Often times as kids, it was the simple things that got us the most excited. I know for me, it was the way clouds rolled in across the sky as a large storm approached. I would point my finger to the clouds as if trying to touch them, and I'd pretend I was swirling the clouds. Maybe for some it was the utter amazement at how far you just skipped that stone. For others, playing games outside until the lights came on. Perhaps this was the most common. After all, there were no cell phones or Facebook. Just each other, and games that kept us interested and entertained.
With this in mind, we thought, why not apply that same principle here at CG Cookie?
Well, that's exactly what we did. This week we launched several new features that we think you'll really enjoy. We wanted to encourage higher learning by transforming the site from a blog with tutorials, into a platform that will not only challenge you, but test you on the information that you have retained while taking a course. Track your progress within a beautifully designed dashboard experience, and see how you match up to other CG Cookie members.
Get a birds-eye overview of your progress through the game with your new and improved CG Cookie Dashboard
! The new dashboard still has the stats that you know and love, along with a few more awesome additions like an XP Gauge that let's you know how many XP you have, and on what level you're on. It also displays the top 10 XP earners on the site at that point in time (the stats refresh when you refresh the page), with a link to view the full XP Leaderboard.
XP & Levels
At the heart of it all is XP; a point-based system that serves as summary of your progress through the game. The more XP you earn, the more levels you advance through.
XP can be earned in a few different ways. For example, if you love another users image, or uploading an image into one of the galleries. Additionally, you can also earn XP by leaving constructive comments on a blog post or image. Lastly, you can earn mega XP by taking quizzes that are attached to courses! The only thing that you might want to keep in mind, is that since we're just launching and getting a feel for things, we may periodically adjust the points required to reach a certain XP Level.
Quizzes are the easiest way to earn mega XP. Within each new course you'll find a Quiz with randomly shown questions. Taking, and passing the quiz will reward you XP. The way we've set this up is pretty neat. If you take a quiz and happen to miss a few, you can take it again to get those extra points you missed. Not only is it fun, but it's a great way to teach the fundamentals and points that are being conveyed in the course. Not to mention it'll move you up on the CG Cookie Leaderboard.
The CG Cookie Leaderboard
shows the progress of everyone on the site who is playing the game. It displays the amount of XP, and upon clicking the item will take you to that users profile page. You can also sort the items, and, as time goes on, we plan to bring a few more awesome features to this area like sorting by month, and year.
Now don't go thinking this is some easy game like GoFish. The CG Cookie Games are challenging, and will put your abilities to the absolute test. Think you have what it takes? We've updated a few courses with some quizzes. They're ripe, and ready for the taking, so show us what you've got!
So what do you guys think? We really hope that this will result in a better understanding of what we're teaching, so if you have any other ideas on how to make this an even better experience (or if you'd just like to comment on my beard) then sound off in the comments below!