New FAQs pertaining to SGPH 2023 rule changes
How many puzzles will there be in SGPH 2023?
Incorporating feedback from past hunts, SGPH 2023 comprises much shorter puzzles and of a larger number, to maximize your solving experience.
How long will SGPH 2023 be?
As usual, we have targeted for a team of 8 active and experienced SGPH solvers could expect to complete the hunt before or around Sat 28 October 8pm. Teams with fewer than 8 solvers or less experience will be less competitive, and could expect to take longer to finish. SGPH 2023 is therefore positioned to last the weekend from 28-29 October, and solvers should block your time for both days to ensure your team can finish the entire hunt. Completion of the initial round is also a milestone achievement point in the hunt, and we expect all teams with 8 active SGPH solvers to be able to complete the first round by Sat 28 October, and for most active teams to finish the entire hunt by Sun 29 October 12 midnight before the hunt closes.
How do we contact other SGPH teams to propose a merge for SGPH 2023 or to find more solvers to join our team?
You are encouraged to join the SG Puzzlers Discord chat and SG Puzzlers Facebook group where there is a community of other local puzzle hunt enthusiasts, including past SGPH alumni. We encourage you to introduce yourselves in the Discord server and get to know other solvers. There is a dedicated channel in the Discord server where you can post a request for merging of teams or for team members to join your team for SGPH 2023. You could also contact someone you know from another team to propose a merge, or try to rope in other puzzle hunt enthusiasts amongst your friends!
If our team has 8 members, does it mean I can solve less puzzles?No worries, there are more than enough puzzles in SGPH 2023 for each solver in the team to solve and contribute to, and have a satisfying time. In fact, having more solvers in your team will help you to solve more puzzles! With more people solving together, you can discuss and bounce off ideas, and help spot each other's errors. Solving together in a bigger team also allows you to observe and learn skills and best solving practices from other teams. After SGPH, we also encourage you to take part in other online puzzle hunts together in these teams, as these online puzzle hunts are more challenging and many require 8 or more solvers.
Which solving option should our team sign up under?
If you are relatively new to puzzle hunts or have only taken part in SGPH, we recommend you could sign up under the “Partial Ranking” option. You will have unlimited access to hints from the start, which is similar to SGPH in past years. The would be helpful if your team got stuck solving a puzzle together, and need a nudge from us to make progress. Teams under this option will be ranked separately based only on progress in terms of the number of metas solved, and in no particular team order for those with the same number of metas solved.
If you are an experienced team that has taken part in other online puzzle hunts, we recommend you could sign up under the “Full Ranking” option. You would receive 2 hints on Sat 28 October 8pm or when the first team has finished the hunt (whichever is later), another 2 hints on Sun 29 October 9am, and 2 more hints on Sun 29 October 6pm. This is a similar hint system to other online hunts, and you are encouraged to use these earned hints to help get a nudge on a stuck puzzle as necessary. Teams under this option will be ranked based on timing of the final meta solved, else will be based on the number of puzzles/metas solved, with tie-breaker based on timing of the last puzzle/meta solved.
Can I use hints if I am stuck while solving a puzzle?
Hints will be available to teams based on the solving option signed up under. Before a team has finished the hunt, hints can only be used on a particular puzzle after at least 2 teams have solved it. Once a team has finished the hunt, hints can be used on any puzzle. This is to avoid the usage of hints having an impact on the first team which finishes the hunt.
We recommend using hints on a puzzle only after different team members have tried discussing ideas and solving it, and agree that the team is stuck. Often, a fresh perspective from other team members and bouncing off ideas had helped teams figure out the next step (or simply spot a solving error).
If you plan to abandon a stuck puzzle or get frustrated, we suggest using a hint on the puzzle instead. Because you can get more practice and learn more working through the puzzle even with hints, as compared to leaving it unfinished and reading the solution after the hunt. In general, we try to respond to hints with slight nudges by pointing teams along the right line of thought, often through questions or suggestions. This allows solvers to gain more satisfaction and learning value solving the puzzle with such nudges, instead of through more direct instructions to the next step. For new solvers, we understand this puzzle hunt style of indirect hinting could be unfamiliar and possibly even vexing when you just want to get to the answer. So in some cases we do inform teams that they can submit a (free) follow-up hint request if the hint was unhelpful and they remain stuck after some time.
Can we still contact Hunt HQ (eg. to ask for hints) after the hunt has closed on Sun 29 October 12 midnight?
Due to limitations of manpower, the hunt site and answer submissions will close on Sun 29 October 12 midnight, including hint support through the site. After hunt closes, solvers will be invited to join a Discord SGPH 2023 discussion channel, where hints if needed could still be crowd-sourced and provided through spoiler-hidden tags. Members of Hunt HQ will also be in the channel and happy to respond to hint requests there for anyone still solving.
I really enjoyed SGPH and am interested in being a part of organizing it!
We are looking for graphic artists who can volunteer their time and expertise to the organization of SGPH. If you or someone you know have such skillsets and interest, and fancy a platform like SGPH to showcase your artwork, do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also always looking out for puzzle hunt enthusiasts with a flair for puzzle writing to join the construction team. For experienced solvers keen to try out puzzle construction, we will provide editorial experience and guidance to set you on the right track on your puzzle writing journey.
Who are the organisers of the Singapore Puzzle Hunt?
The Singapore Puzzle Hunt is created and organised by the Puzzlesmiths, a volunteer group of puzzle enthusiasts with numerous years of combined experience in international puzzle hunts.
Why are the Puzzlesmiths volunteering to organise this non-profit event?
The Puzzlesmiths believe in growing a sizeable and strong puzzle hunt community in Singapore. By creating a challenging annual puzzle event — the Singapore Puzzle Hunt — we want to give local puzzle enthusiasts the opportunity to experience a hunt with depth akin to those of international puzzle hunts. We hope you can take part, have a good time, get to know other puzzle enthusiasts, and grow our local puzzle hunt community together.
I played a number of Escape Rooms and Escape Games. Are the puzzles in the Singapore Puzzle Hunt going to be similar?
The similarity is that the hunt puzzles also do not contain instructions, and require one or more intuitive leaps of thinking to figure out the solution. The three key differences are that:
1) You do not need to leave your seat to find puzzle pieces. All the essential elements of the puzzles are provided in the puzzle document. In other games, you need to spend time searching around the room for other puzzle pieces. However, Puzzle Hunts do also have event puzzles where you have a unique and fun opportunity to interact with other teams. And some other puzzles may require interaction with Hunt HQ (eg. an answer may be "SAY HI TO HQ"). So instead of running around searching for clues, you get to have more time to solve the puzzles in a relaxed atmosphere, interact with organisers and other teams, and immerse in the game theme and storyline. Rest assured your powers of observation are also not redundant for Puzzle Hunts. You will still need them to spot clues within the puzzles infront of you, in order to figure out the ahas to solve them.
2) Each puzzle, other than the metas, is almost always provided standalone with the necessary clues to solve it already. This helps to eliminate the ambiguity whether you have all the information required to solve a particular puzzle, and whether a puzzle is only meant to be solved later. In other games, you typically need to find and combine two or more physical pieces of a puzzle in order to solve it. e.g. you may need to find and combine several digits to a combination lock, or combine two similar-looking puzzle pieces--one with a puzzle, and the another with the answer extraction grid. The only common exceptions to this in a Puzzle Hunt are the round metas, which require the answers for each of the round's puzzles as inputs to solve.
3) Most importatly, puzzles usually have an additional layer of content theme/topic. In other games, there is only the layer of puzzle type (e.g. cryptogram, braille, sudoku), with no extraneous content knowledge required. Whereas to solve the puzzle type, hunt puzzles typically have a popular or interesting content theme reference, e.g. 80s pop songs, trigonometry, alliterative movie names etc, which you need to make use of. So if as a team, you happen to be somewhat well-versed in that topic, you will no doubt have fun identifying the references and intermediate clue answers in the puzzle. Even if you are new to the topic, you can easily search online for the required information, and enjoy learning some new popular knowledge or interesting tidbits on a topic. The ability to access information resources online is often needed to supplement gaps in topical knowledge.
The style of hunt puzzles being referenced around a content theme gives an added dimension to solving such puzzles. Besides being fluent in various puzzle types, you will also need to be well-read and have a broad base of knowledge to be able to identify the thematic references in the puzzles. Hence it encourages a continuous pursuit and quest for knowledge, learning not for or towards academic success, but to broaden your own horizons and satisfy your curiosities. And since no single person could expect to be familiar in all areas, solving of hunt puzzles require immense teamwork amongst the members to support each other, lending your individual expertise and knowledge. Even an inexperienced solver could provide a critical aha to a puzzle with a theme he or she is familiar with.
Is there also an immersive storyline and experience to this hunt, like other similar puzzle games and hunts? What is the theme?
Yes! There is a storyline and theme to this hunt, and teams will assume the roles of the main characters as they help solve the puzzles. But in the style of the MIT Mystery Hunt, you will only be given the teaser for the theme before the hunt to keep the suspense! More clues will be shared with registered teams in our communications. Feel free to speculate about theories on the theme leading up to the hunt! The detailed storyline will only be revealed during the hunt kick-off at the start of the event.
Why are there also non-puzzle elements such as thematic dressing-up/role-play and in-hunt events?
Puzzle hunts are intended to be fun and interactive, rather than competitive. And one unique and important aspect of puzzle hunts is that the fun comes not just from solving puzzles, but also from participating in these other thematic non-puzzle elements together with your team-mates, and also interacting with other players and Hunt HQ. So do take a moment to enjoy these activities too, together with your friends, and get to meet and know other fellow hunt-lovers too!
What kind of skills or puzzle solving experience do I need to take part?
A variety of skills will help: analytical thinking, logical thinking, word skills, research, general knowledge, obscure knowledge (or just being good with search engines), mathematics, and other disciplines. Experience with other puzzle hunts is not necessary, though it helps!
How long will the hunt take?
The actual time needed to complete the hunt will vary depending on your team’s solving speed. The hunt will last for at least several hours on the first day, and will remain open for about a week for teams to finish. This duration is longer than other games due to the number and difficulty of the puzzles, and the fixed team size. Unlike other games, this is not a competition or challenge to finish in as short a time as possible. So do take the time to interact and mingle with the organisers and other teams. Treat the hunt also like an annual meet-up for local puzzle hunt enthusiasts, and do have fun!
Why is there a registration fee?
The registration fees are used to offset the costs of organising the hunt. These include Peatix fees, website and domain name hosting, postage and commonly customized thematic hunt souvenirs, which are limited in stock to those who registered earlier. Hence the fees charged are nominal compared to other shorter Singapore puzzle events. The puzzle hunt is a non-profit event run by the volunteer Puzzlesmiths out of personal interest and we are not compensated for the time or effort. We hope to be able to continue to charge such nominal registration fees in future. Please let us know if the fees happen to pose a barrier to you participating in the hunt. If you or anyone you know is keen to be a sponsor for the puzzle hunt, please contact email@example.com and let us know how you wish to help.
What is the prize for the first team to complete the hunt?
The warm glow of victory. Like most other puzzle hunts and games, there is no actual prize for the first team to complete the hunt. The fun and challenge of the experience of the puzzle hunt is what makes every participating team a winner. Even after the first team completes the hunt, other teams can continue to solve the puzzles and try to complete the hunt too. The first team to finish gets bragging rights, and sometimes a hunt memento.
For less frequently-asked questions, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org