Creators of Questo: Nicoleta Dan wrote ‘The Haunted Cluj’ quest

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.

 

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If you want to create a quest too, please contact us at explore@questoapp.com 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!

Explore the Haunted Budapest quest and discover its secrets

You are invited to discover the captive souls, the spirits and the mysterious skeletons of Budapest.

Questo will guide you step-by-step to the cursed buildings where they carry out their eternal punishments, while you learn all of their stories.

Quest description:

Along the way, you’ll find the story of the spirits chained into old buildings, you’ll visit a house of vampires, you’ll meet the famous ghost boys and you will discover many other stories of the people who lived and died in those places.

Read this to find out what you have to do in order to explore the haunted places of Budapest.

  1. Download for free Questo app from Google Play / App Store.
  2. Choose the Haunted Budapest quest.
  3. Buy the quest by paying in the app with you card.

You can’t pay with cash at the starting point. You’ll pay only once (for a smartphone) and you can play together with 1,2,3 or for friends.

Go to the starting point mentioned in the app and start playing by following the clues you receive. Enjoy!

Explore all the haunted places in Rome and find out their terrifying stories

If you’re a local or plan to visit Rome soon, you might want to place the dark side of the city on your list of top things to do and see while here.

A city with thousands of years of civilization and controversial deaths was bound to become a suitable host for hundreds of cursed spirits, some more famous than others. Rome is now swarming with people that have supposedly come back from the dead to get revenge on their killers, to be together with their families again or to just wander aimlessly, having lost the last train to the other side.

All the stories of these people and of the places they haunt were gathered and transformed into a game of city exploration.

Haunted Rome – The city exploration game

Questo, the city exploration game, has launched a new trail around the city of Rome, where you discover haunted buildings and squares by following clues that take you from a place to another. When you get to a new location, you receive a haunted story in the app, about the before-and-after death ‘adventures’ of the person who used to live or work there.

Along this haunted tour, you’ll find the story of the most prolific executioner in Rome, you’ll discover the church of chained spirits, you’ll meet the woman who was cursed to lose her hands and you will find out many other stories of the people who lived and died in those places.

What you need in order to explore the Haunted Rome:

A guide won’t be necessary to go visit these haunted places. Just download the Questo app for free from here, select ‘Haunted Rome’ and follow the directions you receive in the.

For bonus courage points: Challenge your friends and walk through the Haunted Rome at night!

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Questo is a real-life exploration game where you follow clues and do small challenges to discover new locations and find out their stories. It was awarded by Booking.com for the social impact created and it was named Best Travel App at the eTravel Awards in 2017. People describe it as a mix of treasure hunting, escape rooms, Amazing Race and urban challenges.

Explore Bucharest’s Old Town with a real-world city exploration game

The Old Town is maybe the most picturesque area of the city, and serves as the focal point for tourists who visit Bucharest and want to have a good time at night. One of the lesser-known aspects of it, though, is the potential it has for daytime exploring.

So if you’re in Bucharest and you’re looking for things to do during the day, try a new kind of tour of the Old Town.

You can discover ancient churches, inns and streets, you can visit museums along the way, and you can find out stories such as of the Great Fire of Bucharest, or the legend of the 123-day long Roman party that happened here.

What to do when you visit Bucharest

The most interesting hidden stories and the most popular places in Bucharest’s Old Town can all be found with a city exploration game.

You can access it very simply, through Questo, the app that helps you guide yourself around the city, by following clues, while offering never-told-before stories about the places you visit. These are all part of a quest, a mission of discovery. The places and stories were created by local contributors and guides.

This specific quest is called The Old Town Treasure, and it’s focused on finding the most sought treasure of Bucharest. Some people have written books about it, others have dedicated ballads and entire poems. Romanians even made it the main theme of their hymn. The lost treasure of Bucharest is the most precious thing Romania has ever owned. Go search for it and see for yourself.

The quest starts in Piata Unirii, on the bridge over the river Dambovita, next to Starbucks, and it usually takes about an hour and a half to complete. Go find it in the app.

What Is Quest Writing and How Can It Make You Money

If you’re a hobbyist writer, a content writer, a copywriter, a blogger or a passionate storyteller, here’s how you can earn more money / a passive income by doing what you love.

That’s if you love to travel and play games. But who doesn’t?

We’re introducing a new kind of content generation that can earn you short and long-term income. It involves writing fictional or real stories about your favourite places in the city.

These stories will earn you an initial guaranteed payment upon completion and, here’s the best part, future income from the future use of the content.

Think stock-images-type licenses, but for stories.

If you’re looking for a break from writing blog posts, articles, product descriptions, reviews or tiresome brand content, come and use your imagination for something new, and make money while at it.

How to earn money from quest writing

Your city and its people have amazing stories that few people know. Even though they walked by or visited them in the past.

Questo is a city exploration game which reveals these stories while playing around.

By following clues and solving challenges, you get to discover old and new places in town, indoor or outdoor, and get rewarded with their hidden or unknown stories.

All these are wrapped in a new content form called a quest, a mission of discovery.

And you can write quests too. Quite easily.

These quests are sold to locals and travelers, and you’ll also receive a percentage of the earnings, besides the initial guaranteed payment after you finish it.

How to write a quest

If you have interesting places in mind, and know where you can find stories about them, you’re half way there already.

Also, if you want your quest to be 100% fictional, you can make up your own stories and just connect them with existent places in the city (indoor or outdoor).

STEP 1: Theme/concept writing

What you need to think of first is a concept/a theme. This is the central piece of your quest, and you must follow it from beginning to end. This concept can revolve around a character, which the explorer plays as.

A quest concept can be ‘The haunted city’, where you’re a ghost hunter trying to find a spirit by visiting all the haunted places in town.

Another one can be ‘Find the treasure’, where you’re an adventurer trying to get rich fast while scorching through the city in search of a treasure.

You can be a time traveller that landed inside a museum and now has to find a secret artefact that he has to return home.

Or you can be a detective who’s looking to find a robber by following clues left behind.

The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

STEP 2: Discovering locations and writing clues

After you choose a concept, you have to pick out fitting locations.

If you’re doing a ‘ghosts and spirits’ concept, you’re looking for haunted houses and creepy alleys. If you’re thinking of a ‘treasure hunt’, you can choose really old buildings which can hide such riches. You get the idea.

These locations should be reached by following directional clues that end with a question or a riddle.

You will receive a Complete Creators Guide that walks you through the entire content writing process, step-by-step.

STEP 3: Writing stories

You have the concept, you know the locations, and you prepared the clues. Now, it’s time for writing stories.

They can be real or fictional. The real ones can be about the history of the building, the life stories of people who lived or still live there or about interesting event that happened there.

When it comes to writing the fictional ones, the road is clear. But keep in mind that you need to write a concept and stories that can make you money, so they must be appealing to the public: popular or intriguing subjects/themes. Remember to write with that in mind.

The platform:

During these steps, you are helped by an online platform where you are guided step-by-step and where you can save everything you write and research.

It’s called Creators Room and here’s where you can talk to the Questo team and other creators like you, to share thoughts and ideas, or just ask for feedback.

Writing a quest that makes you money

The most important attribute of the quest you write is the concept/theme.

As long as you attract the people with an intriguing subject, they will want to do your quest, and maybe even more created by you (your name or alias will be displayed in the app).

Closely connected to the concept/theme you write about is the location. If you attach a ‘detective penguin’ concept to a natural history museum, it’s more appealing.

If you want to write scary stories, you need to take people around old, abandoned buildings, and weird little roads.

And then there’s the story writing.

Your concept should translate into memorable stories, which make people say ‘I can’t believe this happened here’ or ‘It’s amazing what people used to do then’.

Keep these in mind and your quest will make you money long-term.

How much can you earn from writing a quest

For every quest you publish in the app you’ll an initial payment plus a future shared commission for each transaction (the quest will remain in the app indefinitely). To learn more about the payment, please write us at explore (at) questoapp.com

Your total earnings depend on the interest your concept attracts and the quest’s location. For more details about earnings, contact the Questo team at ‘explore at questoapp .com’.

Questo is available everywhere in the world

The app launched in several countries around Europe already and it is available everywhere in the world, so anyone can create a quest anywhere.

Questo was awarded by Booking.com for the social impact it creates and it was named Best Travel App at eTravel Awards.

Where to start?

If you already have a quest in mind that you want to write, contact us at ‘explore (at) questoapp .com’ and we’ll get started.

Discovering the places to visit in Brasov, Romania, through a real-world exploration game – Questo [GUEST POST]

Here are I am again visiting Brasov, the “City of the Crown”, for the 10th time (maybe more). Once again I realize I am lost without the GPS. And the only part of the city I am familiar with is the central pedestrian street. And I live in Romania. I should be more accustomed to the city by now. Please believe me when I say that, for the past half of a year, each time I got to Brasov, I used Questo. Always hoping to discover new places in Brasov.

Why visit Brasov?

I’m guessing you already know about this beautiful city in the heart of Romania. And, probably, you’ve already seen some photos from there.

The pedestrian centre is the main attraction, but there is much more to it. There is so much history surrounding there areas (literally), that it is truly a waste if you don’t walk on those narrow streets.

So there I was, feeling weird, because I knew there was much more to the city than meets the eye, but had no idea where to start.

Even my parents know Brasov better than I do. So that’s why I needed help. I wanted to explore more of the lesser-known parts of the city, because I don’t want to have the same pictures as everyone else.

Exploring Brasov and its stories like a local, with Questo

I realized this was not going to be easy since I have no friends in Brasov. Ok, so that was my task: Discover how to find out more about this beautiful city, in a fun and entertaining way.

Questo does that for you! “What is Questo?” you might ask. Questo is a real-life exploration game. Sounds like lots of fun (and it is).

I had to use Google maps to get to the starting point (which wasn’t as easy as I thought), but once I finally found the place, everything was going smooth. That’s if you get the subtle hints and directions of the quest. I was checking both versions (Romanian and English) to make sure I got it right. But then again, my scavenger hunt skills are not something to brag about.

The quests are brilliantly made and do not depend on the weather, time or anything else than the public places of the city. It so happened that the most famous street in the city was closed for restoration that day, and for the next months to come.

I had to go round the block to get to the other end of the street and I was on ‘challenge mode’ quest (aka the timed version, where the best quest times get on the leaderboard). That was the moment I knew I wasn’t going to make it in the top 5.

No worries, I wasn’t going to give up. A traveller is not giving up. And I am so glad I didn’t, because the places included in the quest were unknown to me before. I loved it. And as much as I love walking and exploring, I dislike walking in the sun. (The sun is not good for the skin, you should know that and always wear sunscreen.)

Questo (and the sun) made me move faster with my exploring. Of course, it’s not just the quest, it’s the entire experience and the journey through time and the city, which can open new perspectives over the things you can do in Brasov, or any other city featured in the Questo app.

I wasn’t sure before this Questo exploration game if Brasov is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania, but now I know. It sure is. And I cannot wait to go back and finish the other quests.

Some months ago, I started the first quest and couldn’t finish it as it started raining. Told you the weather won’t care. I am sure I will find all the historical stories I never knew about in those quests. And… what else is there to do? The other overcrowded places are already marked on Google maps.

Is Questo for you? Should you use it to visit Brasov?

If you are like me: adventurous, hate sticking to travel groups or human travel guides and like to take things into your own hands (others call us ‘control freaks), then the answer is YES!

The pace is all up to the user, and it is the perfect activity for couples or a small group of friends. Had tons of fun while searching for the clues and answers.

Now, I’m looking forward to doing more quests in other places too, as there are over 70 different ones, in 4 countries.

Have you been doing any quests lately? *wink, wink*, let the Questo team know about a story of a new city and they just might create a new quest. Or better yet, you can create your own (which you can sell to users).

Here is a short video I made during this quest, just to get the feel of it (trust me, it was hot outside):

I’m Julia, and this was my story, together with Questo in Brasov. Want to read more of my experiences? Find me at juliasomething.com