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Summer Game 2018: Tell us what you REALLY think!

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 6:06pm by eli

It's a Friday. It's 90 degrees out there. It's 6 PM(ish). Isn't there just a VOID in your HEART? A BADGE-SHAPED HOLE where your SUMMER MANIA would go? A GAPING VOID that can only be filled with SUN-TINGED REMINISCENCE of BADGE DROPS PAST?!?!



Well, US TOO!



Even though we're already UP TO OUR EARS here at Summer Game HQ with work on the ALL-NEW AADL.ORG coming in early 2018, not to mention the IMMINENT ARRIVAL of our order of approximately 1,873 AADL T-Shirts, we can't help thinking about Y'ALL and SUMMER GAME 2018! You see, where the website is going, the current SUMMER GAME INFRASTRUCTURE cannot follow. We will have to rebuild it. (We have the technology.) But it's a good time to REVISIT some of the key TENETS of what make the Summer Game WORK... and NOT WORK, to make it BETTER and MORE FUN for everyone!



So, we've certainly got a ton of ideas, and we know for sure that everything players LURVE about the game will be returning... CODES & BADGES, POINTS & the SHOP... but there's a lot of room to innovate, to improve, to REFINE and keep Summer Game GROWING and bringing MORE SUMMER FUN to MORE PLAYERS!



But what do YOU think? What should stay? What should go? WHAT HAVEN'T WE THOUGHT OF YET? What would be COOL? What would totally STINK? And what would just BLOW YOUR MIND?!



LET'S HEAR IT! If you're still here, it's because you LOVE THE GAME. And we do too. Thanks in advance for helping us make it better... and THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Comments

So, a few things we're thinking about specifically:

- Friend Codes. They didn't work as intended and we probably should have axed them for 2017. We have an idea on how to make friending more fun and less work. What's yours?
- Logging. Read / Watched / Listened is too open-ended and doesn't wind up being meaningful. We have an idea on how to make logging more fun and less work too. Do you?
- Points for Comments. It encourages some spamming of threads. We don't think this is needed anymore. Do you?
- The Shop. While points and shopping is here to stay, and nobody's going to lose their points, we have some ideas about ways to decrease the frustration and anxiety that comes with the rapid runs on the shop. What are your ideas?
- points-o-matic. It's time for points-o-matic to be welcomed into the fold. We want there to be prizes for time spent playing points-o-matic.
- badge threads. It's hard to get help from other players when tips can be spread across several posts. We have an idea (from a player!) about comment threads on each badge. What do you think?
- Clues. The way we handle clues for the next code in the answer for each code is weird and awkward. We have an idea about clues that are unlocked by codes instead of built into each code. Sound good?

And we're just getting started. Let us know what YOU'RE thinking and what YOU'RE thinking could become what WE'RE thinking!

I think you should make a geocaching badge like previous years. I enjoyed it very much.

I'd love to see Points-O-Matic have some meaning beyond just incrementing a number.

I'd also like to see a year-round badge system. As a start, earning points for participating in library events (field trips, board meetings, using the Secret Lab, taking part in Washtenaw Reads, Minecraft) would be nice.

For those who prefer more solitary activities, there might be knowledge badges like some of the more historic/scientific modules: learning about dinosaurs/stars/cows/glaciers, the Huron River, civic boards and bodies, Ann Arbor history, walking tours.

The non-summer badges could be a monthly thing; I'm not at all suggesting the insane pace you folks schedule over summer break.

I've also got some idea wandering around in the back of my head that says "reaching out/giving back". I'll post again after I've thought about it more, but it's an idea that says your loyal fans would become community outreach volunteers, helping cement the library's place in the community and ensuring that even non-patrons get excited about and supportive of the library mission.

Would it be possible to keep the clues for the exploring badges visible even if you couldn't earn points? I'm thinking of the parks exploration badges where you could print out the clues before you went, and then work your way through the badge going point-to-point in the park.

It might mean revising how the next clue is accessed. Some of the clues this year required a smart phone to participate because you couldn't see the next clue until after you entered the correct code. I'm thinking of the comics art display badge from the 3rd floor (iirc).

Hey Booknerd, this is one of the use cases for clues as separate from code responses. For park explorer badges, none of the clues would be locked, you'd be able to see all the clues for all the codes before starting the badge. We'll likely do a print-friendly view of the badge page too. Great question!

- Badge comment threads would be EPIC (am biased since I'm the one who caught you in the stairwell at the gala to mention it). To piggyback onto that idea, how about a commenting system that lets you see the comment you're replying to (i.e. threaded replies)?

- The friend codes was a nice idea, but it became a bit frustrating to see that people could earn more points from a few minutes of looking through a comment thread for people's codes and some copy/paste than a three question mark badge.

- We LOVED the goblin series that showed up in the latter half of the game, and it was a nice reason to revisit the branches that aren't our "local" ones.

- Here's an idea for prizes: gift cards or coupons for local businesses. 6k points for a small coffee at Roos or a Washtenaw Dairy donut? Sure! 15k points for a $5 gift card to Literati? Yes pls. Might give the inventory wranglers less stuff to store and eliminate some restocking.

- Prize distribution: Maybe make a set number of something available every week, especially if you sense that an item will be popular. Take the 2017 colored pencil sets as an example... say you ordered 500 sets, release 75 to the store each week That way people who don't have enough points in week two know they'll have a chance in week four when they do have the points.

- Another SGer mentioned year-round badges... I did the Lowdown of the Day for most of last winter, but still am not sure how those points were intended for use. I did find some interesting downloads along the way though, so thank you!

Keep up the AMAZING work!

-Friend codes - you don't need them. They didn't seem to do anything at all.

-Points for comments always annoyed me. Maybe if you do them, just count it for the first comment made on any given thread, or have a max number of points that can be earned each summer (not more than 500 perhaps)

-Runs on the shop are no fun. Maybe make a survey and ask the gamers what types of prizes they like best, and what points values ranges they believe are reasonable - a balance of ordering a little more of the popular stuff and "right pricing" it might help make the popular items less scarce.

- points o matic has always been pointless to me because the points did nothing if using it got no badges (aka regular points). Is there a need for points o matic from the library standpoint? For me it just seems like a mindless waste of time.

- Comment threads per badge would be wonderful!

- Clues - could you provide an example of what you mean?

- Friend Codes: Wouldn't miss them if they were axed altogether.
- Logging. Read / Watched / Listened: No great ideas; am Ok with current format.
- Points for Comments. I like the idea of points for comments, but maybe limit it to 10 comments max for points. Or no points. Doesn't matter much to me. But would points for reviews and tagging also end?
- The Shop: More chocolate. More useful items (like umbrella, cutting board,etc.). Loved the golden bundles as a way to use up large points. (But also like that you have smaller items, kids' items, etc.)
- points-o-matic: I never realized the points didn't count. Well, there are hours wasted! ;-)
- badge threads: I loved talking to other players about badges -- not just for hints or comment points, but because it was fun to chat and/or share frustration. A comments page for each badge would be awesome. And as long as we're talking about badges, I *love* the ones where you have to go somewhere to earn them. Someone mentioned geocaching -- I didn't play then but love this idea.
- Clues. Yes, a better way to display them (esp. if you get stuck and need to come back) would be nice.
- Public meetings: I watched too many recordings where no one held up a sign or it was easy to miss. Example: the FIVE hour school board meeting. Eek!! Was also super bummed the second library board meeting (in August) was cancelled. I would have gone to the first but only found out about it about an hour before the meeting.It might be nice to post all meetings/one-time events in a calendar at the start of the game, so people can make plans throughout the summer.
- RANDOM CAPS ALL THE TIME: Got a little HARD TO READ over time. THANK YOU.

Thanks! The game is a ton of fun.

Hi, I was just wondering if anybody could tell me when the summer game player page will be ready to open. Thanks

Hi!

So excited for the start of the game in a few days! My idea doesn't address one of the issues you raised in your original post, but anyway, here goes... I think that it would be beneficial to the library and to the players if you included game codes in more game- or non-game-related AADL fliers/publications/webpages/social media posts etc. They wouldn't have to earn a player a lot of points, but they could be a way that SGers would look at more library stuff and non-SG library fans would notice the game and get in to it. For example, the Axis bi-monthly pamphlet could have codes buried in it and AADL's current daily Instagram posts counting down to the game could (occasionally, to add to the element of surprise) have codes in the captions. Or how fun would it be if you could click into a random page on aadl.org and there's a 150 point code, ripe for the snatching? While this would not have to become a big part of the Summer Game, I think it would add to the fun "Will it have a code? Will I get points? I really should do this, because you never know what'll be there!" feeling that is already part of the experience because of library/community events with hidden codes.

Thanks for creating the game! So much fun!

BTW - I love that summer game starts when school ends. I wish it lasted until school begins again!

I already miss the visual of which badges I’ve earned vs didn’t from the badge list. Previously they were grayed out if not earned. I’m finding it difficult to keep track of which badges I’ve earned already.

Friend codes seemed pointless.

A balance is needed to encourage comments vs spamming to just earn points. Ditto for reviews, rating etc.

Love the new positioning of the codes in catalog searches. Always hated having to scroll to the bottom of an item to find the code. It actually messed me up on my first one this year, went right past it, never saw it and confused the heck out me.

I think comments on specific badges for people to post for hints and help have potential. My concern is this now creates a whole lotta places for people to post and it was tough enough to keep up with all the comments just on the blog. But it’s was really difficult to ask for help the old way, so I think this is worth a try.

Logging read activity: I always hated having to make 2- 3 entries everyday to earn all my reading points. My reading is always from newspapers, so my entries were very redundant. I’ll admit, I’m kinda disappointed in the low value of daily reading points this year, but appreciate earning those points in one entry. Suggestion, a way to log back days and still earn those points. For example, I do get my reading in every day, but if it’s a particularly busy day I may not come on to play and therefore forget to log my points that day. If it’s not done every single day, the points cannot be earned back. Perhaps a calendar type reading badge to log reading points? As each day comes, it becomes “active” to select and log. To avoid spamming points perhaps give a few days grace period before the day becomes inactive again and reading points for that day can no longer be logged.

That’s my 2 points (get it, my 2 points... 2 cents... hey! If you can make cheesy puns so can we!) for now.

I applaud all the changes that have been made so far. I agree that the awarding of points for commenting became spammish for some.
I love the new positioning of the code on the page - makes it much more visible.
I liked the badge series on Ann Arbor Stories and hope that one comes back this year.
Commenting on the badge itself is much easier to follow now and problems seem to be addressed more efficiently.
It'd be great if the individual branch badges were available at the beginning when the codes go up in the libraries. It would make it easier to check for hints to find all of the codes.

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