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tachoknight

Possible way to play Wherigo with iPhone

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Hi all-

 

I absolutely *love* the idea of Wherigo, and would love to try some carts and make my own, but alas, I do not have any of the necessary hardware.

 

It's been asked several times about an iPhone app and I was wondering if a compromise could be in order; I'm just thinking "out loud" as a way of figuring out why the idea wouldn't work.

 

What if there was an Wherigo iPhone app that basically sent the GPS data to a website, where the actual Wherigo "cartridge" would be stored. Thus it's really just a send/receive between the iPhone app for the GPS info, returning a web page, based on the cart logic on the far side. This would allow Wherigo to be played on pretty much any device that could get the GPS coordinates and access the web. The inspiration is Geocaching iPhone app, which has an in-app browser to access the cache's "real" webpage, without requiring a separate launch of Safari (and thus exiting the Geocaching iPhone app). With a sufficiently coded HTML5 application, it would appear almost "Flash-like" without requiring Flash (just an HTML5 compatible browser).

 

Yes, that means that the cart couldn't be stored locally, but I wouldn't see this necessarily as a problem; there's only going to be so many carts "in play" at any given time; a sufficiently robust server should handle all of the requests with relative ease.

 

I'm just coming up with ideas; I'd really really love to see Wherigo become more popular than it appears to be, and would certainly take geocaching to the next level, if available to more devices.

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Yes, it has been discussed. Multiple times. The idea of a web-based player has also been discussed. It doesn't scale well (e.g. if 1000 people are playing Wherigo at one time, the server will be bogged down with everyone's coordinate updates). In short, I haven't heard anything from Groundspeak on the matter except they're interested, but can't put the resources into it.

 

I agree with the demand for an iPhone Wherigo Player. In fact, I wouldn't mind developing it myself. Sounds fun and right up my alley. Considering Monotouch is available, I know I'm perfectly capable of something like this. However, I don't have a Mac and can't justify the cost just for Wherigo.

 

I've tried to install an x86 iATKOS version of OS X using VirtualBox or VMWare on my development computer (a Sager 9262), but could not get it to start after installing. It's perhaps something to do with hardware virtualization. I'll need to try a deadmoo version later. If anyone can help me on this, I'd love to hear from you.

 

I'll consider cartridge distribution later. If possible, I'll ask for a web service matejcik and I can use. That would be ideal.

 

If all else fails, perhaps I will get a Mac. The more time that passes, the more impatient and inquisitive I become. Besides, it'll be great career experience. And, yes, matejcik will receive a few emails so I can figure out how he got started.

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I have a Mac (several, actually :tongue:) and iPhone/Cocoa/ObjC experience, I'd love to pitch in and help. Maybe if Groundspeak doesn't have the resources, they'd farm it out to willing volunteers.

 

I have some really big ideas I'd like to do with Wherigo, and would be willing to go in all the way if I could ultimately get people to play my carts (in whatever form).

Edited by tachoknight

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a Sager 9262

Wow. That's a monster laptop! Blows my MacBookPro out of the water in terms of features.

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Yes, it has been discussed. Multiple times. The idea of a web-based player has also been discussed. It doesn't scale well (e.g. if 1000 people are playing Wherigo at one time, the server will be bogged down with everyone's coordinate updates). In short, I haven't heard anything from Groundspeak on the matter except they're interested, but can't put the resources into it.

Sounds like a job for live.geocaching.com. :tongue:

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Sounds like a job for live.geocaching.com. :tongue:
I've little experience with it, but isn't that just a method for sending location data (coordinates, distance, and bearing) and messages (geocaches found and message replies) to the server and receiving messages as well? I've followed a few people on live before and the location information doesn't seem to update that often. At least several minutes.

 

If we were to make a Wherigo live, I'd have two concerns: storing the cartridge state on the server for each user and getting the triggers to fire correctly. The former is a function of the number of users and cartridge size as well as how much data needs to be kept to make this possible. I seriously doubt you'd be able to use a beefy state server due to problems with cartridge serialization. Were it possible, it wouldn't be practical due to having to de/serialize it every second or two due to rapid client updates. As for the latter, with updates every second or two and responses taking up to another two seconds to download, a player could have already walked past a zone. To avoid this, the phone would need some hefty JavaScript support and anything with an event would need to be run from the phone. The iPhone supports the geolocation API, so at least that's going for it. With this point, just how much of a cartridge can be run on the server as opposed to the client makes me wonder.

 

Well, those are my thoughts on that.

 

I have a Mac (several, actually :() and iPhone/Cocoa/ObjC experience, I'd love to pitch in and help. Maybe if Groundspeak doesn't have the resources, they'd farm it out to willing volunteers.
I was trying to avoid the objective C route because I have little experience with it. MonoTouch is interesting because I get to leverage my years of experience with C# to build an app.

 

I wouldn't like to suggest a situation where we'd develop the method stubs together and split the coding work between us. While it would work if we did it right, I don't like being in a situation where I wouldn't be able to test what I had written (since it seems MonoTouch runs only on a Mac).

 

At the moment, for me, it comes down to cost. Adding a Mac to the list makes it the equivalent of one of my week-long caching trips anywhere in the US (or a good chunk of anyone's monthly bills). That's why I was going the VM route. I'll still try to get one set up, then get back with you.

 

As for Groundspeak's position on the matter, as long as it's offered free, I don't see any problem. If it is to be distributed in the App Store, however, it would need their blessing because the app would most likely use the trademarked Wherigo name and copyrighted logo.

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For me "Wherigo live" would be less about distributing the cartridges and more about the players being able to interact with each other once they've all loaded the same cartridge...

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For me "Wherigo live" would be less about distributing the cartridges and more about the players being able to interact with each other once they've all loaded the same cartridge...

that is a very interesting concept - but what kind of interactions do you have in mind?

off the top of my head, i can only think about interactions that are either

- too stupid to bother with, or

- extremely demanding on the cartridge author's part

only plausible scenario i can think of is "racing cartridge".

 

but i'm already starting to hate this concept where the only point of a cartridge is to race through some course against the clock to "win" cache coordinates.

and one out of every three cartridges in here is like this. we even have a friggin video tutorial on how to build such cartridge. the geocacher audience literally jumped at the opportunity to do this.

(geocaching killing Wherigo? i rest my case.</rant>)

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I would have preferred Wherigo-based caches to have remained "Mystery". But when the Wherigo cache type was announced, it got a lot more discussion in the forums than the main Wherigo announcement, a couple of months earlier.

 

There is a chicken-and-egg issue here: the easiest people for Groundspeak to reach to talk about Wherigo are geocachers, and they are going to think in terms of geocaching. My worry is that the non-geocaching gaming people, who are potentially far more numerous than geocachers, are busy with other platforms.

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My worry is that the non-geocaching gaming people, who are potentially far more numerous than geocachers, are busy with other platforms.

which is precisely why we need that iPhone app. and preferably in the App Store too (which i still don't think is possible)

 

anyway. you were talking abotu interactions ;e)

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Hi all,

I'm trying to do a Wherigo cache at one of the Georgia parks in November and don't want to have to purchase another device sooooooo now that Apple is letting outside folks write programs and sell them on Itunes do we think it might happen soon? Thanks so much, I'm excited to give it a whirl but don't have the funding available to purchase another device! Mrs. honeymooner

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Hi all,

I'm trying to do a Wherigo cache at one of the Georgia parks in November and don't want to have to purchase another device sooooooo now that Apple is letting outside folks write programs and sell them on Itunes do we think it might happen soon? Thanks so much, I'm excited to give it a whirl but don't have the funding available to purchase another device! Mrs. honeymooner

PiGo for the iPhone 4 is in the app store.

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