Hi everyone. Remember us? First we'd like to apologize for taking SO long to write up the meat of the wrap up. It seems our creative juices were just drained after Amnesia. Second, we'd like to thank each and every team for participating in Amnesia. It was our first Game as Game Control and we had a really great time organizing and running Amnesia. Much to our pleasure, every team was extremely helpful in making this Game fun for all.
We'd like to take time out here to say why we wanted to run a Game and what we hoped we and teams would get out of this. After having a number of Games under our belts, we felt it was time to give back to The Game by sharing some of our quirky ideas that arose from our experience and just plain silliness. We wanted Game to have the coolest sites, coolest clues and happiest participants. When, the weather and cops struck, we thought our Game would go down in infamy, but you Gamers proved that you were tough and resilient by braving all the elements to enjoy and excel through the Game.
Oh yes, there was another goal. We wanted to make this Game the most interactive Game ever. As you may remember, we had written up pretty detailed plot filled with deception, intrigue, and two trips to the barber. You, the Gamers were to immerse yourselves in our little microcosm and become part of the plot. Unfortunately, we did not drive this aspect of The Game through, and well, we're just happy that The Game was still as fun as you all seemed to have.
So those were our plans. You must be wondering, though, what the Game looked like through the eyes of another. Well, below we've tried to relay the interesting anecdotes from Amnesia. Please excuse the probable lack of creativity in the following...we just haven't yet recovered. Before we get any further, we'd like to thank the following people who helped us out with Amnesia. Without them, we would never have been able to pull the whole thing off. Thanks to:
One more thing, before we go through the clue-by-clue analysis. There's an excellent summary of Team Advil's adventures at:
We highly suggest you go look at it. It covers many things that we haven't put in to this document.
Pre-clue: Memory Pro page
Over winter break, Jessen spent way too much time at home watching infomercials. Following the lead of some classic infomercials, such as those from Ron Popeil, the Reading Genius guy, and many an exercise machine, he crafted this horrendous page. We received quite a few emails at the firstname.lastname@example.org account which we couldn't correlate to teams that eventually contacted us at email@example.com - we're hoping that those people aren't really waiting for Memory Pro to hit the market. :)
Pre-clue: Java Pong
You were supposed to solve this puzzle by counting the number of times the ball was bounced back by the computer player for each round. Some teams managed to decompile the Java code, searching for the answer there. If they did, they found plenty of references to Disney cartoon characters, as well as a section which listed the numbers representing P, O, K, E, and R.
Pre-clue: Lots O' Letters
This puzzle managed to give many teams quite a lot of trouble. The solution to the puzzle was obtained by looking for all the occurrences of the letters N, S, E, and W in the top half of the puzzle (The "Dear Eddie" letter) and using those directions to navigate your way through the grid of letters underneath. The answer was, "THE SOLUTION TO THIS IS A POPULAR GAME DEALING WITH THE COUNTING OF OTHER CARDS IT IS BLACKJACK"
Pre-clue: Galactic Neon
The squiggly lines represented borders between countries (and not strands of DNA, as one team had suggested). Taking the first letter of the countries on each side of the border, and ordering those letters by the numbers placed next to the borders gave you the answer: CHUTES AND LADDERS
Clue: The Numbers Game
This was inspired by a contest run by GAMES magazine a few years ago, where their readers sent in numbers from 1 to a million, and whoever sent in the lowest number that was not duplicated won. Congratulations to the Scooby Doobies, who won one round with the number 10 (up against two 1's and two 3's.)
Clue: Pardon Me, Do You Have a Clue?
We just thought it would be really cool to have a clue which didn't stay in one location. Unfortunately, not every team caught the Grey Poupon reference in the title, and some started searching parking lots to find the car. Some teams also refused to pull up next to our roving car to re-enact the Grey Poupon commercial, which was unfortunate because we were also sneakily taking down vehicle descriptions and license plates to help the hitchhiker identify your team later.
Clue: Mike, Steve, and the Senator
This clue was inspired by the many quest-type computer games we all played when we were younger (ok - we also play them now). We wanted a clue which involved a little bit of thinking, a little bit of luck, and didn't have a strict form to it. It went OK, except that it became difficult to track teams, and therefore, some of our actors accidentally left before all the teams had extracted all the information required. And of course, that whole headpiece thing was just to make all of you look silly running around campus.
Clue: The Art History Clue
We thought this one would actually give teams more problems than it did. Anyhow, we wanted to show that we're not just a bunch of techies. And yes, our team did solve this clue without reference materials, and without using the member who created the puzzle. :)
Clue: The mirror clue
You wouldn't believe how long it took us to figure out the line from Snow White:
"Who's the prettiest of them all?"
Clue: At Junipero-Serra Monument
Well, there wasn't really a puzzle here, just finding the code and decoding those slips you got from Mike, Steve, and Nathan. However, we had some interesting conversations with teams on the phone here:
Team: Someone's cleaning the area. The clues are gone.
Clue: Strybing Arboretum
This clue should have been a lot easier. We learned our lesson - that any photocopies with important information should be highlighted. Many a team did not notice that there were marks on the Strybing Arboretum map which told you where to go to find the listed plants. Anyhow, when you found all the plants, and looked at the bases of the signs, you would find a little piece of paper taped to them (some of those pieces of paper were pretty well concealed). The first three plants gave you the message, "Go to hill about one mile south, visible from Nadina Domestica". When you went to the fourth spot on the map, labeled with a question mark, you found the plant Nadina Domestica. Looking south from there, you could see Grand View Park on a clear day. Unfortunately, it was not a clear day, so this became quite impossible.
The other two locations you could have gone to if you had listened to the wrong people would have left you on a wild goose chase. One team had a particularly humourous incident at the an intersection. Noticing no sign of Game activity, the team spotted a limo. One team member decided that perhaps the limo was part of the Game. He proceeded to walk up to the limo and tried to get its attention. Failing that, it dawned on him that he did not use the enabling "key". Quickly, he went back to the van, grabbed the "key" and appeared in front of the parked limo, this time, with headdress on. Needless to say, this did not work either and the team gave up this tactic.
Clue: Grand View Park
From here, using the picture given at the beginning of the Game, and the sign in front of the park, you were to get the message "Look at the Safe House". The address of the Safe House was given to you by Nathan earlier. Unfortunately, the extremely strong winds had kicked this clue around so badly that it was virtually impossible to determine what the symbols on the roof meant (Cliff House, at bottom of hill, left, at end of tunnel). However, apparently one team got a pretty good view, anyhow:
"Oh wow. What does the clue say?"
Clue: Magnetic Tile
Almost all the teams solved this puzzle by breaking the tile apart. You were supposed to use the dry, black sand found at Grand View Park on the tile. The sand had a heavy dose of iron in it, and the magnets inside the tile spelled out "It's It". However, there was no dry sand at the hill, and we expected some teams would break the thing open, anyway.
Well, everyone knew how to do the jelly bean clue, so we'll refrain from explaining it. The complete answer was: "Redwood City, Broadway and CalTrain Station arch, Trash". Some teams didn't quite solve the clue the entire way, and left off the last two letters, assuming they would be "ck". Our GC member at the Redwood City arch reported that one team spent quite a bit of time running up and down the tracks. Of course, if you had looked for a K on the menu, you would have found just one flavor: Okra...
In any case, the clue was located in the head of a bust. As teams grabbed the clue, one team looked particularly suspicious to a cab driver that was at a stop light. He phoned in to the police after seeing a team, dressed in atypical clothing, reach up into the nose of the bust and informed them that a possible bomb was being placed in the bust.
Team Brainstorm called in after this clue with a few comments:
"Uma ate all the jellybeans!" - phone is passed to Uma - "That was a _GREAT_ clue!"
We also got a call from another team looking for the next clue, probably afflicted with the same problem as the team at the Junipero-Serra monument:
Team: "We've searched the area, and it's not in the trash."
Clue: Analogy Grid
Well, we didn't spend enough time developing this clue. Many teams had problems, probably because too many of the analogies had parts that were interchangeable. In any case, we still think it was a cool clue, it just could have had better execution. Our apologies. Over the phone, we received a lot of very creative possible analogies, which we really wish we had thought of (well maybe not the last one):
"Palm is a type of tree"
We'd like to give props to Hippos on Campus for being the team to beat in the first part of The Game. They got to the "Analogies" clue without asking for a hint.
Clue: Video Game clue
Everyone seemed to do awesome on this one. In any case, if you'd like to hear where this clue came from, here goes: Last year's musical clue did not go well for us. So in revenge, we decided to hit one of our strong points. Video games. Looks like it was everyone else's strong point, too.
This was an expected difficult clue. And for the most part, it held true. One team was outstanding though, and while we were worried that they had fallen off the face of the earth, the Chartreuse Warrior Monks had secretly solved this clue in about 8 minutes. Wow. On a side note, Team Gipper and Mukilteo Jones II both got to the Dam about the same time, but Team Gipper had this interesting tidbit to share about their run-in with the police:
"You should have seen that cop, though--he was literally Apollo Creed or
Action Jackson. The conversation, if you could call it that, went like this:
Here we'd like to thank The Gipper and Mukilteo Jones II for rescuing the clue for us and helping relocate it.
Clue: Bench at Route 9, marker 26.3
If weather and equipment had permitted, you would have been required to recreate the scene in the picture. Once someone sat on the bench, a tape would start playing about 50 feet away, from a walkman buried in the dirt. The sound track could only be heard from within a range of 10 feet or so. The trick was to have someone stand where the camera would have been to take that picture. This someone would be able to hear the tape. Alas, Murphy's Law prevailed, and no one got to see this cool clue.
Nothing too interesting here. Pretty self-explanatory in retrospect. We just wanted to use our crayons.
Clue: Two picture differences.
Most teams knew what to do here. Miniseries/Ministries was tough, but it was such a killer pair that we had to include it. Other than that, the anagram was the toughest part for most people. This brings us to the Lockheed story...
For those of you who haven't heard the story, there was a...pretty good reason why we did not send you to the Northern End of Empire Grade. Originally we had planned to send you there because one day we had discovered that at the end of the road, there is this secret Lockheed installation that isn't on any maps. It was a huge fenced off complex with a guard house at the fence, and signs on the fence saying "photography prohibited by federal law" and "no loitering by federal law". The three times we had been there, there had been no activity. Thus we thought this site would work well with our plot. However, as we went to plant the clue on
Saturday night, our planter, Steve, noticed a VW bug with two people sitting inside it right where we wanted to put the clue. And to compound matters, tons of minivans began filing in and out of the gates. There was also a security guard stationed at the the guard house. Very odd considering the time of night. So we decided to avoid this potential danger, and moved the clue drop to the corner of Empire Grade and Jamison Creek Rd. Steve, then went back to the previous clue to tell everyone to call into Game Control after they had solved the clue (right here we would like to apologize to the Scooby Doobies for being too slow to fix the clue movement spot, because we didn't think any team could be so fast in solving the 2 pictures clue).
When Steve went back to Empire Grade to place the backup clue drop, he noticed that the corner of Empire Grade and Jamison now had a big black car with a man sitting inside. All the lights were off except this blue LED strip sorta like in Knight Rider. Nothing we could do about this new situation now, so Steve planted the backup clues down the road at the Ben Lomond CYA camp. Later in the Game, one of the teams tells us that they were accosted by a security guard at the CYA. The exchange went something like:
Guard: <sees people taking something from beneath the sign, decides
to approach> What are you doing here?
Does anyone know what an inmate siring camp is?
Clue: Take Out Food
Perhaps the scariest clue of the course. Utter pitch black in the middle of nowhere. Even our clue dropper called it a scary place. And he had to drop off all that food. This clue was also gratuitously ripped from GAMES magazine. There was a hidden contest a few months ago with exactly the same concept. We thought it would go well with the food clue, though we now realize that there wasn't quite enough of a hint to get you started on this one. Had we had time, we would have dropped some fortune cookies into the boxes with the fortune "Take Out Food". Hopefully that would have helped...
Clue: Cave lights
What we hoped would be really eerie. Ideally, with no rain, we would have put the clue in a deeper chamber, but a 15 foot wide pool of water, nixed that idea. Oh yes, and if you were one of the teams that got explicit directions to the caves, it was because we did not want you to go the wrong one. The other cave is called Hell's Hole. And for good reason.
Thwarted by the cops. The map you were given at the beginning of the Game in the Cracker Jack box matched up to locations on the Boardwalk. proceeding to the star on the map, and sighting along the pay-binoculars that you found there, you would have been pointed at the light house for the next clue.
Clue: Phone audio
When you have a teammate that works at a voice-recognition/telephony company, how can you not get interactive? A word of warning, all conversations were saved. So if we ever get unlazy enough to listen to the files, we could be in for a treat.
Clue: Colors...lots of them.
All we can say for this is...sorry. Too many colors. But here's a funny related to the Ostrich Grill location...
Simple Minds found themselves working on the Color puzzle at 820 Bay Ave. While they were working, a big limo with a congressional seal pulled up to the parking lot and began circling the parking lot. Thinking that this was perhaps Senator Simons, a representative from Simple Minds approached the limo. The driver rolled down the window and asked if he was looking for someone. Simple Minds said yes. The driver asked if it was Mark Riley? Simple Minds said, no, how about Senator Simons? Turns out the congressional sign was a Cadillac logo. Oops.
We received another call from a confused team looking for the "cellist" at 820 Bay Ave. Trellis / Cellist? Close enough.
Clue: Maze Overlay.
We wanted to have to use a clue twice, and well, this was it. Simple if you were organized, a disaster if you were not. We hope no one went to Marina Bay.
Clue: STACK AND WEIGH!
For all of you who were a part of Dragonhunt, you may have heard the story...on one of the clues, we had solved up to s_ack____eigh. Well, one of out fearless teammates saw this and was convinced it had to be stack and weigh. So he called in and excitedly told GC, stack and weigh. Their response...a round of laughter. As it turns out, the answer was shacknineeight...oops.
An unexpected funny occurred with this clue as teams called in convinced they had the wrong answer. Here's a paraphrase...
Team: Hi, we're stuck on the blocks. We think we have everything, but
we get some ugly answer. We don't think it's right. We think the blocks may be
Clue: Analog angles
Nothing really special about the clue, but we thought the site was cool, and we were hoping that some of the teams would drive down Mt. Madonna Rd, which was a cool dirt road to take. Unfortunately, the rain made it a little more dangerous so we didn't recommend it to anyone.
Clue: Touring with Hieroglyphs
Did you know that this place used to be the World Headquarters of the Rosicrucion Order? Did you know that by level 6, you should have telepathy? With such a cool site, how could we not use it? We hope you enjoyed your visit to the Brain Injury place.
2 years ago in the Starwars Game, we were supposed to look for some train station in the Fremont area. We unfortunately found some deserted train station. While searching around this place, a random guy clad in only a straw hat and shorts, and with a stink that you wouldn't believe, came up to us and asked us what were doing. We hesitantly told him that we were looking for such and such a train station. He immediatley piped in that he new exctly where that was and that we were in the wrong place. He said, "Yeah, I can show you where it is." He proceeded to jump into the back seat of our unfortunately open van. We already had seven guys for our mini-van and tried to tell him that we couldn't fit another, but he responded by scrunching up a little in the corner of the van and declared himself skinny.
On our way to the clue site, he proceeded to tell us about his psychotic girlfriend and called her a myriad of names. Eventually he showed us where the train station was but in the process also asked us for a ride to his relative's house a couple blocks away. Afer this episode, we knew we had to have a re-creation for our Game. And besides, we thought "Clean your van" would be a great clue. =)
Well. There you go. That is what we remember from Amnesia. Now we know there is one more thing we have that everyone wants. We've received numerous requests for the rankings and solutions from the pre-Game puzzles. These will be posted to the egroups site when we sort through our messy records. For more information about egroups, you can contact us or
Thanks for all the memories,