About this project
Welcome to the World of Puzzlehunts!
If you’re reading this, we know you’re either a puzzlehunt lover or you’re wondering what they are. If you’re in that first group, what are you waiting for? Head right on over to the rewards on the right and pick a pledge level!
If you’re new to puzzlehunts (or you just pledged), read on ...
In simple terms, a puzzlehunt is a set of interconnected puzzles which combine to form a larger puzzle. But that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Puzzlehunts are filled with fun and unique puzzles. They’re designed to challenge you just right to maximize your fun.
If you like puzzles, chances are you’ll love puzzlehunts. But, because puzzlehunts are usually created by and for local communities, they can be hard to come by. We’d like to change that and we’re hoping you’ll help us make it happen.
Along the way, you’ll get some free puzzles!
What Kind of Puzzles Are We Talking About?
One of the great things about puzzlehunts is the variety of puzzles. There will be puzzles that look like traditional puzzles as well as ones that don’t look like any puzzle you’ve ever seen before. Puzzlehunt authors love to create unique twists, so in a puzzlehunt you might find a crossword mixed with a sudoku, a sudoku mixed with a word search, or a word search mixed with a maze. Or you might see something that doesn’t look like a puzzle at all, like a TV schedule, a pile of candy hearts, or a pizza.
Additionally, many of the puzzles have a second layer, some way to extract a final answer, which is usually a single word or short phrase.
Typically, puzzles start with something called “flavor” text. No, it’s not tasty -- it’s purpose is to weave all the puzzles together into a single story. Here is a puzzle with flavor text:
When you see a puzzle like this, the first thing you need to do is figure out what the puzzle is -- what part is just for fun and what part you have to solve. Then, you’ll have to determine how to extract or decode the message. It’s always a good idea to read the flavor text, since it may contain a hint as to what you’re supposed to do. For example, you may find words that seem unusual or out of place in the text.
If this still looks like just a normal pizza to you, then visit our How to Solve Puzzlehunts page. After that, our How to Solve Codes page is a fantastic resource that can help you get started with all of the most common coding systems, from Braille to American Sign Language to Morse code.
What’s a Metapuzzle?
We’re glad you asked, though, honestly, we’re a little surprised because we hadn’t mentioned metapuzzles yet.
The metapuzzle is the denouement of the puzzlehunt, the moment at which everything gets nicely wrapped up with a bow on top. In most puzzlehunts, you’ll be combining all of the final answers you came up with and using them to solve this final puzzle. If hot fudge is the raison d’être for a hot fudge sundae, the metapuzzle is the raison d’être for a puzzlehunt.
So What Do I Actually Get?
Pledge at the $19 level or above and you’ll receive the year of puzzles, one puzzle a month. But, wait, there's more! Because you unlocked the Holiday Puzzles stretch goal, there will also be six holiday puzzles, for a total of 18 puzzles during the year. Each puzzle will be a large, unique, interesting puzzle, comparable to a Sunday crossword puzzle. All puzzles will be brand new, created specifically for the year of puzzles.
The difficulty level will vary somewhat between puzzles, but the target is a medium level of difficulty throughout. Many puzzles will have gimmicks but there will be no strictly “aha” puzzles, where the whole point is to figure out how it works, and then you’re done. There will be no tricky logic puzzles or pure math puzzles, or puzzles that require you to paint your hand.
You can solve the puzzles in two ways. If you have the Puzzazz app (currently available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch), you’ll be able to solve right in the app. Otherwise, the puzzles will be available on our web site or downloadable as a PDF (which will depend on the puzzle type).
What Do I Get If I Pledge More?
More puzzles, of course!
Pledge a bit more and you can get some special, limited edition puzzles:
- Something appropriately mysterious in an envelope that we’ll mail you (yes, we mean snail mail).
- An awesome puzzle T-shirt that will be the envy of all your friends.
- A wonderful physical puzzle that will let you solve with both your fingers and your brain.
And did we mention that they're all limited editions?
Mixing things up, we also have a few limited reward levels that are even more special.
Who Is Puzzazz?
Puzzazz is building the future of puzzles for the digital world, with a goal of making sure that every solver has fun and gets challenged through high-quality puzzles and a great solving experience.
Puzzazz runs the only digital store devoted exclusively to puzzles. It offers a wide variety of interactive puzzle ebooks from some of the best authors you’ll find anywhere, combined with a fantastic solving experience, including our exclusive TouchWrite™ handwriting recognition.
The Puzzazz puzzle store is currently available as an app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Puzzazz also sells a number of puzzle ebooks for the Amazon Kindle family of ebook readers.
Founded in 2008 by expert puzzle constructor and software architect Roy Leban, the Puzzazz team is filled with puzzle lovers who have created thousands of puzzles for publications around the world, for live events, and now Puzzazz.
We know that we can sell lots of traditional puzzle types through our puzzle store, but nobody has ever tried to sell puzzlehunts on this scale. We need puzzle lovers like you to let us know that we can add puzzlehunts to our mix and be successful with them.
Where Does the Money Go?
Our $9,973 target funds a year of fun, challenging puzzles. The biggest part of this is paying the world-class puzzle authors who will make the individual puzzles. While we at Puzzazz love making puzzles, we really want to support the entire puzzle author ecosystem -- the people who make the puzzles you love. This means that many of the puzzles will be created by outside puzzle authors that we will partner with, and we’ll be paying very competitive rates. Every puzzle gets a byline, so you’ll know whose work you’re enjoying.
The more we raise, the more money we will be able to funnel back into the puzzle ecosystem.
More and better puzzles, of course!
Our first stretch goal was originally hidden, revealed only to people who solved enough puzzles in the free mini puzzlehunt. It said that, if 53 or more people pledged at the EXPERT LEVEL or higher, everybody would get upgraded T-shirts. Well, we reached it!
This means that everybody who pledges at the EXPERT LEVEL or higher will be able to choose their own answer to the puzzle on their T-shirt. We'll ask you for the answer you want in the post-campaign survey.
Since we reached the stretch goal of 499 backers or more (down to the wire!), every backer at the THINKER LEVEL or higher will get a special second puzzle mailed to them instead of just one. That's right, we've added a second limited-edition puzzle, at no additional charge.
Since we reached the stretch goal of $16,993 or more, we will add six more puzzles during the year for holidays and special occasions, for a total of 18 puzzles, at no additional charge for backers!
And we're adding a new stretch goal for even more puzzles. If we raise $24,989 or more, you'll get a total of 26 puzzles, one every two weeks for the entire year, at no additional charge for backers.
Wouldn’t this be great? More info to come ....
What’s This I Hear About a Mini Puzzlehunt?
This Kickstarter campaign is a free mini puzzlehunt, with both explicit and hidden puzzles. But this hunt is mini, which means that the puzzles are significantly smaller -- same taste but less filling -- than the puzzles you’ll get in the year of puzzles.
To verify the correctness of any puzzle in the hunt, go to our web site and type in the final answer for the puzzle. If you are correct, you’ll receive some extra useful information. You can also sign in to our web site to keep track of all your verified answers. Here’s the link:
What do you get for winning this mini puzzlehunt? Well, we’ve got fantastic news for you. Everybody’s a winner! That’s right, if you solve all the puzzles in this mini puzzlehunt, you get the incredibly satisfying reward of knowing you finished. And, if you pledge $19 or more, you also get the satisfaction of knowing there’s a year more of this, with significantly larger puzzles, coming your way.
Once you’ve pledged, watch your email for updates. Anything can be a puzzle.
Note: There are currently seventeen (17) active puzzles plus the metapuzzle, as follows:
- There are three puzzles are on the main page. Two are given explicitly (one in the video) and have answer lengths 4 and 5. One is hidden and has an answer length of 9 (initially, it had a length of 7).
- Update 1 has a puzzle with an answer length of 6.
- Update 2 has a puzzle with an answer length of 6.
- Update 3 has a puzzle with an answer length of 9.
- Update 4 has a puzzle with an answer length of 7.
- Update 5 has a puzzle with an answer length of 7.
- Update 6 has a puzzle with an answer length of 5.
- Update 7 has a puzzle with a 3-word answer that has a total length of 15.
- Update 8 does not have a puzzle.
- Update 9 has a puzzle with an answer length of 8.
- Update 10 has a puzzle with an answer length of 4.
- Update 11 has a puzzle with an answer length of 5.
- Update 12 has a puzzle with an answer length of 5.
- Update 13 has a puzzle with an answer length of 7.
- Update 14 has a puzzle with an answer length of 4.
- Update 15 has the metapuzzle.
- Update 16 and beyond do not have puzzles.
- Another puzzle was hidden before the free mini puzzlehunt started and you'll end up with a final answer of length 5. Its location was revealed as part of the "useful information" solvers received as they solved puzzles. See update 6 to see this information.
You are not expected to solve any of the illustrative puzzles in the video or the project image (some of them are only partial puzzles and cannot be solved).
Risks and challenges
Every project runs the risk of delays, but everybody at Puzzazz has lots of experience delivering great puzzles and we have a good track record of delivering on time. If we reach the weekly stretch goal, our start date may be pushed back so that we can get more puzzles in the pipeline to avoid delays later on.
Physical rewards have to be produced and shipped. We have already started pre-production to ensure that we'll be able to make the dates we've promised.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
If you want multiple sets of rewards, just double (or triple, etc.) your pledge, but leave your selected reward as is. When we send out the survey at the end of the campaign, we'll ask you for separate information for each person. To conform to Kickstarter rules, the maximum is ten sets of rewards.
Absolutely! When you fill out the post-campaign survey, just provide your friend’s name, email address, and physical address (if your pledge level includes physical rewards).
Nope. It's our way of introducing you to puzzlehunts. Enjoy!
No. But we think you'll enjoy it. If you're too busy right now, all the puzzles will still be here for a long time to come (now that we know the Mayans were wrong).
Our puzzles are suitable for all ages. We need to make sure that any messages are non-offensive and do not ruin anyone else's fun. Any company sponsorship must be appropriate for all ages (no alcohol, tobacco, firearms, gambling, etc.). There are also length limits. If you want to make sure a message you have in mind can be used, whether it's for a sponsored puzzle or an embedded message, please contact us first.
At the end of the project, we'll be sending out a survey for the information we need.
What does it mean when it says a pledge level does not include the "limited-reward" levels above it?
When we refer to a limited-reward level, we mean one of the levels with the yellow Kickstarter label that says something like "Limited (3 of 3 left)". This means, for example, that the Rocket Scientist level does not include the rewards of the Enigmatologist, Cruciverbalist, or Encryptor levels, but it does include all rewards at the Grandmaster level and higher. Note that the Grandmaster level also includes that statement, but there are currently no limited-reward levels above it. Kickstarter does not allow you to change the text of a level after it has been pledged, so we added that statement at the beginning to give us the flexibility to add additional limited-reward levels in the future.
Although the Puzzazz app is currently only available for iOS, you will be able to solve all puzzles in the year of puzzles without an iOS device. Depending on the puzzle type, you will either be able to solve it on our web site or download a PDF file for printing. In this case, you'll be able to verify your final answers in a similar way to the verification page provided for the mini puzzlehunt.
At the bottom of the main page, we're maintaining a summary of the currently active puzzles, including their answer lengths and whether they were hidden. Every puzzle that is given directly to you is part of the mini puzzlehunt, unless we say explicitly that it is not. The puzzles and partial puzzles in the project image and the project video are not part of the mini puzzlehunt (some are incomplete and cannot be solved anyway).
There are also some hidden puzzles whose answer lengths are given. The hints at the bottom of the updates also provide some clues as how to find the hidden puzzles. There are no puzzles hidden within the FAQ or in any comments.
The free mini puzzlehunt is supposed to be fun for everybody and also give people who have never solved a puzzlehunt a flavor of what to expect. The puzzles in the year of puzzles will be larger and more challenging (but hints will be available).
If you've never solved a puzzlehunt puzzle, some of the puzzles in the mini puzzlehunt might be enigmatic at first. Every puzzle, even a hidden puzzle, has something that will point you to how to solve it. We recommend that you pay particular attention to the introductory text for each puzzle, any explicit hints we have given out, and that you review at our solving resources: http://www.puzzazz.com/how-to/puzzlehunts and http://www.puzzazz.com/how-to/codes
Certainly! If you love discussing puzzles with friends on Twitter or Facebook, post away. The more people that hear about this campaign, the more stretch goals we will make.
We only ask one thing: if you do talk about puzzles, particularly if you discuss solutions to puzzles, please do not put the answer to any puzzle in the mini puzzlehunt in the comments on that post on Kickstarter, so that people who do not want to accidentally see a solution won't stumble upon it. Thanks.
What's cheating? Sometimes one particular puzzle might not be your cup of tea. You're the only one who cares if you solve it or not. We just want you to enjoy the puzzles. If you want to use Google or some other tool, go for it.
The THINKER LEVEL puzzle is a flat puzzle that will ship in an envelope. It is more than a paper puzzle that we could send out as a PDF but less than a physical puzzle.
It's a T-shirt :) With a single, interesting-looking puzzle on it. You get to pick the answer, which is a word or short phrase, about the length of what you could fit on a license plate. Answers have a length limit and are subject to approval, just like license plates. The answer is not printed on the shirt.
Your puzzle will look similar to but distinctly different from anybody else's puzzle, even if you have the same answer.
Hmmm. I sense a trend in questions here. The physical puzzle is a multi-piece puzzle made out of plastic or wood (which will depend on manufacturing). It is an original puzzle and is not a "tavern" or "wrought iron" puzzle.
The THINKER LEVEL puzzle will ship flat in an envelope, which doesn't cost much more to mail internationally. We decided it was simpler just to include shipping for everybody.
Roy's the Founder and CEO of Puzzazz. Kickstarter requires projects to be created by individuals, rather than companies, so we’re using Roy’s account to create this project. Roy has been backing projects on Kickstarter since 2009, including many puzzle projects.
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