Mon Nov 22 2010, 11:11am

By caseorganic




Building a Location-Based Science Trivia Game with Geoloqi at Science Hack Day, San Francisco

Last week, the Geoloqi team headed down to Palo Alto last week for Science Hack Day, a 48 hour hacking event that brought together scientists and technologist, artists and futurists, for a weekend of development, gaming and overall enjoyment. Many of us slept at the event, while some stayed up hacking into the night.

We arrived at Science Hack Day with the goal of making an experience that gets people to pay attention to the world around them. During gameplay, players walk around town and receive location-based questions via SMS related to education and science and their nearby location.

Location-based science trivia game at Science Hack Day

Each question was worth points, and more points are awarded for correct responses than incorrect responses. Those with the highest scores are listed on a leaderboard.

Science Notes Leaderboard

Players used a GPS Tracker made by Instamapper to play the game.

Science Hack Day Team Geoloqi

Thanks to all those who helped us with development and testing! Kevin Rohling, Liam Holt, Megan Mansell, Devin Drew, Pete Forsyth, Ashish Mahabal and Jennifer Monfrans.

Test Game Lat Long Markers

We left questions at a number of locations around the Institute for the Future, where the conference was being held.

Question Response

Questions and Responses

Questions were sent to a player’s phone by SMS, and they were given points based on their response. Most questions dealt with the area right around the user.

To respond, the player simply send a reply back to the SMS number and the database checked whether the response was correct or not and added points to the user’s id.

Application Architecture

Application Architecture

We used the Tropo API to send the SMS messages to users as they walked around town.

Geoloqi acted as the location-handler, determining where players were.

Finally, the trivia content was stored in a database built by Kevin Rohling.

Player ids and point tallies were handled there and displayed on the leaderboard.

Thank You!

Thanks again to everyone who joined in the game! It made Science Hack Day a blast. Thanks to Ariel Waldman for organizing it, and Jeremy Keith for coming up with the concept in the first place.