New: Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, even Agile Programming

I haven't memorized the Braille alphabet nor the Morse alphabet. I even set up a little Morse training drill web program dealie, learned a little more Morse that way. But it doesn't stick. When I'm on puzzle hunts, I use a cheat sheet. When I'm leading a team, I pass out photocopies of this cheat sheet. This is an Nth generation copy of a cheat sheet the Burninators provided to players in BANG 7. I tried designing a better cheat sheet, but that didn't turn out very well. Yeah, yeah, that sounds pretty pathetic. Now I'm thinking that the root problem was that I was trying to lay all of these codes out on one page.

I read this LJ post by Brian Enigma. It starts out scary, like he's going to try to tell you that Agile Programming isn't just snake oil. But then he gets into the other stuff, the useful stuff, ideas for puzzle-hunt teams (although he thinks of it as a handy hint for Alternative Reality Game players). Instead of a single 8.5x11 "cheat sheet", carry around some index cards: one card for Morse, one card for Braille, etc. You don't need to think of how to lay all of these things out on one sheet of paper. Each card can have its own layout.

The Lester siblings threw a birthday party last night, and various cheat-sheet-card ideas bounced around. Laminate the cards so that they can tolerate wear and tear. Print the different codes on differently-colored cards so you can find the right code in a hurry. Keep the cards on a ring like those language-study flashcards. There might have been other ideas; I stayed up way past my bed time, and my memories are pretty hazy.

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Posted 2007-01-21