So, I am taking my son and his four-year-old friend on a camping trip this weekend in the mountains near me. My son is a big boy, but my son thinks that he and his little pal are just playing in the forest. So, what should I look for while I'm trying to find that perfect off road trail for my son?
The first thing I checked was the terrain. There was no way I could navigate the woods for so many miles without getting lost. So, if I have to go off road, I want it to be on an easy to follow trail so that I don't get lost. Most computer games offer a terrain editor that I can use in order to create a realistic looking off road trail.
I started by trying the free trail sims on the internet. Unfortunately, most of them do not offer a computer interface like what I have seen in the demo programs that were offered at the booth during the GDC. However, it is possible to play the trail using only a mouse. If you do not like using the keyboard, I recommend using a game pad. I found that using both the mouse and the game pad worked quite well in keeping the game within reach of my tiny little finger.
Another thing I looked into when creating the off road trail was how I would be able to keep track of my son. He has a GPS tracker that he wears. I also considered having his tracker mount on my back, but that seems to be too big a piece of equipment for my regular computer monitor. Luckily, all of my computer monitors have USB ports that I can plug in my GPS tracker.
I also needed to make sure that I could properly carry my son's backpack on my back. My computer monitor was too large and cumbersome for carrying a pack around on my back. I eventually solved this problem by taking an old laptop bag that my husband had stored and modified to fit into our car. We enjoy hiking and camping off road so it was important that the computer monitor did not obstruct us while we were hiking.
Finally, you might want to think about purchasing a pair of headlamps or a lantern for your off road escapades. These things are essential to safety and can help you see in the dark. You can purchase these from any department store or computer retailer. Our family loves camping and hiking so I felt that this item was necessary.