Thom Nichols

Thom

Technology is evolution outside the gene pool

Qirk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game

Update: I've renamed the app qirk - and you can create your own games at qirk.us.  It's still pretty rough around the edges but it's finally launched so everyone can try it out!

Just last weekend was the 7th Wooly Fair, an arts and culture festival in Providence, RI.  My wife was asked to perform, and I went with her to planning meetings to see how I could contribute to the fair.  Being an engineer, not an artist, I thought "maybe I can write an app for the fair!"  Thus, the Wooly Fair QR code game for Android was born:

       

Two weeks before the fair, people started thinking about the logistics and asked "does it work for iPhone?"  No, sorry, it's an Android app.  "Does it work for BlackBerry?"  I see a trend.

In the interest of being inclusive, I quickly decided, "well, if they have a QR code scanner on their smartphone, I can make the app web-based, then everyone can play."  12 hours later, I had this:



Not bad!  It's my first web-app that targets mobile, which actually makes it really easy to develop (say it with me: no IE!)  Better yet, Android, iPhone and BlackBerry 6 all use WebKit, which supports a fair amount of CSS3 and HTML5 features!  

It runs AppEngine, so deployment is trivial.  Playing the game doesn't require any registration or login, so the user experience is fairly seamless. Every time a user scans a code like http://wooly-fair.appspot.com/card?id=1af349d0 it adds that code to your list of found items, which is stored in a long-lived session.  

The game serves as a good way to get people to explore their physical space, maybe look at exhibits they wouldn't.  It also catalogs what things a participant looked at, and each 'card' includes a link to more content about what they scanned.  So later on, they can go back and say "remember that artist?  What were they called?  Oh yeah I scanned it, let me go look it up in the game."  Finally, the app also includes useful things like an event schedule and map, to help attendees find what they're interested in.

I'm going to make the game into a generic platform, tentatively called "QuiRk" (get it?) that anyone can customize and use for their event. Interested?  Let me know!

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8 Comments

  1. avatar Re: QuiRk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game Aug. 28, 2011 jason

    I'd like to find out more about QuRiK...  email me at jcfitz7@me.com
  2. avatar Re: QuiRk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game Sept. 7, 2011 catkins_in_nz

    We ran a QR treasure hunt as part of our orientation Challenge Week activities for our IT students last semester - QuiRK would be so cool for us! Would love to know more.
  3. avatar Re: QuiRk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game Sept. 7, 2011 Einar Kramer

  4. avatar Re: QuiRk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game Sept. 7, 2011 Einar Kramer

    Here's my QR game page

  5. avatar Re: QuiRk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game Sept. 7, 2011 Einar Kramer

    Same idea -see homepage.
  6. Re: QuiRk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game Sept. 9, 2011 Aaron

    Fun idea. You might also like Munzee which was launched earlier this year and uses smartphone apps to build scavenger hunt type of gameplay using QR codes.
  7. avatar Re: QuiRk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game Dec. 17, 2011 Mike

    I would like to have more information on your app. I would love to stage qr treasure hunts in my area.
    Thanks

  8. avatar Re: QuiRk: A Cross-Platform QR Scavenger Hunt Game Jan. 9, 2012 Chris

    This is awesome! We had looked at rolling-out some sort of scavenger hunt-like features in our QR platform. I don't think we've come close to utilizing all the possibilities with QR codes and it's nice to see new uses for them like this!