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Returning to Wherigos after a long absence

Firth of Forth

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I built two wherigos a long time ago. The first in 2009 involved a very complex storyline and had sound effects and even some intro music created especially for the game by my son. Luckily the Wherigo is still going strong and has a lot of very positive reviews (GC1KPTV). However, I found the builder very clunky and it pretty much put me off trying again (apart from a much easier one I created for the first Scottish Mega - now sadly archived). In those days we were playing the wherigos on PDAs. Now things seem to have moved on, and I am tempted to try again. However, I have found updating my knowledge of what is available confusing and hope I can get a few pointers.


Firstly, there seems to be a confusing array of builders now - from wherikit to earwig - but I haven't been able to find a summary anywhere of how these differ eg whether they are more suited to different kinds of Wherigo constructions. Any advice about the various options or a place where this information is available?

Secondly, there are many more different kinds of devices that wherigos can be played on now - do all or any of these builders ensure that the game can be played on GPSr as well as smartphones both android and apple?

Thirdly what is the view about sound effects/music? If most people are playing these on a smartphone rather than a GPS, then is it worth the effort of adding in this extra layer of complexity, and do all the builders allow it?


Thanks in anticipation for comments.


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I use EarWigo.net and absolutely love it. To be fair to the others, I admit to not having tried them so they may or may not be a better experience. But Earwigo does everything I've needed it to do up to this point in my Wherigo building lifetime. Kudos to EVERYONE involved in building the set of tools out there now for Wherigo.

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Here's a summary of builders:

Groundspeak's Builder - The original, but it needs two updates to run. If you know what you're doing, this is still a viable tool. It's also the only one you can use if you want to hand-edit a cartridge and reload it into a builder.


Wherigo\\kit - A simplistic builder, geared for those new to Wherigo or who want to crank out a quick cartridge. It's not full-featured and there's not a lot of variation you can do with it. While that makes it easier for those new to Wherigo authoring, it's quite limiting to anyone who knows what they're doing. You can export from Kit and import to any other builder.


Earwigo - Another online Wherigo builder. This one has a lot of features and you can make full cartridges with it. It also has some nice things, such as obfuscation and a way to make a cartridge play-anywhere.


Urwigo - I think most people tend to use this one. It looks nice and has a lot of visual features. It can also add obfuscation. It stores the cartridge information in a .urwigo file: I wish it was included in the GWZ.



These days, Android and iOS have player apps in their stores. We have a Windows phone app, but it hasn't been released to the store yet. When Groundspeak gets around to partnering with the Wherigo Foundation, a spiffy player app for all phones can be released and a lot of issues resolved. (I'm still waiting on Groundspeak, same as last year.)



I don't know if the online builders (Kit and Earwigo--probably the latter might) support sound effects, but the other two do. Users will have to download for the Pocket PC format if they're to hear the audio. I tried to mention that in one of my cache's descriptions (download for a Pocket PC, can't play on a Garmin) and my reviewer wouldn't let me use the names because they conflicted with the commercialization guidelines. Perhaps they've gotten better about this lately; no one tells me. So be careful about audio as no one will be able to enjoy it if they download for anything but the Pocket PC format.

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I second bflentje’s recommendation of the Earwigo builder. It’s a really nice program with a lot of features and the earwigo google group is very helpful. Like all builders, there’s somewhat of the learning curve especially if you’re a nonprogrammer like myself. But there’s plenty open source cartridges or demos out there that can show you how to create your own Wherigo. If you’re concerned about playability of the cartridge on different devices, the Earwigo program has a built in “warning-system” that lets you know which code will not work on this Garmins. It’s a nice feature to have particularly if you have a lot Garmin users in your area like I do.


I haven’t dabbled with the Urwigo program as much of yet, but at a glance it looks like an excellent builder with a lot of features. The visuals are very nice. The builder only works on PC however. I haven’t tried to incorporate audios in my Wherigos (I’m too busy trying to figure out how to program timers!), but I can imagine the Earwigo pros would know to do this. :)

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As ever, lots of helpful information. Two other questions:


Would using Wherigo Kit to begin with to get the basic structure of a cartridge sorted , then export it to another builder for enhanced features be a good idea, or is it better to start with the other builder?

Secondly, I use an iMac and wonder if there are any limitations to using any of the builders on it.

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If you're not familiar with the builder, you could start with the Wherigo\\kit to set up your zones, messages and input and then import it into the builder to add other features (Characters, items etc.) to it afterwards. I did this with my first Wherigo (mylink) since it was much easier to put together and I didn't have a good grasp of the Earwigo builder at the time.


With the iMac, you can use the Wherigo\\kit or Earwigo. Urwigo works on PC (Windows).

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