Frequently Asked Questions
First, make sure you have used the correct e-mail address.
If you still don't receive a mail, you should check that you are allowed to receive mails from the domain 'purposegames.com'. Check your spam filters to see that all is OK.
It is unlikely that it got stuck on our side.
It's a little too involved to explain it here, but it is covered by the following game:
Or, if you prefer:
How to Make a Link [TIK]
In your profile page (which you get to by clicking the PurposeGames logo at the top of the screen) you click settings. Under settings, you can change your password.
Nods are rewards you can give out to members whom you like, or who have done something you like. Nods may be given out to someone who makes a game or tournament you like, someone who helps you solve a problem, or the winner of a tournament or challenge. They can also be given for any other reason or for no reason at all. You can give more than one nod to the same person, but you are limited to a total of 5 nods per calendar month. The person who receives the most nods in a given month becomes the 'Member of the Month' for the following month.
It is very common for people who host tournaments to offer a nod to the winner of the tournament, but this is not required. [TIK]
While there is no upper limit as to how many people can follow you, there is currently a limit of following 500 members at PurposeGames. This limit may change in the future but for now it is a security measure for being able to maintain a solid performance of the site.
In your profile page (which you get to by clicking the PurposeGames logo at the top of the screen) you click settings. Under settings, you can change your user name.
If you come across something that seems strange or not working as you would expect, before looking any further, begin by refreshing your browser. If you were member of PurposeGames from before, it is most likely that you need to refresh your browser. In extreme cases you need to completely empty your browser history.
In that case, the best thing to do is ask the question in the forum. Most questions are answered in a day or two at most. Many are answered very quickly. For the majority of questions, this may be the best method. If it seems like the question is likely to be of concern to many members, one of the moderators may also turn it into a FAQ entry.
You can also search through previous forum conversations to see if the question has already been asked and answered.
An alternative is to use the 'contact' link at the bottom of each PurposeGames page. This will send a message to David. This may take longer (it's only one person, and he has a real life, after all). However, he can answer questions nobody else can. [TIK]
If you see what you think is a bug or a glitch or other problem, please report it so it can be considered, and fixed if necessary.
In most cases, it is best to leave a message in the Request and Feedback section of the PurposeGames Forum.
Please provide as much information as possible. That means not only what the problem is, but where and how you encountered it. The following information is helpful:
Where exactly it is (a game, your profile, etc.). Links help.
What you were doing when it happened.
What system software you are using (e.g. Windows 7, Mac 10.8.2)
What browser you're using.
See this topic to see what kind of info helps.
Each game has a report link. On the game page, it is a flag icon above and to the right of the game. On the game's info page, it is below and to right of the game's thumbnail link, to the right of the number of likes and plays. Click on that icon, and you will get a dialog which will allow you to report the game. Your report will eventually be reviewed by David or a moderator, who will take whatever action is determined to be appropriate. Games may be reported for offensive content, use of copyrighted material, or because they are 'lame'. (Note that moderators have a high tolerance for 'lame' games: the standard is essentially that they are unplayable.)
There is a similar system for game comments: each comment has its own flag icon. Click on it, and the report dialog will appear. Offensive and non-serious comments may be removed. Either categort is appropriate for reporting spam. [TIK]
Yes. Go to the user's profile page. In the upper right, next to the 'Follow(ing)' button, there is a drop-down menu box with a small generic avatar and a triangle on it. Click the box, and the menu appears. Select the 'report' option. This will bring up a report dialog.
A user may be reported for making offensive games or comments, for having an offensive avatar or for "other" behaviors--including spamming. Select the best option, describe the situation and click the 'Report User' button. Please leave as complete a description as possible. [TIK]
This is because the old image is still in your so called browser cache.
You need to press refresh a couple of times in your browser for it to re-new that image.
If you search for a term like "capitals", the search returns hundreds of games in many pages, all of which can be seen. If you search for "capitals of", you get even more returns, but only the first page is visible. This is because in pages 2 and up, the term is compressed into "capitalsof", omitting the space between the two words.
David is looking into this issue.
In the meantime, use this workaround: search instead for "capitals_of", and all the pages are viewable. [TIK]
This is not currently possible. [TIK]
Yes. PurposeGames is completely free of charge. No fees what so ever.
The ATH is the All-Time High in a game: the best score by any registered player to date. It has 3 factors: accuracy, speed and primacy.
It works like this: If 10 people have played a game and have different accuracies, the one with the highest accuracy (percent right) holds the ATH, no matter how fast the other players are. Among players with the same accuracy, the fastest time wins the ATH. Among players with equal accuracy and speed, the first one to reach that mark holds the ATH. In other words, for equal speed and accuracy, primacy is the tie breaker. [TIK]
The profile page holds all statistics on what you do here at PurposeGames.
When playing a game, it increases the number of games played by one.
The leaderboard shows how many games you have played that qualifies your status at PurposeGames. The number of games that counts when calculating your status may be lower than the number of games played showed on your profile due to the fact that not all games count. Games that are completely new or in other ways are made just to raise your status level, are not counted.
So while your profile page makes no distinction between what games you play, but will count every game, the leaderboard and status logic does.
When you like games, they get saved on your profile.
You can find all your liked games in the games overview page in the section my likes.
Did you make your game public? It is only public games that show up in the play section of the site, and in the search.
Note! All games, public and private, are subject to review before it becomes generally available. This is to ensure that the site is not abused. It can take up to 2-3 hours before your public game is visible to others.
[TIK NOTE:] See also:
You need to upgrade your flash player in your browser.
Visit http://get.adobe.com/flash to upgrade.
Please note that PurposeGames does not work on iPad nor iPhone.
When you play a dot game and hit an incorrect dot, a text block will appear giving the correct answer next to that dot. After three incorrect, active (green) dots in a row, the correct dot (or dots) will turn purple.
Note: there is an exception: if the author has chosen to hide hints, the text block will not appear. Instead, the text "Wrong. Try another." will appear. This makes games more challenging to play.
There is no button click or keyboard command which will show you the correct response in advance. [TIK]
There are no hints Per se in multiple choice games. When you click on any response, whether right or wrong, the game advances to the next question.
When you have completed the game, you may review the game question by question to find the correct answers. You first must close the highscore box by clicking the X in its upper right corner. Then you use the navigation arrows on the the lower left of the gamespace to do this. Correct answers are shown with a green dot. If you answered incorrectly, you answer is shown with a red dot. Other answers are shown with blue dots. [TIK]
The system is in theory, identical to that in dot games (see this entry). Text hints and colorization of the correct response (a shape instead of a dot in this case) work the same way.
However, there is a real-appearance difference. If the author has selected a low level of shading for the shape, it may not be evident. This is especially true if the background is something other than a simple, mono-colored diagram. If you continue to press incorrect responses, the correct shape or shapes will continue to darken until they are obvious. This won't help your score in that particular run, but it will help you learn for your next play.
If the author has chosen zero percent shading however, no amount of clicking will bring color to the shape(s). In this situation, there are no hints. [TIK]
Sometimes, a dot or shape game will not play all the way through. This is usually because the author has accidentally or deliberately put one dot on top of another or one shape on top of another, such that the dot or shape underneath is completely covered. If this happens, you cannot click on the bottom dot or shape, and the game will not play through. In shape games, this will happen even when you can see the bottom shape. This happens because the bottom dot or shape was created before the top shape: later dots and shapes are "higher" in position than earlier ones.
If you encounter this problem, leave a comment in the game's message board asking the author to fix it. If it is a game from someone no longer at PG, please report the game using the flag feature on the game's page or its info page. [TIK]
If your are listed first on a game's Highscores (on the game information page) but it is not listed in your ATHs, it is probably because someone else actually holds the ATH. If another player has your same accuracy and speed, but is listed below you, that person actually played the game first, and therefore holds the ATH. There are no ties. See also the main FAQ entry on ATH. [TIK]
No two people will have exactly the same likes. With that in mind, try these things:
Go to the 'Play' section, where games and playlists are listed. View the list by 'most played' and 'most liked'. Games that are liked or played a lot tend to be better than average. Also view by 'Editor's Choice', which is a selection of many of the better games/playlists.
Go to the Explore menu and Tournaments section. Join some groups and play the tournaments.
Go to the main page. There you will find trending games (getting a lot of recent play), a weekly top 7 games and the Game of the Day.
Go to the Explore menu and the Leaderboard. Sort by Creator Rank. You will see the game makers with the most plays. Select one and go to his/her profile, and view the games made by that person.
Once you find a game maker you like, check out more of his/her games.[TIK]
Sometimes, people intentionally or accidentally publish a multiple choice game with no questions. When you start the game, the game immediately starts and finishes, and gives you a score of 0.00% in 0 seconds. This will show up on your stats page at fist, but it will NOT remain. It will NOT permanently remain in your stats. After a period of time (usually less than 24 hours), the score will be removed from your stats. If it remains longer than a couple of days, please leave a note in the forum.
By the way, you can determine--before you play--whether or not a game is like this. If you look at the game's info page, it tells you how many questions it has. That number is above and to the right of the number of plays. [TIK]
You may need to zoom out your browser. Right click on the game when it is open. You should get options to zoom in or out. There's probably also a feature for that in your browser's menu (placement will depend on the browser.) And there should be a keyboard command either "command" and the + sign or "control" (alt) and the + sign, depending on your browser and system. [TIK]
Yes. When you open a game, you should see a small speaker icon in the lower right of the game window. Click on it to toggle the sound off and on. [TIK]
These are "hidden dot [shape]" games in which one dot [shape] lies exactly on top of another so you can't click on the hidden one. There are a lot of games like this. All you have to do with games like this is to use the "report" feature to let the moderators know about it. Just click the flag icon above and to the left of the game's title on the game page. This will take you to a dialog box where you can report it. You would select the "Not serious. Very lame game" option from the drop down menu, and write a description that the game is not playable because you can't click all the dots [shapes]. This will put a notice in the queue of games to be looked at, and one of the moderators will remove it if necessary. [TIK]
This seems impossible, but is not really, for a number of reasons. In a one dot game, it just means that the high scorer took less than 0.1 second to find the dot. This is quite common in this type of game. In games with many dots, it is either a glitch with the timer, or cheating. [TIK]
A variety of maps are provided in the game creation area of PG.
Also, Wikipedia/Wikimedia is a good source of many types of images that may be used for backgrounds. Most are either public domain or "copylefted" with a GNU Free Documentation License, a version of the Creative Commons license, or an equivalent license. It is best practice to credit the author and reference the license when you use these backgrounds.
A resource of maps (many familiar on PG) collected by a number of PGers and maintained by Dal may be found here:
Again, it is much the same: PD, or "copylefted". Please give credit where credit is due.
Finally, some authors routinely provide links to the backgrounds they use. (See their game comments for that). In particular, this is found on many of Tickman's Games.[TIK]
A public game is visible to all and shows up in the play section of the site, and also in search.
A private game is not visible to anyone but you on the site. It is however possible for anyone to play, given that they have the URL (address) of the game, so you can send it to friends, share it on Facebook etc, even though it is private.
The PNG format is absolutely the best format to use for uploading images to games (and avatars). The GIF format is restricted to 256 colors making it unsuitable for re-sizing. The JPG format is compressed format where distortion effects can occur, depending on the level of compression.
These are tweaks that a game maker can put into a game when it is created/edited. They do not effect the way a game is made, but do effect the way the game is played. So they are used by the game maker, but effect the game player. Advanced options are accessed during game creation or editing via a link just above the "Save", "Preview" and "Publish" buttons in the game creation engine.
See the following entries:
In multiple choice games, three advanced options are available when a game is made or edited.
1) "Hide answer percentage during game". This hides the percentage counter so the player has no feedback as to how well he/she is doing. (This option is on by default.)
2) "Run questions in random order." This mixes up the order in which questions are displayed. The player cannot simply remember the answers by their order in the game. (This option is off by default.)
3) "Use fixed number of questions."Allows the author to select how many questions are shown in one playing of the game. The questions are chosen at random each time, so the player is in effect playing a different game from one play to another. So in a 50 question game, the author may elect to only have 10 or 20 shown. (This option is on by default.) [TIK]
Quiz games have 3 advanced options in common, while shape games have a 4th option, which is considered in a separate section of the FAQ.
1) "Hide hints to questions" means that when you click an incorrect response, the text hints are replaced by the text "Wrong. Try another." This option is off by default.
2) "Use fixed number of questions" selects (randomly) a smaller set of questions out of the larger set that exist in the game. So a game on the 50 US states might be turned into a game where 5 or 10 are selected at random in each play. This option is off by default.
3) "Group questions with same text", applies when 2 or more dots (or shapes) have the same exact text. If this option is turned on, clicking on one selects all the identical dots (or shapes). If it is turned off, each dot (or shape) is independent of the other(s). This option is on by default. [TIK]
Shading is an advanced option available only in shape games. When the game is created or edited, the author may access this feature in the advanced options dialog. The option reads "Set shape transparency (0-100)," and allows the author to adjust how this appears in games.
If the option is set to 100, the shading is very dark and shows up prominently. If it is set at a lower level (ex., 10%) it may be very subtle. If it is set at 0%, shading does not happen at all. The default setting is 50%.
This is a tricky option, because the same level of shading appears quite different on different backgrounds. [TIK]
To do this, you need an image editor. Many are available, including:
Commercial products like Adobe Photoshop, which must be purchased, but is very powerful. Photoshop Elements is less powerful, and less expensive.
Online editors like Pixlr.com. This is free, and very simple--but still powerful enough to do a lot.
There are others, as well. [TIK]
Of course, there is no way to make people play your games, but if a game is seldom-played (or not played at all), it may be due to one of these factors:
A game may be unplayable because of "buried" dots or shapes. This can be remedied by editing.
A game may have too many dots, shapes or questions. Most people don't like that. Most people like games with fewer than 50 dots/shapes or fewer than 20-25 multiple choice questions.
A game may be the 100th copy of the exact same game.
People may not be interested in the subject.
Also, games which are not given names or descriptions may be played less because people don't know what they are about. A game which has a default title ("[Your Game Title] or "[Your Game Name]") will not be easy to find in a search. [TIK]
It's pretty easy. Go to the 'Create' section of the website, and select 'Create a Quiz Game (shapes)'. Then select a background. When that comes up, select the 'Draw' function. This allows you to draw shapes by creating line segments which will eventually form a polygon. Each time you click, it anchors the next line segment, and finishes the previous one. At the end, you must click on the start of the first segment to close the polygon.
HINT: right click to zoom in: this allows you to follow the background shapes more closely. Several levels of zoom should be available. You can zoom in and out as you need to in order to delete dots, move the view and so on. [TIK]
Go to your profile page and click "Games"to go to your games page.
Underneath each of your games, you will see five icons underneath each one. These all have game management functions. If you hover the mouse pointer over the icons it will say what each one does.
The fourth icon from the left (second from the right) resets the highscore. [TIK]
The usual reasons are:
1) You have not made the game public
2) You have not published it yet
Check to make sure these are not true. If neither is the case, then it is likely that:
3) It contains obscene or offensive images or language
4) It is a too-graphic anatomy game
5) It contains material identified as copyrighted
6) It potentially violates someone's privacy (find my friends or family type games)
In some cases the game may be forced private, in others, removed entirely.
If none of these are true, ask about it in the forum.
Scores shouldn't be reset for no reason, but occasionally there is good reason to do so. Usually, this involves making changes which make a game more difficult. If a game has 5 questions, and is played a little and then changed to a 10 question game, it is more difficult and the scores should be reset. Otherwise, early players have an unfair shot at the ATH. Some game makers cheat by doing this deliberately: making a 1 dot game, playing it and then increasing the number of dots.
On the other hand, if a game has many questions (20 or more), adding a single dot probably doesn't make much difference: other factors (e.g.,player speed, the order in which the questions show up) tend to override the difference.
Either way, it is the game-maker's choice. Those who refuse to change highscores when they should may find that their games don't get much play.
This is a glitch in number handling. An "unadulterated" zero is not recognized. In dot/shape games, a 0 answer means that the dot or shape will not appear. In multiple choice, a 0 used as question or answer (either correct or incorrect) means the question will not appear. The workaround is to use 0.0, write the word 'Zero', or simply put a space in front of the 0. [TIK]
There are two options.
Either press "Add/Remove Games" link, when standing in your list page, or visit the game you wish to add, and press "Add to playlist" in the top right of the game.
You press the tournament icon, available near the top of each playlist. That will take you to a page where you get to choose the group that shall be host to the tournament.
See also this FAQ item:
If you find a playlist you like, or have a "base list" that you want to use for copying to other lists, adding and removing to them further, you need only press the "branching" icon available near the top of every playlist.
In your playlist page, to the left you have a menu.
Press "Add/Remove Games".
After each game, you should now be able to add a small comment on why you chose that game to be a part of your playlist (140 chars or less).
Just as with games, PurposeGames.com has a reviewstep for each list that gets published. Though you can use your playlist immediately, and others visiting your profile can see the list as soon as you have published it, it will take a little while before it shows up in the playlists section of the site.
If you had favorites in the old version of PurposeGames, they have now been converted into a playlist.
If you had private games in that list, it is not public. If you do not want to share your favorites with others, just set your favorites playlist to private.
If you try to make a playlist and get the message "There is already a list by that name. Please choose another title," it is because someone else has already used the title. You may not be able to find that other playlist because it has been set to private, or is not yet published.
Titles for playlists must be unique, and are therefore like those of groups, not like those of games or tournaments. [TIK]
There is no limit. [TIK]
There is currently no way to do this, short of deleting games and reloading them in the order you want. [TIK]
Find your name in the list of tournament players and click on the date following your name. Your played games will be displayed. If you don't want to go through the list to find your name, click on the date for any player. A list of that players played games vs your played games will appear.
A similar function exists for tournaments. In that case however, you click on the "view" links in a tournament's list of players. [TIK]
On the Explore page, go to Groups. You can browse by the links on the left of the page. If you find a group, you need to determine if it the group is public, private or by invitation only.
If it is public, just click on the link for the group. That will take you to a page where you can join--simple as that.
If it is private, you can do much the same, but you will have to wait for the group's administrator or a moderator to approve your membership.
If it is by invitation, you can only join if you are invited. If you would like to join, you should contact the group's creator to request an invitation. If an invitation is given, it should show up on the Groups page of your profile. You can accept there. [TIK]
Groups serve 2 main functions.
1) Each group has a forum. This can be used to discuss topics of interest to group members in a location not available to non-members. For private and invite-only groups, these discussions may be very exclusive. In practice, few groups are used this way.
2) Groups may be used to host tournaments, which are competitions in which only group members may participate. This is very common. Tournaments may include the group's administrator's games, other people's games, or any mix of the two.
Some PurposeGames members are teachers, and they sometimes set up groups for their students. They may communicate with the students though the forum, and hold tournaments with games which help the students study the class material. [TIK]
Only if you are willing to do the work it requires. The groups section is littered with ghost groups, because running a group takes a lot of effort. In many cases the group administrator and moderators didn't have the time to run a group, so those groups simply died.
Also, if you are thinking of a group for a particular subject or a certain type of people, you might want to check to see if a group like that already exists. [TIK]
You can't just create a group, and expect people to join. You have to make its existence known.
One way to do that is to put a message on the PG forum when you create the group. Provide a link to the group so people can join easily. You can also use the forum advertise group tournaments as they come up.
Another method is to contact people in your friends list by private message, and ask them to join.
Finally, you can invite members using the member management page of your group. To find that, go to your group's home page and find the link to the member management page on the left side of the page, in the admin menu.
It may take some time to build a large membership. [TIK]
Tournaments are created within groups. So you need to be an administrator or a moderator of a group to host your own tournaments.
Step by step:
1) Create a group
2) Publish the group
3) Visit the tournament section of your group and press "Create tournament"
4) Choose a title and description for it, choose the time span (how long it should last)
5) Pick one or many games as base for your tournament.
Done. Have fun
First of all, you must belong to the group hosting the tournament. (See How do I join a group? if you don't know how.)
Once in the group, you can access the tournament from the group's home page. Also, tournament makers often provide links to their tournaments in the main PG forum.
When you get to the tournament page, simply start playing the games. Arrow-style navigation links help you move between games while you're playing. You do not need to play all the games in order. You can skip through them in any order. You also do not need to play them all in one setting. You can return to play some of them later, for as long as the tournament is still active.
You may play any game multiple times: there is no limit to the number of plays per game (as opposed to the limited number of plays in challenges.) [TIK]
No. in order to play in a tournament, you must access the games from that group's tournament page. If you access the games elsewhere (the general games page, or another tournament, for example), your plays will not be registered.
Therefore, if two tournaments are using the same game, you must play it separately in each tournament. [TIK]
People can't play your tournament if they don't belong to your group. See the group section of the FAQ for help with that. And if they don't know the tournament is in progress, they won't play.
The most helpful thing you can do is to announce the tournament in the PurposeGame Forum. And be sure to provide a link to the tournament. If there is no link, people may not bother to try to find it.
Some tournament makers offer nods to tournament winners to encourage play. That is not necessary, but it may help. [TIK]
The current limit is set at 100 games per tournament. If you make a tournament from a playlist containing more than 100 games, only the first 100 will be taken into the tournament. [TIK]
There are 2 methods. You can add games from the tournament creation area in its group. This is best for adding many games at one time.
Sometimes, however, you can't get to the game you want (for example, because too many games have similar names). In that case, go to the page of the game you want (the actual game page, not the info/comment page). Find the icons above and to the right of the game. Clicking on the third icon from the right allows you to add the game to a tournament. [TIK]
The site-wide weekly tournament was discontinued with the 2012 site revision. But many fine tournaments are available in private groups (Tournaments tab in the Explore section of PG). You should be able to find something you like. The tournament in "The G.O.D. List" is a compendium of games featured as "Game of the Day", and may be the closest thing to being a lineal descendant of the main tournament:
You might also be interested in challenges (see related FAQ section) [TIK]
Find your name in the list of tournament players and click on the "view" link. Your played games will be displayed. If you don't want to go through the list to find your name, click on the corresponding link for any player. A list of that players played games vs your played games will appear.
Something like this exists for playlists, as well. In that case, however, you click on the date of play behind the name. [TIK]
No. Tournaments may not overlap. The end of the first must be at least 1 hour before the start of the second.
If you need to run simultaneous tournaments, you'll have to create another group. [TIK]
There's a limit of 3 challenges at a time per member. This in order to not having the wall crowded by one and the same member all of the time. As your challenges gets filled (played) you can of course post new ones to the wall again.
There are a couple of ways, but for brevity, I'll mention only the easy way:
1) Find the game you want to use for that.
2) Find the challenge symbol (a shield with a checkered pattern). On the game's info page, that's below and to the right of the game. On the game's play page, it's above and to the right.
3) Click on the shield. You'll go to the opening dialog.
4) Click on the 'invite opponent button'. You'll go to the challenge creation page.
5A) If you want to challenge a specific user, type in the name of that member and click 'find user'. The member's image should appear. (You may get a list of members whose names match.) Click on 'Select as Opponent' as appropriate.
5B) If you want to make the challenge open to anyone, select 'PG Wall' instead of typing in a name.
6) The challenge will be sent, and you will be able to start playing at once. [TIK]
A challenge is valid for 48 hours. If you challenge an individual and he/she does not respond by playing or declining in that time, the challenge is automatically void. [TIK]
When you receive the challenge, there is a button which allows you to decline the challenge. Click on it, and the challenge will go away.
You will not be charged with a loss for doing so.
However, if you simply do not respond to the challenge, you will be charged with a loss. [TIK]
It is fair to assume that that most people who make challenges have played those games. After all, who would make a challenge on a game they don't like? So it is fair for you to play the game before you accept.
To do this, open the challenge, but don't accept right away. Instead, find the icon group above and to the right of the game. Click on the one that looks like a 'Speech balloon' from a comic. Click on that, and you go to the game's information & comment page. You can access the game from there. [TIK]