How many people per team?
The more the merrier! Expect things to be more laid back this year, due to COVID-19.
I've never done this before! What do I need to know? What should I have?
Check out the Tools & Links Page. It's probably a good place to start. Otherwise, more brains will always help (ideally, brains in the heads of other living human beings. Please don't steal brains and stick them in jars. That won't help you as much).
Who's sponsoring this?
ACM. Please peruse our Credits Page for more details.
Help! I'm stuck on a puzzle! I don't know how to solve this!
Find some friends and get a new pair of eyeballs on it. If your team is stuck, contact Game Control and we'll give you hints. Taking hints will not incur time or point penalties. But bear in mind that between Monday through Thursday, GameControl will be at our normal daytime jobs, so our response times will vary.
So it's ok to ask for hints? Or submit completely wrong answers?
Yep! Especially for those who haven't played puzzle contests before, please don't be afraid to ask for hints, or ask if you're going in the right direction!
There are no penalties for getting things wrong, so don't be afraid to try completely incorrect answers. The system is set up so that certain keywords might reveal the fact that you're on the right track, especially for harder multi-layered, complex puzzle. We do track answer submissions, however, and if you start spamming the server with all the words in the dictionary, we will know and block your team from submitting. (We get email reports of all the answers submitted every hour. Getting a 50-page long list of all the words in the dictionary does not please us.)
Will you ever lie to us?
No. If you're asking for hints, we may opt to be vague or indirect, but we will never intentionally provide incorrect or misleading responses.
Do I need to be on campus to play?
Not this year!
So, how do I win all the goodies?
Ah, about that. There most likely won't be prizes this year, sorry, just bragging rights.
Finally, some things to keep in mind:
- Individual puzzles shouldn't take more than a few hours - please, for the love of all things shiny, ask for hints before then!!!
- We won't be sending you off-campus. If you see something that looks like the GPS coordinates of somewhere far away, that's not right. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE don't rush online to buy a plane ticket to Paris. (However, if you want to buy me round trip tickets to Japan, that's definitely ok.)
- If you see the words "Red Herring" in your answer, that's not the right answer. Also, we're pretty specific, so if it says "This content is a red herring", we do mean "content" (letters, etc) are misleading, but its delivery method might not be...
- If you're new to this, don't be afraid to try out stupid things. There are no stupid questions.
For general site related questions and problems, we can be reached at GameControl (AT) puzzlebang.com.
If the site is broken, please direct all flames and hatemail and bug reports (what were you doing, where were you, what did you click, and what did you see) to ben (AT) puzzlebang.com.
Lastly, please keep in mind that Game Control consists of two people who are both employed at full-time jobs, one in Chicago, one in California, so our response times during standard business hours may be slow.