Two weeks ago, I had great fun at DASH 6; it was a lovely San Francisco day and the puzzles were excellent. To top it off, the three-man League of Extraordinary Puzzlemen finished in first place worldwide! This was a very gratifying accomplishment after our near miss last year. Keep an eye on that site to check out the puzzles, which I assume will go up after the upcoming rerun in Minneapolis.
The event also served as another chance for a hunt management app called ClueKeeper to show its stuff. I want to post about it here because it's really taken some big strides forward in recent weeks and I think it's revolutionary for the experience of playing and designing hunts.
ClueKeeper makes it easy to manage the mechanisms that go into running a hunt, including team registration, scoring, leaderboards, hint dispensation, answer confirmation, and even verification through GPS that a team is in the correct location! It also supports different structures for the puzzles themselves; designers can use start codes (which can start the puzzle's timer and hint countdown), include a batch of mini-puzzles that all go together (possibly including a metapuzzle), and choose to accept partial answers.
As a solver, I really like having all my previous ClueKeeper-based hunts stored in my account. It's nice to look back on the events I've done and how my teams did in them. And, thanks to a bunch of new self-guided, play-anytime hunts that recently became available, that history will only get deeper! I've already enjoyed the Sunset Pub Crawl, and I took advantage of an early sale to pick up the Las Vegas and Philadelphia hunts in anticipation of visits to those places later this year. I'm looking forward to seeing that page get longer as more designers jump in!
ClueKeeper's next event is the Shinteki Decathlon, one of my favorite puzzling days of the year. I'll be playing on the 24th, the first weekend. Can't wait!