Rules for the University BioQuest, April 2018

Rules last updated - 6th April, 2018.

  • Changes made:
    • Clarified that photos taken in the two weeks prior to the competition period, but submitted as sightings during the competition will still be eligible.
    • Competition sighting limit removed. Previously a player could only submit 40 sightings towards this competition, however there is now no limit, other than that enforced by a players own daily sighting limits.

QuestaGame's University BioQuests are governed by QuestaGame's Terms of Service. We've done our best to make them easy to understand, so we recommend you give them a read. All competitors should also ensure they have read and understood the Safety Check.

Competition Period - Start and End Time

The April 2018 University BioQuest will start at 12:01am on 1st April (Sydney time) and run till 11:59pm on 30th April (Sydney time). Sightings must be submitted within this period to be eligible. Eligible identifications can continue to be offered after this period, until all eligible sightings have been verified.

Winners will be announced as soon as possible on once all eligible sightings have been verified. Winners will be notified using the email address provided upon creating a QuestaGame account. 

Sightings - Eligibility

Sightings must be submitted during the competition period (though may be taken in the two weeks prior to the competition period).

The competition sighting limit has been removed. This means that all sightings that a player submits during the competition window will be eligible.

Players' standard individual daily sighting submission limits will apply. Players can boost their daily sightings limits by providing correct IDs in the in-game QuestaLab or in the Bio-Expertise Engine, or by paying for an Adventurer or Hero level QuestaGame membership.

QuestaGame will accept just about any sighting of a living organism in the 'wild'. However we may not accept a sighting if we consider it "not suitable" for biodiversity records. This may occur if:

  • Photo is of a human (homo sapien) or includes a recognisable human. We humans are part of biodiversity, but right now, we need to learn more about the life all around us so we can better protect it.
  • It’s a domestic animal (such as a pet or farm animal), or living in an enclosure (such as a zoo).
  • It’s a cultivated plant. We all want to know more about the plants in our gardens, but we don’t accept sightings of cultivated plants.
  • Multiple species in single sighting. Please try to only submit one species at a time. You can submit up to 5 photos of the same species in a sighting, but not multiple species in a single sighting.
  • Photograph(s) not clear enough to identify a specimen; or not enough photos of the specimen from different angles (you can submit up to 5 photos per sighting).
  • A screenshot, copied image, or a photo of a photo.
  • Duplicate submissions.
  • A dangerous situation, for example near a road or from a car.

QuestaGame won’t accept a second sighting of the same species if it is within 1 kilometre and 24 hours of the previous sighting. So for example, if you submit a photo of a monarch butterfly resting on a statue, QuestaGame won’t accept another sighting of a monarch butterfly within 1 kilometre of the same statue, unless 24 hours have passed.

The easiest way to submit a sighting is to use your phone’s camera. However QuestaGame does accept sightings that use photos taken on non-mobile phone cameras (so long as you can work out how to upload them to your phone). The system does confirm the date stamp of the image though, so if that metadata is missing, it won’t accept the photo.

Photos have to be your own work. If you are suspected of using someone else's image(s) you will be warned, and repeat offenders will have their account deleted.

Sightings - Scoring

Scoring for sightings is based on QuestaGame’s in-game ‘gold’ rewards. Gold is awarded for sightings that you submit, based on the perceived rarity (by location and season) of what you find based on biodiversity databases. Note that plants are not yet scored on rarity, and instead receive minimum gold.

For the protection of wildlife, players are discouraged from disturbing the habitats of any species. Players should note that sightings of rare and/or threatened species, will not necesarily earn extra gold, as often these species have been well surveyed previously.

Certain gold bonuses in QuestaGame will not count towards your score for the purposes of this competition.

Bonuses that will be included are Correct ID bonus and Field notes bonuses.

Bonuses that will not be included are Quest bonuses; Head-to-head challenge bonuses; Player of the day bonuses; Clan of the day bonuses; and Equipment bonuses.

Identifications - Eligibility and Scoring

To be eligible for the 'Champion Identifier' prize, identifications can submited through the in-game 'QuestaLab' or through the BioExpertise Engine ( 

Identifications must be given during the period from the start of the competition to the time when all eligible sighting submissions are verified (i.e. when there are no more unidentified sightings from the competition period). This means identifications you provide after the competition period may still be eligible. 

All identifications you provide during this time will be eligible, and they do not have to be against just eligible sightings, or just arachnids.

A correct identification is only awarded for a specific identification if your suggestion matches the final verified identification. That is, if you correctly identify a sighting to a genus, but the final verified identification is at species level, unfortunately you miss out.

Awards for university teams

Universities will be competing for prestige across the below award categories.

  • Champion Spotters Team Trophy. University team with the highest combined score from all members from submitted sightings.
  • Champion Identifiers Team Trophy. University team with the highest combined score from all members from submitted sightings.
  • Most Valuable Team Ribbon. University team with the highest average score per team member from both submitted sightings and correct identifications.
  • Best Life on Campus Ribbon. University team with the highest combined score from all members within a team, from sightings within participating university campuses.

Prizes for individuals

The prizes that players can win will vary between BioQuests. They will be listed on each BioQuest's details page (accessed via QuestaGame's competition schedule) before the start date of each BioQuest. A player will not be awarded more than one prize. That is, if they are determined, through the rules outlined below, to have won more than one prize category, they will receive the prize that's total retail value is more expensive, and be deemed ineligible for the other prize(s). The other prize(s) will be awarded to the player(s) who are determined to be next in line. 

Prize categories for individuals

  • 'Champion spotter' will be awarded for the highest overall score for an individual based on sightings submitted.
  • 'Champion Identifier' will be awarded for the highest score from correct IDs provided by an individual (through the in-game QuestaLab or the QuestaGame's Bio-Expertise Engine) during the competition and until the time that all competition sightings have been verified..
  • 'Best Find on Campus' -  will be determined based on the highest scoring individual sighting from within participating university campuses.
  • 'Best Photo' will be judged by QuestaGame staff.
  • 'Active Adventurer Prize Draw' - Winner(s) will be a randomly drawn from all registered competitors who submit at least 9 sightings within the competition period.