Mike Skocko

Interested in a Gameful Learning Management System? Part II

UPDATE: Try for 60 days. No credit card required.

With 1,000 comments, the original discussion has become a bit sluggish to load. Hence, Part II of our discussion.


This YouTube video will give you a taste of Game On, a WordPress plugin that enables teachers to deliver content utilizing game mechanics. Since I need to make more videos, I thought it might be helpful to address questions others might have.

Any questions?

Video Answers (search comments for answers in context)

Note: All videos include my typical stumbling, bumbling verbal maladroitness, leading to incomplete or misleading descriptions at times. Bear with me and we'll help each other arrive at the desired destination.

5 / 5 • 3 Ratings

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marcia blanco

Posted on 7/7/20 8:38:09 PM Permalink

​Hi Guys!

I think I know this, but I'm going to ask anyway:

Is there a way to use "Pay to Play" on maps, or only quests?

Asking for a friend. :P

Mick McMurray

Posted on 7/7/20 8:55:08 PM Permalink

No but . . . why do you ask? I didn't even consider that when building. There are some work arounds that immediately come to mind. You could lock the map with a badge that is required. Then sell that badge in the store. Take it a step further and make the map discoverable. They wont even see it until they buy the badge.

boby gunawan

Posted on 7/2/20 7:52:50 PM Permalink

Agen Sbobet Indonesia Dan Terpercaya yang berlisensi resmi dan terpercaya dalam hal judi online. Agen Sbobet Indonesia ini menyediakan game judi online terlengkap, seperti sabung ayam, poker, judi bola, slot, togel, dan masih banyak permainan menarik lainnya. Kami juga terpercaya dalam hal keamanan akun serta transaksi setiap member, itulah mengapa kami dinamakan sebagai Agen Sbobet Terpercaya.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 7/1/20 10:07:35 PM Permalink

So I can get back to testing with a clear conscience, I'm going to spill it now.

If you play games, things like inventory, consumables, gathering, crafting, alchemy, etc. are typical (and expected) mechanics.

All coming as soon as we can squish the big bugs. The little ones are what the beta is for.

HINT: Terms like "store" and "badge" won't suffice anymore. Too perceptually confining to imagine all the possibilities. :)

marcia blanco

Posted on 6/30/20 3:14:45 PM Permalink

Hi Folks! It's been WEEKS since I've checked in. I think I can officially declare April the longest month EVER, (except, of course, for May and June. :P)​

OK. It's been a 2 week break from the computer, plus, I have a brand new one to play with now so I won't be spending all my time waiting for my videos to upload. Now I start thinking about next fall. Like all of us, I need to be ready for both in-class and online. I'm kind of dreading both. My big powerhouse technique as a teacher is developing a really tight classroom community since we all live with each other for 5 days a week, 2.5 hrs/day over two years. Such is the joy of teaching CTE.

Anyway, I'm starting off early and enthusiastically. I need this advice from you, my game-on mentors: what is the best way to restart the game. I want to change the theme, but not start from scratch, like I did last year. There was too much time spent copying and pasting.

I want to start all my students at '0' xp, but I will award them the loot they earned from this year ('cause I would suck as a human being if I didn't do that, I think. Some would never forgive me.)

Mick McMurray

Posted on 6/30/20 3:39:33 PM Permalink

Hi there! I've actually been doing a bit of work on this very idea these past few weeks.

There are two options to chose from:

​1. Keep the same game and reset student loot using the Student Reset Tool. This resets all user loot (they have no progress in the game, but the blog posts remain).

​I only suggest this option as a possibility because you have students for multiple years. This way all their blog posts from previous years remain. You could move former students to an archived section (you can do this in bulk using a message). Or, you can just delete the former users. If you choose to delete them, consider using the student archive tool to get a record of their blog posts downloaded to your computer for record keeping.

​2. Site Archive Tool: Renames the existing (COMING SOON!!)

This is the option I am choosing this year. This tool should be available in the next few days. It renames your existing site with an extension of your choice (e.g. 1920) and makes a new copy of it with the existing name that has no student data. I can use last years site to build this years and I have a complete record of the site as it existed at the end of the year. Students will be able to visit the archived site and see their work from last year.

I went back and forth between the two but decided on option 2 because I wanted them to have a fresh start on the blogs.

marcia blanco

Posted on 7/6/20 4:30:45 PM Permalink

I used the site archive tool in the Test site. Worked like a charm. Now, off to play with the Exchange. ;)​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 6/30/20 4:37:04 PM Permalink

A third approach is less coherent than the ones Mick has presented, but also a bit more granular. At the beginning of this most recent semester,​ I needed to reset the game but didn't want to take away everything from the players. I teach a semester-long course, but students can repeat as many times as they like. So I want to allow them to keep their XP and level, but reset Reputation points and Gold each semester. I also needed to remove everyone from existing periods, since they were almost universally in a different period even if they did take the class both semesters.

The clipboard allows us (Thanks Mick!!) to do this third option. You can send a message to all players with an exceedingly large negative amount of gold, rep, XP, etc. to remove existing values - they'll be zeroed rather than go negative. So step 1 was to assign -50,000 REP and -50,000 gold. Step two was to move everyone to the NULL period. When students return, they have their XP and are at the same level, but otherwise start with a blank slate, like everyone new.

A bit trickier is the issue of prior experience. For certain aspects, like the introduction REP climb map, I wanted them to be zeroed and have to start over. But for others, I want them to keep their existing badge so they can jump right into the more advanced work that is appropriate for them (per Vygotsky) rather than having to repeat low-level quests that don't advance their actual learning. I either need to assign a negative badge to everyone for those they must repeat (fairly easy) OR make the badge for that section year-and-semester-specific, so I can make the section require a new one each semester (also fairly easy, and adds new badges to their stats panel).

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/16/20 5:54:59 PM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/16/20 6:28:24 PM Permalink

That's an awesome post, Matthew. Love how you articulated your challenge!​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/13/20 8:12:40 PM Permalink

​Guys, all of a sudden the map is showing 100% complete for every student, every map that I pull up. It was brought to my attention by a student, so it's on their side, and I looked at several students on my side that I know don't have completed maps, but they're all 100% completed right now. Could any of the recent changes have had an unexpected side effect?

Mick McMurray

Posted on 5/13/20 9:08:51 PM Permalink

Fixed. Sorry about that. It was a css error on my part.

Lots of new code​ so I hope there aren't too many of these little bugs.



Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/14/20 11:36:08 AM Permalink

Thanks, Mick. I also seem to have lost a lot of blog entries over the last few days. One student reported that she doesn't have any (which I confirmed is what I see from the Reader, too), so I checked others and find zero or 1 post for all the students I checked. ​

Mick McMurray

Posted on 5/16/20 1:12:09 AM Permalink

Think I got it. I made all the filters and tabs sticky--if you are looking at posts from today and period 3 on the Reader, then go the the clipboard, ​those same filters will be applied. It also remembers the last tab on Stats panel and the Clipboard. It will be great when it works, but I had a few spots where the wrong values were passed to the filter. The blogs were sticky to today--so only today's entries were showing. It should be fixed.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/16/20 8:32:18 AM Permalink

I spot checked and it looked like the entries were back. Thank you!​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/11/20 12:03:15 PM Permalink

​Some other small interface items

  1. Is there a way to find the ID of a store item from the front end? (in order to use the shortcode?)
  2. While editing an item in the front-end editor, when I add a link, the box no longer auto-fills with partial matching, as it does in the back-end. I found that really, really useful and would love to see it added to the front-end editor.
  3. When I added store items into the quest from the front-end editor, nothing showed up on the actual front end (user side). Looking at it from the back-end, it seems that this is because I copied in [go_store id={item_no}] from the bottom of the first accordion in the store item. When I switched to what the shortcode drop-down menu provides, in the back-end editor, I got [go_store id=""] and that worked (with the appropriate item number, from the store items back-end page).

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/11/20 1:50:16 PM Permalink

1. Edit and check the Location tab. It's there.

2. Mick will take care of that.

3. I just copy and paste the shortcode from the Location tab. Either way, you need the Item ID. Mick will appreciate the catch, though. Thanks! Finding all the minutia between front and back end is far more complicated than we imagined.​ Your help is much appreciated.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/12/20 7:50:48 AM Permalink

Call me crazy...or blind...but I can't find the ID for my items. Here are a couple examples of what I'm seeing:

Initially (before the previous post) I thought maybe the little chain-link icon was intended to be the link to that specific item. But it just copies the default shortcode that's displayed on the store item: [go_store id={item_no}]. What am I missing?

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/12/20 10:54:31 AM Permalink

The chain icon IS the link. Just checked and you're right, the link is bugged. Mick will fix this ASAP

Mick McMurray

Posted on 5/12/20 6:38:26 PM Permalink

All 3 are taken care of.

Mick McMurray

Posted on 5/12/20 6:48:54 PM Permalink

FYI: I moved the location accordion section to the bottom. It isn't needed much when using the frontend because it is now filled out automatically and you can move with a drag and drop. ​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/11/20 10:57:59 AM Permalink

​Not a bug this time, but an approach to consider. When I created a new store item for the first time in the front end (how cool is that front-end editing, huh!?!), I neglected to open the tab for where to put it. So when I saved it, it disappeared and wasn't findable through the front end any longer. Not a big deal to jump into the back end, but it got me thinking about two items:

  1. If we create a new item by clicking the '+' button for a category/list/pod/chain, should the new item be automatically placed within that chain, as it is when cloning? This seems to make sense to me as a default.
  2. Should there be an 'uncategorized' list somewhere on the front end? If the ultimate goal is to move away from back-end editing entirely, this will need to happen at some point. Where would that go? Maybe at the bottom of the Map list, as an "[Uncategorized]" map, showing any un-categorized pods/chains/etc. and within that Map there is an "[Uncategorized]" pod listing all quests (or Store Items, etc.)?

Mike Skocko

Posted on 5/11/20 1:44:17 PM Permalink

Funny. All my store items for distance learning have been Uncategorized and built into quests so I hadn't encountered this. Good catch!

1. Agree

2. Great idea. Mick and I will talk on this.

3. New Idea: Maybe an icon​ in the quick edit tooltip to move items to Uncategorized? Mick and I will definitely talk about this.

Mick McMurray

Posted on 5/12/20 6:38:11 PM Permalink

#1 is fixed. I'll think about how to implement #2.


Matthew Miller

Posted on 5/5/20 7:59:52 AM Permalink

​Ran into another small weirdness, which is probably related to just this one quest, but I wanted to let you know, just in case. I have a quest that was attached to my Think Design map, in the Design Your Class pod, called "Self-Directed Basics." After I got the rest of the quests in that pod built, I decided I didn't need that one. So I marked it as not on the map and left it. At some point over the past few months (not sure just when), it reappeared in the pod. I went in to double-check and it's still marked as NOT on a map! Marking it as optional worked and it's accepting text edits to the content, but it's not disappearing from the map as I expected. I finally switched to the back-end and marked it as a draft in order to remove it so students weren't confused.

(Mick - in light of your recent...comments...about Mike removing things before you could look at them, I didn't just delete it, so you could play with it if you want. ;-)

When it's no longer a concern, let me know and I'll go ahead and delete it.)

Mick McMurray

Posted on 5/7/20 1:09:36 PM Permalink

Thanks Matthew. I found the error and got it fixed. It will be in the next code push.​ A line of code was being overwritten-- the one that removed quests from the map when the switch is off but a map is set in the dropdown (that is hidden once you turn the switch off).

marcia blanco

Posted on 4/29/20 5:31:05 PM Permalink

​Hi Guys!

I have a kid on an IEP who is getting at home services. I made a special map for her and I'd like to be able to easily share the map and quests with her support people so that they know what is expected of her. What's the easiest way to do that without opening my whole game to public scrutiny?

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/29/20 5:49:56 PM Permalink

I faced the same problem with allowing parent access. I sent out emails with the login info and posted this on my map header:

New users: Sign in with any Gmail (or GAFE) account. Membership Code = gamefulme​

Keeps the bots out and is relatively secure.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/29/20 5:55:18 PM Permalink

marcia blanco

Posted on 4/30/20 1:29:38 PM Permalink

Thanks, Mike!!!​

marcia blanco

Posted on 4/27/20 6:38:17 PM Permalink

​Hi Guys!

We had "Spring Break" last week and I decided to take a technology break as well. I spent a week working on traditional printmaking projects. It was great. However, now I'm back to reality, spending a bunch of my day calling students back to the fold. when I got onto the game yesterday to put together my DQs, I noticed the update. I still haven't explored it a lot, but one thing I saw that was missing from the editing bar are the colors. Is that coming back soon? I have a theme and I'd like to stick to it without having to type in hex code.

Also, an idea (suggestion? Addition to the wish list?) Would it be possible for a student (user) to hover over a map name and have an info- bubble pop up with an avatar image and description of what the map's purpose is? I'm thinking that if a kid needs to hit a "standard" to unlock something, they might search for the quests that will allow them to earn it. Maybe I'm overthinking it. Still, it would be cool.

Also, I realized last Monday that I missed the zoom meeting that Mike and Matt were going to have. I'm really sorry I missed that. Did any of you record it?

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/27/20 7:19:43 PM Permalink

Glad you had some ​"me" time with creativity. ​

I just checked the customizer and I don't see anything missing. What, specifically, are you referring to?

The player tooltip is an interesting idea. I'll let Mick answer that one, but I like it. :)

Matthew recorded it. Maybe he could share it privately with you?

marcia blanco

Posted on 4/27/20 8:28:56 PM Permalink

phhhhht! Never mind. I didn't toggle the toolbar options. One week off and my brain goes to S#%@. XD!​

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/27/20 8:49:21 PM Permalink

Ha! Happens to all of us. ​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/20/20 5:17:31 PM Permalink

​Mick, you teach a video production class, right? I'm working on building a map for the kids in my class that are interested in filmmaking and would love to browse through how someone else has set this up. Would you mind me taking a look?

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/20/20 5:29:08 PM Permalink

Mick is Digital Arts/Photography/Marketing.

Mick McMurray

Posted on 4/21/20 4:13:09 PM Permalink


I do have the beginnings of a map for students interested in film making. I'm reorganizing a bunch ​this week getting ready for our distance learning launch. I'll post the link ASAP.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/17/20 12:00:52 PM Permalink

​Folks, I was reading part 2 of Zhao's essay series "​Tofu is Not Cheese - Reimagine Education without Schools during COVID19" in which he mentions peer mentors. This sparked all kinds of desire in me because it's an area I've wanted to create somehow within my classes for a couple years, but never had real clarity on how. I'm hoping to leverage the crowd to better define the vision.

I want to create a peer mentoring system in which students who are new to my classes can be linked up with peers who have been in the class for a while and have developed skills in the discipline in which the new student is interested. Ultimately, I think this will become mostly self-sustaining, as previously mentored students learn more and take on the role of mentors themselves. I think my structure lends itself to this direction, though, with the variety of topics I offer in the class and the move I'm making toward an Apprentice->Peer->Crafter->Master advancement system. [Side note: Mike I'm keen to discuss your ideas about using the store for advancement. We have a 4 day holiday right now, through Monday, if you are interested and available. We're about 9 hours behind you; overlap is your morning => our evening.]

Getting the program started is the hard part. These are a few hurdles I see:

  • How to best, clearly, recognize who is ready to be a mentor. Badges? Students could look up other students by who has a specific badge. I just had a look at the site from the student side and didn't see a way to initiate communication between the two.
  • How to best evaluate who is ready to be a mentor. Anyone know of any research or programs that are good training or information about this?
  • Training students in mentorship. Partly built-in due to the way the game runs and the way I run my class, but I would also like some more structured material to build into the game for students who want to take on this role. Again, anyone know of some good material I could build on?
  • Rewarding mentors - I'm thinking the status of being a mentor is the ultimate intrinsic reward in the game. But am wondering if there should be loot or other recognition beyond the badge. Maybe special avatar bling that is only allowed to be used by mentors, like a frame with an M at the bottom? This would need to be enforced by social engineering. Is it worth it?

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/17/20 12:28:08 PM Permalink

I'm sitting here laughing at the distance between my initial reflexive response and your thoughtful, measured, grounded, imaginative​ approach.

Even though ​I feel like this, maybe we need a virtual meeting to best discuss this and other topics. Yes?

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/17/20 3:25:20 PM Permalink

I need a shipment of those shirts! They'd sell like hotcakes among our faculty! Yes, I think a virtual meeting would be ideal. When would work well for you?​

Edit: Anyone else is free to join if interested in chatting!

marcia blanco

Posted on 4/17/20 3:56:45 PM Permalink

I'd like to. I'm not sure I could contribute much, but I wouldn't want to miss you two in action. :P​

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/17/20 4:22:45 PM Permalink

My sleep cycles are shot. I sleep in 2 to 3-hour shifts​ scattered randomly throughout the day (or night).

I say, pick a time that works and odds are I'll be awake—or what passes for awake these days.

I've got to run down to school to pick up a few things. Back soon.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/17/20 6:41:42 PM Permalink

Let's chat tomorrow then (Sat) at 16:00Cairo/10:00Eastern/7:00Pacific​? I'll post a link here. It sounds like you guys are using & familiar with Zoom? Or would Google Hangouts be more fun just for a change? ;-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/17/20 7:23:20 PM Permalink

Let's stick with Zoom. I could use one of those meetings that doesn't suck.

I formally request no talk of "holding kids accountable" if at all possible. I'm sick of hearing that sh*t.

See you at 7:00!​

marcia blanco

Posted on 4/17/20 8:52:07 PM Permalink

I'll give it a shot. I'm not sure if I'm going to be available, but I'll try. ​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/18/20 1:42:18 PM Permalink

Topic: Gameful Chat

Time: Apr 18, 2020 16:00 Cairo

Meeting ID: 734 468 4523

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/20 8:15:19 PM Permalink

​I'm not sure if this is a gremlin or just something different than I expect. I have a student whose map I am looking at, via the clipboard. This map, Coding, is locked to require the Think Design badge, which he has. It contains 3 pods, the first of which (Fundamentals) is unlocked and gives the Coding Apprentice badge, the other two of which are locked to require that badge. When I look at the map from his view, there is just the Fundamentals pod, but nothing inside it. I have another map with a similar setup, Sketching, that doesn't require the initial badge, it's unlocked up through Fundamentals, and he can see that one just fine. I haven't checked with him to see if the clipboard view reflects his real experience, but either way, I kinda expected to see all the quests inside that pod when I pulled it up through his view. I double-checked a couple of the quests in the map and, as I thought, they are definitely not locked. Should he be able to see them, or have I missed something?

Mick McMurray

Posted on 4/15/20 9:55:04 PM Permalink

Probably something I forgot to do when I reworked the map. It has had some unforeseen side effects. Thanks for the heads up. I'll let you know what I find.

Mick McMurray

Posted on 4/16/20 12:50:24 AM Permalink

Showing the maps was working as expected--it was the lock that was broken. I was missing a variable that made it so a locked map that was set to show a message if locked was always locked for users. All fixed now. Thanks for the heads up.​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/16/20 6:33:27 AM Permalink

Yep, that fixed it!​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/20 12:32:26 PM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/15/20 1:16:05 PM Permalink

Well, this is weird. I tried pasting your video link and it didn't work for me either.

Then, I pasted​me8M (my most recent vid) and it worked fine.

​So, what's different? Why does​SiiiIoO-I not generate the vid?

Could that hyphen be an en dash? I've had vids fail with two consecutive hyphens in the past. My solution was to upload the vid a second time and use the new URL. (That doesn't explain the problem, but it did work.)

Mick McMurray

Posted on 4/15/20 1:22:13 PM Permalink

Mike is probably right--sometimes special characters trip up the text sanitizer. A re-upload and new link will probably fix it. But please don't delete the one that isn't working. It's never happened to me so I haven't had a video to test to see where the problem is. Mike always deletes his before I get to check it out.:)​

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/15/20 1:28:48 PM Permalink

Mea culpa.

And just to be clear, this is a RARE issue. It's happened to me twice in 1000+ vids.​

Mick McMurray

Posted on 4/15/20 2:20:12 PM Permalink

It appears you have embedding disabled on this particular video. The videos get converted to the following format when embedded:

The reference code to you video is the "fGSiiiIoO-I" part. The following error is shown when visiting the above link.

"Video unavailable Watch this video on YouTube. Playback on other websites has been disabled by the video owner. " You have to change a setting on youtube.

It you ever come across the double dash converted to hyphen issue with a video, send it my way--I'm still curious about that one.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/20 2:40:32 PM Permalink

Ok, maybe the problem is me not paying enough attention when I uploaded it via Screencastify. I'll be extra careful for my next couple videos - the last couple I left "Unlisted" ​as the default, instead of switching to "Public" as I had been doing. I would have thought Unlisted would be fine, but maybe that also affects how Screencastify sets the tick for embedding, with different results than Public.

After the change, today's video is now showing up fine (I was about to post that it had the problem, too, when this response showed up). However, yesterday's, with the ​hypen/dash in the URL ( still isn't showing up in ​that quest. So you may still have something to play with. ;-)

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/20 2:45:59 PM Permalink

Scratch that last - I goofed up ticking the "Allow Embedding" checkbox. I triple-checked that it was turned on and then went back to the quest to check and it shows up in the editor. It still doesn't show up in the front end (viewer), though, at least for me.

Mick McMurray

Posted on 4/15/20 3:18:08 PM Permalink

There is an oembed cache--it was stuck on the failed embed before you enabled it. The only way to clear it is by deleting rows from the database. I got it cleared out for that post. You're all set.​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/20 3:31:27 PM Permalink

Yep, showing up for me now, too. Thanks, Mick!​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/7/20 3:18:00 PM Permalink

Whoops - one more I just realized: when cloning a quest (via the front-end, in case that matters) the featured image is NOT cloned. Everything else appears to copy over just fine but the new quest appears without any featured image.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/15/20 12:50:58 PM Permalink

I could have sworn I replied to this.

It works for me. Is it working for you now? If not, are you cloning an old quest? ​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/20 1:05:57 PM Permalink

Nope, still not working for me. I'm sure it's a new quest because it's on the Coding map, which is the first one I created entirely in the front end.​ I just created another quest, brand new, on that map, called "Test Cloning Quest" and cloned it, and no featured item was created on the clone.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/15/20 1:26:16 PM Permalink

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/20 2:26:06 PM Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/15/20 2:45:29 PM Permalink

Hey, I'm using the exact same resources as everyone else with my teacher account. ​And as Admin, Player, and Guest, I see ​this.

How is it possible we're seeing different content?

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/15/20 2:48:42 PM Permalink

Hey, and even in incognito on a different browser I see the same thing.

PLUS, I see the loot. How can you NOT see the loot as well?​

Matthew Miller

Posted on 4/15/20 2:29:22 PM Permalink

You can see what I'm talking about on my maps here:
​​Coding Map (​ (Look in Deeper Dives for the last two quests)

​Test Cloning Quest ( - shows the hand-created quest with the Feature Image of my "Government Inspection" team, and

​Test Cloning Quest Copy ( - the untouched clone, lacking the FI.

I think we're talking about the same thing, but getting really different results.

Mike Skocko

Posted on 4/15/20 3:03:42 PM Permalink

Okay, I can't clone anything from a locked map, but I did clone the Defy Gravity quest from your Home Edition​ to my site.

The Clone Complete had a message I'd never encountered:

Clone Complete

  • Failed to import Banner-Franklin: Remote server returned error response 404 Not Found
  • Complete!
    Maybe that's a clue. Are you in Egypt or back in the states?

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/15/20 3:08:47 PM Permalink

    Even weirder - when I looked at the same page in Safari (because I hardly ever use it) it showed up ​both without the featured image & loot AND without about half (but not all) the formatting! Forced remote refresh (shift-reload) didn't change the problem.

    However, looked at that page in an incognito window and it's fine. So maybe it's something about my account?

    Then I cleared the Safari cache and reloaded and it's looking normal over there, too. So I cleared out all cached items in Chrome related to and tried again, and presto, it's working. Both before and after I logged in, I saw the cat and the loot.

    Goofy cache.

    UPDATE: goofy #*)@*@! cache. At least it's easy to correct.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/15/20 3:27:30 PM Permalink

    Bumping back out for room and to avoid the long red herring thread. Still not duplicating the featured image. However, this time I noticed an error message above the "Edit Cloned Item" link - which I probably had been immediately clicking without paying attention before. D'oh. The message is (drumroll)

    Failed to import Banner-GovtInspect: Remote server returned error response 404 Not Found

    That is the name, minus the ".jpg" of the file in question, from my Media Library window. It's also the title of that image. AHA! Checked the other quest, about which I first posted about this problem, and it also has a hypen it (looking at other media files, I may have to get out of the habit of using the hypen. I use it a lot.)

    So I tested with a non-hyphenated image file and presto, proper cloning WITH featured image. [sigh] [rant]I really, really hate it when my best attempts at being organized and labeling everything backfire on me.[/rant] But on the plus side, it's easy to fix and avoid in the future. Most of what I embed are the banners of my quest giver group, so it's only a handful of names to fix.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/15/20 3:57:18 PM Permalink

    I don't think the issue is the hyphen. I checked the database and for your quest givers some of the files guids and mime types were mismatched. The files were jpegs but the url ended in .png or vise versa. I'm not even sure how these files worked at all or how this occurred (perhaps something you did while uploading or a wordpress bug). ​I manually fixed the database rows and cloning should work now.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/15/20 4:50:57 PM Permalink

    You may be right. I tried cloning with one of my quest givers, but the error "Failed to import Banner-GovtInspect: Remote server returned error response 404 Not Found" popped up again. Tried with a non-hyphenated named image, no problem. Tried with a recently uploaded png with a hyphen in the name, no problem. I'll re-upload my quest giver files and see if that solves the problem. It's nearly always the quest giver banners that I want to clone. Thanks for all the troubleshooting!

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/21/20 12:23:32 PM Permalink

    I've re-uploaded all the quest giver banners and am still running into the same issue when cloning. I know for sure they are all PNGs, because I exported them myself from Adobe InDesign myself and uploaded from the original pngs. ​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/21/20 1:37:48 PM Permalink

    Please pardon the question, but are you typing the extension or is the application providing it automatically?

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/21/20 3:59:36 PM Permalink

    No pardon necessary; it's good to check the simple stuff! (I was tech support for many years, before teaching; I know this maxim well!). I choose the file type to export and let the application add the extension. I also (OCD) turn on the feature of the OS that allows me to see that it's assigning the proper extension, since so many operating systems need it accurately set. (Aside: such a...brittle...choice we're stuck with; the old MacOS ​system of putting it inside the file itself was so much more elegant.)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/21/20 2:39:13 PM Permalink

    I'm not an InDesign user, but I do know the program's strengths lie primarily in print prepress. When I searched for InDesign and PNGs, I found lots of people having issues.

    My questions:

    1. Why InDesign instead of Illustrator or Photoshop?

    2. Why PNGs (unless there is transparency)?

    My solution would be to export an image from Ai or Ps as a JPG, then try to clone again. If that works, the issue clearly lies with the InDesign workflow.

    Please let me know if that works.


    Autistic aside: The user sets the file names. The application sets the extension. (I know you know this, but if I don't say it out loud, it will bother me. We both have kids who manually change the extension then complain when the file misbehaves.)

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/21/20 4:07:03 PM Permalink

    Largely because I knew InDesign ​really, really well when I was building those images originally. I taught Yearbook at the time. The idea of blending text with an image just fit into that model like a glove. I may rebuild them anyway, because I'm not using that font set any more (Big John and Slim Joe - such a lovely, lovely pairing. Although free, they are not in Google Fonts.)

    I use PNG as my default format for anything that isn't a photographic or other highly varied image. This is probably a holdover from the GIF vs JPG days, when optimizing your file sizes was really important for page load times. When I found out GIF was patented and might be pulled, I switched to PNG and never looked back. Is there a good reason to use JPGs for non-smoothly-blended color images that would have been better as GIFs in the old days? Or a reason to not use PNGs? This is actually the first time I've run into anything that seems related to that file format.

    I actually hate Photoshop and avoid using it whenever there is an alternative; for some reason I think in vector ways and consistently have difficulty dealing with the raster-based thought process / workflow / toolset. I can use it, but it's always work, never a joy.

    Yes, I have those kids, too. Sheesh. 'nuf said.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/21/20 4:42:21 PM Permalink


    Take a look at this screenshot of the database.

    There are two columns to take note of. The first is the url (it is called the guid in the database). The second is the MIME type (the file type). It is the ones that are like "image/jpeg".

    You can see that the pngs you recently uploaded are marked as jpegs in the MIME type even though they have png as the extension.

    I then tested the link. Let's use this one as an example:


    When I paste that into the address bar it comes back with the error "The requested URL was not found on this server." Then I change the url to have a jpeg extension and it works. Wordpress is smart enough to figure this out and display the image--my cloning script isn't.

    At some point the file gets converted to a jpeg. Are you uploading on the media page of right on the quest? It will help me troubleshoot to see where the conversion is taking place. Not all pngs are converted either--I see some in the database that your students have uploaded that are still pngs.

    Thanks again for helping with another bug.


    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/21/20 6:30:22 PM Permalink

    If I remember correctly, I had a quest editing lightbox opened, then hit the "Add Media" button (or Add Image) and then uploaded all the banners in the resulting lightbox. ​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/21/20 6:45:56 PM Permalink

    First or all, thanks to Mick for discovering the real reason for the issue and secondly, thanks to you for understanding the potentially-offensive reason for the question.

    As with virtually all things creative, there are differing opinions, here's my 2-cents (and yes, as a working designer in the 90s, I, too, remember trying to shave every possible KB from each image)

    GIF and PNG-8: Uses only 256 web-safe colors. (Dithering, IMHO, was properly named for a more primitive day and should be avoided if possible.) Both, however, do support transparency. I use only when intentionally utilizing a web-safe color palette.

    PNG-24 and JPG: Both use millions of glorious colors. Short answer: If I need transparency, PNG is the only choice. For 99% of everything else, I use JPGs almost exclusively because I can control compression v quality—still important even in a broadband world. (I say almost, because a few odd gradients demand PNG to avoid banding.)

    Final Word: Until Mick solves the mystery file conversion bug, JPG is the safe way to go.

    Final Final Word: You hate Photoshop??!

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/21/20 7:31:02 PM Permalink

    OK. [rant] To be accurate, and fair, I hate raster format programs in general. They're ​inherently messy and I just can't ever seem to fit in and flow when I'm using them. I hate Gimp, Seashore, Pixlr, and hated Photostyler just as much. It's not that they're difficult; I understand them and use them because unfortunately I just can do everything I want in vector format. But as I said, it always feels like work, like speaking a foreign language in which I'm not fluent. Whereas Illustrator, Vectr, InDesign, Freehand, QuarkXPress...these just work for me. I fit in and flow. They're a joy to use. I don't know if it's my OCD or some other quirk. I don't have anything in particular against Photoshop itself. It's a powerful and useful tool. It's that whole side of the shop that I prefer to avoid. [/rant]

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/15/20 3:31:28 PM Permalink

    I tried the clone of the test quest you made and got the same error as Mike. I swapped out the featured image and it worked. Can you try adding that same image back as the featured image and try cloning again?​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/7/20 3:14:29 PM Permalink

    Things I ran into today while working in the (fabulous!) front-end editor:

    1. Adding a new map column worked perfectly. LOVE the + buttons.
    2. When I had added the map column, I went to set it as hidden and locked by a badge selection, the badge list is super cramped (as with a couple earlier dialog boxes in quest editing). Could use a little horizontal space there.
    3. The specific badge I selected for locking the column was not saved in the settings, although the Lock was, as was the "Badges - 1 of these" option. Only the actual badge selection is lost upon save.
    4. I opened the same quest in the back end to see if it would save there; no luck, same behavior.
    5. I clicked off the Add Map Column​ lightbox at one point (intentionally) and LOVE the new pop-up that warned me I was about to discard changes. This front end stuff is really nice for editing!
    6. While editing a repeat-able quest (bonus stage) I attempted to fill in all the info, then set the bonus to be repeatable 63 time (to cover all the lessons from a coding website I'm using) but wasn't able to save the quest. Update button just didn't respond at all. Copied out my text and jumped into the back end to test, saving after each accordion addition, and got an error message that the max number of bonus repetitions is 20. Is that a hard limitation due to resources, or could it maybe warn us if we choose more than 10 repetitions but actually allow up to 100 (or more...anyone?)? Also, the error message should show up on the front end, somehow; I'm pretty sure that's what caused the failure to save.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 4/7/20 3:22:44 PM Permalink

    A "bug" that I'm getting is when I clone a quest in the front end and I add a second prompt to the blog, I have to save and close the quest out and then go back in to edit it. It doesn't freeze, but it just won't respond.​

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/8/20 12:49:19 PM Permalink

    I think I got these all taken care of. I upped the limit on the repeatable quests to 100. Have fun. I also took care of that blogs not showing in the bonus that you reported.

    There is front end editing of badges, groups, and settings now as well. I'll get the the featured image not cloning issue ASAP.​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 4/7/20 2:55:13 PM Permalink

    ​I have a request.

    We are doing our best to check in with our students daily and collect evidence on their wellbeing. It will influence the direction that our district takes in the upcoming weeks. My colleagues are sending out Google forms, but I want to keep my students all in one place, so I want to limit how much they are using Google vs The Game.

    Anyway, I'd like to use the multiple-choice option in the feedback windows more as a survey than a quiz. Is there any way you can create a "survey" option where any of the responses are accepted, as opposed to a "correct answer" or "correct answers"?

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/7/20 5:39:18 PM Permalink

    Somewhere down the road that might happen but not soon. Google is probably the way to go.​ I haven't tried embedding Google Forms into a blog post, but I think it will work.

    Here is a video I made for students showing how to get the embed code for slides, but it is similar for forms.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/4/20 11:56:44 PM Permalink

    Warning: Thinking Out Loud

    Anyone (but especially Matthew), while Mick works on the store, I'm trying to think of new game mechanics. These features will NOT—99% certainty​—be included in the initial store rebuild.

    Because we will have inventory system at some point, I'm looking to test alchemy ideas—combining two or more items to create a new item, or a more powerful version of an existing item, or a nerf if the experiment goes awry.

    I'm leaning toward making the players learn through experimentation rather than providing a spell book. Or perhaps one recipe might lead to the creation of BlindEye's Guide to Alchemy—A Humorously Semi-Undependable Instruction Manual. Or maybe dole them out one recipe at a time. Or maybe build in a variable—THAT'S IT! (See below.)

    I thought I would begin with a group of Achievements in a category called Consumables that could be awarded for X, Y, or Z, or Bonus Loot drops, or whatever.

    THAT'S IT: What if we used the Mystery Box to deliver the Alchemic outcomes? We could build-in the odds. This would have to be done manually via admin passwords (or something like that) until we have consumables, but this could be really fun. (Or not, depending on one's point of view.)


    UPDATE: A middle of the night brainstorm clarified and expanded​ on this idea. Will discuss with Mick and get back to you.


    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/6/20 7:38:45 PM Permalink

    That's a really, really interesting idea, especially if we go long-term on the eLearning front. Rewards in the store then become ends in and of themselves, so you can go on doing more alchemical experiments. What if some of the experiments result in generated artwork...every piece is unique (I think I read something about this sort of stuff on your site once; not sure why it reoccured to me at this moment, but it sounds like a cool idea). Or short story bits that require other bits in order to make complete; maybe some of the other bits would require quests somewhere else on the site...hmm. I see a ton of potential here, but also a rabbit hole into which I could disappear for a couple years, building out the possibilities. What fun!​

    Until the electronic version is completed, what about dice rolls to determine the consequences? You could easily video that for checking and then have a table of the results. My middle school students are always thrilled to physically roll my big foam dice (about the size of a baseball) for chance games. :-)

    On another note, I'm really looking forward to the consumables - that's an idea for my physical shop that I've been keeping percolating on the back burner for a while. Happy to hear they're on the road map, at some point in the future ;-)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/6/20 8:01:32 PM Permalink

    The really exciting idea (well, to me) from that the middle of the night brainstorm was Skill Leveling. Here's part of what I wrote to Mick:

    A student can earn a badge for a skill, say typography. Then what?

    What if she could earn more typography badges by becoming even more proficient? Think about that. We'd need a counter in the badge tab next to the name.

    She'd have Typography 1, then Typography 2, then 3, 4, 5. See how that makes sense? We'd just need one badge for each skill a student could level by learning more. Skill leveling!

    Hey, I get excited by this stuff and ramble. (Poor Mick gets bombarded with messages—Like Happy in Spiderman Homecoming.)​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 4/4/20 2:32:16 PM Permalink

    ​HOLY CATS!!!!! What a TOY!!!! (By that, I mean that I can't WAIT to play with this new interface!) The timing can't be more perfect either.

    Also, thank you Mick, for getting up on a Saturday morning in the Pacific time zone to help me (in an Eastern time zone) solve a stuck cookie problem. Maaaaaan!!!! You guys are THE BEST!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/3/20 5:05:36 PM Permalink

    Mick just pushed new code to the beta. A few glitches that he'll work on after some family time.

    + in Map and Map Section is functional with a few little gotchas. Easy for us to deal with but Mick will fix them later today​.

    Coming Soon: A gear will be joining the icons to the right side of the map. Front-end settings!

    Gajendra Deshpande

    Posted on 4/3/20 8:19:41 AM Permalink

    Nice...will explore it for sure...​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/3/20 5:00:51 PM Permalink

    Let us know how we might help.*

    *But I can't imagine how after looking at your profile. Very impressive!​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/2/20 12:00:22 PM Permalink

    ​Wow! As always, it's rock-star support around here. Tons of bugs just got stamped out. Looking more solid than ever.

    I just tested canned feedback and found that, too, has been fixed and the content is showing up again when I use them. Thanks!

    Still wanting a 'Thumbs Up' response, I thought of building one in the old ascii-chat style, out of characters. I was able to do this (by copying someone elses!) easily in a message, with "


    tags around it. Looked fine.

    But when I went to build the same as a canned feedback item, I'm not able to because the canned feedback accordion rows don't have the text editing bar in them.

    So the feedback gets restyled as a stream of text, which totally breaks the image, of course.

    Could the text editing bar be added to the canned feedback and canned comment boxes, at some point? (NOTE: not a priority!)

    EDIT: That was supposed to read "With PRE tags around it. I hadn't realized EdEx would goof it up if the angle brackets were included.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/4/20 5:55:20 AM Permalink

    Canned feedback should have the WYSIWYG now. I also changed the way percentages apply. They are no longer cumulative--they are only a ​percentage of the original loot earned on that stage. No more green and red percentage either. It is now an icon that shows a comment bubble to indicate that there has been feedback. It has a minus if any loot has been removed, a plus if no loot was removed and at least one loot type has been added, and no symbol if there is no loot change but only written feedback. This information will eventually be shown on the map along with the ability to customize the icons.

    Thanks again for all the feedback. Let me know if that WYSIWYG is working for you.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/4/20 12:16:28 PM Permalink

    Yep it not only shows up but retroactively fixed the item with the PRE - /PRE tags that I had created to show the ascii thumbs-up response. Thanks!​

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/4/20 1:49:41 PM Permalink

    With the WYSIWYG editor you can probably use images (perhaps an animated GIF) for the thumbs up. I haven't tested it. I like the ASCII image idea too. Glad it works.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/1/20 6:32:21 PM Permalink

    FYI: New code has just been pushed to the beta. Lots of issues resolved. A few ​remain.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 4/1/20 5:53:03 PM Permalink

    ​Quick Question: Is there a way to award loot automatically with a badge?

    OK, quick two questions: Is there a way to award loot to a map that's a pod, where they don't have to finish all the quests, but when they do, they get a badge?

    Asking for a friend.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/1/20 6:27:06 PM Permalink

    If the badge is awarded after completing a specific quest, extra loot could be awarded in the final stage of that quest. (I'm pretty sure that's not what you're asking.)

    If the badge is awarded after completing X of Y quests, no, there's no way to automatically award extra loot. (I'm pretty sure that's what you want.)

    If you really, really want to award extra loot when players earn a specific badge, you could create a store item locked by that badge. Ooh! The category could be a Treasure Room (or something) and players could claim loot for earning specific badges. (I'm stealing this idea.)

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 4/1/20 7:31:03 PM Permalink

    You know, I think that I asked this one before (or something like it) because I remember the store part of the answer. I can always send it to them as well. Not as slick, but it will work. Thanks Mike!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/1/20 8:02:56 PM Permalink

    My strategy would be to place all the badge and level-locked items in a store category. Then it's up to the player to claim the prize. I wouldn't send them, notify them, or otherwise inform them.

    It would feel like more​ of an accomplishment and discovery (to me) when I come to recognize I'm now able to claim a previously-locked reward.*

    *The new store will be color-coded like quests on a map. Hmm. We'll need a new color, designation, or another indicator for unique items that have been earned and claimed.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 8:04:23 PM Permalink

    Some clarification from the video (below).

    Been thinking about Heart/Message/Skull icons on the Player Map.


    Solid Heart Icon = New Like(s). Rolling over the heart reveals a tooltip listing display name of each player like (newest at top).

    Stroked Heart Icon = Old Like(s). Rolling over the heart reveals a tooltip listing display name of each like.

    Should long lists scroll or just display the most recent likes? Should a total count be displayed after X number of likes if the entire list isn't displayed?

    Icons displayed next to display names = current state in the tooltip. New likes are solid, old likes are stroked. Roll over the tooltip after page refresh and all likes are stroked if you've already seen them.


    Message Icon = You have a new or unacknowledged message. Rolling over the icon reveals the message(s). Each message has a checkbox indicated the player acknowledges he/she read the message. (Freedom with Responsibility)

    Once acknowledged, the Messages tab in the Clipboard and Player's Stats Panel should display a record of acknowledged/unacknowledged messages so players and admin are on the same page.

    Once acknowledged, the message icon is no longer displayed on the map.

    The message that appears automatically in the upper right corner will also have an acknowledgment checkbox.

    Missing Piece: A message sent directly to the Player (not from within a quest) should be displayed with the same message icon. But where should it appear? It should be persistent and on every page. Or—maybe this is it—should unacknowledged direct messages reappear on every page load until the player acknowledges it?


    Skull Icon = Player Response Required. Rolling over the icon reveals the message, consequences (if any), and the action required.

    The player will be required to contact admin after addressing the issue. Admin will either approve the player's changes (icon removed) or send a clarifying message (icon remains).


    Please feel free to add suggestions. This is a nascent idea Mick and I had. (The icons were Mick's brilliant solution to the how do we make the players aware? question.)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 5:18:10 PM Permalink

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/31/20 4:06:59 PM Permalink

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 5:16:30 PM Permalink

    I'll text him. He's AWK right now with his family.​

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/1/20 3:27:24 AM Permalink

    I don't have access to the link. Change the share settings please.​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/31/20 11:56:12 AM Permalink

    Yikes! Guys, I didn't notice it earlier because I was working on feedback for students (thus the giant list of stuff I posted below). Something has happened to my editor, though: it won't switch out of text mode. I know you prefer that, Mike, but I really would much rather have the Visual editor back!

    I've tried clearing my cache and on a different computer and it's the same every time, no Visual editor. Clicking that tab in the Quest editing window has no effect. Maybe a side-effect of one of the recent bug fixes?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 3:27:44 PM Permalink

    LOL. I'm stuck in the Visual editor.

    Mick knows and he's on it.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 3:53:08 PM Permalink

    Works now. Plus lots more. Refresh and try to edit. :)

    We're finding a few little things and fixing them live.

    + buttons maybe later today.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 8:21:14 PM Permalink

    Matthew, did you notice the videos in the visual editor are now smaller? That happened in a previous update. So happy with that, I now spend way more time in the visual editor​ (hence, how I was trapped there before the latest update).

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/1/20 6:28:48 AM Permalink

    I did notice, but hadn't given it any thought until your message! I liked it better, too. Also thought it was highly ironic that I was stuck in text mode while you got stuck in the visual editor. :-P

    I'm very much enjoying the new front-end quest editor. It feels much cleaner to edit in that interface! I do miss the button to quick insert GO tags, though.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/1/20 6:43:41 AM Permalink

    I'm not fond of the way it defaults the map back when I save and exit the editing lightbox, however. I'd prefer it to go back to the map I was on when I opened the editor. ​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/1/20 8:47:53 AM Permalink

    I didn't notice that as I've been working on my default map on two different sites. I wouldn't be "fond" of that behavior either—and I'd not have expressed my dismay so tactfully​. WTF?! is my default behavior. :)

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/1/20 9:02:27 AM Permalink

    ​In case it helps in troubleshooting, the problem appears to be that the map goes back to whichever is the top-most map in the map list. I was quickly able to work around it, once I realized this, by simply dragging the daily map back to the top of the list. But I still think it should go back to whichever map the user was working on when they opened the lightbox.

    Mike, that may be your 'default' behavior. Don't for a moment think that the same expression didn't pass my lips as soon as it happened, here in the privacy I have on this side of my screen ;-). But I hold you as one of my examples of folks to emulate in digital communications because you are consistently careful and gentle in your communication. I quite literally think to myself "How would Mike write this communication" when I'm frustrated, trying hard to be polite, or otherwise working on communicating clearly while stressed in any way. This thought process occurs at least once a week. Over the course of our relationship here on AEdEx, following your example has significantly improved my ability to communicate without ruffling feathers. Which is a long-winded way to explain why I'm so chuffed to hear from you that I came across as tactful. Seven years ago, I am quite certain that wouldn't have been the case.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/1/20 6:47:31 AM Permalink

    Another gremlin seems to have crept in as part of this update: my quest giver images are not showing up on the front end (viewing). They're clearly there in all the edit windows, both front-end and back-end. But when just viewing a quest, there's a single blank line where they should be showing up.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/1/20 9:44:23 AM Permalink

    Is the quest giver displayed as the Featured Image? (At the top of Stage 1 above the Entry Reward.)

    I ask because mt featured images are all intact. Can you replicate the steps which lead to the issue?

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/1/20 12:56:36 PM Permalink

    I don't insert them as featured ​images but as regular media inserts right at the top of the quest. I'll try the Featured Image for now as a work-around.

    TL;DR - the image issue was a corrupted cache, apparently. BUT there is (maybe) an issue with the Location drop-down when assigning quests to Map Sections. I'm including my troubleshooting process, below, in case anyone else is curious, masochistic, could be helped in their future troubleshooting by seeing this process, and mostly because I wrote so much down I don't want to just erase it. ;-)


    My process is:

    1. ​Open a quest for editing (these are the Daily quests which I had cloned for the whole year back in August)
    2. Expand the "Stages" accordion
    3. Expand the "Stage 1 - Content" accordion
    4. Highlight the boilerplate ("Don't completed this - it's not edited/complete") text in order to replace it
    5. Click the "Add Media" button
    6. In the media library lightbox that opens, search for "quest" to bring up my quest giver headers
    7. Select the appropriate header image for the day
    8. Click the "Insert into Post" button
    9. Hit return and start typing in any further content info
    10. Switch to the "Stage 1 - Call to Action" accordion
    11. Add my video for the day and any instructions &/or requirements
    12. Close all accordions and click the Update button.

    At that point, I went back to check on the quest, as it was the first one I'd done using the new interface, and found it missing the quest giver header image. After triple checking in other ways, I realized it was a display glitch, not an error on the author's part. :-)​

    I just went in and tried a couple things:

    1. Adding the Featured Image works fine, except that the headers then appear above the loot box. I'm not used to that, but could easily get used to it and may switch (I like the workflow of that in the new lightbox)
    2. I tried adding the header image after putting text in front of it. No luck - no image shows in the quest.
    3. I tried adding a different (non-header, small) image later in the Content section. No luck - no image there, either.
    4. However in the "Call to Action" section when I added the same header (first) and small image (at the end, after text) they both showed up fine. So it's limited to the "Content" sections.
    5. When I created a brand new quest and tried the same things, all images showed up fine. I used that nifty "+" button in the black site bar for this one. :-)
    6. BUT when I went in to that new quest to add it to the Daily map (trying to be thorough), there are no maps listed in the "Location" drop-down. "Manage Maps" still shows them all, and front-end display doesn't seem affected.
    7. I created another brand new quest (this one via the Quests -> Add New Quest sidebar method) to double-check and found the same result.
    8. Logged out, cleared my cache of anything related to Logged back in, same results. In addition, the little + button menu no longer lets me choose "Add Quest." It's simply not even a link. The "Add Store Item" IS still a link.
    9. I switched to the Front End and tried to create a new quest using the "+" button -> "Add Quest" in the black bar. In spite of still not highlighting like a link does (and like the "Add Store" still DOES), it DID open the add quest dialog sequence, so I may just have been looking at a visual artifact in step 8 - I didn't try clicking because it didn't _look_ like I could. The "Location" drop-down is still empty, though.
    10. Opened a quest from the May chain and was able to successfully add an image as both a header and body of the "Content" section. But the "Location" drop-down still doesn't have anything in it (except the "May 2020" identifier the empty cloned quest already had in there).
    11. Did the same for an April chain quest that hadn't yet been edited. Then the same to the April 5th quest that originally started all this mess. WORKED FINE! So apparently something in the cache was goofy. Gah!

    Mike - if you imagine a liberal amount of WTF?!?! sprinkled throughout this process, you won't be far off.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/1/20 5:33:30 PM Permalink

    There are bugs in the front-end editor. It's a big new feature and we pushed it in the beta so we could test it​.

    Your detailed reporting is hyper-helpful. (I've found a few of the same things myself. )

    Mea culpa for not giving everyone a heads up, but honestly, I find little things that Mick fixes before anyone notices all the time. If it's too painful, switch out of beta.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 4/1/20 5:38:45 PM Permalink

    I'm on the line with Mick. I was going to add after "switch out of beta," ​but that'll probably feel even more painful as all the new goodness is in the beta.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/31/20 9:02:52 AM Permalink

    Before I get to the other stuff, I wanted to mention that I just tried that new-to-me checkbox of "View with Cards" and LOVE it! A great way to visually scroll through and see the blog. Thanks!

    ​A whole bunch of things, maybe gremlins, I've noticed today. Some of these may be intentional, or on your radar already but low on the priority list. I just made a list of stuff I noticed as I worked through various scenarios today.

    1. When I give feedback in a student's entry in the reader by penalizing with a percentage off, they see a red outline on their map, a gray bar showing feedback, and in red within the Quest Stage showing the penalty. They also see a notification in their blog roll showing the penalty, in red. When I do the same thing via numerical penalization (eg: -15XP / 0G / -0.5REP) they see the red outline on the map and the gray bar, but no indication about the penalty, in the blog nor on the quest.
    2. Unless a student expands a drop-down to see a nested quest in the pod/chain, they don't see any indication on the main map that there is a penalty for that nested quest. In other words, the red outline is only visible on expanded nests; there isn't anything to clue them in when the nest is collapsed.
    3. If I provide feedback to a student that is associated with a change in loot (positive or negative), they get notified on the map via colored outline, as well as a pop-up if they are in-game. If I give them text-only feedback or 'heart' their post, they have no way to know unless they scroll through to that entry in their blog.
      ​--> I'd love a count, or color change of their blog icon, or other indication that feedback is waiting!
    4. When reading my blog as a student, I attempt to edit a Quest for which there are 2 assigned ​rows in the Call to Action, I can only edit the first row. The second shows up in the lightbox, but only the "Add Media" button is active; the text editing window is abbreviated to a simple white rectangle and won't allow data entry. Side effect of this is that if a student originally left that second row blank and there was a word limit assigned, they can't edit it to add anything, which means they can't re-submit the quest because they can't meet the word limit for that row. Same thing happens when they try to edit by opening the quest via the map, rather than through the blog. If they Undo the quest, then they have access to edit in all the rows.
      ​[ I could screen record what's happening here, if this doesn't make sense. It sounds complicated to me in re-reading it but I can't think how to explain it better, so apologies for my twisted explanation, if so.
    5. Avatar issues: viewing the blog header shows the default bit-monster rather than the student's avatar. Their avatar shows up on the menu bar and in their profile, as well as on each post in the blog, but not at the top of the blog page. Same on the stats page. Same in a forum. This is true from both the student's account and my admin account. Weird.
    6. I can't see any way to add a student to a group! I'd like to use that as one more way to sub-select students while looking at work and I've made categories and groups. But I can't figure out how to put a student into a group.
    7. As a student, I don't have a way to swap whether I want to see the blog oldest-first or newest-first, nor search for specific entries. I don't know if these are useful features for students in general; I was trying to test various features (once I realized about a couple of the gremlins listed above).
    8. In the reader, the "badge" dropdown is so narrow that many of my longer named badges (eg: "CAD Apprentice - Vectr") take multiple lines, partially display off the window entirely in spite of that, and make the list cumbersome to use.
    9. I posted some replies (feedback) to student entries in the reader, which consistent of the title "Thumbs Up" and a body text of two thumbs-up characters (char: - Unicode: U+1F44D U+1F3FB, UTF-8: F0 9F 91 8D F0 9F 8F BB, in case it matters in any way for troubleshooting). But that feedback/reply isn't saved. After I click send, neither I nor the student see it. After I bit, I realized that although the lightbox closes up the feedback form when I clicked Send, it left the edited feedback there - subject was empty but the Canned feedback selector still showed "Thumbs Up" and the body text was still the two characters, without sending it. Adding regular text in front of the unicode characters allowed it to save and be seen on the student side, but without any body text. This also showed two empty lines (no text, no title) in the students' feedback list, so apparently they Were saved, but without the data.
    10. Before I realized about #9, I had also tried creating a canned feedback entry for that item, as I was using it frequently. But canned feedback still only enters the title, not the body text. (This is true regardless of whether it's text-only or not.)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 11:25:24 AM Permalink

    Great detailed feedback, Matthew. Most of those are Mick-things, but I can solve one mystery for you.

    6. I use messages to manually place students in groups or store items for students to purchase apprenticeships (or whatever the group's function is).

    Keep up the gremlin sleuthing!​


    P.S. I'm halfway through Book 7 and Leah's condition led me to think of this video.

    (The vest is now a device worn on the wrist.)

    Also, I've been thinking about all the books you might find thought-provoking. Have you read any David Brin? He writes hard sci-fi (he's got a Ph.D. in cometary physics).

    I love the guy but don't love all his books. His Uplift series has two I love—Startide Rising and The Uplift War—but the rest are yawners.

    Looking forward to starting The Stork Tower from the begining when I finish Book 7.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/31/20 11:51:45 AM Permalink

    Of course! (headsmack) I remember talking about using messages to add to groups. Thanks for that!

    I loved, loved Earth and agree with you about the Uplift series; I stopped reading them after about the 4th book. Haven't read Existence, thanks!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 5:31:39 PM Permalink

    Don't read any spoilers or even the about this book stuff. Existence is an EPIC story.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/31/20 1:26:36 PM Permalink

    Thanks Matthew. You are going to keep me busy.​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/31/20 2:52:06 PM Permalink

    Mick, is all of this new functionality in the Beta version?​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 5:33:35 PM Permalink

    See the 3/31/20 5:18:10 PM vid for more info. Yes to the beta.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/31/20 1:59:56 PM Permalink

    #3: The pop-up message should show to students on next page load or on an interval (I think it is 20 seconds) which ever comes first. That would be on their next login. I'll test that that is still working. Since all feedback should show in a pop-up, I see a need for a counter, but I like the idea of some notification on the map that a quest has feedback that is not loot related. The hearts would also be nice.

    #7: I excluded the oldest/newest filter intentionally for students. I wanted to simplify the interface. I could go either way on that one. Thoughts?

    Working on the rest.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 4/1/20 6:31:07 AM Permalink

    Re #7 I don't have strong feelings either way. It was just something I noticed, so I added it to the list in case it wasn't a deliberate choice. Unless I hear from students that they're frustrated with that limitation, I wouldn't bother changing it. Cleaner is better.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 4/2/20 3:57:26 AM Permalink

    1-3: All messages and feedback are supposed to show on the next page load or 20 seconds later. There were bugs. Thanks for the detailed heads up. It should be working now. We are also working a way to show information about feedback on the map.

    4. I think I go that fixed too. It was a similar bug.

    5. Avatars should be fixed. I noticed the one in the admin bar is too big. I'll fix that ASAP, but at least they are consistent.

    6. Mike answered that--use a message.

    7. I added the swap newest/oldest to the player blog filter.

    8. I restyled the filters. They look better in lots of ways now, including the badge dropdown.

    9. I can't get that to work. I don't think it is easy. Does that unicode work anywhere in Wordpress, or does it get sanitized. Give me an example of it working (post, page, anywhere) and I can use that to investigate.

    10. Fixed. There might be an issue of submitting on the text tab. Switch back to the visual tab before sending a message or feedback. I think I'll remove the text tab.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 11:44:18 PM Permalink

    What if?

    Just watched the video and it seems the + button should reflect the item it's associated with. On a map, it's a new map button. On a section, a new map section on that map. And on a quest, a new quest (new or new from template)​. But that seems like overkill on quests.

    Should the + on a map create a new section and the + on a section create a new quest? Simpler. Cleaner.

    A + added to the icons at the upper right of the map could then be used to create a new map. Help Mode would provide the info for new users. And when we add new features, experienced users could switch to Help Mode to get tips on how to utilize them.

    Ooh. Maybe even links to videos right there on the front end in Help Mode, too.

    What do you think?


    Oh, and Mick just pushed out bug fixes.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/31/20 11:20:59 AM Permalink

    Regarding the "+" button:

    • The icons in the upper right (link/admin actions/toggle loot) seem related to the entire page display, to me. This isn't where I'd think of looking for an 'add' button.
    • A plus icon on the column header (pod/chain) would logically add a quest to the end of the chain, in my mind. I think that's a great place for one. Just please, don't put it right next to the trashcan - my fumble thumbs find that combination fatally attractive, though I heard you mention warnings, with relief.
    • ​The add map / add map-section ones are a bit trickier. I feel like they both need to go on the Map selection drop-down, but how to keep them separate? Maybe a plus icon on the currently selected map's popup would add a new column-head, then there could be a plus at the bottom of the drop-down, when it's expanded, that would add a new Map? Or a plus over on the left-hand corner, just above the first (left-most) column to add a new column? Or a plus on the right side, just above the right-most column, to add a new column? Although I prefer the Map menu option as it will look cleaner.

    I'm loving the move of functionality to the front end. Have to admin, I never even saw the "+" icon in the header bar that you reference in the video! This year I've just cloned to create new ones and then edited to change.​ I really like the trash-can (with warnings) that you mentioned.

    One small issue I've run into today is that if I hover over a quest until the pop-up appears, then move to open the nested quests and hover over the top one in the list, the first pop-up often obscures the second. I think, if there is a way to do this, the top-level quest's pop-up needs to disappear immediately if I open nested quests below it.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/31/20 1:28:45 PM Permalink

    I was having the same thought. It seems like the + should be right where the item will add. Perhaps it goes at the bottom of the task chain, to the right of the last chain title, and in at the bottom of the dropdown. Not it the existing tooltips. ​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/31/20 5:26:33 PM Permalink

    That sounds just right. Where it will add makes the most sense. ​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 9:14:06 PM Permalink

    Marcia asked for a video explaining the new features. I realized I'd forgotten to address the live customizer Mick implemented. Try it yourself.

    BUG: The Quick Edit was editing the Map Section​. We'll fix that. (And I'll rerecord that video so the bug isn't preserved for posterity.)

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/31/20 2:08:41 PM Permalink

    That was AWESOME!!!! I learned so much from that! Thank you!​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/31/20 2:53:16 PM Permalink

    Is there a way to make a pod within a pod using nested quests within a map?​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 5:37:04 PM Permalink

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/31/20 5:42:02 PM Permalink

    Since PODs are full of optional quests, I'm not sure what you want to gain by this. Could you explain further, Marcia? If you just wanted to group a set of quests within a pod, you could nest them all underneath one quest, with instructions in the first quest (or even in its title?) to choose a certain number from them, or that one of these choices is required, or that it is an optional group, or whatever the case might be.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 4/1/20 5:56:07 PM Permalink

    Yeah, I think you nailed it, Matt. There is so much going on with the game (and trying to work with kids....and dealing with slow bandwidth 'cause......Vermont) that I'm struggling to keep up. Thank you guys!!!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 7:06:49 PM Permalink

    My head was embracing something similar, but I was having trouble finding the words. Then I found an article about this Prof in North Carolina.

    ​I wonder if this will copy, paste, and post gracefully. If not:

    This syllabus from a professor in North Carolina seems like a good place to start. Let’s use it for the remainder of this semester.

    Adjusted Syllabus | Spring 2020 | Brandon Bayne | UNC-Chapel Hill

    1. Nobody Signed Up For This

    • Not for the sickness, not for the social distancing, not for the sudden end of our collective lives together on campus
    • Not for an online class, not for teaching remotely, not for learning from home, not for mastering new technologies, not for varied access to learning materials

    2. The Humane Option Is The Best Option

    • We are going to prioritize supporting each other as humans
    • We are going to prioritize simple solutions that make sense for the most
    • We are going to prioritize sharing resources and communicating clearly

    3. We Cannot Just Do The Same Thing Online

    • Some assignments are no longer possible
    • Some expectations are no longer reasonable
    • Some objectives are no longer valuable

    4. We Will Foster Intellectual Nourishment, Social Connection, And Personal Accommodation

    • Accessible asynchronous content for diverse access, time zones, and contexts
    • Optional synchronous discussion to learn together and combat isolation

    5. We Will Remain Flexible And Adjust To The Situation

    • Nobody knows where this is going and what we’ll need to adapt
    • Everybody needs support and understanding in this unprecedented moment

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/29/20 6:42:12 PM Permalink

    ​Hi Mick!

    I still can't log on using Chrome, and I have had a couple of kids reach out to me to tell me they can't log in either. Any idea what's going on?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 7:16:56 PM Permalink

    I passed that along. He confirmed the issue.

    Oddly, I can log in fine on Chrome and ​none of my students have reported issues.

    He'll find a solution. Lucky we're on spring break for the next two weeks! (This is all so weird.) <— Speaking of the global issue as we try to cope with it all.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/29/20 9:50:07 PM Permalink

    Try again now. I think it's a cookie issue. Not sure what causes it--but I added code to clear cookies on login every time. Hope that fixes it.​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/30/20 12:27:59 AM Permalink

    Sorry Mick. No go. It still wont let me log on.​

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/30/20 3:01:45 AM Permalink

    What happens when you try to log in?​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/30/20 4:34:08 AM Permalink

    I click login and the login window pops up.​ I fill in the fields (actually, the fields are already filled in) and click to login. I land on The Game page (usually a map) where I was when I hit the login button, but I'm not logged in. It treats me as a guest. It's like I didn't do anything.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 5:30:19 PM Permalink

    Our district is requiring teachers to begin distance learning activities on April 20. I'd link to the guidance but in internal-only at present.

    The short story is we're to begin slow (1 hour of activity that week) and ramp up slowly until we reach 4-hours of activity per class per week.* Chromebook only functionality. And we're to scale back expectations.

    *I know many teachers have a skewed version of time. "I only assign 20 minutes of homework" is a common mantra. My daughter went to Valhalla. I call B.S.

    All in all a reasonable plan—that will begin to fall apart the first week. (The last part is my prediction.)

    There's just no way we can even begin to understand what some of these families are going through.

    One thing is certain. No one will fail my class​.

    Adam Coulson

    Posted on 3/29/20 5:46:10 PM Permalink

    ​How are you going to approach "Chromebook only functionality"? That is my greatest struggle because all of our lessons have been based around adobe and now the chromebooks kids can't access any Adobe software. There is a lot of great freeware that can work online with a Chromebook but since I don't have experience with any of it my lower-level students have already struggled to understand or problem solve any software I'm not directly teaching in.

    We started like your district is suggesting, but started last week so we are already ramping up the expectation when I have 30 kids that haven't even acknowledged any communication yet. Its a mess!!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 6:42:25 PM Permalink

    Yeah, a mess is what it is, but this is great practice for fully implementing UDL.

    I'm just scratching the surface with incomplete instructions like this:

    I realize not everyone has a computer to run Adobe Animate, After Effects, or Photoshop at home. You could use paper and pencil to draw individual cells. You could create a flip book. You could figure a way to use your camera to make stop-motion animation. Google “stop motion animation” to get started. When finished, upload your project to your GUHSD YouTube account and submit the URL. (You can make your video unlisted rather than public if you don’t want the rest of the world to see it.)

    There are also online tools you could use. Google “online animation tool” to get started.

    Be resourceful! If you have other ideas or you found a tool or strategy that works great, share it in the comments. Together we’re stronger!

    That accompanies an OPTIONAL animation quest on my Home Edition page.

    My strategy is to give kids an opportunity to choose among a wide variety of learning activities and an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in a manner of their own choosing.

    My hope is this crisis forces educators to reassess the status quo. It's broke. Let's fix it.


    As I typed that, I saw the T-shirt in my mind:




    Hmm. Broke or broken? Play off the original or use proper grammar? Seems like broke is right.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/29/20 7:14:27 PM Permalink

    I like "Broke"​. Visually, it works better.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 9:58:24 PM Permalink

    And it exudes sass. Make it so. ​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/29/20 6:40:47 PM Permalink

    We are required to have a grade on the books for this quarter by Tuesday. I'm supposed to assess where they were when all this went down, in the middle of a quarter. This, on top of the fact that it's supposed to be ​"proficiency-based". I too call BS.

    I'm changing it all to P/F, and I'm with you, Mike. They all get "P".

    I'm also in the same bind with kids and Chromebooks. A few kids have access to computers, but Adobe, in it's infinite wisdom, decided this year, the year that PS requires 64 bit, not to let license holders go legacy. So, even though students now have access to the license at home, many don't have the processing chops to take advantage of it.

    On the upside, it puts everyone on a level playing field.

    I'm relying solely on traditional media, emphasizing creativity, problem-solving, transferable skills and reflection. (Another "thank God for the game and the revamped blog feature.) I meet via Google Hangouts 1x/week (so far, that's been once. :P) to check-in and hear stories. I've reached out to all the parents.....almost daily for some of them and I've hooked up a few with mentors who are professionals in their field. Keep in mind, that I have less than 10 students, and I get most of them back next year.

    Some of my colleagues (and my director) suggested that if the kids blow us off, they won't be invited back next year, but our students are from a title 1 school, very rural, and home life can be seriously tough and isolating for these kids. I can't put conditions on kids that I'm not sure if, given the same environment, I would be able to do myself, so my incentive is this: Thanks to the game, they can work on totally independent things, but they can't branch off into their passion areas until they get the required stuff done. If they don't get it done, they'll have to work on it next fall. I have no idea if this will work, but the kids seemed on board at our meeting on Friday.

    I'm attaching a Google doc that I adapted from our amazing business teacher. I'm throwing pieces of this into the game, but I've also printed it and sent it to students via snail-mail so they can't use the lack of digital connection as an excuse come fall when I (hopefully) see them again. Feel free to take whatever you want from it.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 7:02:14 PM Permalink

    Love it. Made a copy. Thanks!​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/30/20 12:52:56 PM Permalink

    Thanks Marcia! I shared a copy of this with my entire faculty; we're looking for examples of ways to humanely and sustainably shift offline and online, for some teachers ​who've never tackled anything like this before. This is a great example.

    By the way, in case you weren't aware of or had forgotten this trick: if you ever want to share google docs but don't want folks you share it with to edit the original, just swap the last word out, substituting "copy" for "edit." Then anyone who clicks the link will be asked if they'd like to make a copy of your original, so they get access and you get to keep full control of the original.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/31/20 2:56:17 PM Permalink

    Thanks Matt! I didn't know about that trick. How incredibly useful! I'm assuming that when you say "last word" you mean the last word in the URL, right?

    Asking for a friend. :P

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/31/20 5:57:13 PM Permalink

    Yes. The last word in a Google doc (usually?) describes the functionality. Replace the last word in the URL (e.g. change EDIT or SHARING to COPY​) to automatically generate a copy.

    Your link currently ends with usp=sharing

    Change it to usp=copy and voila!

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/29/20 1:45:11 PM Permalink

    I like the new look. And the new flash-edit tool. And the toggle for admin pop-ups. Great additions!​

    A couple small issues I ran into with badges, specifically badge categories:

    1. I am unable to rename a badge category. This might be a good thing, thinking about it, because if a category is renamed, wouldn't that orphan any badges within that category? (I didn't try renaming an empty category.)
    2. When creating a new category, anything typed into the description box is discarded. The category is saved and I can then edit it to add a description; it's only during the initial save that descriptions are discarded.
    3. UPDATE: Same thing happens to badges when I create them.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 5:12:01 PM Permalink

    Mick has been 100% focused on the maps​. Good catch with the badges.

    We're discussing UI and UX—looking for consistency—and we both agree the store is next (though the badge fix will leapfrog that). The current plan is for the store to resemble the map in appearance, structure, and behavior (e.g. locked items will be gray). It's more complicated than that but prepare for a whole new look (and maybe even some new functionality).

    A New Thought: Since distance learning renders most of my current store items irrelevent—free period, study pass, restroom, school supplies, etc.—I imagine now would be a good time to trash the old version to usher in new features we'd been waiting for the summer to introduce.

    However, I am heavily invested in quest-embedded store items (not associated with a map). Hmm. Just thinking out loud.


    Any suggestions would be welcomed!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 5:19:07 PM Permalink

    Did you notice you can toggle the quick edit tools on and off? (EDIT: Oops. You said you did.)

    Try dragging and dropping map items and even columns. Super sweet when building new content!

    Nested dragging is a bit different, but you'll get the idea. No way to drag to create the initial nest. Just quick-edit to select Nested, then drag items in or out.

    The Map Picker toggles open on mouseover and draggable map order is imminent. ​

    We're loving the new functionality. Fire away with questions.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/29/20 7:24:04 PM Permalink

    Hi Mike,

    Can you do a video about these new features? I'm not sure where to start.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/29/20 9:59:55 PM Permalink

    Done. But I have to remake it after Mick squishes the bug I found (but didn't realize it at the time) in the video.​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/27/20 10:42:34 AM Permalink

    ​Hi Mick! The Game won't let me log on in Chrome (my preferred browser). It is letting me on in Safari, a browser that I don't like to use a lot. I've cleared the cache, but that isn't working. Any suggestions?

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/27/20 2:38:17 PM Permalink

    I have some ideas, but let me see if I can fix it on my end.​

    Adam Coulson

    Posted on 3/25/20 4:53:10 PM Permalink

    ​Hi guys!

    I know nothing can be really done at this point but I thought I'd let you know that it seems the old GameOn plugin might be broken. Pretty horrible timing but my students and I can no longer work through any of the quest stages as they are non-functional. I'm guessing WordPress did an update or something but I thought I would let you know if anyone else still uses it. I'll just transfer those lessons over to pages but, man, did I love the ability to track, score, and blog along with the students' daily quest progress.

    Hope you are all doing well.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/25/20 7:56:03 PM Permalink

    Adam, is there any reason you can't use our hosted version?

    Before I continue speculating about your situation (that I just deleted), you can have free hosting through the end of the school year​.

    Tell me why it won't work and I'll try to figure out how it could work.

    Fair enough?

    Adam Coulson

    Posted on 3/26/20 4:37:48 AM Permalink

    I saw that you made your hosted version free but I would have to rebuild everything from scratch and I have 7 different preps right now. I didn't switch over to your hosted version originally because right before you made that announcement I convinced my Principal to pay for 3 years of hosting service for my site and I can't make digital purchases like your service without his authorization. ​

    I'm not sure what happened to the GameOn plugin I am using over the past week while we were on spring break but when I started using it this week I found the new issues. The Continue buttons just plain won't function so no one can open the second stage of the quests. I just told them to no login so they can see them as a guest without the gameon functionality. There is also some really strange boxes that look like they are for upload content under the continue button.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/26/20 2:36:29 PM Permalink

    Hi Adam,

    I feel your pain. I had to rebuild from scratch as well. I don't know what you teach, but if it's anything in the communication arts, feel free to clone any of my maps or quests if that will make life easier for you. I've cloned some of Mike's maps (Actually, I cloned the whole site, saved it as a resource and I will cruise through it, catalog-style, when I'm short of ideas.)

    I don't know if your schools are closed or not, but this might just be the time to jump in.

    Adam Coulson

    Posted on 3/26/20 2:57:08 PM Permalink

    I'd love to switch over but I just don't think now is the time for me. I teach 4 different Photography courses and 2 Graphic design courses this semester...and a 1st grade and 3rd grade at home as of now. Thats where all my time is really going these days. The idea of sharing quests sounds great. I have a ton of my quests using Rob Schwartz' Brainbuffet this year. Kids love his tuts.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/26/20 3:12:24 PM Permalink

    Ooh! I gotta check that out. ​Thank you!

    Good luck, and stay safe, my friend.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/26/20 4:53:23 PM Permalink

    Adam, did you purchase access to Rob's resources or are you using his free stuff?

    He links to some of my old, old (really embarrassing) stuff on a few pages.

    Adam Coulson

    Posted on 3/27/20 4:46:04 PM Permalink

    I bought his access because my school is pushing the ACA exams so then students have it as an option.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/27/20 7:03:01 PM Permalink

    Very cool. Some comprehensive material there!​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/26/20 4:42:58 PM Permalink

    Adam, you do what you think is best for you and your students. The question I'd ask if I were you is: Do I want to put a bandaid on a huge problem and deal with unknown and unknowable gremlins the rest of the year, or do I want to spend a day—a whole day—copying and pasting, rebuilding and reorganizing my curriculum​ and deal with the disruption once and for all?

    That's the choice, you know.

    Yeah, the kids' scores will be all screwed up, but their learning experience will be enhanced. And you have no idea what other life-changing admin tools are waiting for you.

    Your school isn't still in session, is it? And spring break is right around the corner. Besides, America and the world are going to have to reset the big game, right?

    Sure seems like the simulation is giving you the biggest clue of all.

    Just sayin'

    Adam Coulson

    Posted on 3/27/20 4:48:37 PM Permalink

    ​We already did spring break and we are still doing full time at home learning/lessons. I will definitley look into moving over. You are right in encouraging me to go for it. Now probably is the time to do so. I'll keep you updated on my progress. thanks!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/27/20 7:05:02 PM Permalink

    Whatever works best for you. We're always here to help if we can. Stay healthy​!

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/26/20 1:08:32 PM Permalink


    Sorry to hear that. I think you might be our last plugin user (if there are any others reading this, please let me know). Send me an email at and I'll let you know when a plugin download is ready. I'll try to have it up today.

    I can't explain why your site started behaving differently without a change to the plugin, so I can't guarantee an update will fix it.

    Switching to Gameful during a break might be worth considering. We have tools to help with the process. There is no way to move student accounts with their work, so making the switch mid-year would be tough. If it helps, I know from personal experience that SiteGround pro rates your prepaid fees when you cancel.


    Adam Coulson

    Posted on 3/26/20 2:54:37 PM Permalink

    I'm with you, Mick. I don't want you to do any extra work for my use. I was just putting it out there IF anyone was still on the old plugin.

    I'll definitely look into switching over this summer but I don't think now while I'm dealing with all sorts of tech issues at students' homes is my ideal. I didn't know SiteGround will pro-rate a cancelation! I use them so that might make a huge difference for me​. Thanks, as always.

    Kerrick Lucker

    Posted on 4/27/20 2:46:33 AM Permalink

    I was using the plugin last year, but moved to a new school. Now I'm trying to set up a similar site to help with the transition (hereafter to be known as THE TRANSITION with appropriate gongs and sonorous cellos), and I'd like to be able to host it on my own site... any chance there's an updated plugin to download? Gameful sounds lovely but I want the control of my own site...​

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/26/20 5:07:28 PM Permalink

    Check out Github for the latest version (v5.8). This is built from the latest beta code on Gameful so it includes all of the latest features. Hope it solves your problem.​

    Adam Coulson

    Posted on 3/29/20 7:25:43 PM Permalink

    The new plugin works great! That will give me some time to begin exploring and prep a move over to sometime soon. Thanks as always.​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/24/20 11:31:22 PM Permalink

    ​Hi Guys!

    This is a quick one. The Game won't let me into the back end to edit quests. Normally I'd wait a bit, but I need to get tomorrow's Daily out.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/24/20 11:37:21 PM Permalink

    I passed it on. Micks uploading new code right now. Should be good to go soon.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/24/20 11:39:10 PM Permalink

    I should have said he's been uploading new code that he's been working on. A few new features and fixes.

    I have to be AWK for a few. Back soon.​

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/24/20 11:40:42 PM Permalink


    FYI: Maps can now be edited on the front end. You can drag and drop to reorder and hover and click the lightning bolt to change the name, nest, hide or make optional. If there is an existing nest, you can drag into it. I'll add similar functionality to the store, badges, and groups soon.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/25/20 8:34:57 PM Permalink

    Thank you Mick!​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/24/20 6:19:11 PM Permalink

    Please feel free to clone (and edit) any of my MAC LAB HOME EDITION quests, especially this one:

    The HOME EDITION map is one day old and will be under heavy construction for the foreseeable future.

    There is ZERO chance we're going back to school anytime soon in the US.

    It's funny that my focus is on the store. What the heck will kids use virtual currency for at home? Any ideas?

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/25/20 8:54:14 PM Permalink

    Thank you! This is amazing. I'm torn between making it available to my students and not making it available. A good chunk of them are pretty upset and stressed about all of this. But then, I get reflections from kids who don't get why we are "sheltering in place". Vermont just went the next step, closing everything but grocery stores, pharmacies and medical ​centers and extended school closure until 4/15. (It was 4/6 until yesterday.) This visual, I think, pretty much answers those kid's least that's how I see it. They may have a home life that sees it differently. Who knows what these kids deal with.

    Anyway, I cloned it. It's in the Daily Quests for tomorrow. Thank you. You are awesome.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/22/20 2:04:05 PM Permalink

    ​Hi Guys! Is there a secret door someplace that lets me print quests? I have half my junior class offline and not reaching out (though somehow their parents seem to be able to. LOL) Anyway, they all have Chromebooks AND sketchbooks, so they should be able to do the assignments I have up. (Reading articles and commenting; drawing prompts, journaling, etc.) but when we do get back to school, I don't want "lack of online access" to be an excuse.

    I know I can probably hit print for each stage, but I'm wondering if there is a way to easily download a quest as a pdf.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/22/20 3:02:04 PM Permalink

    There's probably a free chrome extension, but I use an app called Page Layers.

    Use it as a browser and drag one of two icons to save a layered PSD or a PNG to the desktop. Pricy ($35) but it works flawlessly for me.

    NOTE: I just Googled "webpage to pdf" and got lots of free results. I'll let you chase those down.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/22/20 3:12:32 PM Permalink

    Thank you! I should have known that. I just never need to do it so I forgot that there are resources out there.

    You're the best, Mike.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/21/20 12:41:42 AM Permalink

    Just a heads-up top let you know that Adobe has unlocked our conversation.​ :)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/19/20 4:50:11 PM Permalink

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/18/20 8:50:18 PM Permalink

    Since I need to be productive, I've decided to begin writing blog posts again. Since could use some content, I'm going to feed two birds with one seed and write there.​ (Declaring this publicly is my way of ensuring I'll follow through.)

    • ​My RLRPG (an example of the post's featured image)

    Obviously, I'm going to write about the personal game I created while sick at home on March 6—hours before we were informed schools in our district were closing.

    A few things you might (or might not) find of interest:

    1. Since I intended to use the elements in the Periodic Table as level names, I knew I'd have a minimum of 118 levels (with more to follow). So, I set the Growth Rate to 1, the First Level Up to 50, and the Max Amount to Level Up to 1250. (I want this to be a long daily game that lasts for years.)

    2. Those settings led to a pleasant surprise. The jump from Level 49 to Level 50 requires 1226 XP. The jump from Level 50 to Level 51 triggers the 1250 XP level cap. (I didn't know those facts at the time.) Why do I find this so interesting in retrospect? As a numbers freak, I was prepared to rig the transition so the higher levels—the ones following the initiation of the level cap—were pleasing to my eye. (I wanted them to end in a 0.) Level 49 requires 20824 XP. I was not hopeful as I added the next level. (Insert Drumroll) Level 50 = 22050 XP. I don't think anyone will understand my joy at that moment. Suffice to say, the rest of the levels will be gloriously pure (free from my need to fudge the numbers) and they will all end in 50 or 00 (more beautiful than I was prepared to settle for).

    3. I'm enjoying learning about the Periodic Table, will make my badges available to any who want them, and am seriously considering using them in my 2020/2021 Mac Lab game.

    4. If you looked at the Temp post, you'll notice that my personal game is driven by the Exchange. I only have 5 daily quests (for now) that net a max of 25 Gold. This is the only Gold in the game affected by the REP modifier. I expect to add more Exchange items, but I'm not sure if I'll add more daily quests as they're pretty comprehensive. I expect to learn how to build a better experience for my students via my experiences in my RLRPG. (Oh, they'll still have hundreds and hundreds of quests. I'm thinking of all the new store items for next year.)

    5. Not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine how engaging, fun, and rewarding this would be.


    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/19/20 12:02:22 PM Permalink

    ​Awesome little story, Mike! I chuckled out loud while reading #2, at which point I had to explain to my wife why I was chuckling. After I explained, she started chuckling, too. I was shocked and asked with a rather surprised note in my voice whether she associated with it, too? She said no, absolutely not. She was chuckling because I had found such a kindred soul halfway across the world and because she hadn't even understood half of the story explanation I had given her, but it so clearly tickled me.


    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/19/20 1:22:41 PM Permalink

    You know what AEE needs? A "like" button. Even better, a ​"love" button.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/18/20 1:16:35 PM Permalink

    ​Some ideas for the wish list, because I've had a block of time to do quest writing and editing today. (School closure silver linings ;-)

    • On the front-end, it would be nifty to have a bit more visual editing capability. Particularly, be able to drag a quest to nest it, or have icons to nest/hide/optional a quest without having to edit it.
    • In the back end, I've been editing series of quests today and would love the following (no idea if this is difficult/impossible within WordPress):
      • Search for a subset of quests or Filter for a specific map/pod/chain of quests
      • Edit the first in the list
      • Have a set of arrows at the top that would allow me to jump to the next/prev based on the list I just had pulled up, so I could quickly cycle through the entire set, making similar changes.
      • Related to this, if some of the features were possible to show/hide as columns in the list of quests (and store items, etc) so we could quick-edit them, that would be swell, too!
    • When editing a quest, over here in Egypt with the occasionally very slow internet at my house, I sometimes wait a while (15-30 sec) while the page loads, before it can reformat properly to show the blue section bars. Before that I see a slew of the data running down the page, white and unformatted. If there is a way to load the CSS first, so the page loads pre-formatted, that would be swell. But I'm not sure there is any technical solution to this one (and it's honestly a pretty low priority item).
    • On the Stats panel, Badges tab - I put in descriptions for my badges that summarize how a player earns that specific badge. For the players who are highly motivated by filling in the badge cabinet, this would be really helpful to have pop-up in the overlay when they hover on a badge.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/18/20 3:30:13 PM Permalink

    I just read this and am in a state of shock (and denial).

    Don't anticipate schools are going to open up in a week, please don't anticipate in a few weeks. I would plan and assume that it's unlikely that many of these schools, few if any, will open for before the summer break. (California Governor, Gavin Newsom)

    Every time someone asks when I'm going to retire, I say, "When it stops being fun," or something to that effect. I love my job and can't imagine life without the kids.

    And now I'm imagining life without the kids for at least five months. I don't want an extended paid vacation. But then again, I don't want this virus to have the opportunity to grow roots either.


    Anyway, back to your wish list, Matthew.

    1. Mick is working on front end reordering right now (because both of us want it, too). Nesting is tricky if you think about the nature of reordering when dragging. The icon idea—nest/hide/optional—isn't something Mick and I discussed or even considered. It feels like there's something there, but it might be better solved with the new Quick Edit icon (limited editing in a lightbox).

    2. I'm not sure I understand some of the back end editing stuff you're talking about. Regardless, our goal is to move more and more of the features to the front end. If we can show, hide, reorder, and edit via the maps, why even worry about that stuff? Or am I completely misunderstanding? Set me straight. :)

    3. The old Mac Lab site takes around 5 seconds to load pages, and that is close to intolerable now that I'm used to Gameful's responsiveness. What you describe is a nightmare! My solution, if I faced that with each load, would be to Command+Tilde to a second page (or Command+Tab to a second app) and read or design or whatever for a minute or two before returning. I'd grow too frustrated otherwise. Maybe Mick can help to some degree, but I can't imagine it would save much (if any) time.

    4. How did I forget that?! That's an old wish that we used to talk about. We need that! And the description might be used to drop cryptic clues as well. Oh! What if there were two description fields on the Badge creation page? Before and after earning the badge? I have no idea how (or if) I'd use that, but it feels like a great game mechanic.

    Keep those ideas coming. Mick and I may have lots of time on our hands. (So that's what I'll do for five months.)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/18/20 3:37:34 PM Permalink

    4. This could be used to create Easter Egg clues.

    Well, it could be used for lots of things, but that makes me want the before and after tooltip even more.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/18/20 3:58:01 PM Permalink

    Rereading and realized this could cause confusion.

    1. The Quick Edit icon doesn't exist yet. It's a new feature Mick is working on. ​

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/19/20 7:01:28 PM Permalink

    Can you explain the badge description pop-up a bit more? How is it different than the tool tip that currently shows?​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/19/20 7:21:51 PM Permalink

    The tooltip currently displays the badge name (which is already listed beneath the badge).

    When creating (or editing) a badge, we're presented with a Description field. The tooltip could display the Description rather than the name.

    Does that make sense?

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/19/20 7:41:10 PM Permalink

    The tooltip currently shows the description, not the badge name (at least for me). I'll add the idea of changing the message after earning the badge to the list.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/19/20 8:01:11 PM Permalink

    D'oh! I'd never added​ any descriptions. Just did, and you're right (of course).

    The Description tooltip is dark with light text and appears instantly on mouseover.

    The Name tooltip is light with dark text and appears after a 1.5 to 2-second hover.

    Can we lose the Name tooltip since the name is already listed?

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/19/20 8:09:44 PM Permalink

    I've tried looking through everything and here's what I get, using the beta code:

    • Stats Panel, both earned and unearned badges: badge name​
    • Map, when awarded for a pod/chain: badge name
    • Map, when awarded at the map level: badge name

    Wait, scratch that. While testing, I think I found what you're talking about. When I hover over a badge for a moment, there is a white pop-up with black text in it, showing the name of the badge. If I've filled in a description and I hover just a fraction longer, a black pop-up with white text shows up above the badge, on the Stats panel. ​I was missing it because I hadn't saved descriptions for all the badges in one set the way I thought I'd done. So yes, it looks like that functionality is already there.

    On a map, we get both of those pop-ups, plus the tools overlay, which is getting kinda busy. Maybe it would be good to consolidate down to just the description. I personally prefer the black-on-white one, as the tooltip look of that is more familiar than the white-on-black speech bubble look of the other.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/19/20 8:23:04 PM Permalink

    FEATURE REQUEST:​ A toggle to turn off the edit/clone/etc. controls. (Because, as useful as they are, they're often not helpful when recording videos for students.)

    TOOLTIPS: I hear what Matthew is saying but I'm wondering if the unusual appearance of the dark speech bubble isn't more eye-grabbing than the familiar tooltip. If the goal is to communicate with our players... Just sayin' :)

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/23/20 6:03:20 PM Permalink

    It's definitely more eye-grabbing! But,

    from the standpoint of usability, working within a user's expectations is often the most productive route. If we want them to hover in order to get more information, and we can present it in a way that's already familiar from many other interfaces, that feeds into a nearly invisibly​ useful functionality. In this case, I think, it's not 'notice me! I'm here' that we should be aiming for, but rather a way to get information to players in a way they'll find so natural they won't even think about it, just use it.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/19/20 7:28:30 PM Permalink

    The super tooltip option would utilize a second Description field (that doesn't currently exist).

    Players would see—as Matthew suggested—information about how to earn the badge prior to earning it. (Or whatever the gamemaster wanted to be displayed.)​

    Upon earning the badge—as I suggested—a player might see a secondary message that could be leveraged by gamemasters to provide an additional layer of gameplay.

    Or not, if they wanted to skip it.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/19/20 7:44:15 PM Permalink

    About the slow internet/preloading css--it is my understanding that css should load in the footer (as not to block rendering), but it should also be cached in your browser and only have to download once. I'll try throttling my connection sometime soon and see if I have any ideas. I'll get back to you on that one

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/19/20 7:56:55 PM Permalink

    Remember: very low priority. Only for troubleshooting if you have nothing better to do! ​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/17/20 2:00:08 PM Permalink

    I tried putting an update on the front page of my site today, in the form of a video. I've played around with the formatting a bit but can't figure out what to do in order to make it look reasonably nice - it has a giant amount of white space that I can't figure out how to remove (it's not like that in the editor view). Any suggestions appreciated!


    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/17/20 3:19:00 PM Permalink

    1. The vid is 4 x 3 rather than 16 x 9. That has happened to me when embedding ​a video that YouTube is still processing. Using the Visual Tab or previewing prematurely is the culprit. My solution is to use the Text Tab for embeds and to never, ever switch to the visual editor or preview the page before confirming that YouTube has completed its digital dance. Silly? Maybe. But I don't get the 4 x 3 blues any more.

    2. I'm not sure how you built the page, but when I dug into Elementor, there's some wild code in the Text Tab. If you built this with Elementor, why not use the Video Element rather than Text? Or is this a collection of Uncategorized blog posts? (You currently have 1 published and 2 drafts.)

    My short-term solution is to simply create a page, use Elementor, then add content and style as you see fit. (I've not used Announcements yet, so I'm the village idiot.)

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/18/20 6:39:38 AM Permalink

    Thanks, Mike, that fixed it. I generally just use the Wordpress interface rather than load all the Elementor stuff. Except for static pages, I can usually build what ​I want with just the basic tools (kinda like your experience with Screenflow vs. Quicktime Player). I loved Divi, but after a bit I realized I get more done if I just skip all that and focus on the content, not the wrapper.

    On the other hand, when it's a static page, I want it to look perfect and usually have a really specific idea of what that looks like, so Elementor/Divi/etc. are my go-to tools in that case.

    But anyway, enough blather! The 4x3 vs 16x9 tip, or maybe the 'edit in text mode' tip, solved the issue. Thanks!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/18/20 3:44:30 PM Permalink

    Looks much better.

    But it's still 4 x 3 (and the category is identified as Uncategorized). Doesn't that drive you crazy? :)

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/19/20 8:16:27 PM Permalink

    Nah, didn't drive me crazy. I was just messing around with that one announcement and won't be using that functionality going forward - I prefer the daily map. To clear things up: I'll be taking that announcement down tomorrow; the other ​two 'announcements' are from another messing around I did, using the 'save draft note' feature on the dashboard - I have some extended notes from previous review sessions with a couple folks at my school; that's where I kept the notes from those sessions, for reference; the 'wild code' looks like it came from a weird combo of kinda-Elementor-but–not-really interface that now shows up for editing posts in WP. Not a fan at all, but since I'm not planning to use posts, it's not worth pursuing right now. Maybe someday, if I come up with a good itch for a blog-style feed that the maps can't scratch.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/16/20 5:24:41 PM Permalink

    For the Record: I'd already booked a sub for today and tomorrow last week. I'm on day ​12 of my cold from hell/flu/whatever. I was swabbed on Friday but San Diego County oversight rejected the request to complete the test because "I don't meet the criteria." The doc, however, offered me an opportunity to send the samples to a private lab. For peace of mind (my wife is sick now, too), I agreed to pay the fee and should receive the results this week. (It won't really matter as I've self-quarantined since the onset and I have no underlying conditions other than being a few weeks from 65. I just want to make sure I'm not an outlier that the system is systematically overlooking.)

    On Friday morning, all district personnel were told there were no plans to close our schools. Then LA and SD Unified closed their schools and the dominos began to fall. By noon, the district reversed their decision and our schools are closed until April 13. (The last two weeks are our regularly scheduled spring break.) My wife's elementary school is closed for six weeks.

    I can't help but think this is great practice for worldwide mobilization for other impending emergencies our fragile civilization currently faces. It gives me hope.


    We were instructed that we can only provide optional enrichment activities (if anything at all)—no required work for students during the hiatus. Let's face it; this was a wise decision. We Gameful users are accustomed to online instruction. Some teachers are ill-equipped to flip their classes over a weekend. And we're a Title I school; not all kids have internet access even though all of our students have Chromebooks.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/16/20 7:20:04 AM Permalink

    ​A question and a suggestion that was inspired by it

    • Is there a way to assign myself (my admin account) a badge? Background: I have a map that requires a badge to access. The only way I could figure out to assign myself the badge: I made a special page on which I added a link to a store item that assigns the badge (which I marked to Not show up in the store). That worked, but feels awfully clunky.
    • I charged myself 1 gold for the badge. I know I didn't have to. When I got the badge, gameful also played the sound for charging me the money. In most cases, I think that makes good sense. But sometimes, I could envision wanting to play a different sound or an additional sound, rather than just the zhoup noise of gold leaving my moneybag. [Note: this is for the further horizon list - Not a priority!]

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/16/20 5:27:11 PM Permalink

    Easy! Open your Stats panel and send yourself a message awarding the desired item. ​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/16/20 6:23:08 PM Permalink

    Brilliant! Never thought of looking for buttons in the stats panel. Super simple, as I suspected must be hiding somewhere​. Thanks!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/16/20 6:06:48 PM Permalink

    Oh, and new sounds are on the list—especially leveling up. Anyone have ​an AIF or WAV file they think is perfect?

    Marcia Blanco

    Posted on 3/18/20 5:07:08 PM Permalink

    Where do I find the sounds?​

    Ulp! I'm logged in under my school account.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/18/20 5:16:42 PM Permalink

    Where? In the future. We don't have them yet. :)​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/16/20 4:09:16 AM Permalink

    ​Hi Folks!

    We just learned today that Vermont schools are shutting down for 3 weeks starting Wednesday. Thanks to this site, my students will have a lot of access to the work that they normally get inside the classroom and once again, I am thanking my lucky stars for you all. However, I have almost half of my class with no internet access, working off of Chrome Books. How can I support these kids so that, in 3 weeks, they aren't 3 weeks behind? Any clever ideas? Matt, how about you? (Hope you noticed that I've stuck you right up onto that pedestal with the other M's in this conversation.)

    I have two days to get this ready. (Really one. Tomorrow I'm into the doctors to get a skin graft finished off. I can't wait to be able to fit glasses properly on the end of my nose and be able to see straight. My name in the game is "3-Eyed Crow, but I've been going as No-Nosed Crow for the last two weeks.)

    Anyway, any ideas would be helpful. How many of you are going through the same thing?

    Stay safe, folks!

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/16/20 5:36:16 AM Permalink

    Wow, Marcia. I'm in awe at what you go through and the level of concern and care you show for your students at the same time. You rock and your students are lucky to have you!

    We have just closed for two weeks (actually three, with spring break in the middle) and I expect that will likely be extended when we come back from spring break​, but we'll see. Some of our students are being evacuated and we're going to have to deal with teaching across multiple time zones. So I feel your pain!

    On the other hand, I think it's important to set reasonable expectations about how much you can do for students with no internet and only a chromebook for the three weeks. I'm not very familiar with Chromebooks, but my impression is that there is pretty limited functionality when they're offline. I'm pretty sure they could keep a digital journal in a gDoc of what they work on each day, but not at all sure how much more than that they would have capability to accomplish my ideas are focused on fully offline.

    Some ideas

    1. Could you put together a ​choice menu(1) of offline activities they could engage in that would be relevant to your content at the moment?
    2. If your school is a Google Apps school, check with your IT administration about using Google Meet - it's like google hangouts, but also allows call-in access via phone number, so offline folks could possibly join as well. We use it for daily office hours. If you don't have Google Apps for Edu, maybe there is another free or low-cost group call service you could use for regular check-ins and connection.
    3. If you have a longer quest or project on the near horizon for class, maybe move it up a bit and give it to students now, so they can research questions over the next couple days, then begin work once they're offline.
    4. Might be a good time to start practicing hand sketching ideas (always a good skill to have, from my product design perspective!). I have a sheet about beginning to sketch in 3D that I will share later today when I'm at work.
    5. Maybe have them look at packaging, learn how ​ne​ts(2) relate to real world shapes, and build some designs to digitize when they return?



    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/16/20 5:33:20 PM Permalink

    I second Matthew's awe of your character, Marcia.

    But I have a question: If a large portion of your students doesn't have internet access, their Chromebooks won't function, so how will they even know what you expect of them?​


    P.S. As usual, Matthew supplies sage advice and superb resources.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/19/20 1:21:21 PM Permalink

    Hi Mike! I just saw this.

    I only have 8 students which is why I have the luxury of coming across as super-teacher . 3 of those students have no access to internet, but 1 is good friends with a kid who does. I plan to call the other two. ​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/19/20 4:51:33 PM Permalink


    Marcia Blanco

    Posted on 3/18/20 5:02:21 PM Permalink

    Arrrgh! I responded to this yesterday! I must not have finished it off. I've been flat out with our school-closing chores, trying to get stuff out before I lose my students. I had some nose-fixing surgery on Monday and it couldn't have come at a worse time. Though I was the only teacher in my school to have students all day yesterday (Tuesday), I only had a couple and they needed the attention.


    1. Thank you Matt, for your kind words. I'm in such an isolated situation that I have no idea whether I'm going above and beyond or below and derelict. I really appreciate this site, and not just for the technical support

    2. Thank you Matt, for your amazing ideas and your distinct ability to request game functionality with words that I just can't seem to get out of the right side of my brain.

    3. Thank you Mike and Mick, for devising a system that lets me (almost) seamlessly continue to work with my students while all this chaos swirls. I'm feeling so very smug at the moment. XD.

    4. Wash your hands. ;)

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/18/20 5:09:46 PM Permalink

    Ditto from this account as well.​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/13/20 2:20:00 PM Permalink

    Posting again in order to separate the musings from the requests. For the background, see ​my previous post. Requests related to the structure I defined above:

    1. Can we get lock visibility features for quests similar to maps/pods/chains? Specifically, I'd like to add one quest at the end of the pod and have it hidden until a badge is earned. Right now, I have to put into a separate pod to achieve this.

    Have to run to pick up my spouse. I may add more later if I think of anything. As always, thanks!​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/16/20 5:38:25 PM Permalink

    We already have this feature. It just doesn't work in pods.

    Mick has that on his list. (I've requested it, too.)​

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/19/20 6:51:48 PM Permalink

    That works in the beta code. I'll push it to the main code in the next few days,.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/19/20 7:34:42 PM Permalink

    Hey, it's working in the beta again. I could have sworn I tested that on the 16th before posting. My bad.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/19/20 7:54:51 PM Permalink

    I can confirm it works in the beta (which I use all the time now). Yesterday, after re-reading Mike's comments from March 3rd at 5pm, I realized maybe I just didn't dig far enough and rebuilt the pod with the quest individually locked by a badge earned by the pod. Tada! Just what I wanted. As usual, you guys rock!​

    Update: PS: apologies, I should have posted about that this morning! After seeing Mike's post about the numbers, I let it slip out of my mind.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/13/20 11:52:57 AM Permalink

    ​I've been chafing recently, mentally, about the way I've constructed my game. I'm pretty happy with it and this semester have had better results than ever, which has been really gratifying. It's also inspiring me to do better. I still have so much to build out to really make this fully fleshed.

    However, the current structure is starting to feel a bit cramped. Students have access to six different disciplines within my class: video production, woodworking, electronics, graphic design, CAD/CAM, and coding. These are all introductory level except for the odd student who comes into a class with substantial prior experience (unusual in middle school). So my current setup reflects this. After the "Design Thinking" map, which is my intro-to-class (aka the REP climb), they have a Classroom Strands map and a Workshop strands map, which split those 6 disciplines and have pods designed for each. Every pod introduces students to the basics of that discipline. Once they completed the basics, students achieve an Apprentice badge and can do a project to really show what they've learned. If it's high enough quality, they earn the Independant badge for that strand, which is their ticket to design their own projects (within that discipline).

    Now, this is working fine. But I have a few problems with it:

    1. It still feels too much like school assignments to me. There isn't enough exploration built into this system. (Biggest chafing point)
    2. I'm having a hard time fitting stuff into the maps. Some of these topics (all of them, really) are too big to do justice to within one pod.
    3. It's too linear. Even though it's a pod, I can't really build in exploratory projects at various levels. Students don't get any sense of the full scope of the discipline from the pod.
    4. Students feel a bit overwhelmed at the size of the pods; it looks like too much, to a grade 6-7-8 student. (contradicts #3, I know!)
    5. I can't really split stuff evenly and logically into Classroom vs. Workshop groupings.

    So, I've been noodling about ideas for restructuring. I'm posting this summary of my thoughts in case it's helpful to anyone else in their game construction journey. Partly, this was inspired by the recent addition and reworking of the Hidden feature for quests/chains/pods. I've really liked the idea of having things gradually revealed as students complete work of higher quality and showing more persistence. Those who work less...see less.

    Here's ​what I'm thinking about at this point:

    • ​ Restructure the apprentice-level materials into 6 discipline-specific maps instead of the Classroom/Workshop dichotomy.
    • In each discipline map, there will be an intro-level pod with limited material to cover. Maximum 8 quests (actually 9, see the next item). This will initially be the only pod visible on the map.
    • As students start the intro pod, they'll receive the Apprentice badge for that discipline. Receiving this will unlock (and unhide) an additional quest at the end: the Apprentice Project quest.
    • The Apprentice Project is the culmination of the intro pod OR a test-out option, allowing them to skip that pod. Completing a project to this level of skill will then give them the Journeyman badge for that discipline.
    • Having the Journeyman badge will unlock (and un-hide) 3-4 additional pods with deeper dives into the discipline specific skills. Some of these will be skills-focused work, labeled with the individual skills needed. Other pod/s will be small projects they can complete to practice and develop, without focusing on learning one specific new skill or skill-set.
    • The Journeyman Project is the culmination of this level of access OR again a test-out option, allowing them to skip up to the next level. Completing a project at this level of skill and quality will include a presentation and portfolio.
    • Completion of a Journeyman level project will award the Independent badge for that discipline. This will unlock/unhide one additional pod, and most importantly, will allow them to design projects completely on their own.
    • The Independent Project is the culmination of this level of access. As at Journeyman, this will require a presentation and portfolio. This will award the Master badge.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/16/20 5:56:01 PM Permalink

    You're such a consummate professional, Matthew.

    I just have one-on-ones with my exceptional kids, we come to an agreement on the personalized plan​, and I tell 'em if they want any store item, just ask and they can have it.

    In the future, I also want more fun gameplay built into my system. And to be honest, The Stork Tower is giving me idea after idea. (I'm on Book 5 and will begin rereading from the start as soon as Book 7 is in the brain.)

    But I always come back to involving the students in the curriculum design. If they're to be life-long learners, they need to learn to map out a plan that takes them in specific directions. And they need practice doing so.

    I plan on making student-generated personal quests public so others have peers to emulate. This is my current plan for when school reconvenes.*

    *Heavily influenced by my own foray into Gameful Living via my RLRPG. My life has changed dramatically for the better since March 6 and I'm having a blast.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/16/20 6:18:03 PM Permalink

    My head is such a foggy mess, I keep forgetting to address certain brilliant ideas. (EDIT: I'm referring to Matthew's brilliant ideas, not my own.)

    Those who work less...see less.

    Exactly what I've been thinking about for next year.

    Imagine a map with only one column, and maybe only one quest.* As students complete each column (or quest) another appears. This would seem to add a layer of discovery, and in your description, Matthew, a layer of structured gameplay that leads to the promised land—personalized learning.

    *Matthew's already imagined this. I'm just documenting my own thoughts.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/12/20 9:56:19 AM Permalink

    Still having a bit of trouble with the Attendance schedules. I've got 16 set up for our 8 regular days and 8 possible special activity days (we have an 8 day rotation of blocks). Today, we closed and ran as an e-school to test our systems, so I tried to add a couple more for e-school days. I was partly able to complete the 17th schedule, but after 4 "schedule"​ rows in the Awards, Gameful won't save all changes to the 5th, only the name. I was also unable to save an 18th schedule, although I can add it. It disappears when I click "Update."

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/12/20 8:47:02 PM Permalink

    Mick is going to the desert with his family for an extended weekend, so he'll be AFK until Tuesday​ or so. I'm on the phone with him right now. I'll be back.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/12/20 9:00:42 PM Permalink

    He's going to take a look but isn't sure he'll be able to remedy the issue before leaving.​

    He did, however, say, "That sounds easy," so one never knows.

    Mick McMurray

    Posted on 3/19/20 6:50:34 PM Permalink

    My guess is that this is because you reached the limit of the number of variables the server will accept. I increased the variable limit by 1000. Can you please try again and report back the results?​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/9/20 3:09:45 PM Permalink

    I've contacted the Man at the apex of the EdEx food chain​ about the spam (below).

    Ignore the intrusion and carry on with the business of making learning more fun and engaging.

    Happy Monday. :)


    EDIT: Spam relocated to Dante's Ninth Circle.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/7/20 8:25:58 PM Permalink

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/6/20 3:18:29 PM Permalink

    Kind of a D'oh! idea popped out of The Stork Tower (Book 3) this morning.

    “So real life will look more like a game?”

    I'm going to use one of my Gameful sites to set up a personal game—one that will help me work towards goals in this MMORPG we call the real world.

    ​World of Chorecraft (aka Chore Wars) already exists, but I've already got a better system at my fingertips. And all the notes I have scattered around my desk? We have a place for those, too.

    A single place to house (and track) all my personal and professional goals. And it only took me eight years to figure it out. D'oh!

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/3/20 11:46:02 PM Permalink

    ​Hey my genius colleague friends!

    I'm revamping my color management unit and trying to make it more interesting than what I have now. I'm totally out of ideas. I want to create something engaging that covers color spaces and print profiles. It's useful stuff, but it makes my eyes roll into the back of my head and that really translates over to the students. Do any of you teach that? Do you guys have any ideas?

    Matt, you are always pulling rabbits out of that amazing hat of yours......:P

    I can always spelunk into the AEE resources as well, I guess.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/4/20 5:20:11 AM Permalink

    Wow, now I have a rep to uphold! ;-)

    How about framing the lesson as a puzzle?

    1. Content intro, in which you define two color universes, which partially overlap.
      1. Students choose one of the two universes to which they'll belong.
      2. Each receives a map of 'their' universe.
      3. Must ensure relatively even distribution of students between the two.
    2. Then there is some sort of event (war, catastrophy, etc) which requires the implementation of a master plan.
      1. Idea 1 (war): the plans have been separated and stored in non-overlapping zones of both universes, in order to keep them safe. Students must join forces with someone from the other universe to compare maps and identify the unique areas of each universe in order to retrieve the map pieces. Could require students to hand-write out maps of these unique pieces (and the common color space), or give them printed ones once they identify a certain percentage of these areas, depending on how long you want this to take.
      2. Idea 2 (catastrophy): the unique areas of each universe are known to exist, but where they are is Not yet known. In order to save the citizens of the universes, students must join forces...etc.
    3. Once the unique areas have been identified, students are allowed to requisition a space ship (printer profile) and must use this to identify where in the unique spaces they can go - base this on the fuel in the spaceship, or it's 'stability' within the universe, etc.. Could take citizens there for rescue or find map pieces.

    You'd need to figure out the winning conditions based on how much overlap there is between your color universes and ​the spaceship profiles.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/7/20 11:45:45 PM Permalink

    Matt, you are brilliant. Can I rent that brain of yours sometime?​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/4/20 5:50:47 AM Permalink

    Another alternative would be framing it as a sleuth quest, a la "Clue."

    1. Provide several photos, each of which could only have been produced by a specific printer or within a specific color space.
    2. Provide profiles of the 'culprits' (printers) and the 'locations' (color spaces).
    3. Give a series of clues based on the photos. This would need to be carefully designed, like a ​syllogism (​here's a rather more complicated example).
    4. Students then need to identify the culprit and the location.

    In either case, I would suggest having students write a blog entry explaining the ultimate significance of the ​exercise, so it doesn't become just a fun exercise, but they take away the key content info.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/6/20 2:54:12 PM Permalink

    These really are great ideas!​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/7/20 11:46:19 PM Permalink

    I love this too! Thank you!! I might use both of them.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/3/20 5:01:06 PM Permalink


    The fix is in the Beta code (Tools > Use Beta). It will be pushed to the main branch this weekend.

    The Beta is solid. I use it 24/7.


    • In chains, hidden quests appear once the prior quest is completed. If locked, the hidden quest remains hidden until the player earns the key and completes the prior quest.
    • In pods, hidden quests must be locked to remain hidden. That's the nature of pods. (Unique Achievements are one way to lock them.)


    I currently use only optional hidden quests; however, an Easter Egg might leverage a required hidden quest (or multiples thereof). The Game Master (you) should use required hidden quests with care.


    Does that make sense?

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/3/20 11:38:46 PM Permalink



    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/2/20 4:06:03 PM Permalink

    ​Matthew suggested reading this series (earlier in this extended conversation).

    Early in the first book, the protagonist is given extra loot and additional quests simply for being kind and polite. Later, she receives incremental boosts to her XP (1%, 2%, 3%), too.

    That, along with other details and a conversation with Mick on the way back from our presentation in Long Beach led to a burgeoning collection of ideas—some on the far side of the perceptual horizon. (But I know they're there and almost within grasp.)

    What if?

    What if the store looked and behaved (somewhat) like quest maps? What if we could have hidden sections of the store? What if certain achievements revealed new map and/or store items?

    And what if instead of boosting XP%, what if we boosted REP% and/or the REP cap instead?*

    *Mick and I talked about capping REP at 100 and including ways for kids to raise that cap (with no upper limit). The only way to earn more than 100% would be to do extraordinary things. (Including being kind and polite.)


    I kinda like the idea of having a secret, hidden map. The first kid to unlock (reveal) it, would see a single quest. It might be cool to have the invisible quests set to 0% opacity (there, but actually invisible) and when revealed, the quest would appear as if floating within the map section.


    Anyway, there's more to it than that, but I need to take care of other business. Happy Monday!

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/1/20 5:18:45 PM Permalink

    ​Mick and I presented at the Educating for Careers Conference in Long Beach on Friday. It went very well.

    A good night's sleep (and a nap before that) did a lot to ease my sleep deprivation today.

    New Gameful ideas will be shared ASAP. (Good stuff!)

    Off to do chores now.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/1/20 6:31:16 PM Permalink

    Hey Mike! Did anyone film the presentation? I'd love to see it and perhaps share it with administrators who really have little idea of what I'm doing.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/1/20 8:54:22 PM Permalink

    No, they didn't record it​. As for admin, invite 'em in to see for themselves. It usually surprises educators when the kids start the class on their own then work through the bell at the end.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/1/20 9:25:46 PM Permalink

    Oh, I got that! My students (the one's that don't get bussed in from a different district) get into my classroom before​ my administrator even gets to school. The one's that do get bussed have found a way to get in early via a parent twice a week.

    Then I have to kick them out. :P

    It just would be nice to get feedback from people I actually see on a daily basis.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/1/20 9:32:14 PM Permalink

    The kids are already giving you the best feedback there is. :)​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/1/20 1:35:47 PM Permalink

    ​To add to the wish list: Attendance locks. I'd like to set certain store items (leave early, for example) so that they're locked for students who arrived late. Is this possible to add?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/1/20 3:49:56 PM Permalink

    That's a great suggestion, Matthew!

    No promises on when, but it's a feature all of us could leverage. (I'd use it to bar students from claiming the end of the period bonus.)​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/28/20 10:57:55 PM Permalink

    ​Hi Guys! Sorry for the silence here. We have our midwinter vacation now and I had full intention of getting all caught up. Then I learned that I had to have surgery on my face (all that Colorado sunshine as a youth) and was stuck for the good part of the week not able to do anything because I couldn't wear glasses. I finally jammed them on today over a bunch of gauze and healing stitches and I'm working on that treasure hunt that I wrote about last week. I'm struggling with a piece of it though. For some reason, the hidden quests won't hide. Any idea what I'm doing wrong?

    I have "Hidden" selected and it says that it's hidden when I look at it in the back end. Also, I had it as a chain, but it was acting like a pod. I now have it as a pod. No difference. Any idea what's up?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/29/20 10:36:35 PM Permalink

    Ouch! Take care of yourself, Marcia, and heal fast!

    What's the name of the quest and the map it lives in?​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/1/20 6:25:58 PM Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words, Mike. Stitches come out tomorrow. Hopefully, the glasses will fit better after that. :)

    The map is "Scavenger Hunt" and it's in "Apprentice Boot Camp".​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/1/20 1:36:51 PM Permalink

    Oof, that sounds significant. Hope you heal well and quickly!​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/1/20 6:26:36 PM Permalink

    Thanks Matt! ​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/1/20 3:46:00 PM Permalink

    I've confirmed a couple of triggers that cause ​hidden quests to drop their cloak of invisibility.

    I've reported the details to Mick.

    For now, you can work as if it will be fixed, apply a lock that students can't unlock, or move the hidden quest off the map (temporarily).

    I hope you're feeling better. My wife and I both have our Mohs surgery scars from our days on San Diego beaches. A good (but painful) lesson to pass on to the kids.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/1/20 6:30:19 PM Permalink

    Bwahaha! This is Mohs surgery on steroids. My kids will get quite the lesson when they look at my face. I'm dying to tell them a story about ​a bar fight. Never miss the opportunity to gain some street cred when you are 60 years old. :P (For those who took that quip seriously, don't. I'm just joking.)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 3/1/20 8:59:32 PM Permalink

    Three Bikers Learn Painful Lesson in Vermont Bar

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 3/1/20 9:27:13 PM Permalink


    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/26/20 6:52:19 AM Permalink

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/26/20 2:52:48 PM Permalink

    Yeah, I feel the same way. No more "I forgot to take attendance for 3rd period" messages.*

    *I still forget some crazy days (like yesterday) but this feature saves me every time.

    Are you still having trouble with that Wed/Thu Quest? If so, try changing something tiny and update the quest to see if that helps.

    It's another crazy day here due to leaving at 11:30 for the week.​ Mick and I are presenting about the benefits of gameful learning at the Educating for Careers Conference in Long Beach (near LA).

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/28/20 10:51:11 PM Permalink

    Oh, I'm stealin' that You Tube vid. ​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/25/20 5:52:39 PM Permalink

    ​Just some praise for the new implementation of Schedules, in the Attendance module. The copy feature is so well implemented it took Waaay less time to build out my entire schedule this time around. I'm excited to try this out tomorrow and see how it goes (the students are really excited about the possibility of not having to Claim their check-ins, too). Thanks, Mick!

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/25/20 7:15:49 AM Permalink

    ​A new strangeness just popped up. I have a quest, Week 6, on my Daily Jobs map, nested under the Wed Feb 19 / Thu Feb 20 2020 quest. Week 6 is defined to have 2 blog post prompts along with instructions, on the backside. On the front side, however, a student just showed me that she doesn't see anything except the "Content" tab and the "Complete" button. None of the "Call to Action" material is visible for her. We've refreshed, and tried on other student's accounts as well (on separate laptops), but it's the same on all. Did I mess something up?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/25/20 3:21:13 PM Permalink

    ​Drama at the school right now. Will get on this ASAP (after the drama).

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/21/20 3:04:23 AM Permalink

    Aside: I've recorded 431 videos for my kids so far this year. ​On Monday, ScreenFlow hung and wouldn't upload Tuesday's daily vid.

    I fought for hours—in utter futility—before finally thinking, "What else could I do?"

    Sometimes I get fixated on solving a problem that is beyond my control and I waste hours or days before finally asking myself, "Is there another solution?"


    Earlier today, after a dozen or more emails, Telestream support finally told me that other ScreenFlow users are reporting the same issue.

    I've been using QuickTime all week and the clunky, unfamiliar workflow is now second nature. And you know what? It's saving me time. It's actually easier and quicker for what I do.

    I don't use ANY of ScreenFlow's bells and whistles. I record extemporaneous videos and upload 'em. Period. That's it.

    And I don't have to type descriptions or tags anymore. The new process uses defaults I've already set. (Defaults ScreenFlow never hooked onto.)


    Sometimes frustrating, intractable problems are a creative's best friend.

    Just sayin'

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/31/20 10:46:11 AM Permalink

    I know this is a kind out-of-date response ​to something you posted back in February, but felt it might be useful. If you haven't looked into Screencastify recently, it's grown up a HUGE amount since I last used it years ago. It allows everything Quicktime Player does (including recording the whole screen!), plus embedding the webcam on a screencast (the biggest feature I missed from ScreenFlow). It also has a few tools during recording, like mouse highlighting and drawing over the screen, and it has an editor for, very limited, post-processing. It also uploads directly to youtube, so there is a very straightforward workflow.

    The free version includes all this (and most other functionality) but limits you to a 5-minute length.

    For $29/year (educator discount) you get unlimited length (not necessarily helpful!), can merge videos and reorder clips in the editor, crop, and add text over the video.

    A great tool if you want just a bit more than QuicktimePlayer provides.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 4:28:20 PM Permalink

    If you're using the beta, you may want to switch​ it off now. All the fixes were pushed to the main branch yesterday.

    I'm not sure if it's been stated explicitly, so forgive the redundancy if you know this already.

    It was Mick's (brilliant) idea to include the option to test new code on the main Gameful site via the option to activate the beta. (All testing was previously done on a separate installation. A real PITA.)

    Our students pound the beta each day, unwittingly testing the system from a player's POV. Beta admin do the same from the other side of the curtain.

    Theoretically, things could go south in a hurry, hence, the option to switch back to the main branch with a click. (That's our safety net.)

    So, you're always invited to join us in beta testing if you feel the need ( ) but the main branch is (supposed to be) more stable.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/17/20 3:56:23 PM Permalink

    ​Quick question: Can a hidden quest hide another quest?

    I ask because I want to host a scavenger hunt of sorts for this Friday (the day before a 10 day break in Northern Vermont). I thought that I could create a map specifically for this event. Each question would be a quest and as the kids find the answer or provide the evidence (via smart phone or their own creation), the next question (aka quest) is revealed. I could also do it using badges, but I like the visual of the quests revealing themselves. The kids won't know that they are done until they earn the badge.

    The kids will work in pairs and have access to the whole school (all 4000 sq feet of it. :P)

    I'd love to throw in some kind of an easter egg. Any ideas for how to do that?

    Update: In case anyone was dying to know, a hidden quest CAN hide another quest. This is going to work great! Now to figure out how to throw in an easter egg or two.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 6:42:23 PM Permalink

    What a great idea! Just tested it and I'm 100% stealing this idea.

    1. Create a new map section (on an existing or a new map)
    2. IMPORTANT: Select CHAIN for the map section​ (You can use a pod, but the hidden quests would need to be nested and the results won't be as engaging)
    3. Create a quest to get the ball rolling (I suggest offering no clues that something else will appear after they complete that quest)
    4. Clone the first quest, make it HIDDEN, and give the first scavenger hunt directive
    5. Clone and repeat until you reach the final directive

    Each new quest is only revealed once the prior quest is completed and the kids will have no idea how many quests there are. To prevent cheating, you could add a password to the following quest they'd have to figure out from the scavenged item​ combined with a clue placed in the outro message (thinking out loud).

    The Easter Egg? So many possibilities. Maybe an anagram composed of clues from each of the prior quests?


    UPDATE: I didn't state it explicitly, but you probably got the idea. The unscrambled anagram would unlock the final hidden quest's password field, where the prize awaits.

    This could be a long-term quest chain as well. Oh, the possibilities!


    I really am stealing this. I love it!

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/17/20 7:03:22 PM Permalink

    Can't steal something that's given freely, my friend. Consider it partial payback for all of your ideas I shamelessly swipe. I LOVE the anagram idea. It makes me think about other types of puzzles that I can incorporate. For each quest that is complete, there could be a visual puzzle of some sort that, once combined, will give them some sort of grand poobah award of some sort.

    I just tested it and the stage prints out easily if the kids need to layout the cues.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 7:12:36 PM Permalink

    We exist in a synergetic Mobius strip. The more we share, the more we get.

    As for Easter Eggs, have you read Ready Player One?​ Speilberg did a pretty good job with the movie (but the book is far better, IMHO).

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/17/20 7:34:14 PM Permalink

    Guess what I'm reading over my upcoming break? :P​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 7:53:05 PM Permalink


    Ernest Cline (the author)​, had a hand in the movie as well, but the two stories diverge wildly. Each is wonderful in its own way. Just don't expect one medium to be true to the other.

    Some of your older kids may have read the book, too. You'll earn cred in joining that club. :)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/21/20 4:43:40 AM Permalink

    Okay, I'm going to start rereading ​Ready Player One for the umpteenth time tonight.

    Back in the tree-book days, I wore out—literally wore out—copies of Illusions, Dune, and Lord Valentine's Castle (among others) by rereading them so many times.*

    E-books are so much more forgiving.

    *It's an autistic thing. Just watched Captain Marvel with my daughter for the umpteenth time. Still cried at the scene when she (the protagonist) rises over and over again (at different ages). So beautiful and meaningful. The epitome of perseverance and resilience—and what it means to be human.

    Off to meet Wade Watts all over again...

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/21/20 8:31:59 PM Permalink

    I just finished up for the week. Now I get a 1.5 week break. I've got Ready Player One cued up. The treasure hunt assessment was postponed until after break​ because I want to not do a crappy job on it due to time constraints. I'll let you know how it goes. :P

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/23/20 5:23:37 PM Permalink

    For those who liked Ready Player One? and crave another rabbit hole into which they can disappear for more hours on end, I have a suggestion. If you liked RPO because of the GameLit aspect (main character lives in part or in whole within a game) you'll probably like this. If you liked RPO because of all the cool worlds that Wade visited or the various puzzles he worked through, you'll probably like this:

    ​​The Stork Tower Series by Tony Corden: Nascent, Odyssey, Change, Rescue, Ipseity, Contest, Resurrection

    ( style="">)

    This is a series that I've found frustrating at times because Tony is clearly somewhat inexperienced at his craft. Especially near the beginning of the series, I found the characters somewhat flat and ​the dialog less than inspired. Which might not sound like a ringing endorsement.

    But I mention that in order to prepare you because Tony is, in my opinion, absolutely the best world builder I've ever read.

    He's on book 7 (just released Resurrection) and I wait impatiently for each new release in the series. Even through my frustration, I find it truly rewarding to keep reading the series and have already read through the entire thing multiple times (I re-read from the beginning for each new book release, and love it every time). Each book or so Tony opens up yet another world which is distinct, entwined in the story, beautifully detailed, and just plain delightful. I dream of visiting Pnuematica, his steampunk world. His writing gets better with each book and I'm totally emotionally invested in his characters (despite, as I mentioned, not having been so through the first novel).

    Enough from this fanboy. Off to do some work. Have a great weekend, or week, everyone!

    UPDATE: Edited links per Mike's helpful post, below.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/23/20 6:36:06 PM Permalink

    Man, I could use a new series to be inspired by. The first book is on my devices.

    Two asides (one more important than the other):

    1. ​ purchases redirect 0.5% of the price to a charity of your choice (from a list). Tiny, but it adds up. Over $150M has been donated to these charities so far.
    2. is the clean link to the first book. The rest of your URL contains tracking info or other superfluous junk. (I seem to annoy people with this information.)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/29/20 10:59:44 PM Permalink

    I'm wondering if a non-gamer would be bored by the copious amounts of in-game minutia in Nascent. (I wasn't.) And thanks to a bad case of I can't sleep in this lumpy hotel bed (for three nights), I finished Ready Player One, Nascent, and have just begun Odyssey.

    I loved Nascent and am thrilled to have a new series to savor. Thanks, Matthew!

    P.S. Will be sharing new ideas generated during the reading as soon as time permits.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 3/1/20 1:35:03 PM Permalink

    Glad to hear you're enjoying them! I've loved Tony's work for a couple years now. Looking forward to hearing what ideas this provoked. I found the series just gets better and better as it progresses.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/17/20 7:19:17 PM Permalink

    I had an easter egg last semester in which I had a poster behind me in my video with a note written in large legible print. In the outro, I required a password, which could be figured out from the clue on the poster. It took most kids a while to realize they had to look carefully at the little video of me tucked down in that corner (my screen is the biggest portion of the recording). Once they did, it didn't take long for them to sort out the clue and they really enjoyed knowing it was right in front of everyone else and they just weren't looking carefully. :-)

    Another thing I've seen is a list of items related to the content of a post, of which the first letters form an acrostic, like this little clue:

    1. Careful wording can allow you to put whatever letters you want in front.
    2. Leaving it there in plain sight, again without notifying anyone, allows those who figure it out quite a tickle.
    3. Unearthing the clue, once you know it's there, isn't terribly hard.
    4. Extra attention should be paid to the font, to ensure it doesn't make the acrostic too noticeable.

    Other ideas

    1. Clues build into the video title embedded in the post
    2. Anagrams of the video titles embedded in your posts​
    3. Clue based on the background music in a video
    4. A photo in the background of your video that changes in each video you record - each photo provides a piece of the total clue
    5. Books or games on a bookshelf behind you which, taken together, form a clue. Could be an acrostic of titles, a theme of the collection, one item that doesn't fit...

    For lots of other cool ideas, take a look at the ​BreakoutEDU​ platform games (​https​://, if it doesn't link properly). If you're not familiar with them, BreakoutEDU make a kit that is kind of the reverse of an Escape Room. Players have to solve clues to open locks to get into the box. Although many of their game setups are locked unless you buy from them, there are a lot of them produced by the community which are open to all. You just have to create a free login.

    BTW - Mike, which one did you figure out worked consistently?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 7:40:30 PM Permalink

    Is the final question about links?​

    If so, one of my sure-fire unordered list duo broke for the first time in a while in my 6:42:23 UPDATE.

    • ​Paste the link (without manual linking)—that one broke
    • ​Insert a link (using words, not linking a link)—the latter always broke and the former is reliable*

    *Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if the second link failed.

    P.S. Love your info. Lots to ponder!​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/17/20 8:09:06 PM Permalink

    Ah Matt! This is amazing stuff!!! Thank you!​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/25/20 7:55:39 AM Permalink

    I just had a thought that I though you guys might like, if your intro ladder (Mike's is "Reboot Camp") is inspiring groans like mine is. I have a lot of students who have complained about the length of the intro ladder. I think it's valuable and building persistence is one of the built-in lessons I really like about this.​ But as I was re-reading this post, I thought: what if I sprinkled clues throughout the intro quest sequence and the final chain on that map was this sort, hidden fully except the opening quest. That would build in additional motivation to finish the intro quests for students who aren't already keen to get to their own projects. Solving puzzles is something almost all of them like. Hee hee hee! I'm already having a slew of ideas for what to put into this for next year.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/17/20 11:06:44 AM Permalink

    ​First, thanks for all the quick responses and bug fixes lately. You guys have been outstanding with both new features and customer service. This tool is such a joy to use, not only for the functionality but also because of the community.

    Second, another request, on the 'when you have time' side, not urgent. Now that we can add badges, sections and groups via the clipboard, could we also get those added to the custom messages?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 4:51:40 PM Permalink

    Back atcha, ​Matthew. We feel the same way about you, Marcia, and our other intrepid users. (Even though they don't use the EdEx for questions. Grrr.)

    Great suggestion about expanding the custom messages. We have big plans for that feature and your suggestion is already on the list.

    One caveat. Mick has vowed NO NEW FEATURES until all bugs are fixed!

    To be honest, he vows that all the time, but this time we have an upcoming presentation at a national conference in two weeks and he wants the code rock-solid.

    Still, one never knows. :)

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/16/20 8:12:05 PM Permalink

    My February map is gone again. I'm posting a video so that you guys can see what I'm dealing with.

    Update: Maps seem to be back to behaving themselves. No doubt, you guys did that voodoo that you do to make it behave. Thank you. Any idea why that keeps happening?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 12:26:50 AM Permalink

    Mick pushed some new code that fixed that issue and more than a few other problems.

    Sorry for not answering in a more timely manner. By the time Mick pushed the code, my wife and I were heading out the door. (Mexican food. So good!)

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/17/20 12:09:14 PM Permalink

    Never apologize, Mike. You ALWAYS get back to me in a timely manner, more timely than I respond to you, as a matter of fact.

    I hope the Mexican food was awesome. We don't have much of that in Vermont. :P​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/16/20 7:15:44 PM Permalink

    ​Boy, I apologize for sounding like a broken record, but I'm having trouble with my maps (again). I'm trying to make a "child" map under my Adult Ed Photoshop parent map and it won't show, either in the front or back end. However, when I replicate it, the game tells me that there is already a child map with that name in that very same parent map. This seems to be a running problem for me. Is it just me? If so, what the Sam Hill am I doing wrong?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 12:33:11 AM Permalink

    You're probably doing nothing wrong, Marcia. The issue should be resolved now. Give it a go and let us know.​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/17/20 12:10:25 PM Permalink

    Everything in maps seems to be hunky-dory now! ​Thank you!

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/16/20 6:40:12 AM Permalink

    I feel like a grouch lately, posting all these bugs, but I know it helps. And I found another one. At least, I think I did, though this may be just my interpretation. When I mark a quest as 'Hidden,' I had assumed that it would not be shown to students until/unless they finished the previous quest. However, they see it on their screens, whether the previous quest is finished, encountered, or even not-yet-opened. In addition, it is highlighted just as it is on my screen (radial screen fading toward the center, button color), so when it is shown, it's quite obvious. I had thought that it would look just like other quests once it showed up, so it wouldn't stand out. Have I misinterpreted that type of quest?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/16/20 2:06:00 PM Permalink

    Not a grouch; a sleuth. And a good one. :)

    First: Visibility.

    I just tested this in Chains and Pods using both the regular and beta versions for each. Apparently, we've misplaced its Cloak of Invisibility in all cases. I'll let Mick know.

    Second: The appearance.​

    The unique appearance was intentional and seemed like a good idea until your question prompted, "D'oh!" I'll pass that on as well. Thanks, Matthew.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 12:30:39 AM Permalink


    Matthew, In Chains, place a hidden quest between any quests. In Pods, nest the hidden quest to achieve the desired result. The nature of Pods dictated that solution.​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/13/20 10:57:31 PM Permalink

    ​Hi Gentlemen,

    My site still is a bit gremliny. I went into the blog and found 7 blog posts from today, and then another 22 posts from September.....and that's all. No other blog posts are in there. Any idea what's going on? :P

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/14/20 10:23:09 PM Permalink

    All of the kids' blog posts seem to be there. Do you have a funky filter combination turned on?​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/16/20 7:11:45 PM Permalink

    Sorry for the cone of silence there. I got sick and stayed off the computer for a couple of days. I'm not sure what was going on with the blog, but I took all filters off when I couldn't find the posts that I was looking for, and the 29 posts that I listed above were the only things that came up. No worries now. Gremlins seemed to have moved into my maps. (See above.)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 12:35:44 AM Permalink

    Glad you're feeling better—or at least well enough to boot up the computer. Hopefully, all the issues have been resolved. ​Let us know if not.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/14/20 10:26:57 PM Permalink

    Just checked again. I see 1331 read and unread blog posts with either oldest or newest displayed first. I don't have any other filters on.

    What do you see?​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/13/20 12:22:46 PM Permalink

    ​Another something I noticed, but which may be intentional or maybe not: when I'm using the canned messages they don't show up with the add/subtract items, just the default text I've entered. If I open up the add/remove by clicking one of the radio buttons, then the default amount(s) I've configured in the canned message are added. I checked and confirmed that if I don't open the add/remove section, the amounts are not added/removed, even though the player receives the message.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/13/20 3:18:13 PM Permalink

    Since the add/remove radio buttons are newer than the canned messages, I imagine it was an oversight.

    I'll pass it along. Another good catch, Matthew. Thanks!

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/13/20 8:50:24 AM Permalink

    Lads, I think I found a new bug: in any "Instructions" box, the game-on tags, or at least the only one I use "[go_get_displayname]," is/are not being translated on the user side. All other locations I've checked are working ok (eg: content box, completion box...), just not in the "Instructions" boxes.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/13/20 3:07:20 PM Permalink

    Probably caused by one line of missing code.​ Good find, Matthew.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/17/20 5:08:01 PM Permalink

    Just to confirm, this one's been fixed as well. We need to create a Bug Hunter badge for you. :)​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/10/20 11:45:56 AM Permalink

    ​Update on my map issue from below (plus a question):

    • My "February" daily quest map, a child of my AP Daily S2 map, is still gone and so there is no map to host the daily quest that I have today. So, I went in to create a temporary map named "Feb2" as a placeholder until we can get this figured out and when I created it (picking "map column" and selecting the proper parent map) it still appears as a parent map. I've tried it as both a chain and as a pod, but no luck.
    • Why are their two sets of fields asking whether the map is a chain or a pod?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/10/20 6:17:15 PM Permalink

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/10/20 7:27:14 PM Permalink

    Yeah. Everything looks good now. (I've been on a field trip, so I haven't been on the game in 8 hours, but it all seems to be reset.)

    I ended up putting today's required quests in the March map. I think my morning class did them. I hope so.

    Anyway, thank you, as usual, for your help.


    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/10/20 1:59:18 AM Permalink

    ​In my Daily Quest maps, I'm missing.......February. This is a problem.

    I'm still in the beta map (which is probably why February has flown the coop) but this 60-year-old brain can't remember how to change that and I don't know how to find Part I, where Mike answered that question. (Sorry Mike. Can you reanswer it for me? I'll write it down this time.)

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/10/20 3:10:15 AM Permalink

    When I log in as a network admin and search your quest maps for "feb"​ by using Command + F, I get 2 results, but only one "feb" shows up. ProFeb(D) shows up as 2/2. When I look for 1/2, I'm transported to the top of the page where the missing "Feb" should be.

    I'll contact Mick as this makes no sense to me.

    Oh, I switched you out of beta. The checkbox is in Tools > Available Tools in the Dashboard.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/10/20 4:52:31 AM Permalink

    I don't mind making another February map (and relocating my quests in there) but I'd like to know how it happened so I don't have it happen again. Thanks for switching me out, Mike.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/10/20 1:33:24 PM Permalink

    Don't make another February. I found it and I found a big clue. Mick will need to ​do a database dance to fix the issue.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/10/20 4:34:57 PM Permalink

    Fixed. How or why this happened is a mystery.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/9/20 9:31:39 PM Permalink

    Hear ye, hear ye.

    The Master of the Code has pushed the beta branch to the main branch. Many new features and bug fixes are now live.

    Those using the beta branch may be wise to switch it off (unless you like living dangerously).

    One known bug: The Reader link (accessed via the maps) is glitched but will be fixed ASAP (though Mick needs a day or two off). The Reader works as expected elsewhere.

    New settings to explore when creating or editing quests and/or quest maps. (UX stuff)​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/8/20 7:11:09 PM Permalink

    ​Grrr. I'm trying to edit the name of a map and am having no luck. It's a child map and yes, I'm hitting "update". I'm hitting it with a lot of......enthusiasm.

    What am I doing wrong?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/8/20 9:10:04 PM Permalink

    Yep. Same here. I'll pass this along to Mick and let you know when that's fixed. :)​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/9/20 7:30:45 PM Permalink

    It's fixed.​

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/6/20 11:53:32 AM Permalink

    This small issue may only relate to my personal quirks; if so, I totally understand. I have some quests in which I have a couple answers in a multiple-choice 'quiz' at the end:

    • I understand and agree with the expectations Mr. Miller presented.
    • I have questions and will ask Mr. Miller for more information.

    I've put them in as Multiple Select items before and marked both blank, so students can choose either one​. That worked fine, but some students remarked that multiple select (squares) usually means 'tick all that apply' and this is really an either-or question so it should be Multiple Choice (circles) with only one answer possible. I tried that, but even if it's blank in the edit window for the quest, students cannot submit when it's in Multiple Choice mode unless I've selected a correct answer. When they try with all answers blank on my side, they get "Incorrect Answer" errors no matter which answer they try to submit.

    Would it be possible to change that behavior, so a multiple choice (choose only one answer) item is possible with no correct answer? I most often use these as checks for agreement rather than content-based quizzes, and rarely require a single correct answer. But I'd like the option to have students be limited to one choice.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/6/20 3:23:44 PM Permalink

    Awesome suggestion, Matthew! As Smokey Robinson sang: I second that emotion.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/8/20 8:56:59 PM Permalink

    Mick explained how that would take about 40 hours of coding. Really? Then he explained some more. Really.

    For now, I suggest you pose the question and use the text field to gather Yes or No.​

    Yes? No?

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/9/20 7:46:33 PM Permalink

    Ok. I just pose them as I see them. If they aren't practical, or need to go on the back burner, that's totally OK!

    Using the checkboxes is working just fine. ​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/5/20 1:30:56 PM Permalink

    ​Hi Guys!

    Some Weblins today (Web Gremlins) going on.

    1. I have a kid who I've encouraged to use Chrome, but she can't remember her password to log on. I've reset it (and changed her email, which was an old one and no longer valid) but it won't take. (The pw is "strong".)

    2. I had a quest nested into the Daily's, but the kids need to do it several times and yesterday was just the first day of the challenge. None of the kids could get into the Daily today because of it, so I moved it to another map that is a pod. They still can't get access to their Daily.

    3. How can I get the kids to respond to my comments in the blog? Should I click the "comments" box in the quest?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/5/20 2:57:37 PM Permalink

    1. She can't remember her Chrome password or her Gameful password​? If Gameful, just have her click the forgot password link and let her reset it. (I will NEVER use passwords again. The social login just works so much better.)

    2. Put the nested quest back and make it optional. If you require them to complete it multiple times, let them know. If you want to force the issue, make it required, but break it into Part I, II, III... and nest it on consecutive days.

    3. One of the eternal teacher questions. Nerf their loot? Reset the quest? Speak to them directly? Make a quest explaining the expectation? Send them a message? Send them repeated messages, removing REP each time they fail to respond?


    If I misunderstood—which happens all the time—let me know. :)

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/5/20 3:12:15 PM Permalink

    1. It's the gameful pw and she can't get into her school email either (because she forgot her password. I'm with you on the PW thing). It's just odd that the game won't let me update her ​email either. Every time I click update user, all the original settings come back.

    2. My daily quests are a chain. Can I make a quest nested in a chain optional?

    3. It's not that they won't's that they can't respond. None of us can see a way to respond in the blog. Am I missing something incredibly obvious?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/5/20 3:38:49 PM Permalink

    1. That's a Mick question. As for her school email, someone at the school must be able to reset ​it.

    2. Yep. Optional quests work in a chain.

    3. Do you mean send you a message rather than editing/correcting/refining their blog posts? Why? I send messages as part of a paper trail. Positive messages need no response. Cautionary messages require behavior changes. I think I'm missing something. Example?

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/5/20 3:41:30 PM Permalink

    Does 3 = Kids can message you? ​

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/8/20 7:08:55 PM Permalink

    I'd like the kids to be able to reflect in writing on my comments in their blog, to reply to my reply, if that makes sense. I can get some real aha moments that way. ​We do a lot of goal setting and self-reflection and writing about it can be easier than talking about it.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/8/20 9:07:18 PM Permalink

    1. Filter for UNREAD posts.
    2. Comment and mark READ.
    3. Later...
    4. Filter for UNREAD posts.
    5. When a student replies, that post will appear as UNREAD once again because it was updated when she saved.

    Remember, we can review by student (via the clipboard)​ or by date, date range, class, quest, etc. (via the Reader, Cards, See All Posts, etc.). Lots of ways for us to keep up to date.

    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/8/20 10:04:49 PM Permalink

    So they can reply? Do they do it right in the blog itself then?​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/9/20 12:08:20 AM Permalink


    Set up a canned comment that instructs players ​to respond to your feedback in BLOG LINK HERE by editing that post as instructed. (You can create several variations to cover different situations.)

    To reply, they just edit and update.

    Then the student's post is back in your UNREAD queue.

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/5/20 4:24:54 PM Permalink

    I wrote to Mick about 1.

    One thing: I just successfully edited and updated a kid's profile​. (With my teacher account. It's got the same superpowers as yours has.)


    marcia blanco

    Posted on 2/4/20 5:20:46 PM Permalink

    Is this Part II?​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/4/20 5:25:48 PM Permalink


    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/4/20 5:18:44 PM Permalink

    ​I changed my Daily Quests from pods to chains this semester.

    Outcome? After one month, almost everyone is keeping pace.

    What a pleasant surprise! (And food for thought for next year.)

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/4/20 6:43:28 PM Permalink

    I did the reverse and am finding that many students are not keeping up. Definitely food for thought! ​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/4/20 7:40:28 PM Permalink

    Pretty funny considering your daily chains were my inspiration.​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/5/20 3:06:40 PM Permalink

    Still thinking about this.

    I would much rather use Pods and encourage responsibility than use Chains and force the issue, but it's hard to argue with the results.

    Besides, I've got plenty of other autonomy built-in.​

    Yeah, there's nothing wrong with having a few required elements in the game.

    Matthew Miller

    Posted on 2/6/20 12:21:05 PM Permalink

    Agreed. I'm turning mine back into chains at the end of this month; I was much happier with the results last semester. Too much autonomy can be corrosive, too. ​

    Mike Skocko

    Posted on 2/6/20 3:32:03 PM Permalink

    Yeah, I've always believed kids should have the right to choose to fail, but we should make that choice as difficult as possible to achieve. :)