You might expect more of a travelog beyond DASH photos, but that didn't happen. Since I was scouting puzzle locations for Octothorpean, most of the rest of my travelog was just "I went to [redacted] and took photos of things that had words on them." Or "I went to LACMA, but didn't get any anecdotes out of it." Or "I went to the Hotel Bonaventure and took two photos that turned out OK."
The good news: Scurrying around all day solving puzzles seems normal to me.
The bad news: I don't know how to drive.
In other news, it's taking me a while to figure out travel plans.
I encourage you to send me a location-based puzzle from your hometown. Or a few, even.
The online-puzzle-trail-in-the-making Order of the Octothorpe now has some location-based puzzles... but they're all from San Francisco.* That's kinda lopsided. It could use some puzzles from other places. E.g., wherever you are right now.
If there's one or more puzzles from your hometown in this thing, that could be a way to get your local puzzling community found by local puzzlers who are, y'know, unaware that there are such things as local puzzling communities. I guess? I'm just guessing, but it sounds realistic.
What's a good location-based puzzle? Basicly, it means that you give players half a puzzle and tell them "Go to the Golden Gate Bridge, look at the big plaque on the South Tower, east side, and then this will make sense." That plaque thus becomes the second half of the puzzle. The tricky part of writing these puzzles is that you don't control the text on that plaque.
In this case, you'll write a puzzle in some web-deliverable form (a "paper puzzle", a video, an audio file, ...), and puzzlehunters will, over the course of this puzzle trail, have a chance to solve it. If your puzzle is in Orlando and these solvers are in Chicago, they'll probably skip your puzzle for now... but they might remember it when they travel to Orlando.
Some reasons you might think that your puzzle won't work—but which aren't true
- Our puzzle idea is tricky, and I remember that puzzlehunt is for
- In the puzzlehunt structure, these location-based puzzles are placed towards the end, so folks who see them will no longer be newbs.
- We might not be free on the day of the hunt. When is the hunt?
- You don't need to be there on "the day of the hunt" to watch folks. There is no "day of the hunt." You're writing a puzzle that will be up on a web site for years.
- The theme of the puzzle trail is the # symbol, and we have no ideas for a #-based puzzle.
- By this point, I've got some experience slapping a # on just about anything.
Legit reasons you might think that your puzzle won't work:
- Our puzzle idea only works if we have someone there watching the spot
and interacting with teams
- Yeah, that's probably not a good fit. It's not impossible; we can put a puzzle up on the web site one day and take it down the next. But you can probably find a better venue.
Have a puzzle? Have an idea? Not sure whether you have an idea? I'd love to hear from you. If you want to see a draft-version of how this online puzzle trail doohickey presents puzzles, you might look at the Sewn placeholder puzzle. There are hints. If you enter SEMAPHORE, you'll see that there are "partial" answers, so you can give teams feedback that they're on the right track.
*"all from San Francisco" Well, I have permission to use the Puzzled Pint puzzle archives, and each month they have most of a location-based puzzle: they have a puzzle telling folks where the party will be. But I still need a question to prove that teams actually visited the spot. Something like "The sign above the front door prohibits—what, exactly?" But since I haven't visited these places... Hmm, yeah.