Letter to the Players

Dear Munzee Player,

We know how passionate you are about Munzee, and we thank you for your continued loyalty. We are disheartened when anyone has a problem or issue playing the game, and our team works tirelessly to make that as infrequent as possible. That being said, we know that some are struggling as we continue to work through the issues brought about by our recent back-end update, and we feel further explanation is needed. 

We are writing this letter to provide some behind the scenes details on what led to the update, and we think the transparency may help the community better understand our intentions. We hope you read and accept this information in the spirit in which it is intended. We want to be open and explain the process we’ve gone through so that you can understand how we got to where we are today.

Looking Back:

  • In 2011, when the Munzee game was created the technology options were much different than those available today. From the very beginning, a game like Munzee required two main components: a mobile app and a back-end system that the app could communicate with. The original developers made technology choices based on the original design of the game, which was simply scanning QR codes. They did not foresee the complexity of the game we now know as Munzee. 
  • As time went on, the back-end code became more and more cumbersome because nearly all of the “commands” or lines of code that enable gameplay were hard coded. As the game advanced over the years, these layers and layers of back-end code became increasingly difficult to maintain and troubleshoot when problems occurred. This has resulted in issues over the years, but more importantly it made it even more difficult to scale the game appropriately.
  • After the merger between Munzee and Freeze Tag, the first project selected by the management team as a priority was the Munzee mobile app update. We addressed those needs, and launched version 4 of Munzee in 2019.
  • After working through the issues of version 4, we knew it was time to focus our attention on the back-end. Our goal was to move all of the hardcoded commands to a database driven environment where we would have more flexibility to create tools to enhance gameplay. With a new back-end system, we could be better prepared for expanding the capacity of the Munzee game as well.

Planning For The Future:

  • In 2021, during the pandemic, we embarked on the back-end project, converting line after line of code to a database environment. Over time we uncovered many issues that were embedded in the hardcoded system that had to be fixed along the way.
  • A team of developers worked for months converting hundreds of thousands of lines of code so that we could migrate to a new, more efficient back-end system. Two years of work went into the development of this new back-end update, which admittedly took much longer than we had initially anticipated.
  • We then built a version of Munzee we internally called Testzee which we connected to the new back-end. We began testing the new back-end with the Testzee app in early 2023, which was imperative so we could make sure changes worked in a live build that wouldn’t affect players along the way. After months of internal testing, and the help of a number of beta testers reporting bugs, we felt confident enough that we could switch over the live version of Munzee over to the new back-end.
  • We alerted players in advance that the new system would require an email address login and all players should update their email.

The Unexpected:

  • When we made the back-end switch in August we were as surprised as our players were when things did not go to plan. As our beta testers can attest, the Testzee app was performing very well, with only minor unreproducible issues reported.
  • As it turns out, connecting our new back-end to the live environment produced bugs and behavior that we had not seen during our beta testing phase with Testzee. We would never have launched our new back-end system if we had known it would cause this many issues, but it’s important to note that we didn’t foresee these problems either.
  • We are deeply troubled by the effect our update has produced, but our team has been working hours on end to adjust on the fly. We do not want any players to be confused, upset or unable to play Munzee, and we absolutely do not want to anger anyone during their gameplay experience.
  • After we launched the back-end update our small support staff was overwhelmed with tickets for new bugs and email and password resets, and they’ve been trying to keep their heads above water ever since. The whole team began working around the clock to bring the game back to its fully operational state.

Moving Forward:

  • Our developers are working diligently to accomplish this goal, but we are a small staff and in order to maintain positive morale it is important we give our team the rest and recuperation needed to make sure these issues are fixed correctly. We do not mean to shift responsibility, but it does the game no good if our team is without sleep, and feeling overwhelmed.
  • ​​We have big plans for Munzee, many of which have been delayed due to the back-end update. There are some long standing issues for some players, like map issues and floating pins, that have to be fixed before we can tackle our bigger goals though. We are dedicated to making these fixes and ask for your continued patience.
  • We know we’re asking a lot of you all, but we do want you to hang in there. We have new and exciting initiatives that we are planning to bring to the Munzee world in the near future, but only after we bring the game back to a fully operational state.

We once again thank you for your understanding during these trying times, and please know we are working as hard as humanly possible to make the fixes needed to restore the game.

Yours faithfully,

– The Munzee Team