Greg (gfpuzz) wrote,
Greg
gfpuzz

A brief guide to Seattle area puzzle events

It occurred to me in conversation with folks I met at PAX that there are a bunch of Microsoft puzzle events with similar names that Seattle people will throw around and expect everyone to know the difference. But that's somewhat difficult for outsiders, because the best explanations of what all these events are is behind the Microsoft firewall. So here's an attempt to get that info out there:

(I won't cover the events sponsored by Microsoft recruiting held at colleges, because those are several steps more removed from the Seattle puzzling community than the intern ones, and even less visible to the average employee. Or at least they're the ones I know the least about.)

NameLinkGenreDerived fromHow often runLengthTeam sizeAudienceRun byRelation with MS
MS Puzzle HuntwikipediaConference room (non-linear, solve in a conference room, etc.)MIT Mystery HuntYearly-ish24+ hours12MS employees (some non-employees allowed on team)Whoever won the last oneOn campus
MS Puzzle Safari wikipediaConference room + stamp hunt*MS Puzzle Hunt/letterboxingYearly, in the summer6 hours4MS employees (some non-employees allowed on team)Dedicated teamOn campus
MS Intern Puzzleday Conference roomMS Puzzle HuntYearly, in the summer8 hours12MS interns (some non-employees allowed on team)Dedicated teamSponsored by intern program
Non-Intern Puzzledaymy writeupConference roomIntern Puzzleday (rerun)Once so far, presumably yearly a few months after Puzzleday8 hours6MS employees, not interns (some non-employees allowed on team)Same as PuzzledayOn campus
Intern Gameofficial siteFull Game (linear, in vans, with story, etc.)Seattle GameYearly, in the summer24+ hours6-7ishMS interns (no non-interns allowed)Dedicated teamSponsored by intern program
Iron Puzzler Conference room + team-designed puzzles**Bay Area Iron PuzzlerAbout every two years, in long gaps between Puzzlehunts24+ hours5-8 MS employees (some non-employees allowed on teams)Whoever runs them On campus
SNAPofficialish siteMini Game (linear, on foot, etc.)BANGWhenever people run them, recently several/year4-8 hours4-6ishAnyoneWhoever runs themIndependent
DASHofficial siteMassively multicast Mini GameBANG/SNAPEvery six months-year4-8 hours4-5AnyoneVarious teams at each siteIndependent
Seattle Gameofficialish site (dead link?)Full GameEarly Bay Area GamesWhenever people run them, not since 200524+ hours AnyoneWhoever runs themIndependent

*When you solve a puzzle, you get a message that says "Go check out the pool table on X floor of Y building." So you go there, and there's a rubber stamp in one of the pockets or something, and you stamp a logbook you have to prove that you both solved the puzzle and found the stamp.
**The first half of the event has each team design a puzzle. The second half of the event has each team solve all the other team's puzzles; each team gets points for solving, solvability, and which puzzles are voted the most fun.
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