Friday, 27 May 2016

Fifth and final (draft) clue for induction escape box

A sheet using British Sign Language fingerspelling
This is the final clue in the series, as I'm hoping 5 fairly easy clues should be reasonable for most groups to solve in a 30 minute time period....

This one is a coded question, using British Sign Language finger spelling - though please note I haven't checked it properly yet! It asks a simple question about opening hours, which they should be able to work out from the materials in the room. To get to that point, one of the posters on the walls of the room (maybe hidden behind another one?) will be the BSL finger spelling alphabet.

By the time they've finished all the clues, they will have covered roughly the same material as we cover in a "standard" induction, but in a very different way. They will be rewarded (if they solve this last puzzle) with a congratulatory message and the chance to help themselves to a 38mm pin badge - I've posted a couple of examples below.

Badge artwork saying I played the @hublib induction

Badge artwork saying I escaped the induction @hudlib

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Fourth (draft) clue for induction escape box

A grid to work out the required code. Looks like a cryptex

Another puzzle! This one is a series of fairly simple questions they need to work out the answers to, combined with the grid above that allows them to work out a five letter word that unlocks the next puzzle. For example, the question below should give them the letter Y. (Answer is "4" - then look at the 4th column in the row labelled with the icon shown on the question sheet! This gives "Y".) I've only given one example of a question below as the trick is in the code grid above...

Sample clue about reading lists
I've got a small lockable box to use for this one and I think Mike at work did a lovely job on replicating it with the grid at the top! It is just large enough to fit a small key and a bit of paper in, so when they open it up they will get a key that fits a padlock on the box with the next clue in.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A few random thoughts from Counterplay 16

The most terrible things, war, genocide, and slavery, have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.
I haven't written up the Counterplay conference / festival at all, but I've lots of thoughts swirling around my head still from it. I don't think I can write it up like I do some conferences (session x covered y...), so instead I'll just pop down a few "random" thoughts that have stuck with me. I ended up with 3 pages of handwritten short notes / bullet points immediately after the conference, so these aren't everything... and aren't about the conference / festival itself, but a few thoughts about play itself that stuck with me!
I've pulled out 5 from my long list of points I wrote - hopefully they make sense:

Friday, 20 May 2016

Third (draft) clue for induction escape box

I think this clue will need to be A4 in size to work... hidden in the text shown by this image is a secret message that says:

(Paragraph 1) number of digits username

(Paragraph 2) print cost black and white

(Paragraph 3) minimum space student drive K

That secret message will be revealed by a template with holes cut into it to match the words / letters in the hidden message above! I may leave the template elsewhere in the room to make it slightly less obvious than giving it at the same time as the text above...

The answers will be found in our standard miniguide we'll leave in the room.

Second (draft) clue for induction escape box

Second (draft) clue done for the escape room induction! I'll try two versions of this - one like the image above, and one where the sentence "Can you visit the Musics Library..." is replaced by "Can you visit these areas of the library" so they need to work out from the images that we mean Music / design / etc. The image will be printed on jigsaw pieces, so they need to assemble it themselves.

One of the materials left in the room will be a library floor map, which they will need to use to work out the answer! It will then give them a 4 digit code for the next padlock.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

First (draft) clue for induction escape box

Getting together my clues for the Escape Room style induction as pitched at the Lagadothon at LILAC...

Mike at work is putting them into a nicer looking format than I can manage, so this is the draft version of the "jumping off" point for the induction. Alongside this there will be a UV torch hidden in the room (the clue emoldens time to show them where to look).

On the back of the above clue will be the real puzzle! It will be written in "invisible ink" that is only visible when the UV torch is shone on it.

a)      How many items an Undergraduate can borrow x Floor where the DVDs are
b)      How many items a Postgraduate can borrow / Floor where you take out books
c)       Where the reservation shelf is

With materials in the room that will help them work out the answers. This gives a 3 digit code to open a padlock in my "special box" that will reveal the next clue...

Thursday, 5 May 2016

A new box

Open wooden box

I said before I was looking for box options for escape room activities... well a local person, recommended by a colleague has just made one for me!

I've deliberately got it made quite large to give me as much flexibility as possible, but I think it will do a great job. It seems really robust (so with luck the students won't damage it!), gives me loads of space so I have flexibility in what I stick in each compartment (see below), and should allow me to put everything I need for an escape room induction or teaching session all in one place and carry it to the room I'll use.
Open box with compartments showing
So 4 internal compartments, plus internal extra space, and the main box can be locked too. So at least 5 puzzles in one box - more if I want to be creative with it ;-)

Can't wait to use it now...