PublishingQuest: Guide to surviving the hit adventure game

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7 mins
PublishingQuest: Guide to surviving the hit adventure game

Lo, brave adventurer! Do you fancy sinking your teeth into a new challenge? Is Palworld not immersive enough for you? Is Dungeons & Dragons no longer tickling your social itch? Well, PublishingQuest has you covered. The userbase has ballooned to hundreds of thousands of dedicated members who spend thousands of hours every year to grind through the quests and take on challenges, with the ultimate goal of publishing and winning accolades. The best part? You don’t need the latest console or PC to play it! You can use or even borrow the oldest clunker of a laptop, as long as the keyboard works. 

Still, despite hours of research, I’ve been totally unable to find a guide for PublishingQuest. For a game with such a huge playerbase, there’s nothing on GameFAQs and precious few clues on Reddit. Looks like it is time for me to have a crack at it. Here, I’ll highlight some of the difficult stages and provide you with tips and resources to get through the adventure (mostly) unscathed! 

Prelude: Choose your character type 

There is a stunning array of characters to choose from. Do you like wading through swamps and counting bugs? You can be a plucky ecologist! If that’s too dirty, then you perhaps could be a data scientist, where the only messes you need to navigate through are poorly annotated datasets. If that sounds a little lonely, then you could always try being a psychologist, where you- 

Oh wait, you’ve probably already chosen your character, haven’t you? Unfortunately, it’s hard to change your character class once locked in. Well, that’s fine. No matter which path you pick, you’ll always regret it from time to time, particularly when forced to explain your choice at every family gathering and date. 

Unless if you find your own Doc Brown, you can cope by putting on Back in Time by Huey Lewis and the News and at least pretending you’re on a time travel adventure.  

You character type, and more importantly your fellow adventurers, will decide your next steps. Go with the flow and build up your inventory of literature and data, because your publishing journey is about to begin. 

The beginning: Blank Page 

Like every great adventure, it starts off in a humble setting: The Blank Page. You can spend days here! It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on the latest podcasts, refresh your inbox, and tell all your friends about what you plan to do. Be warned, the longer you spend here, the more you might develop a creeping sense of anxiety every time you look at the clock. That’s okay, you’ve got more time. Just don’t let it run away with you. Maybe buy one of those one-a-day tear-off desk calendars to keep track, such as one with science facts on it so you can feel like you’re doing science. 

You can always ask ChatGPT, Gemini, Claude, or whatever chatbot you like for ideas. That is, until they begin hallucinating or stealing from other papers. This is the perfect opportunity to call on your fellow adventurers (some dedicated players call them “co-authors”) and solicit their advice and ideas.  

First challenge: Draft Rush Zone 

Oops, you spent too long on the blank page, and all that time you thought you had has disappeared into the aether. Now might be a good time to introduce you to magic energy potions (typically called “coffee” by the mundane). One pot of drip coffee ought to do the trick, but make sure you keep topping up. All going well, you should find the pages being filled, each quicker than the last one. Just make sure you don’t go too “Jack Torrance from The Shining.” Let your other adventurers know how it’s going and make sure they know that it’s not just your problem, but theirs too. 

Draft complete 

Ah. There you go. One fresh draft. Time to equip your most trusty weapon, the spell checker, make sure you’ve accounted for any Word Crimes. 

Once this is done, make sure to reach out to your project leader and write them a thoughtful multipage email detailing your writing and formatting choices and rationale for each decision. They’ll write back to you with something like this. 

Looks fine. 

Second challenge: Submission Dungeon 

All going well, you should be ready to enter Submission Dungeon. It’s a scary place, but every brave adventurer needs to pluck up the courage and enter the hallowed halls of the journal website. Here, you should seek the advice of the great Author Information sage of the journal. They will no doubt tell you that your abstract is too long, that your references are all wrong, and that you’re using the wrong line spacing. Ignore their words at your own peril! 

Having followed their advice, you need to then appease the dungeon master (I think some call them “Editor-in-Chief”) with another thoughtful letter. Make sure you don’t bore them by telling them again and again how important, novel, and thought-provoking your research is.  

Now get ready to wait. Are you suffering from withdrawal from having nothing to analyze, in the meantime? Maybe it’s time to turn the analysis towards yourself. Demetri Martin has a few nice ideas.


Third challenge: The Multi-headed Reviewer Monster 

Legend has it that this monster is in fact made up of bright-eyed researchers like you. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend bribing them, so it’s up to you to placate them if you want to pass. After you’ve shown them your manuscript, they’ll make their requests of you. Other adventurers often report that the second head, Reviewer 2, gives some of the toughest riddles. 

Actual footage of a player battling Reviewer 2. 

Once you have succeeded, get ready to wait, once again. You should be good at this by now. Maybe it’s time to get back into your next research project. Or perhaps you can binge-watch Shogun? Everybody’s saying it’s good, after all. 

The reward: Publication 

Having passed the challenges and waited long enough to have forgotten about your paper, you can now reach the treasure, publication! Unceremoniously, you should receive an email letting you know about this momentous occasion! Congratulations! Time to claim your reward: A new line on your publication list. I suppose you could also do a victory dance, if you really want to. 


Wait, I failed one of the steps above! 

Worry not, my brave adventurer! You can try again (and again, and again, and again) as many times as it takes. Maybe you need to get used to that as well. 

How does the game end? 

…end? Dear adventurer, there is no end. Completing your publication, ideally, should only create a new adventure for you and your party to throw yourselves into. 

When are updates coming? 

Players have complained about the challenging nature of many of the stages, and their issues haven’t gone unheard. There are rumblings that future patch updates will streamline the processes above, but it might not be good to hold your breath. Research publication moves very fast, but the processes therein certainly don’t. 

How long does it take level up to project leader? 

It’s tough to give a timeline. You continue for a long time, many years in fact, without getting to it. If quicker progression is what you like, another game, such as Industry Job might be a good choice. But be warned, other games have their own unique challenges. 


PublishingQuest is a gripping adventure. Once you start, it’s hard to stop—literally! Unfortunately, we don’t have any cheat codes, but Editage Insights will promise to remain your trusted guide throughout your grueling journeys.

Meanwhile, Happy April Fools' Day!

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Published on: Apr 01, 2024

Helping researchers and English language learners bridge gaps with audiences and embrace new opportunities
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