So…there’s this Mystery Hunt thing…you might have heard of it.
It’s awesome. It’s lots of fun. You should do it when you get here. Or keep working on those puzzles that Snively and Brian posted—we still don’t have right answers to those!
Anyway, I’m only posting just now, because I’ve been Operating. Death From Above is a HUGE team (our mailing list tells me that there are 115 people!), and probably 1/4 or 1/3 of those are hunting remotely, instead of from on campus. Smaller teams can coordinate by just yelling across the room. Since we can’t really get away with that, we have an Operator (inspired by the Matrix). It’s the Operator’s job to keep track of who’s working on which puzzle, where they are, how they’re doing, whether they’ve slept, and when they’re hitting their heads against the wall so hard their brains are going to fall out.
In addition, the Operator is responsible for “calling in” answers. When you think you have an answer to a puzzle, you fill out a little form on the official Hunt website, and they call you to check your answer. As the operator, I take other people’s answers and call them in, so I also get to enjoy all of the excitement when we get an answer right (which happens pretty rarely, for the record—we’re averaging less than one an hour).
So I’ve got this awesome little command and control center in the corner of our headquarters. There’s my laptop in the middle, where I watch what answers have been submitted, an extra computer on the left, where I have Skype, AIM, and Jabber open to talk to remoters, and the VOIP phone on the right that we borrowed from IS&T (because cell reception here is practically non-existent).
I realized last year that I’m a lot better at trying to organize people than I am at actually solving puzzles, so I’ve been focusing on doing that. Every day since Friday, I’ve shown up at noon, sat behind the desk for about 14-16 hours (with occasional interruptions to run over to the other rooms), and then gone home and slept for a few hours.
It can be boring, but it gets really exciting every few hours because you’re talking with 5 or 6 remoters, and trying to handle 3 different people who all have answers at the same time, and the phone just starts ringing off the hook, and…it’s just awesome. So much fun.
Anyway, that’s my Mystery Hunt story. Anyway, back to the phones—while I was writing this, we just solved 3 more puzzles! (although we’re still at less than 1 per hour)