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An interactive puzzle novel written by Mike Selinker, with enchanting illustrations by Pete Venters.
An interactive puzzle novel written by Mike Selinker, with enchanting illustrations by Pete Venters.
An interactive puzzle novel written by Mike Selinker, with enchanting illustrations by Pete Venters.
2,630 backers pledged $171,146 to help bring this project to life.

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shipping update and a new Conundrucopia

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First, before I get into some more Maze of Games updates, a few time-sensitive announcements:

  • I'll be doing a Reddit Ask Me Anything on Wednesday at 1:30 PM PST. If you have any questions about The Maze of Games or any of our other projects, please ask them!
  • I'll also be doing a lecture on The Maze of Games at ARGFest in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday at 4:45 PM PST. If you're interested in coming to Maze meetup #5 in the Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center bar right after that lecture, please do. 

OK, onto the news of the week.

An audio Conundrucopia

With the 16-day Maze of Games audiobook campaign having reached its goal and now at the halfway point, we launched a fun new suite of audio puzzles in the same vein as the Conundrucopia. The Audiophonic Conundrucopia will be a set of 1897-themed puzzles, but all delivered digitally, just like the campaign puzzles we're releasing now. (They're really good, by the way. Go check them out.)

We'd like to fund this Audiophonic Conundrucopia stretch goal, so if you're interested in a bunch of great audio puzzles by the best musical and spoken-word puzzlemakers such as Kid Beyond and Francis Heaney, this might be for you. And of course, you can pledge simply because you want Wil Wheaton's amazing narration, or the cool music from Austin Wintory, Marian Call, Paul & Storm, and Kirby Krackle. An audiobook is only $25, so I hope you'll give it a whirl.

We also opened up 13 Gatekeeper troves which contain some of our only remaining Gatekeeper's editions. If you've been hoping to get one of those, take a look at the campaign.

We'd love to bring this great audiobook to as many of our original backers as possible, so if you're interested, please go here and see if it's to your liking!

Where we are with shipping

We have nearly all of our physical rewards sent out, except for art prints. San Diego Comic Con interrupted Penny Arcade's shipping last week, so we've still got a little more than 100 physical orders to ship out. Most of these are in the Seattle area, surprisingly enough. When we pulled the orders for our local meetups, some Seattle folks accidentally moved to the back of the list. We're sorry about this mixup, and hope to have all physical shipping done within the week.

We sent a PDF invitation out last week via the service Gumroad, but several backers say they didn't receive it. If you think you should have gotten one but didn't, please check your spam filters. If it's still not there, send a note to info at our-company-name-as-one-word dot com.

The ebook and soundtrack are still under construction. We've seen an ebook build from Puzzazz that was about 75% done by our estimation, and it's getting closer every day. When we hear from Puzzazz when it will be ready, you will know immediately. Similarly, the soundtrack is getting finalized, and we'll get it out when it's in our hands.

So, we're getting there, but not quite done. If you haven't gotten your stuff yet, thanks as always for your patience. I think you will like what you get.

If you have gotten your stuff, I really hope you're enjoying it. It's so cool to see the book in people's hands, and on their Facebook walls and Twitter feeds, and even in this delightful wiki. You guys are the best. Thanks as always for supporting The Maze of Games!

Mike and the Sharks

Maze of Games: shipped, Penny Arcade store, and the Audiobook Kickstarter


Hey folks. Just want you guys to know that all but about 100 of the physical rewards have shipped. If you haven't received a notification from us about your books, maps, and the like, you'll probably get one in the next few days. PDFs are going out shortly, and other electronic rewards in the next few weeks. We're very happy to be almost done with getting your books to you.

We also have a lot of big news today.

The Maze of Games audiobook Kickstarter

This is live.

You can go to our new Kickstarter campaign and pledge for a copy of the Maze of Games audiobook, with masterful narration by Mr. Wil Wheaton. We're making a really fun audio experience with the novel text (not the puzzles). There's music by Austin Wintory, Marian Call, Paul & Storm, and Kirby Krackle. The first 100 backers will get a exclusive audio puzzle. Read all about it on the Kickstarter page, and if you like what you see, pledge away. 

FYI, we won't be updating this page with updates from the new Kickstarter much. If you want to keep up with the progress of the audiobook and the campaign, follow along over there.

Ordering more copies of The Maze of Games

Lots of you have been asking about how you get more copies of the book. Here's the answer: You get the hardback at the Penny Arcade webstore. Please head over to there if you just want a hardback, not the audiobook. If you want the audiobook, you can combine your Kickstarter pledge with a copy of the hardback and/or the ebook.

The ebook and soundtrack will be orderable when they're ready to go, which won't be too long from now.

The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume is also available now over at the BPAL site

Cool day. Please enjoy the awesome, and thanks for supporting The Maze of Games.

Mike and the Sharks

Gatekeeper perfume available from BPAL!


The Gatekeeper perfume is available! This amazing scent from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab compliments The Maze of Games in an extraordinary manner. It is based upon our lead antagonist, lovingly distilled by perfumiers Elizabeth Barrial and Brian Constantine. It is unbelievably cool. Here's the BPAL description.

THE GATEKEEPER: A dry perfume, solemn and riddled with ancient, whispered secrets: brittle bones, the well-worn leather spines of forgotten books, crumbling papyrus, and the warm, strange scent of yellowed, crumbling manuscripts. Each 5ml bottle is $26.00. 

If you've purchased any Maze of Games hardback or ebook, you can use our backers-only special coupon for $5 off a bottle of The Gatekeeper. You will get a separate email with that coupon information. (Sorry in advance for the multiple emails.)

Here's how you order the perfume.

  • Go to the BPAL Gatekeeper page.
  • Click "Add item to cart."
  • Proceed to check out
  • At the top of the form, on the large orange banner, click "View cart."
  • Fill out your billing and shipping info.
  • Choose your payment type, place your order, and enter payment info.
  • Bask in the olfactory glory that is The Gatekeeper.

Or, if you'd like to pick it up live, come to our Saturday Maze of Games meetup at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, from 4-7 pm! All the BPAL folks will be there, plus me and fulfillment coordinator Evon Fuerst. Come meet us and pick up your perfume there!

Shipping progress

Many copies of the hardbacks, Gatekeeper's editions, pencils, cryptexes, and maps are flying through the air to backers right now. We're maybe a third done, with lots of progress expected next week.

Art prints are still in process. We're still auditioning paper samples and hope to get those into production soon. If you ordered a print, it won't delay your receipt of the books.

After we fulfill all the physical orders, we'll move to fulfillment of the PDF, and then the ebook and soundtrack when those are ready.

Audiobook Kickstarter launch date

We're hoping to launch The Maze of Games audiobook Kickstarter on July 21 at 2 pm PDT. We believe most of the physical rewards will be fulfilled by that point, and since we want people to have access to the audiobook files as soon as possible, we'll be kicking into gear then. We promise that this new Kickstarter will not delay fulfillment of your rewards in any way. And we think you'll think it's awesome.

Thanks as always for supporting The Maze of Games!

Mike and the Sharks

Maze of Games: shipping


We have all physical rewards (except art prints) sorted, signed, numbered, prepped, and ready to go to Penny Arcade for shipping. So we're beginning that process today. We hope to be done with sending out the physical rewards within three weeks. It's a massive job, but our friends at Penny Arcade are more than up to the task.

Importantly, we are no longer accepting address changes. We are presuming that the address you've given us most recently is where you want your rewards sent.

Once we're done with physical rewards, we'll turn our attention to digital rewards and PDFs. Both the soundtrack and the ebook are in process of being built, but we'll hopefully have more info about them in the next couple weeks.

Meantime, I'd like to tell you about some events we're hosting or visiting. 

Seattle-area pickups

We have over 200 backers in the Seattle area, so we're hosting three events to get them their orders. They are at:

  • AFK Elixirs & Eatery (3750 E Valley Rd, Renton), Tuesday, July 8, 6-9 pm
  • Card Kingdom (5105 Leary Ave NW, Seattle), Wednesday, July 9, 6-9 pm
  • Uncle's Games (15600 NE 8th St, Bellevue), Thursday, July 10, 6-9 pm

If you're in that group, you'll get an email from us right away asking you to RSVP. Or you can click on this link to RSVP right now. If you don't, we'll assume you're not coming and will send out your order with the normal batches. These are public events, so please feel free to bring people who you think would be interested in our little book.

Los Angeles perfume launch

Folks who've been waiting for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Gatekeeper perfume are in for a treat: We're launching the perfume at the BPAL Will Call at Dark Delicacies (3512 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank) on Saturday, July 12, 4-7 pm. You will be able to pick up a bottle there. If you can't make it, don't fret! The perfume will be orderable on the BPAL site shortly thereafter.

Other events and new purchases

The Maze of Games team will be at these events in July:

  • The National Puzzlers' League con in Portland, Maine, July 17-20.
  • San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego, July 24-27.
  • ARGFest in Portland, Oregon, July 29-August 1.

We're not sure yet whether we'll have books at those events. Once we have at least most of the physical orders shipped, we will be making hardbacks available for new purchases on the Penny Arcade site. We'll make an announcement when that goes live.

A preview of our next campaign

And now that we're beginning the shipping process, we have an exciting announcement. Later this month (not next month, as this video we shot in June suggests), we're going to make The Maze of Games available in a very different format. Take a look and see if you like this.

More info on that cool thing soon. For now, lots and lots of boxes. Thanks, as always, for supporting The Maze of Games.

Mike and the Sharks

Maze of Games: here


This is me in front of ten pallets of The Maze of Games.

Several thousand copies of The Maze of Games arrived at our warehouse yesterday. We are, as you might expect, delighted. And so we can finally begin the process of getting copies out to you. It's not a short process, but it's finally underway.

Step one is confirming all shipping addresses. We have been tracking address changes as we go, but if you have moved in the last year, please go here and fill out this form. We want to make absolutely sure your address changed in our system. Even if you have submitted an address change, please do it. If you haven't moved since you filled out your initial survey or After the Crowd info, you're fine. 

Step two is sorting and preparing all the physical products for shipping. We have all the hardbacks, Gatekeeper's editions, pencils, maps, bookmarks, and cryptexes in house and ready to be prepped for shipping; art prints will soon follow. It will take a while to number and sign the many hundreds of books that need such a treatment. We hope to have this process completed within a couple of weeks, and everything shipped out sometime in July. Please be aware that we have thousands of orders, and cannot respond to individual requests to prioritize one over another.

Information about access to the PDF will be included with your order.

The ebook and soundtrack are not yet finalized, but a lot of progress has been made on both. A lot depends on Apple and other things we can only moderately control. But we hope to have this process completed soon.

If you have a special reward such as a thank you video or Google hangout, you'll get a personal message from us about that.

Are you in Seattle?

We're thinking of having a release event in Seattle. If you are in Seattle, and are interested in picking up your order at such a hypothetical event, please send an email with the subject "Seattle" to vasb@ybarfunextnzrf.pbz (after caesar shifting that 13 places in the alphabet, of course). 

Almost here. Thanks as always for your patience, and your support of The Maze of Games.

Mike and the Sharks