Wednesday, February 5, 2014

LAB Caches: Easy as 1-2-3!

Ok, I wanted to give an update for anyone who had questions about the I Y Geocaching LAB experiment that Groundspeak is running through February.  I was a little wary as there were so few instructions, but I created mine and it was a piece of cake!  I think there were so few instructions because it IS so easy!

Before you begin, here is some peace of mind: You do not have to do it all in one sitting.  You can create it and return later to complete or edit it.

Here you go:
  • Click the link.
  • Watch the cute video for inspiration.
  • Click the Get Started button
  • It’ll open a new window which is a template for your LAB cache – it is very simple to follow the instructions.  (Note, if you have already Saved a LAB cache, there is where you can go back and edit it.  You want to edit it before you send your friend their LAB URL).
  • Your first step is to Select a Theme.  Check the radio button next to the appropriate theme.

  • Next, name your LAB cache.  You have up to 50 characters.
From this point forward, I cannot share screenshots as I’ve already created my LAB cache, and I don’t want to spoil it for TaGeez.
  • You can add an Optional Lab Cache Location.  You can use your current location or add coordinates. 
  • The next box is the Lab Cache Description.  You have a 1000 characters “to use this space to customize the experience and lead the player to the find code. Tell a story, write a riddle, offer clues -- whatever you want.”  Basically, what do you want the recipient to do?  Find a cache?  Go on an adventure? 
  • The next box is the Find Code.  After they have completed the mission (or found a cache, etc), the recipient will need to enter a code online to get credit for completing their LAB cache.  To get this code, you could write it on the cache or it can be the name of the mission’s location or the answer to a puzzle.  You have 10 characters.
  • The final field is the Award Message.  After the recipient enters the code, this message will appear on the screen.
  • Click the Save button.

After you click the Save button, you will be taken to a screen that displays the URL you will send the recipient so they can access this cache.  On this page, you also have the ability to “test” the experience so you can see what they will see when they click the link.   If any edits needs to be made, scroll down on the page, make your edits and click Save again.  When all is to your satisfaction, send the URL to the recipient so they can go forth and adventure. 

Make sure if you are going to test the LAB cache that you are in Test Mode.  If you use the recipient’s URL and use the live site, you could possibly “complete” the LAB cache, and it will be unusable by the recipient.

There are several other interesting items to note:
  • Currently, the LAB caches do not count towards your statistics in the traditional sense.  This is supposed to change.
  • When the recipient completes the LAB cache, a special icon will appear in their stats.  However, at this time, a special icon doesn’t appear under the originator’s “hide” stats.
  • You have until the end of February to complete this.
I created mine for TaGeez.  It’s a cross between a scavenger hunt, a Multi and a puzzle.  As this is an experiment, I didn’t want to make it too difficult, but I really think he’s going to enjoy his little adventure.  After he completes his, I’ll share the details with you.

So, are you excited?  Get out there and get started!

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