Real-Life treasure hunt on the Nintendo DS

Morning commute An intriguing use of the positioning system of Nintendo DS wifi is described on Gamasutra. Creative director and lead designer Justin Leingang (at Aspyr) is working on an original Nintendo DS title that uses each player's DS to create "a real-life treasure hunt,":

"The project, which bears the working title Treasure Troves, (...) One of Treasure Troves' main input mechanics operates by scanning for nearby wi-fi networks and generating items based on each network's unique frequency. (The game continues to uncover items and and optionally emit aural feedback even when the DS is closed, allowing players to "play" in public without needing to actively monitor the system.) These items can then be managed and traded with other players to create special item sets, and can be used for a variety of player-customized in-game functions. (...) For example, each item emits a distinct sound, which include musical notes and phonetic noises; the items can then be replicated and arranged on a Mario Paint-like musical grid. Like items and other custom creations, these resultant compositions can be traded with other players."

Why do I blog this? what an awesome game idea and of course the point here is not to position the Nintendo DS in an accurate way. Instead, it's simply about using existing Wifi networks to create specific items. Surely an intriguing way to tie in the physical and the digital.

Another interesting element here is that it's highly uncommon to see this sort of development on a platform such as the Nintendo DS. Although it's doable to hack the thing for this sort of purpose, it's generally more difficult for game studio to make it acceptable for Nintendo. Perhaps I should re-read the TRC: