Ideas are a dime a dozen… Or that time I “Invented” Uber but didn’t do anything about it.

I just opened up a text editor I have on my phone that I use to take down notes and ideas, and I found an idea for an app that I came up with, complete with monetisation strategy and everything.

I never built this app… But someone else did…

Taxi dispatch system consisting of 3 components

  1. Server component to keep track of driver locations and hires.
  2. Customer App (Android and iOS) allows customer to request a taxi. Track location of driver and pay for taxi ride.
  3. Driver component, notifies driver of jobs, tracks driver location.

Customer component will give quote for ride using distance to drive from x to y.

Customer component sends exact coordinates to driver if required and allows driver to see picture of front door.

Driver component transmits location of driver to server/customer to give estimate of how long till driver arrives.
Map integration for customer and driver.
Different version of customer software made available for each customer.

Download via QR code on receipt.

Monetization

Apps are free but 5% of hire is taken as transaction fee if paid through app.

Customisation of customer app is available at a one off cost, depending on level of customisation.

It’s not quite Uber, more “Uber as a service” to taxi firms, but still because I never built it I can just sit and wonder what would have been…

Competition To Create Games For Cats

Cat food Manufacturer Purina are running a hackathon to create games for cats the top prize is $15k with $3k and $2k runner up prizes.

I’ve had mixed success getting my cat to play with my iPad I’ve downloaded Game for Cats but my cats seem to not be very interested in it, I think because the mouse/laser pointer thing they chase leaves the screen just as they start to get interested in it, my cats invariably end up trying to look under the iPad for it.

The developers of the afore mentioned game have provided advice to other developers who want to make their own games for cats over at Gamustura if you want to participate.

Here is a short video of Game for Cats in action:

Game Idea: Scrabble Dungeon

I’m not entirely sure where this idea came from, but bear with me…

Imaging a dungeon exploration game where you have to build the dungeon you are playing in by playing Scrabble (Or some other non trademarked version of the aforementioned word game).

Game Mechanics:

Each of the 26 letters of the English alphabet is designated a type of room, for example:

  • A. Easy monster room
  • B. Fire room.
  • C. Block Puzzle.
  • D. Boss fight.
  • Z. Treasure Room

A player is given 7 Letters to start with with which they must place a word down, this does two things:

  1. Creates the dungeon.
  2. Gives the player an amount of Experience points equal to the value of the word that they just played.

The player then has the option to play another word with their remaining letters, or enter the dungeon. Note that they don’t gain any new letters after playing a word.

In the dungeon the player has to overcome various obstacles, solve puzzles, fight monsters, perform acts of derring-do or whatever, they will gain items to help them along the way as the fight through the dungeon. As each room is completed the player will also be awarded a letter,  which they can use to place words on the board and expand the dungeon.

Each dungeon room will yield one letter, meaning that the player shouldn’t have more than 7 letters in their hand at any point, emulating scrabble, and forcing the player to play more letters and fight through the dungeon to play through the game.

Characters level up by gaining experience, whether or not they gain experience by killing stuff or just by playing letters is another matter, I’m not sure if it’s fair to only award experience points for placing letters as the letters you’d get would be random? I suppose it adds an element of chance to the game.

Getting the experience points for a room by placing it as part of a word before you play through it’s dungeon adds an interesting mechanic to the dungeon explorer genre.

Double/triple word and letter spaces would also probably have some effect on all the rooms that are associated with that placement, and there might be others that only had an effect on the dungeon rooms but not the word score.

I’m not sure what the win condition is, perhaps you just keep playing till you can’t put down any more words or till your character dies? Or like in Scrabble you play until you exhaust all the letters in the “Bag”?

Alternatively the game could be a two player game, in which the players battle it out between themselves. This would mean that a character could place a small word down and then complete a few sections of the dungeon while the other player is thinking of a word to prevent them from getting any more letters, you’d probably have to remove the limit on 7 letters per player, maybe have a limit of 10 letters to keep it fair?

Another possible game mechanic is that players can’t actually put down words that use tiles/letters for which they have not yet completed the dungeon room for. This forces the players to actually play the dungeon game, and puts a twist on the “You stole the place for my word” gripe that Scrabble players often moan to each other about it. “I didn’t steal it I fought for it”.

If the game is a two player game, then maybe players would gain some points for placing a word but would be able to get the same number of points again by being the first to complete the room associated with a tile?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Code Babies: Give your Kid The Skills They’ll need for the Future

The job market is cut throat, and every parent want to give their kid whatever edge they can to get ahead in it. What better way to do this than to start them off learning HTML and CSS before they can even talk? The above HTML for Babies and the below CSS for Babies are both available from Code Babies for just $8.99 they are also available at Amazon in the US but not in the UK 🙁

Via Code Babies

Requirements

I saw this image on Facebook and it reminded me of the image below. I’ve worked in both the music industry and in the software development and you see this almost every day…

Things are over specified, over designed over sold, and under delivered constantly…

MyNoWriMo Update

Just a quick updatre on the status of MyNoWriMo.net I’ve started development work on it. Kinda… I’ve finally managed to get access to the databse that it’s going to be run on, and I’ve created the base tables that I will need to start development.

I’ve got a hectic week ahead of my so it will be at least a week before I actually start coding up the interface code for it however here are the features I plan to support in the first iteration:

1. Create a user account.
2. Log in with user account.
3. Start a project.
4. Add a word count for project.
5. View project status.
6. Search users
7. Add user as friend
8. Become Fan of Authors work

I’ve got a few other ideas.

For the uninitiated MyNoWriMo.net is my attempt at making a platform for people to do what NaNoWriMo lets you do but at any time during the year. I’ve got a few Ideas that will hopfully make it stand out, but the main goal is to give people a place where they can have a public target that they can work towards.

It’s looking like MyNoWriMo will be developed in PHP, because that is what my web hosting company supports, It may not be at first written in very good PHP as I’m not a PHP developer, I’m evaluating AJAX frameworks at the moment, leaning towards jQuery, assuming I can find a good charting libray for it, otherwise I’ll use the charting in Dojo, which I have had experience writing code in.