On the Halloween night of 2018, we launched ‘Haunted City’ quests in several cities around Europe, helped by Questo creators.
People were able to discover haunted and cursed locations in their towns, while reading horror stories about those places and the people who used to live there. Approximately 15,000 people showed up and haunted the streets. After the launching event, the quest remained available in the app, and anyone can complete it at anytime.
Nicoleta is one of the creators who wrote one such quest, which was completed by over 4,000 people only that night.
These are Nicoleta’s thoughts on being a creator:
What do you do for a living now? Do you have any experience with writing?
I’ve been a copywriter for over two and a half years now, but I’ve always been passionate about creative writing. I wrote poetry for a while, and now I have two books I’m working on in my spare time. One of them will be launched next year.
What did you like most about the concept of Questo?
I loved the fact that you have to pay attention to where you’re going. You have to be aware of your surroundings. Too often, we’re caught in our thoughts and we’re immune to what’s happening around us. To me, Questo is the ideal way to combine technology with awareness, to say “STOP” to your inner string of thoughts and paying attention to what is happening outside. I could say it’s just a form of meditation. 🙂
How did you decide to become a Questo creator?
Others decided on my behalf 🙂 The idea crossed my way thanks to a friend who knew I liked to create stories and who put me in contact with the Questo team. I accepted the challenge because I really liked the idea behind the application, through which you can discover the city by solving riddles.
What was the most interesting part of the process of writing your quest?
The fact that the clues I had to choose were versatile. It could happen anytime for a clue I inserted in the plot to be covered up over night or just be hard to notice by explorers when we launch. That came with a dose of adrenaline there 🙂 And we did stumble upon something unexpected.
Just the day before the official launch, I was doing the last check-ups. All the clues were in their place, all of them were easy to see. When I was passing by the next day, a few hours before the event, I noticed that the clue at the ‘Executioner’s House’ was gone. It was a graffiti painted on the façade, which fell overnight… We had to change the story and adapt quickly.
What did you find the most difficult in writing the quest? Would you do something different if you started again now?
I would do several things differently. First of all, I would add more checkpoints and I would diversify the stories. I would add a few side stories that would make the main plot more intriguing, to soften the barrier between reality and fiction.
Why would people go on your quest?
To spend more time with their loved ones, to discover a few places and stories about Cluj that they may not know (many people have been impressed by the Pharmacy Museum, for example), and to reach their quota of recommended steps per day 😉
How much did it take you to write a quest?
It’s hard to estimate. It was certainly of great help that I knew the concept behind the quest from the start, and I knew how to structure my stories. I think what takes the most effort is the research and planning part.
All together, my work on this quest span across 5 days, working on it a few hours a day.
How many quests of yours were sold on the night of the Haunted City event?
Close to 900 quests, if I’m not mistaken. Each purchase was made by a group of 4-5 people on average. So there were about 4,000 people present at the event.
What are your thoughts on the event overall? Do you have any stories from there?
Overall, the event went unexpectedly well. Seeing thousands of people as they gather to start on a route that you’ve built is quite an experience.
Giving a statement to the police because the authorities had not been informed about the thousands of people who were blocking the streets is also an interesting experience hahaha. But all in all, I was impressed by the attitude of the authorities in Cluj that understood our situation and took steps to control the crowd and keep order on the streets.
I also loved the attitude of the players. Most of them understood that it was not a competition, they played fair, collaborated along the way, and simply enjoyed the game.
What types of people could write quests?
Anyone who is passionate about discovering things, but is also willing to share them with others.
What suggestions do you have for future creators?
First, find the theme of the quest you want to write, and only after you’ve got that, start looking for the places you want to include as checkpoints in your quest. Writing the story is the easiest thing to do, and the last one, once you have everything else figured out.
Where do you dream/plan to write a quest next?
I don’t think it’s only one place or city, I would love to tour the globe writing quests haha. Obviously, adapted to the culture of that place. Several cities that come to mind are Brasov, Turin, Warsaw (or any other Polish city), Seoul, Honolulu, Vienna, Casablanca, St. Petersburg… I have an entire list 🙂
Do you have anything else to add about being a Questo creator?
For me, writing quests is fulfilling. It’s amazing to know that a story I wrote is the reason some people enjoy themselves on a weekend afternoon or others get to discover the new city where they just moved in.
If you want to create a quest too, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you with everything you need.
Also, here’s an article that you might find interesting about how to be a Questo creator.
Play Your City a Visit!