Early idea for 2013/2014 race

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caughtatwork
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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by caughtatwork » 31 December 12 8:33 pm

Cheating is the harshest of words to use. Loopholes are used. People circumventing the rules by reading them in ways they weren't intended. Strictly speaking they're not cheating, but they're not playing in the spirit of the game either. I've probably annoyed a number of people though and for that I do have to apologise. It was a way of making a point, not intended to have a real go at anyone.

My memory only keeps the incident, not the individuals involved, but yes, JAC, people will do things to win that would surprise us in every day life. Even if the win is only worth a buck, they will spend a lot of money and time trying to read the rules / requirements in manner that they feel justifies their actions. Despite my knee jerking every game that's played, I've never DQ'd anyone or any cache.

People, when they get caught tend to get offended and belligerent (not surprisingly), so I try to not antagonise them any more than point out why I think they may have traipsed down the side of a rule rather than adhering to the spirit. Sometimes that's works, sometimes they call foul, take their bat and ball and go home.

So I try to think of things where the best / loosest possible interpretation can be made, so everyone can just have fun. It's puts the onus on the game administrator rather than the players that way.

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Richary
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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by Richary » 31 December 12 11:32 pm

caughtatwork wrote:My 3 guiding principles for any game are:
Drawing cachers to Geocaching Australia.
Fun for the participants and to create a greater community spirit.
Fun for the observers.
To start with, I enjoy playing the game and moving the moveables. And cooperating with others to be able to find/move caches. So part 2 has been covered at least for me.

But to play devil's advocate these questions need to be asked.

Part 3 - do people who aren't playing the game watch and enjoy? That's a question I can't answer, perhaps best answered by someone who might be watching but not playing the game.

Part 1 is the biggie though. We have a reasonable size group of cachers who use GCA for the forums, stats, and so on that are wonderfully provided for us. But in terms of total numbers of Australian cachers it's probably not huge. Many aren't interested in the social side of it we get here.

Out of that group how many people have started finding GCA caches because of the games? I know cachers who are or have been active on the forums who don't bother with GCA caches. Their loss I know, but do the games actually bring new GCA finders into the light to find traditional GCA ones as well? I also know there are cachers who find and hide GCA ones but don't bother with the moveables.

Everyone plays the caching game how they want. Hopefully the things this site brings helps make people realise they don't just need to find Groundspeak caches. Hopefully the games help them, and thanks for all the work bringing them to us.

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caughtatwork
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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by caughtatwork » 01 January 13 12:43 am

Anecdotally, the answer to whether objective 1 is met is yes. There have been quite a number of posts from people who "watched" in a previous year and joined in the next.

Empirically, the answer to whether objective 1 is met is yes.
http://geocaching.com.au/stats/cachers/ ... th_started
You can see larger spikes in December 2009, 2010 and 2011. 2012 seems like a normal year. What I can't really tell is how many of those new starters hang around. This graph may be coincidental with people who get a GPS for Christmas and then stumble upon our site. I'm going with the interpretation I like :mrgreen:

In terms of volume, still very low compared to Groundspeak.
This implies we had hit a ceiling with around 1,100 active finders for the last 3 years. Whether they are new replacements for people who gave up or whether we are attracting no-one new, but retaining the existing ones, I can't tell.
http://geocaching.com.au/stats/cachers/ ... ve_by_year

GCA had a little over 28,000 find logs in 2012.
http://geocaching.com.au/stats/graphs/g ... ds_by_year
The combined total was over 1 million.
http://geocaching.com.au/stats/graphs/a ... ds_by_year
GCA accounts for about 2-3% of all cache finds in Australia.
We're growing, but Groundspeak (naturally) is growing just as strong.

Of course, the more caches there are listed at GCA the better the chance people will come and play at GCA. The more we can encourage the fun aspects of Geocaching Australia the better the chance of people staying at GCA.

We're still a niche player in the game, but my goal is to encourage people to participate in GCA and encouraging fun and entertaining caches is a decent method of getting them interested. I don't want to encourage numbers or importing of caches like opencaching.com do. I want GCA caches to be placed and found because they are a decent, free and open alternative to Groundspeaks walled garden.

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by quiet1_au » 01 January 13 8:23 am

Just a cacher wrote:I don't know what to say. :shock:

Your points all make a lot of sense and I like your objectives. However, I am sad, surprised, and disappointed that we have to think about people 'cheating' or trying to.

I guess we all play the game our own way, but in a competition of any sort, surely one cannot win unless one conforms to the rules of the game? If I cheat, then I am only winning a game I play on my own. I am not better than anyone else at all.
It's not so much the issue of those who cheat themselves, it's unfair and unsporting actions by a few that can spoil the game - and chances of completing it - for other players that's a problem... :evil: [-X :stabby


:-$

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by ReneeMck » 05 January 13 11:29 pm

Could have a game like 'canberra's Toughest Caches', you have a list of different caches in different areas. You have a team member (or two depending on how big the area is) in each area who is responsible for their respective caches. First one to get them all wins.

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by fluffyfish » 06 January 13 1:19 pm

A Multi Cache race? Distance measured when a GCA multi cache is completed. Distance measured by the distance between way points. Maybe multiplied by a factor relating to the number of stages?

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by caughtatwork » 06 January 13 1:33 pm

Once you have done the 3 multi or mystery caches in your driveable area, you're out of the game. One of the benefits of a moveable cache is that they can move into your area, giving you more opportunities to complete the goal.

Mystery and multi caches (well, moveables too), can be gamed. What's to stop me setting up a 1,000km multi, you get a bunch of friends to each section, then claim the find? Or me setting up bunch of mysteries near a mate and giving him the clues? With moveables, they're simple. Find the darn thing and move it on. Not much chance for gaming the system, unless you "move it" 1,000km and hand it to your mate who's in the car with with you and he "moves it back". They're obvious and get quashed with community outrage.

I like the idea of other cache types. I fear the penetration of them in any given area will be, potentially, nil. I have 3 mystery or multi GCA caches within 50km. Two of these I can't get to because I'm not fit enough or don't own a kayak. So once I do 1 mystery cache, I'm out of the game :cry:

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by fluffyfish » 27 January 13 10:55 pm

I asked the question at the GCA event today about next summers event. People seemed to enjoy just moving caches around. Then the suggestion was raised, rather than flood the site with more moveables, use the moveables created over the past 3 events.

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by caughtatwork » 30 January 13 8:15 pm

The more I see comments like yours FF, the more I'm tending to use every GCA cache listed for the 2013/2014 game.

I'm still currently thinking along the team lines. Any cache that hasn't been found by you before is in the game and that includes TrigPoints and as moveables can be found more than once, you can log additional finds on existing moveable caches. I will have a "you must hide a new cache to enter" requirement though. Remember one of my goals is to increase the use at GCA, so more caches achieves that goal. That requirement can be any cache type, so the opportunity exists to make a traditional, multi, mystery, etc cache for your "entry".

Teams are assigned randomly. 4 teams. Green, Yellow, Blue and Orange. i.e. The colours of the GCA logo. You find a cache, your team gets a point on that cache. At the end of the game the highest finds in the game period on a given cache means that team captures the cache. i.e. Team red has 5 finds, yellow has 4, green has 3 and blue has 2. Team red would have captured the cache. The team with the highest cache captures, wins. Draws on the number of finds on a cache means it's jointly captured and both teams get a point.

Given teams will be assigned randomly you might enter with your partner where each of you have a different caching name. You might be on the same team. You might be on a different team. The choice is up to you as to whether you leave your caching partner behind and go claim caches for your team :-) Teams will presumably (assuming teams are assigned randomly) also be a mix of urban, rural and remote caches and will hopefully come from all states. So your team members should be from all states and be in any geographic location. That means hopefully, you, in the middle of nowhere gets on a team with a bunch of rabid cachers in an urban area with lots of cachers.

There will need to a "minimum contribution" to you your team that you'll need to meet. i.e. No freeloaders. I have no idea what that might be yet.

I am envisioning 4 prizes. A gold pathtag for the winning team. A silver for 2nd. Bronze (or copper really) for 3rd and 4th, er, I suppose black nickel given there are only 4 metallic finishes available from pathtags.

I am assuming (for the moment) that with any GCA cache up for grabs and the entry requirement being "hide a cache" there could be a non-trivial number of people enter. Given everyone will get a prize in one colour or another, I need to seriously consider covering the cost of production of the tags as well $0.60 for postage. While I love you all, I'm not made of money.

Minimum order of tags are in groups of 100 and a new tag will be about $200. The rest of them would be about $150 per set of 100 as I would only be varying the metal plating, not creating a new design. Assuming I need 100 of each colour (minimum order), that's $650 plus postage for the prizes. 400 tags will be $240 to mail, so all up the prizes will total a minimum of $900 (jeepers creepers, that's a bunch o cash).

My initial thought was an entry fee for the game of (say) $5.00, GCA might get a few bucks for the server fund from anything left over. 200 entrants would cover the cost of the prizes.

That disadvantages those who might not have the cash to splash and will also impact kids who want to play the game but don't have access to the money to play. That also turns it into the kind of game where I might have to consider whether I need to abide by any lottery regulations if there is an entry free and a prize. It also means that any prize is not a prize, per se. i.e. You are really buying a pathtag, but of course, it is going to be a pathtag you won't be able to get by any other means.

My second thought (actually suggested by my daughter) was, apart from the need to hide a cache to enter the game, you can pay if you want the pathtag prize. i.e. If you want to enter and play the game for fun, you can still get a "virtual" prize in that you'll get an icon on your cacher page. But if you want the pathtag physical prize, then you need to fork up the monies. I kind of like that idea as you can enter for free if you want the fun and you can pay the monies if you want the prize. That still means 200 people have to pony up $5.00 each to cover the prize costs.

I also have to consider when to chop off the "yes, we'll pay for the prize". I'm thinking for simplicity either right up front OR halfway through the game. i.e. At some relatively early point you need to commit to pay for the prize. If only 200 people pay for the prize, assuming an even distribution, we would have out 50 of each colour tag, but we've bought 100 of each. What do I do with 200 left over pathtags?

I prattle on, don't I :-)

They're my thoughts at the moment. Get every cache involved if you haven't found it before. Hide a new cache. Give us some money if you want a physical prize (guaranteed one of 4 colours). Teams work together or against each other to capture a cache. Minimum involvement in your team to be considered a "winner' (no freeloaders).

What do you think? Too hard? Too complex? Too much focus on the prize? Only the winning team win a prize? Too simplistic? Does it involve those from GCA poor areas enough? Too much leeway for cheating? Gimme your thoughts, please.

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Just a cacher
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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by Just a cacher » 30 January 13 8:40 pm

I like the concept. It should help those in remote areas to play competitively.

You can sell sets of 4 tags later on to those who want all 4 tags. What's more, if you do it right you could use those sales to help make up any shortfall in game fee monies. In fact, given that there are quite a few people for whom the pathtags are more important than the game, you may have to have more made than you think! (How many sets of something do you usually sell in the GA shop?)

I guess we are looking at teams of about 20-30 members each (given the number of players this year), so that should give a nice spread of locations and people. I think we might need to look at $10 per person entry fee. I like the idea that you can play for free if you want to, but I'm not sure the 'pathtag fund' will be able the support that.

Don't ask me about the cheating thing. I just don't think my mind is devious enough, these days - I blame menopause. :-(

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by Dippedidooda » 30 January 13 9:00 pm

I LOVE the sound of this one. Captures what's great about caching, people can still cache in different ways (ie. all cache types) and encourages team spirit. I think it's great that it's not just moveables - but I understand their importance for people that have already found the existing trads etc. I marvel that you can continue to come up with such different games/races that are so new and so great again. (I still sigh with fond memories of River Deep Mountain High - I did love the winter thing, but I also think I had more time then for racing up mountains). This next one sounds great - and I might even commit to myself to taking part! ( :oops: because I didn't take part in Bingo).
Last edited by Dippedidooda on 30 January 13 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by RebornCyclist » 30 January 13 9:24 pm

Sounds like a great plan, and one I would happily take part in.
As I've made clear through my incessant whinging, I feel like the moveable focus has taken the game a long way from the spirit of caching, especially with the large numbers just getting passed from cacher's home to cacher's home.
The things I like about this are:
- finding "real" caches
- hiding a cache (not just releasing a toy into the wild)
- being part of a team

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by Toriaz » 31 January 13 5:50 am

Sounds like a good concept. To cut costs, you could consider making the virtual pathtags in the 4 colours for 1st place through to 4th place, but only get the physical pathtag in one colour. Everyone gets the same colour pathtag for playing (& if they contribute to the pathtag fund - I'd be happy to pay $5 entry fee) regardless of where their team finishes.

This suggestion is in part because I play these games for fun, if it was too competitive, I'd be less interested.

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by caughtatwork » 31 January 13 8:45 am

Toriaz wrote:Sounds like a good concept. To cut costs, you could consider making the virtual pathtags in the 4 colours for 1st place through to 4th place, but only get the physical pathtag in one colour. Everyone gets the same colour pathtag for playing (& if they contribute to the pathtag fund - I'd be happy to pay $5 entry fee) regardless of where their team finishes.

This suggestion is in part because I play these games for fun, if it was too competitive, I'd be less interested.
But then where is the incentive to get the physical tag in the colour you want? For all I know (because despite how I act, I don't know everything :-)) some teams will throw the game to end up in 3rd because they want the copper coloured tag :twisted:

I take your point though. That would help minimise the costs. But c'mon, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and "loser" tags seem fun.

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Re: Early idea for 2013/2014 race

Post by allrounder » 31 January 13 3:57 pm

I like the concept, I didn't participate in the 2012/13 race but did for the gnomes and the frogs...

I'd be happy to pay...of course, I'd want to buy the tags I didn't "win" :D

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