Can I offer a Letterbox as a bonus from my Adventure Lab? Can I ask geocachers to scan a QR Code to answer a question? Can I make an Adventure accessible only by boat? What about in a museum? On all 5 continents? What is the place of Adventure Labs in geocaching? You will find the answers to these questions and many more in this Q&A session with the HQ!
I had the immense pleasure of being able to ask my questions directly where it all happens: the HQ! So I took the opportunity to ask French geocachers, via social networks, if they had any questions. And indeed they did have a lot of them! I compiled all this and brought up their many suggestions. Here is the result of all this!
A huge thank you to Chris aka Rock Chalk for taking the time to answer my many questions (and I censored myself on the quantity :p). A huge thank you to Chtigones for proofreading the questions to HQ. I am sorry in advance for all my English mistakes.
Some general questions
Hello Chris, thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions French geocachers have about the Labcaches. Could you introduce yourself first?
I am Chris Ronan (aka Rock Chalk), Geocaching HQ’s Community Relations Manager.
First of all to clarify the vocabulary, is there a difference between « Lab Caches » and « Adventure Labs » ?
Individual Lab Caches are now Locations in an Adventure. (However, they are still labeled as Lab Caches in Geocaching.com statistics.)
The app is known as Adventure Lab.
At the time of writing there are 794 Aventure Labs in Metropolitan France (source: mides.fr). It’s a real success ! Were you surprised by such popularity after a mixed reception of the AR caches? How do you explain this popularity ?
Adventure Lab is a new way to share interesting locations, so we’re excited that the app is so well received by the community. As more Adventures are created around the world, and as we continue to build out the app based on player feedback, we’re confident that the popularity will only increase.
Is it still possible to get a credit to create a first Adventure Lab ? What if I have already created one? What are the conditions of attribution? And how do I know if I already have a credit for a lab ?
Our goal is to get a credit to all qualified and interested Premium members by the end of the year. The opt-in page is available in the Adventure Lab app and via this link: https://www.geocaching.com/sites/adventure-lab/en
To be eligible, geocachers must meet the following criteria:
- Must be a Geocaching Premium member.
- Must have found at least two Adventure Lab Caches.
- Does not have a current credit or active Adventure.
Receiving a “credit” gives geocachers the access to create their own Adventure, with up to five (5) Locations, using the Adventure Lab builder tool. As we continue to fine-tune this platform, we are excited to see what the community enjoys about the process, and where we can improve the experience for Adventure creators and players.
Our primary focus is on getting credits to as many Premium members as possible that want one, before moving on to 2nd credits. That said, there is currently an opportunity for creators that received their credits in Spring/Summer, who make their Adventure ‘Public’ by Oct 31st, to be randomly selected (with geographic distribution) for a second credit. There may be other opportunities for a second credit as well. We are excited to grow this platform, and we also want to give the full community a voice in the creation process of Adventure Lab. This is why one credit to each PM is our main focus.
Some geocachers worry: are the Labs called upon to replace « real » geocaching? Do you already have an idea of the place the Labs will take in geocaching in the future?
We see Adventure Lab as a tool-set that geocachers can use to extend the game of geocaching in different ways. We also see opportunities for other communities out there. For instance, there are people who are experts in fields unrelated to geocaching who can use Adventure Lab to build really cool experiences related to their discipline (examples: bird watching, history, etc.) and that gives geocachers access to new experiences that we wouldn’t have otherwise had before. So, as with geocaching, Adventure Lab is a platform for creating, sharing and playing outdoor experiences. But it is not a replacement for traditional geocaching.
Does a reviewer check the Adventure Labs? Where to contact in case of questions or problems?
Reviewers do not check Adventure Labs. (Though, they do review a bonus cache that is associated with an Adventure.) If you feel there is a problem with an Adventure that should be reported, click “Report this Adventure” on the Adventure page.
If I work in a business, museum or community, can I create a private Adventure for my clients/users? If so, how can I do it?
We do work with organizations similar to the ones you mentioned. Geocaching HQ’s Business Development team would be happy to have a quick conversation with someone from that organization. The best way to start the process is by using this short form at http://bit.ly/adventurelab. (or for Geocaching.com, visit geocaching.com/play/partnerwithus)
I know it’s a difficult question, but what is a good Adventure Lab? Are there any recommendations for a creator?
We provide a « tips » article and fun video in this Help Center article: https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=950
It is the creativity of Adventure creators that helps guide the direction of this new platform. Many creators and players around the world are sharing ideas with each other online in Facebook groups and Geocaching.com forums.
Caches are often get their 5 questions from a panel or observing a building. Do you have examples of more creative caches that could inspire geocachers?
We have heard of Adventures using public art as « jigsaw puzzle » pieces, text messaging, and videos with puzzles and riddles for finding answers. Many of these are being shared on Facebook Adventure Lab groups and Geocaching.com forums.
The most frequent request concerning the evolution of Lab Caches is their integration into the « Geocaching »map. Is this planned?
We are not currently contemplating integration with the Geocaching website. Instead, we are focused on integration with the Geocaching mobile apps and will likely follow quickly with API Partners.
Geocachers have many ideas for the evolution of Adventure Lab. Are some of them already in a road map or could they be added as future developments?
Adventure Lab is still in the early development stages. We are regularly reviewing user feedback and suggestions for future development.
Some technical questions
Can I create an adventure with points on 5 different continents or, on the opposite, in the same area?
At this time, there are no restrictions other than the geofencing determined by the Adventure creator. However, while we want to encourage creativity, we also encourage creators to plan Adventures that are fun for the finders. As noted in our Help Center tips, it is encouraged to set up the Adventure experience so that all locations can be visited within two (2) hours.
Can I create an adventure containing only one point?
It is not required, but we recommend using the allotment of five (5) locations.
Can I create an adventure to be done by boat or caving?
Certainly, an adventure could be done by boat or caving if sufficient cell phone coverage is available in such locations. For example, there is a boating Adventure in the Seattle area.
Can I create an adventure that would use physical waypoints (QR code, UV, box, etc.)? Can I use WPs from existing caches? For example, can I create an Adventure and a multi that need to be found together?
As stated in the Adventure Lab guidelines, locations cannot involve placing a physical object or container for the Adventure.
It is quite common that an adventure offers a bonus cache when all the steps are found. Can I create one or several Letter Boxes as bonus cache?
As noted in the guidelines, a bonus cache must be a Mystery Cache. An Adventure can have one bonus cache.
Can I create a lab with video, images, music or an external link to propose a quiz for example?
Currently there is capability to add YouTube videos to the following areas of the Adventure; description screen, individual locations, and completion screens. Again, we are relying on creativity of the community as we continue to build new features.
Can I create a Lab Cache in a museum or another institution if I have the agreement? If the institution is not entrance-free but is, for example, the Louvre, is it negotiable? And if the institution represents a brand or a cause, is this possible?
Guidelines state: « Make sure all locations have permission from the landowner or land manager” and « Adventures are free to play. You cannot require players to pay a fee for a product, service, or access. » An exception is made for business and other partnerships. (Again, information about business partnerships is at http://bit.ly/adventurelab)
Do Adventure have to comply with the same restrictions than classical geocaches : placed inside a structure like a museum or an institution, a commercial building, entrance-free or not, what about brands or sponsoring, proselytism, etc.?
As noted in the Help Center: « In contrast to other cache types, Adventure Lab Caches are virtual (without a container), can be indoors, and do not require a minimum distance to other geocaches. This allows Lab Cache creators to innovate and test new ideas to make geocaching even more fun. »
Would you like to add any message to the French geocachers?
We’re excited to see how the community uses Adventure Lab to bring new and exciting experiences to life. We also look forward to ongoing feedback and suggestions from creators and players as we continue to build the platform!
A warm thank you Chris for taking the time to answer these numerous questions. I hope this
will inspires geocachers to create great adventures!
I will finish with a reminder of the useful links :