Thursday, 18 August 2011

First look at challenges!

The challenges have just been released on Here are my first things about the new way of geocaching!

It was already announced earlier this week, but the action challenge type will be part of the game. This appears to be something like I described in my previous post, a go there and do something challenge. For me that is the only challenge type I need. This type can simply cover everything, like I explained last week.

The other remarkable thing is that you do not need any prove that you have completed the action challenge type. You can just say 'been there done that' and that's it. I think creating the prove by taking pictures or video taping your adventure, is the best part of the game both for yourself as for other geocachers who watch your evidence material online. A missed oppertunity!

The rating system. It appears that Groundspeak has reinvented the wheel by adding a new rating system to the challenges, something very unlike the favorites rating system. For the challenges you can already praise something before you have done the challenge but you can also vote things down. I am affraid that all the people who don't like challenges are going to vote every challenge down. Another thought is how long will it take before Groundspeak applies this rating system to Geocaches as well? I think it would be better compared to favorites...

Also noticed that the creator of a challenge is not important anymore. The only place where you will find your name as creator is at the bottom of the log list. That's a long way down. Come on Groundspeak, if I create something great, people have to know it was me!

The first new challenges. Users don't seem to know what to do with challenges. Groundspeak has placed themselves above all users by being the only one able to create 'Worldwide Challenges' which are in fact locationless. Users can only create location based challenges but without a review procedure, they simply forget this single rule of the game and start asking for actions you can do everywhere in the world like hugging your dog. I think users are right. Challenges could be locationless, but please, think of something better then hugging your dog.

Logs. The logs on challenges appear to be very short. This has been a subject for discussion for months already but on challenges it appears to be extreme. Folks, where is your story about completing the challenge?

Replies and comments. This is the feature that most surprised me. For challenges you can write a reply on the challenge itself and on the logs of users. For geocaches this is not yet possible but I hope they add it there soon. This makes the game a lot more interactive and social, something I have been waiting for for months.

Although some things could be better in the design and some other small things that can be fixed afterwards, I think the challenge will be great, like I said last week. I am very much looking forward to what my first completed challenge will be! I won't do simply everything you silly people ask ;-)

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