Starting conversations with +Walter Elly +Brian Sullivan and @myfrienddan about using Foursquare as a foundation for a game really got my camp brain working. I used to love to create games as a program director. Here are some ideas that I’ve been thinking for a Foursquare scavenger hunt:
Goal: Players must visit local businesses in a set amount of time and complete specific challenges for each business. Checking in is a must.
1. A game needs a winner and some sort of prize.
This prize could be something ridiculous such as an actual foursquare ball, flattening, framed, and mounted for hanging. OR it could be something useful like a gift certificate from a local business. The better the prizes, the better the game.
2. A game needs a set about of time.
How long does it take to run around Portsmouth? Don’t know, but too little time frustrates players, too much time bores them to death. I prefer having little time as needed so that players must make choices and can’t do everything. Makes the replay value higher.
3. It MUST benefit the local businesses participating
Business need to see some sort of return for letting us use their name, and potentially having people run in and out of their store. For example a Stonewall kitchen challenge may include testing their jams and Tweeting or leaving a tip or even taking a photo of your favorite jam and why. The Music Hall challenge might be to Tweet or leave a tip on your favorite upcoming show.
4. Players need a map
I see this map as a map of Portsmouth with just dots, no company name. Players will then need to go to that area and look for a window sticker that signals a participating business. Maybe challenges that are clustered close together are less points (i.e. challenges in the square), but challenges that are farther away are more points (i.e. visiting StreetFood360).
5. Scoring needs to be clear
Completing a challenge gives you a specific amount of points, maybe there are guest judges that will give bonus points for creativity when it comes to taking pictures. MAYBE it’s not virtual points, but players get actual tokens for completing challenges, which can then be turned in for prizes, or dropped into raffle boxes for a chance to win prizes. Maybe completed challenges will need to be shared on Twitter with a specific tag.
6. A game needs to be friendly so anyone with a smartphone and Foursquare can play.
It should be accessible even to someone who wants to join off the street.
7. A game needs a referee and a central location to ask questions
Why not setup a booth in the square with a few people to answer questions, track points, etc… This way everyone playing knows where to go or who to call if they have a problem.
8. Players need to be recognizable.
I think this is as simple as making pins for players.
9. There needs to be new elements thrown in throughout the game
This idea comes from @myfrienddan. We could have people in costume that are “released” during the game. We then tweet that this character is out in a specific area and if caught will give bonus points to the player.
I know that Foursquare day is next spring, but I love making up games. I also see this as a great way to engage locals and visitors with our local businesses. Love to share your thoughts and make this a reality. Maybe we could even do one sooner?