QR codes for games

Following my last QR test, I got an email from Roger Smolski who runs the 2D Code web site. He had previously posted about the iPhone being an unsuitable device for QR codes due to the poor quality of the camera and this has resulted in several perfectly good QR decoding apps getting a poor rating on the AppStore due to the fuzzy quality of the camera. I’ve had good experiences mostly with QR codes on the iPhone as long as the URI is short but once the information gets much longer, the iPhone is unable to recognise a snapshot of it.

So, what’s the solution?

A clear still of a QR code will work – even a complex one so I reckon the alternative might be to find another way of getting them into the phone. Loading a URL or receiving them in email both work fine.

Why is this important?

Anyone who has read my earlier posts on Alternate Reality Games would realise that I think QR codes are an excellent way of distributing clues to a game where you want to hide it a little but not make it too hard for people to find. The poor quality of the camera in the iPhone just really means the QR code display has to be big enough or they have to get the information from another source.

Anyone who has seen Serenity would realise the relevance and importance of this (2d Code link).

Viking Ghost Hunt – a ‘hyperlocal’ Dublin-based game

While down at the National Digital Research Centre last week, I saw a brief presentation from two Dutch guys, Soren and Mads, who were making an iPhone game which overlaid a game on top of reality using GPS and cell tower triangulation.
From NDRC:

Viking Ghost Hunt will capitalise on location based gaming. The interactive game will require the user to travel around Dublin city to advance the game, incorporating physical exercise into traditional gaming, and experiencing new combinations of storyline and game play activities.

I’ll be asking them for a demo I will.

A hyperlocal game is essentially using the GPS built into the iPhone to do some GeoCaching – except that the reward is ‘virtual’. Otherwise the principles are the same. The software links into the web site rather than having you dig for a prize and then delivers a preprogrammed message. A little like “Help Me Obi Wan Kenobi” if you think about it.

The concept of this is very simple. The execution shouldn’t also be too hard.