Capture the Wifi Access Point

Continuing the discussion from A GPS game that tests your physical ability, as well as your mental ability:

Huh. That’s a good idea, that is. Like Ingress but for wifi access points. I like this idea a lot, especially because it’s not a “get together and all play the same game for two hours” but “play throughout the course of your week”. Stone me, this is a good idea. Thoughts on how it’d work? You’d want a leaderboard somewhere, of course, so that there’s the competitive aspect. How does one capture an access point? Presumably you invest some of your essence in it; how do you gain new essence?

I was just about to say exactly that.

This might not be needed, exactly, but if there is some way of identifying which WiFi point you’re connected to the internet with (from the connection info coming into the server via the request) then maybe it could be a requirement that you have to be connected via the WiFi point you’re capturing?

I also think it would be handy if this is something that can be done passively. Maybe this would take the point out of the game, but if I’m able to capture a base simply by being next to it, then I can alter my route home to go past the un-captured bases, and cap them as I go, without having to piss about pulling my phone out of my pocket every 20 seconds.

That’s exactly what I was imagining. The large benefit here is that it proves that it’s a public access point, because you managed to connect from it! This stops it being done passively, but I’m fine with that; it’s a game, you oughtn’t to be able to win just by walking around town with a phone in your pocket :slight_smile:

Not sure if you can tell where you’re connected from on the server, though. I do not know if one AP for The Cloud and a second AP from The Cloud will both give you the same IP (that is, all The Cloud APs pop up onto the net in the same place). Needs investigation…

Random idea: instead of just getting points for capturing APs, we connect together all the APs you’ve captured and that defines how much “territory” you’ve captured…


So I guess we’re looking at this in different ways, but I view this as being something that could con people into exercising by making them take an extended route home. Similar to The Walk, I guess.

I think, additionally, it would have a different target audience than Ingress. Ingress is good if you’re new to an area and want to see interesting things. Each of it’s nodes is a point of interest, so you’re visiting them not just to capture them, but to also enjoy the point of interest while you’re there.

The same cannot be said about WiFi hotspots however - as they tend to be quite boring :wink:

OK, so maybe this does need to be more than just walking next to it to capture it - but the capture process need to be fun, not a chore.

WiFi access points have MAC addresses/BSSIDs which is only visible when you are connected (not visible via the internet side) to it and should be globally unique. On the iPhone at least, apps can get this info (e.g. “NetAnalyzer” has this), but I assume WebApps cannot.

For more interesting places, maybe this is job for iBeacons?

Indeed, but I don’t know how to stop the client lying about it. I can sit in my house and ping https://game.server/?wifiap_mac=00:11:22:33:44:55 and the server has to just trust me…

The server could send a token, which the client encrypts along with the mac address (with a key in the app) and send it back to the URL. That should stop those with network snooping style tools (wireshark/charles) at least, should be good enough for this. Also, you could check it’s from an IP that other people use on that access point.

Hence the thing above about IPs; I do not know whether connecting to the AP from The Cloud in Wagamama and connecting to the AP from The Cloud in Wetherspoons makes you pop out onto the internet in the same place…

TBH you’d hardly even need that with the encryption thing, it would just be additional tripwire for people who’d managed to grab the key from within the app and decompiled it to find out how the encryption is setup.

Had a few more ideas related to this so thought I’d share them.

At each access point you have to “hack” the terminal. I don’t know if anyone ever played bioshock but there was the ability to hack computers in the game by completing a mini-game. The mini-game was just the game where you have water traveling down a pipe and you have to rotate pipes to give the water a safe path through to the other side.

While playing this the app should run a speed test on the internet connection and depending on the download and upload speed depends on how many points each AP you capture is worth.

Also another thing you could so would be “probe” or “scout” where by you have to explore the area around the router in order to access its physical reach. The larger area the AP is accessible the larger it appears on our WiFi map.

Just a few ideas I was having. Think the most important thing will be making it fun for the players more than anything. Maybe different access points also generate items / badges when you’ve “hacked” or “probed” them.

Should be a mode where you can find nearest access point and it just shows a compass like the geo-caching apps you can get.

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Useful ideas! We’ve kicked around a few similar things ourselves; I’ll add your ideas to the melting pot that’s our current planning process :smile:

hey all, wondered whether anyone had started looking at creating this? @sil I know you were leading the charge

We are indeed doing some work on this. More news as it happens. :smile:

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