As you know, we’re always trying to add great new features to Sporcle, large or small. This week we’ve had a couple of new filter options, one for quiz creators and another that helps customize your activity feed.
The first feature is something we’ve heard quite a few requests for. In every quiz we filter common text (the/a/and/&) by default. This can cause problems when a user wants to use one of those four as an actual answer in their quiz.(Figure out the Lyrics, is a good example). In the past, only an admin could remove those filters by request, but now we’ve added a new checkbox on the game creation page, that will allow you to remove them yourself (if necessary). If you do remove the default words, we’d recommend giving quiz-takers a heads up in the game notes section.
The other filter-related improvement can be seen on your activity page. In the past, all you could was the entire activity feed for everyone you followed, but now we’ve given you a few filtering controls, so if you’d only like to see what the people you follow have been commenting, or what games they’ve been creating, you can easily do that by selecting the appropriate checkboxes. If you have any questions or comments, please make sure and drop us a note.
Ironically, quizzes about Columbo should not be marked private.
Let me start off by introducing myself to all the blog readers. My name is Kyle (username: puckett86), and I’m currently the Just For Fun category editor. This category is loaded with a wide variety of novel and addictive quizzes, but also happens to be home to quite a few quizzes that should have been contributed as private. In this post, I’ll discuss all the ins and outs of why a quiz should (or shouldn’t) be made private.
The goal in writing this post is to get people to appreciate the work and artistry that go into creating good word ladders, and help people to start making their own since mini word ladders are now part of the Sporcle Daily Dose. Hopefully, this will inspire Sporclers to try and make little ladders of their own.
History of Ladders
Word ladders were first popularized by Lewis Carroll but he had two ways of doing them. You could change exactly one letter in the word, OR you could add/subtract a letter from the word to make a new one. So in his word ladder, the lengths changed all the time. That’s fine do to, but he always indicated what type of process was happening. The sporcle user Caramba has made a solid example of the classic Lewis Carroll ladder, where he also added anagramming the letters.
There have also been puzzles for a long time that asked you to use common words to link two words together in the shortest path. That’s hard to do without clues, and often there are multiple possible paths. However, Sporcle user Flick did an excellent job of making a Sporcle version of the shortest path ladders.
We are often asked here at Sporcle, what is the best way for a quiz to get published to the home page? While there are a number of factors that go into what is published and why, sometimes the best way to get published is to keep in mind what NOT to do.
The How To Make A Bad Sporcle Quiz is not for everyone. If this quiz were your first experience to the site, it would be frustrating and might not make much sense. However, for the Sporcle faithful, those that have slogged through many a user contributed quiz or tried to make a quiz and found the end result less than satisfying, this quiz is genius.
It might take a few times, but play this quiz all the way through. At the end, use it as a checklist for quizzes. It is amazing how often people take the time to put together a quiz, but then don’t take the extra little bit of time to actually play their own quiz. The devil is in the details when it comes to quiz creation, and paying attention to some of these little features as highlighted by the ‘Bad Sporcle’ quiz can really bring things to light.
Remember, there are resources as your disposal as well. The FAQ has some good answers to questions and while somewhat dated, the original Game Creation Cheat Sheet still has good tips and tricks.
Of course a quiz has to be interesting and playable, but if you can avoid the pitfalls that the ‘Bad Sporcle’ quiz highlights, chances are you might see your quiz on the home page before you know it.
Got other tips and tricks or things to avoid? I’d love to hear em!
We are a couple weeks into have the user generated games available and so far things are going well. A few folks have written in and want to know what it takes to get a quiz noticed or played. Here are a few tips we can pass along.
The surest way to get your game played is, well, to make a good game. Original, topical, and playable games will bubble up to the top. If nothing else, the Sporcle Admins are more inclined to publish games that are of high quality. So what makes high quality? Here are a few guidelines:
A credible source.
Good game layout.
Playability and accepting plenty of alternate acceptable answers.
It’s fun to play.
If you feel that you have a high quality quiz on your hands, there are mechanisms out there to get your quiz noticed.
Here are a few ways in which you can ratchet up the plays on your quiz:
Post it on your blog
Post it to relevant user forums of sites that might be interested.
Put it on your wall on Facebook
Tweet it on Twitter
Email it or text it to your friends
What not to do:
While trying to get your quiz noticed, keep in mind there are sure fire ways to NOT have your quiz published. These include but are not limited to:
Don’t attempt to artificially inflate your quiz by posting a ton of comments on it or trying to game the system.
Don’t email the Sporcle admins demanding that we publish your game.
Don’t spam the comments of other unrelated games with your quiz.
At the end of the day, we ask that you basically be a good Sporcle citizen.
Lastly, hang in there. This is a new feature and we have a lot planned on the horizon. We have ideas on how to make games more discoverable, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, I hope this helps. If you have other ideas, please post them in the comments to this blog.
It would be great to hear what other tools and ideas people have.