Larry Hosken: New: Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, Even Places that are Gone

This is another spoiler-free (I think) post about the 2-Tone Game.

Things change. Cities are things. Therefore, cities change.

Last weekend, I was in the neighborhood of a puzzle site, a puzzle from The 2-Tone Game. This puzzle uses "environmental data". That is, it tells you to look at something real, and then interpret that in a puzzly-way. E.g., "Go to such-and-such place. Look at the commemorative plaque. It mentions two historical people. Combine their initials to make a word." That kind of thing. A few puzzles in the 2-Tone Game use environmental data. Since I was in the neighborhood, I looked at the puzzle site. There was a sign posted on it: an application for a permit to something something. Basically, the people in charge of this thingy had posted a sign that they wanted to change their thingy. In so doing, they'd break this puzzle.

Fortunately, this puzzle is "fixable". Instead of using that thingy, I tweaked the puzzle so that it uses another few thingies instead. It's probably OK. Though I worry—nobody's playtested the new edition. Maybe it's too difficult now. I guess we'll find out.

A while back, Nick Baxter wrote to me. He's trying to figure out when to play this thing. He asked: will it still be running in August? I said I didn't know for sure. I don't have any set date to shut this thing down. But the city changes. My puzzles' environmental data will "decay." Is decaying. I was able to repair the game this time. But if something happened to the ______ _____ _____ or to the _________ _____, I don't know what I'd do. I'd probably give up and shut the game down.

The 2-Tone Game is themed on the 2-Tone Records logo, a black-and-white checkered pattern. When I was putting this game together, I knew for sure that I wanted use the site of the "Black and White" puzzle from BANG 5. It used a place in the city that had a checkered pattern. Except. Except. Things change. The city changed. That spot isn't a checker-patterned tile wall anymore. Now it's a wall painted solid magenta. So I didn't use that site after all.

At some point, one of those puzzles will break in a way I can't fix. I don't know when it will happen. Months from now? Years from now? But it will happen. That's life.

Tags: puzzle hunts 2tonegame like tears in rain urban morphology
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