Do you remember those barcoding games from the 90's that let you scan soup barcodes to reveal monsters to fight? The idea was so awesome but the technology didn't let you do much.
There are a few examples of mobile games that use this functionality and I'd like to discuss how this can be implemented into a mobile game that is fun and not just gimmicky. Examples include Codemon (Android) and Barcode Beasties (android) where the monsters you fight (other than against other players in multiplayer) are found within the codes, but that's about as far as it goes.
I've been talking with some friends and we came up with a couple ideas.
1. Obviously let the barcodes contain monsters to fight.
2. Include chances to find items or powerup instead of monsters.
3. Limit the number of barcode scans using an energy mechanic (ie takes 20 energy for one scan, player has 200 energy per day).
So far, the barcode mechanic seems to be only another way of wading into the tall grass (pokemon) to find random encounters.
What other ways could barcoding be used to go further than this?
Consumer Gods. Create your own god based on what you eat, or rather, what you would spend on. Each barcode would add some meat or skeleton or flesh to the character, so that if you scan the barcode off of an instant noodle cup, you would get the super power of spearing enemies with ramen. Or if you eat a lot of meat, you would create someone with higher physical poweress.
That would be the first step. When you create the player base with that, then start off a game where you can battle your friends with your creations. And each battle would mean that the winner would take a barcode ingredient from the losing player or players. Have a ranking system where you can find the super consumers, who would set the rules for the matches below them. Have a website dedicated to the hall of fame, where you would see how long a person kept first place for. Sign off deals with different companies, so that if the player scans their items in particular, they would get special buffs.
Okay, so I went off on a different tangent there, but you can recreate a whole new game with just barcodes. And somehow, that would be pretty awesome. (Goes back to work, kicking that rusty bucket of a game).