Alternatives to using GPS check-ins for your PlayTours games


Location check-ins are an essential part of many games, especially scavenger hunts and team races. Unfortunately, the game experience for players may not be as enjoyable as it could be. Let's look at the reasons why, and what can be done instead.

a) Permissions settings

Players may need to adjust their restrictive privacy and location sharing settings in order to allow the app access. Additionally, they may be unaware of how to adjust these settings, leading to delays and frustration.

b) Inaccurate location by players' device

Due to outdated or damaged GPS trackers, players' devices may detect inaccurate or incorrect GPS locations. This has been observed even in the case of two players with the same phone model, with one of them reporting that their device had been dropped multiple times previously.

c) Using a previously, cached location

Depending on players' battery saving configurations, their device may use old, cached GPS data, only refreshing the location at specific intervals. This may be frustrating for players who wish to view their location updated in real-time.

How then, can game designers design tasks and challenges that proves or encourage players to be at the right place, and at the right time?

1) Ask a question about something very specific about that location

a) Take a photo of the location and blur a specific item or text

Example: Head over to the nearby shopping mall and look out for this landmark. What is the sign saying?

You can use the "text" or "number" type task for this. To blur your images, you can use this free online tool.

b) Show the map and ask for the colour of something prominent

Use the "add map" button and type in the address or GPS coordinates of the location. In this case, the address was "bugis street".

2) Ask them to take a group photo at the location

You can use the "image" or "judged-image" type task for this depending on whether you want to approve the image or auto-approve it and assume it is correct.

3) Use our "hide next task feature"

If there is a follow-up task for the players after they have done either (1) or (2) above, you can "connect" tasks using our "hide next task" feature. This makes it such that they will only be shown Task B after they have completed Task A. Read here:

4) Set a time limit for players to complete task

To encourage players to physically be there before starting other tasks, tell them that the timer will start once they click "Mark as completed". Therefore, players will only mark it as completed when they are physically there so they get as much time as possible.

You will need to use multiple chapters for this.

For example, in Chapter 1, create 1 task to bring the players to the correct location.

Then, in the next Chapter, in this case, Chapter 2, add all the tasks that the players need to do in or around the location, and set a time limit.

5) Just tell them the location and let them enjoy the game!

You can simply place the location of where they should be in above, and the task description below. At the end of the day, players will want the complete experience so that they can get the most out of it.

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