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Wherigo\\kit

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Thanks.

What's the best way to fix punctuation formatting? Everything is changing to "?" vs commas and apostrophes once I download the cartridge from Wherigo.com.

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Edited by kiecker
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After loading my cartridge into Wherigo.com I went out testing today. I'm not sure how to debug this, but when I got to my zone called "city hall" I have it set for a multiple choice answer before proceeding forward. None of the selections worked, even though I have a radio button selected in the kit. Thoughts?

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Let's see...

 

For the question mark issue, did you copy and paste from somewhere else, such as a word processor? Word processors typically replace some punctuation with things that look like the same punctuation but are something different altogether. It's called a character code. When the app reads the text, it realizes it can't display that character and the default character, the question mark, is substituted. The best example is the double quotation marks. It's tricky to do something about the characters entered into the boxes in Kit because I have to support non-English characters as well. Try typing the text directly into the boxes on the page instead of copy and pasting. This should solve the issue.

 

As for what you saw in the app, chances are you're going to run into that issue at the moment with many more cartridges than your own. Last week, I was reviewing changes to the iOS app when I noticed a button for an item I had wasn't doing anything. I reported this to the developer, so he's looking into it. While that's not your exact issue, I believe it to be related. I believe what you're seeing is this: a multiple choice question comes up and selecting an answer doesn't do anything. This can be the same issue with buttons (their callbacks) that I'm seeing. Now that someone else has reported a similar issue, I'm a little worried about what's happening as I thought it was just a random thing I had come across. I'll have to wait for the app developer to release a new beta version to me before I can see if this issue is resolved.

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Interesting.

 

All text I entered into the kit was typed in the kit, not from copy/paste into the kit. I'll try and reword some of my sentences to eliminate some punctuation and reupload.

 

Sound like if the iOS app is having some issues with multiple choice, would it better just to change my questions to open ended or have you seen similar issues?

 

I'm excited to publish my first WIG, but also want it to be as bullet proof and professional as I can. Thanks for the feeback.

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After hours spent failing to complete anything sensible with any of the other builders, I've made a cartridge easily with Wherigo\\kit , which was pretty simple to get my head around, thank you !

 

I walked the cartridge ( it's called "Walking the Dog" ) in the field today and it worked fine (on an android 'phone) , but having passed it on to some friends to trial ( also on android devices )they got to the second zone (welcome sign) and the question screen did not show. They tell me they tried a couple of times, left the zone and went back in , started over, nothing got them any further . I don't want to publish the Wherigo without being sure it is OK.

 

I am at a loss ... I see cartridges are shared with Ranger Fox by default and I'd be really grateful for any help you can give me.

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Just checking some things: if they knew the second zone was the welcome sign, perhaps they didn't go to the first? Were they closer than five metres to the sign? Did they turn off the player app to save phone power and start it back up again when they arrived at the sign? (Kit uses proximity, so they have to go from six metres to five or four for the event to fire.) I assume you both are using an up-to-date version of WhereYouGo, possibly the same version (considering I don't think it has been updated for a while)?

 

I don't own an Android device, so it's hard to tell what's going on with the player app itself. The cartridges Kit produces intentionally use the lowest common denominator for all apps: nothing flashy and nothing outside the norm for Wherigo. In addition, nothing much has changed in the last couple years in the cartridge code Kit produces.

 

The fun thing is your first zone has a question and a message--the same sequence as the second zone. However, the second zone uses an open-ended question. I hope that's not what the app is having difficulty with. (I cannot wait for the Wherigo Foundation player app to be available for Android...)

 

If you went out there with your friends, I wonder if you could see what's happening? I'd be interested in knowing what you observed.

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Just checking some things: if they knew the second zone was the welcome sign, perhaps they didn't go to the first? Were they closer than five metres to the sign? Did they turn off the player app to save phone power and start it back up again when they arrived at the sign? (Kit uses proximity, so they have to go from six metres to five or four for the event to fire.) I assume you both are using an up-to-date version of WhereYouGo, possibly the same version (considering I don't think it has been updated for a while)?

 

I don't own an Android device, so it's hard to tell what's going on with the player app itself. The cartridges Kit produces intentionally use the lowest common denominator for all apps: nothing flashy and nothing outside the norm for Wherigo. In addition, nothing much has changed in the last couple years in the cartridge code Kit produces.

 

The fun thing is your first zone has a question and a message--the same sequence as the second zone. However, the second zone uses an open-ended question. I hope that's not what the app is having difficulty with. (I cannot wait for the Wherigo Foundation player app to be available for Android...)

 

If you went out there with your friends, I wonder if you could see what's happening? I'd be interested in knowing what you observed.

Thank you for your suggestions and observations, I'll ask my testers if they switched the app off, that does seem a possibility. I'll also interrogate them about when they downloaded the app.to their device: my 'phone is about 7 months old so my version (if different) will be no older than that. I will certainly let you know if either their observations, or a return visit with me peering over their shoulders, sheds any light on the problem.

 

I went back and walked the route again today, and again it worked fine for me, so I'm minded to publish the cache listing anyway and see what happens ! I really like the Wherigo kit interface, I have a few more ideas percolating away at the back of my mind which may eventually become caches, so thanks again for all your hard work, I'm watching for Wherigo Foundation developments with interest !

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I really dislike like pointing fingers, saying it's because of this or that and not because of something I did (pointing fingers is counterproductive and if it's not something I did, I can't fix it). Hopefully, player app offerings will become more stable and consistent in the future. Issues like this is just one of the things turning people away from Wherigo. But the good news is someone in the community took initiative and made something in the first place. So even if its stability isn't perfect, it's great we have something we can use.

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I'm building a Wherigo with the kit right now. What I like to know; how can I change the unlock code you get at the end from the default "TestUnlockCode_" to something else. That feature doesn't appear to be included in the kit.

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There isn't a way to change that, nor do I believe there is a need. You see, when someone downloads a cartridge from Wherigo.com, the server edits the cartridge and places the real unlock code within it. This unlock code is specific to the cartridge and person who downloaded it. When you're building a cartridge, all builder apps put in their own unlock code as a stand-in for what the server will insert at a later time. Kit's unlock code stand-in is the exact length of a real unlock code, hence the necessary underscore at the end.

 

Is there a specific reason you need to define a test unlock code?

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It's my first time building a Wherigo with any kind of builder, so I had no idea the website will add the code. I thought I had to do so myself using the kit.

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I really dislike like pointing fingers, saying it's because of this or that and not because of something I did (pointing fingers is counterproductive and if it's not something I did, I can't fix it). Hopefully, player app offerings will become more stable and consistent in the future. Issues like this is just one of the things turning people away from Wherigo. But the good news is someone in the community took initiative and made something in the first place. So even if its stability isn't perfect, it's great we have something we can use.

As Grandma said, "You point a finger at someone, and three point back at you."

Being a total and ignorant beginner I'd assumed I had done something wrong somehow rather than Kit or the app. were at fault.

 

Absolutely right that we should be greatful for the efforts of the app builders, but we need to take note of those instabilities and try to see what triggers them so they can hopefully be eliminated in the future. Dead right that such things are contributing to some cachers being frustrated, you can look at pretty much any Wherigo cache page to see folk logging peeved DNFs part way through the cartridge.

 

Fingers crossed that I shall not have that problem ...

 

By the way, I noticed that when I did my last walk round the zones in the field, if I allowed the 'phone to auto complete the word input for an open ended question, the correct answer was not accepted. I guess some invisible-to-me formatting symbol was added by the 'phone software, as inputting the word letter by letter worked fine. I guess it is a known problem, and I have amended my cache listing to mention it.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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Absolutely right that we should be greatful for the efforts of the app builders, but we need to take note of those instabilities and try to see what triggers them so they can hopefully be eliminated in the future. Dead right that such things are contributing to some cachers being frustrated, you can look at pretty much any Wherigo cache page to see folk logging peeved DNFs part way through the cartridge.

Do you mind reading a story? I'd like to tell one here.

 

Back in 2008, when Wherigo was released, I began testing and pushing its boundaries. That's when Whack-A-Lackey was developed, which also has the distinction of being the first play anywhere cartridge to be allowed to have a final geocache location (neat footnote, but tangential). In early 2009, I experimented with crafting a cartridge that would emulate people walking around a park. You'd begin the cartridge and some characters would be placed in a park. Some characters would move on a complicated route I programmed, the characters following the park's walking trail. You had to find one character, then find her iPod, then find out where she had gone off to (as she moves at walking distance around the park while you're searching for the iPod). I did a lot of testing before I released the cartridge because it's always a risk when you release something that tests what Wherigo is capable of doing. A week or so before I released the cartridge, Garmin released their new Oregon line. I had a Colorado and thoroughly tested the cartridge on it. And like any sensible person with technology, I assumed the newly-released Oregon was superior to the Colorado in terms of hardware. Well... it wasn't.

 

When the geocache listing was published, one of the area's top cachers went out to play the cartridge and the script I created to move the characters taxed the Oregon so much he had to wait forty-five seconds for a dialog window to be displayed. He lambasted me in his log--probably more than he normally would another person because this guy doesn't like me (even to this day he's still disrespectful). So I see his log and go out and test the cartridge for an hour or two and still can't find anything wrong with it. I finally borrow his Oregon and go out in a downpour and see what he experienced. I retreated to my car, turned on my laptop, made edits to the cartridge, and went back out in the rain to test what I had written. I kept doing this until the cartridge could be played with the Oregon's equipment, then returned it to him. I was on the wet side even though I had a rain coat and pants on. Later, he went out, did the cartridge, found the cache, and still didn't have anything nice to say.

 

So I hope in the future Wherigo will be stable on all platforms (I don't care about Garmin's because doing so will only hold us back) so authors and players won't have to face this situation anymore. But no matter how much we test what we create, there's always something beyond our control that happens.

 

 

By the way, I noticed that when I did my last walk round the zones in the field, if I allowed the 'phone to auto complete the word input for an open ended question, the correct answer was not accepted. I guess some invisible-to-me formatting symbol was added by the 'phone software, as inputting the word letter by letter worked fine. I guess it is a known problem, and I have amended my cache listing to mention it.

I bet the phone is inserting a space at the end of the auto-completed word. And this puts me at a nice little impasse with Kit. There's that builder compatibility feature I'm trying to retain: when you create a cartridge with Kit, you can export it from Kit and import it into either Urwigo or Groundspeak's builder so you can edit it further or learn how to create cartridges. I can fix several things behind the scenes, such as text that isn't obfuscated, make cartridges ridiculously difficult to crack, and fix annoyances like trimming whitespace off the end of text. However, doing so would lose this compatibility with other builders. It's a difficult position to be in. And until the player apps are more solid, I doubt I should be changing Kit's underlying code or else we won't know anymore if it's the player app that has an issue or the cartridge itself.

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I like reading stories . :D

 

And this puts me at a nice little impasse with Kit. There's that builder compatibility feature I'm trying to retain: when you create a cartridge with Kit, you can export it from Kit and import it into either Urwigo or Groundspeak's builder so you can edit it further or learn how to create cartridges. I can fix several things behind the scenes, such as text that isn't obfuscated, make cartridges ridiculously difficult to crack, and fix annoyances like trimming whitespace off the end of text. However, doing so would lose this compatibility with other builders. It's a difficult position to be in. And until the player apps are more solid, I doubt I should be changing Kit's underlying code or else we won't know anymore if it's the player app that has an issue or the cartridge itself.

 

I appreciate the importance of keeping 'Kit' as compatible as possible. The simplicity which comes as a side effect of that compatibility (I'm guessing that's why Kit has for example no characters or items)is actually an advantage for an ignoramus like me.

 

I've given a heads up on the cache page, telling cachers that allowing a 'phone to auto complete words may invalidate the answer, so I don't see a problem as long as they read the page.

 

I know, I know, someone won't read the page, but at least I tried... :rolleyes:

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The simplicity which comes as a side effect of that compatibility (I'm guessing that's why Kit has for example no characters or items)

Actually, that's an effect, not a side effect. Kit's whole purpose is removing Wherigo's cartridge-authoring learning curve. To do that, Kit gives you few options and has a kit-based approach (i.e. you tell it what type of cartridge you want to create and it'll give you the tools to create it). I never wanted to create a full-featured web-based builder. We have that already--Earwigo--and it's successful in its own right. With Kit, you can create some simple cartridges and, when you're ready to see how cartridges are put together, you can export your cartridge from Kit into a full-featured builder and learn from what you see. If what you're making in a full-featured builder isn't working out, you can refer to the cartridge Kit made for you and see how Kit did it, then apply that to what you're making.

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I'm happy to report that my Wherigo has been successfully completed by 3 sets of cachers so far, using a variety of devices ( the FTFers have found a good few wherigos before, and ran mine on an Oregon 550, a tablet and an i-phone - I guess they've hit a few glitches in the past and now take a belt and braces approach!)

 

Thanks again for Wherigo//kit reducing the angle of the learning curve to nearly horizontal, and making another Wherigo cache possible.

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Hey I am trying to build a Wherigo cartridge and it will not upload it gives a system error can you help?

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Ha ha! The quotes in your handle are causing issues!

 

I'll update Kit later this evening, then post a reply here.

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I updated Wherigo\\kit. You can now grab the new GWZ for your cartridge and upload it to Wherigo.com.

 

Have fun!

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Thank you Ranger Fox!!! I was assisting with building a kit cartridge when he tried to upload and got the error message. Thank you for trouble shooting!

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Every time I attempt to sign in to Kit - I get a Server Error in '/' Application error and it hangs up.

 

I have tried 2 different computers, rebooted, resigned in etc. - still no go. I therefore don't think is is something at my computer. Have I done something wrong somewhere or is the site down?

 

Thanks

HwyGuy

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I restarted it two hours ago. Try it now.

 

Later, I'll need to figure out what's not getting disposed.

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I have done a simple point to point to point cartridge in Kit.  The built in Emulator works fine.  But when I either compile it or just zip it and take it into either Earwigo or Builder and immediately run their emulators, I  get errors.  I am not too worried about the ones in Builder, but I do want to do some add-ons in Earwigo. 

When I run the emulator in Earwigo I always get the error as shown in the screen shot.  I have renames zones and/or added media to change the number of lines in the lua file but the emulator always states it is line 502 where the error occurs. 

I believe all the zonepoints have the zone coordinates centered inside them.

Since I haven't changed anything between emulator runs, I have no idea how to proceed.  I have restarted and rebooted between attempts as well.

 

Thanks

HwyGUY

Langley Murals errors.png

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Finally figured this problem out.  I re-entered the zones on a new cartridge in Kit, saved a new lua file and then saved a lua file from the Earwigo cartridge I had the problem with earlier. Whew!

Going through the two lua files - I quickly realized that the zonepoints had not been present in the first transfer from Kit.  I suppose that is the indexing problem that the emulator didn't like. 

I did a cut and paste of the zonepoints for each zone from the Kit lua to the Earwigo lua and the emulator works just fine.

And we do this for fun?? lol

Thanks

HwyGuy

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By the way, I'm almost to the point where I can get some comments on Kit v2.  The major reason for the overhaul is so I can open source the project, allowing for others to contribute.  For that, I had to do a lot of cleanup in the back end so I could have unit tests to verify contributions won't break anything.

Externally, I'm moving everything to a panel on the left so I can organize things.  I'm not sure I like that idea over the pop-up that Kit currently uses, which is why I'll need some comments and suggestions.  In the screen shots I'm including, you can see a blue floating window.  This is help text that you can see if you move over the green question marks.  Everything in this version of Kit has help text, which should greatly assist people in building cartridges, telling them what everything is for and what restrictions there are.  You can also see in the location details screen shot that I've added a circle around each zone to show the proximity radius.

I had most of the back end and unit tests done already as I worked on it off and on since the summer.  I created the UI up to this point over the holiday, and everything on the map was from this evening.  Viewing cartridges is almost done (the linear Q&A kit is done, but the Lights Out kit still has a little left).  After that, I'll have to work on creating and editing cartridges.  I've no idea about a release date as my vacation is almost over, so I'll have to go back to work again.

Since Kit was originally created over my Christmas vacation and I've been working on v2 over the same holiday break, I figured I'd post something to show what I've been working on.

kitv2_20171231_input.jpg

kitv2_20171231_proximity.jpg

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Took a look at the Kit, but things don't seem to run as expected. I've tried a lights out type cache. When testing in the emulator, Group A (with 3 zones) completes without meeting requirements of going to 3 zones (A, B, C) and answering questions. The message just pops up and say completed group A message.

Also, dragging zones around doesn't seem to update in the emulation. All I see is what I first ran. I can even change the creator name--no update in emulation.

I'm new to development, and maybe don't know some of the details with some of these apps. Maybe the emulator (http://webwigo.net/) doesn't work properly, but I'm looking for a dev solution that I can easily use from start to finish.

Maybe only QandA works in the Kit?

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For the Lights Out kit, did you set the number of zones that must be completed?  The idea behind Lights Out is you only have to visit a certain number of zones within a group before that group is complete and the next group is shown.

You can't drag zones in the emulator.  In Kit, after you drag a zone, you should save the cartridge before pushing it to the emulator.  I hope your browser isn't somehow caching the last cartridge made from Kit, either.

Here's the way Kit sends the cartridge to Webwigo (which happens when you click the link to view the cartridge in Webwigo): a token is created in Kit that says Kit should send that cartridge when asked.  The token is valid for only a short time.  Kit then sends the browser to Webwigo, with a URL (including token) from where to request the cartridge from Kit.  Webwigo loads, sees the URL, and tries to read in a cartridge from that URL.  Kit sees the token, knows it's valid, and sends the cartridge to Webwigo.

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1 hour ago, Ranger Fox said:

For the Lights Out kit, did you set the number of zones that must be completed?  The idea behind Lights Out is you only have to visit a certain number of zones within a group before that group is complete and the next group is shown.

You can't drag zones in the emulator.  In Kit, after you drag a zone, you should save the cartridge before pushing it to the emulator.  I hope your browser isn't somehow caching the last cartridge made from Kit, either.

Here's the way Kit sends the cartridge to Webwigo (which happens when you click the link to view the cartridge in Webwigo): a token is created in Kit that says Kit should send that cartridge when asked.  The token is valid for only a short time.  Kit then sends the browser to Webwigo, with a URL (including token) from where to request the cartridge from Kit.  Webwigo loads, sees the URL, and tries to read in a cartridge from that URL.  Kit sees the token, knows it's valid, and sends the cartridge to Webwigo.

  • Yes I had set the number of zones to complete to 3 in the group. I also had 3 zones in the group.
  • I moved zones in kit, not the emulator
  • I also saved many times after editing while trying to test--thinking this might solve it.

Seem to be a caching issue. I just tried again and everything was updated--having done nothing but hit "test emulation".

How long do you need to wait to be able to test updates to cartridges? Hopefully not hours.

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2 hours ago, Wæki3_KL6 said:

How long do you need to wait to be able to test updates to cartridges? Hopefully not hours.

It should have been instant, once you saved the cartridge.

I'll take a look when I get the chance.  Tonight, I must work some overtime to finish some side work I didn't have an opportunity or time to complete at work.  Tomorrow night is an event, which will knock me out for the rest of the evening due to how early I have to get to bed due to my long commute.  So Friday might be the first evening I'll have free, then I'll get back to work on Kit v2.  After I release a demo of Kit v2, I want to see if I can add a kit type that will let you do anything you want, but a kit like that will take a pretty good amount of time to complete.  At some point in there, I need to catch up on the last few weeks' of cache logs, then close to a thousand caches I found back in the first part of September.  Good thing I'm single or I'd never get all the work done...

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Would you like to see a preview of Wherigo\\kit v2?  Please feel free to give me feedback.  It's important people tell me what's dumb about it early on.

Here's a temporary URL: http://wherigo2.rangerfox.com 

Some things to know, including disclaimers:

  • The site automatically updates when I pull changes into the main code branch.
  • I'd rather not copy your cartridge over.  If you're really nice about it and I have time, I'll probably do it.
  • This is a work in progress.  I make no guarantees the site will work or be available 100% of the time.
  • The site won't be available after I finish it.  Don't expect to access it from that URL for too long.
  • This is test data, so nothing will be retained after the release.
  • This is still in its early stages.  I'm concentrating on the builder first, then the rest of the site will follow.  That said, you can create, delete, and update almost everything from the builder (but you can't upload pictures and mp3s at the moment).
  • The cartridge selection page looks bad (the first one you'll see).  No kidding.  I created it only so I could select cartridges.  Click on one.  Something will be done about the selection page later.
  • Feedback is important.
  • There are some horrible things regarding the script that provides cartridge information.  I know about that and it will be cleaned up at some point.
  • Anyone who would like to help with the site is welcome to join.  This will be full open source later.
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Quote

{"readyState":4,"responseText":"{\"Success\":false,\"ErrorID\":1,\"ErrorMessage\":\"Please log in.\",\"Result\":null,\"ResultDataType\":null}","responseJSON":{"Success":false,"ErrorID":1,"ErrorMessage":"Please log in.","Result":null,"ResultDataType":null},"status":401,"statusText":"Unauthorized"}

Sorry :-(

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You, uh, shouldn't have needed to log in.  I pulled the site at work, too, and didn't have an issue.  How did you get that?  What would happen if you refreshed the page?

I do know I was working on the site then, so it's possible you might have requested it during one of its publications.  I think I'm done with the site tonight as I made two changes to Kit v2 and then messed with the image resizer on Kit v1 and published that as well.  At times, I'm a productive vulpine.

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Oh, don't use Internet Explorer.  I've only been validating the v2 site against Firefox and Chrome at the moment.  IE will come later as it's its own circle of torture.

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Okay, there: I fixed it for Internet Explorer, if that's what you're using.  So much for making use of display:grid in CSS since IE doesn't seem to support it.

Things would be much simpler if Firefox and Chrome were all there were.

Anyway, you should notice Kit v2 is far faster than v1 at doing things.  That's nice, but it's the result of doing things in the browser and not involving the server that often.

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8 hours ago, Ranger Fox said:

How did you get that?

Right click the link and open in new tab.

Firefox 52.4.1 (32-bit) and Seamonkey 2.48. Sorry.

Chrome worked. Yes, looks much faster than v1. And LOTS to choose from. I'll have a better look around before adding any more.

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Wow, the new kit 2.0 looks great! I like the new features and layout. The help bars (question marks) I think work really well too. It is also nice that the page works a lot faster. I like the option of having non-visible zones. Only feedback idea I could think of was to maybe change the color of the waypoint pin if a zone is NOT visible. Maybe a bright color or an eye crossed out? The idea being to give some of the less tech-savvy people a big heads up that the zone is not visible. Just an idea though, I could also see reasons for just leaving it as too.

I will probably have more feedback once the site becomes more available. Looks like it is just in the viewing stage for cartridges right now? I wasn't sure if I had missed anything.

Thanks for putting together such cool tools like these for the geocaching community. We are all spoiled by your talents.

Btw, I recently did a check on project gc to see the total wherigos published worldwide for 2017 and it was upto 3314. This is 800 more than any previous year. I would be interested to see how much of this is thanks to kit. 

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On 16/01/2018 at 0:38 PM, Ranger Fox said:
  • Feedback is important.

 

 

The selection page - to speak the obvious, one would need a bit more information so they know what they're opening up rather than click and hunt. But you already knew that.

The left-side menu - I see what you mean. The map dominates the browser window and the actual work area is cram-jam over on the left quarter of the screen. At the moment, the left-side frame is a fixed width, so one workaround might be to have the frame-column so you can drag to re-size. Or, which is a bit more coding, have it slide on and off the screen - sort of like the geocaching.com/map/ navigation pane.

The zone groups is an interesting idea. I don't know if that's something new or is it common in Wherigo (there's none like that around here that I've seen yet).

My first impressions (ie just wondering out loud) in no particular order...

Will each kit offer something different? So far, the ones I've had a look at are marked as either tour or puzzle... then the player is led through a series of dialogues and questions. So how will this differ from kit v1?

Assuming there is a difference, or more control, will these be more like templates into which I enter my coordinates and messages and things?

Say, for example (and this is a real possibility), say I want wrong answers to send the player back to the beginning (or some other zone). I guess I'd call this 'directed program flow' where the adventure is determined by user input. Will kit v2 be able to work with something like that?

Or say, in a Wherigo with a larger number of zones, I want three zones visible at any given time (the current one, the one before, and the one after). You know, help people so they don't get lost. Will v2 be able to do that?

Will v2 support tasks and/or objects?

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not making demands or passing judgment on what's there. I see a lot of potential in what you have so far. I'm just trying to understand and anticipate the things to come. To date, I'm very satisfied with Kit v1. So there's no question I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with in Kit v2.

 

Edited by 10011010
:-)
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Yeah, the selection page isn't anywhere close to finished.  I just put that in there so I could let people go between different cartridges.  That page is perhaps only 5% done.  I'm trying to the hardest thing--the builder itself--first.

If people can resize the left column to make it wider, what would occupy that additional space?  (I'll cover that at the bottom of this reply.)

The zone groups have always been a part of the Lights Out kit.  Perhaps I should now just call it a "location group" kit or something because "Lights Out" doesn't translate well.  It's a kit that makes groups of zones available.  Players can choose which zones they visit in which order and the author can choose if all or some are required.  When I first came out with that kit a couple years ago, I considered giving authors the option to say how many times a player could attempt a question.  This would mean a player could possibly fail to complete the cartridge if he or she gives too many wrong answers.

Yes, each kit would offer something different.  The original idea for Wherigo\\kit and the primary reason it's actually called that, is my belief that I can remove a lot of the complexity of creating cartridges if some ready-made kits were available.  The kits are templates.  Want to create a linear Q&A cartridge?  Use that kit.  Want to create an adventure cartridge?  Use that one.  Want to make something like Battleship?  Here's a kit.  By removing a lot of the options, you can offer a simple and clean UI for creating just that one type of cartridge.  The complexity and learning curve for the author drastically decreases.  The linear Q&A kit has the lowest learning curve over anything anyone could make in any available Wherigo builder.  In practice, I believe this approach works if you want a builder to make Wherigo more accessible and easier to create, but in exchange, I realized it exacts a hefty price on the one creating the tool.  For Kit v2, I'm trying to separate things out into kit-specific script and utilities I can use regardless of the kit, which should do a little to decrease the repetition inherent in creating additional kits.  However, since the UI and kit demands are different per kit, I think that means that for each kit, I might still have to write a lot of things from scratch.  I need to come up with a way to make it more efficient for developers to create kits without having to rewrite a UI and back end objects each time.  This is the mess I'm getting into with wanting to expand kit, but not giving up on this kit or template idea (with the exception of the freeform kit, covered towards the end of my reply).  Yes, it would be easier if I just created a web-based builder that could do anything, but this is at the cost of increasing the learning curve.  But then I'd just be creating a friendlier-looking version of Earwigo, so I shouldn't bother.

The original offering of Kit v2 will not be that different from Kit v1.  Since I'm making everything again in a way to handle other developers (unit tests) and kits (UI separation), I have to remake what v1 offers before I can exceed v1.  Some things will be better, such as a more helpful interface and the ability to upload up to a combined total file size worth of audio.  Adding tasks might be good, though.

The kits are like cartridge templates.  That's what they were always supposed to be.  There were supposed to be more after the initial release, but I then got involved in developing the Wherigo Foundation site and never went back to Kit.  If we ever want Wherigo to progress from where it is now, I know I'll have to go back to focusing on the Wherigo Foundation.  By open sourcing Kit, I hope to elicit the help of anyone interested.  Same, really, for the Wherigo Foundation site in the future, Wherigo scoring mechanic, multiplayer, and the Wherigo Invaders project after that.  Only through open sourcing the projects themselves and having the community support itself would I even be able to think about handling running Wherigo while simultaneously holding a full-time job.  Honestly, running Wherigo should be Groundspeak's responsibility, and I think it's absolutely foolish to entertain handing it over when I can't concentrate on it for even a few hours each day.  But is, say, 5% really better than 0%?  I'm worried that my meager free time would be insufficient to the task, thus damaging the situation worse than it is.  So I figure if I can make the projects such that they can eventually be taken over by the community, that might be the only way to sustain this.  And I'm not right for employment at Groundspeak because of several really fun reasons.  So that's my thinking and I know it's a huge tangent.

I did consider allowing the author to send players to certain zones based on their answers.  For a linear cartridge, I think that's a bad idea as it'll just repeat.  However, if the author defined a bunch of zones and just sent the player through them based on answers, it might work out.  Kit would control which zones were active or inactive at any given time.  As the author of the kit, I'd have to write some logic to make sure there's at least one permutation that would take the player from the start to the final zone.  I'd then have to deal with all the dead ends.  How am I going to present that to the author?  What does the author do with a dead end?  Do I also create a graph that shows all the permutations for the author to visualize?  (I'd probably end of calling it a "Chutes and Ladders" kit, but I think I'd have to do research to make sure that term would be understood in several different regions.)

As for your idea about having three zones visible at a time, if I haven't driven home the mindset yet, I'll take this as an example.  What would that look like in the cartridge to a player?  If you see zones labeled "Freedom Statue", "Cute Windmill", and "Picturesque Bench", which one should you go to next?  Okay, you just came from the bench.  But why is it still active?  Is there anything more to be done there?  As an author, would I hear people complain, "I went back to the bench, but nothing happened?  Am I doing something wrong?"  And if the next zone if B, what confusion might there be if C was visible and closer to the player than B?  Wouldn't the player expect something to happen if he or she went to C first?  How would I design a kit to remove this from even being a problem so the author can create the cartridge without having to consider it might be a problem and the player not even know that was a problem to begin with?  I want to make sure people have full confidence that if they use a kit to create a cartridge, it will be playable on any device even if they didn't test it out in the field.  If Kit is supposed to be an entry-level (later to include mid-level) builder, anything we do through Kit needs to be solid, dependable, and drop-dead simple to understand.  I don't mind rating kits by complexity in creating cartridges--that's fine--but I do want to make sure people without a background in Wherigo can come in, not feel overwhelmed, create some simple cartridges, gain confidence, and try more things out.

I do want a kit with tasks and objects.  I think I can add a task to the linear Q&A kit, but I think I'll call it a "checklist" or "to do list" instead because I think that name is easier for people to understand (much the way you'll notice "location" is used exclusively instead of "zone" in Kit v2).  As for objects, we will have to come up with a situation where objects would have a use in a straight linear Q&A situation.  They start having a use when you have a few zones available and are telling a story, such as to visit certain characters and collect objects from them.  I feel the moment we introduce objects in a cartridge is the moment we'll have to introduce if/then logic statements.  The complexity to create a cartridge just went up a notch (not to mention for me to code what will turn into the lua script).

 

----

My long range plan is to shoot for the moon and make what I call a freeform kit.  Once people get the hang of the simpler kits, the freeform one will let them do a lot more.  But with the added flexibility comes complication for both the author and me, the developer.  As an example of the help I want to put into Kit, the freeform kit would prevent authors from putting a message or input after one they're showing.  They have to go into the message or input and say, "when the person does this, do that."  To that end, the map section of Kit will actually become a work area.  When people are creating these logic trees, I'll use the map space for that visualization, then flip back to the map when authors are working with zones.  That's the plan, at least.  Of course, this might mean people could design a cartridge where players might not be able to complete it.  So, that's a problem right there.  Anyway, instead of waiting until the freeform kit is complete, I might release a piece at a time, as I'm done with it.  That sure beats waiting until I manage to create it all.  And if other people want to help code Kit, they're welcome to do so.  I have it all up on Visual Studio Team Services.

One other idea I will need to put into practice is making all my arcade cartridges into their own kits.  The workspace area would be instrumental for that.  For example, for Cacher Pursuit, based on Trivial Pursuit, I can use the work area as a place to make and share questions.

 

-----

I expect it to take until April before I have a good baseline release of Kit v2 done, then I'll do continued updates until the end of the year.  After this year, I'll reassess where I need to put my time: Kit, Wherigo Foundation, or something else.  This is only if my workplace doesn't put me in a situation where I can give them several weeks of extra overtime to help my coworkers.  I overdid it last year and didn't get anything personal done because of it.  I'm hoping it won't happen too often this year.  And I need to make sure I get close to or pass 90K caches this year, too.  (I have too much to do.  It's good that I'm single.)

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First things first, thank you for the detailed response.

Let's see if I can offer anything worthy.

 

* If people can resize the left column to make it wider, what would occupy that additional space?

You've said more than once that you were not completely sold on moving the dialog boxes of Kit 1 to the menu area on the left in Kit 2. I was working under the assumption one of the reasons was crowded space. An adjustable area creates a wider, more document-like, as opposed to vertically-oriented, work space. However, if the main concern is the click-through click-back tunneling then that's harder to solve - even the latest office suites use that and often have toolbars replacing toolbars until new users get understandably lost.

[[ side note bug report :: Select a Kit > Location Timeline > A location with a question > Action > click question > cancel out with red x. Now you can't cancel out of the location details. I've tried it on a few. ]]

 

* I considered giving authors the option to say how many times a player could attempt a question. This would mean a player could possibly fail to complete the cartridge...

Increasing the time delay between attempts amounts to the same problem. However... a spin-off of this idea could be multiple responses to repeated wrong answers terminating in a default. Eg.
Wrong 1: try again
Wrong 2: oops
Wrong 3: Really?
Wrong 4: there's only two options, try the other one
Wrong 5: check the prescription on your glasses
Wrong 6: what planet are you from
Wrong 7: go away
Wrong 8: get a life
Wrong 9: (only the correct answer button/option is available; in the case of open ended, the answer is pre-filled)

 

* my belief that I can remove a lot of the complexity of creating cartridges if some ready-made kits were available. The kits are templates.

Yes. However...

* The linear Q&A kit has the lowest learning curve over anything anyone could make in any available Wherigo builder.  In practice, I believe this approach works if you want a builder to make Wherigo more accessible and easier to create, but in exchange, I realized it exacts a hefty price on the one creating the tool.

While I agree in principle, I think I might add that creating a builder is a hefty proposition period. A builder has to have an interface regardless of its usability (or lack thereof). Making it user friendly leans on creativity (or to put it in a less flattering light, betrays others lack of imagination). Which raises the question...

Theoretically/hypothetically... if you were going to create something that could import cartridges, whether complete or not, how might that impact what you're doing in terms of kits/templates from both the front and back end points of view? And with that thought in mind, would that alter the shape or direction you're currently pursuing. A loaded question, I'm sure, and probably one you've considered at some point. And maybe it's even redundant, futile, moot, but, it might be a good time to revisit it: if you were to import a freeform cartridge today, right now, how would you display it for easiest comprehension? That, of course, is rhetorical and requires no response. When seeking answer, often it's enough to phrase a question.

 

* I need to come up with a way [...] for developers to create kits without having to rewrite a UI and back end objects each time.

To accomplish that, your UI and back end will have to handle anything a Wherigo can do. Without the universal, everything becomes ad hoc. The compromise would be to impose limitations: kits can do a,b,c but not x,y,z.

 

* if I created a web-based builder that could do anything... then I'd just be creating a friendlier-looking version of Earwigo, so I shouldn't bother.

If you were just reinventing the wheel I would agree with you. But. Once upon a time I was involved in an online/offline game that in order to expand its capabilities a player needed a small utility to manage ever-changing configurations. Consequently, about twenty community-built flavors of this utility were made available to players. Each had their strengths and weaknesses but none were perfect. The world could have survived fine without yet another one. But I did it anyway. I removed the errors of those that came before me, added features and flexibility, and it became the only one anybody used. All of which is to say, that a template based system that can be flagged to work at beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels of understanding is not exactly cloning earwigo, even if the outcomes were comparable.

 

* I have to remake what v1 offers before I can exceed v1.

Not necessarily. Naturally you want v2 to be able to replicate v1 but that doesn't mean v2 has to stand on v1's shoulders.

 

* Only through open sourcing the projects themselves and having the community support itself would I even be able to think about handling running Wherigo while simultaneously holding a full-time job.

Absolutely. No man is an island. But before I could say more I have to admit to being out of my depth regarding a few of your comments in this vein. No worries, the tangent is welcome. At best, right now though, the most I could offer is analogous perspective... but that would be privately, not in a public forum.

 

* Chutes and Ladders

Yes, now that you describe it like that, that's what I meant. However, your explanation is a good one. Perhaps this is one case that is not suited to a ready-made kit... or at least not before free form because it asks the builder to take responsibility for the chaos.

 

* aims and objectives: bullet proof simple (and beyond)

Understood. Thank you.

 

* As for objects, we will have to come up with a situation where objects would have a use in a straight linear Q&A situation.

I can think of a situation to use an object without a task, that can be ignored.

Eg. Zone X is a checkpoint zone - something to keep the player from straying off course but serves little other purpose. Upon entering Zone X a player is given bird seed and has the opportunity of feeding the pigeons (whether or not they see pigeons in the cartridge). They can stay there feeding birds for the rest of the day and/or they can move on when ready.

Anything more complicated requires if/then consequence.

Eg. Zone X is a checkpoint zone. You impose a prohibition: Do not feed the pigeons. If they ignore the bird seed they are free to carry on. If they feed the pigeons anyway, something should probably result. So, we're saddled with the added complexity.

> the map section of Kit will become a work area.

I like it. Acknowledging the problems you note, but it's sounding very good.

 


* I have too much to do.

I can relate. Never enough hours in the day.

 


Today I did a Wherigo that had nested zones - smaller zones within a much larger zone. That's about as sophisticated as I've seen around here. Most everything else has been more or less linear in nature. I recognize now there is far more to wherigos than I've experienced first hand.

 

Thank you again.

 

 

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Let's see...

* Additional space
I'll figure something out.  

What everyone is seeing is an extremely early version of Kit v2, showing things as I develop it.  If anyone is interested in that sort of thing--watching software as it morphs into a final version--this is right up your alley.  I've been keeping track of the UI work in a changelog, but haven't linked to it from the site.  It's in the same spot as Kit v1: http://wherigo2.rangerfox.com/news/changelog.aspx.  The changelog only features the UI because I completed the new back end up to perhaps 85% sometime in the summer of 2017.  I got wrapped up in work, then the haunt photography, then the holidays, so didn't start on the UI work until the end of December.  (You can also tell some gaps in the end of December because I began playing and finished the game Hollow Knight.)

I fixed the issue regarding canceling out of the new input.  Funny thing: there was a "to do" comment in my code saying pretty much the same thing as I hadn't yet gotten to that.  Well, I got to that.  However, you'd have to click the delete link to get back.  That red "x" in the upper-right of the panel will later be replaced by something better, such as a pair of left arrows and placed in the upper-left of the panel.  That will take a while to get around to as it's not as important.

* A time delay for question attempts
That would have to sink in with me.  Perhaps after the Kit v2 builder can make anything the v1 builder can, I can look at changing things around.  For now, I want to finish the v2 builder and site, then take a few weeks off the project.

* Importing cartridges
I can't even imagine importing existing cartridges into Kit.  It's impossible at this time because of how limited Kit is and how the cartridges are represented in its code.  The v1 cartridge objects closely mirror the kit itself.  The Groundspeak builder reads from the lua script every time you open the cartridge.  It's a wonderful parser.  Kit doesn't read from a lua script at any time.

* How would I create a freeform kit?
Well, the work area would swap between the map and other things.  I have some ideas, but before I code anything, I would draw out all the screens and permutations.  I drew out things for the v1 part of Kit v2 until I was satisfied.  Once I start on things unique to v2, I'll have to draw them all out.

* Eclipsing v1 and the freeform kit
My short-term goal is to have v2 just be a spiffed-up version of v1.  The bulk of the changes, actually, are all under the hood as the architecture between v1 and v2 is completely different--and v2 does a ton more things in script.  For those using Kit, the v2 transition shouldn't seem like that big a deal.  After I have v2 where v1 was, I want to add a few of my arcade cartridges as kits, then some of the more popular play anywhere cartridges.  This will give authors a few more templates.  After that, I want to make the most difficult kit: the freeform kit.  If I succeed in that, I can then work backwards to make other kits by taking the freeform kit's coding objects and prepopulating them with other kit data.

* Too much to do
I make sure to take a lot of breaks and do other things so I don't burn out.  This is even more important because I do the same type of thing with Kit as I do in my day-to-day job of developing a laboratory information management system, among other tertiary projects at work.  One of the breaks I took when working on the Wherigo Foundation site was a hike each Saturday in a month, placing a multi.  At the end of the month, I had a 42 mile long multi.  The cache was published and might be the longest hike for a cache on the eastern seaboard.  But after the hike, I was ready to continue working.

* Adding audio to cartridges
Here's a thought exercise.  If I were to add audio to cartridges, what are the considerations?  Well, perhaps the full audio clip should play before the next action is performed.  Wherigo doesn't have an event for when an audio clip finishes, so I'll have to add a timer.  I'll also have to figure out how I can get the length of an audio clip.  Or, perhaps, the author might want the clip to play in the background and have the actions continue.  And I should allow authors the ability to stop audio clips from playing, if any currently are.  That's what I'll soon be considering for adding audio to cartridges.  Unfortunately, that means I'll have to modify the lua script generation code, and that's not a fun thing--especially because I need to retain backwards compatibility with Groundspeak's builder.  (Things would be easier if I didn't have to do that, but I think it's valuable to have.)

Anyway, I'll publish the update to Kit v2 and that'll be it tonight.  The next thing I plan to work on is uploading images and audio to cartridges.

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Very good. Thanks for taking the time to share your progress and the thoughts behind the work. Great stuff!

 


Note. Re: audio. Player mute button?

 

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Ha, ha!  No player mute button.  Just put your phone into silent mode. 

If I hear a complaint that someone created a cartridge where you have to listen to the Nyan Cat song for two hours in order to get the final coordinates, I'll add a player mute button.  (This is an attempt at light-hearted humor.)

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I must live a sheltered life or something. I had to look up the Nyan Cat song (71 million views at 10 hours; the short version has 155 million views) :wacko: Thank goodness for built-in volume control :-)

 

Edited by 10011010
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I've been trying to build my very first Wherigo this week and had zero luck until I found Kit. (I tried Urwigo and was completely stumped, even after watching their tutorial.) The Q & A template was exactly what I needed to lead cachers to the more interesting sites in my town. I loaded the gwc file onto my Oregon 450 today and it worked perfectly, except for one thing.

The Oregon has a little screen and the question box covers most of it. I had to scroll down to see all the multiple choice answers. Is there a way to fix that? My questions are short, so there's a lot of blank space after them.

Thanks.

Edited by Path Pacer
Edit: Oops, never mind. I think I found it.
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2 hours ago, Path Pacer said:

The Oregon has a little screen and the question box covers most of it. I had to scroll down to see all the multiple choice answers. Is there a way to fix that? My questions are short, so there's a lot of blank space after them.

There are only a few things that can be done as most of the UI for Wherigo is fixed.  You said your question is short, so that's good.  If you're using an image, you might want to use one that's shorter.  (If you have to use a tall image, perhaps you can have a message box in front of the question and use that image in the message.)  If you're not using an image and you have only three possible answers, there's not much else that can be done as we as authors can't control the rest of the UI. 

As an aside, that's the main reason reason Kit v1 only allows three possible answers for a multiple-choice question: on Garmins, anything beyond three answers would require people to scroll, there's nothing to indicate that, and I've been in too many situations where I've observed people don't know to do that.  (Kit v2, however, does remove this limitation, but I should have mentioned the three answer suggestion in the helpful green question mark icon.)  Also, you can't have long multiple choice answers because a few Wherigo Player apps don't wrap the answer in the list, so the answer is clipped on the screen--that's why there's a maximum length set up on the text box.

I'm glad Kit was able to help you.  It has done its job well.

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I noticed you can change the size of the box with the drag option in the corner. I did that, but haven't tried it out in my Oregon yet. We'll see if that makes a difference. Thanks.

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Changing the size of a text box in Kit does not have anything to do with the cartridge on the Oregon.

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Odd, because it does seem to have worked. Anyway, I finished my cartridge and tested it with both the Oregon and a phone. It worked perfectly in each and was published today. Thanks! I don't think I could have done it without Kit.

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