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Thermodynamics

Mobile Version of Monster Rancher CD unlocking

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Thermodynamics    443
There are various mobile versions of virtual pets popping up in the smart phone arena. But none that I have come across have the charm of Monster Rancher's unlocking mechanism.

For those who are too young, too old, or just didn't play it- Monster Rancher worked like any other virtual pet game including being able to breed your pets and make new ones. However, you could get special pets by unlocking them with CD's. To do so, you would start the game and then tell it you wanted to use a "disc stone" to create a new pet. It would prompt you to put in your CD and then analyze the CD. For the vast majority of CD's it would spit out a randomized pet based on whatever info it found- BUT- (and this is the important part) for certain CD's it would give you a special pet. These special pets were a bit like easter eggs and almost always related to the CD used (such as receiving a Santa for putting in a Merry Christmas album).

Now, to take this over to the smart phone world, you need a way to unlock specials. There are various problems though:
-CD's are obviously a no-go. In fact any physical item is a no go due to lack of a interface with the phone.
-Cameras would be possible but anything you could reliable translate via the camera (such as a QR code) could easily be replicated.
-electronic anything could also be easily replicated.
-the same goes for passwords.

So what is left? One of the new things with smartphones is their great location abilities. I hope you see where this is going.

Use the phone location to randomize each new pet. Lat and Long would translate into the needed integers for seeding the randomizer. But for certain locations a special pet would be formed.

For example: You stand in front of Old Faithful and you will find a steam elemental egg. If you are close to the location it will tell you the distance to go and general direction. Its a game version of Geo-caching. Phones using coarse location could get random pets and would be told when they were near a special spot, but GPS would be needed for special finds.

On the bright side, this turns a family vacation into a treasure hunt as well.

Any ideas for locations/pets?
For the most part it should be a place that is free to access, or commonly visited on a vacation.
Mammoth Caves - Cave Wyrm
Disney World - Happy Mouse (using Mickey would probably be a licensing nightmare)
Time Square - Chronos
Olympic Peninsula - Banana Slug

Thoughts?

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kseh    3838
Actually, I think that's a pretty cool idea. I have this image in my mind of a game tied in with something like google maps. If you could even just analyze the player's location relative to those little marker things that tell you that a library is right here or a restraunt is over there, that might be enough. If there's one area where things could go wrong though it's the players that insist on trying to get to dangerous locations.

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Thermodynamics    443
Quote:
Original post by adam4813
How about this http://www.invizimals.com/?


Ahhh. I didn't know about that. I see they went the camera route. I wonder if the PSP had GPS capabilities if they would have done that instead.

Quote:
Original post by kseh
Actually, I think that's a pretty cool idea. I have this image in my mind of a game tied in with something like google maps. If you could even just analyze the player's location relative to those little marker things that tell you that a library is right here or a restraunt is over there, that might be enough. If there's one area where things could go wrong though it's the players that insist on trying to get to dangerous locations.


I had this same thought with regards to my example of Old Faithful. I can just imagine a kid saying "just a little closer" as he falls into a boiling mud pit. That is why you make the location somewhere nice and safe like the parking lot. (and make the location a bit bigger, too)

Quote:
Original post by lithos
You could always use bar-codes.


Bar-codes have exactly the same problems as QR codes while containing less useful information. What would stop a website from gathering and posting all of the codes in one spot? Suddenly your special pets aren't so special.

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BMIJ    100


Quote:

Bar-codes have exactly the same problems as QR codes while containing less useful information. What would stop a website from gathering and posting all of the codes in one spot? Suddenly your special pets aren't so special.


One thing the internet has shown us is that there is no barrier too insurmountable for pirates/cheaters to overcome if they have sufficient will.

I like the geo-caching idea a lot, really. Think about the interesting ramifications if you allowed on-line trading as well. If you lived near one of these 'special' spots, you could theoretically farm your rare creatures out for others that are beyond your means to travel to.

However, what I see as more likely is that someone will find/invent a way to spoof GPS coordinates so that they can get ahead in the game and collect all the rares. So what? Screw those folks - they were gonna cheat anyway no matter how difficult you make it. Just focus on making good gameplay for the honest folks and forget about the idiots.

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