MetaTerminal

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MetaTerminal last won the day on June 14 2019

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455 King's Tester

About MetaTerminal

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  1. Wow, this was an adventure! Of the 15 registered teams, 6 solved the metapuzzle to successfully free Peter from the Book, and 12 solved at least one puzzle to help weaken his prison. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you everyone for humoring us and solving some puzzles! Additional congratulations to Knights of Wit, for being the first team to solve a puzzle at 18 minutes into the hunt, and to Les Gaulois, for being the first team to solve the metapuzzle at just over 25 hours! A collection of puzzles/solutions is available here. Motivation/Goals: Our main goal was to introduce puzzlehunting to the greater 17S community. Our original team formed through the 17S forums and we wanted to share that experience. As such, we wanted a fantasy-themed hunt and for puzzles to be accessible to new solvers but still give a challenge. We also wanted to get some writing experience ourselves to become better solvers. All that being said, we feel we overshot the difficulty for our intended audience. Oops. But we hope that our liberal hint system helped balance that and that teams still had fun seeing a variety of puzzle types. Story: (Story section contains unmarked spoilers for the final metapuzzle. Images are in spoiler boxes.) Hunt began with the Librarian joining the Discord server and telling everyone about a strange book they found. The book itself described the adventure of Peter, a boy trapped in a strange fantasy land, with his every path forward blocked by puzzles. Unfortunately, Peter was really bad at solving puzzles. The Librarian set up a system so teams were able to make small alterations to the book’s story, such as presenting answers to the puzzles to move the story forward. After some team progress, the Librarian revealed a shocking development: the person in the book, Peter, appeared to be an actual human being who had been trapped there, and not a creation of the book. The Librarian managed to alter the book so that Peter could talk to the team: After this, the Librarian asked teams to continue to solve puzzles, but now to break Peter out of the book. Along the way, teams experienced a variety of interactions with both Peter and the Librarian, with different teams experiencing different interactions. Eventually (by solving the metapuzzle), teams discovered a way for Peter to escape his strange fantasy land. By walking through EXTRAORDINARY WARDROBES, Peter could return to his own reality. Upon this revelation a glowing doorway appeared, allowing Peter an avenue of escape. With the doorway open, Peter was at last able to remember his past. The Librarian revealed that he was Peter Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia, who had been trapped after finding and opening the book--and that upon leaving the book Peter would return to his own reality, not ours. After stepping through the doorway, he would never again be able to talk to teams. Peter said his final goodbyes to teams and stepped through. Amid the tearful moment and subsequent celebration, the Librarian revealed that things had gone wrong. Instead of the story simply ending for good, the book had instead gone entirely blank. According to the Librarian, the book should barely have changed after Peter escaped, leading the Librarian to believe that something far more powerful had escaped alongside him… Format/Scope: We chose a single round/single meta structure to keep things simple given our collective inexperience in organizing a hunt. Due to this we also purposefully limited our advertising to only a few places. We now think we could have handled a slightly larger number of teams, but hindsight is 20/20. The hunt was run in a Discord server where each team had their own channel for answer checking mediated by a bot. All guess submissions and hint requests were bounced to respective #bot-feed and #hint-feed channels that allowed us to keep track of everything. We are happy that nearly everything worked smoothly from both team and organizer sides. The Discord format and small scope allowed us to give a more personalized hunt experience. As part of this we could do story interactions in a novel way and even hide a puzzle in a secret bot command However in the future we might move to a website. Questions: How frequently do these kinds of things happen / When is the next hunt? We don’t have a set schedule at the moment, but rest assured that Shardhunt 2 (and the return of the Librarian) is coming soon-ish. Stay tuned! In general, puzzlehunts happen whenever someone feels like organizing one. The Puzzle Hunt Calendar is a great resource for finding the next hunt though none of them (as far as we’re aware) are Sanderson-themed. Is the puzzle calendar the next step to attract hundreds of teams? That would be great if you can manage it (I guess the hint system is the most time consuming). We don’t think we are quite ready to advertise on the calendar. We’re hoping to gather more teams next time we do this, but not nearly that many! What did your hunt/puzzle writing process look like? What sort of iterations did you go through? We started by brainstorming a theme and meta in late September. Playtesting and revising of individual puzzles was done ad hoc when ready; most puzzles went through anywhere between 2-4 iterations from internal playtests. We actually never managed to have a finished playtest by non-writers, so that is something we intend to set time aside for next time. The bot was mostly written in the two weeks leading up to signups announcement although auto-unlocks were implemented in the week after. Some of the solutions have author's notes if you want to see some of the specific inspirations or design decisions behind the puzzle. Are Peter and the Librarian related? Biologically? No. Bound up in the nexus of tiny fate-strings that pull people together for reasons of plot and/or destiny? ...maybe. Did the Librarian and Peter end up in a great love story? (and did Peter finally understand that the Librarian’s pronoun is they? :D) No epic romances this time, sadly. And we certainly hope Peter knows the Librarian’s correct pronouns now, but he’s no longer around for us to ask… And, finally... thank you so much for joining us for Shardhunt! It was a huge amount of fun to run, and it was amazing to see everyone engage with both the characters and the puzzles throughout the entire event. Until next time!
  2. Here’s an update regarding a few rule changes and clarifications. Hints Hints will be available twenty-four hours after kickoff, and teams will be able to request an unlimited number of hints once they are available. However, teams can have a maximum of one outgoing hint request at a time. We may not honor requests if we feel a team is being abusive with them or not trying to solve the puzzle. We’ll provide some more updates on how specifically this will work closer to the date. Unlock Structure We have decided to change the unlock structure to progress-based (i.e. solving puzzles will allow a team to unlock more puzzles) rather than global time-based unlocks. We realize this is a big change, but we’ve decided that it will lead to a better experience for teams. Extra Channel and Voice Chat In order to facilitate teams, we’re allowing the creation of up to one voice chat and extra text channel for any puzzle discussion either before or during Shardhunt. Just ping one of the organizers and we’ll be happy to set it up for you. Tutorial As some teams will be participating in a puzzlehunt for the first time, the organizing team will be running a tutorial to go over some basic puzzlehunt strategies and how to solve puzzles. No Shardhunt content will be revealed or addressed, nothing in the tutorial will be part of a Shardhunt puzzle, and we expect teams to gain no undue advantage from attendance (beyond picking up some useful general skills). However, we highly encourage people who have never been in a competition of this kind to attend. This tutorial will occur at 11:00am EST Saturday, 20 February (two hours before puzzles go live). Kickoff While puzzles and answer submissions will still go live at the same time, at 1:00pm EST Saturday, 20 February, kickoff will begin through Discord text chat at 12:30pm EST Saturday, 20 February (30 minutes before puzzles are released) and the leaderboard will be opened then. We hope you can join us! We've also corrected a small error with when the hunt closes; the date is correct now. 4 days until Shardhunt begins!
  3. Welcome to Shardhunt! If you like puzzles, crosswords, escape rooms, mysteries, consider yourself a Sanderson Scholar, are good at either logical or lateral thinking, or just want to have some fun with a team of people, consider signing up! So, what is a puzzlehunt? In a typical puzzle, you receive some information and have to extract an answer out of it, which is almost always an English word or phrase. Puzzles can come in many different forms; the only real commonality is that you usually receive no direct instructions, so it’s up to you to figure out how to make sense of the information you’re given. For example, information can be hidden in crosswords, images, videos, or logic puzzles. To cap off the hunt, the final puzzle will be a *metapuzzle*, meaning it will also use the answers from the previous puzzles. If you remember the Sanderson Puzzlehunt from times long past, this is the spiritual successor of that (only with more writers!) Format/Rules - Hunt submissions will be open from Saturday, 20 February 2021 at 13:00 EST until midnight Saturday, 27 February 23:59 EST. - The hunt consists of 1 round of 12 puzzles (including a metapuzzle). - Teams can have up to 6 members. - The hunt will be held on our Discord server, where every team will have a channel for coordination and answer checking. - Teams are ranked first based on metapuzzle solve time, second by number of puzzles solved. - Each puzzle is worth 1 point. - The answer checker will automatically uppercase submissions and strip all characters except A-Z before checking for correctness. - There is no limit on guesses, but please don't dictionary attack the hunt bot. - Teams can use any source of information to solve puzzles, including the internet and other people, so long as they are not otherwise involved in the hunt. - All spoilery hunt communication (puzzle clarification, answers, hints, errata) should be communicated in the teams discord channel. - If you feel stuck on a puzzle or just aren’t having fun with it, feel free to ask for a hint! Our organisation team will be around during most hours of the day to nudge you in the right direction. - Puzzles will be unlocked in batches every few hours on the first day. Signups - To sign up a team, reply to this thread with your team name, names of your team members, and a Discord contact. - Alternatively, send us a pm on the forums or our Discord contact with the same info [Moonrise#3554][ExaltedDM#5212][Terminal#7208] - If you don’t have a team yet, don’t worry! Just let us know, and we will try to match you into a team that’s looking for members. FAQ Q: I've never solved puzzles like these! What should I expect? A: Some good puzzlehunt examples are Colby’s Curious Cookoff, DP Hunt, and Puzzle Potluck 3, about in order of difficulty. Q: How available do I need to be? A: The primary goal here is to have fun, so you can participate as much or as little as you want! Q: How difficult are the puzzles? A: The hunt is very much intended to be on the beginner side with a focus on the 17th Shard community. Q: Are the puzzles Cosmere themed? How much Cosmere knowledge do I need to have? A: Some puzzles have references to Sanderson's books. Being familiar with them will be helpful, but not strictly necessary. No puzzle includes spoilers for the most recent Cosmere books (Rhythm of War, Dawnshard). Q: Are there any prizes? A: Only the joy of solving puzzles and bragging rights. Q: I have another question that is not here! A: Ask away in the thread! However any spoilery puzzle related concerns should be raised in your team’s Discord channel. Q: Who made this amazing thing? A: This hunt is written by @MetaTerminal, @Exalted Dungeon Master, @Moonrise, @Rushu42, and @MiToRo94, and playtested by all of the above plus @Babilarian Darkeyes and @Mistcloaked Mountains. The format of this hunt was inspired by Smogon Puzzle Hunt but with a significantly smaller scope and difficulty. Our goal is to introduce puzzlehunts to the Shard community and get some writing practice ourselves. If you’re interested in participating, join the Discord server here! https://discord.gg/rHsr9JxhbY
  4. I suppose now is a good time - late, rather than never - to do a little update! Since the last update, we've done three puzzlehunts. The last one is still running for some teams, so I won't discuss it at all here, but the first two were amazingly fun! CMU Puzzlehunt This was the first time we experimented with voice chat, and it worked pretty well. We had a quick solve rate of about 30 minutes, but finished at about 97th owing to a few different reasons. The metas also had an interesting structure: winners were ranked by solve time of the third meta (a puzzle that requires the answers of other puzzles; think of it as the 'capstone' of a round), so technically the first two metas weren't required to finish; except, the answers to the first two metas were inputs into the third and final meta in addition to all of the round three puzzles. We ended up going back to solve the second round meta just so we had enough inputs for the final one. Favorite puzzles that I worked on: The Obligatory Powerpoint Puzzle My Kingdom For A Horse Falling Rocks Dividing The Land And a puzzle that some here might be interested in: Darwinism One backsolve (kinda, it used forward and backward constraints), Honest Poker. DaroCaro's Pixar Puzzle Hunt I feel like this is the one where we really hit our stride with voice chat: we finished all the puzzles in a single sitting! we placed 17th (our best placing and thematic)! The puzzles were mostly pretty small, and pretty fun! We got a really clean cryptic solve, and got our first solve in 17 minutes. That owes a lot to the relative simplicity of the puzzles, yes, but it was also a really cool experience, and there were some very enthusiastic (though tired, it was 4AM Eastern by that point) when we finished and finally placed. Favorite puzzles I worked on: Heroine's Journey (just helped with extraction, but it was pretty satisfying) Transmission Mission When One Door Closes The final meta sequence (all sorts of fun) One backsolve, Highway Petrol. We solved it most of the way forwards, but we got stuck on the final step. (Also a pretty cool puzzle, too, would have been nice to fully forward-solve.) And finally: CRUMS Puzzle Hunt This one is still going, so I won't discuss it here, except to say: 30th place. Which, I believe, is our second-highest placing ever. And some really, really cool puzzles I'll probably want to talk about later. Some Admin Stuff If you're curious about puzzle-hunting and want to see what it's like, we're doing a MIT Mystery Hunt practice round this Saturday at 6:15pm EST, using a past round that we've heard good things about. There are also hunts running from the 27th to the 31st of December, the 2nd to the 9th of January, and a really big one (the Mystery Hunt) from the 15th to the 18th of January. Drop us a line if you're interested in any of the above!
  5. If you want a comprehensive list of every Pokemon puzzle from the MIT Mystery Hunt, you can find one here: https://devjoe.appspot.com/huntindex/keyword/pokemon Particularly draw your attention to the Pokemon Round from 2018. But that's just for MITMH and leaves out ones I remember from Potluck, Teammate, Reddot, and probably others. (I didn't play Smogon but I imagine that they had plenty of different Pokemon themed puzzles as well!) As Moon said, puzzles can be as intricate and obscure or as basic as you can imagine. I would bet good money on there being at least one Pokemon puzzle at MIT (though not necessarily! and potentially more than one). Any information you could find online is fair game. You can participate as little or as much as you'd like, really! The Mystery Hunt is in January, if your schedule is a little different then, but for something coming up soon I believe CMU is this weekend. From kickoff to closing (or when you finish) the team can submit answers that entire time, so some of us tend to devote a lot of attention but there's plenty of time to eat, sleep, and take some non-puzzle moments during the actual competition. Some people just drop in when they can and help with one puzzle and that's completely fine too. Man, you have no idea. I now know way too much about Taylor Swift music videos
  6. I specifically want to say that we need a Pokemon expert. There are many, many Pokemon puzzles, and very few of us who know anything about it so if you've ever played a Pokemon game, consider maybe joining? This was a great hunt. We used voicechat properly for the first time, which actually went really well, and made it far more amusing when we ended up recruiting family members for that dang Asteroids puzzle. Unfortunately I was busy when the team got around to building a tesseract, but I really enjoyed everything I experienced! I want to give a shoutout to: the Games (all brilliant fun, except for the Mahjong one) Love Stories (man, this was a ride given none of us knew any of the source material) Puzzle Not Found (ingenious, though you need to be logged in as a team to solve it properly) SpaceCells (solved this one solo despite never having played a Zachtronics game in my life, and wow was that an experience) Alchemystery! Walkthrough v0.01 and Powerful Metamorphers were also quick, fun solves. These are always a ton of of fun and genuinely beginner-friendly in the first few rounds, so I highly recommend these to anyone who finds them interesting! For reference, here are some past writeups and threads:
  7. Here's a fun thing! On a whim, I decided to pull up my old Alleyverse scripts. They're.... baaaaaaad. Well, I mean, they're not terrible. Some of them are downright better than they have any right to be. Most of them are just plain half-baked or full of exposition or slightly nonsensical. Given it was my first set of scripts that I ever attempted, though, I guess they're good? They tend to get better over time, too, with the first three or so being really rough. Then 6 is actually pretty decent, though 7 lapses a bit into melodrama at a point. Don't ever get too cute, kids. I didn't finish the series for a few reasons. One was some real-life obligations that ended up interrupting me; other projects became relatively more important, and I really didn't just have the time or mental energy. The series was also somewhat ballooning; my original plan of 10 episodes had already been extended to 12, and I was definitely thinking about needing to split it down further into 13. Given how I write, it probably would've just gotten longer and longer as I found my voice and the complexity of the whole thing had to be covered more and more. The show was also coming head-on to some pretty thorny questions that were... rather beyond the scope of a sequence of 20-page scripts. (The question of theology is trivial and is therefore left as an exercise to the reader. No, probably not.) I wasn't comfortable talking about those, at least not without a lot more discussion and being a much better writer. Finally, I knew the whole thing would need to get rewritten from the ground-up if I wanted it to be any good. So, bleh. The adaptation also significantly altered a few characters in a way that I later was less okay with; Drako in particular was significantly changed which I'm really no longer happy about. Mace was too, but Archer gave me the okay for that. (They're the best.) And Stenson was weird but I guess technically in the scope of creative liberty? Still! There's some really good moments in here. I'm basically still a fan of all of Episode 6 (a slightly off-base reference notwithstanding... young me, you are an idiot). Plus some other moments... where Stenson gets taken to the center of the city... and some I never got round to writing, where Caer [spoilers]. So, not entirely unsalvageable if someone is pretty brave. I'm going to try, at least, to find my plans for the future episodes. Or attempt to remember them. I remember some of it actually being pretty nice in my head. The whole thing is, basically, a very very loose adaptation of the first era. Emphasis on very. And loose. And adaptation. In addition, I took out all the explicitly fanfictiony stuff that is just 'here is thing from another work!' I always felt that the cool bits of the Alleyverse weren't the stolen magic systems or whatever, but the entirely original stuff; the 'lore', if you will. Some of it translated really well (some of the magic systems, for instance), and some of it didn't. The Warhammer issue kind of plagues Drako's character in a way that I still can't quite deal with in my head. I'm linking the whole sequence, warts and all. I didn't do anything to correct any mistakes (of which there are several, some I'm pretty sure were added by other people). Spelling or vocab or otherwise. Plus there's an alternate version of the first episode that I think I wrote to send to someone. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/142kzRuyKWMkoZuX9JEhTWMXPM3EaUiR5?usp=sharing All seven episodes. I had plans for a second series, too, based on the second era, with a very weird structure to accommodate the... scattered source material. But that was always more tentative. In the case you don't have time to read everything, here's a particularly interesting bit I found at the bottom of the very first doc. Modern comments in []. This is the bit where I talk about what I did, what’s been changed, etc. My priorities for the adaptation go as follows (from most to least important): Take out anything derivative Tell a good story Be faithful to the original Meta’s Three Laws of FFRP Adaptation. As a result, things have been changed. The most obvious: all the Sanderson stuff is taken out. Aons aren’t called aons, Elsecalling is a little different, all sorts of things. The Ghostbloods are called the Gilded Rose instead. Things like that. (Anything in bold still needs to be changed.) Rashan and Caer are actually two different characters. (Hopefully that was obvious.) [This was for Plot reasons, as I recall. The original character does feel like two people shoved into one.] Mace and Caer are friends. (Mace and Rashan will have a relationship closer to what happened during SDW.) [Don't quite remember why I worked it out like this but I'm pretty sure it was just so everything engineered together properly. Same as for previous.] Drako and Storm are very different to their original counterparts. [You don't say.] The Ghostblood split will be legitimate. [Because, uh, the plot literally makes no sense otherwise. I'm serious. What actually happened was mental.] Beyond that, all the major events will still take place. (Some actually happened in the pilot, or at least [sic] referred to briefly.) I’m thinking about moving Rhaizen’s assassination scene ahead of the meeting. It would start in media res, and all the other scenes would remain where they are. Thoughts? Is the worldbuilding set up well? Is it accessible enough? Obviously there is still a big learning curve. I still don’t think the characters are distinct enough. Not a problem for Traceria, or Kalmar - with 16 (!) speaking roles it’s impossible to have everyone distinct - but it is something that needs to be tooled. [Did I really think you couldn't write 16 distinct characters? Like, at all? Hmmm.] The music reference is just a reference. Best-case scenario, someone would compose original music for the series. [Past me, you are an idiot.] Anyway. This was fun-slash-painful-slash-interesting to look at. Hopefully you enjoy reading! More content plausibly coming whenever, and implausibly coming soon.
  8. It’s been a while, hey. So I’m good! But also I need to keep updating this thing, because saying you’re going to do something and then ghosting it for months at a time is one of my bad habits. I think it’s an open secret that I have terrible work-life balance so I’m going to let you into an open secret: I’m gonna only update this thing when I want to, and I’m not gonna promise that I’m going to update it every x days or weeks or whatever. It might be never. And I’m gonna update it with smaller stuff or whatever if I want to so don’t expect, like, massive posts like I’ve started out doing. But don’t tell anybody, okay? This is between us, you and the Only Person Who Reads This Blog. That said, a big post about Potluck is fully written up, and I just need to put photos to it and stuff like that. Visual content to go with the images and all that. Might get to that soon. Might not. Man, talking about the future is fun, isn’t it? And I might just post stuff like neat songs I’ve found or thoughts I had or stuff like that. You know, life stuff. Stuff. For example: did you know that if a bus has a broken payment system in my city, they let you just ride it for free? Learnt that today. The mind boggles. (Bloggles?) So, you know. That’s where I’m at. Might do some smaller stuff on here if I’m in the mood. Post some old bad scripts or whatever. And puzzle stuff, too, when I get round to it. But maybe not. We’ll see!
  9. Sorry for late notice (and the double-post!) but I actually probably can’t make the doc. Would somebody else be able to do that?
  10. I’ll make a new doc and link it for Null, though for some reason I have editing perms for the old one now? Maybe xino changed it.
  11. Both of their join numbers is smaller than Truth’s, so it’s still Gear’s turn next. But that’s a good point.
  12. Yup. After that, then it’s Gear’s turn. I really think @The_Truthwatcher or @Gears should implement the items rule. (Also bring the number of rule changes down again, please, 15 is too much.) Then we can start making items.
  13. This is continuing from where we left off from. We’ve got a structure here that I think we could benefit from (plus some fun silly rules that we would probably just waste time re-implementing). The only benefit to starting over would be attracting new players, but I think most people interested in playing have already joined. I’ll check that the Nomic doc has all the rules correctly implemented tonight. Eggs I’ll also do my best to keep track. Who’s turn is it? Also, welcome to @Negative_Null and @Channelknight Fadran!