Post by artofhiddenmessages on Aug 20, 2019 6:22:16 GMT -5
If you have any comments about the hunt, I would like to hear them...good or bad. I am trying to make these enjoyable and fun while keeping the price below $5. What can I do to improve? If you have suggestions, let me hear them! Post your thoughts. Let's have an open discussion with everyone.
If there is something private you would like to say, message me.
Post by ILLUMINATINPS on Aug 20, 2019 11:10:43 GMT -5
Overall a great hunt. I ended up really liking the idea of stage prizes because it lets newer people see the techniques for some of the ciphers, and in this case be able to apply those techniques to other parts. A good example is the black and grey numbers shared a similar technique. I also liked that we were exposed to new cipher types overall, as it collectively strengthens everybody’s detection skills.
In hindsight can you explain how you expected the stages to be solved in order: like pink first? Last?
GRAND PRIZE WINNER OF AOHM SYNCHRONICITY GRAND PRIZE WINNER OF THE LOST SKULL
I echo the remarks of illuminatips. Having prizes at various stages is a real big plus. Also, the hunt was very diverse; it appealed to every level of player. There was simple counting of the alphabet and text, to medium-level Morse and Polybius Codes, to the really advanced music and Hill Ciphers. Something for literally everyone. I found the presentation of the PDF to be enticing. Having shades of colors and shapes and pictures helped the viewer see the clues and let the hunters know they should continue examining the Wizard of Oz theme. The fact that the prizes continued with the Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of the Moon is just a brilliant touch to this treasure hunt.
Post by artofhiddenmessages on Aug 20, 2019 12:18:09 GMT -5
I think it would have been better had it lasted longer for the grand prize, and the treasure hunters could have explored the steps to the solution a bit more in depth. But you just never know when you are designing a hunt how difficult or how easy it is. And then there is that chance that there might be that one person who has some specialized knowledge, like Nick, who was able to bypass a lot of the early steps, and go right to the heart of the matter. He was not only aware of the synchronicity between the movie and the album, but he was able to pin-point a song (Brain Damage) having to do with the scarecrow, which I happened to use to hide some important words! Nick is a musician, so he had a background that was perfect for him in solving these puzzles! Kudos to Nick!
There are always things that are out of the designer's control. I think for future hunts, I need to design puzzles that are much more difficult! LOL! Or maybe hide them better....
I tried to choose a subject that was fun, and I think I achieved that with the Wizard of Oz and the Pink Floyd connection. I tried to make some of the puzzle solutions tied to watching things in the movie, such as the order that the objects went by the window, or the wording on Professor Marvel's cart. I felt this would be something different...not as boring as the usual ciphers.
I have a hunt coming out that is a Pirate Treasure Hunt. It is already finished. So I can't change much about that one. But I am open to suggestions. I love doing the art for these hunts, and I like designing the puzzles. I just have to find a happy medium where they are not too difficult, not too easy, and where I can at least break even on the expenses! I've done four hunts now, and I have never reached those goals! But I like to think that I am getting closer with each new hunt....at least in some aspects.
I think the main unexpected event was that the big block of letters could have essentially been solved by just plugging them blind into the dcode Hill decoder! So the key for the final stage ended up not being necessary. I'm sure that was unexpected. Note to myself in the hunt that I'm making now: if there's a step that is supposed to "require" a key, check dcode (and other sites) to make sure that that step can't be cracked by brute-force without knowing the key.
I personally struggle a bit more with the AOHM hunts because they often include specific knowledge that must be tracked down (e.g., song lyrics of a specific song, the Marvel text, or text from a Poe story, etc.). I personally do better with hunts that are purely pattern/cipher/math-based (like the Lamp with Four Keys, for example). It's nice that there are many different techniques that hunt-makers can use that may be better or worse for different hunt-solvers, so there end up being different types of hunts suited for different types of solvers.
Keep up the great work! Looking forward to the Pirate one.
I'll also add that I like the idea of a few different types of codes/puzzles that could be solved at the same time, with prizes for each, and then the master solution requires solving all of the first ones and putting them together in some way to solve the master puzzle.
Post by inatimate1 on Aug 20, 2019 13:10:40 GMT -5
The problem I had with the wagon was that I had a copy of the script up, it was only when I got a picture that it all fell into place.
As a whole (and this includes The Lighthouse hunt) I think the way you design these puzzles is outstanding! The discovery of the Pink Floyd link was a real aha moment, but that was only the beginning of things. Having small prizes for different puzzles was a great touch because it ensures that everything gets solved and really gets the most out of it. For people who aren't into the "heavier" style of treasure hunts this is near enough perfection.
It is a shame that puzzle was solved pretty quickly, but it does go to show the strength of the MW community in solving things and I guess it's not easy to make something as fun as these are but it does breed confidence in people when it comes to trying to solve other hunts!
In all honesty, I would happily get involved with these types of hunts even if there wasn't a prize involved at all. I'm happy to have picked up a coin for it because it means I've got a little memento, but the real "prize" for me from these last two hunts has been the discovery of Poe's works and the Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz connection. Puzzling for me isn't always about getting something tangible at the end, if the entire journey has been a blast then that's enough of a reward to the player.
Post by jminnesota on Aug 20, 2019 15:57:39 GMT -5
I also liked the multiple prizes and easy to difficult levels. I'm a rock hound so that got me in too! Maybe the Pink level could have had a 1 to know where to begin or maybe not. I haven't read the answers yet but I hope the straw all tangled and those black squigglies off the scarecrows hip were something used. These are so good that I may have to go back and entertain myself with the Edgar Alan Poe.
You have me hooked on you Beth! I love your water colors!
Post by roundabout on Aug 20, 2019 16:15:29 GMT -5
I really like your idea of small but very meaningful prizes along the way. It gets more people interested and working on it. I would have really loved to win one of those gold plated Wizard of Oz Kansas quarters! Those are great mementos. In a way those are better than cash prizes because they are collectors items (and they might gain in value over time, who knows).
I like the filmstrip puzzle, even though I never figured it out. That was something really different from what you usually see. Some of the other puzzles are very interesting, too. I didn't have time to work on it yesterday. But I think it would have taken me a long while to figure out how the numbers work with the wagon letters.
I was thinking that if the "hill" hadn't been in the hat, it would have taken a lot longer to find out that this was a Hill cipher. That would have made the hunt last a while longer, maybe...
Congratulations to all the winners!
I'm looking forward to the Pirate hunt now. I'm a big fan of your art, and I can't wait to see what you do with the pirate theme.
Last Edit: Aug 20, 2019 17:51:13 GMT -5 by roundabout
Post by artofhiddenmessages on Aug 20, 2019 16:42:29 GMT -5
Thank you for all the feedback. It certainly is appreciated.
I wasn't planning on smaller prizes for different puzzles in the Pirate Hunt, but that certainly can be arranged.
As far as puzzle design goes, I like to have different types of puzzles, different methods, different levels of difficulty, some confirmers to show you are on the right track, and one final puzzle that may take bits of the other puzzles to solve. That WAS supposed to happen with the Hill Cipher, but alas, the dcode site put an end to that! I will keep trying.
The Pirate Treasure is a bit different. I don't want to say much more...
The prize is awesome for it. But I am going to have to sell more pdfs! I was thinking about releasing it on "Talk Like A Pirate Day". But now I wonder if that is too soon. I might just take orders until I reach the break-even point, then announce a release date. That would ensure I don't lose money on the deal. I will have to think about it.
I should also find the pdf of the Famous Grandson, and post that one now that it is over.
Anyway, keep the comments coming. If you think of anything, let me know!
THANK YOU NICK! It's a weird thing when getting the wicked witch coin reminds me of my mom - hahahahaha love her! THIS IS HER IMITATION of the Wicked Witch of the West: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbNERaeylDQ
Last Edit: Aug 23, 2019 4:06:56 GMT -5 by jminnesota