Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

General questions and discussions on water warfare regarding tactics and strategies.
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Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby HBWW » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:12 pm

As you all know, I come up with way more big/crazy ideas than I actually ever do anything with. Like Project Soaking Trident, the water warfare FPS game that I would blab more about than work on, and make excuses for being unable to progress on. (And I still am.) Well here's another one for you guys. I'll skip all the crap on how I came up with it, other than the fact that I was having a conversation with M4 about water war footage, cameras, laptops, gopro's, etc. and thought of it during that time.

Here it is. Sit back and imagine to yourself a water war, but not just any water war...

"The clock finally hit 3:00pm, and it was time for the new game to begin. Each warrior nervously awaited for their phone to vibrate to signify the beginning of the game. Finally, everyone dashed away from their spawn points as soon as the alert came on to go. Sprinting away towards the next objective, one of the warriors finally got within bluetooth range of the laptop running the objective and watched the bar fill up on his phone to be ready to dash out as soon as it was captured. He picked a good objective to take: it would allow him to spawn at a strategic position overlooking the most contested area of the playing field: the center.

Suddenly, an opponent came up behind him and blasted him with a HydroCannon. Disappointed, he marked the death on his phone and left to get in range of the previous spawn point. The objective he just captured would be lost by the time he was able to spawn.

Meanwhile, his teammate found the elusive secret code lying on a piece of laminated paper behind the enemy lines. He had to sneak into the enemy's primary spawn point and enter this code in order to win the game for his team instantly instead of winning the hard way: scoring points from holding objectives. It wouldn't be easy, as one of the enemy patrols equipted a radar gadget on his phone that would seek out nearby devices. The cameras around also weren't just there to film the war for YouTube, they also had facial recognition and would detect him and alert the enemy team.

Fortunately, he knew his way around. Upon returning to an outpost, he was able to switch out his Max-D 6000 for something a bit stealthier, and thanks to the kills he made earlier, he had the points to buy a stealth gadget to evade detection on enemy radar. He also picked up the "bomber" gadget, which would allow him to eliminate everyone in range of a selected spawn point. It was time to go in and enter the code.

The battle waged on. According to the computer system, the enemy was clearly winning in kills as well as conquest points for capturing outposts. He was the last hope as the enemy went up and surrounded his team's spawn. Upon sneaking in to the enemy base, he quietly eliminated two of the guards. There was no time to capture the control point though, so he snuck back and went to the enemy's lifeline.

'3GE6dcXdek192Kx' was the code. An opponent guarding found him and aimed the nozzle of a 2500 at him. His pinky was faster though, and hit the laptop's enter key just as a 10x stream soaked his back. The resulting droplets from the splash hit the saran wrap covering on the laptop's camera, making for an awesome video ending when the video was edited and uploaded to the YouTube Water Warfare channel 3 days later. "


So what was all of that? It was a vision of the magic of modern software and hardware. A series of laptops strewn throughout the playing area connected via ad hoc wifi network, relaying stats to each other or to a central server. Each player has an Android phone running the Water Warfare app, which uses the gyro, wifi, and bluetooth to figure out what's going on in the game. When players are hit, they identify who got the kill over the phone, which sits in an underwater-capable case mounted on a wristband. The objectives are simple: stand within bluetooth range of a control point and wait for the laptop to show it as captured. The system detects whether you are in a valid spawn area. Oh, and it has a timer too. Each phone and each laptop can also be simultaneously recording video footage of the war.

What do you think about digitally enhanced water warfare? The closest we have to this today is AppTag, but that's still not water warfare. =p

Flaws/problems:
- Ton of programming needed, obviously.
- Laptops don't have great battery life, though 1-2 hours should be enough for a game. (The alternative is to rely entirely on smartphones or something.)
- Saran wraps won't stop laptops from breaking if hit by a water balloon.
- Not everyone has a smartphone yet.
- More crap to setup and worry about.
- May be difficult to detect range of devices. Wifi might not be able to cover a large playing area.

Perhaps this is better off for Nerf lol.

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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby marauder » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:18 pm

This is a great idea. Even if we never end up playing it exactly like this we could have laptops or smartphones set up to where you touch the keyboard to seize control. The computer notes when this happens and awards points to your team (maybe the screen becomes the team color). At the end of the game the team with the most points wins. Of course, you wouldnt want to have too many spawn points, maybe 3 if we had 10 people.

The blue tooth idea is great too, my main complaint would be that not everyone would have a smart phone.
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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby SEAL » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:32 pm

Well up 'ere 'n the country, we ain't got none o' that fancy horse shit. I'm-a-gonna rely on mah good ol' pencil 'n' paper for writin' down scores, jus' like in the good ol' days. Now 'scuse me while I go chase those damn wolves away from mah chickens.

To be serious, this is kind of like battery-powered water gun tech. It's probably not a good idea to have a whole bunch of super-expensive gadgets laying around while we blast liters of water at each other. The only thing I could think of where this might work is if you'd have a laptop as sort of an objective, where you'd have to do something or other on it, to mimic hacking into a computer in a real war. I've thought about having wars with fancy tech like radar and hidden cameras and all that, but it's just too expensive to become a reality, at least for me.

And no, I do not have a smart phone.
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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby atvan » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:41 pm

I agree with SEAL that some sort of computer component would be fun.

A goo example would be CTF where the flag has a password that must be entered into the game computer to get access to a series of files, after which the player must delete one hidden file and transfer another onto a flash drive or something, while the rest of the team defends the "hacker." Then computers at each base would be connected to each other and the first team to add the secret info about the oth team into a shared folder would win. The timestamps would help with that. This could also cascade for a longer game. Sounds complicated, huh?
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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby HBWW » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:59 pm

Since I don't know how to write an entire operating system (or even completely tailor a distro of Linux to do what I need), I will rely on the honor system of people not leaving the program and shutting it down or trying to manipulate the scores or anything.

In any case, the idea of this runs more along the lines of laser tag. Given a decent waterproof smartphone case, I wouldn't be too concerned on that, although good equipment is hard to come by there. (i.e. Lifeproof cases [ideal for water warfare as they're both ruggedized and water-resistant] are only for iPhone. And to develop apps for iPhone, it has to be jailbroken.) Laptops are the real concern here; heavy streams can damage their screens easily, so we'd probably have to stick to smartphones. I'll probably end up getting a shock resistant case for my Galaxy S3 (instead of using the little thing I got from Monoprice) and putting that in the Aquapac I have. (Overboard also makes similar waterproof pouches. Google it up!)

For now, at least I have a GoPro, which should give some pretty good footage.

Edit: Corrected ctf to laser tag.

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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby isoaker » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:53 am

I like the overall idea, but there must be a simpler way to achieve most of this gameplay without needing to leave laptops strewn about (forget about power issues, I'd be worried about some third-part lifting them from the playing field).

For games like Capture-the-Flag or some sort of marker-based game, getting a smart phone to scan a QR code that's placed at the site would make it faster/easier and safer to record captures. Could even just point phones to a website for tracking purposes and most of the coding for tracking who scanned which code should be available.

Some smart phones with GPS capabilities could be used to track player positions during the game, but I, personally, hate the idea of tracking my movements via a phone.

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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby HBWW » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:25 pm

I don't want to rely on 4g/3g if it can be avoided. That said, it's worth making this on html/php which would be easier and more Co. patible even if some features can't be used. (i.e. Laptop running the server sitting in a car lol.) And I forgot about gps which, depending how accurate it is, could be useful. Anyway, I do agree with the theft issue, which could limit this to personal devices only.

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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby soakinader » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:59 pm

While I always try to encourage new things, isn't there a way to have a similar setup without the need for expensive, fryable technology?
How about, instead of typing a code into a computer, opening a combination lock or solving a puzzle? Taking a disc/ring instead of a flash drive? Using tissue paper and tape for body targets? I have made 50 targets from 50 tissues, and part of a roll of saran tape, for less than 5$.
Somebody hit me with a CPS 1000 (no, they smacked me right across the face and broke the nozzle cover) and I got water inside of my watch. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?
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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby HBWW » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:48 pm

My water and electronics experience has been limited so far, I'll admit. The furthest I went was bagging up my old cell phone (before I got my smartphone) in ziploc bags and riding Snake River Falls at Cedar Point. For those of you who don't know, the drop of that ride is a similar experience to getting shot at by a firing squad of 10 armed with fully loaded CPS 2000's from about 15 feet away. The worst that happened were a few droplets inside the bag but not where they'd damage the phone. In any case, waterproof pouches and cases are much, much better than that and are designed to be submersible to an extent, so I'm not too worried about water damage to them at a water war given they're used properly. Your incident with the watch is strange though, I'll admit.

Here's something interesting though. A GoPro lasted 2.5 months underwater here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b6n1MwXCcs (It was completely covered in sand when recovered, while completely clean and dry inside. This is, however, with GoPro's own housing specially designed for their cameras. Most smartphones have nothing similar [specific case designed for it that's ruggedized and underwater-capable] except for the Lifeproof case for iPhones.)

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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby scottthewaterwarrior » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:13 pm

I had a similar experience, at the last war my watch also got water in it. * CPS 2000 > 100 meters *
It wouldn't be quite the same, but what would be wrong with setting an egg timer (one side blue the other red) and then writing down on paper who/which team captured it. Sure it could be cheated, you could write your name then walk away before the time was up, but its not like people can't cheat the "fist sized sploch" rule now. Before we do any of this complex stuff, has any one even done this type of game with timers yet? I have always wanted to, but so far haven't had a chance.

The idea sounds really cool, but I don't think it will happen for quite some time. Tough since it probably wont happen anyway, why not just use Toughbooks? They are water proof (at least I saw a video of one in a shower), and a pretty drop resistant too.
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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby sibon » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:51 am

This sounds like an awesome idea! How about using some cheap (and I mean cheap, you can get them free with magazines sometimes) flash drives and some USB to Micro USB adapters. You would attach the drives to a flag (or something else noticeable) loaded with coordinates of the teams target (target can be anything, as long as it's near impossible to find without the coordinates) the play would then use the adapter to read the text file and enter the long/lat into Google maps and find the target. You could also use Google latitude to keep track of team mates.
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Re: Another milestone in HBWW's insane(ly stupid) ideas

Postby HBWW » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:28 pm

Update: After discussing Nerf game (casual indoors, mostly stock Nerf) ideas with a friend, I've come up with ideas on building a web system for running objectives, game administration, etc. It will basically be as much as I can manage to do right now, implemented for Nerf wars.

While most of the original ideas mentioned here are unfeasible, a lot is theoretically possible for Nerf games. I will explore the possibilities when considering how many people have a smartphone and what not. I'm thinking of using HTML5/JQuery/PHP/SQL to get this working out. As with Project Soaking Trident, I'll throw what I manage to do up here.


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