Welcome to our first ever (and possibly only) KickHumbleStarterPuzzleBundle! That’s a mouthful, but we promise, it’s worth it. Noting Kickstarter's request to break Kickstarter, we combined three of our favorite things—Kickstarter, Humble Bundle, and puzzles. We're bringing you not one but two opportunities to get your hands on the best puzzles and puzzlemaking content, while making the world a better place in two different ways.
For the Kickstarter side of things, we’re focusing on getting a physical copy of the new and updated Puzzlecraft and the upcoming Puzzlecraft Workbook into your hands, and into schools and libraries across the United States. The brand-new Puzzlecraft Workbook provides lessons and review questions for each section of Puzzlecraft to ensure you’ve absorbed every drop of puzzle creation knowledge. Making puzzles is super fun, but creating them also teaches valuable skills such as complex problem solving, logical reasoning, pattern recognition, research techniques, and so much more. Getting Puzzlecraft into schools will give students a valuable and entertaining new resource to grow these skills and we’re super-excited to work with you to make it happen! Back at the $49 level if you want to get Puzzlecraft sent to you anywhere and also to a US school or library of your choice!
You probably noticed that we don’t have a PDF-only backer level. The Kickstarter side of the HumbleKickBundleStarter is all about getting the physical books and supporting schools, but the Humble Bundle side is all about digital puzzle books and puzzle games, many of them never seen before, to benefit educational organizations Khan Academy and Maker Education Initiative. After you’ve backed this Kickstarter, you can head over to the Humble Puzzle Bundle and get the rest of the BundleStarter. There's a special puzzlepack of giant crosswords just for you if you back both!
Puzzlecraft, the only book that teaches you how to make every kind of puzzle, is back! Seven years after its initial publication, this heavily revised and expanded book from puzzlemasters Mike Selinker and Thomas Snyder contains over 100 sections of step-by-step instructions on making individual puzzle types, each with accompanying puzzles. In addition to classics like crosswords and sudoku, this new edition contains all new sections on escape rooms, interactive fiction, puzzle rallies, bonzas, variety cryptic crosswords, new Japanese logic puzzles, videogame puzzles, and much more.
Here are the puzzle types covered in the book.
- Knowledge Puzzles—Riddle, Trivia Quiz, Matching Puzzle, Kevin Bacon Game, Ditloid, False Positive Puzzle, Context Puzzle
- Observation Puzzles—Mysteries, Lateral Thinking Puzzles, Bongard Problems, Bulls and Cows, Spot-the-Differences, Image-Parsing Puzzlezzz, Set, Counting Puzzle
- Manipulation Puzzles—Simon Says, Duck Konundra, Matchstick Puzzles, Jigsaw Puzzles, Dissection Puzzles, Tangrams, Cryptex
- Wordplay—Word Teasers, Palindromes, Flats, Piecewords, Alphaboxes, Word Ladders, Doublets, Laddergrams, Scramblegories, Word Rummy, Solitaire Hangmans
- Message Puzzles—Anaquotes, Quote Boxes, Scytales, Crostics, Indexing, Anacrostics, Coded Messages, Cryptoquotes, Caesar Shifts, Tour Puzzles
- Word Grids—Word Searches, Nonlinear Word Searches, Crisscrosses, Letter Crosses, Bonza Puzzles, Word Stacks
- Crossword Puzzles—Crosswords, Blackout Crosswords, European Crosswords, Diagramlesses, Puns and Anagrams, Something Differents
- Variety Crosswords—Word Shapes, Tile Crosswords, Crushwords,Slot Machines, Snake Charmers, Spirals, Around-the-Bends, Marching Bands, Hedgehogs & Worms, Rows Gardens, Helter-Skelters, Some Assembly Required, Waterfalls, Cryptic Crosswords, Printer's Devilries, Variety Cryptics
- Number Logic Puzzles—Sudoku, Sudoku Variations, Wordoku, Skyscrapers, Latin Square, Calcu-doku, Cross Sums, Magic Square, Word Division
- Abstract Logic Puzzles—Paint by Numbers, Battleships, Star Battle, Akari, Minesweeperss, Tetrominoes, LITS, Tapa, Nurikabe, Pentominoes, Fillomino, Shikaku, Cave
- Path Logic Puzzles—Mazes, Bridges, Connect the Dots, Masyu, Fences, Yajilin, Chess Problem, Domino Castles
- Logic Problems—True-False Logic Problems, Sequence Logic Problems, River Crossing Puzzles, Grid Logic Problems
- Environmental Puzzles—Hidden Puzzles, Scavenger Hunts, Geocaches, Videogame Puzzles, Webcrawls
- Multi-Puzzles—Metapuzzles, Interactive Fiction, Escape Rooms, Puzzlehunts, Puzzle Rallies, Alternate Reality Games
Plus there's a new foreword by NPR quizmaster Peter Sagal and a new adventure in the Maze of Games world. Become a puzzlecrafter today!
Puzzle and game designer Gaby Weidling, who wrote some of the new material for the revised Puzzlecraft, was inspired to create a workbook after teaching game design students at Digipen. The workbook guides through making a specific set of puzzles and a metapuzzle for a purpose, in this case a birthday surprise. It'll walk you through all the steps necessary to puzzle your loved one's brain with a creation that's entirely unique to them.
A cornerstone of this Kickstarter is getting books into classrooms and libraries so students can learn how to make puzzles. We've followed a lot of research that says that puzzles are good for the brain, especially those of young people. So we set out on a campaign to get our puzzlemaking book into the hands of American students. You can help.
If you select any of the levels that are $32 or above, we will send a Puzzlecraft and the Puzzlecraft Workbook to a school or library of your choice. Once you've backed, click on this webform that lets you pick the institution, if you want; otherwise, we'll pick one. If you specify a contact at that institution, we'll send it straight to them. We'll add a note that makes it clear why the book was sent to the school or library, and what it can be used for.
If you like, you can select the $99 bundle level, which adds a copy of our puzzle novel The Maze of Games to the school or library's shipment. The Maze of Games is an immersive young adult novel whose pages are in the wrong order, and you have to solve the puzzles to put them back in the right order. We've heard from many parents that their kids have loved this book, so it'd be great if some copies got to schools and libraries too. (If you want one for yourself, you can add it after the campaign, along with other Lone Shark puzzle content.)
Finally, there's our $600 "whole class" level, which sends 10 of each of these books to a US school or library, in addition to your copies. If you're generous enough to give that many kids books for their brains, we will really appreciate it.
Please note that these offers are for US schools only. We'd love to do this for non-American students, but we don't know the ins and outs of sending books to schools around the world. If you're not from the US and want to serve as a relay point for a school, you can add copies after the campaign and can get those extra books to a school in your country yourself. We very much appreciate your efforts to educate children in your country.
So please back at a level that gets books to schools and libraries, and let us know where you want it sent!
But wait, there’s more! A whole lot more. Along with the Puzzlecraft Kickstarter, we have over 30 digital puzzle and puzzle game offerings in the Humble Puzzle Bundle which you can get right now. Here’s a look at what you can find in the bundle:
- Puzzlecraft PDF
- Puzzlecraft Workbook PDF (when it's finished)
- Killer Cryptics PDF
- Crosswords of Wisdom Volume 1 PDF
- Crosswords of Wisdom Volume 2 PDF
- The Maze of Games PDF
- The Theseus Guide to the Final Maze PDF
- The Maze Map PDF
- The Keymaster’s Tome PDF
- Intro to GM Puzzles PDF
- Logic Puzzles 101 PDF
- WoRDWeRX PDF
- Puzzlepack #1: Rows Gardens PDF
- Puzzlepack #2: Marching Bands PDF
- Puzzlepack #3: The Gauntlet Hunt PDF
- Apocrypha Steganographer's Guide PDF
- Apocrypha Adventure Card Game print-and-play
- Apocrypha Companion App
- Unspeakable Words print-and-play
- Letter Hold 'Em print-and-play
- Hastur Horta Hodor Mordor print-and-play
- Sausage Party print-and-play
- Zero In print-and-play
- Plot Points print-and-play
- Tragedy of the Commons print-and-play
- Epic Vs. Awesome Bootleg Edition print-and-play
- 20% puzzles and games at our webstore
You can find more detailed descriptions on the Humble Bundle page. Head over there now to get the rest of the HumbleStarterKickBundle books, puzzles, games, and more!
And if you decide to support both of our campaigns, we've got a special surprise for you: the KICKSTARTER/HUMBLE BUNDLE CROSSOVER Bonus Puzzlepack #4: Giant Crosswords. This PDF of a year of 12 super-sized 25x25 crosswords by Mike Selinker has never been seen before, and will be yours FOR FREE if you back this Kickstarter campaign and pledge any amount to the Humble Bundle campaign.
About two weeks after the Kickstarter campaign ends, we'll send you the Kickstarter half of your redemption code for this giant crossword book PDF. You'll also get the second half from backing the Humble Bundle. When you have both halves, go to shop.lonesharkgames.com and enter that code in the format of (Kickstarter code)-(Humble code). Then you'll get your free copy of Puzzlepack #4: Giant Crosswords!
Mike Selinker, the book's co-author, is the chief creative officer of the design studio Lone Shark Games. He's the developer of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Lords of Vegas, Risk Godstorm, Unspeakable Words, Apocrypha, The Ninth World, Thornwatch, and many other games, and the author of The Maze of Games, The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, and Game Theory in the Age of Chaos. His puzzles appear in The New York Times, Wired, Dragon, Games, and The Chicago Tribune. He’s the executive director of the political group Basket of Adorables. He can be found at @mikeselinker.
Thomas Snyder (aka "Dr. Sudoku"), Mike's co-author, first gained notice in the puzzle world as a champion solver, winning the World Sudoku Championship three times and the World Puzzle Championship once. Thomas is known for his artistic, themed logic puzzles, particularly sudoku and variations. He is the author of eight puzzle books and the editor of many more as founder of Grandmaster Puzzles (www.gmpuzzles.com). Thomas is the Head of Computational Biology at Verily Life Sciences, applying his problem solving skills to the challenge of enabling personalized, preventive medicine, particularly by analyzing the immune system and its role in health and disease. He can be found at @drsudoku.
Gaby Weidling, the book's developer, is a game, puzzle, and event designer whose handiwork can be found in games like the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk, Apocrypha, and more. Her favorite puzzle projects include developing The Maze of Games and Puzzlecraft, designing escape rooms set in the world of Magic: the Gathering, and teaching puzzle design at DigiPen. She is the directive executor at Basket of Adorables. She spends her spare time trying new things, cuddling her cats, and just generally being a sunshine cannon. She can be found at @ermahgerdgerby.
Francis Heaney, the book's editor, has written many puzzles and edited many puzzle books. He constructs crosswords regularly for the American Values Crossword Club, and his puzzles have also appeared in The New York Times, Games World of Puzzles, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out, and, you know, other places. His recent books include Drunk Crosswords (with Brendan Emmett Quigley), Mini Crisscross Puzzles, and Mini Acrostics. He can be found at @fheaney.
Peter Sagal, the book's foreword author, is, has been, and perhaps someday will be again, a husband, father, playwright, screenwriter, author, journalist, columnist, marathoner, Jeopardy contestant, dramaturg, podcast host, documentary host, foreign correspondent, wedding officiant, and magician's assistant. He has hosted the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! for more than two decades. His first crossword puzzle was alongside Mike in The New York Times; it is not likely to be his last. He can be found at @petersagal.
With all these puzzles in these two simultaneous campaigns, you're probably wondering: Are there any puzzles to solve in these campaigns? The answer is yes, of course! In each of our planned updates, we'll do a spotlight on a particular puzzle type. We'll give you an excerpt from Puzzlecraft on how to make that kind of puzzle, then we'll give you a puzzle of that type from the Humble Bundle or elsewhere in the campaign. If you solve it, you can submit your answer and get a badge! You can show off this badge as your Facebook picture, your Twitter icon, or your Kickstarter profile. Doing so helps spread the word about the campaign and raises more money for our educational initiatives. So please do that!
The entire puzzle series is in these updates:
- The Trivial Pursuer badge
- The Cross Trainer badge
- The Number Cruncher badge
- The Stalwart Searcher badge
- The Master Gardener badge
- The Hidden Warrior badge
- The Metamind badge
Risks and challenges
We've got the Puzzlecraft books printed and they've recently arrived in our warehouse. The Puzzlecraft Workbook is still being designed and laid out, and should be finished soon. Then we'll print the workbook in the United States and send it to our fulfiller here. We expect that will not take long. Then we'll send it out to all our backers and the schools and libraries they select.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (13 days)