Fixed-Answer VS Validation Code Challenges – When to use which?

This is a question we get all the time – and we get it. These two challenges aren’t the easiest to understand – and implement – and as a result, many of us aren’t able to truly make full use of them, when creating our games.

What a waste! These two challenge types are actually pretty versatile in nature and can be used in various ways.

#1: Secret Passcode 

With a fixed-answer challenge, we can rebrand it as a “secret passcode” challenge. Sounds a lot more fun, right?  🙂

Players can complete a series of challenges which will lead lockthem to discover the passcode, which they can key in to unlock the challenge (and subsequent challenges). So it’s really just like uncovering a secret… on their own, without the help of the admin.

But what if my players aren’t that adventurous?

Well, not all games are meant to solve mysteries. Sometimes, we just want to complete certain tasks and be given a passcode to complete the challenge and move on to other challenges. The passcode can then be distributed physically (upon completion of a task) or via email / message, choose your mode of communication.

How about cheaters who share the passcode to other players? That would ruin the game experience! 😦

Cheating is not *always* a bad thing, in my opinion. When a player cheats, it means that they are engaged enough in the game to even make that extra effort to get ahead in the game (or to help others do the same). And that’s a good thing! However, if your game is serious or perhaps has an assessment feature to it, then it’s time to try out the other challenge type – Validation Code challenge!

#2: Validate me!

If you need to ensure that each and every player has rightfully completed a challenge (no cheating allowed), a validation code is what you need.check-mark-with-thumbs-up.jpg

For this to work, there must be a dedicated Admin managing the game as players progress through it. Each time a player has successfully completed the task in question (e.g. Do a sales pitch to your manager, Write an article about leadership, etc.), the Admin must be informed immediately. The Admin will then generate the unique code for that player, which will then be automatically sent to their registered email address. The player will then use the code to complete the validation-code challenge that’s standing in his/her way to success.

P.S. That uniquely generated code cannot be shared with other players. It just won’t work. NO CHEATING!

But it sure is a lot of work for the Admin person, no? Isn’t there an easier way around this?

Like any other challenge type, they have their pros and cons. If you are looking to simplify the administration process of the game, a fixed-answer challenge would be more ideal, but plan the game out in such a way that cheating is either not encouraged (or there will be CONSEQUENCES! Just kidding..) or perhaps encouraged, so as to boost engagement rates and the virality of the game altogether!

pros_cons.jpg

So there you have it – Fixed-Answer VS Validation Code challenges, in their simplest form!

Got any other cool ideas on working these challenge types out? Do you have any questions on these challenge types? Let us know below in the comments section!

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