Future Games

A place to talk about the Geocaching Australia dragonZone and other games
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caughtatwork
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Future Games

Post by caughtatwork » 17 May 21 12:34 pm

What is the future of games?

The list of games that have been played in the past are listed below where you can see the style of the games in terms of finds, hides, physical or not, GC and GCA inclusions. You can remind yourself of the fun or not fun you had, whether you found them challenging or boring, whether they were worth it or you only played... because.

There will always be challenges about game requirements.
- Including vs excluding Locationless (there will always be someone unhappy)
- Including vs excluding Moveables (there will always be someone unhappy)
- Too onerous to log an entry in the game vs wanting to "feel involved" in playing the game (there will always be someone unhappy)
- People fake moving geocaches in moveable cache races (who decides if a move was fake or whether it was moved and then moved back?)
- People fake logging virtual or locationless caches (a human check is the only way to catch that and I will never be involved with that again)
- People hiding geocaches for "mates" which are then archived (sigh!)
- People hiding cache after cache after cache to get to a goal (a cache is a cache is a cache, but someone who didn't think of it is bitter)
Let's be 100% honest, when we make it a competition, some people get competitive and, to be truthful, assholes. When people become competitive they also forget how to behave and the abuse the various administrators have received over the years for "pulling someone up" is simply beyond belief.

The following quote is attributed to the poet John Lydgate and later adapted by President Lincoln:
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time”.
So, lets get down to brass tasks. What do you want a future game to incorporate?

Here are some principles that you must consider when you are designing a game.
- How will the game promote Geocaching Australia as a site to hide and find geocaches?
- How will the game encourage people to hide and find geocaches at Geocaching Australia?

Here are some things you will need to consider that may impact the way that you need to think.
- Not everyone will like the geocaches you exclude
- Not everyone will like the geocaches you include
- Not everyone has the physical capability to get high terrain geocaches
- Not everyone has the mental capability to get high difficulty geocaches
- Not everyone want to hide a geocache
- Not everyone wants to find virtual or locationless caches (especially not more than once)
- How will you stop fake and false finds and moves on moveable geocaches?
- How will you stop fake and false finds on geocaches that don't have a physical logbook?
- How will you automate the process of game scoring to take the "abuse element" out of the scoring?
- How will you stop people cheating (anything you can think of to get around a rule people will do)?

Have an open, friendly and transparent discussion. Don't make a complaint without a compliment. Don't make a criticism without a solution.

If you had the idea to develop a game:
- what would it be about
- what cheats can you think of (others will always find more)
- what would make people want to play (apart from any tangible reward)
- how easy is it to calculate whether an achievement has been met
- how long would it run
- when would it run
- how do you handle the situations where geocachers have "no caches with 1000km that I can find" scenarios

Have a discussion and if you think you there is enough interest and discussion on an individual game idea we can break that out and have a whole conversation about those in general. We can also run a competition to have a new game designed, but we need to have the discussion about what sorts of games to run and the benefits and pitfalls first.

Other things that are on the table are also:
- Never run another game again
- Have activities which are not competitive, but still reward you with "virtual" things

So, the floor is open for discussion. Make it so.


Games list:
  • Blitz 2021
    Find based on physical geocaches
  • 2020 December
    Find and Hide based on physical geocaches (with lockdown focused on specific locationless geocaches)
  • Showdown 2019
    Find based on physical geocaches
  • Blitz 2019
    Find based on physical geocaches
  • Journey or Destination
    Find and Hide based on physical geocaches
  • Spring Caching Carnival
    Moveable cache race on moveable geocaches
  • GeosportZ 2018 (Gold Coast Commonwealth Games)
    Find based on "requirements to complete", included GC and GCA, and all cache types
  • States of the Nation
    Find based on "requirements to complete", all cache types
  • Christmas In July
    Find and Hide based on physical geocaches (dragonZone based)
  • Summer Scavenger Series
    Find based on "requirements to complete", all cache types
  • GeosportZ 2016
    Find based on "requirements to complete", included GC and GCA, and all cache types
  • GeGnome ][ Electric Boogaloo
    Moveable cache race on moveable geocaches
  • Winter is Coming
    Find based on physical geocaches (dragonZone based)

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Just a cacher
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Re: Future Games

Post by Just a cacher » 17 May 21 1:06 pm

First, I feel I must apologise for all the pr*cks out there who have abused anyone involved in organising any of our caching stuff, including games. I also apologise if anything I have ever said or done has come across as abuse to the organisers. I also want to thank you for all your hard work.

I am amazed, having read all the problems, that you ever ran a second game, let alone doing it over and over again. I have a great deal of respect for you, putting yourself into that situation repeatedly, just so that the majority of us could have some fun. I don't think I could keep on putting myself in that position.

I really enjoyed the movable races - they were my favourites. I've really only gone through the motions with the other games. I do see that it was very easy to cheat with the movable races, and ran into one or two players not working within the spirit of the rules at the time. Long time ago. Water under the bridge. I can't imagine how you would PREVENT the cheating,though, and this is the problem, as you have pointed out on several occasions.

I could not, in good conscience, ask you to ever run another game, given the way you've been treated. Not only the abuse, but the deliberate cheating.

Perhaps it might be a good idea if we worked on promotion of GA to others, rather than competing against each other? Or at least, tried that for a change? I like to tell others about GA, but I tend to run into issues of how to do that without treading on the toes of other caching organisations. I don't know what the 'rules' are on that subject.

Wendy

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Richary
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Re: Future Games

Post by Richary » 17 May 21 9:29 pm

I find it difficult to participate in games, given I have few unfound GA caches within easy reach of home or Coffs Harbour where I will probably visit over the Battleship game period. I suppose I could drive to the upper Blue Mountains (about 2 hours away) if rogerw3 still has a lot up there. But that is a bit of a drive, not to mention the tolls each way.

While I realise the games are designed to promote GCA perhaps we could make it more inclusive. 1 point for a GC find to allow people with no local GAs to participate. 2 points for a GA/TP find. 3 points for a GA hide. That would be one suggestion I would like to see considered and discussed. At least it allows people to be involved even if they have no local GA caches to find. And yes it would be up to people to ensure they import their finds from the other site before the game period ends.
- How will the game promote Geocaching Australia as a site to hide and find geocaches?
I don't think a game will by itself. Anyone who knows about the game or the site is already here. If you are only on the other site you won't know about it, unless you happen across it via a social media post from someone else. And even then people won't probably join unless there is something on offer for winning or participating. With Battleships there is nothing on the page to indicate what the prizes are if any.

I can understand not including the locationless in the latest game (I easily have over 400 jigsaws left to solve) so that would be fairly easy to click every square especially while I am not working so have time on my hands. Or it would be fairly easy to post that many random locationless. My favourite games have been the moveables, despite noting cheating in the past. But those rules could be tightened up, so only one claim is allowed on a given one during the game period (if you find it again it doesn't count).

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Just a cacher
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Re: Future Games

Post by Just a cacher » 18 May 21 9:58 am

Okay, I've had my thinking cap on. I know my thinking capacity is reduced due to illness, so be gentle with me. :)
Rough idea:

I thought we could have a sort of voting competition.

My idea is to have a list of categories. I suggest we have a form that people can make nominations for their favourite 'thing' in each category. After a reasonable period of time for nominations, a voting form could be prepared, and voting begin. Naturally, the cacher who owns the 'thing', if any, would be in line for a prize, and possibly some of the voters, if numbers permit.

I know that sounds complicated, but it looked good when I scribbled it on a piece of paper. 8-[

I thought some of the categories we could use might be:
1. Most original hide
2. Most original movable.
3. Cleverest cache container
4. Cleverest movable
5. Biggest container
6. Biggest movable
7. Most orange cache (all right, I'm reaching :) )

We could even give people a heads-up ahead of time, to create and publish their best inventions.

I also thought a section for ideas might be good, such as:
1. Best pathtag series design GA related (new ideas only, of course)
2. Best and most suitable idea for new items to sell in the GA shop
3. Best and most practical idea for promoting GA to other cachers.

We could include a section for most finds in a day, longest run of finds (time as well as distance) etc., if we thought it needed a more competitive edge.

I thought the nomination form could include spaces for photos and/or videos of especially brilliant hides. Of course, if you are nominating someone else's cache, you must fill in the space for the owner's username.

Perhaps we could line up a set of volunteer judges, who would not participate in the competition, (or maybe not in the section they judge).

Would anyone participate in that? Can anyone think of a way anyone could cheat at this? Or a reason to? Does it sound reasonably fair to all? Better category ideas?

Wendy

OldSaint
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Re: Future Games

Post by OldSaint » 23 May 21 10:12 am

I just looked at the leader board for Battleships and noticed that some cachers have already had some of their finds recognised for this game
BUT it's not supposed to start until the 1st of June
"Game Period: 01-Jun-2020 00:00:00 to 31-Jul-2021 23:59:59 AEST"
I am wondering if this is a glich in the system or can we start scoring now/
Cheers OldSaint

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caughtatwork
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Re: Future Games

Post by caughtatwork » 24 May 21 9:39 am

It's a glitch. The game starts on 1-Jun-2021 and was accidentally set to 1-Jun-2020. This has been corrected.

All activity has been removed from the ladder.

Let the complaints commence.

OldSaint
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Re: Future Games

Post by OldSaint » 24 May 21 10:09 am

Thank you for your answer, appreciated; only too glad to help the administrators
Cheers OldSaint

budgietas
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Re: Future Games

Post by budgietas » 24 May 21 1:45 pm

Richary wrote:
17 May 21 9:29 pm
While I realise the games are designed to promote GCA perhaps we could make it more inclusive. 1 point for a GC find to allow people with no local GAs to participate. 2 points for a GA/TP find. 3 points for a GA hide.
What a great idea

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mattyrx
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Re: Future Games

Post by mattyrx » 24 May 21 1:47 pm

I think the promotion of GCA and the benefits of hiding and finding caches on our site is integral to future successful games. If you’re the only GCA cacher in your area, adding just one or two more GCA players to your local mix will take the games to a whole new level. I like to promote GCA and it’s benefits to any cacher who will listen – even at GC events. You’d be surprised how many people don't know about us in any detail.

Maybe there’s a game we can hold that encourages and rewards hides. Here’s a quick something:

Game involves a list of hiding ideas. Maybe 50 or so different ideas/requirements. These ideas are all revealed on the day that the game starts. Cacher selects as many ideas as they like and hides a physical cache at each one. A story behind the location can be entered into the cache description. Maybe more points for a larger container.

e.g. Hiding Ideas:
  • My favourite park
  • The spot where I met my significant other
  • The place I went to celebrate my divorce
  • A nice place near home that only the locals know about
  • An abandoned structure
  • A place to watch the waves
  • Top of a mountain
  • A place of Aussie history
  • A place of scientific interest
  • Somewhere silent
  • Where I go when I'm sad
  • A view of the city
  • etc

Personally, I don’t think locationless caches have a place in the games. They’ve changed too much over the years and most don’t resemble any type of geocaching whatsoever. From the wiki...
A Locationless cache is a cache where the hider has found something interesting and sets a challenge to other geocachers to find more of the same item.
This once rang true – you’d need to go out and find something that matched the cache and log its location. These days, I think it would be safe to rename ‘Locationless Caches’ to ‘Armchair Caches’. Most don’t require anything interesting to be found – just solve a puzzle, get a smiley, repeat.

Moveables also have their challenges in games – so many challenges that I’d personally exclude them from any caching games as there’s always someone ready to use them to push boundaries and cheat. I really enjoyed the moveable races from years ago too, but I think they’ve had their day.

I think games that use GC cache finds in our games could still work (like in the GeoSportz games). It helps those who are more isolated and makes it easier for the game creators to get specific about game rules and awarding points etc. They’re a fun game that I’d like to see continue to happen in a similar format.

I really love the games that work like a board game (i.e. Battleships, Journey or Destination). These introduce an element of luck for most players too. Maybe there’s other board games we could simulate…. Cluedo, Mastermind, Even Snakes and Ladders. Even if a find/hide during the game period allows a simple ‘throw of the dice’, then the cacher uses the result for their game board. Something like snakes and ladders could have a game board where we could all see each other and our respective locations on said game board. Whether or not the thing can be programmed is a consideration too.

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caughtatwork
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Re: Future Games

Post by caughtatwork » 31 May 21 2:46 pm

It's been two week now and feedback has slowed down. Thanks for the feedback from the folks who took a moment to help build and improve the site. I'll review the feedback that has been received and see what results. I will get back to y'all shortly.

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whitewebbs
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Re: Future Games

Post by whitewebbs » 31 May 21 8:33 pm

I like the ideas from mattyrx.

The hiding component is worth considering.

In the game about to begin, Tassie cachers have hidden over 170+ caches, as being prolific finders all nearby caches would have been found leaving none to find easily during the battleship games.

As these games include hiding but don't benefit the finder it will mean (as long as we hide a few more in the games) that caches can be left until needed. The urge to be FTF has to be squashed though. I have managed that for the ones that have been published during the last week. (Only just)

For this to work we would need advance notice of when and what is required in the next games.

I have always liked the moveables and can remember leaving home at midnight for the race for FTF finds but agree they probably should be left out of the games.

Thanks for setting up the games.

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caughtatwork
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Re: Future Games

Post by caughtatwork » 01 June 21 9:19 am

whitewebbs wrote:
31 May 21 8:33 pm
For this to work we would need advance notice of when and what is required in the next games.
A game announcement is made on the 15th of the previous month to the game so you have two+ weeks to "get ready".

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caughtatwork
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Re: Future Games

Post by caughtatwork » 01 June 21 2:00 pm

The basic premise of the games at Geocaching Australia is to promote the site as a place to list and log geocaches and to have fun. In general it seems that we don't have enough geocaches to go around for games. People do not find the ones in their local area for fear of needing then for games. Locationless caches are liked or loathed and are a major challenge to monitor for a game. The time of the geocache game has probably drawn to a close. We have one more activity scheduled for later this year and then I'll put the games to rest, if not indefinitely, then at least for a long while.

In addition to the games there is also feedback on the promotion of Geocaching Australia outside of our own community, There is feedback that we actually use the games to promote competition between members rather than encouraging others to join in. That's a valid point and one that can be addressed by more promotion of Geocaching Australia to the wider Australian Geocaching community. What can we do to achieve this? Who would be willing to take it on? Who would volunteer to be a champion on the "communication and marketing" of Geocaching Australia? This may be separate topic which anyone is more than welcome to start up.

Thanks to everyone who, in this thread and others, has provided feedback that will be used to set the direction and future of the site.

You can read the feedback (summarised and paraphrased below).

Feedback on the promotion of the site.
Promotion of Geocaching Australia to others, rather than competing against each other.
Anyone who knows about the game or the site is already here.
If you are only on the other site you won't know about it, unless you happen across it via a social media post from someone else.
How to tell others about Geocaching Australia without treading on the toes of other caching organisations.
You’d be surprised how many people don't know about us in any detail.
There is feedback that we should incorporate the entire game of geocaching in our games and not just the componentg of geocaching from our site. From a perspective of having more geocaches to find and hide, this is a valid point. On the other hand one of the premises of the games is to promote Geocaching Australia. By including other listing sites in our games we actually drive engagement away from our site to the secondary site as it would be too hard to focus on Geocaching Australia geocaches with minimal numbers. Even if we inluded a bonus for using a Geocaching Australia cache over another site, the volume of finds on other sites would negate that bonus. There is also the philosophical issue of why Geocaching Australia exists in the first place and driving traffic to other sites, where there is a cost, is not in line with the reason we exist.
Games are designed to promote Geocaching Australia but could make it more inclusive.
Games that use geocaching.com cache finds in our games could still work.
Promotion of Geocaching Australia and the benefits of hiding and finding caches on our site is integral to future successful games.
There is feedback that Geocaching Australia simply does not have enough geocaches to find to make games viable and that is a big part of the recent complaints and a key contributer to the decision to retire or at least significantly delays games.
Adding just one or two more Geocaching Australia players to your local mix will take the games to a whole new level.
I find it difficult to participate in games, given I have few unfound GA caches within easy reach of home
The rules of Locationless caches could be tightened up.
Locationless caches do not have a place in the games.

We do have ideas for games which would need to be fleshed out should it come to needing a game in the future.
A sort of voting competition.
A game that encourages and rewards hides Game involves a list of hiding ideas.
Love the games that work like a board game (i.e. Battleships, Journey or Destination). These introduce an element of luck for most players too (vs just a numbers game)

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Just a cacher
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Re: Future Games

Post by Just a cacher » 01 June 21 3:28 pm

Thanks for your feedback on our comments, C@W.

I am eager to be part of any future promotion of the GA site, but I do not know what is acceptable, and what would tread on toes. I believe the main competition - and most complaints - would be from GC. Does anyone know what rules they have in place that might affect what we do? I dimly remember a few things being said about GA turning up at Megas, many moons ago.....

I have begun, in a small way, by putting a few GA pathtags into GC caches, when the caches are large enough to do so. I don't find a lot of GC caches these days, but when there are no GA caches nearby, sometimes I succumb to temptation. :) Is this something we can do without offending the GC community? Could we go further and advertise GA with a card or pamphlet in GC caches? What about having a card with the details of the next game on it? "Come along and join in our GA game, which is about x and starts on y. There will be prizes." We would need a LOT of notice, though, as many caches aren't found all that often.

I already talk about what's going on with GA, on the few occasions I attend GC events, but I find many people are rather dismissive of GA. No reasons given, just "Oh, I don't do GA." It's hard to argue with that. It might be worth having a pamphlet or link or something to offer to people we meet, that explains the advantages of GA. However, I suspect that doing that at GC events might be on the list of no-nos. :(

I have noticed that, at GC events, if one turns up with a load of movables, there are quite a lot of people who are happy to "find" them while they are there, although most don't want to take them away to move them on. I assume these are already keen GA players, but if we do it enough, we MIGHT pique the interest of other cachers? Certainly, no one refuses to give movables house room because of their allegiance. It's almost like they are a separate entity, like pathtags and travel bugs (yes, I know, but they LOOK separate from GC, somehow).

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No_Tomorrow
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Re: Future Games

Post by No_Tomorrow » 13 June 21 2:15 pm

My 2 cents...

I'm loving the randomness of this battleships board game. I'm sure it's very tricky to create this kind of thing but I like the idea of playing more games like this.

As for remoteness, from my own remote experience when there was nothing to find for over 100km, I really appreciated being able to be a part of the games by either hiding caches or finding locationless caches. I'm not a huge fan of the locationless, but they were something I could do to still geocache in a way when there was nothing else. The ones I loved were ones that made me go outdoors and find things in my town or beyond.

Regarding remote hiding, I think hiding at least 1 to be in the running for a prize might be more realistic for remote areas. I had a lot of GCA caches in the Dubbo area that no one was coming to find and felt my efforts went unrecognised (I'm human). Therefore, perhaps rather than just top 10, and then 20th, 30th etc getting rewards as has been done in the past, this could be randomised. Competitive people (not speaking negatively - nothing wrong with that) can still see their placings, but doesn't guarantee a reward. This might also reduce the inclination to cheat.

Just my thoughts.

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