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Ranger Fox

The Wherigo Foundation

94 posts in this topic

I’d like to introduce everyone to what I’ve previously code named “Project Foundation”. I know everyone has been curious and I thank you for your patience.

 

The Wherigo Foundation

The Wherigo Foundation (WF) is a group I created with most of the independent Wherigo application developers, both past and present. The foundation’s goal is for Wherigo developers to come together and focus their efforts so we can work on improving and developing Wherigo. In the short term, that means better tools: player, API (so the player can download cartridges just as easily as the geocaching app downloads caches), and (because of the API) an updated site. I estimate this work will take two years beyond the first release. After that, we get to turn to what I’ve always considered my goal: Wherigo as a platform (referred to by me as Wherigo v2.0).

 

 

Groundspeak

As you all know, Wherigo is Groundspeak’s intellectual property (IP): they own the patents, trademarks, domain, etc. I’ve been working with Groundspeak to license their IP to make this official. However, the process is taking longer than anticipated and we all understand that success is not guaranteed. Considering what I would like to do with Wherigo (v2.0 will be drastically different from the static screen you know today), making sure everything is legally above-board is an extremely good idea. In return, I would hope to gain access to their site’s database so I can migrate all cartridges and logs to the new site. Also, I would hope to obtain some of the specification documents and Wherigo Player core so the foundation’s members won’t have to rely fully on reverse engineering everything as everyone has done in the past. There are a lot of advantages in trying to partner with Groundspeak on this endeavor.

 

This sort of licensing is new for Groundspeak as no one has approached them to license their IP in such a way before. Partnering this way would give the foundation legal (and some financial) backing and Groundspeak some much-needed control over their own product. There are a lot of options and questions about how best to proceed so everyone, the community especially, is happy.

 

 

What to Expect

The Wherigo Foundation is still some time away from finishing the player (Q1 2014, perhaps; those working on the player will be able to give a better estimate). The site and API (both my responsibility) won’t be needed until we have a player that can utilize them.

 

I wanted to use this time as a period to get comments on the things we have made significant progress on. However, it would be a better idea to finish the IP licensing work before continuing with further announcements because that will determine what course this will take as well as the branding and general site design. As I’ve mentioned, October is an extremely busy time for me, so I might have to pick this up in November if something can’t be worked out by then.

 

So, now, you know a lot is on the horizon. The developers are organizing, we are discussing options with Groundspeak, and hopefully we can reach some sort of arrangement and I can finally kill that “Is Wherigo Dead?” thread. That’s what this is all about, right? Killing one forum thread the circuitous way?

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This is extremely wonderful news but of course brings up a million questions. I will refrain from asking them at this time and just continue to monitor this forum and continue my quest to fill the geocaching map with WIGO icons. Thank you for the announcement and I look forward to the new and improved WIGO!

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Hi Ranger Fox and team,

 

Thanks for the update and for all your hard work.

 

Geoff aka Tyreless

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These are good news!

 

But perhaps it will be useful to do some brainstorming before programming new players and so one. All around the world there are cartridge builders with lots of good ideas.

 

docfred

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This is good news. I have been wondering for some time if is worth doing another Wherigo, especially given Garmin's latest GPS's don't have it, and I don't have a phone capable of running them so I was beginning to give up on them.

The main thing I ask is please can we have a platform independent layer (where the interface to that layer is published and freely available so that developers who build a device to run Wherigos, know exactly what is expected of them), so that it works the same on all devices (I know this may be easier said that done but I'm sure like others, trying to round up as many devices as possible or ask people to try a Wherigo on their device is a real hassle)

 

Keep up the good work, and thanks

A_Snail

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We're using Xamarin to create the new player. With it, we can deploy to iOS, Android, and Windows Phone all in one shot. charlenni is the one heading up player development while I'm creating the site and API.

 

I'm aiming for an iterative development of the player. When we first launch the player, it should include the basic Wherigo Player UI you know from everywhere else. On top of that, you'll be able to search for and download cartridges onto the player, plus the player should perform the cartridge unlocking/completing behind the scenes. This is what I'll accept as the first release of the player. After that, we'll get a little more organized and choose the next features from a list. What I think would benefit us as a group (charlenni, please correct me if I'm wrong) is to find someone who is skilled at creating app user interfaces in Xamarin with C#. Eventually, we'll reach Wherigo v1.1, which I've always defined as the regular player with the site's API fully implemented. You'll be able to log cartridges, upload pictures, run test cartridges, etc. I also want mp3s to play reliably between the devices.

 

The end goal of this project is what I term as Wherigo v2.0. This includes streaming video, web service calls to external services, a fully customizable UI (also skinning the UI), multiplayer mode (since we're running this on different devices, I believe the web site's API will have to handle coordinating the multiplayer aspects), and more. Wherigo v2.0 is Wherigo as a location-based gaming platform, where you can completely replace the UI with anything you want. As I've said many times, Wherigo v2.0 will take several years after v1.1 to develop (because none of us are full-time on this project) and will necessitate the addition of additional talented people on the app development team. (charlenni is the player project's lead, so he's responsible for his own staffing decisions.)

 

Here's a breakdown of the group and our roles:

Ranger Fox - Founder; Web site and API - project lead

charlenni - Wherigo Player - project lead

matejcik - OpenWIG, Wherigo Player

Mangatome - Wherigo Player

wijnen - Wherigo Player, Python Wherigo Player

sTeamTraen - Earwigo

yourself - Urwigo

kikinoot - Wherigo Online Emulator

Jakuje - Web OS Wherigo Player

AddHam - Graphic Designer

 

We've been discussing, off and on, ideas for the architecture behind Wherigo v2.0. The cartridge's back end structure will be significantly different from v1.1, fixing a few problems and extending capabilities. At the moment, though, I want to concentrate on working towards v1.1 and just getting a release out that addresses two of the biggest concerns: getting a cartridge onto the device and marking it as complete. After this, we can build out the UI and make it pretty (and find a UI developer).

 

In the mean time, I'm continuing to build out the web site and discuss licensing issues with Groundspeak. The API is 100% complete for Wherigo v1.1. I'm purposefully trying to remain off the player project for now because there's enough work on the site to keep me busy for quite a while, including all the content/documentation. If you'll be at the 2nd Annual Hatfield McCoy GeoTrail Event this weekend, if you find me, I'll show you some things. I've yet to decide if I'll spend Monday's holiday geocaching or working on the site. I'm still playing the geocache quota game (continue to one-up my find count from previous years), so I have to find an additional 1,200 caches by the year's end to beat what I found last year (I don't know where to travel to do this as I almost exhausted Nevada of its power trails).

 

Feel free to ask some questions if you'd like. I don't mind. If it's in detail about the player, charlenni or someone on the project will have to answer them.

Edited by Ranger Fox
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The concept sounds very promising. Just as the persons listed above!

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This sounds really really good and professional.

I must salute the effort to take Wherigo ahead.

Unfortunately I don't have knowledge enough to help the team.

In the national forum I announced the project and people are very excited with the news.

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Feel free to include a link here.

 

There are plenty of ways to contribute to this effort. Art, for example. Poor AddHam is the only artist amongst developers. Translations, for another. I created the site from the ground up to be 100% localizable in any language I want. I don't have Portuguese on the site yet and the player app will need translations. QA and testing because you don't want the same person who made the site to be the one testing it. If you like creating tutorials, such as how you can do this and that in a certain builder, you can contribute that way. If we can get a blog started later, we can discuss Wherigo: tips for playing, fun cartridges, creative ideas, and how-tos. Those with a good sense of design might want to join an effort to prevent me from using bad color combinations.

 

When I release the site, you'll see the home page has a Revolutionary War soldier and war background. The idea behind the home page is to have a dozen realistic characters and accompanying backgrounds; a random one will be chosen on page load. I'll be looking for some artists who can contribute other character images.

 

As you can see, there are a variety of ways you can contribute. You don't have to be a programmer.

 

Until the IP license is complete, though, I'll have to limit some of the help I receive on the site because I don't know how the license agreement will affect the site itself. And I probably won't know until November (Groundspeak's schedule is booked in September and I am unwilling to compromise my photography schedule on October weekends). But I don't mind giving a small group the site's URL to provide me feedback and contribute a little non-coding work.

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Translation, that's where I can help!

I'm already in the Portuguese translation group for Groundspeak, count me in then!

One of the forum moderators is an art designer, let's see if he is interested anh has availability to help in that area... I'll contact him.

 

P.S. edit:

concerning translation:, why not ask Groundspeak to add WF translation needs as a new translation project along with Groundspeak other projects? We already translate iOS , Windows and Android Geocaching apps, geocaching.com website, marketing goods, this would be one more and would have the massive attention of all already existing translation teams around the globe...

Edited by MightyReek
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Someone (keogarl) asked some questions in the German forum about Wherigo v2.0. I'll answer them here, too. (No, I don't speak German.)

 

Wherigo v1.1 defines improvements made around the player you're already familiar with. This includes the ability to download and search for cartridges within the app. However, when playing a cartridge, the experience is the same. Wherigo v2.0 defines improvements and additions to the feature itself (I personally define it as Wherigo as a platform). I do not know when we'll start working on v2.0, but as a group, we've been thinking about it. It will take a while, and that's why we're trying for v1.1 so the community can have some improvements in the short term while we create v2.0 in the long term.

 

Because we're adding new features to Wherigo in v2.0 (and modifying the architecture), v2.0 cartridges cannot be played on a v1.0 or v1.1 player. This means the Garmin player is out (because we can't update it and the Garmin GPSr does not include online connectivity). The app should be smart enough to figure out which version the cartridge is and switch between the two, meaning the app can play either and you don't have to know which version it is (so old v1.0 cartridges will be compatible with the new player). I'm playing around with the idea of, perhaps, allowing a cartridge author to choose whether he or she would like to create a v1.1 or v2.0 cartridge and the builder would provide tools accordingly. Do we really want to continue to support building v1.1 cartridges? This is a topic for discussion at a later time.

 

So, what do I want to see in v2.0? Multi-player, external web services, video (this might be a premium feature because I'll have to pay for all that storage), good audio support, and a fully customizable UI (skinning, too). Most likely, when it's time for us to define a feature set, I'll open a thread on this forum to get everyone's suggestions. We'll probably make the architecture changes first, release a basic v2.0 player update, then begin adding features one by one and releasing a player update after each one.

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That sounds great - if needed, count me in for translating (German) and testing.

 

video (this might be a premium feature because I'll have to pay for all that storage)

I always thought that Wherigo not needing an internet connection is one of it's strong points. Streaming and web services should be an option, not a requirement.

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I am interested too at least to be aware what is going on and if I can to help a little bit.

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I always thought that Wherigo not needing an internet connection is one of it's strong points. Streaming and web services should be an option, not a requirement.
All features are optional (though it would be a little difficult to do something without zones). If you don't want to use something that requires an Internet connection, don't use it. There will be an attribute for cartridges that need a cellular signal. Our task, however, is to improve the toolset you can utilize for creating a cartridge. Not everything will be required; use what you want to make the best overall storytelling experience for your players. I'd like to point out that, later, one of Wherigo's strong points might also be in making it easy to have a multiplayer game. So strong points change with time, focus, and what you want out of the experience.
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All features are optional (though it would be a little difficult to do something without zones).

 

Very nice. Having the ablility to use internet is definitely great, but we'll have to bear in mind that some tablets don't have cellular capability, and (at least here in Germany) cellular coverage of forested and rural areas is slow at best. And cartridges without zones? Dialog driven only with a couple of characters sitting in the inventory :-)

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You can't please everyone. Seems to me your priorities are right. Big ups to the Foundation Team! I have no dispute with focussing on mobile technology for Wherigo into the future - definitely the right choice as far as I can predict.

 

Geoff aka Tyreless

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I'd like to point out that, later, one of Wherigo's strong points might also be in making it easy to have a multiplayer game. So strong points change with time, focus, and what you want out of the experience.

 

I could imagine that it would be a good idea to have the opportunity to realize Multiplayer / Connectivity also with Bluetooth and not only via Internet.

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I'd like to point out that, later, one of Wherigo's strong points might also be in making it easy to have a multiplayer game. So strong points change with time, focus, and what you want out of the experience.

 

I could imagine that it would be a good idea to have the opportunity to realize Multiplayer / Connectivity also with Bluetooth and not only via Internet.

 

Absolutely. I would be thrilled to make or play a cartridge where teammates should cooperate on location.

Edited by Mangatome
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Bluetooth has too short a range (10 meters). Wi-fi's maximum useful range outdoors of 100 meters (if even that far) might not be enough for some Wherigo games. This is why I was considering using the cellular network and Wherigo API. At that point, it would even be possible to have a cooperative Wherigo cartridge take place across multiple countries.

 

In effect, what I've considered for the guts of the multiplayer system is this: variables of different scopes with configurable time-to-live values. Currently, all variables are scoped for the local cartridge. With the API, we can have players form groups. Variables through the API would be scoped for just players in that group or across all groups. You get to choose when the values expire, so you could make a bridge that collapses once a day within your game. Anyway, all this hasn't yet been discussed and evaluated by the other members of the foundation; it's just an idea I've been kicking around.

 

I liked the idea of using poker as a demo of the multiplayer system.

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Since I wrote the iOS player, can I be of any help?

Edited by spstanley
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Since I wrote the iOS player, can I be of any help?

Yes, as long as the iOS player is not involved. I know it sounds silly, but I'm serious. Since the player was acquired by Groundspeak, it will not be a good thing for an official Groundspeak app to connect to the WF API before I finish negotiating for the IP license. This was the very reason I did not contact you around Christmas to join the group. I just didn't want to complicate what remains to be a tenuous situation with Groundspeak.

 

I would welcome your help. Send me a personal email and I'll add it to the private email group. I'll also give you a link to the site and API WCF service.

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Since I wrote the iOS player, can I be of any help?

Yes, as long as the iOS player is not involved. I know it sounds silly, but I'm serious. Since the player was acquired by Groundspeak, it will not be a good thing for an official Groundspeak app to connect to the WF API before I finish negotiating for the IP license. This was the very reason I did not contact you around Christmas to join the group. I just didn't want to complicate what remains to be a tenuous situation with Groundspeak.

 

I would welcome your help. Send me a personal email and I'll add it to the private email group. I'll also give you a link to the site and API WCF service.

 

Does that mean the Wherigo 2.0 features won't be available on the iOS Wherigo player? At least not immediately.

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Does that mean the Wherigo 2.0 features won't be available on the iOS Wherigo player? At least not immediately.

If I can't get that intellectual property license from Groundspeak and the legal counsel I hire determines my releasing the site and API would violate Groundspeak's Wherigo patent, the answer is never. Frankly, I don't want to think about this possibility.

 

I think you're confusing two terms, Wherigo v1.1 and v2.0. v1.1 is Wherigo as you know and remember it, but with all the infrastructure in place. You can think of v2.0 as Wherigo redesigned from the ground up, and including all sorts of new toys and enhancements. We're currently working on v1.1, which includes making Wherigo cartridges more accessible to everyone. I don't think we'll start v2.0 until v1.1 has been out for at least a year. We have to implement all the v1.1 features, then have a lot of conversations about Wherigo's architecture. I also have to formalize all new v2.0 features in a document.

 

You'll see both Wherigo v1.1 and v2.0 features in the iOS player. It's just a matter of time. The foundation is working on its own version of a Wherigo player; Mangatome is the lead developer. This version uses a coding library (Xamarin) that makes it possible for us to target iOS, Android, and Windows with the same, common code base. Thus, all players will look and act the same. When we add a feature or fix a bug, it will be deployed to all players. I've added spstanley to the foundation's private email list. While I'll let Mangatome decide how he wants to address the situation of having two iOS players, my personal view on the matter is we'll adopt whichever one is best for our situation and the community. However, the current iOS player must be left out of the foundation's reach until the intellectual property license is dealt with (as the iOS player is now part of Groundspeak's intellectual property).

 

You'll get an iOS player that's capable of handling both Wherigo v1.1 and v2.0 as features come out. This issue with the IP license is delaying my schedule. The site was supposed to have been released to the community for evaluation by now. Instead, it might be two and a half months behind schedule due to the IP issue.

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There are two problems with geolua: you need a internet connection and you could play only a few cartridges. With Wherigo you could play offline and you have a greate community with a lot of cartridges.

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I saw that some time ago, actually. When we start our discussions on Wherigo v2.0, we'll have to discuss a ton of things regarding Wherigo's architecture. The most basic question is if we want to leave Wherigo as an app or run it from an HTML5 interface. (For people wondering about compatibility with older cartridges, if Wherigo remains an app, I will propose having a separate v1.1 engine that is loaded in lieu of the v2.0 engine when a cartridge is read.)

 

There are pros and cons with going with something using HTML5. The pros being centered around ease of presentation, flexibility, and a technology familiar to a broader audience. We could also build a few utilities within the Wherigo app you could access: graphic creation/manipulation for example (yes, I'm aware of the HTML5 canvas). And some cons: limitations, security risks, and problems that could result in the UI looking strange. Anyway, that's at least a year down the line. The community will be made aware of what we're considering before it's final. At least, this is what I'm envisioning if nothing disrupts my plans.

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Oh, by the way, Richman23, this is not to say your suggestion was not appreciated. I don't want anyone on this forum to feel that way. It's such a nice community.

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Still. Waiting. On. Groundspeak. They now pushed it back to January. No, this is not surprising.

 

There are two options: wait until Groundspeak is willing to do something or get an attorney to guide me in avoiding Groundspeak's wrath.

 

For now, though, I get to continue developing and testing the site until it's as complete as anyone could hope for. It's easier to play the waiting game until there's no more work left to do. I can decide after that.

 

(Or this could become an underground thing?)

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Do you know what exactly is protected by IP rights?

 

- The name

- The Wherigo API

- The usage of "zones"

- Any GPS based adventure similar to Wherigo (by an abstract patent)

 

If there is not an abstract patent there would be option 3:

 

- Start with "Wherigo 2.0", but find another name, develop a whole new API but make the transition of old and development of new cartridges as easy as possible for developers. Release the API as public domain so there can be players where the foundation player cannot work. We will lose a lot of old cartridges, but if we are "good enough", at least most active developers will convert their old cartridges.

 

Also I do not understand why OpenWIG and Whereyougo is not sued into non-existence, as they use the WIG-API too.

 

I am interested in Wherigo development too. I adapted Whereyougo (open source version) to use my Bluetooth GPS mouse (only used by me - no release planned yet - as I cannot afford an army of lawyers to fight this ridiculous IP war) and could imagine to do further development in this area.

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(A patent link that works.)

 

As charlenni pointed out, there is a patent. Of course, the name and icon are also protected under copyright law. I still need to figure out if a non-business entity can release a free, competing product. I am less certain about the API, that being the contract between cartridge and player app. There is no API between the player app and the site.

 

Groundspeak doesn't stop the other builders and players because Groundspeak doesn't have anything competing in that space. By allowing these applications, Groundspeak gets to keep Wherigo alive without doing anything. It's a little different when it involves me, however. My main immediate goal is to create an API by which player apps and builders can communicate with the listing service (site) in much the same way as the geocaching API allows a geocaching app to communicate with gc.com. However, for me to do this, I also need to create a listing service because these two are closely tied together. Because of this, what I have will be in direct competition with Groundspeak--something they've never had before. And if everyone adopts the new listing service, that will mean Groundspeak will have no further control over Wherigo. The Wherigo Foundation will have it all: app, builder, listing service, and the API that finally ties them all together. From then on, Groundspeak wouldn't even be needed in the loop. Our actions alone could either improve or wreck their intellectual property--not that they've put anything into it for almost six years.

 

So this is the point of contention. And let's not forget that I'm accessible to Groundspeak. It's easy to tell someone to wait if you're already talking to him or her. And to get around the patent issue, all we have to do is implement Wherigo in such a way that it doesn't violate one of their 73 claims. If we can say, "What we created can't do that," that's it for the patent. The most damaging thing they can do is inform the reviewers not to publish Wherigo geocaches with links to the foundation site. Of course, we can't use Signal, so the mascot spot is open to whoever has the first fun idea.

 

Since we can't do much without a new player app to take advantage of the new Wherigo API, it doesn't hurt to give Groundspeak whatever time they want. My main concern is Groundspeak killing this project with their inaction.

 

By the way, if you want to play around with the site and provide feedback to me directly, please feel free. It's not like I made an effort to hide it from search engines.

 

-----

 

As for Wherigo v2.0, there's a reason we're putting out what I call Wherigo v1.1 before going to that. Most importantly to me, it gives everyone on the foundation's team a sense of who the other is and what they can do. But most important to the community, we're trying to fix the immediate problems with Wherigo before we pursue something that would take a lot more time to do. I'm viewing Wherigo v2.0 as a rebuild of Wherigo from the ground up. We know how people are using it and we all have ideas as to what we'd like to see. If the current model and language still meets our needs, we can continue using it. As you can imagine, this is going to take a lot of time for us to work out--even more so because Wherigo isn't our full-time job. Anyway, if we wanted to remain with the current architecture (that might be easiest), we could just continue to add things until they reach what I term as Wherigo v2.0.

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No further update from Groundspeak on their participation in the foundation. I'll kickstart the conversation with them again later.

 

Currently, we're working to achieve Wherigo v1.0 with the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone apps. v1.0 means something very close to what you see in the emulator, with no online functionality save for maps. Once v1.0 in the apps is stable, we will begin implementing v1.1 features. v1.1 covers using the Wherigo Foundation's API to do everything from search for, view, log, unlock, and download cartridges to maintaining a download queue and working with test versions of your cartridge.

 

Work on the site continues, more features are being added, and some of the user interface will be updated (the cartridge submission process) to make things prettier and a little more organized. We're using the geocaching API to log you in to the site and do a few other things. If you're asked for your cartridge's final coordinates, that's because we can't read unpublished cartridges through the geocaching API. If you would like to play around with the new site, you'll notice I've added the link to my signature line. Feel free to upload and log some cartridges as everything up there right now is test data (thank you to those who have open source cartridges). Suggestions and comments are always welcome (please direct site issues to me).

 

I haven't heard of the online emulator's progress in about a month. I'll have to see how that is going. Later, I want to allow it to connect to the site so cartridge authors can use the online emulator to test their cartridges.

 

Things are continuing to progress. It seems my hopeful release date of August 2013 for the site was a little too optimistic. A huge amount of the functionality was already in place by that time, but I do plan to keep the site in development until two months before one of the player apps is to be released. This two month time period will be used to load cartridges onto the site. If Groundspeak is participating by then, I hope they'll be good enough to transfer the cartridges over to the WF site and use it as their own. If not, we'll have to do this the good ol' fashioned manual way.

 

That Switzerland mega event is really tempting to use to organize a Wherigo Foundation meetup...

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Just chiming in to show my support for all the effort of the Foundation into making this a much more desirable tool to run and build cartridges in. As a creator of a couple of my own, I know the frustrations of managing the backend components, making them all work together (without errors) and dealing with the many unknowns. Thank the stars for more code-savvy users like Geomagician, so willing to lend a hand when needed. Keep it up and try not to let the frustrations of your own struggles get the better of you! There are many out here looking forward to the day when a v1.1 hits the streets. I, for one, have a few tour cartridges in hold pattern until that day arrives...

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Not sure if this is the right thread for this, but: it would be a very nice feature to have more than one savegame per cartridge.

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Not sure if this is the right thread for this, but: it would be a very nice feature to have more than one savegame per cartridge.

Yes, that's a good suggestion and something I had considered. The first version of this could be implemented within the app without involving the Wherigo API and, hence, the web site. But, perhaps, we should have an online save state repository for a player in case s/he has multiple devices? Perhaps everyone will have five online save game slots, with sets of additional slots available for purchase so you can maintain your game saves across multiple devices or with all family members. (If I'm ever going to capture Groundspeak's attention, one of the things I need to consider is the commercialization of Wherigo.)

 

For one version of Wherigo, be it v1.1 or v2.0, I want to allow your friends to join a game you're already playing. For that, I need save states to work across all apps (and the API to receive, temporarily store, and transmit a save state). For now, though, this isn't on the list of required features for v1.1, but it could very easily be a feature update between v1.1 and v2.0 since the two will be separated by a span of a few years.

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Sharing savegames on the web sounds great, but even a couple of slots within the app would be a huge improvement.

 

As a player, I rename and copy savegames at critical stages, but that's really a pain in the ***

As an owner, I avoid tasks for the player where he can truly fail, so he doesn't have to start all over again - with several savegames no problem anymore, in my opinion.

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I have just had a thought, the new updated android app now has an auto save feature, which is great in most cases. But is there a way to disable it as a cart builder? The reason I ask is on some carts such as time trials in the builder the creator was able to disable saving at certain times to prevent cheating, but with the auto save function this is not the case anymore.

 

On the subject of multiple save games it would be handy if we were able to pull info from save files of other carts. So for example a big Wherigo adventure can be split across multiple carts and the progress in cart #1 can effect cart #2, maybe certain items were or werent picked up, or certain variables such as past conversations effect the next cart. But for this to happen cart #2 has to be able to read cart #1's save file to set its variables on its first start up.

 

Hope that makes sense

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Your multiple game save feature is already on the road map for Wherigo v2.0. What you're asking for involves cartridge variable scope via the Wherigo API.

 

Variable Scope

A feature I want to introduce in the Wherigo API during the v1.1 cycle is the concept of variable scope. I do not know yet if we'll make it available to authors during v1.1 or v2.0. Anyway, you'll be able to use the Wherigo API to store variable data on the server. The "scope" means the level of access. You can choose to confine the variable to just that player for that cartridge (pretty much like what you're doing now inside cartridges, but this will allow you to make that value available to that player without a save file), everyone playing as a group for that cartridge (part of the multi-player aspect), all players for that cartridge, just that player for all co-owners' cartridges, everyone playing as a group for all co-owners' cartridges, and all players for all co-owners' cartridges. This will allow you to form a group of authors to tell a story and have the players' data from one chapter available to your author friends when they create an additional chapter in the story.

 

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Now, I'm still working on establishing an agreement with Groundspeak so we can legally work on Wherigo. Part of the delay is due to my lack of a legal and business background.

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Any progress on any front with this effort? Looking forward to new things.

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Any progress on any front with this effort? Looking forward to new things.

The progress I'm working towards is Groundspeak letting the Wherigo Foundation run Wherigo for them. As such, we're still waiting on Groundspeak. I hear they're continuing to get a little nervous about protecting their patent against others. It's anyone's guess as to how long it'll take for Groundspeak to scratch that itch. But at least their busy season has passed.

 

The current situation is a mixed blessing. The great thing about it is we can use this time to continue working on, perfecting, and refining what we've created. It's also a great time for you to review what we've done and provide suggestions and encouragement.

 

I am continuing to develop the Wherigo Foundation site. I know some people from Australia are using the site for their cartridges, so when the time comes to go live, I'll only delete the cartridges associated with my account before loading from Wherigo.com. Please do provide feedback and suggestions.

 

The app developers are continuing to develop and refine their apps. We have a consensus we're not going to spend the time to add API functionality if Groundspeak doesn't make a move on making the site official. It prevents us from wasting our time.

 

So the short answer to your question is we're continuing to work on our projects while waiting for Groundspeak. We haven't stopped, actually. We're trying to accomplish with our tiny volunteer team the same thing a company with a larger full-time staff could. We have enough work ahead of us to last quite a while without Groundspeak having to make a decision. The community's support and encouragement are important, so please do give us feedback.

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I have just found the Wherigo Foundation site and I am really surpised what you have managed to do. It looks much better than the official version. The first question that I thought was if I could migrate my bunch of ~20 cartridges to your site. I would do that immediately and switch the links from my GC.com listings to these. The question is - is it reasonable? Or should I wait for the site to become official. It can last very long...

 

Any response is appreciated.

 

Kiko

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Since other people are using the site to host their cartridges, I do not intend to delete any data from the site except what's associated with my user account as I had originally uploaded all open source cartridges so I could have some test and demo data. As I do not own those open source cartridges, nor do I have permission to use them on the site, they will be removed before the site officially goes live. If I can convince Groundspeak to let this site replace Wherigo.com, I will have access to their database and, by extension of their user agreement, have legal access to host all cartridges.

 

I will say I've noticed the Australian reviewers haven't seemed to question links to the WF site thus far. Your reviewer may be different. Groundspeak does acknowledge the WF site and I do have official permission at the moment to use the Wherigo name and logo on the site.

 

The main purpose behind the site is its API, which lets builder and player apps talk to it. The site will only become vital when the player apps begin connecting to it and allowing in-app searches, downloads, and logging (and that's just a small amount of what the API offers). It would involve quite a large amount of work to add API functionality to the apps. Because of this, the app developers are waiting to see what will happen before investing that amount of time into their apps. That's a very good stance to take. I wouldn't want to chance losing that amount of time, either! However, if we're going to stand a chance at partnering with Groundspeak, I need to have something to show and entice them. The more features and complete the site, the better--and easier it will make it for them to agree to a partnership, provided the other terms are favorable. That's why the cartridge details page looks similar to geocaching.com; I'm trying for a consistent corporate image across both sites, albeit with a few personal touches of my own. If Groundspeak refuses to allow us to use the site, that's fine so long as they continue development of their own site.

 

Let me summarize the situation for you as a cartridge owner. You can host your cartridge on the WF site if you'd like and link your geocaching listings to it, so long as your reviewer permits. If Groundspeak wants the WF site taken down, I'll make sure all cartridge owners can download their cartridges first, so you won't lose anything. The cartridge's completion code will only be good on the WF site, but it's rather pointless on Wherigo.com, anyway. I don't think the majority of people log their Wherigo activity on Wherigo.com, so you won't be losing out on logs (the WF site allows users to copy their logs to any geocache linked to by the cartridge, by the way). The WF site does, however, offer a compelling feature. If you don't want your cartridge available until the geocache is published, the WF site will accommodate you. Just link your cache to the cartridge and don't publish the cartridge. When someone follows the link from the cache page to your cartridge's listing, the WF site will check to see if the geocache has been published. If so, the WF site will automatically publish the cartridge. If not, the person won't be able to access it. There are all sorts of other fun things about the WF site, such as cartridge contributors and the site retaining the previous couple versions of your cartridge's source code. The bottom line is this: it's only worthwhile to use the WF site if you want to take advantage of some of its features or try it out. If you just want somewhere to host your cartridge, stay with Wherigo.com for now. You'll have plenty of time to copy the cartridge over if one of the player apps begins to use the WF site's API.

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Hello, I was wondering if the new player will be able to differentiate in the inventory whether the "player" is wearing their items or just carrying them. It could impact how the cartridge plays out. For instance, if an adventurer was simply carrying their helmet, their armour protection would be reduced and they would be easier to hit in a fight and also receive more damage. On the other hand if they wear their helmet, their peripheral vision is reduced and they may not see certain items. This could play out in many various scenarios.

Also it would be a nice feature to be able to place a limit on what a person could carry based on the weight of the item. A numerical value is placed on the items and when the character reaches their limit they cannot pick up any more items, thus having to chose which items they need most.

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Hello, I was wondering if the new player will be able to differentiate in the inventory whether the "player" is wearing their items or just carrying them. It could impact how the cartridge plays out. For instance, if an adventurer was simply carrying their helmet, their armour protection would be reduced and they would be easier to hit in a fight and also receive more damage. On the other hand if they wear their helmet, their peripheral vision is reduced and they may not see certain items. This could play out in many various scenarios.

Also it would be a nice feature to be able to place a limit on what a person could carry based on the weight of the item. A numerical value is placed on the items and when the character reaches their limit they cannot pick up any more items, thus having to chose which items they need most.

I think you could do this now. If the item is in the player's inventory, I think you could have a command associated with it. When the user selects the command, have something adjust a variable. You then know if the player has equipped an item as opposed to just has it in his/her inventory. To shrink the player's vision, adjust the zones' distance settings so they only show up on smaller distances.

 

The weight could also be done right now, though the most efficient way to do so would be through author script. Have a variable that represents how much weight is in the user's inventory. On all items' pick up commands, do a check to see if the user can carry more weight. Do yourself a favor and put the user's maximum weight in another variable so it'll be easy to tweak the cartridge as you're playtesting it.

 

I like where you're going, though. If we can't accomplish it with the current player or architecture, that's what we're looking for. Please continue to suggest things.

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@Zorkan_Heneron: That wouldn't get into the player. It is to special. And you can do it already.

 

For the helmet: create two items. First item is the normal helmet. If it is active, than it is visible and you could set your protection variable to a lower level. It has a command "Wear" to put on the helmet. If the user do this, make the helmet invisible and make the second item visible. This item is the pulled on helmet with a higher protection variable. It has a command "unwear", with which you could pull of the helmet.

 

For the limit of items: add for each item an entry for the weight. If the user wants to pick up an item, calc the weight of all items in the inventory and add the weight of the new item. If this is higher than the maximum weight, the user can carry, than display a dialog. If the user could carry this item although, than move it to the inventory.

 

So for both scenarios you don't need special player functions.

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Since other people are using the site to host their cartridges................... You'll have plenty of time to copy the cartridge over if one of the player apps begins to use the WF site's API.

Thanks, Ranger Fox, for a quick and complete answer. I have decided to move to your server with all my cartridges. And I shall encourage the cartridge owners in Slovakia and Czech Republic to do the same. I have tried your server only briefly. The provided functionality (searching and logging, the connection to the particular geocache code, etc.) is much better than the one provided by the official server. And what is the most important, it lives. Thank you very much for the effort spent in developing this idea. I hope the agreement with Groundspeak will finally take place and this server will become the official one. I am sure the Wherigo platform (and its fans) deserves it.

 

Kiko

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A simple question on uploading/listing/moving/linking Whereigos between Wherigo.com and whereigofoundation.com.

 

It sounds like all I need to do in order to move a cartridge currently listed on Wherigo.com would be to upload the .gwz file to this site and change the link on the geocache listing to point to this site instead of Wherigo.com. Is that all there is? How about the original cartridge on Wherigo.com? Leave it? Delete it?

 

Thanks for your efforts on this project.

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