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Challenge cache ideas that seem good but don't get past the reviewer


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On 11/25/2020 at 2:09 AM, Isonzo Karst said:

 

I'd be curious as to what the reviewer told  you about, "why it was not allowed". "Knocked back 6 times", means that there was a fair amount of back and forth.

If there are 2 similar within 5km of your house, then that's reason enough. But I'm guessing that's not it.

 

 

One of the reasons was that it was stacked towards the finders in the eastern states as there are more counties in the east than the west so it made it unfair.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Are "find X number from any given CO" still allowed? Is the rule below meant to prohibit requiring specific COs or from any COs? Thinking about a series themed after Jeopardy  - e.g.  I'll Take 5 for 500, Alex, where you need to have found 100 from 5 different COs for a total of 500.

  • error.png These cache page elements: cache titles, cache owner, GC Codes, publishing Reviewer, or cache page text.
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On 2/27/2018 at 12:05 AM, MartyBartfast said:

 

https://coord.info/GC6K641  is a variation on that theme, published after the moratorium. It's not about finding a cache which hasn't been found for a year, but finding 12  caches whose average time between finds is more than 100 days. 

Well what do you know I qualify for this one! Needless to say however, I wont be visiting it anytime soon :(

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1210 days lonely, the longest per the script output.  When I look at the +400 days caches in this output, I suspect many were simply missing for a long time before they got archived. 

This is not exactly an achievement on my part. 

 

A function of where I cache, I qualify at 100, 200, 300 and 400 days.  This is about rarely sought, and poorly maintained paddle caches and multis.

If no one hunts them, no one DNFs them and they ride the site for years before finally going away.

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13 minutes ago, Isonzo Karst said:

1210 days lonely, the longest per the script output.  When I look at the +400 days caches in this output, I suspect many were simply missing for a long time before they got archived. 

This is not exactly an achievement on my part. 

 

A function of where I cache, I qualify at 100, 200, 300 and 400 days.  This is about rarely sought, and poorly maintained paddle caches and multis.

If no one hunts them, no one DNFs them and they ride the site for years before finally going away.

I have found many 'lonely' caches still in good order.

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2 hours ago, on4bam said:

Nice one. I don't qualify (only have 11) and to my surprise there's one Belgian cache in there. Might have to do with the 63Km, 63WPs ;)

Most are in the Falklands and one in Greenland.. seems logical.

 

I qualified and the list of caches included many that were memorable.  It also included one in Tanzania and one in Malaysia.

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On 12/23/2020 at 6:10 PM, Goodgulf said:

Well what do you know I qualify for this one! Needless to say however, I wont be visiting it anytime soon :(

That's a challenge that really fits my caching interests. I have found 498 (30% of my finds) that qualify with the loneliest at 3419 days.  Will likely never get to the UK though.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/23/2018 at 4:22 PM, Cacheism 500 said:

Anyone else had any good but unpublishable ideas?

Quite a few. The one i'm contorting to make publishable is breaking my brain.

Let me tell you about my bigger better challenge, inspired by the game of the same name where you start with a penny and trade with people for bigger and better things.
I've been working on a type of sorting I've never seen before and don't know if it has ever been done. I'm not sure if it is best solved with lua coding only, set theory, logical 'if then' statements, or some sort of numerical analysis. I'm terrible at all of them and don't even know the toolkit needed to crack this nut.
 
 
We're looking at the sequence the geocaches were found as the backbone, they might as well be numbered one up to 'n'. Other columns are size, cache type, terrain and difficulty. The idea is to cherry pick caches you have found to make the longest chain in order where each next link in the chain is bigger or better than the last. If you pick a size small cache in your chain, every link below must be small or larger. Same with the others, no regressing. Here is a short snippet of a live dataset of mine I'm looking at:
Sequence size cache type difficulty terrain
293 1 5 1 1.5
294 3 2 2.5 1.5
295 1 6 2.5 1.5
296 1 3 1.5 1.5
297 3 1 1.5 1.5
300 4 2 1.5 1.5
301 2 6 2 2.5
303 5 2 1.5 1.5
305 3 2 3 3
306 1 3 2 2.5
307 3 2 2.5 1.5
308 3 2 5 1.5
309 1 2 1.5 1.5
310 1 2 3 5
The longest chain I can pick out is three long (297, 300, 303) or (297, 307, 308) and it took me a while by hand to be sure. That was just fourteen rows. The thousand plus rows the challenge checker would need to process to see if someone has a chain of 'x' links long yet make it pretty hard and I'm trying to automate the process to not just find a chain, but the longest guaranteed. 
 
 Traditional, multi cache, mystery cache, letterbox cache, and Wherigo cache are the available types. We'd need to skip virtual, webcam, earth, and event caches since they have no size. My current chain is about 19 long with room to grow. 
 
What do you think? Has this been done before? Am I starkers mad? Either way I would love to hear your thoughts on how to solve this.
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Intriguing idea! You could program it with a recursive iteration. Start with a row, and note all subsequent rows having the same or higher values. Then iterate through those sequentially and recursively. If you come to a row with no qualifying subsequent rows, record the sequence and length if it's the new current longest, and backtrack to the next available 'intersection' iterating the next sibling if available.

Once all the routes are iterated, just report the longest sequence.

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9 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Intriguing idea! You could program it with a recursive iteration.

Conceptually I understand the idea. It would take an awful lot of computing and would need some efficient code. Now I just need to figure out how to do that. Would this be done in LUA?

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17 hours ago, CheekyBrit said:

What do you think? Has this been done before?

I have not seen this before.  Under the listing guidelines for challenge caches, there are at least two hurdles:

  1. Challenge cache criteria must be easy to understand and describe.  If it's too complicated, your reviewer might push back.
  2. All challenge caches require a Project-GC geochecker.  You cannot use something you whip up on your own, whether it's using LUA or any other technique.  If you cannot get a checker made, then the challenge cache cannot be published.
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13 minutes ago, Keystone said:

Challenge cache criteria must be easy to understand and describe.  If it's too complicated, your reviewer might push back.

Proposal:
”Each cache is associated with four numbers: size, cache type, terrain and difficulty. Your finds must form a chain of at least N caches, where each subsequent cache has at least one number that is larger than in the previous cache in the chain, and no number is smaller. The order of finds does not matter and there is no time limit.”

 

Add explanation of how cache types and sizes are numbered, and perhaps a few examples of what caches can/can’t chain after each other.

 

I think this is easy enough to understand, but the ”easy to document” part of the guidelines might be harder to satiafy (I’ve assumed it means the cacher has to be able to track their own progress and that using the checker doesn’t count, but I’d be happy to learn I’m wrong).

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40 minutes ago, Keystone said:

All challenge caches require a Project-GC geochecker.  You cannot use something you whip up on your own, whether it's using LUA or any other technique.  If you cannot get a checker made, then the challenge cache cannot be published.

I think this is the bottom line: the required checker. Start there. I know nothing about checkers, but this is a great example of a problem that might turn out to be trivial since checking is designed to handle large numbers of caches, or it might be a problem that's too hard to be computed in a reasonable time, especially for someone with a large number of caches. As a checker, I think you'd at least have to look only for a target number so it can stop the first time it finds a list of 10 or 20 or 100 or whatever. Finding the absolute longest list for someone with a hundred thousand caches would take forever, but it would take *less* time to find a fixed length list when someone has lots of caches to pick from.

 

Anyway, the way to find out is to go to the Project-GS forums and ask. Checkers are often not written by the challenge CO, so you don't have to learn how to write them yourself.

 

As to the basic idea: I think mustakorppi makes more sense out of the proposal, and I think it could be made even easier to explain. Sorry, CheekyBrit, but your explanation makes it seem a lot more complicated than I think it really is. One specific suggestion: ditch any mention of a numeric value for "cache type". It makes no sense to even the most advanced geocacher. Just list the order of cache types your checker it going to enforce. If you want to order them by cache type number, go ahead, but don't bother to tell anyone that's what you're doing in the explanation.

 

One nice thing I've discovered about the geochecker requirement is that I don't really need to understand the challenge: I can just run the checker to see if I qualify. If I qualify, I can see what kind of list fits the requirement. (If I don't qualify, a good checker would give me the longest list it found so I can get the idea and expand on it in future finds.) Naturally you'll still want to describe the challenge in a way that makes it clear why it's interesting and meaningful, but at least there's some room for the description to be less than perfect.

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You can definitely tell my explanation is a patchwork. It is snippets of my explanation to the math community trying to find help. No luck there, didnt get traction or attention.

 

Mustakorppi's definition is MUCH better and is what you'd expect to find on the cache page. Main modification would be keeping finds in order. (The next link in the chain has to have been found later, though it can be  months later and with other finds in between.)

 

The challenge checker is indeed the hardest part. I have started trying to learn LUA for exactly this challenge. 

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I did't ever think it was a serious idea for a challenge cache. For one it's based on Find logging order, which is certainly not allowed. And the thread is, after all, "ideas that seem good but don't get past the reviewers" :laughing:  I like the concept idea. Certainly wouldn't consider it for a real challenge cache though.  Could be good for an unchallenge cache, or just a general fun challenge proposal to put out there to the community.

 

If it could be programmed in LUA, to have a PGC checker, it doesn't need to be published as a challenge but it would be attractive to at least have a button to press and find the results :)

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17 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Could be good for an unchallenge cache

Unchallenge caches are not allowed to have an online checker.

 

I'm not so sure this challenge wouldn't be accepted as a proper challenge (I can't see anything explicitly forbidding this in the guidelines and I don't think it can be argued that this would encourage not finding a cache, but of course that is just my opinion). But in case it can't, I think you just articulated rather well the flaw in the "no online checkers for optional challenges" rule. It just kills optional fun.

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4 hours ago, mustakorppi said:
22 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Could be good for an unchallenge cache

Unchallenge caches are not allowed to have an online checker.

 

Is that in official guidelines somewhere? It could be a reviewer decision or even regional. But I wouldn't be surprised if they catch that. But remember, checkers don't have to be in the listing. PGC's browser extension lists any associated checker with the GC in the sidebar, and you can post a note with links to other resources as well.

 

4 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

I'm not so sure this challenge wouldn't be accepted as a proper challenge

 

It won't. You can't have a challenge based on the order of logs posted to the website. It's been like that for many years, pre-moratorium as well. I couldn't publish a challenge based on a streak of posted logs; and it's the same argument for FTFs since people can post them out of order.  Ask a reviewer. 99.9% sure they'll say no.

 

4 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

But in case it can't, I think you just articulated rather well the flaw in the "no online checkers for optional challenges" rule. It just kills optional fun.

 

Again, nothing stopping a CO from creating a checker. A reviewer may not allow it to be listed in the description, but you can still create it. (unless you can't get a scripter to make it, or PGC tells them they can't even make it, which I highly doubt)

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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

You can't have a challenge based on the order of logs posted to the website. 

Audible gasp! I had no idea. I can't find that in the challenge cache guidelines on https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=127&pgid=206 but perhaps it is somewhere else with more comprehensive rules.

So picture I created this hypothetical easy and  lamesauce challenge: Find a micro cache, then at some time in the future find a small cache, then regular and finally a large size cache. (This would only be requiring temporal order but allowing non contiguousness with other caches found inbetween and no time limit or time proximity restriction). If I understand you right, even that easy challenge wouldn't work because it's based on the order of the logs?

Edited by CheekyBrit
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4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:
8 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

But in case it can't, I think you just articulated rather well the flaw in the "no online checkers for optional challenges" rule. It just kills optional fun.

 

Again, nothing stopping a CO from creating a checker. A reviewer may not allow it to be listed in the description, but you can still create it. (unless you can't get a scripter to make it, or PGC tells them they can't even make it, which I highly doubt)

I cannot find the rule of "no online checkers for optional challenges" in the guidelines and am trying to understand it. I totally get not having an absurd online checker plugged into any old traditional cache. It drains the processing time at PGC and opens peculiar doors. Though searching for that rule, I came across a suggested workaround by rragan four years ago on the PCG forum: https://project-gc.com/forum/read?11,5580,5603,printview
He suggested, "the unchallenge would be in the description of a simpler acceptable challenge which would have to have a normal checker. Unchallenge checkers would be built just like normal checkers but could use checks not allowed by GC challenge rules. The base challenge would have to be qualified before the associated Unchallenge could be claimed. Claiming would be done by writing a log note showing the output of the Unchallenge checker."

Would rragan's idea work with this 'no online checker for optional challenges' rule?

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4 minutes ago, CheekyBrit said:

I cannot find the rule of "no online checkers for optional challenges" in the guidelines and am trying to understand it.

 

I haven't heard of that rule before either, but then I've never tried to publish an unchallenge with a checker :P I just assumed that not being a challenge, the description content is compared to the general geocache listing guidelines, and I don't see why one wouldn't be able to link to any checker on PGC.  It could have been a reviewer/regional decision.  But the easy answer is - ask your local reviewer :)

 

6 minutes ago, CheekyBrit said:

Would rragan's idea work with this 'no online checker for optional challenges' rule?

 

It sounds like his workaround is just making use of an existing challenge cache, where PGC checkers can be linked, to link to a checker that isn't directly relevant to the Challenge proper.  Basically 'piggy backing' on the challenge cache listing, because it can't be included in a non-challenge cache listing. I really have no idea. It seems like it could be confusing... Dunno, this is definitely a question for reviewers or a lackey!

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48 minutes ago, CheekyBrit said:

I cannot find the rule of "no online checkers for optional challenges" in the guidelines and am trying to understand it.

 

Its in the Help Center: 2.16. Optional Challenges

Quote

 

In order to avoid confusion with authorized challenge caches, cache listings containing optional challenges:

  • Must clearly state that the challenge is optional.
  • Cannot have the English word "challenge" in the title.
  • Cannot be a Mystery Cache.
  • Cannot include a web-based challenge checker.

 

 

 

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Now that I've finished dinner here are a couple of other thoughts. While I haven't hidden one myself (yet) I am a big fan of unchallenge caches which are often called, "Hall of Fame"  caches.  Here is an example: GC25WV3

For the idea to work a couple of things need to be true:

  1. The unchallenge needs to easy to explain, understand and document. (even more so than an official challenge that relies on a checker)
  2. The unchallenge idea needs to capture peoples imagination. Be something fun that they'll want to do even if they can log the cache without it.

So what do you think. Is your idea easy to understand and document? Will it capture peoples attention so they'll want to complete the challenge and be honored in the cache description?

 

 

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Regarding CheekyBrit's challenge, I'd try to propose it as a real challenge, but if that doesn't work, make it time-travelling bigger and better (=remove the requirement that finds need to be in conventional temporal order).

 

Regarding @MtnGoat50's thoughts on unchallenges, I think challenges like, this, the territory challenge, 360 etc, would be fun and capture people's imagination when presented right, but they do require a checker. In some cases the visualization the checker provides is what makes it interesting.

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What if one were to create a cache listing, but put the Unchallenge content into a separate Travelbug listing, and link to the TB? Would that be another way around? 

Depending on how attached the CO is to the unchallenge, they could even 'police' the logs; perhaps only allow discoveries of the TB to those who 'qualify' by showing green in the checker. Granted that was take a passionate CO to manage TB discover logs like Cache Find logs... :P  Would that be a way around the 'no linking to a web based checker in an unchallenge listing', by stating that people who want to do the unchallenge can post qualifications to a TB note and request the private code for discovery? Seems like more work, but it could be a workaround.

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7 hours ago, CheekyBrit said:

I cannot find the rule of "no online checkers for optional challenges" in the guidelines and am trying to understand it.

 

I have made an unchallenge cache with a challenge checker and it was a tedious work to arrange to meet all guidelines but I succeeded.

 

As far as there is no link to the checker in the cache description and the checker is not registered to any GC-code there should be no problems. You must communicate with your local reviewer about details.

 

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One option would be to have a spot within the forum (maybe this thread) where people can list totally illegal challenges that cannot even fit within 'optional cache' guidelines, especially ones that have a highscore element, and people could post within here. It wouldn't count as a find or have any impact on your numbers, but you could do some fun stuff...
Then you could have complicated challenges that function almost as a gameshow or board game, like geocaching Yahtzee using the five digit minutes of coordinates....

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2 hours ago, CheekyBrit said:

One option would be to have a spot within the forum (maybe this thread) where people can list totally illegal challenges that cannot even fit within 'optional cache' guidelines, especially ones that have a highscore element, and people could post within here. It wouldn't count as a find or have any impact on your numbers, but you could do some fun stuff...
Then you could have complicated challenges that function almost as a gameshow or board game, like geocaching Yahtzee using the five digit minutes of coordinates....

 

So, while GS has rules regarding the allowable limits of the hobby, you want to use part of their website to play a side-game that's expressly forbidden in official play?

Somehow, that seems wrong.

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On 12/24/2020 at 9:34 PM, Harry Dolphin said:

Hmm...  I ran the checker.  I've found over 250 caches that qualify!

I qualify too, but I can't match your 250 caches.

GC code Name Age Number of Finds Loneliness
 
GC3YHY8 Prisoners on the Run 3007 30 100.23333333333
GC2XF11 Old Dish 3508 33 106.30303030303
GC4R8KA Waitangi Red Cliffs (Chatham Islands) 2625 19 138.15789473684
GC2DNHK First to See the Sun, Chatham Islands, New Zealand 1828 13 140.61538461538
GC2BHXE Vanity Vertex 3835 24 159.79166666667
GC2Q71M Seriously, what is it? II 3586 20 179.3
GCWE2M Hardy ha ha 5332 38 140.31578947368
GC5HH8T Mugga Management 2218 22 100.81818181818
GC1210 Wish You Were Here 7111 52 136.75
GC25RZT The Perfect View of Folly 3927 32 122.71875
GCY735 Kowen Koan 5235 50 104.7
GC68QFN Nice Day For A Swim 1122 11 102
GCJJFT Murrumbidgee Mouth 6068 51 118.98039215686
GC4ZH44 gooba park 2478 23 107.73913043478
GCRF0W BONDO ELECTRIC VIEW. 5522 35 157.77142857143
GCH33C Murrumbidgee Meander II 6292 54 116.51851851852
GCT0DA Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 5 5473 42 130.30952380952
GC2EZ5Y Vilya 3769 37 101.86486486486
GCQQJW Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 1 5572 34 163.88235294118
GCRX9B Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 3 5480 36 152.22222222222
GC1KKBM Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 5.1 4381 25 175.24
GC63GEW Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 5.8 1940 6 323.33333333333
GC6066C Buried Boulder II 1994 19 104.94736842105
GC47429 Cold Cache 2672 23 116.17391304348
GC5BFD9 An Explorer’s Challenge Cache 2330 10 233
GC2TR90 Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 5.6 3541 20 177.05
GC1KKBN Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 5.4 4383 27 162.33333333333
GCRX9D Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 4 5480 40 137
GC2TR8Z Great Aussie Icon Hunt # 6 3541 15 236.06666666667
GC1W3E8 Getting Stoned 4178 23 181.65217391304
GC1W57N Passing Stones 4178 23 181.65217391304
GC409N9 Wright’s Wonder 2994 22 136.09090909091
GCRN95 TAKE A BREAK. 5498 26 211.46153846154
GC195KR Buckleys 3514 17 206.70588235294
GC35B63 in the forest 3384 15 225.6
GC4XYV9 Marking our territory 1 2533 25 101.32
GC4EBE3 Six Sticks 2762 21 131.52380952381
GC7C3P6 Penance Plot 1218 10 121.8
GC4KGK5 Cuumbeun Courthouse 2679 21 127.57142857143
GC5EFD London's Loft 6797 53 128.24528301887
GC6CCPJ The Coral Reefs of Milne Bay 1772 14 126.57142857143
GC6WFW7 Cascades Circuit 1525 11 138.63636363636
GC4TQQT Cannonball landed here 2597 23 112.91304347826
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