General Questions

I'm planning to play in an upcoming hosted hunt that uses ClueKeeper. What do I need to do right now?

Create a ClueKeeper account for yourself, and have your teammates do the same. You'll get further instructions from the hunt coordinators as the event gets closer.

I'd like to create a hunt with ClueKeeper. How can I get started?

Fill out our creator request form and we'll get back to you promptly to help you get started. If you are new to writing hunts, we recommend you first run a private hosted hunt for a small group of family and friends. All creators that are new to creating hunts on ClueKeeper should also check out the best practices page and the hunt review guidelines page. If you are an experienced hunt author, please consider writing a public self-guided hunt and you can get paid for your work by each team that plays!

Playing Hunts

What are the minimum requirements for my mobile device?

We currently support iOS 8.0 or newer for iPhone and iPad, and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or newer for Android phones and tablets.

How does forming a team work?

When you download a hunt onto your phone, you will have the option to create a team name and add members to your team. You can only add team members that also have ClueKeeper accounts, so be sure to have them sign up before you add them. The results of the hunt will be available online for all team members, not just the one who was using the ClueKeeper app.

Does everyone on my team need the mobile app in order to play?

No, your team only needs one player logged in to the ClueKeeper mobile app to play in a hunt. In some hunts, as determined by the hunt creator, only one player will be able to submit answers or change the state for your team during the hunt itself. Other players with the app may log in and see the clues, though, which can definitely be useful. In other hunts, all players can submit answers, but players must be connected to the internet in order to do so.

In some hunts, why is only one player on the team allowed to submit answers, buy hints, or start clues?

For fairness. ClueKeeper was designed from the start to support offline play. One side effect of this is that teammates won't always see a consistent view of the world while the devices are offline. If we did allow different players on the same team to submit answers offline, it would make it trivial to cheat. If the hunt creator chooses, they can run their hunt in online mode, which relaxes this restriction, but requires that players must be online in order to submit answers and perform other state-changing operations.

Does my phone need to have an internet connection throughout the hunt?

It depends. If the hunt you are playing is using online mode (as determined by the hunt creator), than it will be necessary for any player that wants to submit an answer or perform any other state-changing operation to be connected to the internet. However, if the hunt you are playing is not using the online option, then as long as you have a connection at the beginning of the hunt (to download the clues) and at the end of the hunt (to upload your hunt data), everything in between works fine without a connection. If you are playing a hosted hunt in this mode, though, the organizers will appreciate it if your device is online, since it will periodically update them with your progress. Also, if you reboot your phone, you'll briefly need a data connection to resync with our server.

Can I host my own event or party using an existing public self-guided hunt?

Yes! Self-guided hunts are great for groups, such as a corporate offsite or birthday party. When planning your event, please read the self-guided hunt's description carefully to make sure it will be age appropriate and have a suitable duration and difficulty level for your group.

Determine how many hunts you will need based on event attendance and recommended team size. In general, most self-guided hunts work best with a team of about 4 players. Each team will need one phone or tablet running the ClueKeeper app, and one hunt code. You can instruct each team to buy a hunt code, or you can purchase multiple codes in advance from the website and distribute one new/unused code to each team. For groups of kids, we suggest having an adult control ClueKeeper and chaperone each team.

Gather your teams at the starting point, make sure each team has downloaded their hunt using a hunt code (they can do this in advance), then have all teams begin playing the hunt simultaneously. You may also want to agree on a finishing time and location, in case some teams are slower than others. For example, instruct all teams to meet at a nearby restaurant or park in two hours (your hunt's duration may vary), whether they have finished the hunt or not. Then compare scores and announce the winning team!

Check out our best practices page; you may find steps 4 and 8 useful. If you have questions about using a specific self-guided hunt for your group, just ask! ClueKeeper will be happy to put you in touch with the hunt creator if needed.

When is the Windows Phone version going to be available?

We currently have no plans to support Windows Phone, but are willing to consider it if and when there is sufficient demand.

I'm trying to play a hunt I downloaded a while ago, but now it says I'm in read-only mode. Help!

We know this situation can be extremely frustrating. This can happen if you are not using the same device that originally purchased or downloaded the hunt, and sometimes can even occur in cases where you upgraded the operating system on your device in such a way that it now appears differently to our system.

If this is the first scenario and you are trying to use a new device, but still have access to the original device, simply launch the hunt on the original device and select "Release master" from the options menu. Then choose "Become master" on your new device and you'll be good to go.

For all other cases, call 1-844-99-CLUES or email admin@cluekeeper.com and we will be happy to assist you in transferring control of your hunt to your new or upgraded device.

What if there is an issue with the hunt I'm playing?

If you're playing in a hosted hunt, you should contact your host. If you're playing in a self-guided hunt, please call 1-844-99-CLUES or email admin@cluekeeper.com.

Creating Hunts

How much does it cost to create hunts with ClueKeeper?

For hosted hunts and private self-guided hunts, we charge a flat rate of $10 per team. Discounts are available for non-profit organizations or charity events.

For public self-guided hunts, authors must submit their hunts for review by the ClueKeeper team before publication. Once a self-guided hunt is published, players can find and purchase it on the ClueKeeper app or website. We charge a flat rate of $5 per team and then the creator receives all additional profits, after accounting for fees imposed by the payment provider where the purchase is made. For a full breakdown of fees and profits for self-guided hunt sales, check out the pricing matrix.

Fees imposed by the payment provider? How much are those?

Hunts purchased via in-app purchase have a 30% transaction fee imposed by Apple (for iOS) or Google (for Android). Hunts purchased through the website have a much smaller transaction fee imposed by PayPal of $0.30 plus 2.9%. For a full breakdown of fees and profits for self-guided hunt sales, check out the pricing matrix.

Why do you have a review process for public self-guided hunts and how does it work?

We want to ensure that the public hunts on our system meet a high standard of quality so that all of our players will have a great experience and be eager to come back for more. For details on what exactly we're expecting, be sure to thoroughly read our hunt review guidelines page. Once you've written, tested, and submitted your public self-guided hunt for review, our review team will respond within seven days to let you know whether changes are needed before it can be published, or if your hunt has gone live.

How much should I charge for my hunt?

During the review process, we will give you feedback on your starting price to give you a sense for how it relates in quality and content to the other hunts at that price range. That said, however, the price you choose is ultimately up to you, and you can even modify your price as often as you'd like. Be sure to check out the pricing matrix as well in case your profit margin is a factor in your decision.

If I write a public self-guided hunt, how will players find it and play it?

Public self-guided hunts are available for purchase both through the ClueKeeper website and in the mobile apps under "Find Hunts". We will also inform our existing community of players via email and/or social media outlets about new hunts that have been published on the platform.

In addition, we strongly encourage creators to supplement our baseline efforts with their own advertising and marketing for their hunts in their own local markets where ClueKeeper may not yet have much of an audience.

I want to run a hosted hunt on ClueKeeper. How do I get started?

Fill out our creator request form and we'll get back to you promptly to help you get started. If you are new to writing hunts, we recommend you first run a private hosted hunt for a small group of family and friends. All creators that are new to creating hunts on ClueKeeper should also check out the best practices page. If you are an experienced hunt author, please consider writing a public self-guided hunt and you can get paid for your work with each team that plays!

How can I test my hunt?

To test your hunt as you develop, use the "Test Hunt" interface to create a test registration that you can use on your own mobile device. This allows you to see what the players will see and make sure that everything is showing up as you intend. Test registrations also have the ability to reset the hunt from the options menu at any time, allowing you to start over from the beginning for testing as many times as you like.

To run a playtest (or dry run) with real teams, you should simply run it as you would a normal hosted hunt.

For more on testing your hunt, be sure to check out the best practices page.

Can ClueKeeper handle signups and payments for hosted hunts?

Not yet, but we plan to do this eventually. In the meantime, it is up to the event hosts to handle their own signups for hosted hunts, and then pay us directly through the website. If you want your hosted hunt to be listed on the Find Hunts page, just email admin@cluekeeper.com or call 1-844-99-CLUES and let us know!

I'm running a hosted hunt. How do the teams register?

Using our "Manage Hunt" interface, you will generate "hunt codes" for each team that is playing in your event, and then distribute those to the teams at some point before the hunt begins. Teams must enter their hunt code to download the clues used for your hunt, so you'll want to be sure that this is done where they've got a reliable internet connection. This can be done on the day of the event, but you may want to do it the day before or earlier to allow time for any troubleshooting.

Is there a badge I can put on my hunt's website to show that it uses ClueKeeper?

Absolutely! Go to this page to get the official ClueKeeper badge, including a code snippet for displaying it on your hunt's website.

I'm trying to create a hunt that has red bells and blue whistles, but you don't seem to have those colors available.

We've tried to anticipate a wide range of options to cover many possible use cases, but there are always more things the system could have. Email us at admin@cluekeeper or call us at 1-844-99-CLUES if you have feature requests or can't figure out how to implement something. Often there will be good solutions using the features we already have!

Account Questions

Why do I need a Google Account?

ClueKeeper runs on the Google Cloud Platform, and as such, it uses your Google Account for account verification and connecting you to your ClueKeeper data. We ask only for access to your email address, which we use as your primary account identifier, as well as to send transactional emails and occasional email updates (to only those who have opted into receiving them).

Signing in with Google actually provides more security for you than if we were to have our own login and password system, as this way we have no access to your password, and you can even revoke our access to your Google Account at any time! This allows Google to take care of your account security, while we can focus on building a better platform.

What does it mean when it says "This app would like to know who you are on Google"?

We agree that this is a scary-sounding permission that would give pause to most users, including us! Google added this verbiage for those requesting permission to access a user's email address, as we do. According to Google, "This is an intentional change to more precisely communicate to users the set of permissions that is being granted. Through knowledge of the user's email address it is possible, via indirect means, to locate the user's profile address. In the interest of more accurate disclosure, thus, we are prompting users to approve such disclosure."

We believe that it is laudable for Google to err on the side of caution here since many people don't know what all their email address could potentially be used for, but rest assured that we at ClueKeeper will not use your email address to link it to your Google profile, nor for any purposes beyond those described in the previous question.

What if I don't want to use my Google Account?

If you still don't want to use your Google Account for any reason, that's fine! It's easy to create a new account just for ClueKeeper that has no connection to your primary account, or better yet, you can simply play as a guest in the mobile app without creating an account at all.

What is the downside of playing as a guest?

If you play a hunt as a guest, you will only have access to that hunt from the device you played on, and you will not be able to access your results on the website unless the hunt coordinator decides to share a public link to the results after the hunt. We believe there is a lot to be gained by having a complete record of your hunt history, so we recommend creating a ClueKeeper account unless you have a particularly good reason not to do so.

Other Questions

I have an idea for a feature that ClueKeeper should implement. Where should I send it?

We enthusiastically welcome feedback from players and creators at any time! Email us at admin@cluekeeper.com or call us at 1-844-99-CLUES and let us know what you think.