Game On 2.0 Feature Requests & Bug Reports

Posted on Aug 17, 2014 by Mike Skocko Latest activity: Sep 20, 2016

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My students write the code that makes this project possible. If you have an idea—even a blue sky idea—for this iteration of Game On, this is the place to share it. If you find a bug or something that just doesn't feel right, this is the place to report it.

We maintain a list of these items on our new Dev Team Page page. Please check to see if your idea/issue is already on our radar.

Our best ideas come from our users. Don't be shy about giving the kids a challenge. We engage in rapid prototyping and we update the plugin as soon as individual features and/or fixes are completed.

Archived Conversations: Feature Requests | Bug Reports

Comments (1,135)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 4:06:22 PM - Permalink

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 5:28:48 AM - Permalink

I am having an issue that anytime I change some on a quest (typically text) and hit update, it doesn't update. I have been having to make new quests and copy over from the previous and make any changes I want for hitting public. It is causing A LOT of extra work. Anybody else experiencing this? Classes start Wednesday, so I am in crunch time.

Version 2.6.0 and newest version of Divi and Wordpress.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 6:04:32 AM - Permalink

This doesn't seem likely, but just in case: it sounds like one of the known issues with quest chains in the newest versions of GO. You might try re-installing from a known copy of 2.6.0, if you could possibly have upgraded to a 2.6.1 over the summer (not all of them had the numbering updated).

A quick workaround, without replacing GO, is to use the QuickEdit feature in the Jobs list to remove the job from the chain. Then edit it. But you have to be comfortable with leaving it out of a chain, in this case.

And if you're not working with quest chains or you're sure you didn't update past 2.6.0, that's not the issue.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 2:23:08 PM - Permalink

Yes. They are in quest chains. I'll try taking them all out, edit, and then see if I can add back in. If not, I could just link in the final stage to the next one like I did before Quest chains.

Also, I did install 3.0. I hadn't been following the discussion boards. I downgraded to 2.6 after seeing the posts here.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 2:51:48 PM - Permalink

If you're using chains, use 2.5.6. The 2.5.7 update broke chains.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 12:00:41 PM - Permalink

Unfortunately I have encountered some of this too but I am also trying to run 3.0 so I was hoping it was just a part of that. That happened to me quite often with old quests built before last school year but I thought most of those issues had been resolved. Are all of the quests that are having the issues a part of a chain? I seem to remember that was always a commonality among the quests that wouldn't seems to update without a refresh by the students.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 24, 2016 4:55:48 AM - Permalink

Another small bug in 3.0 that may just be a matter of restarting when you go 3.0:

all old store items began randomly have course locks, limits, and some other options changed after the update to 3.0

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 3:08:23 PM - Permalink

Man, Adam, are you sure you can't switch back to 2.5.6?

The 3.0 pre-release is way too buggy and I have no idea when Forest will be able to address all the issues.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 31, 2016 1:56:04 AM - Permalink

Its my own fault but when I tried to go back to 2.5 or 2.6 any quest I had touched in 3.0 was literally disappearing or completely non-functional. Aside from not getting receipts I have been making due just fine. The inablility to hold some students accountable for purchase issues has been annoying but its also been minimal. I know I can make it through this semester and then decide what I want to do for next semester.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 22, 2016 4:08:13 PM - Permalink

As far as I can tell, when a student is awarded or penalized loot through the clipboard it is not recorded anywhere. I think it would be nice if there was a default "from admin" record in the rewards tab of the stat page for those incidents?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 30, 2016 3:06:02 PM - Permalink

It's in the REWARDS tab on the Stats panel. The default message is See me. You can add any message you want. If you want an option to change the default message, we'd have to add that to the Options page. I tend to use specific messages and seldom use the default.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 31, 2016 2:00:19 AM - Permalink

Maybe its 3.0 again? the rewards I give them through the Clipboard are added to their accounts but it si not recorded anywhere on the stats page including rewards. They get the message in the Admin message but nothing in the rewards about the added gold/XP

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 22, 2016 2:45:49 AM - Permalink

In 3.0...

When creating a "test" question on a new quest, while the test box will remain checked it will not save or apply the questions to the quest when viewed. The questions do not even exist after the update.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 22, 2016 1:53:45 PM - Permalink

Noted, thank you!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 19, 2016 4:40:39 PM - Permalink

It may be a personal blog bug rather than 3.0 but I am not receiving any email receipts from Store purchases that should send them.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 19, 2016 9:52:13 PM - Permalink

There's a notification setting on the Options page (Additional Settings) and in each store item. Make sure one is active. If so, sounds like a bug.

Note: We just arrived in Northern California to move our daughter in for her second year of college (Sonoma State) and I'll have spotty ability to respond until mid/late Monday.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 20, 2016 3:03:36 AM - Permalink

Yeah I have the receipts option checked in both areas as I wanted receipts for all purchases to start off. Might be a bug...I just want it to be written down if or when they can get checked out again.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 20, 2016 3:42:56 AM - Permalink

Noted! Thank you.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 2:54:29 PM - Permalink

Due to sudden family events, I don't believe that I'll be able to finish all the needed fixes for v3.0.0 before I head back to school on the 22nd. I don't want to mislead anyone.

Thank you for understanding.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 3:50:05 AM - Permalink

Here is my more detailed explanation of what is occurring in the v3.0.0 pre-release.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 17, 2016 5:13:08 AM - Permalink

IMPORTANT: I should have taken Terrance's advice and not pushed on with 3.0 yet. If you are using any old quests that were originally part of quest chains DO NOT continue with 3.0! I had been simply removing those quests from the chains and unchecking the locked option assuming that would work...nope. I suddenly have lots of quests that are randomly acting like the are in random quest chains thus not allowing the quest to be completed until a different old quest is completed.

Doesn't make sense because I actually deleted all of my quest chains as a whole. I have also had random quests replace each other. Sooo yeah dont use old quest with the 3.0 plugin is my only suggestion as of now.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 17, 2016 1:40:06 PM - Permalink

Good call, Adam. 3.0 is a Pre-Release with 146 commits—146!

It's definitely not ready for prime time. As I said, I'm using 2.6.0 (but chains are broken). If you want chains, use 2.5.6.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 17, 2016 3:48:34 PM - Permalink

Actually I am kinda locked into 3.0 now because since I did editing on the quests after I removed them from the chain in 3.0 they won't function correctly when I went back down to 2.6. I can deal with the effects so far though. I honestly think if I was starting from scratch 3.o would be quite stable aside from pods and chains not being functional.

PS: is there a way to remove inventory from a students account that accidentally purchased multiple of an item?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 3:27:48 AM - Permalink

> Actually I am kinda locked into 3.0 now because since I did editing on the quests after I removed them from the chain in 3.0 they won't function correctly when I went back down to 2.6. I can deal with the effects so far though. I honestly think if I was starting from scratch 3.o would be quite stable aside from pods and chains not being functional.

Did my previous comment hold true?

> There will be issues with older quests, since the majority of custom fields were using very loose validation logic. In most cases, the quests can be updated, and the validation will sort everything out.
> Pre-v3.0.0 quests that use the chain options are going to react oddly. That's due to the major changes that I made to the task chain options. Essentially, the old quests are trying to use settings that no longer exist, so they were removed from the chains that they were in.
> If you want to add quests to chains in bulk, you can use the "Quick Edit" option on the admin page which lists all the quests on your site.

I'm going to make another comment going a little more in detail on the changes to the task edit page options.

Edit: Here it is.


> PS: is there a way to remove inventory from a students account that accidentally purchased multiple of an item?

Currently no, there is no way to remove previously awarded store items for a user's account. Using the add bar to remove the extra values is currently the only workaround. I believe that Skocko has an "incentivizing" mechanic to deal with such purchases in the Mac Lab.

There is an issue for that in the backlog.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 3:39:22 AM - Permalink


You can dig into the database to root out "accidental" purchases.

Or, as Forest alluded to, you can make them pay (gold) for intentional "gaming" of the system. There are no accidents when you have to click two separate elements to purchase an item.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 15, 2016 4:35:10 AM - Permalink

Small bug. When a quest is set to be Time sensitive a naming convention is used in the description that shows in the quest. Because it uses the naming convention "stage 3" instead of "complete", the statement at the beginning of the quest now reads, "After accepting you will have 5 days to stage 3 the quest or the rewards will be irrevocably reduced by 60%."

I assume that Stage 3 should say something like Complete if my 3rd stage was named complete instead of stage 3.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 3:40:13 AM - Permalink


You have this one on your radar, right?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 3:48:56 AM - Permalink

Yes. I've made note of this and will look into it.

ben davis

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 9:57:36 PM - Permalink

Hello Everyone,

Ben Davis here. I am here to get my GAME ON. Teaching at El Capitan High School and looking for insights from those who have come before me.

Thanks in advance,

Terrence Banks

Posted on Aug 15, 2016 1:20:30 AM - Permalink

Hello, Ben welcome to the team!

Mike has written an extremely insightful and helpful post that you can check out here that explains all the ins and out of how to get started.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 11, 2016 8:39:56 PM - Permalink

With 3.0 all newly created quests have the stages locked by default for some reason.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Aug 11, 2016 9:09:01 PM - Permalink

Confirmed...That and the issue Mike and Matthew pointed out has made this version 3.0 unusable for me. I am currently using 2.6.1.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 11, 2016 10:21:59 PM - Permalink

3.0 is a pre-release. I'm using 2.6.0 (but chains are broken). If you want chains, use 2.5.6.

3.0 will be ready for prime time... soon.*

*Soon is such a wonderfully ambiguous word. :)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 3:46:18 AM - Permalink

We are gonna keep rolling with 3.0 to see if we find any other bugs.

In 3.0 I get this message on the leaderboard

Warning: array_intersect(): Argument #2 is not an array in /home/reativt6/public_html/wp-content/plugins/game-on-3.0.0/go_stats.php on line 940

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 7:53:33 AM - Permalink


Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 2:15:54 PM - Permalink

Noted! Thank you Adam.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 4:05:40 PM - Permalink

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 5:39:52 PM - Permalink

Hmm, I can't seem to reproduce the bug with the locked stages being on by default. I created new quests using 3.0.0 on my local test site and my remote. The only issue that crops up is a invalid foreach error. That's due to the chains failing on the front-end (when viewing as a student), which is unrelated to the stage password-locks in the back-end.

I've fixed that little foreach error and pushed it to the link that I provided before (dev).

Are you possibly cloning the quests rather than using one of the "New Quest" menu items/buttons?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 5:49:22 PM - Permalink

Cloning shouldn't have adverse effects. If it does, it's a bug.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 6:18:40 PM - Permalink

I can verify that when I just made a couple new quests they were not locked but I have no idea what was different from when it was happening to me a couple of nights ago. I might have cloned some? But ....

I did just realize that several old quest that I am reusing are were removed from CHAINS. Without making new versions of them they had all the stages locked when students encountered them for the first time yesterday.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 7:04:26 PM - Permalink

There will be issues with older quests, since the majority of custom fields were using very loose validation logic. In most cases, the quests can be updated, and the validation will sort everything out.

Pre-v3.0.0 quests that use the chain options are going to react oddly. That's due to the major changes that I made to the task chain options. Essentially, the old quests are trying to use settings that no longer exist, so they were removed from the chains that they were in.

If you want to add quests to chains in bulk, you can use the "Quick Edit" option on the admin page which lists all the quests on your site.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 6:12:44 PM - Permalink

I feel like this might be an issue with me forgetting to set something rather than an update issue but:

When I try to have my new students select their correct period when setting up their new profiles they are not able to pick a period or computer. When clicking the + it simply does nothing. I am however able to do it on the admin side and I can even go into their user accounts and manually put them into the class necessary. Does this sound like a "me" issue or could it be something bigger?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 6:32:41 PM - Permalink

Which version are you using? That was a problem in one build.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 6:41:07 PM - Permalink

I am on 2.6.1

I'm updating to 3.0 now

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 6:36:24 PM - Permalink

Ah, don't worry, that is absolutely not your fault. That was a bug that I had caused while making security changes. I went back and fixed that issue yesterday.

The pre-release version of v3.0.0 is currently available for download, and I would greatly appreciate a final round of testers.

Since this is such a large update, I don't want to officially release it as a stable version without being sure that there aren't any game-ending bugs that I haven't encountered.

A brief set of patch notes are on the release page , and here's a direct link to the zip .

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 6:42:45 PM - Permalink

Awesome. We love helping find bugs but its even better if you already found them.


Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 6, 2016 10:27:45 PM - Permalink

Howdy all, i've just finished rewriting the JS behind the task edit page settings. The changes were necessary to fix issue-119 and other related bugs.

It would be fantastic if I could get some testers. I want to ensure that the task edit page settings (accordions and all) are functioning properly. Here's a brief breakdown of the major changes:

- Accordions are no longer animated. This prevents some rather annoying graphical glitches.

- The "3 Stage Quest" and "5 Stage Quest" options are located in 3rd and 4th stages, respectively. Enabling the "3 Stage Quest" option should result in the 4th and 5th (if enabled) stages being hidden. Enabling the "5th Stage Quest" option should result in the 5th stage being displayed, but it will be overridden by the "3 Stage Quest" option. Both are disabled by default.

- The chain option should now support having multiple chains. The front-end has received an update so that the chain navigation is more useful, and persistent.

- The badge option now supports adding multiple badges to each stage. Stored badge data was already designed for multiple badges, but for some reason the add and delete buttons were removed (or not implemented).

- The bonus loot in the 4th Stage previously had a loose error system for invalid inputs. I fixed a few bugs here, specifically a server timeout error.


The version number is still currently displayed as "2.6.1", but that is most likely to change.

EDIT: The zip has been updated to display the version number as "3.0.0".


The store edit page JS hasn't had any game-breaking bugs, so i'll deal with that at a later date.

If anyone is willing, I would also like to confirm that task pods and task chains are functioning normally with these changes. I haven't tested this yet.

Thank you!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 12:03:36 PM - Permalink

Hey, Forest. I can confirm that the fix now allows me to edit quest chain quests that I wasn't able to edit previously. Yay! I am hesitant to test pods on my production site, so I'll need to set up a testing clone before I can confirm how those perform.

I've had a strange thing happen, though, while editing quests using the 119 fix. When I go back to edit quests in that chain now they all have the same text in each of the quest stage boxes, which is from the final task in the chain. However the front-end looks fine, so the actual quests haven't changed, it's just that the editor isn't reading them properly.

On the front end, I'm not seeing anything related to the chain - no prompt for the next item, etc.

I'll dig into this further this afternoon (here in Cairo, it's 2pm right now) and see if I can identify what's happening. I cleared my cache, but it may still be an issue; I'll switch to my home computer shortly and can confirm at that point whether it's just this machine or something bigger.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 2:43:17 PM - Permalink

I've had a strange thing happen, though, while editing quests using the 119 fix. When I go back to edit quests in that chain now they all have the same text in each of the quest stage boxes, which is from the final task in the chain. However the front-end looks fine, so the actual quests haven't changed, it's just that the editor isn't reading them properly.

Darn, I was really hoping that would only happen to me. Deleting the quest and creating a new one was the solution that I found. I haven't experienced the issue since then. It is most likely a bi-product of using a development version.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 2:45:08 PM - Permalink

Confirming it also happens on my home desktop. Anything in the chain shows up in editor with the text of the final quest in the chain. But the front-end is fine, showing the actual text for each quest.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 2:55:16 PM - Permalink


I was also able to access the quests out of order.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 3:10:56 PM - Permalink

Do you see the same when setting up a chain with all new quests?

I was also able to access the quests out of order.

Were you accessing the quests on a student account? Admin accounts aren't limited by the quest chains, so the links and such aren't shown.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 3:43:07 PM - Permalink

Forgot about admin immunity. D'oh!

When accessing as student, chain 1 displays chain 2 content (as reported when viewing as admin. Visual oddity: When completing Stage 4, the undo button is left, the chain name is center, and the link to next quest is right (on three separate lines). Not too user-friendly. Perhaps all left or both of the latter center would be preferable.

My preference would be:

Chain Name Next Quest: Quest Name

Creating new chain as per your request...

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 3:46:55 PM - Permalink

After creating new quest chain and testing, I realized you thought I'd been using an existing chain in my prior results. That chain was created after updating to the v3 candidate.

Just tested a new one (without reordering) and student see expected. Admin sees same as before.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 9, 2016 3:07:01 PM - Permalink

Besides no prompt for the next chain in the quest (which Matthew also reported), I shuffled the order of the quests a few times and tested. When I returned the chain to its 1, 2, 3 order, the first quest in the chain now displays the second quest on the front end and the third quest on the back end.

I don't know about anyone else, but this seems almost useful (not for the typical classroom quests, but for enigma-like paths). You should preserve the code, Forest, before trying to fix it. There's something useful and maybe even magical there. Maybe a new option further down the road. Just a feeling. :)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 1, 2016 8:33:51 PM - Permalink

Hi all, does anyone know if the bugs associated with pods have been flushed out? I was hoping to start building units with them but wasn't sure if they are functional or still highly questionable. It looks like Mike is working with them and I know to some extent Mark and David did last year.


Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 1, 2016 8:49:28 PM - Permalink

I'm working with fake pods. Forest is rebuilding practically the whole friggin' plugin (and has been for months). We won't know if pods are safe until he's done with what we've decided to call Game On v3.0.

FYI: Use v2.5.6 if you want to use chains.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 1, 2016 9:02:28 PM - Permalink

Oh. Wow! I'll still work with some chains for now then.

Is Forest hoping to release 3.0 before he goes back to school or is 3.0 a longer term plan?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 1, 2016 10:09:09 PM - Permalink

Unknown. Could be weeks. Could be longer.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 6, 2016 11:28:38 PM - Permalink

I would most definitely like to have v2.6.1/v3.0.0 (not sure which it is going to be yet) done before I head back to school. For me, the semester starts on August 22nd. I understand that most schools are starting before then, so there's not a whole lot of time. I'll also be starting a new job at the same time, so my Game On time isn't going to be as frequent. That said, I absolutely intend to work on Game On (and my other projects) as often as I can.

Of course, that's the plan, and things will undoubtedly change.

If I can get a confirmation on the issue-119 fixes, the primary fix being to the chain system, then I can close that issue up.

A few more problems cropped up due to the changes that i've made, so i'm working on fixing those. The things that are left are:

- The store item over-charge bug that Matthew found

- The user focus option in the user profile page, also found by Matthew


Looking ahead, aside from bug fixes, the Quest Cap and Super Modifier's Focus and Honor interaction are the next features to be implemented.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 7, 2016 4:34:01 PM - Permalink

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 3:23:10 AM - Permalink

Thanks for the summer updates!

Been doing some behind the scene testing, when I update to 2.6.1 or the issue 119 fix from 2.5.9 I cannot accept any quests that I encounter.

I had a slight glitch where I could not buy items, but I fixed that. But switching back and forth from 2.5.9 and 2.6.1 the accept function at least for me is not working.

Thanks man..

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 3:38:09 AM - Permalink

Hmm...That's a really weird one. Is it only happening for your admin account, or is it also occurring on student accounts? Are they all old quests, and do they make use of any of the filters? e.g. A Level, Honor, or Profession requirement.

That may help me narrow down the issue. Thanks for testing Terrence!

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 3:46:48 AM - Permalink

All quest are new..I tried old ones as well..I just tested on my WAMP as well as live site as Admin and Student, I removed any filters related to quest. and still cannot accept the quest. Though I can abandon it.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 4:22:18 AM - Permalink

Confirmed Terrence's issues with 119. The build I tested yesterday (was it yesterday?) worked fine so it's in the latest update.

New quests and old. Users and admin. No filters at all. Can't undo quests but can abandon as Terrence reported. Do not get XP for encountering nor lose XP for abandoning, either.

Up since 2:00. Heading to bed. not complete but coming along slowly but surely. Will need a new post for strategies. 'Nite, all.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 4:23:32 AM - Permalink

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 4:27:35 AM - Permalink

That is have a great night..geet some sleep!

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 5:24:36 PM - Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 6:01:03 PM - Permalink

Looks good. Didn't check everything but works forward and backward for players and admin. Gifting and Guild purchase, too.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 1, 2016 7:52:40 PM - Permalink

Found something that seemed odd to me, then I found out why. I'm posting this in case anyone else runs into a similar scenario.

When logged in as my demostudent1 account, I noticed the red status bar and saw that the account had 10 honor and 10 damage as a result of testing Forest did for my previous problem (thanks, Forest!). When I went to my store to try to reduce the damage, I found I couldn't buy a "Pay gold to fix damage" nor a "Use honor to fix damage" item. In each case, it reported that I had too many damage to buy that item.

When I looked at the item in the administrative side, I noticed that I'd set it to have a filter of 2 damage (Use honor...) and 1 damage (Pay gold...) respectively. I had originally thought those were minimums, but it turns out they are absolutes. If the filter says 1 damage, you can't buy the item unless you have exactly 1 damage, no more, no less. Once I removed those filters, everything worked as expected.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jul 1, 2016 10:05:22 PM - Permalink

I added a store item with a 2 Damage filter, and successfully purchased it on a student account with 10 Honor and 10 Damage. I double-checked, and I have both the Honor and Penalty features turned on. I was actually able to purchase as many as I wanted, regardless of the number of penalties I had. That is, when I was below 2 penalties, I was still able to purchase the item. The honor filter doesn't seem to be limiting me in any way, either.

That means i'm seeing the exact opposite of what you're seeing. Which is a bit funny. It's still an indication of something going wrong with the filters. I'll take a look, and let you know what I find!

Oh, and you are using the experimental version, correct? I pushed a commit 3 hours ago. Would you be willing to see if you get the same effect with that update?

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 1, 2016 10:34:17 PM - Permalink

Oookaay. That's pretty funny. Yes, I'm using the experimental version, still (reports 2.6.1).

I'd be happy to load another version, but the last commit I see in GitHub for TheMacLab / game-on is from Feb 23rd. Am I looking in the wrong place?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jul 1, 2016 11:07:22 PM - Permalink

I fixed the store filter, so now it should actually limit you depending on what you enter in the "Filter" fields. The Honor filter is intended to prevent any users with fewer than X Honor from viewing an item. The Penalty filter is intended to prevent any users with more than or equal to X penalties from viewing an item.

The 2.6.1 experimental version is actually on my fork of Game On (foreshoffman/game-on). TheMaclab/game-on is where our officially released versions go. Here's the zip:

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 2, 2016 5:17:30 PM - Permalink

Gotcha. OK, I'm following you now and have downloaded your latest commit; I'll test it and confirm the fix.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 2, 2016 5:37:59 PM - Permalink

Couple strange behaviors now, with your newest commit.

  1. I cannot remove the filter on store items once I add an honor filter. I can uncheck the box, but when I publish, it's right back where it was.
  2. I was able to buy my way down to negative damage (as a player). Is this intentional? I don't think players should be able to preempt their way out of damage. If they buy a damage fix that exceeds their current damage, they should either
    1. not be allowed because they don't have that much damage to be repaired, or
    2. the gold should be accepted (foolishness tax) and damage should remain at (or be adjusted to a minimum of) zero.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jul 2, 2016 10:38:07 PM - Permalink

Alright, i've noted that. Thank you!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 25, 2016 2:49:01 PM - Permalink

Another possible bug in the version from issue-119:

  • when I edit a user profile (as the user) and click the '+' button to expand the 'Period and Computer' items, nothing happens
  • works fine when I edit as an admin, both own account and students'
  • tried with plugins other than Game-on disabled, using the twenty-sixteen theme, to try to eliminate potential conflicts; it still won't open those items as a user.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 25, 2016 4:31:02 PM - Permalink

Confirmed. Just tested with Issue 119 build as a user. Works fine with 2.5.9. Thanks, Matthew!

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jul 6, 2016 1:22:14 AM - Permalink

I adjusted store items slightly based on the feedback that you gave me. Store items that remove penalties will alert the student if they have a quantity of penalties less than the quantity that the store item will remove.

Could you give it another test, when you have the chance?


A store item costs 5 Gold removes 1 Penalty.

Student A has 10 Gold and 1 Penalty.

Student A purchases the store item like normal, and now has 5 Gold and 0 Penalties.


Student B has 10 Gold and 0 Penalties.

Student B attempts to purchase the same item as Student A, but fails. Student B's stats remain the same.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 6, 2016 1:32:13 AM - Permalink

Worked as you described on my test site. Worked the same even after hitting the level cap. Nice work, Forest. Here's hoping it works the same for everyone else.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 7, 2016 5:33:43 PM - Permalink

Sorry, been busy with family, our last couple days here in Idaho. I'll test it soon but probably won't have any feedback for you until Monday.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 11, 2016 4:23:27 PM - Permalink

  1. Assigned my account 10 damage. (Bar now red)
  2. Bought a store item to clear 5 damage, no problem. (Bar now yellow)
  3. Bought a store item to clear 10 damage, was notified I needed more damage to buy that.
  4. Bought a store item to clear 5 damage, no problem. (Bar didn't change until I reloaded the page, then green)
  5. Assigned my account 5 damage. (Bar now yellow)
  6. Bought 2 store items to clear 1 damage, no problem. (Same as #4, green only after reload)
  7. Bought 4 store items to clear 1 damage. Damage now at -1.
  8. Assigned my account 3 damage. Damage now at 2.
  9. Reloaded page.
  10. Bought 3 store items to clear 1 damage. Damage now at -1.
  11. Played around a bit more with it, same results.

Logged in with demostudent account. Assigned the account 5 damage. Edit: should have noted that I logged into the site with this account in a different browser (Safari, vs. chrome before) to ensure it wasn't a browser cache thing.

  1. Bought a store item to clear 2 damage, no problem. (Damage now at 3)
  2. Reloaded the page.
  3. Bought a store item to clear 4 damage. Damage now at -1.
This is on my site. Same demostudent1 / demodemo trial account as on the site. I've set up the same support account for admin login.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jul 11, 2016 5:34:49 PM - Permalink

Alrighty, i'll make a note of that and take a look.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 9:40:13 PM - Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 6:27:52 PM - Permalink

I'm about to begin a blog post outlining how I plan to use Game On in the fall. Kinda had a breakthrough of sorts over the past few days. Testing bug fixes, working with Forest, playing WoW, and this morning watching Q&A vids with Blizzard's dev team on turned the final card. and will play a big part in this.

How did Forest put it when I shared the idea? [Copied and Pasted]: I think that tweaking the design to enable the growth of a meta-game is a really good idea. It opens up a whole new level of student interaction.

And that's the idea. Link coming when I finish writing the first draft.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 6:48:04 PM - Permalink

This ZIP contains the chain fix (see June 16 below) and Forest's HUGE Ranks Revamp. We could use volunteers to test before we push to the main branch and release it as 2.6.1. Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Forest is fixing something. Hold off on testing until he fixes it...

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 6:58:02 PM - Permalink

I just found a small logic error on the stats page, that has to do with the progress bar. I'm going to make a quick fix to that. I'll make a note of the update here, when I push it. Be right back...

EDIT: The patch is live. The above link has been automatically updated to the correct version.

EDIT 2: I apologize for the horrible formatting. I forgot about how AEE likes to handle its posts. Here's a link to the following in a more readable format.

Things that really need testing:

  • Tasks & Task Chains
  • Bonus Loot & Store Items
  • Students receiving badges via Tasks, Store Items, the Clipboard, and ranking up normally
  • Students losing badges via dropping in rank and the Clipboard
  • Students hitting the minimum and maximum ranks (should receive Prestige at max rank)

If you're able to help test, thank you! If not, just hang tight and we'll let you know when the updates are final. :D

==== Changelog ====

Version: 2.6.1

+ [Fix] Tasks should be editable after adding them to a task chain.

* Do the following:

1. Create a task

2. Assign the task a task chain

3. Publish the task

4. Clone the task

5. Publish the clone

6. Attempt to make changes to the clone (which should succeed)

Version: 2.6.0

+ Rank system changes.

* Students should not be able to go below 0 XP.

* Students that reach the XP threshold of the highest rank should receive a "Prestige" status and that will be displayed in the admin bar and stats page (e.g. "9001 - Prestige").

* Students with the Prestige status will receive double Gold rewards, IF they do not have any penalties. Otherwise, their rewards (Gold AND XP) will be halved.

* The Prestige naming convention is modifiable in the Game On settings page.

+ [Fix] The badge system should work again now.

* When students rank up, they will receive any badges attached to the ranks they achieve.

* When students go down in ranks, they will lose any badges that they received, accordingly.

* The `[go_award_badge]` shortcode should also be usable again.

* Badges should be removable from the clipboard, by providing a negative badge ID. e.g. To remove badge 745 enter "-745" (without quotations) into the badge ID field.

+ [Fix] Clipboard.

* Values added and displayed in the clipboard should now be consistent with what students actually receive.

* Badge removal.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 7:14:32 PM - Permalink

Oops, already started testing it.

I'm noticing that the link to the next quest appears as soon as my students get to the 3rd stage. I have a password in place for them to complete the mission before they should have access to that link. Was this the way it was meant to work???

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 7:19:44 PM - Permalink

I believe so, once as they hit complete, the next quest should become available. The password is in place to prevent them from continuing on to the mastery stage (stage 4) correct?

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jun 23, 2016 5:52:34 PM - Permalink

OK, testing results:

  1. Set a student to 0 XP and 1000gold
    1. As the student, I tried to buy a debuff (-100xp) in the store and couldn't. It reported I needed more XP.
    2. Tried to add -10xp to the student via the clipboard, no change (still set at zero).
    3. One thing I noticed is that the clipboard doesn't update dynamically after I click Add - I have to switch classes and switch back to see the change.
  2. Created a task chain, added 2 existing quests to it, cloned one of them, it remained editable.
    1. Created a new task, added it to the chain, published it, edited it.
    2. Cloned the new task, published the clone, edited it. No problems.
    3. Went to those quests as a player, was able to open and complete the last quest in the chain even though I hadn't completed the prior quests. In fact, I can open and complete any quest in the chain, in any order I like (as long as I know the URLs).
  3. Undid and abandoned several of the quests in the chain, leaving a couple out of order completed.
    1. Now the student account can log in and open their stats board, but when I attempt to open a quest, it comes up with the student logged out. In case that's not clear: I log in as the student and get dropped at the dashboard; I can open the student's stats page; when I link to a quest or go to the main site page, it shows up but with the "Login" top bar rather than the student's status bar.
    2. Marked those quests as abandoned via the clipboard and tried logging in as the student again, they don't show up in the stats panel, but the account still can't open the main site normally, it gets the "login" version as soon as I switch off of the student account's dashboard.
    3. Same thing is happening for other student accounts.
    4. Same thing happens with an admin account. I can access the back-end without any problem to edit quests, posts, etc, but when I attempt to look at the front end, it's dropped into "Login" status.

This was tested on gnimmargorp (I have backups, don't worry). If you want to log in and see what it looks like, the login I sent a while back for troubleshooting should still work fine, if you have that. If not let me know and I'll regenerate it.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jun 23, 2016 6:38:58 PM - Permalink

That's really odd. I'll look into it tonight.

I remember at some point having the creds, but I can't find them. If you'd be able to resend them, that'd be awesome. Could I also get a hold of one of the afflicted student accounts? I'd like to see the problem from both sides.

Thank you!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jun 23, 2016 8:44:25 PM - Permalink

Update: just tried again and the student login works fine. May have been a browser issue or corrupted cache; I'll test further later today. Am at the pool with my boys right now.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jun 24, 2016 12:36:17 AM - Permalink

Update: now back at home, have tried again in both Safari and Chrome, and Safari after clearing the cache completely, and still having the same problem. It didn't happen on my phone via Chrome while at the pool, though. Very weird. Happens with both student level accounts and admin level accounts. Only affects the front-end versions; I can still use GameOn backend to build and edit quests, write posts, etc.

Other weirdness - I have turned on the feature in "Options - Admin Bar" to send users to the home page after login, but every account is being sent to the dashboard instead. I tried disabling that checkbox, then testing again, no change; tried re-enabling it and testing, no change. So something goofy is going on, but I don't know what.

Forest, I've just emailed you the credentials for both demo student accounts and the support (admin) account. Feel free to poke anywhere you wish.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jun 23, 2016 1:03:47 AM - Permalink

Alright, I talked with Skocko and made a few changes. Here's what changed:

  • The XP total should not appear in the admin bar or stats page when a user has Prestige (at or over the max rank)
  • The Prestige buff is now independent of the Super Modifier (the Prestige debuff interfaces with the penalty system, but honor/penalties are off by default)
  • Prestige now turns off XP rewards

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 23, 2016 2:03:36 AM - Permalink

We are soooooooo lucky to have Forest saving the day.

Again and again. :)

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jun 16, 2016 3:26:59 PM - Permalink

I was trying to use Quest Chains again with my summer class and I ran across a fun new issue. When I have quests connected to a chain I lose the ability to update my post. :(

Deleting the chain enables me to update the quests again.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 7:10:07 PM - Permalink

Up for air and am testing. Chains are definitely glitched. No idea when this happened as I haven't made any recently. Looking into it.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 7:29:26 PM - Permalink

What release are you using, Jonathan?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 7:59:48 PM - Permalink

Okay, I found it. 2.5.6 will work. Something went amiss in 2.5.7.

Forest is looking into it. Thanks for the heads-up (and sorry for the problem).

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jun 14, 2016 7:37:34 PM - Permalink

I am having students share URLs from our private OneDrive and these things are huge. They exceed the character limit and students click submit and it appears to have worked but I can't access that URL from the clipboard. Can we extend the number of characters or put in a message indicating the limit if a student tries to submit too long of a URL?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 14, 2016 8:47:57 PM - Permalink

I'll pass this along to Forest but perhaps this is an excellent opportunity to teach about tools like — yes?

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jun 16, 2016 3:25:41 PM - Permalink

We did use however it is a pain to have that secondary step each time they want to share a document...

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 11, 2016 2:58:26 PM - Permalink

I'm sure we've all had occasional trouble with some students claiming rewards they haven't earned. The trouble, for me, is that it's difficult to know when it happens—or it was, before I started using store items with notifications on in the final quest stage.

That solution introduced another issue—it rendered the super modifier inert. Kids with excess damage got full loot and kids with extra honor didn't receive their loot buff.

After fretting for weeks... D'oh!

Forest is working on a new option for store items—one that allows the admin to tie the super modifier to specific store items. This opens a whole bunch of other strategies.

Just a heads-up if you're already thinking about next year. :)

Terrence Banks

Posted on Apr 13, 2016 3:41:06 PM - Permalink

Don't update to Wordpress 4.5, seems to break several thing with gameon active.

Store items - cannot press buy button.

Native Wordpress video Playlist - does not show in the frontend

Those are the two I have encountered thus far.

I will revert back to 4.4.2 later tonight..

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 13, 2016 4:01:32 PM - Permalink

I'll alert Forest and we'll try to address this ASAP.

Thanks for the heads-up, Terrence, and apologies for the inconvenience.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Apr 13, 2016 5:48:24 PM - Permalink

**update** the buy button works for some students and not for others...gonna try to find out what the deal is.

Trying it on my test site (Which I should have done

Works fine on my test site both video playlist;s and buy button..might be divi let me check another theme. I disabled all plugins as well.

**Resolved** It is definitely a theme issue I have Divi 2.4.5. updated to 2.7 and all is well now. it..

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 1:02:17 PM - Permalink

Whew! Now Forest can return to his epic rewrite of... well, the core functionality of Game On. Since it's so huge, we won't roll that out until summer (but I hope to test it live in here just to see if it breaks anything in our massive database).

Thanks, Terrence!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 4:38:30 AM - Permalink

I upgraded to 4.5 before you posted this and haven't had any trouble yet. I just verified I can buy store items - works fine including the cash-register ring, red payment price alert, reduction of gold from my stats, and item appears in the inventory. I don't use video Playlists, so I can confirm that aspect. But my students had no trouble opening, completing, and mastering quests, earlier today and after the upgrade, so it seems to be working, at least so far.

I'm using WP4.5, Divi 2.7.3, and still Game-on 2.51 (haven't updated in a few rounds).

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 12:57:36 PM - Permalink

Thanks for the feedback, Matthew. Good to know it's working for you!

But dang, man, almost every update since 2.5.1 has fixed glitches. My kids pound it every day and it runs like a top. :)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 1:32:00 PM - Permalink

I've seen the updates and know how much Forest has fixed, but they aren't glitches we've run into. :-) Mine has been running like a top, too, and I'm a very happy teacher/gamemaster.

However, I'd love to beta the revised version for you, as that will be the low-stress time of year for me. May/June I no more IB students, they're finishing their final exams, and no more Yearbook, it's at the publishers. We won't pound as hard as you guys, I'm sure - my students haven't don't use the Emporium nearly as frequently, for example. But we'll pound it differently, and that's usually helpful.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 1:40:19 PM - Permalink

Thanks, Matthew. That'll surely be helpful. :)

I stopped archiving GO-generated emails from store items after we hit the 10K mark a month ago. Now I only save the ones that I need as evidence for BOGUS claims. And those have slowed to a trickle.

I've learned more this year than I could have imagined. Oh, the places we'll go!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 10:02:13 PM - Permalink

I'm finding what seems like a glitch with a 5 stage quest. It add a "claim mastery again" button after student claime mastery of the 5th stage. I currently have the "repeat" option set to 1 on the 5th stage settings so I thought that would eliminate the repeat claim. It won't let me set it to zero. Any thoughts?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 10:13:09 PM - Permalink

1 = Can only complete 5th stage once.

2 = Twice (which is 1 repeat)

Does that make sense?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 10:20:49 PM - Permalink

BTW, I've quit using the 5 stage quests for repeatables as they're just too confusing. The coders did exactly what I asked so it's 100% my fault.

In place of repeatable quests I've added a store item with the additional loot in the final stage. This has the district advantage of admin notification upon purchase and we can still set the purchase limit (in a more intuitive manner).

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 10:41:54 PM - Permalink

So the difference is simply that unlike a four stage quest, you can actually complete the fifth stage rather than the fifth stage simply being a message after completing the fourth. I may use your method of the store item as that seems easily applicable.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 1, 2016 11:17:31 PM - Permalink

Easily applicable and far less confusing. :)

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 3:54:40 AM - Permalink

Anybody else having to seemingly update Flash every other day for the display video plugin to work with YouTube videos? Safari on OSX.

Students get a white screen on the lightbox popup. 50% chance of working if I update Flash. Maybe Is would have them use Chrome?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 4:25:26 AM - Permalink

I've skipped the lightbox and gone directly to YouTube's embed code and everything works like a charm on all browsers. (No Flash required.)

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 3:52:01 PM - Permalink

I have been trying to embed without much success. The last several versions of Wordpress have auto embed. Simply copy and paste the YouTube link into WP and it is embedded. However, I have noticed that with GameOn that isn't working. It works in the dashboard view, but just shows a non-clickable link in the live view.

I also tried an iFrame embed, but had issues. I am going to try embed code again. Is that all you are doing and it works?

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 4:00:05 PM - Permalink

Same thing with the embed code. Greyed out within the quests. Ideas?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 4:39:30 PM - Permalink

This quest contains this YouTube embed code (entered in the Text Tab) for the vid in stage 2.

WordPress usually rearranges the code after publishing but the embeds always—ALWAYS—work for me.

Try this and let me know what happens.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 5:37:15 PM - Permalink

Doh! I had been using the auto embed feature of WP so long, I forgot about having to be in the HTML view when pasting the embed code.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 5:00:55 PM - Permalink

BTW, note that the 3rd stage has 7 embedded vids. :)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 9, 2016 12:03:27 PM - Permalink

This isn't a bug nor a feature, but I don't see another topic that it really fits under, either. I don't want to start a new topic just to share it, so apologies.

Just ran across this interesting tool: Creative Design Brief Generator. It allows you to select a focus (brand, logo, illustration or packaging) and a field (tech, food, store or entertainment) then generates a design brief for a creative project. Could be really useful for student projects.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 9, 2016 2:24:55 PM - Permalink

Since I was just thinking about this topic last night...

Now you have a place to put that very cool tool. :)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 9:59:21 PM - Permalink

What does everyone do with old quests when a new semester/year begins? Do you delete the old ones? Can we deactivate them? Do you just remove the link for them even though they are still searchable in the quest search?

I have students finding old quest through lots of different ways. I like the investigation they are doing as they are simply looking for MORE that what they see. I'd like to manage my massive stockpile of quests a little more effectively but was curious what other's strategies are.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 11:15:53 PM - Permalink

My chosen strategy is to use the Time Filter. Works like a charm! When you need it again, just change the date.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 3:56:30 PM - Permalink

Not really a GameOn dilemma but I'm curious if any of you that use GameOn for Video tutorial based instruction have had a deaf student in your class. I will have a deaf student net semester and am not sure what the best option might be for him with the videos online. He has an interpreter which works fine for lecture directed classes but the videos will be a different story. Anybody have suggestions? As of now I will have the interpreter listen and sign all the videos into a mirror next to the computer screen.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 4:16:40 PM - Permalink

It sounds to me like captions would be the best route for the videos. He'd at least be able to watch the videos in class and at home unaided.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 4:32:48 PM - Permalink

Do you use our embeded Youtube shortcode? Are you serving your videos in another way?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 6:13:49 AM - Permalink

What is the embedded Youtube shortcode? Are you just referring to the go_display_video is there a specific youtube embed shortcode?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 12:33:16 PM - Permalink

There is a specific YouTube Lightbox Shortcode but it's languishing in a dev branch.

The only reason I want it is for the help videos I need to rerecord. For the rest, I just use YouTube's embed code. No one misses a video's placement that way.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 5:42:27 PM - Permalink

You don't need any plugin do you. I can't seem to embed a youtube video at all. The entire embed code just shows up on the page or post.

I like the idea of embedding some video as I can finally use YouTube at school an host my videos there.

Are you using the "iframe" embed code from youtube. I have tried several embeds, none of which have worked.

I can actually see the video on the back end but it won't show on the published post???

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 5:47:06 PM - Permalink

You've got to add the code to the TEXT tab (not the visual editor).

Bravo that you can use YouTube!

EDIT: And yes on the "iframe" code. Be sure to click the MORE tab and select NO for related videos!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 5:50:10 PM - Permalink

Thanks. I think I've got it now. I can't use the "iframe" code but, If I jsut paste the URL Wordpress will embed the video for me. Though I can't turn off the related videos then.

I'm not sure why it won't read the embed code

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 6:06:28 PM - Permalink

Pushing this out...

Here's a shot of my code from today's 411.

If you're using the Divi Builder, you need to use the video module and the standard YouTube link (not iframe).

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 4:38:39 PM - Permalink

I agree with Forest. YouTube has a semi-accurate auto-captioning option. (So long as YouTube isn't blocked by your district.*)

*If it is blocked, this might be a solid counter-rationale to pitch to your district admin.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 10:33:28 PM - Permalink

Unfortunately YouTube is blocked but I will present my case to see if they can change anything for me. I didn't realize youtube had that capability. If that ever becomes an option it would be fantastic. As of now I host all of my own videos on my webhost server.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 17, 2015 3:27:42 AM - Permalink

There is very little chance we will ever have auto-captioning. And by very little, I mean certainty approaching zero. That tech is waaaaaaay out of our league.

Google is pioneering that very cool feature. Subtitles and translation are game changers.

Good luck selling that to the powers that be.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Dec 17, 2015 4:22:39 AM - Permalink

Ha! Your not interested in programming auto-captioning? Come on!

No. JK. I never expected that I didn't even realize YouTube was doing that. Thanks for the suggestions!

Terrence Banks

Posted on Dec 1, 2015 7:48:24 AM - Permalink

For some reason, my email has stopped working. Whenever a purchase is made (that sends receipts) or a file upload is sent I am no longer getting the emails nor files. If I deactivate the plugin, when game-on is reactivated all of my go_total info in my database is doubled sometimes tripled. And in order to get things working, I have to drop all of the info from my go_total tables. Has this happened to anyone else?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 1, 2015 8:57:17 AM - Permalink

My 1516/GO folder has 1881 emails in it, and more are added daily. Can you pinpoint when the trouble began, Terrence?

Terrence Banks

Posted on Dec 1, 2015 7:02:05 PM - Permalink

I'm trying some things, could be a server/host issue. I will let you know what I find out..

Terrence Banks

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 4:53:05 PM - Permalink

Looks like my student blogs had some malware injected to it. Took me all day but got it cleaned out, and now my email is functional!

I also Installed a really good antivirus plugin so it does not happen again.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 4:59:06 PM - Permalink

Sorry you encountered the malware but relieved it wasn't Game On's doing. Amazing—and scary—that it migrated to your database.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 4:51:26 PM - Permalink

Little tiny bug.

On a quest stage that I have both the a File Upload and Test requested they are listed opposite of what is needed to be checked. For example when a student finish the completion stage the Test Question is listed however it won't let them submit the test answers until after the File Upload is submitted even though that is listed below the Test.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 7:11:47 PM - Permalink

Hello Adam! I believe I know what you are referring to. The file uploader will stop students from submitting other forms, if a file hasn't been uploaded in that stage. However, when a file has been submitted, the uploader should not interfere with the student progressing to the next stage. That is how the file uploader and tests are currently designed, so it is more of a design limitation than a bug. Is that consistent with what you are experiencing?

Redesigning how the tests, file uploaders, and admin-locks interact with each other is definitely on the list. :D

Adam Coulson

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 8:08:37 PM - Permalink

I think you are describing the same thing.

The only confusion comes from the "File upload" being listed Below the "TEST" question. The upload still has to be submitted Before the Test Question can be answered So students get stuck when they "submit" the test question answer but are told to "upload a file first". It then works. Just is a bit confusing since they haven't read the upload part yet.

If it's on the list, that's all I could ask for. Thanks again Forest!

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 8:33:44 PM - Permalink

I agree, that is confusing! Thank you for pointing it out.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 5:51:29 PM - Permalink

Has anyone ever successfully put a Gallery or Slideshow inside one of their Quests?

I have tried a few different plugins and while I can get them to function correctly in a basic post or page, I can't get them to work in our Quests. I assume it has to do with the custom Post Type but I am not familiar if there might be a work around anyone has found.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Nov 12, 2015 2:11:49 AM - Permalink

I have gotten video galleries as well as the standard wp gallery to work. I currently have this plugin installed and all is working fine.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Nov 12, 2015 3:59:52 AM - Permalink

That plugin does work like a charm. That's the first one I have had successfully work in a quest. Thanks a ton!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 20, 2015 7:29:26 AM - Permalink

Found something that may have exacerbated my Pods issue or maybe is just completely unrelated. A while after the start of the semester, I changed the level settings in Game On Options, to improve the leveling and game flow. By that point, several students had already earned enough to level up at least once (some more than once) on the previous scale.

Through much experimentation, I found that when a student gets a 504 Gateway error now, if I double-check their go_rank entry in the usermeta table, update it with the new level names and breakpoints if needed, and then erase the session_tokens entry, it clears up the problem. Just deleting their session_tokens doesn't do it, if the go_rank entry is corrupted/incorrect.

One result of this troubleshooting in the silver lining category is that we had several really interesting discussions about troubleshooting, working on complex computer programs that you didn't write yourself (document well and use reasonable, read-able variable names), and generally talked about good practices and debugging. Because it was about our game, the players were consistently interested in the story. Not perhaps what I would have planned, but it worked out quite nicely. :-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 20, 2015 12:13:33 PM - Permalink

Will pass this along to Forest.

We're going to have to start calling you Holmes. :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 6:43:33 PM - Permalink

So, a few days ago, Charles, who's now at SJSU studying app development, sent an unexpected update that improved the look of the stats panel. I replied with a rambling video then began working on mockups. Here's the current version. If you're interested, the iterations began with (just change the 01 to 02, 03, etc. to follow the visual journey).

Charles is excited to dig in and I'm ecstatic to have another veteran coder working on Game On.

This may continue to evolve but it's a first step toward a (hopefully) more visually pleasing interface.


UPDATE: Oh, the green is the default color of the stats bar. When it changes due to the damage/honor threshold (if active) the green elements all change to the new appropriate color (as the progress bar already does in the WordPress admin bar) to reflect the active nerf/buff.

UPDATE 2: Appearance of "QUESTS" reflects current active tab. We wanted no mistaking which tab was active.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 5:00:33 PM - Permalink

This is a definite improvement! I like the big easy-to-read stats and the general look is much more professional and clean. Some things I noted as a looked at it and thought about it:

  1. A line across the bottom of the buttons to change the lower display would make it visually clearer that those are tabs.
  2. Although it would be extra work, it might be nice to allow the user the option to define which color they'd like their tabs and the text on them to be...maybe with an option for the GM to use it as a reward at a certain level (ie: if you're at level X or above you may choose the color of your stats display theme.
  3. The stats boxs look great, but for some reason the "07" above "Level" is bugging me. I want "Level" above the number. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but I feel the stats make sense as number-over-description, but the level should be reversed, even though that violates the consistency. Maybe it's just me.
  4. Love the idea that the stats boxes and bar change depending on honor earned and damage received. [Unrelated: am LOVING honor and damage this year. It's helping my students pay attention to their class behavior and really enhancing the game.]
  5. Blue-on-black is one of the hardest color combinations to read; I would recommend something else for the names.
  6. I like the multiple names on top, but I think one name should be bigger & bolder than the rest (probably the displayname). Love that the guildname appears when earned and is otherwise invisible.
  7. If the GM has set up custom level names, it would be nice to have those show up in the level box (under the level number :-).
  8. I'm not a fan of the flat look that is currently the rage. I would include a subtle border around the boxes - it just looks cleaner, imho.

That's it for now.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 5:46:23 PM - Permalink

Good feedback. Why is the link not active (below)? statsLayout12.jpg

  1. That'll be clear with the data present in this area.
  2. In the near future. (Near is a relative term :)
  3. All or nothing. (See link above.)
  4. Agree 100%
  5. Lightened the blue for text to better match tabs.** Note: All blue = buff zone
  6. Bolder, done. Bigger, no chance. We're trying to avoid fugly. :P
  7. First he wants above, then he wants below. Possible but the position will be consistent.*
  8. Will do... when the atmospheric CO2 levels drop below 300ppm. :)

*We'll not be held responsible for long names that break the design.

**Still not light enough. Will lighten further.

EDIT: Having buyer's remorse over some of those answers. Three hours sleep is no excuse for rudeness, unintended or not.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 6:08:44 PM - Permalink


Our school is being renovated. Yesterday the facilities manager called me at 2:00 and asked if we could meet. He showed me this plan for the new Mac Lab and told me they were going to begin cutting the floor today (for power and data). He said if I wanted to change the layout, I could. But he needed the redesign by 9:00 the next day (today).

I think I've tried every possible configuration trying to accommodate 44 workstations, and other necessities. He picked up my redesign on the way to the 9:00 meeting. So far, no buyer's remorse. But dang, what a crazy deadline!

Nathan Scherer

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 6:37:29 PM - Permalink

I can't believe they would even ask you at all. My school would have never asked me my opinion. I once asked if I could be changed to a bigger, unused room but was denied. It seems that in that room all the computers were on top of the desk whereas my computers were under the desk. The problem with moving my computers was that they were "towers" and I needed "desktop" models in order for them to be on the "top" of the desk. Strange reasoning but I guess it was viable enough for my principal to fall for it.

It seems like you live on another planet! I would have loved to have any input whatsoever in that sort of thing at my school - count yourself very lucky!


Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 6:52:09 PM - Permalink

Yeah, I'm insanely lucky, Nathan. Have a great working relationship with both the school and the district.

I only wish it were that way for all teachers. This job's too hard to have to deal with the crap some admin/politicos lay on teachers.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 7:32:11 PM - Permalink

Uhh yeah, that's really nice. I like the fact that the colors separate things making it more visually pleasing. Will this be a full page deal or a light box popup?

Matthew # 3 - Yeah that gap in between is bugging me. What if we add maybe the students period in a rectangle there or the students 2 most current badges they received (that might take some extra coding)

Agree with # 8

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 5:36:11 PM - Permalink

Lightbox = 80% of browser window.

#3: The gap is relative to the width of the browser window. The rectangles are fixed width.

#8 Tell me if you still think I'm wrong. Comparison.

EDIT: I edited the Comparison JPG to include a 3rd choice (bottom) with Level high and other categories low.

Thanks for the feedback.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 8:53:27 PM - Permalink

While I do still disagree, I won't push this point very hard. Let me just make a couple points

1. This is an artistic disagreement (on my side), not a functionality one. The buttons (tabs) are clearly buttons, so there is little to argue from a usability standpoint about the flat design.

2. I prefer a rather more subtle distinction than those white outlines.

However, if you don't agree with me, I can certainly work just fine with the flat version. You asked for feedback, so I gave you my opinions - feel free to move on, having no remorse!

I do prefer that third version, call me crazy if you will. However, I agree that if we include the named level (perhaps in slightly smaller text) both "Level" and the name should go below the number. I looked at it various ways and it just doesn't look as good in any other variant.

The lighter, bolder blue name looks significantly better. This is looking awesome.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 12:56:08 PM - Permalink

Keep forgetting to respond...

1. Now I see what you mean by the line under the active tab. That is better.

2. We're going to have to agree to disagree on the stroke, subtle or otherwise. The white stroke on progress bar matches same in WP bar at top of each page. Seems like those need to be consistent.

Third version was your suggestion. I prefer that, too. But are you now saying to move LEVEL (or name) below? Confused here.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 1:23:52 PM - Permalink

Yes, I am saying put "Level" below. I looked at it a variety of ways and that's the best. When adding the 'name' of the level as well, if they're separated or above the number they just don't look good. When the name is there, too, it looks best as

Name <- suggest this be somewhat smaller

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Oct 2, 2015 1:20:27 AM - Permalink

Could we add a pop-up description or quest reference for badges earned? When students complete a quest on my site they earn a badge and in a perfect world the image is self-explanatory but sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 2, 2015 6:10:14 PM - Permalink

Yeah, I've been pondering that one, too. What do you think of info displayed on hover in the stats panel?

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Oct 2, 2015 8:18:22 PM - Permalink

Yeah, this is exactly what I was thinking.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 11:46:26 AM - Permalink

Related to this, I've been trying to get a tooltip/hover text working in quests so I can add an optional hint that players can look at if they choose, without having to write a whole page/post for it. Unfortunately, all the plug-ins I've tried so far have problems with our custom post format, or conflict with GO. The best one I've seen so far is Simple Tooltips, but it shows blank hints. :-(

If we could have this built-in, that would be awesome. If anyone has any tips or suggestions about this idea, please let me know. I'll keep investigating, because I really want to add these this year.

Edit: added link to the plugin.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 12:07:13 PM - Permalink

Add a small image file to represent the hint and add the hint to the alt text.

...And I just tried it and it didn't work. That should work, right?

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 12:13:46 PM - Permalink

Oh! Didn't even think of that. Thanks!

Yeah, I think that should work...but since my tooltip plug-in is now working fine, I won't persue this one right now. (And the Simple Tooltip looks substantially better than the default img-alt one, and can be color customized for your site.)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 12:11:59 PM - Permalink

Never mind - just figured out that the default boilerplate from the plug-in shortcode uses single quote and if I just switch to double-quotes it works fine. D'oh! Posting here does seem to be a trigger to my subconscious - no matter how long I spend troubleshooting, if I post here I have a higher than average chance of figuring it out shortly afterwards. :^)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 1:01:52 PM - Permalink

Have experienced same—often moments after posting. It's worth the embarrassment in order to solve the puzzle of the moment.

Come to think of it, it's not even embarrassing any more.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 18, 2015 8:02:14 PM - Permalink

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Sep 17, 2015 4:45:53 PM - Permalink

Is there a way to reset DATA (XP, Honor, etc.) for just one user? Or do I have to delete the user account and remake?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 17, 2015 5:04:19 PM - Permalink

I would just alter their balances in the clipboard to set it to zero in each category. This won't change their level status back to the original level however. Not sure how to do that.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Sep 18, 2015 5:04:20 AM - Permalink

You can delete the data from the database (php my admin, go_totals, find their id number in wp_users, delete the data from the tables.) but Adams idea seems a bit more less technical and safer.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 18, 2015 8:57:57 AM - Permalink

I had a few "corner-cutters" early on and have asked them to back up, quest by quest, until they've returned to the beginning.

Undo. Undo. Undo. Abandon. Quest by quest until the stats panel is clean once again.

Seems to make a lasting impression. :)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 18, 2015 7:01:19 PM - Permalink

I've done that as well. I love "punishment" that is really just painfully correcting their own mistake.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Sep 19, 2015 11:47:22 PM - Permalink

It was a special d student who bought GAMR of the Month four times. I couldn't figure out how to undo that. So, I ended up just deleting the account and remaking.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 17, 2015 1:23:25 AM - Permalink

Confirming "prior revision" bug."- So new classes who obviously have never been to the site (I migrated to a new TLD, so definitely couldn't have been cached anywhere), and kids going to a mission that had been changed a couple weeks ago but was locked until yesterday. When the class went there together after I unlocked it, they all saw an earlier revision of the mission, not the most recent. One or two kids got the new one, but about 23/25 got the old one on first visit. And as I said, new domain, so can't be a caching issue.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:25:25 PM - Permalink

Super-duper out of left field thought I wanted to share.

I'm trying to find a way to make content review more fun for my students.

I've used a variation of Battleship to teach electron configurations on the periodic table and my students have a ton of fun while practicing critical chemistry skills. I want to find a way to duplicate this feeling for diverse topics.

The vision that I have would be to create a game that follows much of the dynamics of Magic: The Gathering.

Students start with a randomly drawn deck of cards and play out in turns dropping cards that either effect their team's question or the question of the other team. At the end of a round, both teams will get a question to answer and earn points based upon the difficulty of the question.

I was thinking game-on could be used for student's to buy better cards instead of the random deck they get by default. I could extend this further so that players with different game-on professions could get class-only cards with special effects.

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. I'm hoping to put this together in a next two weeks and have my physics students try it out.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 7:27:56 PM - Permalink

Oh, I tried something like this last year with my coding players. They liked it, but I found I needed better set-up than I originally had time to do, so I had to drop it. I'd love to hear details about your implementation and how it goes!

A few thoughts I remember from what I did, in case they're useful:

  • I distributed cards throughout the unit, a few a week, to make the last day of the week a bit more fun.
  • I had a couple different kinds of 'submit your answer' cards that players could draw, or buy: just submit the answer and see what you get; submit for review by the teacher, but don't get points yet, only feedback; submit as if for points (no feedback) but don't actually complete (basically: how many points would I get if I submitted now). These became popular enough to be traded.
  • Some of my cards also had effects that happened during the exams (eg: remove-two, or ask-a-friend). Some of those were for the individual student, some were for the whole guild, and some were for the whole class.

With different professions having access to different cards, you might work team play in there, too, so that the players have to think about who would be best to connect with (hopefully not their best buddies).

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:04:58 PM - Permalink

Players are starting to comment on how much they enjoy the game as well as making suggestions for improvement. Most of the suggestions are things I can implement (or choose not to) as game-master. However, one player, Azir, had this suggestion: "One thing I would change about the game would be that maybe it could be a little bit more interactive with the player in how it communicates ideas across because it seems generic to every person. Maybe have some different paths open up with different quests (similar work, but maybe tweak it so that the player feels special and different then the player next to them) that make the game feel varied."

I'm thinking this could be implemented as an optional (advanced settings) addition in sections 2 and 3 (encounter and complete), in which we enter a set of similar items, from which a specified number are added as elements of that section. For example, I might have a quest in which players must program a small story. In the instructions for the encounter section (2nd section), I might list selection elements including:

  • a rabbit
  • a bicycle
  • two trees
  • the color fuscia
  • a telephone conversation
  • numbers
  • 5 different characters
  • two bananas
  • a pair of overalls

and then specify that each quest include 2 items randomly chosen from this list. There would be a shortcode for including the items in an appropriate place in the text. A similar structure could be used for introducing the same sort of randomness into the Completion section (and instructions for mastery). We could even include it in sections 1 and 4 if we want; though I see less use for it there, that could just be my lack of imagination.
This way we could create semi-customized quests, so different students aren't getting exactly the same quest. Clearly not a critical feature, but I thought it was a useful idea.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:14:38 PM - Permalink

This would be really easy to add with Javascript.

I would really like this feature so I could have randomized variables in test questions. The current test system is text only so I can't add any html or javascript. For subjects like physics or chemistry, it would be even better to create a bank of questions that game-on could reference by a question ID number and select a pre-determined number of questions randomly from that group.

Lot of time and energy would go into coding that...

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:23:23 PM - Permalink

Cool idea. Lucky we have lots of time to ponder and refine our wish list.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:30:24 PM - Permalink

Why not make the list numbered and then point them to a random number generator in the mean time? have the number generator pick the numbers in section 2, then reveal the corresponding values either in an accordian menu, or in the next stage of the quest (making it 5 stage)

When you have less than 6 or 12 options, you can have empty slots where they can pick or ask someone else to pick a number from 1-X, increasing student interactivity (often requested in my class even though I beg them to) or even teaming up to pick each other's options (friends can be really nice, or really mean!).

This adds more randomness to the randomness!

Or use THIS.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 7:20:21 PM - Permalink

Great ideas, Rob, thanks! I have a bunch of big foam dice I use for other things and just didn't make the connection to this thought. That would definitely increase the randomness, as well as adding a feeling of physical game-ness to the digital game. More fun to come for my students, I expect.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 20, 2015 7:20:39 AM - Permalink

I was just scrolling through and remembered this great suggestion. Thank you again for the game immersion, non-techy solution!

Terrence Banks

Posted on Sep 10, 2015 10:11:59 PM - Permalink

Gift this item is missing from the store items page, is anyone else having this problem?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 11, 2015 2:07:21 AM - Permalink

Terrence Banks

Posted on Sep 11, 2015 5:05:06 AM - Permalink

Yeah, I have that checked. But when students go to buy an item the gift this that usually shows up at the bottom is missing..

Update** just tested on my Wamp server works on that one. Must be a plugin issue..let me do some trouble shooting..

**Update** not my plugins either, disabled all of them except game on. Really quick try going to your store to see if a loanable item has the check box. I have Game on 2.5.1 with Divi 2.4.5

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 11, 2015 10:17:19 AM - Permalink

Yep, you're right. I wonder when we broke that feature. *sigh*

It's on the list.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 4:12:48 PM - Permalink

Off topic, but wanted to share that this just happened. Sharing it here first- you guys are all close friends and fellow adventurers though most of us haven't met. Much of how I teach is formed by our discussions- thanks!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 4:29:42 PM - Permalink

Six books! Mr. Prolific!

Congrats, Rob.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 4:32:47 PM - Permalink

Whoa! Are your days 36 hours long? Mine are only 24. Congrats, internet friend!

Can't wait to check them out!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 5:43:06 PM - Permalink

Wow Rob. That's seriously impressive. Congrats! Will you be signing copies? ;-)

Terrence Banks

Posted on Sep 10, 2015 10:14:21 PM - Permalink

That's awesome man!!!

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:17:22 PM - Permalink

Congrats Rob! I didn't realize how extensive your adobe skillset is :)

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:36:48 PM - Permalink

It's not that extensive- I just really get in to the Elements and Principles and also the Working with Clients stuff and most people hate it. These sections happen to be 20-30% of the written books, though, so I was lucky to be named on the cover for all of them. I'm also kind of managing/organizing the whole team.

Props out to Mike who led by example and had me move to video based instruction by his example over 10 years ago. That's also a big part of this series. (Thanks and Love ya brother!)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 1:54:08 PM - Permalink






Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 10:40:31 AM - Permalink

While troubleshooting the 504 errors, I've noticed what might be a bug that needs to be addressed. It looks, to my untrained eye, like the data stored for level requirement in tasks does not update when the name of a level is adjusted, and the name is what is referenced in the postmeta table field "go_mta_req_rank". I found several different references to level 1 in postmeta entries for various quests I'd entered at different times, when the name I'd assigned to that level changed (I was rather flighty on level names at the beginning). Eg: on one quest it read "Level 01," on another it read "Cub" and on another it was "Cub 01" - all referencing the same level (01) at various points of development.

I don't know what this might affect but the out-of-date names raised a potential red-flag in my head, so I wanted to bring it up.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 11:12:22 AM - Permalink

Forest believes the leveling system needs to be rewritten from scratch. Now if we can just find that 8th day of the week...

I'll pass this along, Matthew. Thanks!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 11:33:01 AM - Permalink

Laughing out loud over here. When you find it, break off a chunk and send it my way. :-D

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 6:38:22 AM - Permalink

The good news is that I'm not getting problems with blocked users any more. Thanks, Rob (they mentioned you by name) and Adam for blazing the way at Siteground.

The bad news is that I'm still getting 504 Gateway timeout errors. Deleting and re-creating the user account solves the problem, temporarily, for most. But it has been re-occuring. Is anyone else using Pods yet? I'm thinking that may be the source of this gremlin. If I'm the only one actively using them, I'll quit and see if that helps. If not, I'll have to look elsewhere for the source.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 11:10:14 AM - Permalink

I still have more students than computers in two classes so we're not even using GO yet. Will test when possible.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 11:34:08 AM - Permalink

Thanks. I was able to re-create the problem specifically today when I used the admin account to accept one of the quests in a pod. It may be something specific to that quest...still investigating. I'll keep you updated.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 1:50:14 PM - Permalink

Okay, this must have something to do with WP 4.3 because we tested the heck outta Pods and they worked perfectly on the most recent GO rev (2.5.1).

I just made a set of 3 pods on a fresh site and everything worked perfectly until moving from pod 2 to pod 3 then clicking one of the quests in the pod. At that point the site hung. No 504, just a page that won't load. Ah, finally got an "Internal Server Error" page. The site is hosed.


Put pods on hold until we can get to the bottom of this.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 3:11:19 PM - Permalink

Ah, that's interesting because that's the same scenario that I'm in. Three connected pods, finished first two pods and then opened the first quest in pod 3 and bam! Instant fail. We're narrowing it down.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 3:21:11 PM - Permalink

It's pretty dang specific. Seems too weird to be true.

Is your 3rd pod the last in the pod chain? It was for me. I'm going to set up a 4 pod chain in another fresh install and test it to check to see if it's a problem specific to the final pod.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 3:27:29 PM - Permalink

No, mine was the first quest in the 3rd pod. But I've re-created it twice with exactly the same results. Works fine until I hit that 3rd pod and them bam!. In my case, it's specific to the account (other accounts are unaffected until they try to use pod quests, too) and once it's hit, it's hosed until I recreate the account. (Good reason to have two admin accounts!)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 3:49:12 PM - Permalink

Hadn't thought of two admin accounts. New standard procedure.

Yes, mine was also the first quest in the 3rd quest pod. Did you have a 4th pod or was the 3rd pod the final one in the pod chain?

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 11:15:52 AM - Permalink

One caveat about the 2nd admin account. Be really wary about deleting the first one (which is one troubleshooting strategy I use with regular accounts) if the first one is the account with which you usually post quests, announcements, etc.

Deleting that account without assigning the contents to another account is cause for panic and potential disaster. Which I wouldn't know about personally, of course. It's also a good reason to test your SQL database backup and restoration strategy (or perhaps before you delete that admin account, say).

Siteground does have a good SQL backup system, by the way. Which I also wouldn't know from recent experience, of course.


Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 3:59:27 PM - Permalink

Sorry, mis-read your question. Yes, the third pod was the last in the chain. Haven't built a 4-pod chain yet, due to the problems encountered so far.

That second admin account has saved my...bacon, more than once.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:26:14 PM - Permalink

Get this:

Forest Hoffman [ 9:23 PM ]

Darn, I wasn’t able to recreate the 504 error on dev2.themaclab. I tried to follow what you and Matthew talked about on the forums, so I did the following:

  • I created 9 Quests
  • I created 3 Quest Pods
  • I added the Quests to the Pods (1, 2, and 3 to Pod 1; 4, 5, and 6 to Pod 2; etc.)
  • I went to Pod 1. Then I accepted and completed Quest 1.
  • I went to Pod 2 from Pod 1. Then I accepted and completed Quest 4.
  • I went to Pod 3 from Pod 2. Then I accepted and completed Quest 7.

Everything worked fine. It’s horrible!

Nathan Scherer

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 11:40:01 AM - Permalink

So what are you doing in the meantime? And what are you going to do??

They tried to do that to me a few times but I was able to stop them.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 12:40:42 PM - Permalink

I haven't tried to integrate pods at all yet so and I am running okay.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Sep 10, 2015 10:04:15 PM - Permalink

I'm using Pods, I was getting some 504 errors, did some optimization to my site, caching plugins, optimizing images, some other things and I have not gotten 504's in about a week. Plus my site is crazy fast now.

I may be using the PODs incorrectly, this could be the reason I have not encountered any errors as well.

John Scott

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 7:45:59 PM - Permalink

Currently getting the Game On platform running in my class and I'm running into an issue with xp and gold. Student work through the first quest and earn all the allocated gold and ex only to have it disappear after logging out and logging back in. Progress on the quest is recorded and can not be repeated but the loot is gone. Any suggestions?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 8:13:37 PM - Permalink

Guessing at the problem and a solution...

I've seen that happen on another user's installation. He used a plugin to import students and they came in with no Role assigned. Changing the roles to Subscriber manually didn't help either. Only deleting them then entering the students manually resolved the issue.

I believe Ryan and Rob use a batch importer and perhaps they can offer guidance on which plugin or which settings to use.

John Scott

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 8:43:27 PM - Permalink

I had the students create their accounts with a naming convention but I'll try a test of a pre-created user account.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 9:07:28 PM - Permalink

If you're comfortable sharing admin login credentials, I'll be happy to take a look. Email is

John Scott

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 3:03:11 PM - Permalink

Turns out our issue is not solved. I'll send you my admin creds so you can take a look when you get a chance. Thanks for your help.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 4:24:57 PM - Permalink

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 9:13:40 PM - Permalink

I uninstalled and reinstalled the game-on plugin when this happened to me using a user importer. Might try that and see if it does the trick. I found that student progress was saved in the database and the experience was gained after the reinstall.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 9:20:03 PM - Permalink

That would be an ideal solution, Johnathan. Did you just deactivate then reactivate the plugin or actually delete and reinstall a fresh download? if the latter.

Good luck, John Scott.

John Scott

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 9:24:01 PM - Permalink

I think that did it! Just had to deactivate and reactivate the plug in. All the stat from every student who created an account today has populated to the leader board. Thanks Johnathan and Mike for such quick and ready responses. Hope I can return the favor some day.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 9:27:50 PM - Permalink

What great news, John. And thanks, Jonathan for that killer solution!

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 10:16:25 PM - Permalink

Glad I could help. When I did this fix, I deleted and reinstalled the same version of game-on. I wonder if we could add import from csv functionality directly to game-on. It would be nice if we could have game-on specific info already pre-populated.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 11:08:59 PM - Permalink

That's a great idea. One more for the list. :)

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 5:41:12 AM - Permalink

Is it possible for the coding team to add sortable columns in the Quests dashboards? So instead of just Title, Tags, Comments, and Dates we can have columns for Chains and Pods? That way we could easily sort by and see related Quests.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 8:04:23 PM - Permalink

The coding team. Ah, what a wonderfully nostalgic phrase.

Ezio, Charles, and Austin are at UCSB, SJSU, and NYU respectively. Forest is in town but taking a full load of classes. And all our front-line prospects from last year aren't in the Mac Lab for numerous reasons.

It's going to be a long haul to bring fresh blood into the mix. Progress will continue but at a much slower pace. Sad but true.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 3:52:50 PM - Permalink

Sounds like an opportunity for new coders to step up. However, I imagine being new there is a bit of a learning curve to the code.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 4:26:26 PM - Permalink

Minor Bug:

I thinks its actually been around for a while and may have even been commented on but...When I update a quest that is currently part of a chain, for example with a new video, the new page does not show up on users screens without a physical refresh by each individual user even if its the first time they are ever encountering the quest.

This only occurs with quest that are already in a chain.....


These chains were created with an old version of GO. Maybe that's the issue.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 7:55:58 PM - Permalink

But how could a browser know what was there if it had never encountered the prior version of the page? The database is updated when the page is updated.

Are your kids using quantum computers, Adam? :)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 1:48:48 PM - Permalink

I know its weird but somehow my site pulls old version of pages that were update A LONG time ago. I have even changed hosts twice since it started happening but hopefully with a new quest chain applied it will fix that.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 3:37:02 PM - Permalink

Are you using any caching plugins? Or is it browser-specific by any chance? Having a hard time imagining how Game On could be causing this.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 4:28:12 PM - Permalink

No Caching Plugins at all and it may not have anything to do with Game on but who knows. I remade a new chain and its still the same. I am wondering if our district has some kind of caching system on our network even though they say they don't. It's not a big deal though I have caught a few students working through an entire old quest. I'll probably try cloning old ones to update and see if that ditches that old ghost page that exists somewhere.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 5:48:35 PM - Permalink

This happens to me, too. Kids are in the habit of F5 on my GO site- especially if things are not working right.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 3:44:18 PM - Permalink

Hey guys... A quest chain went wonky and is out of order after updating a quest (had an old version of GO installed at the time, since updated to newest).

How do I fix the mission order?

**UPDATE**- Found it when I upgraded. For those in the future:

Missions>Mission Chains

Click on the number of the missions in the chain after the name in this screen. this brings up a list

Quick edit a mission from that screen and change order to what you need it to be.

***UPDATE***- Did it according to above, but order still not working.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 5:05:35 PM - Permalink

Also, if I understand the question properly (often iffy), you can open any quest in the chain, open Advanced from within that quest, and drag the quests within the listed chain to change the order there.

Of course, this presupposes you know and can find at least one quest in the chain, which isn't always the case. Which I wouldn't know from experience. ;-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 5:14:19 PM - Permalink

Correct answer. :)

Know issue. I fight this, too. Diligence is the key. Check after changes to chain.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 7:52:45 PM - Permalink

Try dragging the offending quest into its correct position and updating. You can scroll down to see the chain position in the custom fields below the last stage of the quests before updating to see the problem.

Edits in longer chains throw off the numbering sequence for some reason. I'd like it fixed, too, but Forest is flummoxed by the issue and can't explain it.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 12:31:23 AM - Permalink

Quick Poll about hosting-

How much are you guys paying for hosting? How much would you be willing to pay for hosting if it could definitely never block IP's and be focused on GO?

I'm talking to SG higher ups now and trying to figure it all out. They might give me a break on a big server that I'll just use to host all the GO people that need good hosting (assuming we can get the price right)

Terrence Banks

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 1:11:31 AM - Permalink

I'm paying $29 a month for VPS hosting over at BlueHost. I would definitely not go any higher than that.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 1:37:08 AM - Permalink

Paying $20 a month for mediatemple. Haven't had any issues.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 4:03:30 AM - Permalink

I run my own Web server. It is really easy to setup with OSX. Web servers don't require a lot of horsepower. Even a Mac Mini would work great.

For those of you paying for hosting are you paying out of pocket? Or do you have your school cover?

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 4:18:16 AM - Permalink

I pay out of pocket. I am curious about setting up a Web server. I thought Linux was a preferred os for servers though.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 8:55:24 PM - Permalink

It is. OS X is *nix with a fancy GUI. I already had an Apple server and OS X is easier for me. However, you can build a cheap Linux box as a Web server. There are youtube videos for setting it up I am sure. You just need a LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) stack. I doubt it would take more than an hour to set up watching a tutorial.

The benefit is you can maybe get Perkins or some other funding source to pay for it or even use an older computer. Also, depends on of your IT department will poke a hole in the firewall. It wasn't much of an issue in my district.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 6:30:04 AM - Permalink

That sounds sweet, I was thinking about hosting my own server. But it sounds like much more work than I want to take on.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 3:05:09 PM - Permalink

Terrence once you set up the server it isn't anymore work than using a host. If you can install and setup Wordpress and Game On on a third party hosting, you can setup a Web Server.

It takes ~1 hour from start to
finish. And that is with installing Wordpress. Pretty much once it is setup, you don't do anything different than you do with a host. Wordpress on Linux Tutorial. Essentially copy and paste some code into the command line, enter password, done.

The benefit of 3rd Party Hosting is that they back things up and do any repair/maintenance. I haven't had to do any repairs to my Web server in 8 years. Run Apple Software updates, that is it.

The benefit to my own server is that I had Perkins pay for it and I have no out of pocket costs.

Nathan Scherer

Posted on Aug 28, 2015 10:34:40 AM - Permalink

I paid (and still pay) $9.95/month Hostgator. I've had no problems with them - they have a pretty good live chat support system.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 12:02:29 AM - Permalink

I'm still working on something with SG. Trying to get them to create a special server for GO sites that will be affordable ($15 a month-ish) and will not be a problem with the multiple logins and such.

They seem like they're leaning toward just giving a deal on a big VPS that I can create multiple accounts on, and then we can split the bill. If that's what they end up with (I hope not, don't want to have to manage it) then it won't happen until next year.

Hoping for just a GameOn special code that lets people get on a special server with more lax DOS rules.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 4:23:29 PM - Permalink

I'm currently around $15/month with Siteground but now that they whitelisted my IP's I am fully functional and running great so I wouldn't need anything and not sure how badly I would want to change if it keeps running smooth.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 2:32:56 PM - Permalink

Agreed- This ^ is what I prefer!!!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 21, 2015 7:21:31 PM - Permalink

Was just working through older quests from last year and realized it would be really nice if the Quest Line page (Quests->Quest Lines->specific quest line page) would show a list of the quests (ideally, linked to them) that belonged to that quest. I know they show on the actual quest pages in the Advanced tab, but that requires that I remember at least one of the titles in the questline, which is getting more difficult as I add more and more. :-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 22, 2015 12:44:09 PM - Permalink

Once I saw Austin's Quest Pod page (the one created with shortcode that automatically lists the quests with visual keys indicating complete/incomplete) I suggested we implement the same for Chains/Lines. Adding all of the links to the end of the specific quests might be nice... or cluttered.

What do you think?

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 22, 2015 12:53:36 PM - Permalink

I think a single link at the bottom of each quest to the Pod page would be best. For chains, a link to the next item, plus a link to the chain page. That allows the easiest flow without cluttering things unnecessarily, I think.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 22, 2015 12:59:02 PM - Permalink

My thoughts exactly. (Of course, my thoughts aren't always on target.)

We already have the Pods version. Seems natural to adhere to that model. Thanks, Matthew.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 20, 2015 5:01:29 PM - Permalink

FYI: Packing the daughter (and car) for college today, leaving at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow and returning Sunday night (hopefully). Will have limited time to respond for duration.

My quest will be fitting daughter's x cubic feet of "must have" items into y cubic feet of available space in car (x > y of course).

Hard to believe this became this so quickly.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 3:09:38 AM - Permalink

Hosting Server Problems again:

Does anyone else ever have issues with your school's IP addresses getting blacklisted? (I have 4 times in the last 48 hours)

As soon as I have 20 students connect to my website our IP address gets blacklisted because when those 20 computers have the same IP address. While our district has 5 different rolling IP addresses it is common that a whole lab get the same one. I changed hosting services to Siteground but have the same problem as with others. The hosting service says outright that they WILL NOT whitelist my school's IP address thus rendering my GameOn site totally inaccessible at school.

If this is just a crappy phenomena of my school's network I guess I will have to leave the GameOn world for now, but it seems like this would be common for most all school districts even though I have not heard of any of you having this issue.

SiteGround wants me to upgrade to a $600/year service that isn't an option!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 4:29:33 AM - Permalink

Adam, I'll provide a subdomain if you want to test that on Media Temple. Let me know what you want it called (if you want to try it.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 11:58:45 AM - Permalink

Wait a minute... 5 rolling IP addresses... possibly all the same one in lab...


Do you mean the exact same IP? Every computer might be assigned: (or whatever the IP is)?

We have dynamic IPs in our district. If my lab is 103.95.221.x with x = 0-255, the computers snag one of those numbers as they boot and connect. They NEVER have the exact same IP.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 12:31:47 PM - Permalink

While each computer will have their own "internal" IP address, because of the firewall the IP address that gets sent outside of the firewall is one of 5 IP addresses. I guess it is kinda common for all the computers to utilize one of those same IP's which is the major problem.

From what I am hearing on forums, its rare that a shared hosting service will whitelist an IP address because of security concerns. I have asked a few of the big names in hosting and they all said they wouldn't.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 12:23:45 PM - Permalink

And since I recommended SG (and have had the best experiences possible with them) I'm also reaching out to my contact to get some intervening help here... Not cool- and I'm kinda shocked to hear you're experiencing this. So sorry, man!!!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 12:34:07 PM - Permalink

Honestly their customer service has been outstanding, they just have basically said there is nothing they can do. That is what concerns me because they literall have no suggestions. My concern was escalated to a supervisor that I am waiting to hear back from although I am worried they will only offer my money back.

I'm just more surprised this doesn't happen to lots of schools?

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 7:30:32 PM - Permalink

So here's a question- what are you paying? I'm considering a move to a dedicated server... thinking about boosting it and then offering hosting to teachers if it's worth it.

It's pricey though, at $229-$429/mo!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 20, 2015 3:35:16 PM - Permalink

SiteGround whitelisted all of my IP address which is normally against their policy. They called my district IT Admin and confirmed that I am a school class so that they could override their security concerns. Unbelievable customer service!

I'm paying $15/month with the GoGeek package on SiteGround. My site is now performing better than ever. Its a dream!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 21, 2015 7:19:39 PM - Permalink

Woot! That's awesome. I'm even happier I switched to SG now.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Aug 22, 2015 3:57:18 AM - Permalink

That's awesome man, I did the same thing with my IT big wigs and my site is smooth like butta baby!! I'm still with bluehost though...might look into siteground though...

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 1:03:47 PM - Permalink

One cautionary tale: I'm moving back to Bluehost. My life has been rubbish the past couple weeks, trying to deal with Siteground's support desk and troubleshoot "504 Gateway Timeout" errors. In their defense, it may be a weird combination of factors, particularly since I'm over here in Egypt. But every answer I get from their support desk is different; there is no consistency at all (except that they always manage to mention that if I just spent more money with SG it would definitely be better).

Latest answer is that on a shared server there is a limit of 2 logins per site per 30 seconds (which is obviously exceeded in a classroom setting). Which is why my site was blocked today. Never had anything like this much trouble with Bluehost.

I know Rob and Adam have had great experiences and seem to be really happy there. But it's been nothing but hell for me. The VPS probably is different, but I can't afford that.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 12:37:13 PM - Permalink

Oh! wow! I think SiteGround just came through for me bigtime. They said they contacted my district administrators and confirmed we are a school so that they could whitelist us. This could be the fix that they said they won't do.

Their service might be better than good!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 2:38:35 PM - Permalink

Bonus! Keep us in the loop on how everything works from here, Adam.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 1:32:59 PM - Permalink

Just re-read this thread and this sounds like it's quite similar to the problem I'm having. How did you get your school's address whitelisted? Is there someone specific I might email over there? All the (Russian) tech support folks I've been working with have polite but not forthcoming of solutions.

I'm about at my wit's end and was about to switch back to Bluehost until I re-read this thread. There may be hope yet.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 2:03:35 PM - Permalink

I'm not sure how or why they decided to whitelist my IP's. I was told that wasn't an option until they "brought my case to the attention of supervisors" I also have the "GoGeek plan" that I was told could handle 30 simultaneous logins. As it turned out, it could only handle 20 simultaneous logins so that is when they whitelisted my IP's after contacting the IT administrators in my district to confirm we are a school district. They must have decided that meant we are not a major threat as they said they never whitelist shared servers because of the major security risk.

I have researched to find that is common among almost ALL hosting providers including Bluehost. Bluehost with get the same errors but can handle more than 2 login at least. What plan are you on that only allow 2 simultaneous logins? That is insane! I think they had told me they could handle 15 simultaneous logins so we did waves of logins to start the semester then I just taught kids to login immediately when they arrived so that everyone did do the same time when the bell rang.

I would ask for a supervisor and let them know that you are with a school district. Try your best to reason with them. Some people on web forums suggested looking for specific hosting that will guarantee the ability to whitelist your IP's as most all major hosting services never will.

So sorry for your frustrations. I have been where you are and it was devastating for me. Knowing the problem with simultaneous logins and how all of school classrooms will always have this problem, I am amazed there isn't any solution that is affordable out there beyond VPS. Something here helps.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 5:29:31 PM - Permalink

Thanks, Adam. I'm still working with them to see what I can shake loose.

I have a "GoBig" account, one rank below the "GoGeek" plan. I think a limit of 2 is insane, too, and will be switching back to Bluehost unless this can be addressed somehow. But I'm not quite willing to do all that work yet (after reading this thread).

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 5:57:06 PM - Permalink

Kicking out for space..

I reached out to my contacts at SG, and I'm also prepared to just get a VPS server that GO sites can run on. We'll all just split the cost, and I'll readjust every winter and summer break, checking on number of people in, and server resources and adjust accordingly.

Who would be interested? When would you want to move to a specific GO server hosting? My goal would be to try to get it around $10/mo, which I think will require 5 classes. After 10 classes might even get cheaper (don't really know what 10 GO sites on one single server would look like)

Is this a good idea anyone would be interested in?

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 6:14:50 PM - Permalink

Thanks, Rob. If we can get GO specific support, I am interested, and that price-point is attractive. However, my experience at Siteground hasn't inspired the confidence they've given you and it didn't sound from the earlier conversation like it was headed in a very supportive direction. It may be that my problems are related to being abroad, in which case moving to another server may not be terribly useful. I'm still working with SG to see if we can get a resolution to this one. Once I know it's solved (no problems through multiple clasess on both websites) then I'll have more confidence making a decision to stay with them longer-term. Right now, I'm rather gun-shy.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 7:49:47 AM - Permalink

Tentatively excited again. SG support just noted on my case that they've whitelisted the school's IP address. I'm 100% certain this wouldn't have been the case without your trailblazing on this, Adam, and Rob, so thank you!

I have Yearbook again this afternoon and programming tomorrow morning, so I'll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed for that smooth like butter experience.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 6:44:14 PM - Permalink

Checking in on this, how are people's experiences with GO on SG?

I'm still talking to them about how to fix this issue (probably next year) but I'm willing to just get a server specifically for GO sites and student blogs. You'd need to be a part of this conversation and there won't be any specific GO support, but the IP issue won't be a problem. Have also been told that a Cloud account is like 5-10X the resources of a go geek plan, so we should easily be able to split the bill and keep it under $10/mo.

I'm not wanting to make any money, just want to solve a common problem. We just split the bill X ways if there are X teachers using it.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 4:08:18 AM - Permalink

Do we have a GameOn shortcode to show an image in a lightbox?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 4:23:04 AM - Permalink

Yes, but it's only in a beta. It loads YouTube and Vimeo, too. I'll press for a release.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 4:39:49 AM - Permalink

Sounds Good. Thanks. I wish I could host all my videos on Youtube. My district blocks every video hosting service I can find. Owe well SiteGround Server is working awesome so far and I have 30GB so I have the room.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 2:01:56 PM - Permalink

I just on my own server. Seems like YouTube would be an extra hassle to upload and convert. However, the main reason I have avoided using it is that the our internal network bandwidth is Gigabit vs whatever the Internet D/L speeds are. We have had issues with YouTube videos having to buffer.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Aug 16, 2015 8:05:26 PM - Permalink

I stumbled across LearnDash: Another gamified plugin. Check out the demo video. It has some nice features including a slick interface. The quiz feature is looks pretty robust. I like how the progress of tasks is designed. The checkmarks, radials, expanding boxes, etc. all have a nice visual polish to it. Thought you guys may be interested in ways to enhance the GUI.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 1:37:43 AM - Permalink

Great suggestion, Ryan! Really love the adaptive functionality in the quizzes (for remediation).

So many ways to improve Game On. The challenge never ends (thank goodness!)

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 2:34:20 AM - Permalink

Are wysiwyg questions still in the works? If I can use JavaScript I can also do randomized math questions. Just things to look forward to. Right now I'm looking at myopenmath as a solution to do online testing for the time being.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 4:25:19 AM - Permalink

It's on the list but Forest is currently overloaded.

We'll be bringing a new crew of coders up to speed this year.

You could use Google forms and password locking until then.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 12:33:14 PM - Permalink

I also have LD, and it's a POLISHED plugin! A bit linear and "typical" for me- like a LMS that isn't totally ugly, but I love the free-flow form of GO better. Agreed that visual polish is critical- especially in our design based classes!

I've used Shortcodes Ultimate and hacked some CSS together to help on my setup. Think there was a child theme for divi that had some of that in there that I shared a while back. It wasn't super sexy, but did help my kids with visual challenges find the right button better and I invited kids to help modify the CSS- anything improved got named after them!

"We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them." - Steve Jobs

David Peregrina

Posted on Aug 16, 2015 5:50:25 AM - Permalink

Found a few bugs and wanted to make sure it is not just on my site:

  1. When the add switch is on, you can't actually add anything to a user. The Add button looks highlighted when you click it resulting in nothing.
  2. If you change the numbers in the leveling presets, the change does not show up in your "leveling bar" or in your stats panel. For example I changed the XP to go from 0 to 400 to reach the first level. The bar still shows 0/150.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 16, 2015 6:08:10 AM - Permalink

Hello David,

1. That behavior is consistent with attempting to hit the add button when no reasons are provided for the points being awarded. Is there any chance that the reason fields were empty?

2. This is a known bug and we currently have an open issue (#85) for cleaning up the ranks system which is the cause of the odd behavior you are seeing.

I start school tomorrow, so that will come first, but I am going to do my best to make time for Game On. I'm going to be working on issue #102 and then #85. I'm following that order because issue #85 is going to take a slightly longer amount of time to deal with.

Thank you, David!

David Peregrina

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 1:20:08 AM - Permalink

Thanks Forest. The problem solved itself after I deleted cookies and refreshed. Best of luck in classes!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 1:25:22 AM - Permalink

That's great, David!

And just as an FYI: We don't use cookies. :)

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 1:35:41 AM - Permalink

Well thank you!

I'm glad it worked, but i'm also curious why it worked.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 1:40:07 AM - Permalink

It used to work. I'm curious as to why it seemed to stop working.


Ah, the developer's quandary!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 9, 2015 10:46:13 PM - Permalink

Do any of you that have students create their own Wordpress Blog on your server have issues with students getting logged out of their blog while writing a post. Then when they click update they get a message saying try again and they often lose everything they added unless wordpress recovers it. I figure there has to be a way to prevent it from logging them out but I just wondering if anyone else has dealt with those issues.

We have kind of resorted to refreshing a page before beginning a new post to ensure that they are indeed still logged in.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 10, 2015 2:13:42 AM - Permalink

Hey Adam, to save the headache I tend to type out any word posts into Text Edit or Pages and then paste the content into WordPress. Your students could also try hitting the update button every few minutes, if they'd prefer not to write up their posts outside of the WYSIWYG editor first. I know that doesn't fix the automatic refreshing, but I hope it helps in some way. :D

I know that even Skocko has lost progress on a lengthy post or two before!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 10, 2015 2:56:00 AM - Permalink

Yeah, it teaches the value of saving as you work.

I have suggested the copy/paste method as well, but it most often issues when students are doing lengthy post with images and such. I just find it odd how wordpress auto logs people out so often and what seems to be kind of randomly.

Thanks for the suggestion

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 10, 2015 3:34:48 AM - Permalink

A post or two? Way more than that! And it's happened on WordPress, here on the Exchange, and many other places.

Now I simply log out and back in each day to get a fresh start before writing. And if it's really, really important, I copy and paste into TextEdit before posting. (Copy from the Text tab in WP.)

And even now, I still screw up and get bit by tech. It happens.

Tell your kids to log out and login fresh each day. Best protection there is (besides composing in a text editor).

Adam Coulson

Posted on Aug 4, 2015 8:14:16 PM - Permalink

I was just about to reset or delete all of my student accounts from last semester.

Does anyone have a recommendation?

I had problems with the reset last January, though I believe those bugs were flushed out. If I delete the student's accounts I lose their comments but They all truly start fresh then. What are all you veterans choosing to do with your old student accounts, whether they are coming back or not?

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Aug 4, 2015 8:47:06 PM - Permalink

I did a reset of my site at the beginning of the year for us 2 weeks ago. No problems so far. At the semester last year, I made a new instance of game-on using a subdomain of my original site. This was a fresh WP install so users had brand new accounts whether I had them the previous semester or not.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 9, 2015 1:33:33 PM - Permalink

Sorry, Adam, missed this.

I'm wiping all data and accounts (but I don't believe that action deletes old comments).

BTW: All accounts means the hundreds of teacher accounts I've set up for exploring the Mac Lab, too. (I've got way too many users right now.) If you'd like a new student account, please use this page so you don't get swept into our new spam filter (where I'm unlikely to find you).

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 2, 2015 5:19:43 AM - Permalink

In case anyone isn't subscribed to the updates thread...There's a new update with some fixes for the stats panel!

Game On 2.5.0

Stats Panel Timestamp Bugfix

foresthoffman released this 2 hours ago

  • Fixed a bug in the stats panel where timestamps caused the task list to not properly display stage boxes
    • Caused when the stats panel loaded older tasks, which did not have any timestamps associated with them (in 2.4.7)
  • Added styles to the task list stage boxes in the stats panel to change their color, so that the timestamps could be read regardless of the background color of the boxes
  • Added styles to make the stage boxes' content appear to have the same spacing when viewing the stats panel from the admin dashboard and the front-end
  • Refactored and documented the output of the stage boxes


Johnathan Chase

Posted on Aug 1, 2015 12:38:20 AM - Permalink

So, I was really excited for the datestamp addition but since the last update my missions don't show the list of previous quests and the current quest isn't showing the progress blocks anymore.

I've also found that when I use the import users from csv pluging to create a user, they aren't properly linked to the database or something and they have 0/1 experience no matter what missions they accomplish.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 1, 2015 3:17:46 AM - Permalink

The guys are on this and we'll report back ASAP.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 2, 2015 11:25:22 AM - Permalink

We worked with Johnathan on a back-channel and Forest resolved the problem (and improved the functionality).

Nice work, big guy! (He's tall.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 3:31:17 AM - Permalink

Charles and Forest were productive today.

Game On grew a few more steps closer to where we want it to be.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 28, 2015 4:34:52 PM - Permalink

Meeting with the coders today. Watch for at least one update this afternoon. :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 27, 2015 5:09:58 AM - Permalink


The latest WP update (4.2.3) broke something in GO. We're looking into it and will deliver a fix ASAP.

GO works as expected in 4.2.2

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jul 28, 2015 12:24:56 AM - Permalink

what broke? I'm using 4.2.3 and doesn't see any weirdness yet.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 28, 2015 12:55:27 AM - Permalink

Yeah, the district has my site locked down and finally updated me to 4.2.3 a half hour ago and everything works.

It appears the glitch may be only for virgin WP installs—and maybe just on Media Temple. Everything works on established sites—even on MT.

I wanted to err on the side of caution. Forest is providing a fix for the Permalink/Custom Post Type conflict we think is causing the issue.

Thanks for the confirmation that it works elsewhere.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 28, 2015 4:34:00 PM - Permalink

Forest delivers again!

v2.4.6 fixes the issue (and a few other things).

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 26, 2015 1:23:30 AM - Permalink

Help Videos: Am rerecording every single help vid. Isaac (back on the team) had the brilliant idea to supply dual options for our users. More work for me but no user will be left out in the cold.

Each video will be hosted on YouTube (1080p) and on the Mac Lab (720p). Users behind YouTube filters can choose the latter on the Options page and they'll get the "local" version when clicking the ?. Everyone else will get the YouTube version by default.

I'm so happy not to leave some teachers in the lurch. Isaac deserves all the credit for this one. Hero!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 26, 2015 1:13:21 AM - Permalink

Updates on the very near horizon...

Date & Time Stamps: Date displayed in Stats panel (within stage rectangle). Time displayed in tooltip manner on mouseover. Cursor not visible in this screenshot. Adding a few finishing touches before pushing update.

HTML5 Video & Image Lightbox Functionality: Displays YouTube, Vimeo, and other .MP4s right now. I think some of us paid $50 for this from a third party in the past. Will be built into GO for free (of course). Video player works right now. Image works but needs a separate shortcode to achieve "smart" Lightbox functionality. So cool!

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jul 26, 2015 1:19:14 AM - Permalink

Mike, that timestamping feature is so sexy...

My life just got so much better!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 26, 2015 1:25:26 AM - Permalink

Johnathan, you have so many great ideas that are waiting their turn. So happy to hear you like this one.

We'll leverage some of this functionality for the Quest Grid. Believe me when I say I want that, too!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 26, 2015 1:37:22 AM - Permalink

We're actually going to provide another layer of accountability in the release.

Say a student claims Completion or Mastery then has second thoughts (guilty conscience) and clicks Undo. The original date/time stamp will be preserved and a second date/time stamp will appear on mouseover indicating the most recent click.

Should prevent a lot of less than honorable self-assessment once the kids become aware of this admin superpower.

And that is all Charles' work. Man, will be hard to lose him to SJSU in the Fall.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 11:59:49 PM - Permalink

Is any thought still being put into the concept of reports to show progress on all missions in a grid format? Or viewing all students for a single assignment?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 25, 2015 12:31:14 AM - Permalink

Yes, but we only have so much horsepower to drive the code. If I had to guess, I'd say it's something Forest or Isaac will choose to take on in the fall.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jul 26, 2015 1:20:46 AM - Permalink

I appreciate all that you guys do. Thanks for keeping me posted :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 7:10:43 PM - Permalink

I made this vid for the coding team but it occurred to me that you all might have feedback for this feature.


Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 11:47:54 PM - Permalink

Sounds brilliant to me. I'd love thoughts shared on how to set up a weekly quest for verification - the more ways we have to set these up...uh...the more ways we have! Although it would likely increase the complexity of coding it substantially, I think it would be really useful to have options for repeating every X days, repeating every X-day of the week (eg: every Monday), every Xth day of a month, every other school-day (pretty tricky, this one), and so on. The more ways we can make this flexible, the more powerful.

Quests will display the expiration date, right? Maybe optionally...I can think of a few scenarios in which having a time-expiring quest but players not knowing the exact expiration might be useful.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 25, 2015 12:40:06 AM - Permalink

Quests already display the expiration date. Try the Time Filter to see for yourself. There's even an air horn when encountering an expired quest.

We'll probably start with the feature as described in the vid. Repeating every X days is part of the plan. As for mystery expirations... trying to wrap my head around that. Offering a toggle to hide the info is doable... but why? (We get some of our best features when I ask that question.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 7:31:02 PM - Permalink

We've tested v2.4.4 extensively and believe it's a solid move toward the WordPress Codex. It's ready for you when you're ready for it.

Quest Pods will follow as soon as a few minor cosmetic changes are in place. Pods are solid as well. You're going to learn to love them (once you wrap your head around the concept)!

Our HTML5 YouTube and Vimeo Lightbox player is also almost ready for prime time. Will be quite useful for all the new help videos I'm currently recording and uploading to YouTube. I'll provide links once I get a little further along.

Two biggies on the horizon:

  1. Import and export specific quests. (We'll be able to share quests and build a quest bank.)
  2. Periodic quests. For daily/weekly/monthly quests.

We haven't forgotten other suggestions. We're just working to add Game On to the WordPress Codex before September. (Think: easy updates.)

David Peregrina

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 7:20:23 PM - Permalink

When I go to edit my profile under Classifications, the first option (in this case Period) works fine, but for the second option (Computer) the drop down options that I created do not show up.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 8:53:25 PM - Permalink

Good catch. Looks like we missed that in testing. Easy to fix. Will report back ASAP.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jul 24, 2015 11:57:21 PM - Permalink

I also noticed that students I import from a csv (using the plugin) do not correctly gain experience. It resets to zero in each stage. Fixed it by uninstalling and reinstalling game on.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 25, 2015 12:41:27 AM - Permalink


Can you think of a reason that might happen?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 25, 2015 12:47:05 AM - Permalink

It might even be the errors Forest has just fixed. If you have time, test this one to see if it helps:


Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 25, 2015 9:30:52 AM - Permalink

The Classifications glitch is gone. Download v2.4.5 (and you get Quest Pods, too.)

David Peregrina

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 3:07:45 PM - Permalink

I was wondering if anyone knew how to dump all the stored information on the Game-On plugin so that when you reinstall the plugin, its back to "factory-settings".

When I was playing around with the options I set all of the buttons for the stages to the same name and since then I get a 500 Internal Server Error whenever I try to log back into my site. The only solution was to use my FTP client to delete the Game-On plugin and then everything went back to normal. The site lets me upload the plugin again, but as soon as I activate it, it goes back to the 500 Internal Server Error.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 3:16:01 PM - Permalink


There's a data reset option in the Options page but that won't help if you can't get to it.

I'll forward this on to the coders to see what they recommend. (Denying admins the option of naming all the buttons identically might be our next move, though.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 6:03:51 PM - Permalink

From Forest: The game on options are inside “wp_options”, “wp_” being the default prefix for table names. I’ll give you a query that he can use to find and delete all the game on options in the table.

Forest will either post it here or I'll pass it along when it arrives.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 6:25:20 PM - Permalink

Oops, I had responded on Slack, here we are:

David, if you use the following query on your WordPress database, and change “wp_” to whatever the database prefix is, it will delete all of the Game On options. This will require you to deactivate and reactivate the plugin in order for the options to be restored to default, after they've been deleted.

DELETE FROM `wp_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE 'go_%’

It shouldn’t be necessary to delete the “wp_go” table as that simply contains quest data for each student.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 7:21:00 PM - Permalink

We've been sleuthing and the dup names aren't the problem.

See this page and follow the suggestions. It may be as simple as reinstalling WP.

David Peregrina

Posted on Jul 19, 2015 8:48:13 PM - Permalink

I ended up reinstalling WP like you suggested. Fortunately it was my new site, not the one I used last year with all the content :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 7:32:43 PM - Permalink

So happy that resolved the issue, David. If it ever happens to your primary site, WordPress has built-in export and import features for all our content. Even Quests.

I exported all my quests and imported them into a different site without issue. Cool beans!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jul 2, 2015 4:37:44 PM - Permalink

Just wondering if there is any chance anybody in our GameOn gang is going to get to attend Adobe MAX in October. I would love to meet some of you amazing teachers face to face if you will be in LA. I was shocked that my CTE coordinator approved me for the conference this year.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jul 2, 2015 9:05:35 PM - Permalink

I've always wanted to go but MAX is so dang pricey! My trip to Adobe's North American Leadership Summit (in two weeks) is being covered by CTE.

Since our district sprang for CC2015, maybe they'd support the additional trip.

Hmmm... Can't hurt to apply. Thanks for the idea, Adam. Hope to see you there!

David Peregrina

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 3:04:07 PM - Permalink

Hey Adam,

Mark Cole and I will be there. We'd love to get together while we're in LA.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 3:10:13 PM - Permalink

That would be amazing. I thought I saw your name on the list actually. Shoot me an email sometime just so I have yours.

Michael Weingarden

Posted on Jun 21, 2015 10:57:24 PM - Permalink

Hi Folks,

I'm new here! I am interested in gamification and Game On looks good. I also have a background in web development and programming, so I'm sure I can put the pieces together. But, I do have questions/suggestions:

- You have many tutorial videos and that is wonderful. However, it is not entirely obvious where to begin and then where to go next. It would be nice to have a page where you recommend where to start. Most edtech I have used, usually starts with content creation and then adding rosters next. For Game On, it seems like the fundamental content unit is the Quest.

- How do students get signed up? It looks like they go to my web site and then +New and then User. Is there a way to do a bulk import of students (import roster)?

- I'm trying out Game On using free hosting at godaddy. I have no idea whether it will continue to be free. Is there a way to export my game "framework" and then import it at another Wordpress host?

- Is there a reports capability to get a feel for where the class is at a glance? I currently use Khan Academy for selected practice exercises and, while they do provide accountability reports, they've done it in such a cumbersome way that they discourage the assignment of multiple exercises. Fortunately, they do allow you to download the data and I've been able to organize and process using Excel.

- It would be nice to have a template or two. In watching your videos, I like how you formatted your web pages. I'd like to be able to just call up a page that looks like yours and change the content to suit my needs.

Ok, that's it for now. Sorry to start off with a bunch of crazy demands... still hopeful I can contribute in some way!


Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jun 21, 2015 11:37:27 PM - Permalink

Welcome Michael!

I know that your questions are targeted at Skocko himself, but I believe that I may be able to answer a handful. Here it goes!

- How do students get signed up? It looks like they go to my web site and then +New and then User. Is there a way to do a bulk import of students (import roster)?

From my experience, the general process is as you describe. Students in the Mac Lab access the site and create accounts using a specific naming convention, while guided by Skocko. Currently there is no way to import students into the clipboard unless the data was first copied from another site with a Game On installation. This would involve fiddling with the websites' databases.

- I'm trying out Game On using free hosting at godaddy. I have no idea whether it will continue to be free. Is there a way to export my game "framework" and then import it at another Wordpress host?

There is a way to copy all of the settings that you've saved on one site to another; however, the process involves exporting and importing Game On specific values in the website's database.

- Is there a reports capability to get a feel for where the class is at a glance? I currently use Khan Academy for selected practice exercises and, while they do provide accountability reports, they've done it in such a cumbersome way that they discourage the assignment of multiple exercises. Fortunately, they do allow you to download the data and I've been able to organize and process using Excel.

The clipboard does allow for viewing currency and levels of students in different classes/periods, and the stats page lists individual quest progress, as well as rewards. If you are referring to large-scale reports, we do intend to reimplement an analytic feature at a future date.

- It would be nice to have a template or two. In watching your videos, I like how you formatted your web pages. I'd like to be able to just call up a page that looks like yours and change the content to suit my needs.

The page formatting that Skocko uses is part of the Divi theme by Elegant Themes. There is not a specific way to export Divi templates, but with the release of the exporting feature, that issue can be navigated. Ezio is working on the creation of the exporting feature, which will allow for the exporting of Game On specific content. In the not-so-distant future, quests and even store items will be exchangeable between educators.

I hope that helps!

Michael Weingarden

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 9:14:32 AM - Permalink

Thanks, Forest. That was helpful!

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jun 21, 2015 11:46:49 PM - Permalink

I import users using a separate plugin for wordpress. Import users by csv or something like that. Provides a simple template for you. I setup accounts so that students have their student ID as both their user name and password by default.

Michael Weingarden

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 9:15:14 AM - Permalink

Thanks, Jonathan. That was helpful too!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 1:20:18 PM - Permalink

Let me echo Forest's welcome, Michael, and try to provide some additional feedback.

Adding Students:

As far as I know, there are three ways:

  1. Allow users to sign up via Settings > General > Anyone can register.
  2. Use a plugin to bulk import.
  3. Admin adds users manually.

Each option has its merits and Game On admins choose what works best for them. For instance, Rob Schwartz uses #1 with a plugin that requires a password to register (keeps out the bots). Johnathan and Ryan Hayes prefer #2. I have always opted for #3 and made it an integral part of the onboarding experience. In short, it's your choice.

Free Hosting:

Warning, Will Robinson! You get what you pay for. Game On has become much more powerful and much more efficient as the student coders have become much more adept but there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Everyone I'm aware of has chosen a host and they are paying (I believe) between $200 to $500 per year. As far as I know, I'm the only one whose district provides the (free) hosting on a well-equipped server. As for exporting your site, that's a core WordPress function available a in the dashboard via Tools > Export/Import.


Johnathan has been clamoring for that feature for more than a year. And rightly so! There's a lot we want to provide but remember that our coders are all full-time students with real lives. For now, both the Stats panel and Clipboard provide detailed information on individuals and classes. Eventually we'll have better feedback mechanisms.


I'm not sure if you mean pages like this or this or the quests themselves. If the former, as Forest mentioned, I use Divi. If the latter, we're very close to releasing the exporting/importing feature for quests.

Hope that helps!

Michael Weingarden

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 5:50:13 PM - Permalink

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply. I like the user add options, so I'm ok there. I'll know more about the reports after playing with the system a bit more. Thank you for the pointer on the theme template. Divi is what I was looking for- but at $70 for the annual fee, it's a bit too rich for my blood.

With regard to hosting, I am surprised and disappointed to hear that hosting a "free" system like Game On could cost between $200 and $500 per year. That sounds a bit high and it's certainly not a selling feature. As you guessed in your Wordpress video, my district tech folks do not offer support for Wordpress hosting. As a long time IT guy, I did a bit of research and I'm not sure why you feel that someone must spend $200 or more per year to do proper Wordpress hosting. I ran across this article:

and this performance comparison seems to indicate that you can get perfectly good Wordpress hosting for $4 per month! Of course, I understand that the proof is in the pudding and you can't be sure what you'll get until you try, but my intuition about the matter tells me that you can get by with a decent host without spending $200 per month.

Regardless of all that, Game On seems good and I'm happy that the project exists. Thanks for your responses to my questions.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 6:31:49 PM - Permalink

That article deals with page loads and states:

50 concurrent users is a nice baseline test for a shared host. Once you hit that benchmark on a fairly consistent basis, it’s probably time to start exploring VPS and Managed WordPress hosting options.

While our classrooms aren't that large (I have 40 students per class), we're doing a heck of a lot more than simply loading pages. Game On is writing to and reading from the database every time a student interacts with a quest or store item. Plus dynamic content is generated. That takes more processing power than simply serving static page content.

Maybe the less expensive hosting will work fine. I hope it does! I bought shared hosting from Media Temple ($200/year) for our test sites and to enable teachers to try out Game On for a limited time. Our district tech director did have 50 teachers hit his gamified site at once and he reported the MT servers handled the load gracefully. (That was on one of my MT subdomains.)

Game On is free. It's a labor of love. We make $0 on it. I wish we could provide hosting for free, too, but that's out of our hands.

Scroll down to Adam's May 5 post for more info about hosting issues.

Nicole Anthony

Posted on Aug 16, 2015 10:28:46 PM - Permalink

Hey Mike(s),

$4 per month will never get you "perfectly good WordPress hosting." You will always be susceptible to hacks and performance issues. And when one of those things happen, the time you have to invest will cost you way more than a couple hundred dollars. We just published a guide on WordPress Hosting that addresses these types of decisions.

You can find the guide here:

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Aug 16, 2015 11:41:52 PM - Permalink

Hello Nicole, welcome to the forum!

I absolutely agree with you, its impossible to get "perfect" hosting. Every server is susceptible to hacks and performance issues, unfortunately. It would be great if such a thing existed though! On the topic of security, I would recommend reading this interesting article, it's full of great tips to mitigate common security weaknesses.

As Nathan mentioned below, approximately ten dollars a month was working just fine with twenty to thirty concurrent sessions. I believe that the Mikes were attempting to explain that maintaining a small to medium traffic site with a smooth experience is rather expensive. Do note that the vast majority of our lovely users are hosting sites out of their own pockets. This means that throwing an extra hundred dollars at a server is not always an option.

Thank you again for your input, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 12:22:06 AM - Permalink

Pretty awesome guide, Nicole. Sam did a solid job. Especially love:

If you haven’t already noticed, I am trying to save you the trouble of making every single mistake I have made with hosting in my life.

Thanks and, as Forest said, welcome to the forum!

Nicole Anthony

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 1:53:40 AM - Permalink

Thanks Mike!

Brian Harris

Posted on Sep 20, 2016 2:13:30 AM - Permalink

Nathan Scherer

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 6:53:55 PM - Permalink

I was doing it with Hostgator and had between 20 and 30 students at the same time with no problems. My hosting is $9.95/month. I had some PHP issues with Hostgator where I couldn't make the changes myself but they made them for me in the online chat. I would prefer to do that myself but it's nothing I can't figure out anyways.

Anyways, it all depends on the load and how helpful the host is.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 10:27:29 PM - Permalink

When looking at the reporting aspect, I've just posted a new article link over in the Reading Roundtable forum that takes a broad look at the academic research on how Ed Tech can accurately predict student success. The 3 general areas are:

  1. usage - amount of usage of content materials is usefully and directly related to overall course performance and even better at predicting it than previous course grades. My reaction: "the kid that opened the online textbooks more often got a better grade in the class?! Duh. But with ed-tech, we can report on when this happens (vs traditional classroom)
  2. engagement - using the system to track user engagement with the content (across multiple aspects, such as forum comments, assignments, and so on) can be useful for catching low-achieving students earlier and helping them re-engage. My reaction: this seems actually useful, especially if it can also help us catch high achieving students and give them even more (not studied, or at least not reported on).
  3. knowledge/skill - using algorithms to group student achievement by improvement within drafts of an assignment, researchers were easily able to determine which students needed additional help (and also found a moderate link between performance on one assignment and overall grade for the class, which I find less intriguing). This is the area I think is most interesting. Researchers built an algorithm that essentially tracked how students changed their work between drafts of an assignment. Based on the changes, they were able to group students into those that were clearly learning the material and those that ran into repeated roadblocks. This could be really useful to use in the day-to-day classroom.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jun 13, 2015 7:31:46 PM - Permalink

I was thinking today that it would be really cool to offer profile images as loot or quest rewards. I can do this in a limited fashion with some plugins or gravatar but I'd rather lock it down so they can't change their profile outside of a list of approved images. This would also make it more exclusive and worthwhile to earn an avatar. Something to add to the list I guess.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 12:45:18 PM - Permalink

With the ever-prolific Ezio winging his way to Europe, we have one fewer coders available to handle our must-have features for fall. And later this summer well lose our entire core team as they scatter to their respective colleges. (Forest will remain in town at a local college but his coding time will be constrained by those academic responsibilities.)

I like the idea because the quality of the avatar is central to so many games (it gets better as you level). It's a good challenge for our new coders next school year.

Until then, limiting avatars via policy would seem the only choice. (And as I type that, a little voice in my head agrees and says, Let's steal that!)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 20, 2015 1:13:15 PM - Permalink

I just found a resource for anyone who might start working on this project: How to create a wordpress avatar management plugin from scratch. It's not exactly what we're looking for, but some of the code and the critical system calls are transferrable.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Aug 20, 2015 2:23:35 PM - Permalink

Woot! I found a way to do the profile images as quest rewards. It requires a combination of a couple plug-ins and will be work on the administrator (but not much). If you could test this and confirm, I've tested on my site and had no problems (and correct functionality) but probably have overlooked testing some scenarios, at least. I'm sure the kids will find them, since I will be using this as an upgrade reward in my game store this round.

Caveat: this will only work if the user role that you normally assign your new players does not have file upload permissions. Essentially, this limits you to either using the default 'Subscriber' role, or creating a custom role for new subscribers. Then, when they earn or purchase the right to an avatar, change their role to one that allows file uploads (the default Contributor role is the lowest-ranked role that allows this). I added a second plug-in that allowed me to create custom roles, so I can give that permission without also allowing them to create/edit/delete posts. So potentially, someone could switch to the dashboard and load a bunch of unnecessary media, but that's about the only problem I can see, so far.

Here's how I did it:

  1. Add first plug-in: Simple User Avatars. This hasn't been tested with the current version of Wordpress, officially, but in my testing it's worked fine so far. I'm using the Twenty Fourteen template, so I can't confirm it will work with custom ones, but I don't see anything in the code that would cause any problems. I think it will be fine with any.
  2. In Settings->Discussion, check the boxes to only allow local avatars and only allow users with file-upload permission to upload avatars.
  3. At this point you could set your default to Subscriber and set anyone who earned this to Contributor and it would work. They'll get an extra section in their Profile page that will allow an image upload for their avatar once they're upgraded to Contributor role. However, I'm uncomfortable with this as Contributor allows them to add their own posts and I'd rather not allow that. So:
  4. Optional Steps - Second plug-in: "User Role Editor"
  5. Use the editor to create a new role (I named mine after the level in the game at which players earns this), give this role any necessary permissions PLUS the 'upload files' permission. At minimum: 'Read' and 'Upload files'.
  6. Now set anyone who earns this to the new permission and they'll automatically get the privilege.

It appears in the profile page that if you set up a gravatar image it will appear even if you don't have permission to upload a local avatar. However, in my testing Wordpress appears to be honoring the choice in the Settings->Discussion box and shows a "Mystery Man" image for any account that hasn't uploaded an image. So I think they assumed everyone used Gravatar as the default, but what the plug-in does is check the default setting and uses that.
If you test this, let me know how it works for you.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 13, 2015 6:48:42 PM - Permalink

While Matthew is somewhere between Cairo and Boise, Austin made his dream come true. We have a lot of work left to do, but for your testing pleasure, I give you... Quest Pods.*

*Still needs to be merged with 2.4.3 (or 4 if Forest finishes his update before Austin).

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 8:43:12 PM - Permalink

Woot woot! I'll start testing this week. Just now am recovering from jet lag.

Very excited! :-D

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jun 18, 2015 5:05:05 AM - Permalink

I'm checking out the quest pods, and i'm not sure if they are working. I create several quests and attach them to the same quest pod? I have done that but nothing indicates if the pod feature is active.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 11:02:02 PM - Permalink

Here's a terrible video explaining the process. Austin's at work so I'll relay his explanation when I get it. The problem I encountered was most likely user error.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 5:42:00 PM - Permalink

Austin just confirmed two lines of code caused the problem. When he sends me the fix, I'll forward the link.

Pods will work as demonstrated in that ^ terrible vid I recorded.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 7:41:45 PM - Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jun 6, 2015 6:30:34 PM - Permalink

Game On v2.4.3

Thanks to Forest, Game On now works on any device with a browser (sans IE).

We can also clone posts and pages. Oh so cool!


Mike Skocko

Posted on May 26, 2015 8:45:34 PM - Permalink

Coming soon...

Importing and exporting individual quests, chains, pods, etc. courtesy of Ezio.

Adam Coulson

Posted on May 20, 2015 7:02:29 PM - Permalink

Would it ever be possible to create something similar to the clipboard that would allow the teacher to select a quest and identify what students have completed it? As of now sometime looking at the stats page of each individual studdent to identify completion and link to their posts can be quite tedious.

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 20, 2015 7:12:47 PM - Permalink

That's something we talked about here and...

How'd we forget about how important that one is? I agree 100% on the value of such a feature and I'm going to pass that along to the team. Thanks, Adam!

P.S. "[expletive deleted] tedious" is the correct term for checking student by student. ;)

Johnathan Chase

Posted on May 25, 2015 2:15:46 PM - Permalink

I'm pretty sure I threw out this suggestion a while back. It would be nice to see a grid with a fraction of completed to available stages in each cell. The column headers would be the quests and each row displays data for that student in column 1.

I would also request that we could filter this data by completion date. Sometimes I don't update progress before the next wave of missions are completed so I find myself going in to each student and subtracting out experience that didn't apply to the unit I'm trying to give credit for.

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 25, 2015 2:32:54 PM - Permalink

That wouldn't surprise me, Jonathan. Sounds like one of yours.

The date filter would be useful as well.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on May 20, 2015 7:28:55 PM - Permalink

The LMS we use has that feature for modules (similar to quest pods). It is useful. I can quickly see who has done what.

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 22, 2015 3:19:21 PM - Permalink

Forest and I discussed this yesterday. Right now I'm thinking a new tab in the Clipboard containing all quests and relevant data (sortable like the clipboard data) with the post ID in the student ID number column.

The quest name will link to the quest. The post ID will link to relevant student data, perhaps displayed in a stats-like manner with stage indicators (and date/time stamps).

We're still thinking this through. All the data is there to be accessed/displayed. We just need to devise the best way to display it.



Hmmm... Writing that sparked an idea. What if there were a search field on the clipboard itself? Start typing a quest name and auto-complete offers suggestions. Hit return and a new column (between Student Name and Display Name) expands to display quest data as described above for each student in the class.

Seems more intuitive.


Johnathan Chase

Posted on May 25, 2015 2:18:06 PM - Permalink

I like the functionality you're describing Mike. Maybe my idea of the completion grid would be better as a separate report.

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 25, 2015 2:34:16 PM - Permalink

Yeah. Still trying to wrap my head around this one. It feels close, but...

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 11, 2015 11:07:53 PM - Permalink

Game On 2.4.2

You gotta see this. And just wait until you hear Ezio's thoughts on automating periodic quests. Oh my!

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 11, 2015 9:23:41 PM - Permalink

And here's what Ezio's working on right now. With any luck, 2.4.2 may include that.

But that's nothing compared with his ideas of how we might automate periodic quests. Oh my!

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 11, 2015 9:16:45 PM - Permalink

I'm still trying to figure out how Ezio...

  • Refactored the entirety of Game On to match Wordpress Coding Standards.
    • This includes changes to the structure of ALL PHP, JS, and CSS files. More to be refactored over time.
  • Added support for Youtube & Vimeo videos to the go_display_video shortcode.
    • Videos containing a URL from Youtube or Vimeo will now open in an iframe inside of the video lightbox.

And nothing broke!

Have been using 2.4.1 all day w/no problems. Kids pounded two quests and the store w/ no ill effects.

The kid's a genius!

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 11, 2015 2:23:39 AM - Permalink

===== ===== ===== ===== =====

Holy Fragnog! Ezio just pushed his major rewrite. Then he pushed the YouTube and Vimeo video Lightbox fix. (I would have preferred the other way around.)

He must be hyper confident as no one has tested the major rewrite.

DANGER WILL ROBINSON: Proceed with caution. I do NOT advise you to update without a survival plan. However, we could use some live testing. (I'm not updating my primary until I've experimented with it repeatedly on my test sites.

===== ===== ===== ===== =====

Adam Coulson

Posted on May 5, 2015 2:51:02 AM - Permalink

Anyone else ever had problems with your host service Blacklisting your school's IP address?

I am having some pretty significant issues with Bluehost Blacklisting (blocking) my school IP because more than 15 students try to log in at once and the host server blocks us assuming it must be an attack on the server. Bluehost told me the only solution is to go to a VPS which is more money. But my big concern would be that I would be soley resonsible for running my server with little to no support from Bluehost.

Some people have said I need a new host. Other's have said Wordpress is not a good option to run websites. These both seem like cop outs for actual solutions.

Any advice from teachers using Wordpress sites that students log into (GameOn users :) )

Rob Schwartz

Posted on May 5, 2015 3:33:04 AM - Permalink

I suspect it's BlueHost. I don't recommend them anymore. Found out recently that even their "recommendation" from is just a paid ad! I've been using a VPS- which is expensive- but I'm switching most of my stuff to SiteGround WordPress Hosting. I haven't tried them with GO yet- but after a few weeks' research, that's where I'm moving everything. And believe it or not, GoDaddy's Wordpress packages seem to be doing quite well also, but they're pricier and they keep changing their packages- no good deals last time I checked. THIS SITE has some great reviews and tests about speed. Also a good article specifically about Wordpress. SiteGround always one of the top 3, and My cousin has used them for years and he's been really happy. (the SG link above is also an affiliate link that supports BrainBuffet, if you want to share the love. Click here for one that isn't.)

ETA: Some of SG's performance is obtained with Serverside caching. Not sure how well that will play with GO. You can turn it off, but I know that MT has it also, think mike uses them- and they were purchased by GoDaddy- so that's how GoDaddy got into the WP Optimized game. GoDaddy's dash is weird, though, and no emails with your package. Siteground does have cpanel and mail.

Adam Coulson

Posted on May 5, 2015 4:11:53 AM - Permalink

Thanks for the suggestion, Rob! I'll look into Siteground after the semester. Any idea when you will actually move your site over? Which Wordpress hosting plan are you going to use with them?

I moved my site once and I don't remember it being very fun with databases and all, but I tend to trust your suggestion to leave Bluehost a little more than just my IT dept.

Matthew Miller

Posted on May 5, 2015 5:39:50 AM - Permalink

I'm so glad this thread started. Thanks, Adam! I had decided to switch based just on performance issues. I haven't had any major bugs like some of you, but the reports have made me a bit leery of Bluehost as well.

Was debating between A Small Orange and SiteGround; with a group of us switching to SiteGround, I think that is the clear winner. I'd rather be on the same host, so we can swap stories and suggestions, or at least commiserate. ;-)

My plan is to transfer over during the last couple weeks of June, once I'm back in the states for a bit. Last time I transferred, it was pretty straightforward. I set up the new host (Bluehost, at that time) with Wordpress, then saved the SQL databases as files and backed-up the Wordpress sites, copied them up to the new host (databases first, then Wordpress sites). Finally, transferred over the domain names, once the WP sites were running.

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 5, 2015 9:40:27 AM - Permalink

GoDaddy bought Media Temple?! Why do I suddenly feel dirty?

I use MT Grid Option (Shared Hosting) for GO test sites. Our district Director of Tech used one of my subdomains to train our first round of 50 Google Ninjas. He said the server worked fine when everyone logged in for the first time (which I found hard to believe) and in all the subsequent trainings. I didn't think shared hosting would be up to that. (And you do get email options with each subdomain which I've never used.

Adam, why do these crazy problems keep happening to you?

fake-rob schwartz

Posted on May 7, 2015 6:16:46 AM - Permalink

Why do I suddenly feel dirty?

Maybe you enjoyed those commercials with Danica Patrick as much as most nerds did. ;) If she was selling a nasty flu I think I'd buy it... Maybe even pneumonia.

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 7, 2015 2:40:59 PM - Permalink


Hey who are you? Schwarz' boys are older than that!

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 26, 2015 8:43:22 PM - Permalink

Terrence Banks

Posted on May 7, 2015 3:20:36 AM - Permalink

Odd... Bluehost has treated me like a king every time I have dealt with them. I have no problems what so ever with them hosting my site.I have set up dozens of other sites with them for others and all is well. I run a VPS through them, haven't heard of SiteGround.

fake-rob schwartz

Posted on May 7, 2015 5:49:14 AM - Permalink

If running WP, check the reviews and the performance for BH in the articles in my first post. Interesting reading. They do tend to be better at service when on a VPS- but on shared- they generally do pretty poorly on busy WP sites. I used to recommend them all the time, but so many students came back saying they had problems that I started digging and that's when I found those articles. Bad reviews always were plentiful- but they do so much business, I suspect it's the same percentage as most hosts!

Being on a WP optimized host is a pretty cool experience, though! it's a big deal to have the SQL DB and the Public_html documents on different servers for performance. All the good WP optimized hosts set up that way.

Mike Skocko

Posted on May 1, 2015 9:51:19 PM - Permalink

Quest Pods

Austin almost has Quest Pods ready for prime time. If you know how to use Quest Chains, Pods will be a breeze.

One very cool feature (we might want to incorporate into chains, too) is the visual element created via shortcode. This page was generated via the Pod's ID. Austin had commented out a couple of lines so the total number of quests isn't echoed properly nor does a link to the next Pod show. I especially like the visual he selected to indicate progress. The individual rectangles are links to the respective quests.

Lots of potential in this one!

We don't have Mac Lab Saturday School this weekend so hopefully Austin will iron out the bugs and get this published by next Saturday.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 11:39:18 PM - Permalink

Video Goodness

Ezio has our video player working with Vimeo and YouTube. We'd have Lightbox magic at our fingertips right now had I not asked him to auto add &rel=0 to the end of YouTube video URLs. (I'm not fond of the random junk YouTube adds to the end of each video.)

Donis Krohmer

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 12:41:01 PM - Permalink

I am trying to set up the exchange purchases in my Market and I guess I am doing it wrong. For example: 1 Honor for 60 gold. I put in the title, the description, category, and then cost = 1 in Honor; exchange = 60 in gold. (This is not something I have done before, haven't needed it.) When my students test it they lose 1 Honor but don't gain gold. I expect it is something obvious, but I could use assistance if you know what I missed.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 1:22:17 PM - Permalink

EDIT: Short story = 1 Honor and -60 Gold will work for your exchange. See the Currency Exchange (to the left of the red rose) on this page. Red = Cost. Green = Reward. Gray is null.

Now the confusing explanation...

Think of the cost the same way you do when you look at a price tag in a store. In an actual store, the price tag might say $35. That's the amount you have to pay. That the $35 will be deducted from your wealth is understood. The $35 price tag is -$35 to you.

In Game On, the prices are entered as positive whole numbers with the understanding that the figure will be deducted from the player's wealth. The figure is computed as a negative.

Therefore, with the exception of damage (which is a whole 'nother story), all positive values are converted to negatives when calculating outcomes. If you want to award 60 gold, enter it as -60.

-(-60) = 60

That was explained horribly! Did it make any sense, Donis?

Donis Krohmer

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 3:31:10 PM - Permalink

Works! - so the explanation wasn't horrible!

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 10:32:00 PM - Permalink

This may have come up before but I don't remember so I'll just post it anyways. I'm checking student work and I wanted to verify when a quest was completed but it doesn't seem to have a timestamp in the clipboard. Would we be able to add that in? Maybe most recent completion date accessible on the student's stat page? We could just put that date and time to the right of the quest name. Thanks!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 10:42:57 PM - Permalink

Charles has that feature built in to his latest update. With luck he'll be able to push that by this weekend.

I actually want the date/time in the stage indicators (the rectangles) for greater accountability.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 8:09:16 PM - Permalink

No luck on the update (too buggy—and ugly—at present) but Charles is definitely adding date/time stamps to the admin version of the stats panel. We'll have data on all stages.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Apr 16, 2015 4:43:31 PM - Permalink

Yep, that works. So far I am 0 for 2 on remembering to have them change their accounts. Its on me to just remember. Won't be difficult at all if I do.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 16, 2015 4:58:24 PM - Permalink

LOL. I used to do that, too.

My solution? Write it on the board and put it on the website. See the tabs on my homepage? That's how I remember to tell every period.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Apr 15, 2015 10:46:56 PM - Permalink

I know I have asked about this before but does anyone know what the best way would be to remove classes of student from a certain period? It would be easiest if they changed it themselves at the end of the semester but I have had trouble making sure everyone does that.

I can edit each and every student's individual profile to remove them from a class but that seems extremely tedious.? Plus I don't delete the accounts so I have several hundered accounts that I would have to scroll through to identify students that need the period changed.

Any suggestions?

PS. I don't want to wipe the account data. That was catastrophic last time so I'm trying to avoid that option.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 16, 2015 12:03:12 AM - Permalink

We don't have an automated way but from what you described, if you want to retain student accounts and data, the process I'd use would be to ask the students to edit their profile on the last day. Instruct them to change the period/computer settings to Remove and save settings. When they all say they've done it, refresh the clipboard to check for laggards. If someone's absent, that'll be on you. Should take no more than 5 minutes/period.

The key is that you don't have to go through all the accounts, just check the clipboard.

Does that make sense?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 11, 2015 10:29:40 PM - Permalink

Exporting/Importing Quests

Forest wanted me to make sure everyone knew how to export and import quests. The functionality is built into WordPress and it works—even with our custom post types.

In the dashboard, navigate to Tools > Export. All content is selected by default but Quests and the Store are options as well. Tools > Import prompts you to install the WP Importer. Works like a charm (even with hundreds of quests).

We'll be working on adding an option to target specific items to import/export in the somewhat near future. I'm thinking of offering a collection of quests to train newbies how to use GO.

  • Install GO
  • Install the WP Importer
  • Download and Import the training package quests
  • Play and learn

What a concept! We should try this with our students. ;)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 11, 2015 10:09:33 PM - Permalink


Another exciting Mac Lab Saturday School is winding down (after over 9 hours). Austin and Forest have made progress on their respective tasks while Charles and Ezio are in San Jose and Santa Barbara surveying their future academic homes (SJSU and UCSB).

Forest has the improved multiple choice/select options close to rolling and continues his relentless code optimization campaign. (Sorry, Johnathan, no matching answers yet but they're coming.) Austin has made awesome progress with quest pods and was just showing me the shortcode that populates posts/pages with all quests within the pod—with visual feedback so the user knows which quests (if any) she's completed. We'll probably add that type of functionality for the quest chains as well. Should be quite useful for our students. Heck, for us, too.

Can't wait for Charles' improvements to the stats panel. I may pull Ezio off his current piece to add YouTube/Vimeo functionality to the video lightbox, though. I finally tested Screenflow this morning and was absolutely blown away by the recording quality. I'm going to re-record all the videos (and add the missing ones), upload 'em to YouTube, and set up a help system that actually helps our users. So glad I put that off!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 6:07:11 AM - Permalink

Another interesting possibility for the leaderboard, from "Epic fail or win?" at Edutopia. (emphasis mine):

Set up a leaderboard in the software that students can opt into using anonymous gamer handles.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 1:16:36 PM - Permalink

Interesting article. Hers is an "academic" leaderboard—with grades directly tied to XP—a product of 3D Game Lab's well developed system. From this page:

Early research showed that on average students remained more persistent in quest-based learning™ compared to traditional assignments, with over 92 percent of students receiving “A’s,” and over 65 percent who continued to quest in a course after they already earned an “A.”

If one-third of my students quit after acquiring sufficient XP for the grade they want, I've failed. Or at least that's how I see it. If our classrooms weren't tied to the Carnegie Unit and we could actually build a course around mastery of X, this would not be a problem; however, having students in the room who are "finished" before the end of our 180 day school year would be toxic to the learning environment. Imagine especially those for whom any grade from a D on up is "good enough" to pass.

If we offer the ability for students to toggle leaderboard visibility, can you imagine those who would use stealth mode to game the system, only appearing after they'd climbed to the top? (I can see, in my mind's eye, Schwartz getting excited about that possibility.) But Hunters and Healers would suffer because the leaderboard is the gateway to players' stats panel. And finally, we'd be introducing a layer of obviscation to our transparent system.

But maybe I'm wrong. If you or others seriously want this feature, we can add it to the list and let admins toggle it on or off. I'd rather Charles focus on the flexible leaderboard.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 1:47:00 PM - Permalink

Ooh...smackdown. Politely, but throughly. This ^ is wisdom speaking (especially about the transparency).

I agree, I'd rather have Charles focus on the flexible leaderboard. Thank you for the lesson, sensei! :-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 2:28:48 PM - Permalink

Sorry, Matthew! Smackdown is the last thing I intended. I was just becoming more and more frustrated at the carrot and stick gamification solutions that are being embraced by others in ever-greater numbers.

And don't get me wrong. I don't want Game On to "win;" I want students to. I want systems that tap intrinsic motivation and not the same old game of what's the least amount of work I have to do to get an A?

Watch this 2 minute video from the University of Michigan. It's hints at choice and exploration but for most kids, it's all about the grade (1M XP = A).

Screw the grade! When is it going to be about the learning? The adventure? And most importantly, when's it going to be about (re)instilling the love of learning that was lost somewhere around the 2nd or 3rd grade for most kids?

That's why I've been trying to work up the courage to ask a specific Adobe Edu exec to provide an introduction to the Google Classroom folks. (At that level, she has to know someone who knows someone...) I don't want to see GC gamified with these same extrinsic mechanisms. You know Google has to be looking into badges, achievements, and the like. They'd be stupid not to be and Google ain't stupid (well, not often).

Game On will never be widely-embraced because the WordPress learning curve is too steep for many teachers. Google Classroom is sweeping the nation and rightfully so. It's tied to all kinds of great Google tools and helps teachers move into the 21st century with relative ease.


I posted the following elsewhere when it happened. It was written by a kid who graduated 10th in his class with a 4.667 GPA despite 40 4.0 credits earned in the Mac Lab dragging his GPA down. And it was written in response to this reading assignment.

For the past 12 years of my life, I’ve been told getting good grades is what matters. If I want to live a comfortable life, I was told I would need to get into a good college. To get into a good college, I was told I needed good grades, so I got good grades. Year after year, I worked in my classes to get my A’s because it was expected; I would sometimes put more work into getting the grade (or calculating how I could get the grade) than into the class itself. Grades made me feel like I was playing the system, I was counting cards against the curriculum, and it worked. I didn’t have to worry about doing much work because the numbers said I could get an A without applying myself. It was boring. It’s still boring. I spend all day in class doodling on notes and assignments.

If the article changed one thing for me, it changed the level at which I despise grades. I absolutely hated this article because I knew that it was talking about me. From my family to my teachers to various educational horror stories on the internet, I’ve been told that grades are what matter. Grades are the only thing that have mattered. I can’t remember Algebra 2, much of World History, half of the material we “learned” last semester, even. I got an A in all my classes, but so what? I got an A because I memorized what I needed to maintain an 89.5% across my classes. Want to know how to do an anti-derivative of a logarithmic function? Well, I couldn’t tell you because I already got an A in calculus.

When we get rid of grades, though, I’m able to retain information. Even after spending about a year away from the Unity API, I still remember how to use most of the methods and functions, I still remember what I’ve worked on (and in which directory I saved it). Without grades, I learn practically, with grades, I barely learn.

Imagine how that kid would game ClassCraft's or 3D Game Lab's system.


Okay, Tacy, that was for you. Now I have to write that email today.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 4:20:49 PM - Permalink

OK, let me respond to a few things there:
a) I have never felt put down, insulted, nor offended by anything you've written in response to one of my posts. Never. I'll let that sink in...

In fact, my usual response is thoughtfulness or laughter, or both. I seriously doubt that I ever will feel any of those less desirable responses, given the thoughtful, passionate, caring nature of your contributions. So please, don't worry about apologizing to me any more. My comments were intended as humerous; imagine them with an ironic, self-deprecating tone and they might hit closer to my original intention. I'm sorry I provoked that sort of reaction from you. So just...don't worry about it any more, k? (I'll let you know if I ever am offended/etc. and you won't have any doubts. I don't have any trouble doing that. ;-)

b) You were and are 100% right. I didn't even consider the transparency angle, stealth mode approach, hunters & healers, etc. The only thing I considered when I posted that article was that some players aren't motivated by status and might not want to participate in that part of the system. But thinking through how it might play out in various ways never crossed my mind until you posted. Which is one of the wonderful things about being in this sort of community. And one of the wonderful things about you, Mike. You make a great leader for this sort of effort because you do think about those.

c) I will back you up 100% with Google up to and including meeting with them to discuss why this approach works. I use Classroom right now and am rather frustrated with its feature set. I'm sure they're hard at work coming up with various ways to improve it. I agree that you/we should approch them (soon!) and help steer their vision, if possible, toward an environment in which grades can fade and then disappear rather than take center stage. Again, your vision is just breathtaking!

Do write that email today. Let me know how I can help. This is the sort of vision that our schools...scratch that...our students need. [Man, do I ever want to give you hug right now.]

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 12:59:16 AM - Permalink

Understood and thank you, Matthew.

The email is finally out of my mind and into the web. What comes next...

Well, the important thing is to have finally broken my paralysis. For that, thanks again, friend.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 7:46:11 PM - Permalink

Follow up: Operation Six Degrees of Separation is underway. This might get interesting.

Amazing how my doubts and insecurities rose up in tandem every single time I tried to muster the will to act. The antidote, for me at least, is to put the intentions in writing, online, in the presence of folks I respect.

No way to back down after that. :)

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 8:09:09 PM - Permalink

I just finished reading the article by Alfie Kohn, and I found it very interesting. I agree with quite a few of his points, as well as what your student responded with.

It might be a bit redundant to say it, but students aren't forced to look at the leaderboard. Unless there are bonuses for maintaining a certain rank (on the leaderboard) in the class itself, if a student doesn't like the inherit competitive nature of the leaderboard they aren't (shouldn't be) forced to use it. I am a fairly competitive person, so if there had been a leaderboard in the Maclab when I was there, you can be sure I would have used it.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 1:01:32 AM - Permalink

Had there been a leaderboard in the Mac Lab when you were there, Forest, I am certain you would have been atop it.

See you tomorrow for our day o' code! (Spring Break style.)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 7:54:52 PM - Permalink

Has anyone else encountered the inability to scroll in your stage window when building or editing a quest. I know mine used to work but for a couple months now I haven't been able to scroll to the beginning or end of a stage window which has become very annoying. Not sure if it may have happened back when I updated WordPress or if its just my site?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 8:02:28 PM - Permalink

No one else has reported this, Adam.

Do you mean that if you type a couple of paragraphs in a stage, you're unable to scroll with the cursor inside the text field (the stage window)?

If that's the case, that's very strange. You do know you can resize the fields themselves to see everything at once, right? Not an elegant solution but may be worth a try.

Is anyone else having this issue?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 8:10:43 PM - Permalink

Yes, I can't scroll within the stage window but I am able to expand the window myself still. When I update the quest all the windows shrink back down so it just becomes frustrating. No idea when or why this starting happening but it was actually quite a while ago.

Just thought I would see if it was an outside issue which was my guess.

Also do your quests have autosave features like normal posts if an update was not registered? I thought they did but mine doesn't have that either. (realized that the hard way)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 8:23:05 PM - Permalink

No idea if quests autosave. Trying it now... waited and went to close the page and...

Are you sure you want to leave this page?

The changes you made will be lost if you navigate away from this page.

Closed page and... it saved my title but NOT content I entered in a field. No idea if the guys disabled autosave, failed to enable autosave, or if it's even possible.

Forest, do you know?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 4:20:48 PM - Permalink

*A wild college student appears!*

The task and store posts don't have the autosave functionality turned on due to the custom meta box framework that we're using (it turns autosave off for us). In order for posts to keep their custom meta data, which is where we store game-on data, autosave needs to be turned off. Based off several cases that i've seen on the web, if we were to turn autosave on, I believe that tasks and store items would not keep any of their custom settings.

Without getting too technical, I can't find an autosave action or filter to hook into in the WordPress documentation. The only thing that is even remotely close is the save_post action hook. Unfortunately that only allows us to manipulate a post AFTER it has been saved, which would be too late to save the meta data.

Personally, i'd love it if custom meta data cooperated with the autosave functionality, but currently I believe that it would be impossible. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but remember to save often! It didn't take me long to learn that lesson.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 4:43:18 PM - Permalink

Thanks, Forest.

Have you ever encountered the unable to scroll issue Adam described?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 10:02:03 PM - Permalink

No problem.

If Adam is talking about the stage WYSIWYG editors, I haven't had any issue with scrolling inside the editors--in either Game On or normal posts and pages.

I am curious if it is only the WYSIWYG editors in Game-On post types that is giving you the issue. Are you having the scrolling issue in normal posts and pages?

If you're having issues in ALL posts, pages, store items, etc. the next step would be to deactivate all your plugins and reactivate them one by one, testing the editors in between.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 10:51:29 PM - Permalink

Kicking this out for more room.

Adam, Forest asked the perfect question. Is it only in our WYSIWYG editors? Can you scroll in post and page editors?

Also, does switching between the Visual and Text editors make any difference? Is scrolling non-functional in both?

If nothing else works, try switching themes temporarily to test. Switch back and then try deactivating plugins as Forest suggested. No one should have to deal with that!

Heck, if you're on a Mac, repair permissions using Disk Utility. Restart. Try a different browser. Update the OS. If all this fails, use the up and down arrows to scroll (though you're probably already doing that).

Adam Coulson

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 3:31:00 AM - Permalink

The scrolling issue is indeed only in the quests stage windows, no problem on a standard post. I haven't had a chance to start checking for plugin conflict though I will get back to you on that when I do.

Weirdly enough the issue does only show up in the visual editor as scrolling on the text editor works normally well???

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 3:45:44 AM - Permalink

Bizarro! How in the world...?!

We'll talk about this in the Mac Lab tomorrow (Spring Break Code-Fest) and I'll report back.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Apr 4, 2015 11:04:44 PM - Permalink

I've found that some themes just don't play nice with Game-On. Are you using a tried and true theme or is this something new?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 1:23:52 PM - Permalink

Yep, same theme as Mike and others. Its Elegant Themes, Divi.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 3:49:31 PM - Permalink

You've got 2.3.1 (Divi), right?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 10:35:54 PM - Permalink

Crap! Nope my Elegant themes subscription ended so I hoped the updates would be for added functionality not stabilization...bummer. I'll have to try and find some extra cash.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 11:44:38 PM - Permalink

Kicking it back out again...

I have no idea if an update is required, Adam. Spending dough might not fix it. Was just grasping at straws. The inability to scroll in the visual editor is just plain screwy.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 12:42:37 AM - Permalink

Just for reference, I do not use an up-to-date version of Divi. I have version 2.0 and have had no issues.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 4:49:46 PM - Permalink

Adam, if you're using a Divi <2.0 maybe we can try to replicate. What version are you using?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 4:56:49 PM - Permalink

I'm at Divi 2.2 right now.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 5:55:41 PM - Permalink

I found 2.2 on MafiaSharing. No way I'm clicking that link! Do you have the 2.2 ZIP still?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 8:14:14 PM - Permalink

Since I just updated the theme from within my dashboard I never actually downloaded the zip file.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 8:36:41 PM - Permalink

Adam, do you mind if I login and take a look around?

If it's okay, let me know when it's okay to jiggle a few settings. Always good to back up your data first. :)

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 9:49:34 PM - Permalink

Adam, don't forget that you can export all of your quests as part of your backup process!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Apr 11, 2015 11:10:43 PM - Permalink

Forgot to say it out loud so people don't wonder...

Adam can scroll once again! (That had to be frustrating.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 7:21:34 PM - Permalink

Game On 2.3.9 fixes repeating airhorn issue. Download

Note: In very short quests (such as my 5 min 30 sec quest below) do not send the players to another page or the timer slices either 1 min or 30 sec from the remaining time.

Trying to figure out why that's happening right now. Otherwise, pretty cool new features.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 5:09:51 PM - Permalink

Am having fun with the timed quest this morning (surrounded by the sound of blaring airhorns).

Time Sensitive Quest:
After accepting you will have 5 minutes, 30 seconds to complete quest the quest or the rewards will be irrevocably reduced by 90%.


Stage 1 - 5 Experience
Stage 2 - 5 Experience
Stage 3 - 100 Experience 50 Gold

I've included a 3:37 video that leads to completion. Even though I'm only asking kids to perform about 30 seconds of work at the end of the video, panic sets in for many.

The objective is to work smarter and drive home a lesson that hasn't stuck before today.

We do have a grammar error in the notification that will probably be hotfixed when Ezio arrives...

You've run out of time to complete quest this quest for full rewards

UPDATE: We're seeing a few bugs earlier classes missed. Will fix ASAP.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 8:05:17 PM - Permalink

Quest Pods

After Austin wrapped up his last update he asked what I'd like him to work on. Since he's stepped up big-time and delivered on every challenge, I thought I'd give him an alligator to wrestle.

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, search this page for "pod" and you'll see why this gator needs to be tamed.

Thanks to Matthew for the original concept. (At least I think it was him.)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 6:17:52 AM - Permalink

Go, Austin, aligator tamer extraordinaire! I will be overjoyed to test &/or pilot this one.

Thanks, Mike.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 6:25:25 AM - Permalink

Ezio estimated 4-6 weeks on this one. I'm betting on less than 3. Austin is tenacious!

Gator beware.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 7:53:06 PM - Permalink

Ezio and Austin were looking through the Mac Lab quests and said (laughing at me), "You know we have a video player, right? You don't have to send kids to YouTube to watch your videos."

It turns out they were unaware of this hole in our player and are now working on adding YouTube and Vimeo functionality to the video shortcode. Can't wait for that.

Oh, and I also asked for image lightbox functionality.

Anyone else have media requests?

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 9:57:54 PM - Permalink

Could I do a lightbox with any html? I'm using embedded documents and html5 simulations in an iframe currently but the lightbox would look way cooler :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 6:23:24 AM - Permalink

Will pass this along, Johnathan. Great idea!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 6:25:12 AM - Permalink

Brilliant! That will allow me to scrap yet another plug-in that I'm using now (don't have a place to locally host our videos).

I'm not sure it's 'media' specifically, but I'd love someone to integrate the functionality of the ImageMapper plug-in (with perhaps an upgrade or two to the way it works). I mentioned it first in this comment below.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 5:25:43 PM - Permalink

I remember that post and I downloaded the plugin on a test site. Must have been distracted by something shiny because I failed to test that very cool concept you're using.

I agree that wrapping the ImageMapper functionality into GO would be fantastic. I love the idea of a single image leading to an array of quests!

Definitely worth exploring with the coding team.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 6:57:31 AM - Permalink

Related to this is an idea I'm not sure I've posted here before (and can't find right now, but I may just not be picking the right terms): shortcodes for level-based or specialty-based display of media elements.

In case that was as clear as mud, here's an example: as a level 1 player I open the map for Center City. I see a series of 12 quests within my current pod that I may complete. My friend Joe, who is level 12, logs in and goes to Center City, too. He sees a completely different set of 18 quests in a variety of pods, none of which I can get to because my level is too low.

I'm imagining something like our current [go_user_only_content] but instead having a parameter, such as: [go_level_filter lvl] and [go_specialty_filter spc] where lvl is the level number below which the content isn't visible and spc is the specialty required in order to view the content.

This would allow us to have dynamic area maps that change as a player progresses. Worldbuilding becomes a sigificant step easier.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 1:36:38 PM - Permalink

I can't believe I just closed this window without posting that comment. When will I learn to compose in a text editor?!

Long story short: I've no idea (yet) how the code would work with imagery but we already have that feature for limiting content visibility using the level and specialty filters in quests.

This is an old dream of mine (that I'd left for dead in the past) and it came from WoW. Unexplored areas are rendered without detail like the upper portion of this map (my cursor, triggering the tooltip, is not visible in the image).

I like the specific control in [go_level_filter "5"] and [go_specialty_filter "Physics"]. The specialty is a no-brainer but the level requires the admin to balance points and quests with foresight and aplomb that I don't possess (yet).

OPTION: Using pods or chains as a trigger, though, those I can wrap my head around! We need to activate connections between respective pods and/or chains and the rest is (almost) already built in for text links to appear when thresholds are reached. Next challenge will be to connect imagery to those same hooks.

Brilliant idea, Matthew.

NOTE: [go_level_filter ""] and [go_specialty_filter ""] (or whatever they'll be named) will be added to the WYSIWYG widget when functional.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 8:08:23 PM - Permalink

Sounds great. We can get 95% of what I want with nested pods/chains and a speciality filter. But that last 5%, putting it on the images themselves so they change in place based on a player's accomplishments, would mean a lot. I'm so looking forward to next year!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 8:16:42 PM - Permalink

Absolutely 100% in agreement on the value of dynamic image-based triggers. That would be an enormous leap forward for Game On.


Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 20, 2015 9:15:06 AM - Permalink

I was just reading an article ("No Technology Required to Gamify Your Class") over at ASCD and this quote really resonated with me:

the leader board must not recognize the highest grades or scores, but rather indicate progress. Beware of incorporating competition into your classroom. Remember that competition is only motivating to students who have a chance at winning. Each student must have an equal, fighting chance to be on the leader board based on their improvement and progression to their individual goals for the class. We must honor "personal best" rather than "the best."

I like the idea of honoring 'personal best,' although I don't shy nearly as far away from honoring "the best" as this writer - that's a long honored aspect of gaming for many players. I am wondering about adding an option on our leaderboard to promote this better. What I'm envisioning is a switch in options that allows a different display:
  • Leaderboard -> Progress
  • List by accumulated XP -> Most recent level-up (list all players sorted inversely by the date of their last level-up)
  • List by accumulated Gold -> Largest quest completed
  • List by honor -> Most recent badge earned
  • List by badges -> Personal Bests: (maybe in larger / colored font) showing that player's most recent level-up, largest quest, and most recent badge earned.

Maybe this could be a switch for the admin panel, which changes it for all players, but maybe it could be in the player's settings, so they could see either a leaderboard or a personal best board...or maybe both? If it was both, and was a switch on the stats panel, the admin could set the default and then players could individually toggle to the view they wanted to see.

Edit: link added. Sorry!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 20, 2015 11:33:28 AM - Permalink

Somewhere, buried in the thousands of comments of yore, was a plan to do something similar (though simpler) for similar reasons.

If you scroll down the right column in the stats panel, you'll see the ability to sort by last 30 or last 10 days is present though not functional yet. (I'd forgotten about that.)

I have just the coder to put on the case (Charles the Relentless). Thanks for the reminder!

And rather than 30 or 10, perhaps a way to choose any range would work better.

There's lots o' work left to do in the leaderboard and some of those other suggestions might be doable as well.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 2:57:46 PM - Permalink

Haven't had a chance to jump on here in a bit and I see you've all been hard at work squishing bugs and developing GO. Still haven't had a chance to experiment with the random loot but I'm jazzed to get into it when I have more time.

As I keep using GO to roll out content for my Chem and Physics class, I'm finding that a few things would still be nice to see in future updates.

#1 I want to bring back the idea of exportable reports (as .csv files or something). I record current XP for my students every week or two and give a "Progress" Grade as a combination of turned in work and raw XP. Adding an export feature would just make things a little faster. I think I've brought this up as a past post so sorry for my repetition :)

#2 I started a new Wordpress install at the semester so students would start fresh with XP and a new look/feel to the site but I'd like to have the previous content available for them to go back to. Is there currently a way to export missions from one wordpress install to another? I know this may be a big task, especially considering media that has been integrated but it would be awesome to at least get the core elements transferred over without having to recreate it.

#3 I know I'm a broken record here... WYSIWYG test questions? Maybe an option for the test to be in a lightbox?

Thanks so much for the work you do guys and I look forward to seeing the continuing evolution of Game-On :)

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 5:18:09 PM - Permalink

Interestingly it is possible to export ALL of the Game On quests on a website, but we don't have individual exports figured out. I believe that it will be a very fun update to make, I can't wait.

I checked to make sure that I wasn't fibbing: by navigating to Tools > Export and selecting the "Quests" radio button you can export ALL of the quests that you have on your site. I tested permanently deleting all my quests and then importing the export that I made a minute before, and it worked just fine. This is actually a default Wordpress feature that I found while setting up a personal site, and I forgot about it!

Thanks Johnathan.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 3:41:44 PM - Permalink

Thanks Forest, that will help as I plan for next year :)

Any progress towards improving question functionality or exportable reports?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 7:23:45 PM - Permalink

Glad to hear it!

I have not recently worked on the task test functionality or task exports. I've been focusing on handling the various issues that have cropped up over time. Once as I am finished, there is an issue with the task chains that needs to be addressed before I can work on expanding the task tests or implementing additional functionality. Since i'm "off" from school this week, i'll be able to devote some time to Game-On.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 6:38:58 AM - Permalink

For what it's worth, I'm all in for the WYSIWYG functionality, too but I don't want to ask Forest to combine 3 different tests types in one stage right now. We need to pick one option/stage: multiple choice, multiple select, or WYSIWYG for checks for understanding. (Multiple questions in any one category are fine.)

Asking for multiple choice, multiple select, and/or WYSIWYG is geometrically more difficult. Possible in the future, but puts off WYSIWYG for the present.

Does anyone object to making the choice exclusive to one option for now?

Forest, feel free to disagree. I know multiple choice and multiple select work fine together right now but I don't want to divert you from the bug hunt or refactoring.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 7:11:47 PM - Permalink

I'm sorry for being silent, i've just picked up something from my siblings, so i'm not feeling 100% right now.

You are correct, Skocko, with the way that the test shortcode currently works adding the WYSIWYG option would mean that there would be 3 options to be checked in every combination. Currently there are 2 (2!) checks made, but adding the WYSIWYG test option would require 6 (3!) checks to be made. That may be a design flaw on my part, and I hope it is. It would be horrible if there was no way around each additional option being increasingly more tedious to implement. That'll be fun to play around with though.

As for the bugquisition, i'm very close. I fixed a whole bunch of issues with the store and task custom post types which I thought were fine. Apparently they weren't!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 1:01:33 PM - Permalink

I want to report that Game On definitely, gracefully handles ridiculously large and small XP and Currency amounts without a ripple. Yes, there is a story here. :-)
A small group of my students discovered a javascript console trick recently (nothing fancy or innovative: it involves looking at the "inspect elements" view using chrome, copying a bit of code, then repeatedly pasting that into the console). This trick results in getting as many repetitions of the final stage of a quest as you paste into the console. So, of course, they tried for about 600 repetitions, "just to see what would happen, Mr. Miller. Really!"

When I got in the next day, I noticed a couple of players' scores were really out of the ballpark (way beyond my awards ladder). Upon investigating, I found they had a ridiculously large amount of instances in one quest (the most lucrative one they'd discovered so far); over 500 repetitions in one of the cases.

I waited a bit, and the players in question came over at the beginning of the class period to explain what they'd found and what had happened as a result. So I made one sit at my station to repetitively mark his quest back down to a reasonable level. Side effect of that is that his score is now -26682 and -8500 gold. I'm working on correcting that.

Another one discovered that there was an item in the store with no price, so he 'bought' about 50 of them...apparently without reading the description. It was a nerf, so he ended up setting his account to dock him about 600% of any completed quest. When he pulled up his next quest it reported that he would earn -900XP. He reported the problem to me as a potential error in GO. Goofball.

I'm not sure there is any real conclusion to draw from this event. The trick is one we can't avoid unless we eschew the use of javascript completely, which I wouldn't even consider. The consequences aren't really worth worrying about for one-off cases like this. I'm correcting them via database entry changes on the back-side. And it resulted in nice conversations about integrity, thinking before you hit enter 600 times, and so on. ;-)

I wouldn't mind a few minutes chat with one of the coders to confirm a few suppositions I've made about the data side of GO, just to make sure I'm making appropriate changes, though.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 5:03:07 PM - Permalink

That's hilarious, because it sounds like something i'd do! I believe that you have my email, Matthew, so i'd be happy to answer any of your questions.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 20, 2015 9:17:27 AM - Permalink

Follow-up: as usual, our truly excellent support (in the form of Forest Hoffman) gave me the exact pointers I needed to get my situation sorted out. The players are back in business. Thanks!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 2:03:42 AM - Permalink

Man, I hate it when a long comment is lost due to (stupid) user error.

To summarize, we, too, have had a few kids making bad choices and they've learned the painful lesson that crime doesn't pay.

We have holes left to plug and will do so ASAP.

All the waxing philosophical stuff will have to wait for another day. Great story, Matthew!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 1:41:28 AM - Permalink

Forest, if you feel it might be of value to others, why not post the suggestions here as well?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 14, 2015 7:16:13 PM - Permalink

FYI: When you update to 2.3.6 (or later) commenting will now be enabled by default in tasks (if you have enabled commenting in Settings > Discussion).

To turn off comments in ALL tasks:

  • In the Dashboard, click Tasks (i.e., Quests, Missions, etc.)
  • In the upper right corner of the browser window, click Screen Options
  • In the upper Left corner, deselect Comments
  • Click Apply

To turn off comments in a single task:

  • Edit the task in question
  • In the upper right corner of the browser window, click Screen Options
  • In the upper Left corner, deselect Comments
  • Click Apply
Hope that makes sense.

Big thanks to Charles for yet another update!

Austin and Ezio almost have a double update ready to push (you're going to love the airhorn). Meanwhile, Forest "the Bug Slayer" continues to wield a fearsome keyboard.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 4:21:39 PM - Permalink

Certainly not a bug, but as this is the most active discussion it seems a fitting place to congratulate Matthew for being selected as this month's featured educator on the AEE.

You're one in a million, Matthew!

Well, actually 1 in 194,310 (but who's counting?)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 7:20:55 PM - Permalink

Thanks, Mike! I almost threw that issue straight into the trash without reading it, because I'm swamped at the moment. I've taken on teaching Design Technology next year (our current teacher is leaving and it's proved a bit difficult to recruit a new one with all the reported trouble in Egypt lately). Of course, I'll be using GO for the structure. But it means I have more than usual on my plate right now.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Mar 13, 2015 3:29:42 AM - Permalink

Congrats Matthew. It's always super impressive to get recognized by THE design company.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 7, 2015 9:16:15 PM - Permalink

Posting here so this doesn't get lost in the conversation below.

v2.3.4 fixed the issue Donis described below (along with a few other things). Thanks, Charles!

Ezio has a major update to the two timed options (date w/time and timed quest). He's very close but after working here all morning he had to take off for his real world job.

Austin has finalized his archival feature for admin messages. They'll no longer disappear into the aether but rather be accessible in a new tab within the clipboard. Nice accountability feature. Looking forward to the rollout!

Forest is squashing bugs near and far and generally cleaning and fine-tuning code.

And last but not least, Gina was in this morning getting up to speed with Git. Won't be long till her code starts seeping into GO.

Our little plugin is on the verge of becoming a GLMS (Gameful Learning Management System).

Donis Krohmer

Posted on Mar 2, 2015 4:21:40 PM - Permalink

I could use some assistance on the use of the Date Filter on quests. I have watched the original Date video about how to put in the declining percent, but I am not getting the results I wanted. I don't know what I am missing here. This screen print is what I put into the Typography Portrait Quest - advanced settings. Today is the first day back to school after the initial deadline and students who tried to complete or master today have received the lowest setting on the Tier 4 range - 0,0,21,63,63. I expected it to drop Mastery to 189 and Completed to 63. Enlighten me please if you have time.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 4:30:58 PM - Permalink

I think you are just looking at the numbers backwards as Mike might have explained it backwards in the video. Rather than the percentage being the amount deducted from the original total the percentage is the amount that will be awarded. So if you wanted the 10% reduction after one week you would put 90% and date to be reduced....I think.

Donis Krohmer

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 4:41:11 PM - Permalink

Thanks Adam. You have been a big help! Now I just have corrections to make.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 4:47:57 PM - Permalink

If I remember correctly Donis's numbers are correct, entering 10% should reduce the rewards by 10% after the entered date and time. Of course I may have it backwards.

There may be an issue with the date filter, which I am attempting to confirm with the team. If there is a larger problem, I'm sure that Ezio will do his best to get it sorted as soon as possible.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 5:24:52 PM - Permalink

You must have posted as I was testing, Forest. You have it right. The multiplier should always use the number as you've explained. I thought we'd nailed that. Should be an easy fix. If Ezio comes in today we'll try to push that out.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 5:14:23 PM - Permalink

YIKES! I completely forgot to reply to this. So sorry, Donis!

I just replicated your scenario using time rather than date and a setting of 10 resulted in a 10% reduction in rewards. Then I tried it with the date set to yesterday and a setting of 10 resulted in a 90% reduction in rewards.


Houston, we have a problem. We'll address this ASAP and I'll report back.

Donis Krohmer

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 5:43:58 PM - Permalink

After it is fixed one way or the other, what is the easiest way to go in and correct the scores that should have been 90% instead of 10%. Just use the clipboard one at a time is the only thing that comes to mind. If I can get into the data and search/replace I would be a happy camper, unfortunately I don't know how to edit data like you guys seem to do.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 5:56:17 PM - Permalink

You can select multiple (or all) students via the clipboard to make blanket adjustments. Should only take a few minutes. So sorry to have caused the issue but grateful you brought this to our attention. Give yourself some extra XP, too! :)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Mar 1, 2015 3:30:25 AM - Permalink

Did we ever correct what might have been a plugin conflict between GameOn and Shortcodes Ultimate or should I completely refrain from activating that plugin now?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Mar 1, 2015 3:52:34 AM - Permalink

Not yet. Please avoid activating the plugin until we've found a solution, if there is one. Thank you for bringing it up again Adam.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 15, 2015 6:27:47 PM - Permalink

Hello everyone! Just in case you don't follow our updates thread:

Game On v2.3.3

Note: The "2015" WordPress theme is causing graphical issues with Game-On, specifically in the stats page and the store item lightboxes. Thankfully, Charles was able to fix the quest tab of the stats page. The store lightboxes are functional although they do look funny. We are unaware of how many conflicts there are with the theme, so it is not recommended to use the 2015 theme with Game-On.

Bonus Loot

Charles Leon Charlesleonius released this 12 hours ago

  • Store items have two new options: Unpurchasable and Bonus Loot
  • Tasks have a new option called Bonus Loot which allows you to provide store items marked with the bonus loot option for mastery
  • Each bonus loot item has a corresponding percentage box in which determines the users chance of receiving the item upon completing a tasks last stage
  • Items with 100% chance will appear as "Quest Loot"
  • Unpurchasable will allow a store item to be viewable but not purchasable

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 8:58:07 PM - Permalink

New bug/problem

I just had a student's account go broke. He can't login in at all. At this point, it is currently only this one student, however I am concerned it could soon lead to others. I talked to Bluehost about the error log and he said the error is:

in GameOn


lines 24-25

The most recent thing I believe the student did was purchase a new course/focus in the store. If it matters I was still on 2.1.9 when this happened. I tried to update to 2.3.2 to see if it would fix the problem but it didn't. Also the student XP is only at 318 and this level 2 so he's not exceeded the max level set as I know has caused problems in the past. Any thoughts?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 9:29:35 PM - Permalink

I've contacted Forest, but meanwhile, to put your mind at ease...

One other user reported a similar issue—a player no longer able to login. We could see the player's stats panel (which was intact and accurate) and tried resetting the password (repeatedly) then reinstalling Game On (to no avail). In the end we simply captured all player data with screenshots, deleted the account, emptied the User trash (where the account resided after deletion), added the user back, and reconstructed the history to bring the player back to the prior state.

That particular admin had one other instance of a player locked out afterwards but none in the past few months. We never did discover the cause and no other admin has reported a similar issue... until now.

Lot's of people are using Game On. I wouldn't fear an epidemic at this point. Perhaps Forest can shed additional light on this subject. If I had to guess, and it's a blind guess, I'd say the WP DB for those players was compromised in some manner.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 10:19:43 PM - Permalink

Sounds good. As long as we avoid an epidemic I am fine with reconstructing that student's account. He already volunteered to do so at home. I was just thinking with the error log Forest might be able to gain some insight into the issue. Like you said I did confirm that all the students data is still current and showing on the stats page and I even looked into the sql databases to see if I could find any anomalies...nope looked good.

I didn't think of looking into the wordpress database though. I only looked at the game on databases.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 9:58:20 PM - Permalink

Hi Adam. Lines 24-25 of go_ranks.php deal with finding the level that has a point-threshold equal to the point-threshold of the level above the user's current level. For example:

If John is at Level 1 and has 148/150 points and accepts a quest, the loop on line 24 will run and will return (hopefully) the next level.

A majority of the rank errors that are appearing are due to John having reached the level cap and the loop attempting to find the next level. The loop is then killed by the browser, because the next level doesn't exist and the loop will keep looking for it indefinitely.

From the extremely limited information that I have on any of our issues with go_ranks (and possibly that specific loop), all I can do is suggest that you ensure that the user's points aren't exceeding the max.

I'm currently prioritizing school and personal things right now, however, having the ranks system refactored is something that I am really hoping to see fixed soon.

I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 5:04:55 AM - Permalink

Yeah I know the exceeding the max XP is the most common error but thats not the case in this instance as that student is only at level 2 of the 25 levels I have created. He's no where near exceeding my level limit. I have no idea what is causing the error if it is related to that error log???

I will likely have to create him a new account and hope that error doesn't show up with anyone else.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 1:44:13 AM - Permalink

Is there a way to set up GO so that if a player DOES go over the highest point, it just defaults to the highest level, and adds a + to the counter?

Or add a default level called "OVERFLOW" that's at like a billion XP so that nobody will ever hit it- but hard code it into the plug?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 1:53:24 AM - Permalink

Or add a default level called "OVERFLOW" that's at like a billion XP so that nobody will ever hit it- but hard code it into the plug?

*facepalm* Why didn't I think of that! I really like that idea. I'll write myself a note and that may be a solution to the problem. It wouldn't be intrusive, but there could be an issue with admins that go over that overflow level. Of course, I have no idea what course would require levels and rewards of such size, but it's entirely possible. Crazy, but possible.

Anyway, we shall see. Thanks Rob!

EDIT: Also, the overflow level's name would have to be dynamic. The XP cap could be hard-coded, but the level names should always be customizable.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 2:53:33 AM - Permalink

Yeah, I suggested calling it "OVERFLOW" to indicate that the level wasn't prepared by the Teacher... if they have a kid hit that level- they might want to prepare another 4 or 5 levels for the students.

It's a helpful "Warning light" that the kids are flying higher than you're prepared for!(my favorite problem). ;)

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 1:54:42 AM - Permalink

Oh and note that I still believe that ranks needs to be refactored, big time. An overflow level could help though.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 2, 2015 4:54:04 AM - Permalink

When we set a date filter to create time-sensitive quests could the date and deduction or at least a message stating "time-sensitive" be included in the rewards element at the beginning of the quest? I believe the only way a student will know its time-sensitive as of now is if I say it somewhere in the quest. A Flag at the beginning just might be nice.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 2, 2015 5:10:09 AM - Permalink

Hi Adam, something like that is in the works. Ezio has it covered!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 3, 2015 4:25:24 AM - Permalink

You're always one step ahead of me.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 9:31:34 PM - Permalink

Check your new update for the fix you requested. :)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 3:20:02 PM - Permalink

Unless I missed it, I still don't see a signifier that the quest is time-sensitive. Do you know where they included that element if it was added?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 3:32:05 PM - Permalink

There is a count-down when the quest is using a timer filter, however there isn't one when the quest is using the date filter.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 4:11:19 PM - Permalink

The notification should be in both. I was so focused on the timer that I forgot to verify it was present in the calendar setting.

Mea culpa.

A notification will appear in the next update (not a countdown, just a message indicating the time-sensitive nature of the quest).

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 4:46:37 PM - Permalink

Adam Coulson

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 8:25:51 PM - Permalink

AHH! I completely missed the addition of the timer with a countdown feature. That's cool and could work the same way but countdowns are always cool.

I'm trying the weekly post quests like yours Mike. The simple nature of not requiring it and allowing for self accountability for not meeting the deadline is already teaching students to be self aware.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 12:32:36 AM - Permalink

I'm trying to use the loot modifier with quiz questions and I just ran into some interesting functionality quirks. Usually, students earn experience for a stage as soon as they click the "accept/complete/master" button. With this in mind, I'm using the quiz with the loot penalty so they earn reduced xp if they don't get questions right. My xp is set to 5,5,20,60 and I'm expecting the 20 to get modified but the questions are at the bottom of the second stage so it is modifying the second 5xp instead. I have the 3rd stage set to have players submit a URL which doesn't work concurrently with test questions. My temporary fix will be to award in 5,20,5,60 order I guess but it would be more intuitive if a quiz at the bottom of stage 2 affected xp for the next stage.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 1:08:22 AM - Permalink

Hello Johnathan! I'm assuming that you're suggesting that test points affect the rewards from the next stage. So, if I made one mistake while completing a test in stage 1, I would receive 20% (default) less for entering stage 2, correct? I attempted implementing functionality at one point, but there were some complications, so it was scrapped.

The task tests used to take the points/currency from the stage before them, but we have since moved them into the stages that they affect. Now, when you create a test in a stage, it will take the points/currency from that stage exclusively.

The loot modifier only affects the points/currency that are received from tests. It doesn't affect the loot received from the stages.

Thank you for the suggestion.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 5:42:05 PM - Permalink

So let me see if I understand to flow of earning loot correctly:

Student lands on mission and earns XP for stage 1

Student clicks on "Accept" and earns XP for revealing stage 2

Student answers test questions which retroactively adjust XP on stage 2

Student clicks on "Complete" and earns XP for revealing stage 3

Student submits URL on stage 3 which allows them to click "Master"

Student receives XP for revealing stage 4

It still seems like it would be more intuitive to hold the modifier from the stage 2 test and apply it to experienced earned for completion. Could GO reference the stage 3 loot values instead of stage 3 and remove loot from that larger total pre-emptively?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Feb 1, 2015 6:00:46 PM - Permalink

I agree, that could be more intuitive. After the next flurry of updates, we're going to go into bug-killing mode. We'll be aiming to fix and refine, so this could be on the table. I'll bring it up with the team.

Thanks again, Johnathan.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Feb 2, 2015 12:28:31 PM - Permalink

Just a follow-up on Forest's comment.

We agree that your logic's sound (as usual), Johnathan, and we plan to revise the scoring as suggested.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 5:55:23 AM - Permalink

So I have confirmed that the GameOn plugin is for some reason making my site completely non functional. The site only works when it is turned off but then all of my quest pages are not even accessible.

Out of desperation and my sanity I want to delete everything associated with the GO plugin and try a reinstall. Is there anything to delete other than the two databases and the plugin folder itself?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 6:37:22 AM - Permalink

Is there anything to delete other than the two databases and the plugin folder itself?

Yes. There are two tables ("_go" and "_go_totals"), AND several rows in the "_options" table, read below to find out how to find those rows. Those are all contained inside your Wordpress database.

If you're able to run SQL commands on your wordpress database, you can find the Game-On options stored in "[table-prefix]_options". You can select them all by running:

SELECT * FROM `[table-prefix]_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE 'go_%';

Replace [table-prefix] with your Wordpress database's table prefix. You should be shown 61 or 62 rows using the above query.

Edit: Added "[table-prefix]" because less-than and greater-than signs are removed to avoid html injection on AEE.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 3:01:31 PM - Permalink

Thanks Forest.

I may try a Wordpress reinstall as well, just waiting to hear back from Bluehost.

Thanks for the assistance.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 25, 2015 9:17:34 PM - Permalink

If I delete all of these elements will my current quests still be able to be functional upon a reinstall of the GameOn plugin??

Or if I delete everything associated with GO will it also permanently break all my quest. I know I will have to reset up the options page from scratch and all student/user data is gone but I am okay with that as long as I don't lose ALL the quest I have saved?

UPDATE: So I believe just saw that all the quest posts are stored in my wp_go table meaning I can not delete and recreate that table from scratch (100's of hours of post created). I looks as though the lines in the options table are all the game on options and function and the totals is player data?

AGAIN: WOW after three weeks I am finally fully functional again. I deleted the go_totals table and all old user accounts along with the GO plugin. Upon reinstall of the plugin v.2.9 I believe I have recovered all my quests and be proven in class tomorrow but I haven't been in this great frame of mind for a long while now. Like Terrance I am pretty sure the data reset maybe combined with the 2.9 update somehow really messed up my database. I won't be doing a reset again as I can easily delete the user accounts just as easy.


Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 2:51:23 AM - Permalink

YES! I'm glad things worked out man!!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 5:54:23 PM - Permalink

YESSSS! I'm Back...and my kids are as excited as I am. We are fully functional. I can't express the appreciation I have for GameOn and this style of teaching after being forced back into stand and teach mode for a couple weeks. Painful and unproductive. Students are again learning faster than I can teach!!

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 3:42:57 PM - Permalink

That's great! It's good to have you back in action.

I don't know why the AEE didn't send me an email about your update, weird.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 1:58:33 AM - Permalink

I'm not sure if this is on the list, but can we make so that if an item from the store is gifted the stats page shows who gifted them the item?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 2:13:57 AM - Permalink

Good suggestion, Terence! I've been wanting that, too.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 2:46:57 AM - Permalink

Expanding on that, would the gifter have their stats page list the name of the user that the item was gifted to? Currently the only indication that an item is gifted, for the one who purchased it, is the term "Gifted" on the item listed in Inventory > Purchases. I figure that having labels on both would eliminate any possible confusion or need for guessing.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 12:46:26 PM - Permalink

And can they be wrapped in different divs if received or gifted so they can be color coded? I'd love to see "income" as green and "gifts" as red, making it visually obvious.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 3:24:40 PM - Permalink

Using div tags would drop the "Gifted" or usernames onto a new line in the stats page, which would look odd. However, I'm sure that we'll have some sort of class or id attached to the element, if we add it!

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 4:35:04 PM - Permalink

Kicking out for space...

Oops, I meant a span, not a div. should allow for custom theming without affecting layout

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 1:40:47 PM - Permalink

Ran into a small problem with a store item. It's probably something simple again that I'm just not seeing. Anyway, in The Emporium, I have a "basket of keys" that provides a URL when purchased, which takes users to a hidden page on the site (this is the page where they get a randomized item, which I talked about over here). Unfortunately, when I or anyone else purchases this item, we don't get/see a URL showing up in the store item overlay. I'm running GO version 2.2.8.

If you want to log in to see what's happening, use demostudent1 / demodemo (at and purchase a "key from the basket." Mike, the admin account I sent previously is still active; if you need the credentials again let me know.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 2:01:45 PM - Permalink

Two things stand out:

  1. You have the filter set to Level 4 (Are players high enough level?)
  2. You're using the Random Content plugin (Have you tried it w/o that plug active?)

On the latter, just wondering if it's a conflict we can look into.
Another very, very cool idea!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 2:19:21 PM - Permalink

I'm level 6 and both players who brought it to my attention are level 5, so that shouldn't be an issue, but I created another store item (without randomization) just to test...same result.

The randomization happens in the page that is pulled by the URL, so I don't think it should affect the URL showing up, even when it's active, but I had to check, just in case. So I tried disabling all plug-ins except GO, but same result. :-(

I love me that URL feature and this basket of keys won't work without it so I'll dig into this later tonight. I'm off to yoga right now. Gotta relax! :-)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 2:15:52 PM - Permalink

Okay, I just tried this on my site and the URL functionality isn't working at all. When did that happen? Are you certain yours works (the first time)?

We'll get on this ASAP.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 2:22:42 PM - Permalink

I'm sure it worked last semester when I was setting this up, because I tested it and was SO pleased when it worked. I don't know when it broke, sorry!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 2:25:47 PM - Permalink

This should be an easy fix. Thanks for catching it!

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 6:31:24 PM - Permalink

Aha! I tested the URL feature on my site and yours and found that the URLs are being dumped at the very bottom of the page! I just created an issue for it, here. I'm going to grab breakfast, and then see what I can do.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 7:55:44 AM - Permalink

Phew! Alright, I had to first figure out how to fix the old Safari Game-On notification issue, but I was able to get it working locally and remotely. I removed, what I thought, was an unnecessary loop that was checking the z-index of every element on the page, for every Game-On notification. When I looked at the values being output by the loop, I found that there is seems to be at least one element with a z-index of 2,147,483,647. Interestingly (for me, at least), this is the maximum value that a signed integer can contain in a 32-bit system, which is ridiculously large! By removing that loop, the Game-On notifications may run slightly smoother. The issue was that the notifications did have a high enough z-index, but the HTML for the notifications was contained in the store lightbox. So, the notifications were at the correct z-index, but in the wrong place.

If you're feeling brave, you can test this now. Let me know if it works in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox! The version number should be "2.2.9-iss68".


Thank you!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 9:17:02 AM - Permalink

Worked fine in all 3 for me, Forest! In each case, the yellow "Buy" button turned into a green "Link" button, which opened the page in a new window.

I look forward to having it rolled into a stable update. In case it matters: applying this update reset the 'from email address' setting back to the default.

Curiously, in Firefox the little notification circle in the upper left (which is at zero for the account I was using) comes up red rather than green. In Safari and Chrome it was green.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 2:21:19 PM - Permalink

Great! Thank you for mentioning the "from email address" setting, i'll try to replicate it and perhaps find a solution. The admin message notification circle being only red in Firefox is a known issue, which I may roll into my update.

Thank you, again, Matthew!

EDIT: Whoops, Charles is working on the Firefox admin-bar bug!

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 3:12:16 PM - Permalink

I tested to see if the "from" email address setting was reset upon activation, and I couldn't recreate the issue. Hopefully Skocko or someone else will be able to let us know if they see similar results.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 6:23:39 PM - Permalink

Crud. I was using the default email when testing the plugin. Will try again..


  • Changed "From" email to:
  • Saved settings
  • Deactivated, deleted, reinstalled, and activated the hotfix
  • is still the "From"

Cannot replicate.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 7:24:11 PM - Permalink

OK, sounds like my result came from a different source. No prob! I'll let you know if I have any follow-up, but otherwise let's assume it wasn't a GO bug.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 12:09:02 PM - Permalink

A follow-on thought to my blue-sky wish just below: I've added image-maps to my site, using the ImageMapper plugin. This has allowed me to add interactive maps, so students can click through the world to find new quests. In the long run, I intend to use this in conjunction with the pods feature to have them complete a self-selected group of quests in each new area they explore.

Which leads me to the expansion of the originial idea: I'd love the ability to create imagemaps within the GO core and integrate filters into them. I'm envisioning that I could present one map with a very limited options to low level players, then expand the map with more options as they complete quest chains, pods, and level up. Or even have purchases in the store that unlock map areas...

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 12:19:36 PM - Permalink

I love waking up to your ideas, Matthew! This one is especially engaging as I'd never heard of (or had completely forgotten of) the ImageMapper plugin. This might even integrate with your pod concept (below). Will try this out later today. So many possibilities!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 8:37:36 AM - Permalink

This is definitely a blue-sky wish:

I use menus to link to my quests, so players have a way to find and access the quests with some structure. It's unfortunately necessary in beginner programming; I don't do this in my design class. I would love a way to add our standard filters (level, specialization, date, etc) to a menu, menu-item, or sub-menu. A short-code for these filters would also be awesome, so I could hide goodies in early quests for players to find if/when they return to a quest later on at a higher level.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 7:14:09 AM - Permalink

I've been thinking about the 'pods' feature we've discussed previously. I don't know if this will be useful, but I've had some thoughts on how we might build this functionality:

  • Quest definitions will have a pod ID
  • Each pod definition will allow the user to define
    • a list of quests that belong to it (podID is then added to the quest definition)
    • a minimum number of quests that must be completed in order to exit the pod
    • optionally, individual quests that are required in order to exit the pod
  • GO will autocalculate the minimum XP difference (&/or honor, etc) matching the pod exit
  • The user metadata will have
    • a podID; when filled, this indicates an open pod
    • a podStartXP; when a player accepts a pod this is filled with the user's current XP (or accept first quest in the pod?)
    • a podFinishedQuests; when quests are completed, their IDs are added to this field (for checking against the list of required quests)

This will allow several things to happen:

  1. When a user accepts a quest in a pod (or accepts the pod itself, not clear yet which is preferred, or if both/either), their account is marked with the pod ID; GO then knows that they're in that pod.
  2. If the user attempts to open a quest not belonging to the pod with which they're engaged, GO can display a 'must first complete your pod' message.
  3. When the user completes a quest, GO can check whether they've exceeded the score needed to exit the pod; if they have met that condition, it can check whether they've completed all required quests for the pod. If they meet both requirements, they are released from the pod (podID, podStartXP, and podFinishedQuests are cleared in their user account), potentially with a nice message (perhaps from the pod definition...).
The tricky point, I think, would be if the user abandons the pod and then returns. In that case, when they rejoin the pod, GO would need to review all their completed quests related to the pod in order to re-populate the user metadata fields correctly.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 8:37:46 PM - Permalink

Today was the first day of finals and I tried one of Rob's ideas and it worked even better than I expected.

All I can say is he's given the lowly checkbox a respected, effective position in my classroom.

The checklist will be a permanent feature in the Mac Lab (until something better comes along).

Thanks, Rob!


I also set up a temporary item in the store for kids to exchange their unused sick leave for extra time. Many students were happily claiming 60 minutes for each of the sick leave days they hadn't used (they get 4/semester). Others were grumbling that they didn't know there'd be a bonus.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 8:52:38 PM - Permalink

That's a great idea!!!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 9:10:52 PM - Permalink

Yeah. Schwartz strikes again!

He was right about it helping the kids focus on each and every requirement. I watched it unfold both periods today.

Since I added (in the heading) that all checkboxes must be checked to proceed—in essence, giving them the correct answer—I nerfed the bonus loot 100% for trying to submit without checking all boxes.

When I check the blogs after finals, it will be interesting to see if anyone chose to bluff, risking a pot o' damage (a very bad thing).*

*Completing or mastering the final was not required. (Unless you wanted an A or a B.)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 7:14:59 AM - Permalink

I third Terrence and Mike. This is a great idea, Rob. Definitely stealing it!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 4:20:17 AM - Permalink

The GameOn plugin has somehow completed shut down my site again. the home page won't even load if GO is installed. It doesn't even matter which version it is. I think 2.2.9 is really messing up databases somehow. This happened about a week ago and the only solution I had was to restore the site to an older version which accidentally wiped my database and all student totals (which I can't afford this time).

Like Terrance at the beginning of this semester I did a total reset of stats so that may be a key factor in what I am experiencing but I am nearing an inability to utilize GO going forward this semester as I have lost several days already this semester and unfortunately stress and pressure is winning out.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 5:25:37 AM - Permalink

Man, I feel your pain..

Quick question..and maybe a solution.

Question : do you have a backup of last weeks database

In order to get 2.2.9 working for me I had to delete the go_totals from my database and install one that was working previously. Hopefully you have a copy from Friday the 16th so that your students will have the same data they left with for the weekend.

After I deleted and installed the backed up database 2.2.9 works fine.

I remember back in the day this same thing happened to me, and it was definitely a database issue, because I had to delete some things from it. I can't remember what though? I seem to recall it having something to do with user roles.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 6:29:01 AM - Permalink

This is horrible! If there is any chance that you have access to your site's PHP error logs, and could provide a link, it could help in finding a long-term solution.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 12:19:18 PM - Permalink

You're both on Bluehost, right? (Looking for common denominators.)

I just reset all stats on a test site, installed 2.2.9, and everything is working as expected. That site is hosted by Media Temple and is running PHP Stable (5.3.29) if that matters.

So sorry for the pain, Adam. Hoping we can resolve this ASAP.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 6:06:37 PM - Permalink

Yeah we're both on Bluehost. I've been on the phone with them all morning. They got the site to be visible again but still no one, including myself, can login to the website. I am defaulting two of my classes to using the website as a resource for assignment, tutorials, and blogging instruction but we are going to bypass the game altogether in favor of getting going on some design work. I'm gonna hold out hope for my beginners for another day or two and see if there is any chance for repair.

Forrest, I'm not sure where the PHP error logs are stored.

I think that now the issue may be larger than the database as a restore of the database didn't fix it. Bluehost said they saw some kind of conflict with the Ultimate Shortcodes Plugin and turned it off but that only fixed some of the issues.

Last night I did a complete restore of the site to a monthly backup (losing all work done in last 2 weeks) and still not functional. Bluehost created a ticket as they will look into it at a deeper level. I'll let you know if they have any feedback. At this point I have no idea if any of my issues are even GO related.

PS the site is running PHP 5.4.34

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 6:35:31 PM - Permalink

Yikes. Uh, I believe that Terrence found his error log in the root of his Wordpress directory. There are two (described here), one is flushed automatically, the other should hold on to the errors and warnings much longer.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 4:47:47 PM - Permalink

Are the leaderboards wonky? I just looked at mine for a specific period, and it doesn't even have the same number of kids in each row...

Here's a screenshot.

Am I doing something wrong?

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 5:46:45 PM - Permalink

All fine over here..

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 6:29:30 PM - Permalink

Did you resolve the other issues you were having, Terrence? (Been worried about that.)

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 7:40:57 PM - Permalink

Not sure, I won't try it until this weekend just in case things go south.

It has to do with the data wipe that I did i'm sure of it. I will try again this weekend after I make sure I have backup.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 17, 2015 5:54:07 PM - Permalink

Just tried again... same problem as before. Right now 2.2.8 works well so im sticking with it until I can pinpoint the problem. Tried restoring the database after reverting back to 2.2.8 from 2.2.9 but my site still has problems. I have to do a full site restore from my WHM in order to right things. Tried creating a php error log.. but errors are not being written to it for some reason.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 17, 2015 6:03:50 PM - Permalink

Did you attempt to view the error log after you tried 2.2.9 again, or before?

According to this bluehost page on error logs, there are two types of logs. One contains the php errors that i'm looking for and the other is automatically wiped. Is there not an error log inside the root of your wordpress site?

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 18, 2015 5:23:45 AM - Permalink

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 18, 2015 5:48:02 AM - Permalink

I clicked the links above I added and I got an empty link...try this one here.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 18, 2015 5:58:39 AM - Permalink

Great! I'll look into it and get back to you.

It looks like you copied the cloning URL for the gist, if you remove the ".git" at the end of the URL it works just fine, but having both on one google document works better.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 4:15:12 AM - Permalink

Okay, i've spent the better part of the day attempting to find the cause of all those warnings/errors, or at least the bad ones. I was actually able to refactor the data reset queries, there were several things wrong with them. Woot!

As far as the division by zero error goes, I believe that the cause is, again, a user had points greater than or equal to the max level's points. That lead to all sorts of problems throughout the level system. I think i'll put some more time into it tomorrow. If I can figure out a bandaid-fix for users that go over the max level's limit, then i'll implement it. However, Austin has taken up the refactoring of the level system, and my fix may become irrelevant.

If you have the same symptoms again (hopefully you won't) make sure that none of your users (or yourself) have points greater than or equal to the max level. In the event that your site is down, the wordpress table with the suffix "go_totals" will contain all user points.


Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 7:10:06 AM - Permalink

Ok awesome...I think I solved it just now...

I went into myphp admin downloaded the go_totals table with the working version 2.2.8 installed.

Then I installed 2.2.9 again. I got the same errors as before, so I went into myphp admin to check my go_totals and all the data was incorrect. To fix this I decided to import the tables that I downloaded with 2.2.8 active, I got a duplicate table error. So I deleted the go_totals table completely from my database, and imported the downloaded version.

Now I have 2.2.9 activated with no problems, all data seems correct.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 5:10:14 PM - Permalink

Well, good. The duplicate id warnings are unavoidable, the way to fix those would be wiping the Game-On tables every time that the plugin is activated/deactivated. It's simply SQL confirming that the tables already exist.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 6:31:06 PM - Permalink

We're fine, too, Rob.

Try activating all periods to pull more data. (That shouldn't fix anything but one never knows what might help when dealing with gremlins.)

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 7:01:52 PM - Permalink

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 7:15:08 PM - Permalink

Just showed Ezio. He'll look at that code tomorrow during out Sat school.

Question: Who do those other numbers belong to? Are those kids in another class? Left over from last year? In a parallel dimension?

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 4:40:29 PM - Permalink


Absolutely LOVE the quiz feature. I'm just using it now as a checklist for the student... so they can't mark it mastered unless they check off all the critical steps as completed... REALLY helping them make sure they don't miss something. I do believe some honestly were just missing steps. Between hilighting the video links and a checklist for completion.... It's about perfect!!!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 6:34:57 PM - Permalink

I'd never considered using that feature as a checklist. That's brilliant, Rob.

So stealing that!

Donis Krohmer

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 3:24:42 AM - Permalink

Hate to seem dense, but can you put up an example of what your checklist might look like. I love to use your ideas. This one sounds like a winner but I'm very visual. Please show me...

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 3:50:34 AM - Permalink

Hi Donis,

This is what mine looked like today. To get the full story scroll up to Jan 20 or click here.

I'm curious about Rob's, too. Really a terrific idea he had!

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 14, 2015 4:32:32 PM - Permalink

Huge request...

Could the team add a div class around the GO video popups so that we could make those links look different if we choose? I think it would help my kids not miss a video by making it look especially formatted.

I'm not asking that GO format it by default, but it would be HUGE if I could make them look special and develop special theme attention to it in my theme customizations for my students who are missing them.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 14, 2015 8:15:32 PM - Permalink

Hello Rob, this is on our list of things to do, you can see the issue here. Until that feature is added, there are ways to affect the video links, if your theme has an option to add custom CSS values. Here is how you can do it, where ever your theme provides custom CSS options you can enter:

a[onclick^='go_display_help_video'] {

// add your custom css here, for example...

color: green;

font-family: Papyrus;


This will make all Game-On video links appear with a green Papyrus font. The two backslashes ("//") indicate a comment, and so that line will not have an effect on the CSS. The words in the brackets before the "a" ("onclick^='go_display_help_video'") indicate that the CSS rules inside the curly-braces ("{}"), should only affect anchor tags (links) that have an "onclick" attribute starting with "go_display_help_video". go_display_help_video() is the javascript function that Game-On uses to create the video lightboxes.

I tested one link in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox with the CSS rule above and it worked perfectly. In theory, it should work for all Game-On video links; I do not guarantee that it will work for all themes or that the CSS will remain after updating a theme with custom CSS options.

I hope this helps!

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 15, 2015 8:40:27 PM - Permalink



I know this isn't your thing- it's a divi thing, but if you do set color, it doesn't override divi's color scheme. You know a way around that?

Like on this page-

The red hr's are nice deep red, but the links (divi;s doing) are that lighter red.


Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 15, 2015 9:00:06 PM - Permalink

If you want to have your custom CSS override Divi's, you'll need to add a "!important" (without quotes) onto the end of the "color: " line, before the semi-colon. Using the rule that I listed above, it would look like:

a[onclick^='go_display_help_video'] {

// add your custom css here, for example...

color: green !important;

font-family: Papyrus;


Edit: Colored the "color" attribute for emphasis.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 2:47:18 PM - Permalink


Thanks a ton!!! Know it's a small thing- but HUGE to me! WOW!

I'll accept NO excuses anymore!!! ;)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 3:46:31 PM - Permalink

Isn't it great to have Schwartz back in the house again?

And isn't it great that Forest is such a code god?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 5:32:03 AM - Permalink

I'm rebuilding my store and have a couple questions.

1. How do I make a purchase subtract damage rather than add it? Using Damage as a payment for a tardy give positive Damage rather than subtracting it.

2. How do I create a store item that can add Gold to a user's account rather then subtract?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 5:47:44 AM - Permalink

In order to subtract any currency (experience, gold, honor, and damage) you'll need to give that currency a positive value in the cost of the item. The notifications for damage should appear reversed, compared to the other currencies, if the store item gives damage, the notification will be red; if the item removes damage, then the notification should appear green.

I hope that helps.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 7:39:56 PM - Permalink

How do I add currency though?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 7:48:30 PM - Permalink

With a minus sign.

100 = the cost of an item (a negative by default)

-100 = the award for an item (double negative = a positive)

Make sense? :)

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 9:16:31 PM - Permalink

Duh! I swear I had tried that...Oh well, easy fix. Thanks

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 12, 2015 8:43:02 PM - Permalink

Has Anyone ever encountered problems with cached pages always showing students your old pages and videos that should be newly updated. I have started to have my students clear their cache on Mondays but I think this what caused my website major problems because when students all logged in at the same time it had to many users connecting to the database at once.

Since clearing the cache seems to be a poor solution, Anyone have other suggestions for preventing student from viewing the old versions of cached pages?

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 12, 2015 9:37:08 PM - Permalink

Yeah, I get a lot of that. Dunno how to fix, would like to get rid of old versions of the pages because that seems to be what it pulls.

Sometimes kids who have NEVER been to the quest before get an earlier version of the quest that I'v since updated. Dunno how to fix other than the shift-f5 trick

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 3:22:40 AM - Permalink

Yeah, I have new students pulling pages that are up to a year old sometimes. I thought about deleting and replacing the old page when I do a major update of a quest with all new videos, however that would break all the links I have going to the quest as well.

I guess I may just begin including instructions to "hard refresh" at the beginning of any updated quest.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 4:53:43 AM - Permalink

That is very weird. Is it only pages and posts, or are quests involved as well? I'm curious if there is a pattern to which quests are showing their older versions to students. Rob and Adam, do you have an example of a quest that has been affected this way, that you are willing to share? It sounds like it has been going on for a while, so I'd like to at least find out if there is a pattern to watch out for.


Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 5:23:42 AM - Permalink

I have it happen to pages, posts, and quests. It really seems to happen randomly so I only notice when I see a student on a video that shouldn't exist or a student finds a broken link that shouldn't even exist because I deleted it.

I think if its the first time your particular machine ever encounters the website it will pull the new page because it has to do with how the computer is cacheing the website entirely???

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 6:02:59 AM - Permalink

I had this problem in the past as well. Not anymore though, my problem quests were linked to quests that I created before the clone function was created. So quests that I made last year or in 2012 even after I updated them, did not show the new content. So I just copied and pasted my old quests into new ones (I did not use the clone function for this) and all is fine. New quests show any content that was updated.

FYI I also tried different caching plugins - the best one, or the one I have not had this problem with is Hyper Cache. I have tried W3 and Super...

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 9:21:46 PM - Permalink

Hmm. Interesting, I'll give it a try.

Cmd+R works but often I can't tell visually if they are looking at old ones and students don't know either so I am just suggesting refresh on all quests now.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 7:57:51 PM - Permalink

The next time it happens, check the URL. WordPress "helps" by displaying the page it thinks you were looking for if the link doesn't lead to an existing URL.

Students have found old content I'd forgotten about that way.

When a cached page shows up—which doesn't happen often in the Mac Lab—a page refresh (Cmd+R) usually resolves the issue.

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 15, 2015 8:43:28 PM - Permalink

Here's one...

there should be text under the red button that links to their blogs saying "USE YOUR DESIRE TO LEARN EMAIL..." in all caps, large, red text between 2 hr's

Sorry for the delay- new students and we've been in "crank it up" mode! ;)

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Jan 14, 2015 4:25:53 PM - Permalink

Kicking out for space...

A little testing on this again suggests that it may be district caching as well. Seems to work on an off network browser most the time, but not in school. Force refresh works every time, AFAICT, no matter what or where.

Does anyone know a way to remove the old revisions from the pages? I'm also wondering if that might help. For some missions- where we learned "well, THAT didn't work..."- and had to update- maybe if we could dump the old version from revisions it would help?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 11:26:14 PM - Permalink

Not sure what changed but my site has created a Major Conflict with the GameOn Plugin. The site is completely non functional if the Game On Plugin is active. I have updated a few things in the last week and don't know where the conflict is but Bluehost was only able to confirm that there were errors being given from the GO plugin.

I am just wondering if anyone else is encountering any conflict issues today?

I am wondering if it has something to do with my databases as the major problems started off with the common "error requesting database query" which I have seen several time over the years but has never been more than short term slow down from too many database requests simultaneously. If anyone is knowledgeable about database "fixes" I'll try anything this early in a semester (not much to lose). Can a Database be deleted or replaced if its damaged for some reason?

Other info:

I have recently:

  • Updated Wordpress recently
  • Updated Divi Theme (not a theme conflict)
  • Deactivated ALL other plugins (not a plugin conflict)
  • Deleted and Reinstalled GameOn (no change)

Nathan Scherer

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 11:38:42 PM - Permalink

When I had some major problems with my plugin it was because one of the users was a higher level than I had set up. That mucked up the database and one of the guys actually went in and fixed everything for me.

The students will never get there with the work I give them but it was actually my account because I forgot to reset my stats between semesters.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 12:05:01 AM - Permalink

I hope that Nathan’s solution works. Were the people at Bluehost willing to share the exact errors that they found? If reseting a certain player’s level doesn’t do the job, knowing what errors were being thrown would be helpful in finding the answer.

Thank you!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 3:41:55 AM - Permalink

Unfortunately they did not give me any of the codes. If I speak with someone again I will see if I can get anything. I think it might be more significant than the levels thing. When I activate GameOn my entire site locks up on an empty white screen, so I can't even go in to check or change the levels anyway.

Does that sound familiar? If it is the levels, then how would I change the levels in the code???

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 4:31:47 AM - Permalink

That happened to me a while back, and my culprit was a plugin that I had installed that wasn't playing well.

Try an earlier release of gameon and see if that works...

Since all is fresh you can also delete all the databases that are related to game on.




I think my problem dealt with a user role I deleted it manually from my database. You can delete a database, if you have a backup from bluehost see if they can install it to the date when all was well.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 5:33:41 AM - Permalink

I restored the database back a week not realizing I would LOSE ALL of my updates (5 consecutive long nights) I had only wanted to delete or refresh the GO related stuff. Lost all the new quests, post, and pages I had created.

If I can get it back, how or where do I delete the the specific databases related to GameOn?

P.S. all the plugins are turned off when GO still crashes the site when activated by itself.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 12:47:38 PM - Permalink

You've given Forest good info to troubleshoot. He'll get to the bottom of it. We may need access to the DB.

About lost work. Been there, too. Try Googling the pages and snagging the cached versions. That's worked for me in the past. Hope that helps!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 4:50:08 PM - Permalink

I was able to restore the database to current but I would assume the errors will still exist. The website is working at the moment but I don't know if it will when student login later today...update coming.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 5:53:11 AM - Permalink

These are the error codes they gave me. He said these "were the big ones" whatever that might mean.

PHP Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in /home8/reativt6/public_html/wp-content/plugins/game-on-dev-forest/go_ranks.php on line 21

PHP Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in /home8/reativt6/public_html/wp-content/plugins/game-on-dev-forest/go_ranks.php on line 22

WordPress database error Duplicate key name 'id' for query ALTER TABLE wp_go ADD UNIQUE KEY id (id) made by activate_plugin, do_action('activate_game-on-master/game-on.php'), call_user_func_array, go_table_individual, dbDelta, W3_Db->query, W3_DbCache->query, W3_DbCallUnderlying->query, W3_Db->query, W3_DbProcessor->query, W3_Db->default_query

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 6:12:43 AM - Permalink

Excellent, these are errors that are caused by the current version of code that deals with the levels system.

If you are able to, the database table you are looking for is named "go_totals" (it will be followed by your chosen database prefix, i.e. "wp_go_totals"). You'll be looking for the "points" column and any values less than zero, or greater than your highest level's indicated points.

The "go" table contains only quest and item data.

Please let me know if that helps.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 5:21:48 PM - Permalink

I'll see what I can find. I wouldn't think there should be any strange values though because I just did a complete "data reset" of all data in the game on options. This should set all values to zero, right? I'll try to find that database and check for bad values tonight.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 5:56:40 PM - Permalink

Found the database and it looks okay as of now at least (after restoring database). No values less than zero or above top level value.

Is there a difference between 0 or null in the table. Some accounts have 0 for for a column while others have Null for the same column?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 10:36:26 PM - Permalink

In SQL, a 0 is not equal to NULL. NULL indicates that a value doesn't exist for that specific item in the table. 0 indicates that the value has no value, but should be an integer. In most cases NULL or 0 values in the table are harmless (as in "go_totals"). They only cause problems when they are manipulated on a site's back-end, which is one of the causes of the errors that the Bluehost support gave you. That's the reason I asked.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 4:32:19 PM - Permalink

Adam: Forest just uploaded an update (v2.2.9). Try that and see if it helps.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 9:38:36 PM - Permalink

Lol..2.2.9 totally just broke my site...

Levels and Experience, Loot are all screwy, fix level button does not work. I reverted back to 2.2.8 and it gives me the same problems.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 10:11:29 PM - Permalink

Yikes! Forest is looking into it.

Sorry, Terrence!

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 10:19:42 PM - Permalink

Checked my database, all of the numbers are wrong...for example if a student had $3400 your Gold category some now have $165..


If a student had 3000 experience points their stats page say -2400/150 and it says they have 600 experience.

Checked my backups, and I did not make one for yesterday!! Last one was a week before break.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 11:26:16 PM - Permalink

Not sure if this helps...

3 Weeks ago did a data wipe:

  • Data wipe removed minutes,honor,demerits, and all traces of quests (did not want the last one but oh well)
  • Data retained was Money(gold),Experience (students retained levels and loot)

After students came back and started new quests:

  • Quest stats are listed on stats page as usual, new experience recorded, as well as any new transaction. Money/gold gained from quests, experience, store purchase etc..All new Loot and experience was added to the old information left over after the wipe.
  • Now when I look at students stats only loot, and experience gained after the data wipe is recorded in the clipboard and database.

soooo..everything is technically working other than:

  • Stats page still retaining information from before data wipe as a negative number Example experience says -1565/270 with 55 experience being recorded after wipe.The -1565(1565) is their experience before the wipe, and the 55 is what they have gotten since.
  • Only loot recorded after the wipe is being shown.If student had $3250 before the wipe,its only showing the $500 they made after.
  • If the loot gained is positive it shows a positive number on their stats page. If loot gained after wipe is negative it shows a negative number.

Hope that makes sense....:)

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 11, 2015 12:42:02 AM - Permalink


I found the backup from yesterday, all is well as of now.

Spoke too soon....not fixed, I will keep trying though.

Fixed only if 2.2.9 is not activated...I will keep 2.2.8 installed for now.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Jan 11, 2015 7:36:22 AM - Permalink

*Bumping for room*

Terrence, is there any chance that you could give me all the contents of your php error log from yesterday (1/10)? Dumping the contents into a google doc or a gist file would work just fine.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 12, 2015 12:30:09 AM - Permalink

Sitting here on a train heading to LA hoping that Terrence's problem will be resolved soon.

On the off chance, are you, Terrence, going to the Linked Learning Convention this week? Is anyone else?

Terrence Banks

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 5:54:56 AM - Permalink

I wish, I need to let my admin know though they might say yes....

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 3:57:07 PM - Permalink

When setting up loot and leveling presets, it would be really cool if we could type in a mathematical function that references the current index number (level, tier, etc) to generate an output value automatically. This would speed up new installs of the plugin and save teachers time as they need to add additional levels once their players get to the max levels.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 4:41:20 PM - Permalink

The leveling thresholds are defined by an equation. Try clicking the + button and the new threshold is automatically generated. We could (and should) give users the option to set their own formula. Good idea!

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Dec 20, 2014 5:31:08 PM - Permalink

So my students made a suggestion about the stats page that I thought was worth sharing. They wanted to be able to see not only the quests they've started but the other available quests they haven't encountered yet. Would there be a way we could set the system up so the admin could toggle this feature on or off by default and let users switch between the two views based on the admin's selections? Also, it would be nice if a pop-up or notification of some kind was generated on a mouse over to see when each stage of a quest is accomplished.

On another note, I have created a few missions requiring students to submit a URL for both the completion and mastery stages. When I look at the stats page, only the mastery block is linked. Can we retain previous URLs in the same mission?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 21, 2014 12:16:15 PM - Permalink

Two great suggestions and one bug to fix (it should show both). Thanks, Johnathan!

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jan 4, 2015 6:23:55 PM - Permalink

It's been a while since the plugin has had an update. Any idea when we might see something new? Not impatient, I just love playing with new features and I've still got a week before my 2nd semester starts. :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 4, 2015 7:23:38 PM - Permalink

We actually have four separate updates in the works and are close to rolling each out. I haven't bothered the team in the last 10 days or so. They needed a break.

The one I know you'll like is timed quests. With a countdown built in. And a nerf feature for missed deadlines as well. Very slick.

I'm looking forward to bonus loot with custom settings from 0.1% to 99.9% chance of drop. And consumables with a real inventory system. And some cosmetic improvements. And more debugging.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 3:46:16 PM - Permalink

That's good to hear. Can't wait to see how the loot system works. The timed quests should be really useful for my classes as well. Thanks!!!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Jan 10, 2015 4:45:22 PM - Permalink

Danger: Only if you're daring...

v2.3.0 Buggy Beta


  • time to the calendar rewards modifier in task creation page
  • future time reward modifier which activates on accept (stage 2) of a task and starts a timer which, when it hits 0, modifies rewards given by completing the task (stage 3)


  • there are some time buggy issues, like reloading the task page sets the timer forward 30 seconds one time only and then it's no longer an issue
  • all naming conventions can be changed, this feature is weird and I can't find a succinct title to give it

Ezio is on the road and will finish this when he returns next week.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 7, 2014 7:46:04 PM - Permalink

I'm having trouble with the send feature (where a player can upload a file to show completion and GameOn emails it to the address on the settings page). On my installation at Bluehost, I only get a "Could not instantiate mail function" error. I've talked with Bluehost support and tested with a WP-Mail-SMTP and it looks like the issue is within GO. I can easily send a test email message from WordPress using both SMTP and the php mail() function, using the WP-Mail-SMTP plug-in. But can't from the Game-On WordPress pages.

Permission, as always, granted in advance to log into my site as needed ( An example of this, for testing, is

Anything you need for troubleshooting, let me know. Suggestions or slaps upside the head gratefully accepted!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 3:29:17 AM - Permalink

I have encountered the exact same problem and despite my failure to get answers to this point I am even more convinced now that it must be a Bluehost issue as I also use Bluehost. If you ever get any new feedback be sure to let us know and I will likewise.

I am greatly jealous out not having the email features including both the uploading files as well as any receipts from store purchases.

Terrence Banks

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 3:44:14 AM - Permalink

I have Bluehost, and I don't have this problem at all. Around 2.3-2.6 I got the emails quicker, but I still get all the email uploads from my students. I do have a VPS account and not a shared, so I don't know if that makes any difference.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 4:25:09 AM - Permalink

Uploads (and notifications) are working flawlessly on our end. Not sure how to address the Bluehost issue (if that's what it is).

As a workaround, you might consider using the URL feature and ask the kids to use Google Drive, Dropbox, or the like for file submissions.

Sorry about that!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 3:34:42 PM - Permalink

Woot! After digging into this today, I found that the go_mail.php script assigns a default From: address of "," which is the problem for us, Adam. Bluehost requires that outgoing mail come from an address within the domain that is hosted at Bluehost (as a spam prevention measure). To fix this, one time, I have:

  • created an address within my Bluehost account for this purpose
  • created a forwarder, so any email to that address is automatically forwarded to my real email account
  • changed the go_mail.php file within the Game On directory, specifically changing the "" address to my email account's address.

The attach/comment button now reports " Message was sent."
And I got it a few minutes later! Double woot!
Mike, could there be an additional option in the settings, to allow us to put our address in there, with as the default? Maybe under the "Additional Settings" section?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 4:29:27 PM - Permalink

That's great news, Matthew! I'll speak with Forest about the alt pseudo-email option (though he's probably already seen this and is digging into the code).

Adam Coulson

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 10:17:20 PM - Permalink

AWESOME! I'll give it a try as soon as I can. That will be awesome to have to start 2nd Semester.

P.S. How did you figure that out. I have been "digging" for info on this for months.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 10, 2014 11:00:44 AM - Permalink

It took several rounds of looking at forum posts (mostly at Bluehost) about problems sending email from hosting accounts, online chats with Bluehost support (mostly useless from the standpoint of getting help, but helpful from the standpoint of having to really clarify what, exactly, was going on), reading the code for various parts of Game_On, until I understood how the attachments and email portion of the quest page worked, and testing various theories.

The critical moment came when I was in an online chat with a Bluehost tech support monkey. He asked me if there were any settings for the mail function. In looking at the page for go_mail.php, while I typed "no, I can only set the To: address," I looked at the "From:" setting about the exact time that I remembered a post on the forums about having to have a return address within your hosting domain. The pieces clicked and I reset that and tested and made history! ;-)

More cussed persistence in reading through the code over and over, than any brilliance on my part, I think. It had to be something Bluehost wasn't allowing, rather than any coding error, because it works fine elsewhere and mail works fine otherwise at my Bluehost account (even from my Game-on Wordpress installation) just not through this interface. I just had to get the pieces lined up together so I could see them in the right combination to see what, exactly, they were dis-allowing that we were trying to do. This has been bugging me for at least a couple months, too. It hadn't been enough of a bother until lately to really devote time to it, though.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Dec 14, 2014 3:34:38 AM - Permalink

Nice catch!

I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I've made a few changes and I'd appreciate it if you would download and test them. There should now be an option to provide a "from" email in the Additional Settings section. Hopefully that will alleviate any issues with the mailers. It is a new setting, so remember to re-enter the correct "from" email that you need to use.

ZIP: NOTE: This is not a stable version, and it does not contain any other features than those listed below. The version number should read "2.2.9-dev-forest".

- Changed the CSS on the video width and height options in the Additional Options section.

- Added a 'from' email option for receipt and file uploader email notifications.

- Store: Changed if-blocks checking for the repeatability limit on items; they now check for the variable to === "true" instead of simply checking for the value being TRUE/FALSE

- Tasks: Updated the rewards list to properly display the potential bonus currency, since bonus currency can no longer be affected by the super modifier

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 14, 2014 3:15:47 PM - Permalink

Yay! It worked. I installed on my other production site (ybdesignstudio) and it worked just as advertised.

Thank you

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 14, 2014 3:17:34 PM - Permalink

Yay! It worked. I installed on my other production site (ybdesignstudio) and it worked just as advertised.

Thank you

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Dec 14, 2014 5:22:43 PM - Permalink

Excellent! If Adam finds that it works as well, then i'll be convinced that the changes are working just as planned.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 4:09:44 AM - Permalink

I'm installing it now and will try in class tomorrow but I do have a question about the "from" email address. Does it need to be an address from my host server or can it be any email address I choose? Forrest, you said, "so remember to re-enter the correct "from" email that you need to use." What do you mean by "re-enter the correct"? As of now I am simply trying a gmail account I have.

Let me know if I need to set up an email address with bluehost on my domain.


Forest Hoffman

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 4:27:09 AM - Permalink

Adam, I based that instruction off of the fix that Matthew described above. I'm assuming that you do have to use an email from your Bluehost server. If i'm not mistaken, Bluehost would be handling all outgoing mailing functions for your website, which includes our plugin (I didn't consider that when I added the mailers to Game-On).

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 5:25:54 AM - Permalink

Bumping out for a bit more room.

Adam, yes, you have to use an address registered to the domain in which your site is hosted. That's the key - Bluehost won't forward any email from an address not belonging to the domain in which it starts (this is a spam avoidance feature). It also won't post any error, which is why this was a bit tricky to sort out.

But! You can create an address in that domain, then set up a forwarder that will send the mail from that address to any address you want. In the Bluehost C-panel, I used the main "Email" link to create my initial address, then the "Forwarders" link to list it and send all email to it straight to my gmail account.

Good luck. If you have any questions or hiccoughs, feel free to email me directly (I'll see it somewhat faster than posting here) at mmiller at cacegypt dot oh arr gee.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 1:55:23 PM - Permalink

Sweet! Works like a charm. No problems at all. Thanks for the help guys. Not having to go into the php file save me a headache as I'm not confident editing those files.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 16, 2014 2:01:07 PM - Permalink

Moving this so it makes sense in context.

Well done, Forest. (And thanks for the assist, Matthew!)

Another problem bites the dust.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 7:30:44 PM - Permalink

Somewhere down in this history of this thread (or it may have been a previous one) we talked about creating Quest Pods, in which there was a requirement that a certain number or XP value or etc be completed within the Pod prior to advancement, but the player would be able to select from within all the Pod quests to fulfill this. A more flexible version of the current Quest Chains. I didn't bookmark the conversation, unfortunately, and either I'm remembering the name wrong or Google didn't index very well (guess which is more likely ;-).
I am salivating over this idea - after the initial introductory material, this would be a great feature for my game structure. I didn't see anything like this on the Bugs/Features Google spreadsheet dashboard and am bringing it up in the hopes of keeping it alive for next summer's (I hope) bigger overhauls effort.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 3, 2014 10:39:55 AM - Permalink

We're ditching the spreadsheet (and mile-long email conversations) and will become slackers to get more organized.

Consider Pods on the list.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Dec 3, 2014 4:09:44 PM - Permalink

In addition to migrating to Slack...

You can view our bugs and features on our issues page on Github.

  • A list of tags can be viewed here.
  • A more visually appealing list of the issues can be viewed on Huboard (its easier to tell which issues are in progress, however the default Github issues page offers more options to filter issue searches).

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 5:41:20 PM - Permalink

I know I've posted about an additional UI feature showing student progress in a grid layout but now I'm thinking that maybe it would be nice to just build in the ability to export that mission data into a .csv file. It would still be ideal to have this with student names in the first column and assignments in each column that follows. If we could include a number in the target cell like 3/4 to represent their progress as finished stage 3 of 4 that would be ideal. As an added bonus, it would be cool to have a second cell with the links for each stage. Maybe this is more complicated than embedding this within the clipboard but it would be REALLY useful.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 5:48:35 PM - Permalink

We'll look into this, Johnathan. No promises but you might even get a twofer. :)

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 4:29:42 PM - Permalink

Not a bug report, but since this seems the most active forum. I thought I'd share here. My students finished their Vector Self Portraits. Most with Pen Tool, some with gradient mesh. Cool stuff.


I am thinking of weighting "epic" quests like this more in the grade book. I am using Rob's AAA Rubric. I am thinking of still grading 2-1-0, but making the category worth twice as much in the grade book.

I have been going back and forth about keeping them all equal, but then again there is a lot more challenge in some projects versus others.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 4:42:53 PM - Permalink

Really nice! Especially like Taylor's van Gogh-esque portrait.

For epic work I award "Boss Buffs" via our store. (I get email notifications and there's only been one false claimant so far. And he lost the loot and gained lots o' damage.)

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 5:46:23 PM - Permalink

That is a good idea.

Yeah, Taylor kicks butt. It is her third year. She had to skip last year to take AP classes and what not to "get into college". Anyhow, she did the vector lion I shared with you a couple of years ago.

I rarely get 3rd year students anymore and only a handful of 2nd year as their is a major UC push at my school to take four years of work language, fours of math, four years of science, etc. With our 6-6-5-5 hard requirements that leaves Arts/Electives out in the wind.

I did get some good news from the district. They are buying three years of Adobe CC for all school sites. I have been on CS5 for awhile.

Adam Coulson

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 2:17:47 PM - Permalink

Is there a way to remove students from a periods(section), Focus, and clear all XP, Honor, and minutes at the end of a semester thus allowing for a refreshed leaderboards and a wiped account that is still active? Thus a student can continue on using it without creating an entire new account. If not I will just delete all accounts at the end of the semester and have all students create new ones. I just didn't want to make returning students restart that process over if not necessary.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 2:38:55 PM - Permalink

There should be an option on each students profile page, inside the period/computer select fields, that says "Remove". Unfortunately there is no way to remove students from periods and computer in mass.

On the Game-On options page, there is an option in the "Additional Options" category which contains the "Data Reset" options; from there, you can removed Experience, Gold, Honor, Damage, Minutes, and Badges for all users. For more information you can view the help video to the right of the "Data Reset" option, by clicking the question mark button.

I hope that helps.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 3:39:32 PM - Permalink

Forest said it, but a word of caution: The Data Reset options reset for ALL players (even admins).

Adam Coulson

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 4:44:57 AM - Permalink

Right. I forgot about the reset option and didn't think about the fact that it resets the admins as well. It still may be my easiest option if I am unable to easily have students simply remove their info. I like the idea of resetting, meaning student can redo any quests for XP again if they want to refresh for XP but that also means they lose the links they already have in their stats page.

I'll way my options and ask the students their preferences as well. Thanks

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 5:35:08 PM - Permalink

After writing my long winded and confusing post below, it reminded of another feature. I think I may have requested this before, but just in case . . .

What if we could show rankings for each mission category. Like a skill tree. Something like this. Instead of strength, intellect, etc. it could be Illustrator, Photoshop or Typography, Composition, etc.

Which leads me to a second request. Misisons/Quests/Tasks are custom post types, correct? We have the ability to give them categories. However, when I am looking at the list of Missions in dashboard I only see Title, Tags, Comments, Date. Could we add an ability to see category? I'd love to be able to quickly sort by BOOT or Photoshop or whatever.

Also, how can I pull a mission category? Rob led me to a great plugin List Post Categories that:

List Category Posts allows you to list posts by category in a post/page using the [catlist] shortcode. This shortcode accepts a category name or id, the order in which you want the posts to display, the number of posts to display and many more parameters. You can use [catlist] as many times as needed with different arguments. Usage: [catlist argument1=value1 argument2=value2].

I'd love to be be able to use it to easily display new missions, separated by category, on my Gamer's Guide. Kind of like a auto-generating table of contents. In my GOGG I linked to I had to manually add each mission. It would be create to just be able to put in code [mission catlist: boot display: all] and all missions with a BOOT Category would be listed.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 11:11:43 AM - Permalink

I love the idea of a quests tree. Especially when the 'pods' feature makes it live, this will be hugely beneficial for my classes. Combined with a rankings for attributes or categories, this could be really fun!

Hmm...attributes/skills might be pretty easy to implement, too, if we can re-use the structure from implementing professions.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 4:21:02 AM - Permalink

Ezio and I spoke about this at length and in the process we fleshed out some very cool ancillary functionality —locks and nerfs and buffs, oh my! He went from dubious to enthusiastic over the course of 45 minutes.

Great talk and great ideas. He said he'd work on it over winter break. Will keep you posted.

Meanwhile, add your own blue sky functionality ideas to the concept. (This might be a biggie. :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 3:41:57 PM - Permalink

Will sit down and talk with the coders about this, Ryan. Lots of potential usefulness!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Nov 9, 2014 1:14:43 PM - Permalink

I have done something goofy and need a hand. I have a student who is reported as having 0 XP/Gold/etc. I've added XP manually and I can see both his quests and my manual additions on his rewards tab, but his total is still 0, which means he's locked out of the appropriate quests at this point in the year. I'll keep digging into what I've done and try to sort it out, but if anyone has any pointers or ideas, I'd love any assistance. (This is on the site. Permission to share login info with coding team granted in advance.)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Nov 9, 2014 6:26:53 PM - Permalink

Have you tried creating a new account for him? Might be easier than digging through the database. :)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 8:44:12 AM - Permalink

Tried that (after your post) in the hope that occam's razor could slice through the issue, but no dice. The new account acted the same way. In digging into the database, I found that the accounts uid was missing in the _go_totals table, so I manually added a line for it, with an XP total of 5, gold of 0, and NULL in the other fields. Then he showed up nearly properly on the clipboard, missing only his 'level'.

Then, to my embarassement, I noticed that although I'd downloaded various updates, I hadn't applied any since 2.0. So I updated to 2.2.6. Now the clipboard is fully accurate and adding more points through the clipboard also worked. Logging in, he found he's now able to complete quests and his received awards are totaled properly. (Bad troubleshooting, though, changing two things at one time.)

In further testing after the upgrade, another new account also developed the same problem. After creation there was no line for that uid in the _go_totals table. After manually adding a few points, still no entry in _go_totals, and it showed 0 across all categories on the clipboard (despite having it accurately recorded receipt of the points the account's Rewards tab).

Not sure what's going on, but at least the fix is easy. And since I won't likely have new students until next year, it's not pressing.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Nov 7, 2014 5:39:53 PM - Permalink

My film class is such a different beast. We don't most of the training over the summer, so the school year it is like a production studio. Students film sports, assemblies, etc. They work on school broadcast, short films, music videos, etc. However, there aren't as many tutorials/missions so to speak.

There are four main production roles: Director, DP, Art Director, Sound & Lighting Engineer. Maybe I could set it up in a way that they build experience in each role from project to project.

One thing I was thinking of, but technically not a gamified component is adding/filtering minutes by task. I don't know how feasible this is, but I think an expansion of the minutes features to categorize based on standard, learning outcome, task, etc. could be cool. For example, in a block period my students could:

+30 Editing

+30 Pre-Production

+30 Directing

Or whatever. At then end of the semester we could see how much time was in different areas. Or maybe I could probably do it as a Google Form and it would make fancy pie charts? Hmmm.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Nov 9, 2014 6:31:34 PM - Permalink

I've read this several times and I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the problem, Ryan. What new functionality would you like? Or maybe, what does Game On not do that you wish it would?

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 5:23:59 PM - Permalink

Sorry, it was the end of a long week.

Game On works great when you have missions where students are learning and building new skills and there is a guided instruction component.

For my Film/Video class the students attend a two week workshop over the summer. Eight hours per day for two weeks. That is where all of the typical lessons or "missions" take place. Once the school year rolls around, the students are essentially interns. They produce a bi-weekly news magazine show, create assembly videos, live feed filming for assemblies, film sports, and produce narrative projects for film festivals and the like.

Most of the learning at that point is in the critique and during the pre-production phase, but doesn't quite fit the mission model of Game On. However, I'd still like to gamify somehow.

A couple of years ago I came across this article from Phil Harris: A Different Kind of Final Exam. He has an analog system of students keeping track of skills they work don in class:

The following is a partial list of the activities the students could engage in: ENG, Scriptwriting/Proposals, Production Meeting, Location Survey, EFP Director, EFP Crew, Gathering Equipment, Talent, Set Construction/Strike, Grip, Studio Audio Mix, Studio Directing/TD, Studio Lighting Design, Studio Camera Operation, Floor Manager, Make-Up, CG Operator, Editing, Post-Production Audio, Duplication, Watch Show, Lecture (instructor/guest), Conference, Clean-up, Misc. jobs, Tutor other Students.

I was trying to figure out a way to harness the power of Game On to have leaderboards, XP, etc., but without missions. A way to show like skills, based on time spent or projects completed, as a skill tree.

Say a student spent X amount of hours editing, then their editing skill would be level XX. If they spent Y amount of time as a DP, they'd be level YY as a DP.
That is where I though they could add minutes, but have the minutes go to a certain category. At the end of the semester there could be a chart/bar graph/etc. that showed how many minutes in each "skill". Like I said, maybe just a Google Form would work better.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 4:16:01 PM - Permalink

Maybe I'm still not understanding. Why not repeatable quests for each of the specific activities?

If you used the Link option to get to Stage 5 of each of the quests, the students could record details on their blog (or a Google Form) and both of you would have a link to the record(s).

Loved the Harris idea but you'd not need the analog part (the printed pages) because the each of you would have access to the info (so long as the kids kept records).

As for the skill tree functionality, that's part of the conversation I'll be having with the coders. But skill isn't just a function of time or completing tasks... unless players were held accountable for the self assessment... or a method of directing controlling the settings... Hmmm. There's still a missing piece.

Pretty cool ideas, Ryan!

Adam Coulson

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 2:09:07 PM - Permalink

I have a student with -600 minutes and because of the nerf/buff system built into my minutes at a 20% multiplier for every 100 minutes when he completes a quest he actually LOSES 20% of the loot available because he has gone beyond the threshold of losing the entire amount of loot to actually paying when he completes the quest.

Any suggestions?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 6:27:07 PM - Permalink

I'm sitting here laughing. We've created a game to motivate a kid NOT to work.

We need to create a floor for the nerf (thought we'd done that) but maybe the game master could alter the nerf in the meantime.

-20% / 100 min? Man, even I'm not that cruel! :D

Adam Coulson

Posted on Oct 30, 2014 6:40:31 PM - Permalink

Yeah I've changed it to -10% for lacking 100 minutes now. I hadn't thought of anyone being behind by that far. I was only think that if you are absent for a day a 10-20% penalty until made up seemed fair. Pile multiple legitimate absences into a week and its a little nastier than I was predicting.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 25, 2014 6:45:11 PM - Permalink

Random Loot

Austin, Charles, and I just had a great conversation about random loot drops. Three minds are definitely better than one!

Here's how we see it working:

  • Store items will have a new Random Loot checkbox (off by default)
  • Checking the box creates a new random loot item in the database (once published)
  • Random loot is NOT available via the store (that would be gambling)
  • Quests will have a new Random Loot checkbox (off by default)
  • Checking the box displays two fields and a plus sign (+)
  • One field is a drop-down menu of existing random items to select from
  • The other field will accept an integer range of 1 to 100 (drop chance %)
  • You may click the + to add more than one random loot item and its drop chance
  • Random loot is an addition to the existing guaranteed loot
  • It's not gambling -- it's simply a chance for an additional drop

I see this as a fun way to encourage kids to opt for mastery. Coding has commenced.

Charles is also working on a functional inventory page

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 8:39:30 PM - Permalink

Awesome! This sounds like a definite engagement booster in my class next year.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 4:46:10 PM - Permalink

Is there a way to tell how many times a student has repeated mastery? I have somethings, like Photoshop Enhancements or Weekly SITREPS, that I allow them to repeat every time the use it on a project. A student asked, "How can I see how many times I have repeated mastery?" I thought there might be a number in Stats Panel, but I didn't see it.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 7:37:42 PM - Permalink

It's in the stats panel. Right here.

  • Create a 5 stage quest
  • Set the 5th stage Limit to an integer >1
  • Repeat the quest twice to see the 2*
  • Repeating once simply completes the 5th stage*

*Repeat = Complete in the 5th stage since it was designed to add the repeat functionality.

Tested in the current version of the plugin (2.2.6).

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 8:03:56 PM - Permalink

Weird. It took me awhile to get it to work. I had to delete and reinstall the plug-in. Still no luck. Then I had to change the limit number. I had it blank to be unlimited, but it would keep resetting to 1. Then it wouldn't show the number in the stats panel either. So, I put in 99 and now it seems o be working.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 8:34:24 PM - Permalink

We rewrote the limiter a few revs ago because people were getting infinitely repeatable quests by default. That's how it was intended from the beginning but because it caused confusion among some users, we changed it and 1 is now the default. As you say, blank reverts to 1 and that's intentional, too.

There's no infinite setting anymore. The integer = the repeat limit.

Sorry for the confusion. I need to rerecord lots of the vids. Since I have a presentation on the 15th, I have intense motivation to find the time.

Plus there may be a very high profile opportunity* on the horizon and that's providing hyper-mo!

*The organization's Zip Code is 20007

Adam Coulson

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 4:04:00 PM - Permalink

When I message students within the game there seems to be a limit to the length of message that they can view and then the side bar window goes off the edge of the page. Perhaps I am just making my messages to long but is there a way for students to view the entire message if it is too long to fit on a single line from the messenger at the top left?

Maybe we are just restricted to a max character limit like twitter??

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 5:14:57 PM - Permalink

The messaging functionality is intended to provide concise information.

Since the messages are ephemeral (not stored in DB once dismissed), it makes little sense to send copious feedback.

Does that make sense?

Adam Coulson

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 6:42:19 PM - Permalink

Gotcha. That's kinda what I figured but thought I would ask to confirm.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 1:26:34 PM - Permalink

More question woes....

parenthesis are not allowed in test questions.

I'm dying for the WYSIWYG boxes for questions.

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 2:30:46 PM - Permalink

Sorry, for the inconvenience! An update is in the works, and nearly complete, which will fix all of the test question problems, as far as special characters are concerned. This week and next week are fairly packed for me, and so I've had to set it to the side.

Just to give you an idea of what has been done, I managed to reduce the number of lines that generate the tests by 1200+. That seems like a lot, but I assure you the current stable release of Game-On is using the second version of the testing system (read: it was worse before). Progress is being made! Also note that the update that i'm talking about will proceed the update that will contain the matching answer question type. This update has some fairly important fixes, so as soon as i've hotfixed the tests, it'll be out the door.

Thank you for your patience!

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 1:57:32 AM - Permalink

Finally got around to trying the URL feature... WOW!

This is going to be so great for the kids that put posts in the wrong category and can't find their documentation- and LOVE how they can jump right to their posts on missions! AMAZING!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 5:00:23 PM - Permalink

Yeah, I'm really loving this, too. So useful for teachers and students.

Like I keep saying, Game On's best features come from our users' requests. :)

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 9:41:38 PM - Permalink

Could we add a tab in the clipboard to show a grid of all students vs. all missions? This would be really helpful for me to quickly pinpoint which missions aren't getting much attention from my students.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 10:00:29 PM - Permalink

How do you envision that working, Johnathan?

I can see the value, but am having trouble seeing the method. (Calling data isn't the problem. Displaying it is what I'm not seeing right now.)

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 1:28:31 PM - Permalink

I think we could create a spreadsheet. Make the left column student names and the top row be quests. Fill the cells with a number from 0-5 to show their stage progress. If we could make it exportable as a csv that would be even sweeter :)

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 4:54:12 PM - Permalink

I can see how this could be useful but it's going to be a cumbersome X-scroll for anyone writing a lot of quests.


  • Student names (actual names, not gamertags) in left column should link to their respective stats panels (in Lightbox).
  • Quest names along top row should link to respective quests (in new window)
  • Cells should reflect progress v total (2/3 or 0/4 or 5/5)
  • Repeatable quests need to be acknowledged (5/5*2)
  • There should be a way to summarize info
  • There should be a way to sort required v optional quests

I'm certain there are many more considerations but this massive array of data will be of little use to mere mortals without painstaking, eye-squinting, mind-numbing focus.

Maybe we could begin with a visual representation—an overview—that could provide info at a glance and allow for focused deeper dives on the individual quest level. The 40-foot-wide spreadsheet would be an option for info geeks.

I think sticking with the stats panel model would give us a starting point for collecting and displaying data for individual quests.

Improved Functionality:

  • Quest names in left column would link to respective quests (in new window)
  • Class names displayed in top row would link to respective 40-foot-wide spreadsheet
  • Visual representation of stages (3 to 5 rectangles) in cells in a very wide column
  • Data presented in rectangles using progress bar-like functionality
  • Rectangles link to new page displaying individual user data for respective quests using 40' functionality (but only for the specific quest)
  • We'd still need a way to deal with repeatable quest data

That's obviously just off the top of my head but it feels far more useful. Will have to think more on this and refine the form and function.

Any thoughts?

Edit: Like most features, this will roll out incrementally.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 11:34:51 AM - Permalink

Several thoughts, with no regard for practicality nor do-ability:

  • The cell grid matching students & quests could be a heat-map, with each cell a simple sqare and the depth of color showing which of the 5 levels has been achieved (as at Khan academy's teacher dashboard). A more compact way to show it and easy for nearly anyone to interpret.
  • Repeatable quests could have a series of color changes (ie: most quests are a shade of, say, green; 2nd round (1st repetition) would be blue, 3rd round indigo, 4th round purple, 5th red, etc). Or use a numeral in the square to indicate the repetition cycle
  • Required quests could have a bolder outline? With optional ones in a hairline. Or use a different set of shades for each. Eg: required in jewel-tone shades, intense even though the shades vary from very light to fully colored; optional in pastel shades, muted from light to full).
  • I'd use a set of letters or numbers across the top, with a key on the bottom or side, to compress the horizontal space required. Have a popup show the full name of the quest on roll-over of the number/letter/symbol.
  • Highlight the column and row when rolling over elements in the grid, to make finding/comparing/checking specifics right on the grid level easier.

I've built a quick mock-up of one way I envision this might look.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 3:18:56 PM - Permalink

Hey Matthew,

The with no regard for practicality nor do-ability disclaimer makes it hard to respond specifically (as I've been wanting to do since you posted).

  • The heat-map might be useful if it had 3 to 5 compact rectangles per quest
  • Definitely a number
  • I was thinking sortable but appearance might be helpful
  • Makes it more compact but hard to search (can you search for hidden info?)
  • Winner! Never even crossed my mind

One thing that did occur to me is that the left column and top row need to be locked or whatever it's called when the other cells slide under them when scrolling.
Good stuff!

Matthew Miller

Posted on Oct 26, 2014 8:49:21 PM - Permalink

"makes it hard to respond specifically" - sorry, that not my intention; I just meant to indicate that I didn't consider how much effort these ideas would take, nor even whether what I was proposing is possible within the scope of PHP & WP. Sorry if I made things harder, or muddier! Even if I throw some disclaimer on a post, feel free to jump back in my face with feedback, any time. Part of the fun and the stimulation of this community is the flow of ideas and feedback - so don't hold back!

  • I don't see why 3-5 rectangles per quest are needed; the point of using the color depth to indicate the stage at which the quest currently sits is to condense the info to one square/rectangle. Or am I misinterpreting your comment?
  • Yeah, after I made the image I decided the color should represent only one aspect; a number in the square makes the repetition cycle much clearer than color could.
  • If we make the grid filter-able (vs. sort-able) it might fill the same needs as sorting...or some of them. I don't know enough about the coding to say if you can search for hidden info, but I won't be surprised if those amazing young folks working on this come up with a way to make that happen (if needed).
  • Totally agree about the locked/frozen/whatever column & row headers.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 7:55:08 PM - Permalink

Re: 3-5 rectangles: How do we know at a glance how many stages a quest has? Is the kid on 3 of 3, 3 of 4, or 3 of 5 with just color?

Or am I misinterpreting?

And yeah, filter is the word I should have used. :)

Matthew Miller

Posted on Nov 3, 2014 5:45:17 AM - Permalink

Aha! Light dawns on the slow lad in Egypt. Um, how about one square at the top (just under the label for the quest) that shows the maximum color depth for that column? That way it could stay condensed, but still show the "of 3" or "of 4" ("of 5" will be more obvious, because of the number in the square, representing repetition cycle).

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 6:09:00 PM - Permalink

Did we lose the Badge Designer or are my eyes getting bad in my old age?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 6:15:07 PM - Permalink

No, your eyesight is 20/20! We removed the badge designer in the 2.2.1 release.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 6:35:38 PM - Permalink

Is there a suggested alternative? Something like this maybe? Or I could design in AI if I had an idea what size. Does it matter? Assuming I upload as a jpeg it should have a badge ID that I can insert, correct?

Forest Hoffman

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 6:39:12 PM - Permalink

Yes, you can make any mutlimedia file a badge, so your free to make your own. If you wanted to use another plugin, as long as it exports images, or videos, Game-On should be able to use it as a badge.

EDIT: We are currently piggyback on the Wordpress media library id system, so badges themselves aren't differentiable from normal images or videos. Any media id could be used as a badge, is what I meant.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 7:25:20 PM - Permalink

I've been making 500px square PNGs but as Forest said, any media file will work.

One day I'll try an animated GIF or sound file just to see what happens.

EDIT: The images are automatically resized for the Badges panel.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 6:26:37 PM - Permalink

Yep. Back on Sept 29. Major potential security hole. (Plus it made butt-ugly badges.)

Rob Schwartz

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 2:00:29 AM - Permalink

You can always try THESE.

Johnathan Chase

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 8:35:54 PM - Permalink

It appears that the test system doesn't accept square brackets in the answer fields. I tried doing [Ar] 4s^2 3d^10 as an answer for a noble gas electron configuration and it gave me 42, no answer given, and a bunch of gibberish.

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 9:18:14 PM - Permalink

That's because 42 is the answer to life the universe and everything.


Seriously, it may be a PHP issue with the special characters. I'll ask Forest.

Matthew Miller

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 8:58:47 AM - Permalink

I had the same problem when I used square brackets. I suspect it's because Game On (and WP in general) use square brackets for special tags ( like [go_get_displayname] ), so using them within Game On elements confuses the system.
On the plus side, all the geeks (including me) got quite a chuckle out of seeing 42 pop up as the answer on the test. What a fun error default!

Mike Skocko

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 10:24:45 AM - Permalink

Forest has this fixed so all—all—special characters will work. First we need to get Ezio's Focus fix (2.2.7) pushed to the main then Forest will merge his with Ezio's and tests and test loot will finally work as intended with 2.2.8.

Both have been tested repeatedly and both seem clean. We'll see once Ezio pushes 2.2.7 in the morning.

Donis Krohmer

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 9:10:18 PM - Permalink

I had the same problem trying to ask questions about the keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop. I named them left bracket, right bracket to get the question to work, then spent the day explaining to 9th graders what a bracket is...

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 1:21:50 PM - Permalink

Forest has added these to the ZERO issue as well. For now, best to stick to alphanumeric answers without the lone zero.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 5:49:20 PM - Permalink

How about clone a store item like we can clone a mission?

Mike Skocko

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 5:56:29 PM - Permalink

Geez, that would have saved sooo much time when I built this monster!

Great idea, Ryan. Too late to help me though. :)