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Ranger Fox

Player feature requests

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While we're waiting for development to pick back up, I'd like to get everyone's opinion. When Groundspeak is ready to begin development again, I want them to reference this thread.

 

What features do you want to see included in Wherigo cartridges? Think big, but realistically. Anything you can imagine a use for. I'm asking, specifically, about the Player and playing cartridges--not the Builder or the web site. Also, please do not cite bugs in the current Players.

 

To start you off, here are several things I'd like to see:

  • A fully-customizable player UI (we define where the buttons are, the style, some fonts, background images, etc.), with a default one built in for new cartridge authors. This also means going away from the four-option menu with which we're all so familiar.
  • Show zone shapes on maps (both street maps and satellite view)
  • I want to overlay something, such as a timer, score, or message, on the map
  • Launch turn-by-turn directions via Google Maps within the Player (for cartridges that could require driving) -- don't forget zone processing (proximity, enter, etc.) and timer triggers need to happen during this time
  • List all cartridges you have played and the date (your history)
  • For cartridges with geocaches, display the cache description and allow field notes to be submitted
  • Video capability (streaming would be nice so the full video doesn't have to be downloaded up front)
  • Ability to affect others' cartridges and games
  • Ability to download cartridges right to the Player (no loading beforehand)
  • Trophies or achievements you can unlock from playing cartridges (each cartridge can award a maximum of x achievements of x type and the Player/website could award some global, special trophies)
  • Multiple saved game slots? That way each member of the family could play a cartridge.
  • See who is in the area, playing cartridges (within 15 miles?) or who has played in the last few days
  • Send other players a message (SMS-like messages within the Player)
  • Add some social media hookups (post to Facebook or Twitter you're playing or have completed a cartridge)
  • Ability to designate one cartridge as the host and other Players as a guest (at that point, this would open the opportunity for people to create cartridges that could divide a group of players into teams for friendly competitions)

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It would be nice to be able to store data in a file and read it back again. Something like an XML file or just a simple text file would be good.

Edited by a_snail

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I think that if Wherigo is to have a future as a moneymaker, it will have to attract a different public to the current one (which is, to a first approximation, geocachers looking for neat ways to make a multi).

 

That might well mean pulling in the Gamerz... and that means Groundspeak having to deal with a whole nother type of customer. The money is there, but the corporate culture would have to accommodate a whole new set of people.

 

Anyway, as a step in that direction, the most important player feature would be support for TrackOnFly (the engine behind live.geocaching.com) or some other server-based way to interact either with other players, or some other aspect of the environment, in real time. That, in turn, will require "Wherigo 2.0" to abandon support for devices which do not have a SIM card in them... which means most of the Garmin handhelds. Ouch.

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Hi, great start to a thread! What a list!

 

I don't have anything to add (just yet), but have elsewhere raised some of those items you suggest yourself, so this is simply a message of support for you Ranger Fox.

 

I would expect that others are having a difficult time finding elements outside the ones you have listed, rather than there being a lack of interest.

 

If only you could thumb posts in this forum. :lol:

 

thumb, thumb, thumb... :blink:

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now let's see what i could possibly do by myself...

A fully-customizable player UI (we define where the buttons are, the style, some fonts, background images, etc.), with a default one built in for new cartridge authors. This also means going away from the four-option menu with which we're all so familiar.
i'd have to include something very close to a full-fledged HTML parser/renderer for this to work, and that is not something i'm too happy about. also, many supported phones have really low screen resolution.

but reordering buttons, putting up multiple media, specifying order, background and foreground colors, all this should be doable without much hassle. also i've been thinking about extending the main four-option menu

Show zone shapes on maps (both street maps and satellite view)
impractical on a cellphone, but very possible on Android - afaik, WhereYouGo already does this
I want to overlay something, such as a timer, score, or message, on the map
something like googlemap tags? again, impractical on a phone, possible on Android
Launch turn-by-turn directions via Google Maps within the Player (for cartridges that could require driving) -- don't forget zone processing (proximity, enter, etc.) and timer triggers need to happen during this time
this just *might* work on Android, where applications can cooperate in interesting ways. but i can't imagine seeing this on PPC, at least not without a huge deal with Google.

cellphones are out of the question, obviously

List all cartridges you have played and the date (your history)
probably relatively simple (although i don't see the point)
For cartridges with geocaches, display the cache description and allow field notes to be submitted
this must be done on Groundspeak's side
Video capability (streaming would be nice so the full video doesn't have to be downloaded up front)
doable, the same way sounds work - if a cellphone supports the video format, it will play it
Ability to affect others' cartridges and games
there's this multiplayer API draft. heavier than that, it requires work on Groundspeak's end (that TrackOnFly thing? but unless that opens up, this would probably kill openwig :blink: )
Ability to download cartridges right to the Player (no loading beforehand)
needs work on Groundspeak's end. shouldn't be hard, though
Trophies or achievements you can unlock from playing cartridges (each cartridge can award a maximum of x achievements of x type and the Player/website could award some global, special trophies)
needs work on Groundspeak's end. also, achievements FTW ;e)

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Multiple saved game slots? That way each member of the family could play a cartridge.
for this, multiple user profiles would be better. each with separate achievements, history etc. maybe log in with their Groundspeak account or something.

definitely doable, though.

See who is in the area, playing cartridges (within 15 miles?) or who has played in the last few days
TrackOnFly again?
Send other players a message (SMS-like messages within the Player)
as long as it's your co-player, fine. messaging random players is harder than it looks, because all of those spam precautions, privacy protections, ignore lists etc.

maybe go at it another way: make yourself "pulse" on the live map and ask others to send messages, should they be so inclined

Add some social media hookups (post to Facebook or Twitter you're playing or have completed a cartridge)
pretty simple ...... ho-hum ... this would be good for publicity. a Wherigo facebook app, perhaps?
Ability to designate one cartridge as the host and other Players as a guest (at that point, this would open the opportunity for people to create cartridges that could divide a group of players into teams for friendly competitions)
this would be a feature for the aforementioned server-based multiplayer

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Just as I downloaded another cartridge to my iPhone, I know what I want. Desperately! Better usability in downloading. Either I'm doing it completely wrong, or it really sucks.

 

So I found that nice Wherigo at the map. Open the app on the iPhone and it greets me with a blank screen. D'oh! I have to tap on the arrow, take this 1-out-of-1 choice to yes, I want to download. And a browser opens. D'oh! Log in again, yes, thank you. Then the search options. Why isn't there a "by GC-Code" option? That belongs on the start-screen of that app! Searching nearby? Nearby me, not by my home-location. Where is the "locate me" function that works so well on the Geocaching app? Searching by zip/city in Germany? Not as easy as you might think. Searching by author? Tried that. Maybe I didn't get the difference between creator and submitter, but... alas! Nothing. Tried keyword-search with the title of the Wherigo. Got some completely different. So I ended up using location-search and punched in the coordinates of the cache from the website. D'oh!

 

So, don't you worry about the features. Fix those app-shortcomings first. It's not that hard. Add "Search nearby" (relative to the position of the device) and "Search by GC-Code" to the start-screen of the app and the improve on then feature level.

 

Thanx, Carsten

Edited by Carsti29

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So, don't you worry about the features. Fix those app-shortcomings first. It's not that hard. Add "Search nearby" (relative to the position of the device) and "Search by GC-Code" to the start-screen of the app and the improve on then feature level.

 

Yeah, it actually is that hard. We here are a bunch of independent developers and we simply don't have access to that kind of data. The iPhone app is now owned by Groundspeak, so they technically could bring it more in line with the Geocaching app, but from what I gathered, they aren't all that interested in doing it. So there you have it.

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So, don't you worry about the features. Fix those app-shortcomings first. It's not that hard. Add "Search nearby" (relative to the position of the device) and "Search by GC-Code" to the start-screen of the app and the improve on then feature level.

Yeah, it actually is that hard. We here are a bunch of independent developers and we simply don't have access to that kind of data. The iPhone app is now owned by Groundspeak, so they technically could bring it more in line with the Geocaching app, but from what I gathered, they aren't all that interested in doing it. So there you have it.

matejcik is correct. The Wherigo site must expose certain services to applications in order for this to be done. The iPhone Wherigo Player does an excellent job in trying to get around this limitation by capturing files sent with a GWC file extension from the Wherigo.com to its in-app browser. Short of screen-scraping the entire site (this could be slow), nothing else can be done on the community's end. And without the community, Wherigo would have died after the Garmin Oregon reached the end of its life. I feel Groundspeak owes a lot to the community at this point.

 

I hear all sorts of positive things in my conversations with Groundspeak in what they want to do with this, offer with that. However, I am waiting for them to prove all this to me with actions.

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Yeah, it actually is that hard. We here are a bunch of independent developers and we simply don't have access to that kind of data. The iPhone app is now owned by Groundspeak, so they technically could bring it more in line with the Geocaching app, but from what I gathered, they aren't all that interested in doing it. So there you have it.

 

Bummer! That's sad. For you and for me. But I wonder how e.g. GSAK and BadgeGen are able to suck all their information out of the Groundspeak-API. But then I may have absolutely no clue about their api-program or whatever it is called. If it's a license fee issue, start some crowd-funding. Think we'll cover for that one. My next Wherigo is already scheduled. :D

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Bummer! That's sad. For you and for me. But I wonder how e.g. GSAK and BadgeGen are able to suck all their information out of the Groundspeak-API.

Because that API exposes Geocache data, not Wherigo data.

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I have access to the Geocaching API (Wherigo\\kit is using Groundspeak's API test server for log-ins). The last time I looked, there isn't anything available about Wherigo. I'm able to pull everything you see on a cache listing or in a user's pocket query. If it's not available there, I can't pull it. While it's true I might be able to follow an included link from the cache listing to the cartridge listing page, the logged-in user's account won't be available that far and, thus, I won't be able to pull the cartridge properly down to a device. You need a logged-in user account on Wherigo.com so the completion code works properly.

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I am new to Wherigo, although caching for many years. Right off the bat my first complaint is search methods. WHY can't you search by GC code???? WHY can't you search by NAME???? KEYWORD is an absolute joke. Inerfaceing with my Android Galaxy Tab 2 is very clumsy.

 

One good thing. I just played "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" (GC3PZNP) with Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

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You cannot search by GC code because there is no linkage between cartridges and caches. But this does give me a new idea for the site and its API: if someone searches by GC code instead of WG code, that could act as a search of all cartridges by GC. I hadn't thought about that. I'll have to see if the database is even set up for that. And the cartridge author has to link the cartridge to the cache or this won't work. (Note: I'm not talking about the current site.)

 

I already thought about searching by name. I believe keyword could be in one of the cartridge's descriptions: short, cartridge details, and starting location. (Note: I'm not talking about the current site.)

 

Did you win? (Note: This paragraph needed a frivolous note.)

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A feature that I would like to see, is the use of animated gifs. Even if it is like sound files where the devices that use them download them then other devices like the Oregon download still compatable still images. I maybe wrong but I don't think this would be too hard to get working (for v1.1?)

 

The next stage further on from this that I would like to see (for v2.0?) Is live picture drawing. For example one of those picture tile sliding puzzles. It would be too much to store every possible picture tile combination as a seperate picture. So if it could be drawn on the fly it would be helpful and open up many other puzzle/game options.

Edited by Stompy&Stampy

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The only problem I foresee getting this working is coming up with a still image for your animated gif if you don't supply one. If you don't supply a static image alongside the gif, which frame of the gif should the compiler turn into a static image? That's a good idea, though.

 

I like the idea about giving you access to some drawing commands, perhaps allowing access to most of .Net's System.Drawing namespace or something. What would also be simpler for the given example is a way to show multiple images in a tabular layout. You could then choose which images go where in the table. For v2.0, the sky is the limit.

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Im sure its being worked on and already thought about/suggested, but downloading Wherigo's straight from the android Wherigo app would be handy. At the moment downloading live in the field requires you to use something like chrome to download it as the other standard browser corrupts the Wherigo file. Then you have to find where the file has been downloaded and move it to the correct folder. While we have become very good and efficient at doing this, its still a pain.

 

As for the gif and which still image/frame it should be, as standard I would say the first frame by default unless otherwise specified by the Wherigo owner. But then that would be done in the builder (which can also be sorted by WF).

 

I would also like to thank all the people involved in WF, just which I had the skills to help! Got many ideas to build but are partly being held back till some of the WF features come through and enable me to do them. Might try and learn some more lua while waiting (not sure which version wig uses though).

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Im sure its being worked on and already thought about/suggested, but downloading Wherigo's straight from the android Wherigo app would be handy. At the moment downloading live in the field requires you to use something like chrome to download it as the other standard browser corrupts the Wherigo file. Then you have to find where the file has been downloaded and move it to the correct folder. While we have become very good and efficient at doing this, its still a pain.

 

As for the gif and which still image/frame it should be, as standard I would say the first frame by default unless otherwise specified by the Wherigo owner. But then that would be done in the builder (which can also be sorted by WF).

 

I would also like to thank all the people involved in WF, just which I had the skills to help! Got many ideas to build but are partly being held back till some of the WF features come through and enable me to do them. Might try and learn some more lua while waiting (not sure which version wig uses though).

 

I agree the the biggest weakness of the current Android player is not being able to download directly from the app itself. The current App has been taken over and is getting updates on a regular basis, you can monitor its updates here WhereYouGo. Since this is the only option us Android users have and the developer is active we might be able to get the developer to add the download feature to the current App.

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Tested the new updated app today after all the updates (last Wherigo in our area for now). One thing I found a little niggling was when you leave the app (to use another app or save battery), or sometimes when the screen times out the app defaults to having gps off. This means that you have to leave the current screen to go to the locations tab to turn the gps back on in the app (on everywhere else). This became a problem for us at one point as there was no way to go back in the Wherigo (back button didnt work and no cancel button on input request) we had to kill the app and restart it. Thankfully the new feature of auto save made that not a problem, also means I dont have to keep writing auto saves into my carts :laughing:

 

So a feature that I would like to see would be able to select the gps default status for the app.

Keep the updates a good work coming!

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Been testing and playing with ideas to see what I can do or find work arounds for. One thing that I thought would be a good feature and open up many possibilities would would be an external input/output from within the wigo So for example in the real world a player may find a barcode that can then be scanned and interpreted by the wigo to effect gameplay. Or maybe a Bluetooth device (bit like chirp) could broadcast info that is picked up and interpreted by the wigo. This could open up options for field puzzles and also make it harder to play in emulator.

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