Under the Hood of the AADL Summer Game

The 2011 Summer Game has brought big changes to the way we play here at the library. In addition to the "classic" summer reading game, players can earn points for writing reviews, adding comments and finding game codes at events and locations. Players also earn badges for special accomplishments. We just passed player ID #4000 and we still have weeks to go for even more players to join and earn points and prizes. The pieces that make up the Summer Game are diverse but by adding custom code to the solid foundations provided by these open tools we've been able to concentrate our efforts on adding new content and functionality rather than chasing bugs and putting out fires. Here's some of the tools and technologies that make up the Summer Game:

Drupal: The aadl.org websites run on the Drupal Content Management System. In addition to giving us a framework for writing blogs, creating user accounts and writing comments, it has a extensive API which allows us to leverage those pieces to add our own functionality. A drupal module for Summer Game was created that keeps track of player data, lets players add points through multiple activities, and displays a leaderboard. Players are attached to user accounts, and a simple function which could be placed in any code that runs the site allows us to award points for any website action. The summer game module is available through github: Summer Game module.

Global Safari with Ventriloquist Vikki Gasko

So far this summer we've had a magician and a juggler. Now it's time for a ventriloquist. Join us this Tuesday, July 26 at 2:00 p.m at the Pittsfield Branch for a great show by ventriloquist Vikki Gasko and her charming friends from around the world. The show will be repeated at the Downtown Library at 7:00 p.m that evening.

Have you ever tried ventriloquism? Start here.

July Gaming Weekend

This Month is packed with all sorts of games! We've got Madden, Marvel vs. Capcom, Smash Bros. Brawl, Mushroom Wars and Mario Kart Wii, Not to mention THE ARCADE MASTER SERIES! The Arcade Master Series is a retro gaming high-score contest with a new retro game to play at each AADL-GT event. Come to different gaming events throughout the season and rack up high scores to earn an invitation to the Arcade Master Tournament in January.

Friday July 22 6:00pm-8:30pm @ the Downtown Branch

Madden Grid Iron Throwdown: Coach your favorite NFL team to victory in our Madden 2011 tournament for PS3.
Marvel vs. Capcom: You think you've got the skills to reign supreme? Time to show what you've got!

Saturday July 23 1:00pm-4:00pm @ the Downtown Branch

National Smash 2: Wanna play some Smash Bros. Brawl? Come to the Library and defend the AADL's national standing. This event will include both a national tournament against other libraries all over America and a House rules tournament.

Sunday July 24 1:00pm-4:00pm @ the Downtown Branch

All-Ages Mario Kart Tournament: prizes in novice and pro brackets!
Mushroom Wars: We've also got a crazy fun take on the speed risk genre of games, Mushroom Wars!

Monday July 25 1:00pm-4:00pm @ the Downtown Branch

PokeMonday: As always you'll need to bring your Nintendo DS or DSi and a copy of your Pokemon game(Black and White won't work Sorry.) Big screen and Union Rooms battles are used for admittance into the finals, so be sure to have Pokemon of all levels trained for battle!

The Caterpillars Have Molted (again!) -- New Summer Game Code Now Available.

Most of the Cecropia Moth caterpillars at the Traverwood Branch have once again molted (though there are still a few little orange ones hanging around), passing into the developmental cycle scientifically known as "Green Pulsating Terror." To celebrate we've created a new Summer Game code, worth 500 points. Stop by the Traverwood Branch library to visit the caterpillars, which are on loan from the Leslie Science and Nature Center, and find the code to earn your points. Then redeem 'em for cool stuff in the Summer Game Shop!

Cecropia Buckthorn

Juggler Jason Kollum at AADL!

It's going to be a very exciting week in Ann Arbor. Along with the Art Fair there are always many interesting activities. We're going to provide you with one of them. On Tuesday, July 19 Juggler Jason Kollum will be coming from Chicago to the Library for two shows. At 2:00 p.m. he'll be performing at the Pittsfield Branch. At 7:00 p.m. he'll be at the Downtown Library.

These shows will be fun to watch!!

To learn how to juggle yourself, click here.

Magic Show with Jeff Wawrzaszek!

Magic Show with Jeff WasrzaszekMagic Show with Jeff Wasrzaszek

Come one! Come all! You have two opportunities to see local magician Jeff Wawrzaszek and his amazing feats of magic.
On Tuesday, July 12 he'll be at the Pittsfield Branch at 2:00 p.m. That evening he'll be at the Traverwood Branch at 7:00 p.m.

Want to to try some tricks yourself? Click here.

The Caterpillars Have Molted -- New Summer Game Code Now Available At Traverwood Branch.

If you haven't yet visited the display of live Cecropia Moth caterpillars at the Traverwood branch library, then now's a great time to do so. The caterpillars, currently on loan from the Leslie Science & Nature Center, have recently molted (most of them anyway) and are starting to display some vivid color. To celebrate this monumentous event, we've created a new Summer Game code, and bumped the points up to 450, so be sure to look for the new code when you visit the display at Traverwood. The caterpillars will stick around until they construct their cocoons, probably in another 3 or 4 weeks. Soon after they will return to the Science Center, where they'll spend the winter before emerging as North America's largest native moths next spring.

Updated 7/14: The caterpillars have molted! New game code info at http://www.aadl.org/node/41218

Ginormous Mutant Caterpillars Conquer Traverwood Branch Library.


More Summer Game fun everyone! Stop by the Traverwood Branch Library to view a temporary exhibit of live Cecropia Moth caterpillars. The Cecropia Moth, the largest native North American moth, reproduces by laying eggs that hatch into caterpillars. Over the next month they will put on quite a show as they progress through their 6-stage life cycle.

The caterpillars, on loan from the Leslie Science and Nature Center, will remain until they complete their cocoons in early August. They will then return home, to overwinter on the grounds of the Science Center, where they will emerge as moths next spring.

When you visit the caterpillars make sure and find the code to earn 400 Summer Game Points, which you can enter at play.aadl.org and redeem for prizes at the online Summer Game Shop. Want to visit the caterpillars more than once? You sound like a savvy gamer. We'll generate a new code each time the critters molt, and we'll announce that in this thread. Will the points increase in accordance with the caterpillars girth? Possibly.

Updated 7/6: The caterpillars have molted. New game code info at http://www.aadl.org/node/41137

New Badges! Now with BADGE BONUSES!

New Badges ARE GONew Badges ARE GO

Greetings players! We've got 10 new badges for you today, and these badges come with point bonuses... watch for those big points when you earn a badge!

As you pursue the review series badges, please make sure your reviews are helpful! Unhelpful reviews might be deleted, taking their points with them. If you just want to grind, grind stars!

More badges to come... what are your badge ideas?


Super Summer Game Update!Super Summer Game Update!

Thanks to everybody who's signed up for the Summer Game so far! We're off to a great start, and we've got a few updates for you today and more coming yet this week, including NEW BADGES and BADGE BONUSES! But first, an update to the points scoring page, and some news about much-needed MULTIPLE PLAYERS PER ACCOUNT!

So, as you can now see when you click the "I've read / watched / listened to etc" button on your player page, or click "I've finished this" button on an item in the catalog, we've made the points entry form able to optionally record time spent or pages read, plus a 100 point bonus when you finish an item. So, you can enter time or pages daily, or when you finish an item, or not bother with time and pages at all, just taking the 100 point finishing bonus per item. Let us know what you think about this approach by leaving a comment on this post!

Then, we're hard at work on adding an "add player" button to your player page, allowing you to add extra players on your account who can each earn their own points. There's one catch, though: extra players attached to your account won't be able to earn automatic contribution points for reviews, ratings, comments, or tags, as those are all keyed solely to the main player on the account. If you have extra players in your house who'd like to earn automatic contribution points, they can just create a new aadl.org account (email isn't required) and signup for the game there to have all scoring options available. Don't forget, you can always click "log out" in the top right corner of any aadl.org page to log out of your account and then log in to another. If you have any questions about this, ask away by leaving a comment, or as always, feel free to contact us.

Thanks again for playing the Summer Game! Keep the ideas and the points coming, and have fun with YOUR library this summer!

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