An online quiz walk with Twine

I created an online quiz walk yesterday. My wife took the kids to school and I was in the mood for a fun coding challenge. Back in October I did a quiz for Fredecon and I picked up how to create with Twine in 2021. So I had the idea to make the quiz in Twine such that you can answer the quiz online but still need to explore a specific area to find the questions.

View over Lake Mälaren at Korpberget (Raventop). The vikings posted guards on this location to light bonfires to warn about incoming hostile ships. Copyright Frederik Jensen 2023.

What is a ‘Tipspromenad’

This kind of quizzes are popular in Sweden. When you visit a museum or an area of interest, you pick up a sheet to fill in your answers at the entrance, then walk around the area and discover the questions. For each question you get four possible answers and there is a letter for each that you write down. After answering all ten or so questions, you reorder the letters to form a word that is then the solution you hand in for a prize. Swedes call these quizzes ‘Tipspromenad’ which translates to Quiz Walk.

It’s a fun activity to do together. The kids run ahead to find the next question then you talk and discuss the question to agree which answer you will choose. At the end you have the puzzle of reordering the letters. A good quiz also phrases the questions such that you learn something just from reading the question. The answer can be easy once you are at the right spot, e.g. to count the number of cannons.

I uploaded the quiz at Thoughtful Games and you can play it now. The fun thing about Twine is that everything runs in the browser within a single html file. You can download the file and play the quiz from a local folder if you want.

The idea is to have a QR code on the sign with questions that leads participants to the url for the quiz. You put up the question in the designated area and people can discover and run the quiz when they want. You can add a link to send an email with the correct word. Or you can provide a clue that the players can use elsewhere, e.g. a discount code to a shop.

One of the great pleasures of being self-employed is that you can go for a scenic walk and recharge the mental battery on a sunny morning the day after fresh snow has fallen, breaking in the trails. Copyright Frederik Jensen 2023.

How I created it

I implemented the quiz in Twine in a day (I had the questions from earlier). The implementation is of course done such that it is easy to do more quizzes following this pattern.

Some things are super easy in Twine, others a bit more fiddly. Like upgrading to the latest version, this being open source software on Mac. I like that you can separate the content from the crunch while still being pragmatic about it. The macros, the debugging tools, and the editor still have plenty of quirks but for this kind of project it’s a cool tool.

Images are not embedded in the compiled html file, you upload these separately and link using standard HTML img tags. Strictly speaking the source file is not compiled, it is still HTML with embedded java script, but reading the raw contents without using of Twine is not for the fainthearted.

Screenshot from Twine showing the Nostalgia Quiz story.
View of the Nostalgia Quiz story in the Twine editor.

What you can do with an online quiz walk

I created the quiz at Fredecon to get people chatting with each other and to give them an excuse to explore the space we were in. These were all my friends but not all knew anyone but me at the convention.

For Thoughtful Games, this can be a marketing tool. When I visit conventions, I can put up a quiz with topics related to my games. The word hidden in the quiz can be a coupon code to my webshop (by the way, the code 'OPENINGWEEK' is still valid for a day or two: buy Montsegur 1244 and Mars to Stay together with a discount).

Or it can be an activity at kids parties, my youngest at 8 is super competent using her phone already. Or maybe I will put up a quiz in the local area for the neighbours for fun. We have plenty of scenic footpaths that could be enriched by a fun quiz walk.

What do you think? How would you use an online quiz walk?