When we first started working on GooseChase, we weren’t quite sure how people would use it. We knew that it would work well with the traditional 2-3 hour, “all-in” scavenger hunt, but we were really curious to see if people would use it for a passive game like Foursquare. It’s still early, but with our v2.0 product being live for a couple months now, it’s worth a look at our usage to see how our expectations held up.
Looking at the data, the first thing we noticed was how “all-in” scavenger hunts, like your standard 2 hour blitz, dominate. The vast majority of GooseChases last less than 3 hours. At first this was a little bit of a let-down for us as we were hoping to see some creative “non-standard” use, but it does makes sense. When a platform is very new, people start with the obvious ways. Only after they use it for a while do they figure out how they can tweak it for other uses too. We were expecting alternative usages to be found right away, which wasn’t realistic. They’ll come, but not this early.
The second is the breakdown of simple vs. intense tasks and how often they get completed. While it’s obvious that simple tasks would get completed more frequently than intense ones, we didn’t expect the disparity to be as high as it is. With the public “GooseChase Super-Hunt” we’ve been running for the last week or so, approximately 50% of the completed missions were “easy” and the other half were more “intense” missions. This may sound like an equal split, except that there were only 2-3 “easy” missions vs. ~20 “intense” missions, so completion was actually heavily weighted towards easy. We knew it would be like that, but we didn’t know it would be by so much.
Finally, the third insight is that there are really only two types of successful games - those that are incredibly passive and those that are very active & intense. Since most of our success so far has come from active games (e.g. a 2 hour blitz), we’d tried to convert the public games to a more passive style of play, but you can’t just “passivize” an active game and expect it to work. You either need to make it lightweight and easy to play from the ground up, like Foursquare or Words with Friends, or as intense and full of adrenaline as possible, like a 2 hour scavenger hunt.
It’s insights like these that enable us to continue improving our product. We can have all the ideas in the world, but until we test them, we never know for sure.
And since we’re always looking to improve GooseChase, we’d love to hear any suggestions you have about how we can improve the product!