Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

There’s a new geo-gaming app in town. It’s called Wallabee, and it just arrived on iOS devices yesterday. It’s written by Ben Dodson and his cadre who have taken the Gowalla model and instead of throwing out all the fun parts like Gowalla did, threw out the lame parts and added in a few twists.

The object of Wallabee, as far as I can tell (part of the fun is making your own rules) is to “forage” at places near you, in hopes of finding objects and “honeycombs”, the game’s currency unit.  You can only forage at places within about 100 meters (or a little wider range for big places like parks and offices).

Items that you find can be:

* stored in your pouch,

* saved as sets,

* “mixed” i.e. merged into better, more rare objects a la Diablo

* dropped at places you’ve foraged

The mixes I’ve found so far are “Clowns” plus “Clown Car” which combines into a “Big Top Tent”, and “Elephant” plus “Lion” which combines into “Ringmaster”. Also, I’ve managed to pick up half a dozen pairs of Nerd Glasses. Is this a message, Wallabee?

The best part though, is that Wallabee appears to have… wait for it… a business model! Yes!  In fact, there are two ways you can spend money (in other words, that the developers can make money).

1) You can become a Wallabee “Pro” for about $5 / month. Being pro increases your chances of getting objects and honeycombs.
2) You can just flat out buy honeycombs, for a rate between 300 and 2000 for a $1, depending on what bulk quantity you buy, and you get a discount if you’re a Pro.

Honeycombs can be used to buy items from the store, where the shelves are limited and items disappear quickly if not purchased.

I love that Wallabee is earning money from Day 1—I’m tired of the free model that leads to flame out or burn out or both.

The profile is a little anemic, and you can only add friends via their email address at this point. You also aren’t able to check in on other services while you forage, but both those things will come late, I’m positive.  I figure they actually don’t want to encourage viral growth yet, while they’re so new.  It only takes one Scoble inviting everyone in his contact list and Boom, server go bye bye.

The art of the app is lovely, a little more detailed and less cartoon-y than Gowalla, which remains the gold standard in icons in my mind.

I look forward to seeing this app flourish, and I encourage you to play!




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The CRA Wants My $$$

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At Least It Wasn’t a Watermelon


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

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“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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