cut of your jib. I'm a programmer, yet I haven't

delved into the Wherigo language as yet, though I'd like

to.

 

Any kid words and more savory links will be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Tobiah

 

toby@rcsreg.com

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Any kind words and more savory links will be appreciated.

The easiest thing to do would be to run the tutorial cartridge, look at the online builder tutorial, look at what else people have created, flip through the source behind a cartridge, then begin looking at playing around yourself. If you have any questions through the process, hang around in the forum. Personally, I'm a very hands-on learner. All cartridges are programmed in the lua language. It's fairly easy to pick up. At the moment, Groundspeak has not released method definitions for all Wherigo methods and constructors, which could limit ways we can push the envelope at this point.

 

If you have any more questions, just post them to the forum. I don't claim to be the content expert or have all the answers, but I can learn quickly and pick up new things. There are people other than myself willing and very able to answer questions on this forum, so please don't ignore or disrespect their feelings by directing your questions toward me. I moderate in addition to helping people with their problems.

 

And don't be afraid to ask questions by posting new topics.

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I have been able to play many different cartridges, weather they have protection or not. I very much enjoy seeing how others cartridges work and I don't have any Wherigos around here that aren't mine. There are many ways of getting around the protection. I am willing to guess I could upload a saved completed file from almost any cartridge, run on the emulator. I would never go logging caches I haven't found but that is not what my intention was. I just want to see how they work.

 

StaticTank

Edited by StaticTank
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I have been able to play many different cartridges, weather they have protection or not. I very much enjoy seeing how others cartridges work and I don't have any Wherigos around here that aren't mine. There are many ways of getting around the protection. I am willing to guess I could upload a saved completed file from almost any cartridge, run on the emulator. I would never go logging caches I haven't found but that is not what my intention was. I just want to see how they work.

 

StaticTank

 

That sounds like a challenge to me. :laughing:

 

Try this one on for size and report back please (not my cartridge or anyone I know).

COGer Goes Mexican

 

Try playing it on the emulator and see how answering the questions goes. No fair asking for help (you'll know what I mean when you see it).

 

Just curious!

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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I have been able to play many different cartridges, weather they have protection or not. I very much enjoy seeing how others cartridges work and I don't have any Wherigos around here that aren't mine. There are many ways of getting around the protection. I am willing to guess I could upload a saved completed file from almost any cartridge, run on the emulator. I would never go logging caches I haven't found but that is not what my intention was. I just want to see how they work.

 

StaticTank

 

That sounds like a challenge to me. :P

 

Try this one on for size and report back please (not my cartridge or anyone I know).

COGer Goes Mexican

 

Try playing it on the emulator and see how answering the questions goes. No fair asking for help (you'll know what I mean when you see it).

 

Just curious!

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

 

well this sounds like a challenge to me :laughing:

lemme get back to you when i sober up a bit ;e)

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That one is VERY different than the ones I have been able to crack. I might have to take a look at it a bit longer. I have broken 5 of 6 different ones today and played through them, very similar to that one, where there is location based information and everything. Pick another one just to so I can prove to you that I can do it. Like I said "Almost" any protected cartridge. This is different that most, and by different I don't mean the code at the beginning, that is not the problem.

Edited by StaticTank
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That one is VERY different than the ones I have been able to crack. I might have to take a look at it a bit longer. I have broken 5 of 6 different ones today and played through them, very similar to that one, where there is location based information and everything. Pick another one just to so I can prove to you that I can do it. Like I said "Almost" any protected cartridge. This is different that most, and by different I don't mean the code at the beginning, that is not the problem.

 

Oh, I believe that you can crack almost any cartridge. I just thought I would throw a toughie your way. Let me know if you make any progress on it.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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OK, just to toss in my 2 cents.

It might be a GOOD idea to allow, if not encourage, "armchair wherigoers" in some situations.

In my area (western NY) there are only 3 cartridges, all of them by me. I've deliberately left them open to being run on the emulator, and even let that be known. It's actually encouraged people to try them, heck the FTF on my RMSC Wherigo went to someone who had been there when I ran a group thorugh one after an event. When he saw the new one come out, he loaded the builder and cartridge on his laptop, went to the museum, and ran the cartridge in his car. He had to walk back & forth from each zone to the car to answer the questions. Now he's excited about the type. I also had a group that went out for it, but the GPS failed out. They had someone run it on the emulator, and they were able to complete it

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so, um, how exactly "different" is this one?

i saw no protection, except that the comparisons are not based on strings, but... you know. i was expecting something more exotic :antenna:

i'd show you a cartridge that's brutally protected, but it's czech only, so i guess that alone is a protection ;e))

 

(i.e., easy as a pie. i can send you all the correct answers as a proof, if you like.)

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so, um, how exactly "different" is this one?

i saw no protection, except that the comparisons are not based on strings, but... you know. i was expecting something more exotic :antenna:

i'd show you a cartridge that's brutally protected, but it's czech only, so i guess that alone is a protection ;e))

 

(i.e., easy as a pie. i can send you all the correct answers as a proof, if you like.)

 

What do you mean? Were you able to extract the information from the Codger Wherigo? I cannot read czech so that wouldn't be much of test as I probably couldn't do it.

 

If you were able to extract the info from the Wherigo in question how did you do it?

Edited by StaticTank
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so, um, how exactly "different" is this one?

i saw no protection, except that the comparisons are not based on strings, but... you know. i was expecting something more exotic :antenna:

i'd show you a cartridge that's brutally protected, but it's czech only, so i guess that alone is a protection ;e))

 

(i.e., easy as a pie. i can send you all the correct answers as a proof, if you like.)

oh, of course, i get it now!

the numbers are not visible in the cartridge, because they're encoded as bytes, right? that's clever, very clever.

i could "encode" whole strings this way. that would be fun :e))

 

What do you mean? Were you able to extract the information from the Codger Wherigo? I cannot read czech so that wouldn't be much of test as I probably couldn't do it.

 

If you were able to extract the info from the Wherigo in question how did you do it?

yes, i was able to extract info from the COGer cartridge. in the same way i extract info from other cartridges.

how? i'm not telling :D because it apparently isn't common knowledge, and maybe for the better.

let's just say that i have at my disposal a set of tools that can basically revert the cartridge to its source form.

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i saw no protection, except that the comparisons are not based on strings, but... you know. i was expecting something more exotic :unsure:

That's fairly sophisticated protection that will defeat most North American armchair Wherigo cachers.

 

i'd show you a cartridge that's brutally protected, but it's czech only, so i guess that alone is a protection ;e))

Yep, Google translator needs a couple of more decades to work for this purpose. :antenna:

 

let's just say that i have at my disposal a set of tools that can basically revert the cartridge to its source form.

And that's why I said what I did when you took up the challenge: great potential to be interesting!

 

You have confirmed my theory of how to crack the cartridge in question.

 

Now you have me wondering what the exotic methods are. :D

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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i saw no protection, except that the comparisons are not based on strings, but... you know. i was expecting something more exotic :unsure:

That's fairly sophisticated protection that will defeat most North American armchair Wherigo cachers.

yea... i didn't realize that it would provide any protection, because i never attempted to "eyeball" things by opening the cartridge in notepad.

but as i said, it leads to some evil ideas :D

 

Now you have me wondering what the exotic methods are. :antenna:

you mean the encryption? oh, i think it's been talked through in the forums. text obfuscation. this guy Mion wrote his own obfuscating routines, and builds the deobfuscation key at runtime. which is cool. in the cartridge in question it lacks a little finish - the key does depend on an input (iirc), but not too hard, i was able to get around that. now if the input itself was used as a key, that would be close to perfection.

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My personal take on this is that a Wherigo can be something fun and to be enjoyed like reading a book or solving a logic puzzle. If you play nicely, you get a great experience, if you want to look at the answer or look at the back of the book first then that’s also your choice but for me spoils the surprises and plot that the author has gone to the trouble of adding and which may only be apparent if you stand at the spot in question.

 

I can however see the merit in dads running through a Wherigo first to make sure they understand what needs doing (so they aren’t embarrassed) before taking the children out for a walk. Its also nice if you get stuck or want to try alternative solutions to run it through on the emulator to find out where you went wrong. Its especially useful for Wherigos from authors that kill players or prevent completion 3 hours into the game due to something you did or didn’t do earlier in the game and you just want to pick up where you left off.

 

My final comment is that I have no hope of getting to most new Wherigos (much as I would like to), so if someone puts in protection anywhere but the end, I just can’t play it which is a shame and no good to anyone. As for the people logging completed games (done on the emulator), whilst its not ideal, they have shown an interest in the authors work which is a good.

Edited by a_snail
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If you played the tutorial you might have noticed at the end you were given an unlock code to use on the website. This is something you, as the author, can add to the end of your cartridge while making it impossible to actually complete the cartridge solely by using the emulator (say by requiring environmental input that can only be found at the physical location).

 

The emulator was included mainly so the other has a way to quickly test their work, although many people seem to be using it at the moment to get a feel for Wherigo in general (which is great).

 

Too bad that the completioncode is relatively easy to find in the cartridge... so you can log the cartridge without leaving your comfy chair :lol:

As it is now, you will always need to upload a log or additional info to be somewhat sure that the logger followed your flow in the cartridge. As I see it now, it does not seem to be that hard to create a decompiler for the cartridge... ;)

i've done one *the honest way*, the Wherigo site i couldn't unlock it but it unlocked on my gps[oregon 550] so i couldn't log it on the Wherigo site.

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