SCVNGR Style Guide This document focuses on how to build great challenges (and treks) on SCVNGR. We’ll start off with a quick refresher on playing SCVNGR, but the best way to really understand SCVNGR is to play it yourself. If you’re not yet playing SCVNGR, go to www.scvngr.com and get started! It’s really fun. A quick refresher on SCVNGR: SCVNGR is part awesome location-based mobile game and part really really powerful mobile gaming platform.Playing SCVNGR is really simple. Its all about going places, doing challenges andearning points, right from your mobile phone. Its compelling, competitive andsocial. You visit a place and are presented with a list of challenges. One asks you totake a photo, another to solve a riddle and yet a third to order the most highlycaffeinated item on the menu and then drink two! You pick a challenge and do it.Players earn points, start unlocking badges, share their activity with friends andplay on.Building on SCVNGR is equally easy. Enterprises and individuals build on SCVNGR bycreating custom challenges at specific locations or by building treks that connectplaces and challenges into themed, branded experiences.What can I build on SCVNGR:Challenges:The core unit of SCVNGR is the challenge. The challenge is a quick, fun thing to doat a place. A challenge might ask a player to take a photo, solve a location-basedriddle, scan a QR code, complete some activity, simply check-in or really anythingelse you can come up with! Challenges are highly flexible and can include text,images, audio and even video! A good challenge should be fun, quick (possible tocomplete in <6 seconds) and clear. A challenge must be tied to a physical place.(Generally that place has an address or is easily found)Treks:Treks connect places and challenges into themed and branded paths. For example,the “Boston’s Best Baristas” trek is a set of all the best coffee houses in Boston witha challenge featured at each one. Treks can be done casually over time or all atonce. Players can choose to visit the places and do the challenges in the orderlisted, or in whatever order they choose. Each trek has its own leaderboard andactivity stream.
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of BuildingChallenges: (well, actually just the first two…)As more and more people and institutions are building on SCVNGR we’re seeingmore and more creative challenges. The listing below is by no means complete, butis definitely a good collection of the things that make challenges good or bad. Thereis no need to include all (or even any) of these elements, but they are good waysto think about what makes good challenges and what should be avoided.Good Challenge Qualities Bad Challenge QualitiesFun IllegalSeems basic, but always be focused on Never ask a player to do anything illegal.the “fun”. Period.Quick Busy WorkGood challenges can be done in <6 Don’t make players do busy work.seconds.Clear and Specific Vague / Unclear / Inaccurate / ImpossibleMake sure your challenge is Unclear challenges lead to frustration.unambiguous.Activity Oriented TriviaGet your players to do something at the Trivia (or q’s that can be solvedplace. anywhere) is a minus.Self Reflective / Group Oriented Involving StrangersGetting players to do things with their Asking players to approach strangers isgroups is a plus. generally bad.Humor Uncomfortable / Sketchy / AwkwardMaking your challenges humorous will The line between humor and sketch is aincrease fun. tight one…Creative RepetitivePlayers will reward you for creativity in Don’t use the same (or similar) challengechallenges. over and over.Free Overly Commercial / Asks For Personal InfoChallenges should easily be accessible Don’t ask to spend money or give upfor free. personal info.Fun Once, Fun Always Fun Only OnceMake doing your challenge again fun the If it can only be done once, will only besecond time! done once.One Time Due To High Level of One Time Due To Boring NatureDiscovery
Sometimes challenges should only be fun If a challenge is boring, it will only bethe first time.AccessibleReasonably done once. Time Restrictive ExcessivelyShould be accessible within sensible Only available during random (unlisted)hours. So for stores, most of the time time periods.while theyre open.Simple ComplicatedGreat challenges are easy and clear. Don’t build single challenges that haveOne step only. multiple stages.Present Tense Past TenseChallenges should ask people to do Don’t ask players to recollect somethingthings now. previous.Include Examples Bland WritingA good example can really help get It’s meant to be fun! Use your creativitypeople thinking. in writing.Involve Other People As Necessary Disobey the Laws of PhysicsSuggest that a friend snap the pic, if Snapping a pic of yourself can be toughnecessary. in some cases.Good ChallengesAny Burrito Shop: Make your best origami out of your burrito wrapper! Can youmake a crane, a dog, a turtle? Snap a picture of your creation for two points.Boston Common Coffee Shop: Check out the “coffee bean inspired” art on the wall.Which is your favorite?Any Restaurant: Time to play with your food! Mash up your main meal into theshape of your state! Snap a pic!Terrible ChallengesAny Burrito Shop: Purchase a burrito for 2 points. Mmmhmmm… Overtcommercialism tastes so good!Boston Common Coffee Shop: Look at all the art on the walls! (What am I going todo? No idea!)Any Restaurant: How many items are on the menu? Still counting? I thought so…The Triumphs and Tribulations of Treks:Treks are collections of challenges.Each challenge must be tied to a location. There must only be one challenge perlocation!Building good treks mainly consists of building good challenges, but here are acouple unique things to bear in mind. Number of Places: Average treks have between 5 and 15 places in them. You can, of course, go outside of these bounds, but a trek with 100+ places is not
a good idea. Treks are Done Over Time and Out Of Order: Bear in mind that most treks are done over time. So make sure that your challenges don’t depend on one another. Select Places That Go Together: Treks should link places and challenges into themed sets. Top 10 coffee shops, best sites, top bars, historical places etc… Make sure your places share a common theme. Vary Your Challenges: Don’t do the same challenge at each place. Mix ‘em up! Geographical Proximity: Treks should contain places in the same geographic context. “Top Sites in Boston”, “Best Coffee in the South End”, “Midtown Bar Crawl”. If all your places are in Boston, don’t include one in New York! Time Sensitivity: If your trek is time sensitive (a fair, festival, conference etc…) be sure to deactivate it once the event is over! No one likes trying to play a trek for places that no longer exist. Paths: If your trek follows a famous path or should be done in a specific order, order the challenges appropriately and then highlight that fact in the trek description. For example, the “Freedom Trail” trek in Boston. One Challenge Per Place In A Trek: Each place in your trek should have only one challenge associated with it. This gives players one thing (the best thing) to do at that place as part of the trek, and then they can move on!Good Treks:Boston Barista Trek: 15 of the best places in Boston to get your caffeine fix! Besure to try our featured challenge at each one! Do them over time or you’ll over-energize for sure!Freedom Trail Trek: This will trek you lead you in order (from Back Bay to theNorth End) along the Freedom Trail with historical facts at each place. Best doneover a leisurely afternoon.Top 10 Sites in NYC: The best places to go (and the best things to do) in NYC. You’llbe a local in no time at all!Movie Mania in LA: Visit the 8 top movie locations in LA. We’ve got the clips of thearea in the movie at each spot! Have fun!Terrible Treks:Random Locations Across the U.S: This trek contains 20 random places that I thinkare modestly interesting in the United States. Be sure to bring your private plane tomake it to them all!Every Coffee Shop in Seattle: This trek contains all 189 coffee shops in Seattle.Visit them all and OD on caffeine! Woot!Sketchiest Locations in Newark, NJ: This trek will bring you to all the sketchiestspots in Newark, NJ. Be sure to bring police protection and don’t do it at night.How to Speak About SCVNGR AccuratelyThis sections discusses how you should speak about SCVNGR.
In general, most people either play SCVNGR, by going places, doing challenges andearning points. Or build on SCVNGR by building challenges at their favorite placesor by building treks on SCVNGR that connect challenges and places into themed andbranded paths.Quick Descriptions of SCVNGR:SCVNGR is a game about doing challenges at the places you visit, right from yourmobile phone.SCVNGR is part game, part game platform. People play casually by going places,doing challenges and earning points. Others build on SCVNGR by adding challengesto their favorite places.Acceptable Phrases when referring to SCVNGR Play SCVNGR. Play us on SCVNGR. Play PARTNER on SCVNGR. Play SCVNGR @PARTNER. Play our challenges on SCVNGR. Play our trek on SCVNGR. Build on SCVNGR. Build challenges on SCVNGR Build treks on SCVNGR Go places. Do challenges. Earn points! Go places. Do challenges. Earn points. Play SCVNGR!Unacceptable Phrases when referring to SCVNGR SCVNGR Hunt (just wrong) SCVNGR games (Theres really only one game, and its called SCVNGR, but everyone can build it out at their favorite places) Play our game on SCVNGR (see above) Play the SCVNGR game. (see above) SCVNGR challenges. (Should be challenges on SCVNGR) SCVNGR treks (Should be treks on SCVNGR)Where to learn more!Were always updating this document to make it better and more comprehensive.If you have comments or suggestions, let us know at our forums(www.getsatisfaction.com/scvngr) or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Have fun playing (and building!) SCVNGR!