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Geo-Jeddak

Maximum number of active zones

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I'm currently building a Wherigo that uses a pokemon Go-like idea where you track down zones and capture creatures, but it's going to require a lot of zones (at least 30). 

When searching for what the maximum amount of zones is, I found some blog posts from 2008 - 2011 that give 12 as maximum, but of course that was years ago. Smartphones have been improved since then, so does this still apply?

 

And if not, what can I do to get around this problem? Because once a zone has been visited and the creature has been captured, the zone is deactivated to prevent anyone from cheating by simply visiting the same zone over and over. 

Edited by Geo-Jeddak

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On 4/18/2020 at 6:50 PM, Geo-Jeddak said:

I'm currently building a Wherigo that [requires] a lot of zones (at least 30). 

When searching for what the maximum amount of zones is, I found some blog posts from 2008 - 2011 that give 12 as maximum, but of course that was years ago. Smartphones have been improved since then, so does this still apply?

 

Unless you know for sure what Wherigo device your players will use, you'll have to stick with this rule. In my memory 12 was too much, already. Moreover, even modern devices are using the rather old apps that was designed years ago. I don't know if their authors was expecting an increase in this number of concurrent active zones.

 

On 4/18/2020 at 6:50 PM, Geo-Jeddak said:

[...] what can I do to get around this problem? Because once a zone has been visited and the creature has been captured, the zone is deactivated to prevent anyone from cheating by simply visiting the same zone over and over.

 

I think about two options:

  1. Use a system like the one used in the "I 🖤 Paris" (former geocache of the week) and all the alike (list). You'll need a timer and, at each timer tick, you'll have to browse the whole zone list to find the nearest and activate them (and deactivate the other ones). It will require a bit of author script.
  2. Maybe you could use "meta-zones" (or "nested zones", i.e. big zones inside which there are smaller zones). When you're in a big zone, you'll activate the small zones associated with it (except those you chose to explicitely shut down ["gotcha!" zone?]). When you exit this big zone, the small ones will be deactivated.

What do you think about it?

Edited by Tungstène
Missing words, typos, ...

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Those idea's sound good, but I first have to figure out how to apply them. I'm using Urwhigo to build cartridges, and already discovered that you can't rely on the "proximity" variable if a zone is inactive. 

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Yes, you can't rely on the proximity event for inactive zones because of just that: the zone is inactive.  If you wanted to hide a zone and still have the event trigger, you'd have to make it active an invisible.

 

I'm going to modify what Tungstène said.  Let's say you had a tour guide cartridge in a large historic park and you had 100 zones. 

  • If you use a timer, you will need to be careful if you're displaying messages to the user.  I had a problem more than a decade ago where I used a timer every two seconds to move some zones to simulate three characters walking in a park ("Sadie's BiG Adventure").  This involved getting the next coordinates by index in a 300 - 1000 element array and then moving each of the five zone points to the next location, then reactivating the zone.  This worked well on a Garmin Colorado, but caused dialogs in a Garmin Oregon to be delayed by thirty seconds to a minute.  Fortunately, modern devices should be able to cope with this, but just be aware that calculating distances every second or two will put a strain on the cartridge.  (Of course, what you'd really do is make it so the timer doesn't automatically reset.  When the timer ticks, you check all zones and only then restart the timer.)
  • I like the idea of container zones.  This is what game development does.  When you reach a loading zone in a video game, it preloads the next area before your character arrives.
  • You could also incorporate this into your cartridge.  For example, let's say you're in that historic park.  Each zone in the game might be presented as a ghost of a person from that era.  When you arrive near where you think a ghost is, the player can select a "scan" command from a ghost detector item.  The detector item, you can say, might take up to a couple seconds to detect the ghost, depending on how faint the ghost is.  If a ghost is found, that zone activates (or events fire).  If one isn't, the detector will tell you the closest ghost or show it on your map.  What you're doing is making a gameplay element out of a game limitation.  I strongly recommend this option because you're making something fun out of it and people would then expect to wait because they think it's part of the game.
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Most people do Wherigo on their phones and the new app allows probably up to 50 waypoints visible.

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