August 26th, 2007


Road Rally conceptualizationizing

I spent the better part of yesterday and today scouting locations for "Save Our City". I was demoralized to learn that a couple locations that I scouted not that long ago... just aren't there anymore. Including one that I already had a puzzle built around. Unbelievable. I want to plan the game well in advance, but by the time December rolls around, probably half of my clues will be demolished and replaced by Starbucks. Ah well, that will just add difficulty to the game.

Now since a fair fraction of my players are probably reading this, I'm not going to go into any detail about locations and such, but I'm going to throw open some conversation here about what a road-rally/scavenger hunt/get-to-know-your-city/fun event/experience should be. Some of you have taken part in some of the other events run by outside strangers (fear them!) and have some experience - help me benefit from your triumphs and frustrations. What worked? What didn't?
I've seen a few webpages recounting pretty hardcore events where it appears to be taken for granted that you will know semaphore and be able to decode a two-dimensional array composed of two separate messages, one rotated 90 degrees from the other and laid on top each other. Despite my reputation for deviosity, I don't plan anything remotely that ridiculous.

Something I want some particular feedback on is resources available to the players. I'm of two minds. One hemisphere says "Players should have nothing but a car, a Thomas Guide and their own wits." But the other hemisphere worries that people will 'cheat', making use of WiFi, navigational systems, books, and NSA cryptography servers.
That hemisphere wants to allow people to use whatever resources they may have. But then the first hemisphere says that the playing field won't be level. In ChronoAgents, my team stopped at the library to Google up some information, but what if people are Googling on their mobile gizmos as they cruise the streets? Will victory go to the team with the most toys?
Currently, my two hemispheres have a delicate entente, under which all tools will be allowed to the players, but both of my hemispheres will be taxed to come up with puzzles that can't be cheaply solved with Google. notjenschiz will probably scoff at the idea of Google being rendered impotent, but I am sanguine that my deviosity extends at least that far.

Anyway, let loose your opinions! About that matter, or anything else relating to "Save Our City".

Ok, quick mini game. Click the link to see a picture - look at for five seconds and click back, and then answer: where (and when) was it taken?

Oh, sure, none of you will be taken in by my feeble ruse. But I still think it's amusing. +712,351,462 points to anyone who can actually locate the position from which that picture was taken.

ETA: Best. (Cat-)Toy. Ever.