Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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Online puzzle hunts coming up in November

There are two online puzzle hunts coming up in November. These are designed to be solved by teams of people from around the world, so you can take part wherever you are. Particularly if you've liked the thought of taking part in a puzzle hunt but they've always been in the wrong place at the wrong time, why not get a team together and take part? You don't have to be in the same place at the same times - just keep in touch through e-mail, IM, or video chat, and work on the puzzles together.

1) Ghost Patrol Reconstructed

I'll selectively quote the official web site.
"Ghost Patrol Reconstructed" is an online, short-format, print-and-solve game. All the puzzles are brand spanking new. It's not a retooling of an old ghost. (...) As a player, you can expect a fair amount of cutting, pasting and/or taping, solving, light trivia, subtle weeping, and very few internet look-em-ups. And no codes!

There are a couple tasks that might be nice to split up, but a lone player could also do fairly well. A team of 4 can expect 4—6 hours solve time average. Complete noobers and super teams are anyone's guess. There is an online hint and answer confimation system that is mobile device friendly. And there won't be any GC around judging you with their judgy eyes and furrowed brows. So pants optional, amirite!?

The game will be online permanently and anyone can register and play at anytime and have the same experience. Registration is incredible easy and takes about 15 seconds. So don't worry about registering before you want to play. Specific instructions will be available October 28th, but a simple, intuitive system is our goal.
The part that I excised concerns the start date and start time. The main event game will launch at 3PM (PST) on Halloween 2013. Teams can start playing anytime after launch, but they do not have to begin right at 3PM. The main event game will end at 3AM.

Now this timing isn't at all convenient for UK solvers like me. If you see the official web site, it talks about private parties. What this means is that there will be a GMT version of the same hunt, starting at 2:30pm in the afternoon (UK time) of Sunday 3rd November 2013. The time is to be confirmed, but the theory is that the event should make for a pleasant afternoon's puzzle-solving on a Sunday when the weather is likely to be lousy. It would be pretty trivial to spoil yourself for the puzzles and answers in advance; please don't do that.

The official web site suggests that "there's no charge, but you will need a printer (black and white is fine). The puzzles are not solvable without printing. You will also need basic office supplies — pens, pencils, scissors (the more the merrier), tape, rulers, highlighters and such. You will also need internet access."

More details closer to the time, but start getting your team together now!

2) Octothorpean Order

Again I'll quote the official web site:
The Octothorpean Order online puzzlehunt opens at 11am Pacific Time (2pm Eastern Time, 7pm GMT) on Saturday 16th November 2013. (...)

# How many puzzles? How long will this take?
About a hundred puzzles plus a meta.

Several (~8) puzzles will be unlocked at the same time. A large team could probably crack the meta in a couple of hours. A 10-12-person team who wanted to keep solving puzzles that "feed" the meta though they've cracked the puzzle… three to eight hours. Yes, that's quite a range, sorry.

# What's the maximum team size?
There isn't one. If you gather 100 friends and finish in an hour, good for you.

# What do we need? How do we prepare?
A computer with an internet connection; if your team plans to solve N puzzles in parallel, you might want N machines. A printer helps. You probably want to register a team ahead of time.

# Is this for n00bs? I heard Octothorpean's for n00bs.
The first puzzles are for folks who haven't yet learned to recognize Morse code, Caesar shift ciphers, etc. Experienced teams will rush past those puzzles to those of a difficulty they'll recognize.
So the Octothorpean Order puzzle hunt is definitely deliberately more accessible to newcomers, at least to begin with, but they both have internal hinting systems and if you get a team together then, between you, you'll make progress. The people responsible have impeccable track records and playtesters have been raving about the quality of the puzzles.

Again: get excited, get your friends excited and keep 'em peeled for more information!

Please redirect any comments here, using OpenID or (identified, ideally) anonymous posting; there are comment count unavailable comments to the post already. Thank you!

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