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March 29, 2017 11:23AM
What makes a valid challenge?
For this topic we would like to refer to Geocaching.com's articles.
    * Guidelines Read these if you haven't read and understood them already. There are quite a few unnecessary checker requests for challenges that does not fit the challenge guidelines. The last major update was in May 2016.
    * Help center
Some of the most important changes made in 2016 are these:
    * Challenge cache listings must include a link to a web-based challenge checker.
    * Challenge cache owners must show that they have met the challenge.
    * Time-limited challenges are not permitted.
    * Challenges cannot be based on these listing elements: cache titles, cache owner names, GC Codes, or listing text.

Challenge checkers are created by volunteers. You do not have to pay them anything, but on the other hand, there is no guarantee that you will get the help you hope for either. Being constructive and keeping a good tone will help you to get you what you want. Don't forget to thank them.

If you wish to thank your volunteer more than just writing a "Thank you" you can choose to transfer some membership time to him/her. You can transfer any amount of membership days (minimum 10 days) you wish for at the Membership page. Note that you really don't have to do this, it's 100% optional, and neither is it expected.

Typical workflow
    * If in doubt, you may ask in this forum if your idea is technically possible.
    * Create the challenge cache page to get a GC-Code, you do not have to put it into the review queue yet.
    * Make a checker request. A good topic is GCCODE - Cachename, or the GC-Code and the requirements in a very short form, so that the subject can be recognized. Example: GC12345, 100 finds in Sweden, 5 unique types.
    * Verify that you fulfil the challenge yourself. This is a requirement by the current guidelines.
    * Verify the checker as best as you can. Try to imagine who should fulfil the challenge and not.
    * Once a checker has been created and verified to be correct, add a checker link with image into your challenge cache description. It will typically look something like:

    You can find the link on the checker page by pressing the button named Links.
    * Add your challenge cache into the reviewer queue.
Note that the challenge checker won't have the cache name until the geocache is published and Project-GC is aware of it.

What a checker request should include (to improve your chances to get help)
    * A GC-Code. It's much prefered that you have the GC-Code ready from the start. You don't have to put the challenge cache in queue, but it reduces the number of turnarounds if you include it in the request since the tag should have the GC-Code.
    * If it's a new challenge that isn't published yet or an old grand-fathered one using older guidelines.
    * An English version of the requirements.
Please understand that all script-writers and taggers are volunteers, treat them with respect. Especially now when the moratorium has been lifted. I think we can all expect a fairly high workload the first weeks/months.

Upon the request of getting a checker written, you may also get feedback on your challenge, such that the experienced challenge checker writers believe that it's against the guidelines, or that small modifications to your challenge might make the script writing much easier or more correct. If the script writers believed that the challenge is breaking Geocaching HQ's guidelines, you could run it with your reviewer before the script writers are spending time on it. Please keep an open mind.

Re-using tags
Do not re-use existing tags for your new challenges. All tags should link the correct GC-Code (geocache). By using an already existing tag you will have a tag pointing to the wrong geocache which will create confusion for the geocachers. It will also ruin a lot of Project-GC's related functionality.

As a solution we have implemented a "Clone tag". When on the checker page you can press the Clone tag button, the web page will then ask you for the GC-Code of your challenge. When pressing the Clone button a new checker tag will be created with an identical configuration for you.

What a checker can not do
    * The checkers does not have access to the user's home coordinates. Challenges are not allowed to be based upon them either, and haven't been allowed to for several years. This is a matter of integrity.
    * The checkers does not have access to logs from others on the geocaches logged. Therefore a challenge to log a geocaches that hasn't been logged for one year isn't possible. We are however looking into solving this in the near future (June is expected). Details are yet to be determined.

The 360-challenges (example: 360 degrees of Sweden is not handled by this checker system but by native code of the site. For those you need to contact Project-GC's support.
Note that in most cases it requires around 10000 geocaches in the area you want to create the 360-challenge for. In an ideal world, 360 geocaches would be enough, if they were perfectly evenly spread, but that is never the case.

The 360 challenges are not allowed with the current guidelines. Several attempts have been made, all denied by reviewers/HQ.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2020 02:09PM by magma1447. (view changes)
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