How to make a game with QR codes
This follows on from yesterday’s post about creating QR Codes. How about creating a web game similar to the Choose Your own Adventure type games but with a difference? I did think about implementing this as a proof of concept and may yet still but ideas are worthless until executed so I’m happy to put this out there. Here are a few notes on a proposed web QR game.
- You can get open source QR generators for PHP, C#, probably most programming languages.
- The web pages show one or more QR codes with a title on them. These are actions and by opening the URL (say in a QR reading mobile app) the action applies. Eg Go West into a room, open a chest etc.
- If you use an 8 character parameter to the URL that gives you something like 2.8 trillion different destinations. eg example.com/r/h65tr321. The idea is that the web application generates a page from this parameter. If the parameter has been spoofed then you fall into a bottomless cavern, get eaten by an Ice Worm etc and start again. These parameters are generated anew for each game.
- You can add extra information such as carrying items with extra characters. Unlike web games, there only way to pass information is via the url. So the URL might now be example.com/r/h65tr321a6. (the QR code shown is for this url) The page would still be created from h65tr321 but the a6 might mean you are carrying say a sword and key. If you add on a character to the query for each item, you can have 36 different types of item using a-z and 0-9.
- The whole adventure is created as a list of rooms, each with a description. A random eight character code is generated for each room. That’s where the h65tr321 comes from. At the start this list of rooms is read into the web application.
- Puzzles are of the blocker type. To open a door that lets you escape you need to be carrying a key but that’s in a chest protected by a Dragon. You can fight the Dragon but only if you have the sword and the Dragon will always kill you unless you are carrying a potion of extra hit points. So first you have to explore the rooms, going from room to room and picking up items. But you can only carry three items at a time. You can either use or drop an item which stays in the room where you dropped it.
- Every room you enter when carrying items displays each items with a use and a drop QR code.
- Other ideas include a time element that reduces each time you move rooms/do an action. You only get so long to escape but a potion that can be used once adds more time.
As you can use any app to scan a QR code and jump to the url, it would be a bit tedious to play but might make for an educational project for teenagers or schoolkids.
It should be possible to build an app might be able to detect the QR codes automatically and display just the link text. Again like QR generators code there are open source packages for reading QR codes.