FAQ

Becoming an Agent

Agents of Discovery is an educational mobile game and game-making platform that uses augmented reality, location-based “Challenges” to get people active and exploring their communities. We aim to turn the whole world into an engaging, fun, and safe learning environment!

The Mission Maker is an online platform that empowers educators of all kinds to design their own mobile games in minutes! These games (or “Missions”) are then published to the Agents of Discovery app, and available for free from the App Store or Google Play.

Agents of Discovery Missions are made on our Mission Maker platform. These Missions can be played at any participating site, and they comprise information revolving around their specific locations. Players explore Missions to uncover unique, gamified Challenges, which are solved by observing their surroundings.

Each Agents of Discovery Mission consists of educational, location-based Challenges. Solving Challenges earns players “USBees,” the game’s currency and point system. There are fourteen different Challenge types to use, with more coming all the time! Having a variety of Challenges means you have many ways of communicating your content to players. The Challenge types are: 

Agents of Discovery is available across North America – check out our Mission Map! Alternatively, download Agents of Discovery from the App Store or Google Play and select “Missions” from your Agent Tools to be taken to a list of all the Missions. Hint: if your GPS is enabled, the Mission list will automatically be sorted from the Mission nearest you to those furthest from you. With Missions from Alaska to Texas, California to Maryland, we’re sure you’ll find a Mission to play! Can’t find one nearby? Why not create one with our Agents of Discovery Mission Maker?

No! Once you have downloaded the app and any Missions you want to play, Agents of Discovery works without WiFi or data connection. However, you will need to connect to Wi-Fi or data for the initial download, and therefore we recommend downloading the app and any Missions while connected to Wi-Fi prior to heading out to play at the participating site (as not all participating sites have Wi-Fi).

We recommend investing in some devices to lend out at your location. By having the game ready to go, you can enhance the visitor experience at your location! Simply load the Agents of Discovery mobile app and your Mission onto the devices and have them ready for guests to loan out. You can even charge a small fee or ask for a donation to recoup your program costs. We have found that one of the devices most compatible with Agents of Discovery is the Nexus 5X ($350 USD).

We also suggest that you include (ideally in your Mission’s promotional materials) a reminder to players to download the Mission beforehand. It’s important to include this notice in your social media posts, website, brochure, posters, or anywhere else you are advertising Agents of Discovery.

Making a Mission

The Agents of Discovery Mission Maker is a web-based platform that allows everyday users to create their own customized Missions. Each Mission is made up of fun, interactive Challenges of your choice or creation. Missions are instantly published to the Agents of Discovery mobile app for players to enjoy! Sign up for a free trial today (seriously, we don’t even ask for credit card information).

For outdoor sites with about one hour of gameplay, we recommend that each Mission be a looped trail of around 1 to 1.5 miles in length with 20 Challenges.

For indoor sites, we recommend 20 Challenges to complement your exhibits.

You can always add more Challenges to your Mission or even include cool features like grade delineation (so that kids will be challenged with different content depending on their grade level) or returning user delineation (so that kids get a new set of challenges on a second visit). Features such as these can be included by purchasing additional functionality in the Mission Maker.

Absolutely! Each Challenge requires:

  • A title
  • A Challenge type
  • A location
  • Pre-Challenge information
  • A Challenge question
  • Post-Challenge information

You can either input all of this information to create your own Challenge from scratch, or you can drag-and-drop Challenges into your Mission from our Library. Our Mission Maker Library is full of pre-made educational Challenges, created by our team of educators and other users like you. Many of our Challenges are even aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards! Our Library is searchable by keyword, so you can quickly find what you’re looking for.

Ideally, you will create Challenges to be solved by reference to your physical site. For example, place a Sound Matcher Challenge next to a duck pond so that kids can hear how a real duck quack sounds as they solve the Challenge. Place an Image Multiple Choice question asking players to identify a painting from a particular art movement in your Impressionist gallery. Ask kids to solve a Detective (fill-in-the-blank) Challenge by reading an interpretive panel.

For an illustrated guide to our different Challenge types with tips, download our Best Practices Manual.” If you need help getting started writing your Challenges, download our “Guide to Writing Challenges.”

Yes! This is one of our best features. Your Challenges can be changed at any time. Just login to the Mission Maker and edit your Challenge of choice. Users often change their existing Challenges to reflect new seasons, showcase emerging exhibits, or to complement event programming.

We strongly recommend accessing the Mission Maker through the Google Chrome web browser for the best user experience.

For outdoor sites, we recommend that each Mission be a looped trail of around 1 to 1.5 miles in length with are least 15 Challenges for approximately one hour of gameplay.

For indoor sites, we recommend a minimum of 15 Challenges to complement your exhibits. However, as geo-triggered content doesn’t work quite as well for indoor sites, we recommend setting up your Mission with QR codes. If you have further questions about creating your Mission in this way instead, please reach out.

Create social media posts, and don’t forget to tag @AoDiscovery on Twitter or Agents of Discovery on Facebook. We’re always happy to like and share your posts as well!

Contact the media and let them know about your new app! You can also work with Agents of Discovery’s PR Director to drum up media coverage when you purchase a PR package with us. If you want to learn more, please get in touch.

Bad Elf offers Agents of Discovery’s customers a 30% discount on their state-of-the-art GPS receivers, enabling players to complete Missions on devices without GPS. Bad Elf’s Bluetooth model facilitates connection sharing of up to 5 different devices at the same time. The receivers are lightweight, portable, and provide a battery life of twenty-four hours for a full day of operation. For more information, click here.

Playing a Mission

Agents of Discovery is available across North America – and we’re expanding! Check our Mission List to find those in your area. Alternatively, once in the app, select “Missions” from the gadget wheel at the bottom of your screen to find a list of Agents of Discovery Missions. If your device’s GPS is enabled, this list will automatically sort from Missions nearest you to those furthest from you. With Missions from Alaska to Texas, California to Maryland, we’re sure you’ll find a Mission to play. And if you can’t find one nearby? Why not create one of your own with the Mission Maker?

No! Once you have downloaded the app, along with any Missions you want to play, Agents of Discovery works without WiFi or data connection. However, you will still need connectivity for the initial download. Since not all locations have WiFi, we recommend downloading the app and any Missions you are eager to try prior to heading out to play.

To play Agents of Discovery, your device’s GPS must be turned on. If your GPS is on, and you are still getting an error message, you may need to adjust the location permissions for the Agents of Discovery app.

Agents of Discovery requires your device’s Location Services to be activated. If you are unsure whether or not the correct permissions have been set, go into your phone’s settings, find Agents of Discovery, and select it. From here, you can see what your phone has allowed Agents of Discovery to access. Make sure your location is turned on and is being accessed by the app.

Steps on how to do this can be found below:

 

iOS

  1. Go to the iOS Settings
  2. Select Privacy
  3. Select Locations Services
  4. Find and select the Agents of Discovery app
  5. From there, you can change the locations settings

Android (6.0 or newer, as older Operating systems may have different steps)

  1. Go to the device Settings
  2. Go to app, then find and select Agents of Discovery
  3. Tap App Permissions on the app’s information screen
  4. You will see a list of permissions the app requests, and whether those permissions are turned on or off
  5. From there, you can adjust location services

When you sign in as a guest, your game results and data for completed/downloaded Missions will not be saved. This information will only be saved when users sign-up and log-in to play.

If you already have an account, simply enter your user information and select Login.

If it is your first time logging in to Agents of Discovery, you will need to create a New Agent account:

  1. Select New Agent from the bottom left of the login screen
  2. Fill out the required information, then select Sign Up

To logout of Agents of Discovery:

  1. Bring up the gadget menu
  2. Select Profile
  3. Select the Logout button on the bottom left of the screen

Note: Logging in to Agents of Discovery will save your progress from Mission site to Mission site. If you don’t want to create an account, you can select Start as a Guest on the login page. This will let you play the game; however, it will not save any progress.

Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble with the app (e.g. freezing, crashing, or any other functional issues), please attempt the following troubleshooting steps, depending on your device:

iOS Troubleshooting

Force close the Agents of Discovery app (along with any other apps running in the background):

  • Double-click the Home button to see all apps that are in standby mode
  • Swipe right or left to find the app that you want to close
  • Swipe up to close the app

Update the app:

  • Go to the App Store on your device
  • Select the Updates tab at the bottom of the screen.
  • Search for Agents of Discovery to see if there are any available updates
  • Select the Update button next to the app

Update your device software:

  • Go to Settings from your devices home menu
  • Select General
  • Select Software Update (your device will check for updates)
Android Troubleshooting

Force close the Agents of Discovery app and any other apps running in the background:

  • Tap the square button on the bottom right
  • Swipe left or right to close the app

Update the app:

  • Open the Google Play app
  • Tap the three bar icon in the upper left-hand corner
  • Go to My Apps
  • Select the Agents of Discovery app, or Update All

Update your device software:

  • Go to Settings
  • Select About device
  • Tap Software Update

If your device or operating system does not meet the minimum requirements, you will be unable to download or run the app.

Our app requires an operating system of:

iOS: 9.0 or higher

Android: 4.1 or higher

If your device meets our minimum requirements, and you are still experiencing troubles, please try our basic troubleshooting solutions (see above).

If you are visiting a Mission Site and are not discovering any Challenges, here are a few steps you can try to resolve the issue:

  • Make sure that all Challenges for this Mission have been approved in the Mission Maker
  • Ensure your device’s Location Services are turned on
  • Check that the Location Services are enabled for the app
  • Please do not skip ‘connecting to headquarters’ when opening the app, as skipping may lead to out of date Mission data
  • Visit the Apple App Store or Google Play and download any app updates

To find and download Missions in Agents of Discovery, you need WiFi or data connectivity. Once the desired Mission has been downloaded, an internet connection is no longer necessary.

Looking for more? Check out our tutorial videos.