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Stompy&Stampy

App Update

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This morning we noticed that there was an update on the android app "WhereYouGo", so now it supports animated GIF's, MP4's, input from QR code, clickable url links in text from within cart as well as a few bug fixes. Some of these are features I have been waiting for as it opens up new possibilities as well being able to make them more engaging. But it has raised some questions in my head:-

1. Do the builders support the new features (GIFs, MP4s, QRs) or do we have to do something as a work around?

2. Does the iPhone support these features too? (don't have one to make a test cart to check)

3. If iPhone doesn't supports GIFs etc. Will it be like the sound files with garmin/mp3s where you upload the two files types (I use urwigo) and the devices/build will play the compatible one eg animated GIF/still JPG? Or do we have to write in a device check so that the correct compatible media is selected?

 

4. How do we implement the QR codes?

 

5. Are there plans to add NFC/Bluetooth input too in future? (or even chirp but there are less compatible devices)

 

6. The Wherigo foundation seems to have gone quiet, any progress?

 



 

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First, I'll answer your questions, then I'll make another post later with my opinions.

 

1) To my knowledge, the builders don't support mp4s and QR code generation.  However, they're just multimedia, so you could jam them in a cartridge and, if the player app supports it, the app will know what to do with it.  The Wherigo.com compiler... ah... might not strip out the multimedia files?  I doubt the gif, but I'm not sure about the mp4.  This is where you'll need to do some research.

 

2) To my knowledge, the iPhone does not support these features.  I checked and I don't see any way to scan a QR code in the iPhone app.

 

3) Most cartridge authors do not know how to associate multiple multimedia files with a Wherigo media entry.  If you do, things might turn out well.  I'd make sure someone tests the iPhone version.

 

4) There should be many QR code generators online.  You can use one of those.  Just put in what you want to encode in the QR code, print it out, and stick it somewhere.  The WF player supported QR codes with a little text input button: tap the button and scan the QR code.  Behind the scenes, you're just asking for an input.  So if someone doesn't have that QR code scanning in the app, they can run another app to scan the code and copy the text they get to your input's text box.

 

5) If the Wherigo Foundation could ever run Wherigo for Groundspeak, we could include a whole bunch of really cool stuff--even multiplayer.  The problem is when one player app developer goes off on his own.

 

6) Well, I haven't heard back from Groundspeak.  I guess I should contact them again.  It's really difficult for me, at least, to maintain a positive outlook when things have dragged on for several years.  I'm close to accepting the partnership agreement as it stands and just renegotiate it when certain things become an issue.

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So, my opinion on the matter.  (Note: I'm posting as a community member, not as a moderator.  In fact, the only time I post as a moderator is when I say I'm posting as one.)

 

It's nice that WhereYouGo got an update.  However, it's not nice that it included some features that aren't found on other player apps.  That's stupid because it creates an imbalance in player app capabilities.  If a cartridge was created where completion of a stage relied solely on that new feature, that would make it impossible for some people to finish the cartridge.  It would be even worse if a builder application added that feature.

 

Once people in the community had created all the tools and made it possible for the community to develop Wherigo on its own, I formed the Wherigo Foundation to bring those people together so they could talk about what to add to Wherigo and release those features close to the same time.  This keeps the player app capabilities in sync and those creating the builders can then release those features once the player apps are capable of using them.  Running Wherigo itself is secondary to making sure what works in one app will work in the other.

 

I've have a love/hate relationship with video in cartridges.  I believe video is a very good idea.  However, I don't believe bundling the video within the cartridge is a smart decision.  I'm envisioning multimedia-heavy cartridges, which means the video alone could take up 300MB, and a long historical tour cartridge could easily surpass that.  Some people download cartridges in the field to their player app instead of using Wi-Fi.  This would take time to download and kill their data plan.  When or if the Wherigo Foundation were to run Wherigo, I would want to provision a streaming video server.  All video in a cartridge would be stripped out of the cartridge before being downloaded to a player app.  A flag would be set to let the player know the cartridge uses streaming video.  The player could adjust the video's quality (and even choose to download the video ahead of time) so his or her data plan would be spared the expense.  If the player chooses to stream the video, we can transcode the video to an appropriate quality based on the player's setting and cellular signal strength/speed.  I'm also assuming not all video might be seen in a cartridge playthrough.

 

QR codes are great as it's fast to scan them to answer a question.  Personally, I'd just place a Munzee and use the text from scanning it as an answer in my cartridge.  I'd do that because I have the stickers and they're nicer than what I could print myself.  Nothing says camouflage than using another game's game piece.  Anyway, I'm concerned some people who aren't tech-savvy would run across a QR code and not know what to do with their iPhone.  I know what to do, but I know several geocachers in my area who would be at a loss.  I do care that people not have an issue like that playing my cartridge.  I don't mind if they can't complete it due to my game's rules, but not because they can't operate their device.

 

The iPhone app is in a tight spot.  I'm not sure of the particulars of spstanley's agreement with Groundspeak.  I know more than most people about it, but not the fine details.  Can he introduce new things to the app?  He'd have to say.  If he can, I say go for it with some of the features (video... ah... not sure about that one).

 

-- HOWEVER --

 

If the WhereYouGo feature update was an attempt to force the rest of the Wherigo Foundation to start adding new features, I can fully understand how the best call to action would be someone else's action.  That's when the feature release would have been a good idea.  I just don't like not even trying to coordinate a simultaneous feature release with everyone else.  Or perhaps I've missed something in my private email?  I haven't been checking it as thoroughly as I should these past couple months.  Projects at work and house chores have been eating into my free time.

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Posted (edited)

Agreed with Ranger Fox. All these WhereYouGo's new features are all good and well, but it should have been the result of some discussion in this right here forum.

I've contacted WhereYouGo's author to inform what's his stand in this.

Edited by Vooruit!
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Really, it should have been a discussion not on this forum, but in the private Wherigo Foundation email group.  If one of the app developers has personal issues that push out a feature, I don't want the general community to think poorly of the person.  After all, we are all volunteers.  And the group should be united on what we're doing.

Still, it's a great idea to implement new features on your own if you feel things aren't or won't get anywhere as they are.  And they aren't getting anywhere right now because I've been waiting instead of being the proverbial squeaky wheel with approaching a partnership.  So it does have a little kick in my direction that'll motivate me to pick up and contact Groundspeak again.  I doubt that was intended, but that's a good effect.  Truthfully, if I was in a situation as frustrating as this, I'd try to do something awesome so it would kick others into gear and get them back into gear.

So in case you're wondering, the only negative thought I have is that some communication wasn't tried before that.  Other than that, I'm pleased that something happened, though very concerned that this introduces an imbalance in player app capabilities.

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Still, the question is, how are we supposed to add these new features into new cartridges? Having dropped Garmin support for some time now, I'm not that eager to drop iOS support as well. I mean, everybody's got either an Android or iOS device, so supporting just these two platforms ought to serve the market just fine...

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FYI, iOS 11 makes it easy to add QR code scanning to input fields in the Wherigo app.  It would be a nice convenience, so I’m looking at adding it.

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On 10/21/2017 at 8:43 PM, spstanley said:

FYI, iOS 11 makes it easy to add QR code scanning to input fields in the Wherigo app.  It would be a nice convenience, so I’m looking at adding it.

Thumbs up. +1. Like.

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