Friday Round-Up

Gearing up for Post Hunt this weekend, also itching to play some Secret World beta…. here, take this round-up post!

Post Hunt 2012
At long last, Post Hunt time is here again!  Post Hunt will be held at Franklin Square Park in Washington D.C. this Sunday, June 3rd starting promptly at noon (get there a little early!).  It’s a great time and it’s free, so you won’t want to miss it!  Here are a few relevant links:

  • 2012 Post Hunt:  Let’s go! — An official write-up describing this year’s event.  Very humorous, a fun read.  Also, it sounds like the old format for the Endgame clues is returning (each of the five main puzzle answers points to a clue) after last year’s interesting scantron-style experiment.  (Also, check out that sweet Hunger Games-inspired illustration!  I hope that’s how I look while solving puzzles, aw yeah!)
  • The Tropic/Herald/Post Hunt Archives — For all the latest news, and all the past years’ history, the Tropic/Herald/Post Hunt Archives are the place to go.
  • 2011 Post Hunt — Read my recap of last year’s Post Hunt, the first puzzle event I ever attended.  Warning:  I may have been a little harsh about the Endgame.  I’ve mellowed out a bit about it since then and am looking forward to it this year!
  • Todd Etter’s 2008 Washington Post Hunt Recap — For a very interesting perspective on the Hunt, check out Todd Etter’s write-up from 2008.  What’s so interesting about it?  His team won!
  • Post Hunt Prep — Here’s what I’m doing to get ready for this year’s Hunt.

Recent Links
Here are a few posts I’ve enjoyed over the past few days/weeks. 

  • Starting Small, the Puzzle Community, and Puzzle Events I’ve Never Been To — Tabstop’s comment-cum-blog post continuing the discussion of accommodating beginners at puzzle hunts.  Lots of interesting thoughts here, and rumblings of an event in the future.
  • DASH in St. Louis — Check out this thrilling recap of Larry Hosken’s trip to St. Louis to help run DASH 4 for just two teams!  The Mayan Apocalypse theme was a little bit more realistic for the St. Louis players as tornado sirens and a massive hail storm interrupted the meta.  Ah, the Midwest.
  • The Depth Jam — This doesn’t really have anything to do with puzzles in the recreational sense, but it does have everything to do with critical thinking, problem-solving, and generally trying one’s best to make something worthwhile.  Braid/The Witness developer Jonathan Blow + three other indie developers take a four-day retreat for some collaborative problem-solving on each of their games.
  • Gumshoes (Draft 3.0) — Another beautiful iteration of Greg Weaver’s mystery-themed musical track.  Some interesting discussion going on in the comments about the role of this piece within the context of actual puzzle solving or a puzzle game.


That’s Quite a Bundle!
Humble Indie Bundle V is out, and it’s a big one!  Pay what you want for these great games and their soundtracks.  Here are the included games, in order of puzzleyness:

  • Psychonauts — The classic DoubleFine platformer, known for its signature quirky style and quick wit, but also full of fun puzzling.
  • Limbo — Spooky silhouette-style puzzle platforming.  If you haven’t met a gruesome death in the first five minutes, you’re playing too slowly.
  • Amnesia:  The Dark Descent — The game you shouldn’t play after sundown.  Survival is the ultimate puzzle.  If I manage to host a Halloween party this year, party-goers beware as this game will probably make an appearance.
  • Bastion — The “instant classic” indie darling of 2011, an action RPG with gorgeous art and award-winning music, I kind of just want to live there.  (Pay more than the average donation to get this guy.)
  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery — I don’t know anything about this game, but it sure looks cool.


In case you haven’t been following my foray into on-the-fly fiction writing, check out the first three installments of my make-it-up-as-I-go mystery story, Proxy:


Hot Events
It isn’t officially summer yet, but it sure feels like it.  Still not much going on in July, might have to do something about that…

June 3 – Washington D.C. – Post Hunt
Coming right up, it’s Post Hunt!  “Our day of quirky, clever brainteasers with Dave Barry, Gene Weingarten and Tom Shroder returns for a fifth year. Join us for the 2012 Post Hunt on Sunday, June 3 at 12 p.m. ET in downtown Washington.” (It’s FREE!  Everyone should go!)

June 9 – Richmond, VA – Lost & Found at the Library of Virginia
The Library of Virginia and its environs are the setting for an adventure that pits your wits against a devious series of cunning clues, crafty codes, and ingenious puzzles. Based on the Library’s newest exhibition, Lost and Found, teams of up to six embark on a quest that has been described as a combination of Amazing Race and National Treasure. Put on your sneakers, thinking caps, and imaginative team uniforms and get lost, if only for a couple of hours, in the colorful culture of Richmond’s past.

June-July – Various cities listed below – CitySolve Urban Race
Where brains beat brawn! Teams of 2 to 4 solve clever clues and face fun challenges all while navigating the urban landscape via foot or on public transportation! It’s a scavenger hunt, with all the thrills of the amazing race, mixed in with trivial pursuit, throw in a mini road race and add a dash of cat-and-mouse. And voila! You’ve got CitySolve Urban Race!

    • June 2 – Rochester, NY
    • June 23 – Boston, MA
    • June 30 – Buffalo, NY
    • July 7 – Philadelphia, PA

August 10August 17 – multiple Northeastern cities The Great America Race
Eight days in seven states filled with brilliant clues, adversaries, codes, ciphers, actors planted around every corner and an adventure you can tell your grandkids about. You can sign up for a single leg of the race or all of them! The choice is yours. Just make sure you don’t miss the most brain-twisting, heart-pumping, flawless game ever designed.


That’s all for this week, check back on Monday for my recap of Post Hunt 2012!