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myrthman

Previewing a cartridge?

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I'm new to Wherigo caches. I'm wanting to do some with my boys but I'd like to make sure the one we're doing is kid-friendly. Is it possible to preview a cartridge before heading out to the field?

 

Thanks,

myrthman

Edited by myrthman

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First off, I'm going to assume "previewing" means playing the cartridge in an emulator, such as Webwigo.

 

This entirely depends upon the cartridge's author. For example, there's a setting in most Wherigo builders to detect emulators and exit the cartridge. Of those builders, most put it at the beginning of the cartridge, which means you can't preview the cartridge at all. Wherigo\\kit allows authors to put the emulator-stopping code anywhere within a cartridge, meaning the author could allow the player to go through a portion of the cartridge before slamming the door. In several of my weird, code-heavy cartridges, I allow for a preview. For example, "Cacher Pursuit" allows people to play two or three of the zones, but does not show the others. "Whack-A-Lackey" allows the full game to be played and only checks for the emulator when deciding whether someone has won the game and can go to the final location. In other cartridges--not just mine--an easier way of emulator protection is done: the cartridge asks the player a question that can only be answered in the field, such as a word or number on a nearby object. There's also an over-the-top cartridge that works alongside a web application, I guess providing a second location or cartridge if the player answers the right question on the web site (and the owner receives a notification when you're playing, too, and can affect the game, help you pass to other locations, or even chat with you; the implementation is impressively thought out). So, as you can see, it's up to the author when, where, and if you can play a cartridge within an emulator. I do advocate giving players a preview of the cartridge by allowing a few locations or part of the game to be played before asking the player continue the game in the field.

 

Depending upon your threshold, there could be inappropriate Wherigo cartridges for kids. For example, a cartridge could be inappropriate if you don't kids to experience being chased by a zombie. However, if there's anything explicit, the community should know so we can remove that cartridge from circulation. I'd rather not have "Hot Coffee" within a Wherigo cartridge. So, anyway, the best way to see if a cartridge is appropriate to minors is to either read the online geocache logs or ask those who have played the cartridge.

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That's good info. Thank you.

 

After having done my first Wherigo yesterday (solo), I realized I may have been overthinking it. I was expecting audio files at each zone, but they were all text (with some pictures). Text can be previewed and/or edited on the spot. Of course, now I'm assuming all cartridges are text-based. Am I assuming correctly?

Edited by myrthman

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No, not all cartridges are text-based. For example, look at this one: Finding Amelia Earhart (warning: WF link). The cartridge is open source, so you can download and look through it.

 

Within the cartridge, you are directed to find the first stage. When you do, you find a glass bottle with a laminated message inside. Inputting the message's code into the player app, you unlock a audio tape within the cartridge, meaning in the game's story, you found audio tape at that location. You can then play the tape in the Wherigo app. When you do, you hear a message from Amelia Earhart's navigator, Fred Noonan. He talks a little about what happened when they had to land the plane, then mentions Amelia and he are injured and he's planning on moving Amelia further up the beach that next day. Being a navigator and not having GPS back then, he gives a distance and compass bearing. You're supposed to follow that to the next stage. The rest of the cartridge is about projecting Fred's waypoints and hearing about what happened. You even get to find the airplane, which is a large three feet long model airplane I left in the woods.

 

The cartridge cannot be accomplished without audio. The geocache reviewer, however, would not let me say in my geocache listing, "you cannot play this cartridge on a Garmin device" or "when you download the cartridge, make sure the Wherigo.com drop-down list shows 'Pocket PC'; all other download formats will strip out the audio and render the game unplayable." I had to think of a creative way to tell people this very important thing without using brand names. This is where reviewers carry things too far. Of course, I promptly tried my personal channels through Groundspeak to handle the matter, but--no surprise here--I never heard a reply and nothing became of the matter.

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