Summer Game Prize Fulfillment Workflow

The AADL Summer Game has an online shop where earned points can be spent on awesome schwag. To try to make it easy for the volunteers and staff to fulfill the orders we took advantage of some of the infrastructure we already had in place for other parts of the site.

As some know our hold notices currently go through a script that sends an email along with printing a custom label to a label printer, that is used for identification on our hold shelves. We reused this process to print a custom pickup/order label every time an order comes through the ubercart game shop by hooking into the payment process. This leaves a spool of order labels that those doing fulfillment can pick up throughout the week and start filling. A spool that has been increasing dramatically in length. This makes it easy for the shop keepers to keep on top of all the orders and properly mark the bags for pickup.

The Summer Game Shop is live and we have our first order labe... on Twitpic

As orders are filled the barcode on the custom label is scanned, which sets the order as fulfilled and adds a notification job to a redis queue. Players have the option of getting SMS notifications (sent through Twilio) or email. Shop keepers can also cancel orders if need be which refunds the points to the player account.

After the items are delivered to the branch destinations on Friday morning, a script goes through the jobs on the redis queue and sends the notifications letting players know their items are ready for pickup.

Our first batch of Summer Game stuff  (380,000 points worth),... on Twitpic

More background info on our Summer Game is in the works and keep that order spool growing!


I've always wondered how you guys manage all of the orders. Now, I know how!

So cool! I think the order label machine is really cool!


You guys are amazing! Thanks for explaining the process and how you tied together existing technologies to make things work.

Thank you so much for doing this for us!

This all seems pretty high-tech and complicated. Thanks for making all this possible!

How in the world do all of these systems and computer codes(not summer game codes) work together, because they sound really cool. Keep up with the behind-the-scenes looks!

That's amazing! Technology is really a wonderful thing. :D

This is great! I already liked the way our library processed holds and now it's using that same technology for summer game prizes. Very Efficient!

Thanks for explaning that for me!

I noticed the label on my item was VERY familiar

Thank you so much for doing this! It's very fun.

Seems like a very efficient system!

Sounds very efficient.

cool, thanks

If my order says completed under order history, but I didn't get an email or text, does that mean it's ready for pickup?

Wow, shreeman1999 actually posted something other than "awesome!"

Very interesting!

This is very interesting. So does the AADL have programmers on staff to set stuff like this up?

Cool! does it make it easier to buy stuff?

So now I know how you get the orders and give them to us!

That is sooo cool!!!! And very interesting!!!


Great! I can't wait to see the stuff I've ordered.

I'm sad that there's no new blog post. :(

I agree, LuckyDuck. I need some help on where to start with the AA Police Badger badges! ;-)

I'm sure the new blog post will be coming soon. There are new police badges up and ready to be found, you can start looking here:
There are also several other new badges including an A-Team badge and a Kevin Bacon badge

If a coder gets his/her wings every time a label is printed, there must be lots of flying code monkeys by this point!

Sorry for the delay guys! To answer a question, yup, all this stuff was developed by AADL's IT staff, but we use a lot of open source code so we're rarely starting from scratch. As for the blog post, it's coming, I got a little behind tonight what with the 6 NEW SHOP ITEMS! Stay tuned!



Neat to find out how they work this!


Interesting to read a behind the scenes description. Thanks.

i don't get it..... well i sort of get it, but not all.

thats really pretty cool

I've always wondered how you guys manage all of the orders. Now, I know how!


The only thing is the prizes sold out really fast, if they can have more for people to order, that would be even better.

Very interesting. Thanks for the insight.

Hey karenjo, you totally just copied my comment!!!!

This was actually quite interesting.

Thanks for showing us this. I've always wondered how Summer Game worked.

Paperwork. What Battleschool runs on. Ranger's Apprentice.

It's amazing how the summer game has to buy so much items, and everyone gets their prize they buy.

And it's all funded by Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library. Thank you FAADL!

The FAADL is really amazing.

I wonder where they come up with all the money...

Probably from the government....

And from taxes...

Nope, the Friends of the AADL do not get money from the government or taxes. FAADL funds its operations and its donations to AADL by collecting and selling used books in the FAADL bookshop at the downtown library! So when you shop at the Friends Bookshop, you're funding next year's summer game shop among many other awesome activities AADL wouldn't otherwise be able to support,

Oh. That is so cool! I can't believe so much money comes from books!!

Yeah,and even when you buy the books, they are really cheap.

AADL must sell a lot of books to get that much money

I remember going to that shop!
The books were soo cheap!
I'll try to come back soon. :)

If I remember correctly, there was a time when the books were free (but it was like for 2 days).

It doesn't really matter. The books are soo cheap anyways.

I know!

That's just another thing that makes the FAADL shop so awesome. :)

I really like shopping for books!

Me too! :D

even non-fiction?


Fiction = :)
Non-Fiction= X(

What's X( mean?

Very,very, very bad.
I wanted it to be a face of disgust... did it seem like one?


Hmm... Would XP have been a better choice?

No. XP just reminds moi of experience points--stuff you earn in games to "level up."

Like Pokemon.

And like megarun and other fun games to play when you get bored.

Unless if you beat the game ten million times.

Like Pokemon.

You beat Pokemon that many times?! I would get bored after beating it twice...

No, I just watched my friend beat the champion A LOT of times.

I actually never thought of XP as experience points...

I did. Did you ever relate XP with RPO?

That kind of makes sense....

I never did...

you must of had a lot on your mind

I didn't really even think about RPO until now...

So far I think the Summer Game is flawless. Well done and kudos to the developers and designers!

Its soo cool to look back!