FAQ

What is Discovery Agents? »

Discovery Agents is an educational mobile game, for kids 6 to 14 years of age, that is available for free to download in the App Store and Google Play. The game sends kids on an adventure to help recover the Discovery Agents’ lost USBees, which are robotic bees that store knowledge about the world. The USBees escaped from the Queen Bee’s Hive! (Oh no!) Players must explore the real world to find the USBees and recover the lost knowledge by solving educational challenges at participating sites.

The App is called Discovery Agents - but why do some people refer to it as Agents of Nature / Agents of Water / Agents of Culture? »

The App is called Agents of Discovery. Within the game there are three agencies which focus on different types of learning.

What is a Mission? »

The Discovery Agents mobile game can be played at any participating site— we call them “Missions”. Players explore the site to uncover hidden location-based challenges, which can only be solved through discovery and observation! Solving challenges correctly earns the player “USBees” which can be used to access hints or cool, new secret agent gadgets!

What is a Challenge? »

Each Discovery Agents Mission consists of educational, location-based challenges (we recommend about 20 challenges for about one hour of gameplay). There are presently ten types of challenges you can use to plug your content into in the Mission Maker, with more coming soon! The challenge types are:

For an illustrated guide to our different challenges types, download our Your Guide to Challenges manual!

How can I find out if a Mission is in my area? »

Check out our Mission Map! Alternatively download Discovery Agents from the App Store or Google Play and select “Missions” from your Agent Tools (or click twice on the Treehouse’s red door) to be taken to a list of all the Missions where Discovery Agents is available in across North America! Hint: if your GPS is enabled, the Mission list will automatically sort in order of nearest Mission to you to furthest Mission 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 Discovery Agents Mission Maker?

Do I need WiFi or data to play the game? »

No, Discovery Agents works without WiFi or data connection after you have downloaded the app and any Missions you may want to play on your device. You will need to connect to Wi-Fi or data for the initial download. We recommend that you download the app and Missions while connected to WiFI before you head to the participating site to play (as not all participating sites have WiFi).

What am I going to do for visitors who have not downloaded the game prior to arriving to my Mission? »

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

Is there in-app advertising? »

No, Discovery Agents is focused on being an educational technology program. We want kids to focus on learning at participating sites without any distractions.

Are there in-app purchases? »

No, Discovery Agents does not ask for kids or their adult counterparts to make any purchases in the app.

What is the Discovery Agents Mission Maker? »

The Discovery Agents Mission Maker is a web-based platform allows you to easily create your own customized Mission and instantly publish them to the Discovery Agents app! Sign up for our Free Trial to use the Mission Maker at no cost (seriously, we don’t even ask for a credit card)! Then, follow our Five Step Guide to Create a Mission!

What size should my Mission be? How big should my map be? How many Challenges should I include? »

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


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


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

I need help creating a challenge! Can you help me out? »

Absolutely! For an illustrated guide to our different challenges types, download our “Your Guide to Challenges” manual!

 

Keep in mind that, ideally, you will create challenges that can be solved with reference to your actual site. For example, place a Sound Matcher challenge next to a duck pond so kids can hear what a duck quack sounds like in real life to help solve the challenge in the mobile game! 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!

Can I change my Mission content? »

Yes! You can log into the Discovery Agents Mission Maker at any point to change your content. Change challenges to reflect changes to seasons, exhibits, or to complement event programming!

Why is my app freezing/crashing/slow? »

If you are having troubles with the app freezing, crashing, or any other functional issues, please attempt the following troubleshooting steps depending on the device you are using:

 

IOS Troubleshooting

- Force close the Discovery Agents app as well as any other apps running in the background:

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

- Restart your device:

  1. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button at the top corner of the device until the Power Off slider appears.
  2. Swipe the slider on the screen to the right to turn off the device.
  3. Once the device is completely powered down, wait a few seconds then hold down the Sleep/Wake button to turn it back on.

- Update the app:

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

- Update your device software:

  1. Go to Settings from your devices home menu.
  2. Select General.
  3. Select Software Update. Your device will check for updates.

- To ensure the best performance, it is recommended that your device have at least 1GB of free space.

 

Android Troubleshooting

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

  1. Tap the Recent Apps button (looks like two overlapping rectangles) on your device to bring up any apps that are currently running.
  2. Swipe to the left to close them.
  3. To force stop an app from here, tap and hold, then select App Info.
  4. Tap Force Stop.

 You can also:

  1. Hold down the Home screen button until all of your apps appear.
  2. Swipe to the left or right to close the open app.

- Restart your device:

  1. Hold down the power button.
  2. Select Power Off, then Turn Off.
  3. Once the device is completely powered down, wait a few seconds then hold down the power button to turn it back on.

- Clear the app's cache:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Application Manager.
  3. Scroll until you find the app.
  4. Tap Clear Cache.

- Update the app:

  1. Open the Google Play app.
  2. Tap the three bar icon in the upper left-hand corner.
  3. Go to My Apps.
  4. Select the Discovery Agents app, or Update All.

- Update your device software:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select About device.
  3. Tap Software Update.

- To ensure the best performance, it is recommended that your device have at least 1GB of free space.  

Why am I getting ____ Error Message? »
  • Uh Oh! GPS was not detected on this device or it is turned off!  You will only have access to QR Code sites. The other sites won't appear in your list.

To play Discovery Agents, GPS needs to be turned on. If your GPS is on, and you are still getting an “Uh oh GPS was not detected” error, give it a second. Sometimes it can take a minute or two for the device to get GPS running. Or you man need to adjust the Discovery Agents App location permissions.

  • Login Failed You must have access to the internet in order to Login:

To log into Discovery Agents you will need to be connected to the internet. Please ensure that you are connected to either WiFi or Data prior to logging in. Once your account has been logged into, and the desired mission has been downloaded, an internet connection is no longer necessary.

  • Unable to refresh mission data without access to the internet:

To find and download missions in Discovery Agents you will need to be connected to the internet. Please ensure that you are connected to either WiFi or Data prior to logging in. Once the desired mission has been downloaded, an internet connection is no longer necessary.

Why can't I download the app/why won't the app load? »

If your Device or Operating System does not meet the minimum requirements, you will be unable to download or run the app.


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 Basic troubleshooting

Where can I play DA / Why are there no missions in my area? »

If you are looking for missions to play you can find all available missions on our Mission Map! Alternatively download Discovery Agents from the App Store or Google Play and select “Missions” from your Agent Tools (or click twice on the Treehouse’s red door) to be taken to a list of all the Missions where Discovery Agents is available in across North America! Hint: if your GPS is enabled, the Mission list will automatically sort in order of nearest Mission to you to furthest Mission 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 Discovery Agents Mission Builder?

Do I need WiFi or Data to play Discovery Agents? »

You do not need to be connected to wifi to play the game, however if you enable it (have it turned on – but it doesn’t have to be connected to any network), then sometimes this helps the GPS function better.

Note: An internet connection is needed to initially download the mission, after that it is not necessary to stay connected to play the game.

Do I need to turn on GPS to play Discovery Agents? »

To play Discovery Agents, GPS needs to be turned on. If your GPS is on, and you are still getting an “Uh oh GPS was not detected” error, give it a second. Sometimes it can take a minute or two for the device to get GPS running. Or you may need to adjust the Discovery Agents App Location Permissions.

What location permissions settings do I need to play the Discovery Agents app? »

Discovery agents requires Location Services to be turned on. If you are unsure whether or not the correct permissions have been turned on, you can check by going to your phone’s settings, finding and selecting Discovery Agents. You can see what your phone has allowed Discovery Agents to access. Make sure your location is turned on, so that the app can access your location.


Steps on how to do that can be found below:


IOS

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

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

  1. Go to the device Settings
  2. Go to App then find and select Discovery Agents.
  3. Tap App Permissions on the App Info screen.
  4. You will see a list of permissions the app requests, and whether those permissions are toggled on or off.
  5. From there you can adjust location services.
I am at a mission site, why are no challenges are showing up? »

If you are visiting a Mission Site and are not discovering any challenges, there are a few steps you can try to resolve the issue.


  • Ensure GPS is turned on
  • Check the apps location services
  • Please do not skip ‘connecting to headquarters’ when opening the app. Skipping this may lead to out of date mission data.
  • Ensure app is up to date by going to the app store and searching for updates.
Should I log In or start as a guest? »

When you sign in as a guest, your game results and completed/downloaded mission will not be saved. This information will be saved if sign-up and login as a player.

How do I log in/out? »

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


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

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

To logout of Discovery agents,

  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 Discovery Agents 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.

What are USBees? »

The Discovery Agents are a secret agency dedicated to collecting knowledge! They've been storing the knowledge in their Queen BEE's HIVE in the form of USBees. However, the USBees have been let loose! Oh no! All the knowledge is lost! It's now up to kids to attend Mission Sites to recover the lost data.

On solving educational challenges correctly, the Discovery Agent will earn USBees. These USBees can be used to upgrade your Gadgets.

Back: Takes you back to the Main Map.

  

Refreshes the Missions list: If a certain mission you are looking to find is not showing up, press this to refresh the list and get all current missions to appear.

Mission List Settings: This is where you can sort the list and filter the missions to a specific type.

 

What do i have to do to access the funds available from the Washington Office? »

The total cost of a Discovery Agents Mission for a Forest Service location is $10,000 (based on an enhanced package, valued at $17,390). The Washington Office is subsidizing this cost by $5,000 meaning that each unit needs only to pay $5000 to create a Discovery Agents Mission that will be live in the app for 3 years. The first step to accessing these funds are to fill out a proposal and send it to Amtchat Edwards with the Forest Service and Jenna Smith with Discovery Agents. Find a copy of the proposal on the U.S. Forest Service Corner.

When does this special offer from the W.O. end? »

The Washington Office is offering the matching $5,000 to 67 Forest Service locations on a first come first serve basis. So far, 35 sites have claimed the funding. The offer will end after the rest of these sites have claimed the available funds. Ensure your access to the WO offer by filling out a proposal form described above!

Can I use staff time to count towards the $5000 cost of getting a Mission? »

Unfortunately, no. As this is a partnership with both the American Recreation Coalition and Discovery Agents, the funds cannot be paid by in kind matching.

Can I have a friend’s group pay for the program? »

You are welcome to have a friends group sponsor the program. Many existing Missions have used friends groups to pay the matching $5000.

Can our National Forest or Grassland location collaborate with a non-Forest Service partner and still take advantage of the W.O. matching funds? »

Absolutely. As long as the location is approved by Amtchat Edwards and Sandy Frost, this is an excellent way to encourage collaboration with this initiative. Some examples of current non-Forest Service locations include collaborative Missions at city parks, state parks, urban forestry locations, non-profit nature centers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service locations.

What happens after the 3 years? »

After the three years you will have the option to renew your subscription and continue with your Discovery Agents Site. The cost will depend on whether or not you desire to have Mission Builder access that allows you to make updates or whether you choose to keep your Mission live in the game as it is without access to your Mission Builder account. Estimated price at end of 3 years: $1500