In the last two years, we have been lucky to find a viable and practicable solution to the design of mobile games. The ARIS platform (ARIS stands for Augmented Reality for Interactive Storytelling), an open-source game editor and client developed by a small group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has tremendous potential for this mission. We have used this software to develop and implement Mentira and have successfully instructed university students in its use in a minimal amount of time. 

Several aspects of ARIS make it a near-ideal tool for our purposes. First, it is software enabling the design of place-based games on mobile devices. Next, it is free and open source. Third, it has very low technical requirements in terms of both specialized skill, and additional hardware and software; anyone who has a computer connected to the internet and knows how to send an email with an attachment can build a game in ARIS. Despite this initial simplicity in use, ARIS is also capable of much more intricate design of player interaction; this is subtle in description but essential in that we have designed a game, not merely a tour or scavenger hunt. Although ARIS runs on specialized hardware, the ipod touch or the iphone, this device has a lot to recommend itself otherwise to common existing educational uses (e.g. several free and excellent programs allow the ipod touch to function as an excellent graphing calculator, internet access, download and playback of podcasts, etc.).

The ARIS iphone/ipod touch client software can be downloaded at the itunes store for free.
You can become a member of the alpha testers for the editor by subscribing to the ARIS project's google group.
You can download the pre-release version of ARIS that Mentira runs on at our downloads page.