Challenges Help

Quick guide to creating standard Challenges

The below is a quick guide on creating a challenge around a standard walking trail focused on true stories. If you are just looking to create a themed trail, such as a fun Who Did It, there is another help item for that.

  • Find an interesting location; town or walking trail that can host your creativity. It might be in your local park.
  • Research the background historical stories to bring the area you are discovering to life. Search for old or current walking trails that you can use.
  • Plan the key stops (ideally those with stories) around your key audience before you step out and the approximate distances you will be walking, cycling or driving.
  • Will it be 1-way or a Loop or both? Using the same or similar content you can create 2 challenges to suit audiences based on what is best for them.
  • Get out and walk the trail; find the best place to mark as the start location and where the finish should approximately be.
  • Look for interesting puzzles or questions for each stop.
  • As you walk, you can use a variety of ways to map or enter your stop locations: Use our new Challenge entry interface and enter in your draft stops from the website on your phone or tablet.

Or Use a mobile app that can track your walk and allows you to enter Stops as waypoints, such as AllTrails.

Or Via mobile notes or good old paper.

Then all you have to do is to create or finalise the Challenge. Enter in any separate unique stories that you have discovered and map their location.

Copy the link and send it out to friends and family by email or social. If it is your first Challenge, ask for feedback to improve the flow and usability.

Watch your public Challenge page for comments, improvements and thanks!

Preparation & Planning
  • Firstly, find an area to run your challenge. Maybe you have noticed places around you with interesting history and mysteries. See below for further guidance.
  • Look for old or current walking trails that can point to a number of stops.

Research Exploria for stories online, find out local history and stories behind the items you might find. In Australia, sites like Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/ cover newspapers back to the early 1800’s and are a great resource, as are historical societies and local government councils. 

Search for:

  • Search Exploria for stories you can include in your Challenge and note new ones you can add as you discover new stories
  • Search online with local names; suburbs, streets, parks and other names (example: “history mermaid pool manly vale”)
  • Indigenous history and aboriginal engravings (use relevant local terms and words when searching, for example “ben buckler reserve north bondi aboriginal engravings”)
  • Find your local area historical society website. These are often full of stories or contacts who can help you with access to other materials.
  • Search newspaper archives like Trove - use a variety of terms and narrow your results by newspapers and dates. 
  • Local council librarians, who often double as council historians.

Identify a number of key stops that will backbone the Challenge, which might be 10-20 stops in total. Try to identify at least half of your stops, stories and things to see before you head out and explore. Once you get out and about, you will discover more stops and fun to be had.

How to select a Challenge area

Look for places that you can connect items of interest together. Again look for old walking trail content to get started, but often these are boring, so look to create something new!

It is ok to have filler stops, but depending on whether people will be walking, cycling or driving, you want to keep the audience engaged before their legs tire out. 

Overall, better Challenges develop central themes and connect with more in-depth stories when on Exploria. Heritage, history and using unique natural features is always good fun!

Challenges can be loops, out and backs (if so, think about splitting up stops) or one-way with public transport or other pickups. It is also easy to create both, so people can choose to do the one that works for them.

Identify your starting place & Challenge description

Think about how people will generally get themselves to the area, which is particularly important for city areas, where driving and parking can get things off to the right start. Find a nice spot central to the area where your audience group might start, which is used as the location of the Challenge. This also allows for pre and post-Challenge lunches and picnics and to meet friends and family who may not be completing the Challenge.

If your Challenge is an out and back, think about travel, parking and inclines - it is better to go uphill in the first half and come downhill on the return home. You can always switch around direction and stops easily through our interface.

Research and write an inviting description - think about what would capture your attention and inspire you to do this Challenge. What is interesting about it. Can you include some basic pointers on transport, cafes and toilets that may inform someone in planning mode.

How long? Define your audience & travel methods

Whilst any age group may love your Challenge, it helps to define your audience and travel methods. Think about whether the Challenge is aimed at entertaining families with kids looking to walk and explore, or oldies who are on a day driving trip.

This will help to identify the distance you will be covering that is suitable. 

As a rough guide - if doing a family trail for 10 year olds for our full 2hr+ challenges, we generally aim for 4-6km total walk, which means the total distance we calculate between the stops as the crow flies is 2-3km. However, be free to create your own 1hr or shorter versions.

Think about one-way or looped Challenges, how will people return. It is ok to let people find their own transport back, but it is good to think about their experience. We recommend for all good Challenges to create 2 versions, so people can choose based on their needs.

In most cases it will be walking, but you might also have other Challenges better suited to bikes and cars.

Creating Stops: Stories & Descriptions

If your challenge is a history based trail, look for Exploria stories to use as Stops which contain interesting facts that you can use to engage with in the location it happened. Look for visual clues and think about a unique question and answer for the stop that will engage your audience. 

Stop descriptions and details should be focused on the assistance needed to find the physical location with only a brief introduction to any story as part of the puzzle. 

If you find new true stories not on Exploria, then submit a new Story and link to this in your Challenge. Each stop description should be brief and refer to the linked Story if possible.

Stops: Tips for Question & Answer

Exploria stories can be linked to Stops, so encourage participants to read the stories to answer any questions and riddles. Use our database of more than 1m stories to help people to discover the area. If you find new stories, then you can add them easily in the Submissions area and link to them from your Challenge.

Be creative, be as different as you can for each stop. Note any hints and any direction help to make the answer more obvious if needed. Avoid simple yes/no and questions without a specific answer.

Whilst you can have general creative questions, it is good to ensure you have a majority of questions that provide fixed answers that enable participants to get a clear idea of whether they have completed the Stop.

Make sure you guide the player to the context in the question or in the description, so for Questions that related to a Linked Story on Exploria, then maybe you should first tell them to read the story.

If you are asking a visual question, make sure that you consider all conditions, will the same answer exist if a tree grows, a sign falls off or it is a cloudy/rainy day.

Stops: What is the right distance between them?

Depending on your target audience, it is good to space the stops but there is no right answer.

Generally an average of 300m for example tends to work for 10 year olds, but it doesn’t mean there can’t be several stops within that length if there are interesting items or big walks between. If there are big gaps between the main stops, sometimes you can increase the fun by creating “filler” stops with questions based on the landscape and what you can see. 

How do points and badges work?

Points are awarded for successfully locating or completing a Stop (such as answering a question). Typically this awards 100 points. Then there are an additional set of completion points for finishing the entire Challenge. This is awarded regardless of whether you successfully complete every Stop.

Additional points are also awarded after you provide a brief review and feedback on the Challenge.

Badges are awarded for a range of participation levels, such as total points and Stops answered or for achieving certain levels in a specific month. We have new badges coming out all the time and also a new leaderboard system, so stay tuned!

How important is to complete good directions help for each Stop?

Your audience will complete a Stop and immediately turn to reading out the next Stop title, description and the direction help. So the direction help perspective is coming from the previous stop.

Good guidance help can be the difference between an enjoyable outing and one that is frustrating if Stops are hard to find.

Stop: Hints & Answers are hidden

Hints are exactly that, clues that will help you locate or answer the question.

By default, Hints and Answers are hidden so that they don't spoil the experience. At anytime you can display them to help you get along. After all, this is about having fun!

My area is not very strong in historical stories and facts

If your local area doesn’t have a lot of historical or interesting facts to use, then create a themed or fictional Challenge, like a Mystery Crime where you create characters and murder weapons that are ruled out based on visual cues that can be found.

For example, you might create a WhoDunnit Challenge with 10 characters and 10 murder weapons. Based on 18 stops, those characters and weapons are each cancelled out based on a hint that is associated with each Stop. The Stop clue might be to find  a local shop or sign, find the first letter of the second word and based on this, rule out a suspect whose name begins with this letter. See how creative you can be!

What pictures do I need?

You will need 2 types of photos:

  • A single iconic picture for the Challenge that will grab peoples attention and the theme that it runs. 
  • A picture for each Stop to ensure that people know what they are physically looking for. Try not to include the answer in your photo. Including people in these photos is ok.
I have created a Challenge, now what?

Once you are finished and have reviewed your Challenge, then grab the link and share it with your friends and link to it from your website or other material. Ask someone to review it for you so that you get an independent view on some of your instructions and questions.

Improve and repeat! Ask for feedback.

Do Challenges Cost Money? What about for Businesses?

Challenges are 100% free for audiences and participants.

Challenges are free to create for:

  • Individuals
  • Public education entities (such as schools)
  • Government bodies (like councils)
  • Officially registered charities, including Parent & Citizen associations who can use Exploria for fundraisers
  • Internal trials (where other users want to test internally)

We have a paid offering for:

  • Custom Challenges, whereby we will help setup, research and create or guide your Challenges to be the best they can be for your selected area (using our community or professionals)
  • Business and for profit entities (such as tourism businesses) to create Challenges for audiences and Stops that promote visitation to their businesses
  • Paid offerings also come with extra features and minimal branding

 

What types of Challenges are there?

There are many different types of Challenges that you can create. You are only limited by your imagination.

Some examples are:

  • Tourism self-guided tours to learn more about an area
  • Historical tours to learn about local stories and history
  • Gamified walks and riddle routes
  • Who Did It & murder mystery
  • Crime solving & detective sleuthing
  • Avoiding disasters & code breakers
  • Rescue animals and people
  • Animal awareness
  • Geo-caching style location challenges
  • Purpose based walks and discovery games to get school kids off devices and into the outdoors
  • Walk, ride, drive or swim!
How can I create a Murder Mystery style Challenge?

You can create all kinds of fictional Challenges. Let's first take a look at creating a Murder Mystery example. This is just one flow aimed at children, but you can use this as a framework and implement this in different ways, like making it more difficult so that instead of each Stop revealing an answer which rules out a suspect, the answer could be the gift of a clue. So that at the very last Stop (the reveal!), the player needs to use all of their clues to answer the Mystery.

  • Select 10 characters and 10 items that will form the basis of your suspects and implements that they used. The characters may have names already, or maybe you can create new names based on the stops that you find.
  • You may want to first walk a route, identify signs and locations where you can take inspiration from the following ideas and amend the names to suit the clues you can find.
  • Create a short mystery story to use in the description and either list the characters /weapons there or link to a picture of the characters and the weapons or use it as your primary Challenge picture.
  • The aim is to create a Stop which rules out a suspect or weapon at each Stop, so in this case we need to locate 18 Stops.
  • A Stop could be anywhere really and the clues could be taken from a variety of contexts. Depending on your audiences you can make them easy or difficult with as many twists as you can imagine up. Here are a few examples:
    • The monument lists a number of people who died, find the first person and they share a word with a weapon that can be crossed out.
    • Find a "cooking place" nearby. The sign of the maker can be found and has the same first name as a suspect. You can rule out that suspect.
    • Find a local park building and there is a green sign on the southern side. The first letter is the same as the first letter of one of the weapons. You can cross this weapon off.
    • Find the seat with a plaque to sam parker. What is he known for? This is a clue for a weapon you can cross off.
    • Find parking meter with the ID abc123. There is a picture with a name on this, which is also in one of your suspects names. You can rule them out.
    • Find the blue track sign. There are 10 words on it. Take letters 2,7,10,15,20 and rearrange to find a clue to a suspect you can cross off.
    • What happened here on September 9, 1959? This will give you a clue to a cause of death that can be ruled out.
    • Count the number of items carved on this wall. This number is the length (in cm) of a weapon that was not used in the crime. You can rule it out.
    • Look at the wildlife sign. There is an animal on there that is one of the suspects favourite food. You can cross them off.
    • Find the playground and read the sign. The yellow instructions is a clue to a cause of death that can be ruled out.
    • Find an "Avenue" on a street sign. Look at the house the sign is out the front of and find a word displayed on a garden sign. All of these letters can be find in a suspects name that be crossed off.
    •  Find the small plaque on the bridge, if you add up the first 3 numbers listed, it will be a number under 26. This represents the number order of the letter in the english alphabet - the weapon you can cross off starts with this letter.
    • This area is dedicated to Ralph Hines who loved doing something. One of these words is also shared with one of the remaining suspects that can be ruled out.
    • On the sign is a year written in small blue writing. That year the Olympic games were held in a city which shares a common name with one of the suspects. Cross them off.
  • Each stop may have a picture and location of the item they need to find (ensure the answer is not clearly displayed in the photo) or if you have are real life plastic characters, then incorporate them into the photos for a bit of fun.
How can I create a Trivia Challenge?

Trivia Challenges can be based on general knowledge or could be specific to questions about that area, which obviously is what we recommend!

  • You may want to first walk a route, identify signs and locations where you can take inspiration from nature, items, outlook, names, years and words that appear to suit the clues you can find.
  • Create a short introduction to use in the description about the theme if there is one.
  • The aim is to create a number of Stops with each one providing a clue and inspiration for a trivia question to be answered.
  • A Stop could be anywhere really and the clues could be taken from a variety of contexts. Depending on your audiences you can make them easy or difficult with as many twists as you can imagine up. Here are a few examples:
    • The monument lists a number of people who died, find the first person and they share a name with a famous tennis player from the 1980s.
    • Find the seat with a plaque to sam parker. What was the big event that occurred in the year that Sam was born?
    • Find the blue track sign. There are 10 words on it. Take letters 2,7,10,15,20, 25. This is the first name of a local person who was well known around here in the 1970s. What was their name and what were they known for for.
    • Local trivia - What happened here on September 9, 1959? [The challenge answer may link to an Exploria story which contains the answer]
    • Find a local park building and there is a green sign on the southern side. The first letter is the same as the first letter of one of the weapons. You can cross this weapon off.
    • On the sign is a year written in small blue writing. Name who won gold for the 100m in the Olympic Games that year?
  • Each stop may have a picture and location of the item they need to find (ensure the answer is not clearly displayed in the photo).

 

How can I create a Scavenger Hunt Challenge?

A Scavenger Hunt Challenge is a hunt to collect all of the items in the right order based on the clues that are given for each Stop. It is still a Q&A style process to ensure that there is some structure and reward given for correct answers which are guided to by the clues at the Stop.

  • You can list 20-25 items, search online for one of many free Scavenger Hunt cards, or come up with a theme and create a graphic (on Canva if you need a suggestion) which you can use as the picture for your Challenge.
  • You may want to first walk a route, identify signs and locations where you can take inspiration from the following ideas and amend the names to suit the clues you can find.
  • Create a short description around your theme and list of items, which may be related to the local area where the walk takes place.
  • Each Stop is to provide a visual marker around a clue to identify and mark off one of the items. The idea is that you have to get the item correct that is contained within the Answer, which will automatically award points to the player.
  • A Stop could be anywhere really and the clues could be taken from a variety of contexts, but be inspired by anything visually around you - provided it is still likely to be there for a long time. Depending on your audiences you can make them easy or difficult with as many twists as you can imagine up. Here are a couple of examples, but take a look at the others given in the Trivia and Murder Mystery help which are similar in style:
    • Find the bridge and look underneath on the eastern side. What can you see that you can fit in? What item would be helpful in here [A: It is a tunnel and the right item to answer would be the flashlight]
    • Find the green sign at the start of the pathway. The first sentence contains all of the letters of one of the items, which one? [A: Postage stamp]
    • The monument lists a number of people who died, find the first person and they share a word with a weapon that can be crossed out.
    • Find the cooking area where people prepare their picnics. What is the most useful item here? [A: Matches].
    • Find the seat with a plaque on it. In his name is a word included in on of the items, which one?
    • Find the blue track sign. There are 10 words on it. Take letters 2,7,10,15,20 and rearrange to find a clue to one of the items.
    • Look at the wildlife sign. There is an animal on there that is in the same genus family as one of the items.
  • Each stop may have a picture and location of the item they need to find (ensure the answer is not clearly displayed in the photo) or if you have are real life plastic characters, then incorporate them into the photos for a bit of fun.

 

How to setup a fundraiser or event around a Challenge
Fundraisers and events based around completion of a Challenge can be a great way to raise money. Challenge events can be over an extended period of time so participants can do them on their own or in a more confided way, such as on a specific day or weekend. Obviously you don't want too many people at the same time in the same place.
Firstly, you will need to work out what your aims are, if it is just a single one-off Challenge or whether it is part of a series.
Secondly, depending on whether your organisation already has a payment gateway or uses an event service like TryBooking or EventBrite. If you use one of these event and ticketing services, then you can use their registration and payment service with the confirmation after payment containing the link to your Challenge (which can be set to public or private). The alternative is to use Google Forms, Paypal, Stripe or similar to collect the funds and then give out the direct URL.
Thirdly, if you want to create a leaderboard and determine results such as best overall time, points etc, then you can create a Google Form for participants to complete, or a Google Sheet for something even more basic.
Single Fundraiser Idea
Price could be $20 with the aim to complete over 1-2 weekends. An optional element could include chance to win a donated prize with parents submitting time to solve on a google form.
Challenge Series Fundraiser Idea
One example of a school fundraiser was that 5 Challenges were setup around the local area and the competition was run over a month with a variety of Challenge themes. Each Challenge was priced at $15 per challenge or $60 for the pack of 5, so those with 5 got the advantage of the extra points on offer. The fundraiser was supported by prizes from the local pizza, restaurant and alcohol shop.
  • 2 x General history and stories from the surrounding areas
  • 1 x Scavenger hunt
  • 1 x Murder Mystery
  • 1 x Local Trivia

You can see examples of how to create other types of challenges like these in other help items.

Steps:
1. Registration & payment
2. Time for Challenge to be completed
3. Self confirmation of Challenge completion and results
4. Awarding of prizes and communication