Augmented Reality Point & Click Geocaching

This game doesn’t exist yet, but I’m dabbling with creating an entry for it. The setup cost is low – zero if I keep it to the minimum viable product – but with just a little added investment I can make it extremely neat.

The idea: combining Geocaching and text adventure games to make a single unique adventure experience combining the best parts of both.

A little necessary background:
Geocaching- A GPS scavenger hunt in which you locate a hidden object at a specific set of GPS coordinates and find something hidden, whether it be a logbook or treasure chest.
Adventuron- A simple interface for designing and sharing your own text adventure games with commands like “GO NORTH,” “TAKE KEY,” and “USE KEY IN DOOR.”

So how does the combination work? Here’s how I’m envisioning it.

  1. Use Geocaching.com and the listed GPS coordinates to navigate to the specific location.
  2. Open the linked Adventuron game (link provided on the Geocache).

At this point, the Adventuron game starts with something simple.

You are standing at the coordinates. You can go NORTH 20 yards to a forked tree. You can go WEST 10 yards to a stump.

At this point, the game has already begun. What is special about the location you’re at? Maybe there’s a lamp post. The Adventuron game doesn’t describe it, and instead expects you to physically be at the location. So even though the Adventuron game doesn’t tell you about the pole, you can still type “EXAMINE LAMP POST” and get in response The screws look like they can be loosened with the right tool.

Now you can explore the environment in both the real world and Adventuron. Walk ten yards west and look at the stump. You find a metal tag with an image of a screwdriver on it. The Adventuron game never tells you the screwdriver is here, but having found it in real life, you can enter “TAKE SCREWDRIVER” in the Adventuron game and it’ll work. And now you can go back to the lamp post and “USE SCREWDRIVER ON LAMP POST” to continue the game.

The game can be as large or as small as the designer sees fit. I’ll start with a basic proof of concept and build from there. Ultimately this kind of experience could tell a story, like finding clues around the area that help solve a murder mystery. Searching the area of a murder, you find a cigarette butt, bullet casing, and blood sample, and Adventuron allows you to examine these items in such a way and submit your solution so you can get a final answer to submit on Geocaching.com to prove you completed the game.

I’m dabbling with the idea of developing a game like this to give as a Christmas present this year- I’ll share the specifics once I’ve launched it!

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