Hello! I just finished designing and deploying my first hunt, this app is wonderful! Just thought I would share my experience to help you evolve it and keep on making it better =)
The event: Hen Party Activity
Location: V&A Museum, London (mostly indoor)
Type of hunt: Treasure Hunt
No. of hunters: 5
Use of functions:
Clue Name - Short enigmatic name describing the clue
Description - Teaser description of what photographic clue you will be looking for
Photo Match Object - Pieces of art around the museum that served as landmarks/markers for the path I wanted them to follow around the V&A. They were chosen because they were also the top attractions of the museum.
Quiz - After the photo was matched, I knew they were in the right location, I then had a set of paper puzzles that they had to solve where the “Input Clue” was based on the object they had just photograph. That input clue is then used to solve the puzzle, which was a variety of things including cryptograms, ciphers, word searches, word scrambles, word matches, maths equations etc. The Quiz then asked “what is the solution to the puzzle?” and the answer would be whatever you worked the paper puzzle out to be. If you got the answer right you got further information about the solution (in this case as it was a hen party the solutions were words or key dates for the couple getting married. If you got the answer right you got further explanation as to why that word or date was significant, if you got it wrong you got the answer anyway but with no explanation)
Reward - The reward for completing the clue is directions to the next clue location (e.g. exit the room and turn right until you see a doorway on your left, go in.) which you get no matter what happens.
General: It worked really well and they all really loved it, especially the techy aspect of doing the photo matching for navigation and complementing that with the tactile nature of solving paper puzzles. They work really well together.
Assembling the hunt: I made quite a few mistakes to start with, starting with not saving very often. I captured 15 clues in the museum and then saved, but due to patchy reception I think the upload must have gotten corrupted and therefore only two out of the 15 photos I took for matching were saved, I lost all the rest and had to go back and do them again. Would be great to add a feature to automatically save the photo clues to the camera roll or a button to save them all to the camera roll manually. After this I saved after every clue which was a bit tedious because saving exits you out of edit mode every time but then I was sure that all of my photos would be saved. It took me a while to get my head around what appears first - it’s hard to remember that the description will be shown before the photo is shown so you have to write the text so that you are teasing the photo instead of talking about it. I had to do a bit of rewriting before I got the hang of the sequence. The “test run” doesn’t do the whole clue but only the quiz items. Would be great if you could “test run” each clue individually from description phase to reward phase. Also, testing the entire quiz is also a bit cumbersome because if you have to stop and exit at any point to do modifications, when you want to go back to the testing you have to start at the beginning every time. Would be great to be able to test run from any point so that you can more easily optimise the flow of the logic and the text as you transition from one clue to another.
Photo Matching - I am 5’3" and the taller ladies in our group found it hard to match my photos! Also I captured the photos on an iPhone 6 and the one member of the group who had an iPhone 5 had trouble matching too. Other than that it worked more often than not and they found it really fun! I also made sure that I captured the images, especially the external ones, at roughly the same time that I was going to run the event so that the shadows would be in the right place.
Freeform Clues - I had great plans for photographic answers, and set up some freeform answers in picturesque locations in the museum to provide opportunities for interesting group photos or selfies that mirrored the sculptures and the paintings. This didn’t really work as well for the following reasons:
- the freeform clues look too much like a photo match question, so their automatic response was to try to take a match photo, even though the description clearly says something like “take a photo of one member of the the team standing under Michelangelo’s David’s foot”. Also, it’s not possible to use the front camera so selfies are not an option. Uploading from the camera roll is also not possible so the photographic options are limited. The functionality of uploading multiple photo answers would be great too. When I looked at the photos they took during the hunt for the freeform clues they mostly came out with the girls looking very puzzled.
Navigation - If for some reason you press the wrong button and end up exiting the hunt when you don’t mean to, if you press “play” you will reset your progress and have to start again from the beginning. I think for one of them I managed to help them get back in at the place where they exited by mistake but this was because they didn’t press the blue “play” button at the bottom but clicked on the clue that they hadn’t managed to complete. Please add a “resume” button beside the “play” button or maybe a warning pop up that says "this will erase your current progress, are you sure?"
One of my friends also arrived late so it was a bit of a pain to get her caught up, would be great to have a hunt master override so that you can bump a player straight to a particular clue if you really need to?
Awards and prizes - it would be great if you could see the freeform clue and quiz answers in a table for easy comparison, that way you can immediately give prizes or awards based on the content, e.g. most creative pose, or best use of props, etc.
Lessons learnt - I had wanted the girls to go around together cooperatively because the point of the day was to strengthen friendships. As a consequence it took longer than anticipated. As a tip in the future I’m pretty sure that if I had made it competitive it would have gone much faster and possibly more exciting, but also more challenging for the less geeky players who don’t like puzzles very much. One of the hunters didn’t have an iPhone and we thought she could just buddy up with someone but buddying up doesn’t really work because people get so excited about matching and seeing the next clue that they don’t often wait for their buddy! I had to give her my iPhone to use about five clues in so that she didn’t feel left out. Group shot answers for the freeform clues don’t really work because if you have five people in the team you would have to take the photo five times and it gets really boring. Selfie shot answers would probably be better, but selfies are not currently possible to take within the app.
To improve the hunt I think I would structure the freeform photo answers quite differently and make them more individual as opposed to group focused. At 40 clues it was also too long. I think 20 waypoints would have been good, with 10 puzzles at around 1.5 hours duration means that they were still very enthusiastic, not too tired and wanting more. In any case we didn’t get to the end because we started late and the museum closed when we were at clue no. 20. Which was fine because the stuff we missed out on were the freeform photographic clues on the upper floors of the museum, and the early ones we had weren’t really working very well.
All in all it was a very positive experience and I want to try to do an outdoor one next using geolocation to see how that works =) Well done on the app and keep up the good work!