We've been asking new students to try out our new Carleton Quest app in the last few weeks. Although I don't have a huge amount of feedback yet, there are a few clear lessons we learned already.
I made some posters with Carleton branding to house the QR codes needed for the game. I figured these would be easier to spot by players, and more importantly, be less likely to be removed by university officials. Yesterday, when I tested the game out with a friend that hadn't seen it yet, we discovered that some of the posters were missing — even the very first one! So even this design wasn't enough. We're going to try adding the logos of the departments I'm collaborating with and a note asking the poster to be left up until a certain date.
It has also become obvious that the game is too long. Yesterday, we made it to the library without doing the 4 item scavenger hunt there, and it took us about 1.5 hours. There are still three locations to visit after the library. It's reasonable to assume that new students will take even longer than we did, even though we were slowed down by the fact that several posters were missing. I'd like to get the game down to about an hour or an hour and a half total, which would be similar to taking a campus tour. To do that, I'll have to add in more branching, allowing players to choose where to go. We'll have to decide which locations are crucial enough that all players should see them, and leave the rest up to choice.
Finally, while finding the posters in the various locations is at least a small challenge, I'd like to eventually add more game-like elements. One idea that came up was having a compass virtual item that the player could obtain via another QR code. That item could then be used to get hints on how to get to the next location in the game. Can you think of any other relatively simple ideas for game-like additions?