Ever wonder how to play The Go Game on the moon? Interestingly, the biggest challenge is NOT getting there (remind me to email Elon Musk) but a serious lack of cellular service. This was essentially our challenge for an epic Road Race up Califonia’s epic Highway One in the summer of 2013. 200 players in 20 RVs rambled up the coast on a Go Game for the ages. Some of the earth’s most stunning scenery comes at a cost however: zero cell coverage.
So how do you manage 15 tons of rolling steel, 20 jacked up teams, 18 actors and no ability to communicate? You build an offline iPad App! Each device was preloaded with all the stops the teams would be making, complete with mission instructions, hints, text input, and multiple choice entry. Additionally, teams could navigate to ‘anytime’ missions that they could complete at any time, on the fly.
Oh, and you need to make the game content awesome, of course.
The theme of this particular adventure was the ‘Summer of Love.’ Starting at Hearst Castle, and winding northwards towards San Francisco, teams were treated to clear skies, and mind-boggling views. They knew it was going to more than a Sunday drive when they saw the CEO, replete with dreadlocked wig, hitchhiking right outside the starting gate.
From there, teams found clues in crab pots at the end of piers, scaled down epic dunes, yodeled for clues in the redwoods and even painted waterfalls on huge canvasses in front of crowds of tourists. Our actors played fishermen, Kerouac-esque travelers, wine snobs, lost German tourists and more. And what’s better than seeing the elephant seals? Why, finding your own elephant seal costume and recreating a day-in-the-life video, of course.
Ultimately, the whole event rested on the pillars of the technology. We coded, designed, and field tested that app until it purred like a kitten. With no ability to track down teams, or communicate in real time, it had to be fail-safe.