Wherein we use listener mail as a jumping-off point for further discussion. Thanks, listeners!
[ Download mp3 - 27 MB ]
01:00 - "pensive"
02:09 - Skott's comment re: a Game-less summer in 2010
03:01 - three strikes and you're out!
03:50 - the disadvantages of not having a central puzzle hunt authority
05:18 - what will puzzle hunts be like in a hundred years?
07:02 - Jeff would like to have an exploding plane puzzle "FTW!"
07:43 - Greg mentions "reasons to not run a game"
08:56 - DeeAnn has had enough of the Frozen Chosen
10:00 - there are no bad days; it's all about attitude
11:49 - Greg (continued) tells us about Seattle events and rumors
13:01 - demand and the supplying of demand
14:05 - we're saving Rachel's comment for next week!
14:40 - Larry blogs about "that puzzle is too hard"
16:17 - a concrete example... and a slip of the tongue
16:46 - a meta-comment on Larry's blog post
18:39 - designing for novice solvers
20:36 - how many layers is too many?
22:28 - Curtis pigeonholes Gamer personality types
25:36 - next Puzzled Pint: August 10th in Portland, Oregon
26:24 - upcoming events: PAX, BANG 23 re-run, Ghost Patrol BANG
29:29 - The End
Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "Chiron Beta Prime" by Jonathan Coulton
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I'd love to hear more about designing for novice solvers. I'm currently mulling around how to introduce *children* to puzzle hunts. For my 7 year old's birthday party, I did a "Spy School" party where the cake was stolen and they had to find it. The clues were very simple - a riddle, a cipher, UV ink, a tiny message on a balloon, little things like that.
I'm having fun looking at puzzles online and thinking about how to simplify them for kids. Even though most of the kids I'm planning for are solid readers, it turns out they're lousy at anagrams. When I did one with my 7 year old I was surprised by how tough it was for him - I guess his vocabulary is still small, or maybe he has no strategy, I'm not sure.
Anyway, I'm having fun listening to the podcasts and getting inspiration for running another "game" for little kids in the near future.
Stephanie: Thanks for the feedback! We'll do some research and address this in a later podcast.
One of the things I've thought about is teaching directly - first go over morse code and how it works. Then do an example together. Then give them multiple puzzles that present morse code in different formats so they can start figuring out how to recognize morse code. Or something similar with indexing into words, etc. The idea is to give them the big hint of "today you're looking for this kind of pattern" and then do a bunch of it so they can get good at recognizing it.
You could probably do something similar but not so explicit with adults. Remember when Mr. Spade put patterns in his multiple choice answer sheets? That kind of info is nice because it confirms that you're on the right track without giving things away before you've figured anything out yourself.
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