We were hoping to nail down the story and the fundamentals of how our puzzles will work. For the most part, we accomplished that this week. We know what the first half of our room will be, and we have some interesting puzzles for the second half. Unfortunately, we still don’t quite know how to end this thing.
One of the puzzles that we’re most excited about involves having newspaper stories appearing on a webpage. I wrote out the stories below, and the group made edits and posted them online. The stories will have hints for puzzles, and will help to tell the larger story of the room.
We also have some cool glasses with red-tinted lenses. When the glasses are put on, they will block out a set of numbers to reveal a code.
Our third puzzle for the first half of the room will be an academic paper that will have pieces highlighted, leading you to a clue. I think this is a fun, original way to deliver story and puzzles as well.
Which leads us to the first meta-puzzle. Each of the first three puzzles will unlock a physical piece which will fit into a box in the corner of the room. The pieces will each complete a circuit, and the time-machine sequence will start. We’re not totally sure how this will work yet, but we think that we might have the players pull a curtain around themselves which can be projected on. We can make cool sci-fi noises and the lights in the room can dim.
As this is happening, we can set the room for the second half. We’ll clean up whatever mess has been left, and plant new clues. The monitor with the newspaper will update.
After that, we’re still a little lost. We can give a new set of glasses that will reveal a different code (even if it’s from the same board), and the second newspaper story can lead to a clue hidden in a notebook.
Unfortunately, we still don’t quite have a satisfying end to the narrative. The goal here is to prevent the murder that’s been implied in the first half, but we don’t have a clever way to do that. We could possibly bring some sort of letter back with us warning the professor about what’s about to happen, but I don’t know exactly how that fits in with a puzzle room.
Tuesday 13 May, 2053
FAMED RESEARCHER REPORTED MISSING
Nobel-prize winning scientist Dr. Maria Sanchez was reported yesterday, according to her colleagues at the Mathematical Academy for Advancing Technology, a branch of the Institute for Corporate Research.
The head of the institute, Dr. Samwell Connors, gave a statement yesterday evening. “Of course, we are saddened by the loss of Dr. Sanchez. She was one of the world’s brilliant minds, and the world won’t forget her.”
When reminded by a reporter that Dr. Sanchez hadn’t been reported dead yet, Dr. Connors responded, “Yes, yes, of course. Uh… well, we’re certainly hoping she’ll turn up.”
Dr. Sanchez, who won a Nobel Prize for her pioneering work on the potential implications of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity for the possibility of time travel, had been working on a secretive project at the time of her disappearance.
Sanchez had been a vocal opponent of the recent hostile takeover of the Mathematical Academy for the Advancement of Technology by the Institute for Corporate Research. Authorities say that her disappearance does not appear to be related to her activism.
Friends had noted that Dr. Sanchez had been behaving strangely for the past few weeks. We talked to one neighbor, who noted “She had been screaming up and down the halls of our building at night. ‘Calcium and Lithium!’ she would scream. The whole night just ‘Calcium and Lithium!’ It was really annoying.”
At press time, none of her research team could be reached for comment.
Saturday 10 May, 2053
ELITE UNIVERSITY POISED FOR CORPORATE TAKEOVER
The Mathematical Academy for the Advancement of Technology, a long-standing elite public university, is now poised to become a branch of the Institute for Corporate Research. The controversial deal had been delayed pending a decision from the US Department of Education, which in recent years has adopted a controversial policy of allowing corporations to purchase universities.
“It’s a great day for ICR, and it’s a great day for America,” said Institute for Corporate Research CEO Samwell Connors at a press conference yesterday evening, “all students deserve a chance for a first-class education.” ICR has purchased over 50 universities in the past decade, and has garnered some controversy for raising tuition and claiming up to 80% of all graduates’ future earnings.
One of the most vocal opponents to the deal has been celebrated physicist Dr. Maria Sanchez. “I can never let them find it,” Dr. Sanchez was heard muttering in her office on Friday, adding “they’ll use it for evil. I’ll have to break it into pieces.” Sources have yet to confirm what that could possibly mean.