Category Archives: Administration

administrative news and announcements

A Call for Puzzle Authors — Write for Puzzled Pint!

The puzzles you see every month at Puzzled Pint don’t just materialize out of the aether. They all start as rough prototypes, often just a simple draft thrown together in a Word document, with little flavor text and no graphic design. The puzzles take several trips through the feedback loop — as first Headquarters, and later playtesters, help polish the rough edges. At the end of this process, we have a month’s puzzles ready to print.

At the moment we have the rest of 2016’s puzzles scheduled. We currently have nothing on the books for 2017. There are a few folks with theme ideas, but we’re not able to put people on the calendar until the first draft of puzzles is ready. We roughly know how long it takes to go from draft puzzles to final puzzles, but “I think I maybe have this idea for a theme and this really cool coding mechanism” is a little too vague to reliably schedule.

So this is an official call! Have you thought about writing puzzles for Puzzled Pint? It’s easier than you expect and this is your chance! While we’re happy to get puzzles from anyone, we would particularly like to see more:

  • authors who are women
  • authors who are people of color
  • authors outside the United States

And although collaborations are fine, we prefer if a single author is responsible for the month’s puzzles. This helps align them editorially, balances difficulty across the whole set of puzzles, and helps ensure two puzzles don’t accidentally use similar mechanisms. (Plus, the folks at PP headquarters would rather manage a single cat than a herd of cats.) If you’re interested in writing only a single puzzle then scroll down to where we talk about bonus puzzles.

The puzzle-writing process is simple. If you have a specific theme in mind, you can (optionally) ping HQ and we’ll let you know if we’ve heard of anyone else also thinking about the same theme. Write some puzzles: a location puzzle, puzzles played at the event, and (optionally, but strongly encouraged) a meta puzzle. Send those our way (with solutions). The solution part is important, especially for new puzzle authors. Puzzles in their draft stage often have unpolished edges, like leaps of logic that are obvious to the author but may need a little flavor text or examples before being visible to others. Once we have puzzles and answers, we’ll put you on the calendar and work with you to help refine the flow of the puzzles, over the course of a couple rounds of playtesting. You can find a lot more detail about the process and requirements at

If you’d like to get your feet wet by writing a single puzzle, as opposed to a whole month of them, we’re also looking for bonus puzzle authors. Some authors like to write a whole set of puzzles, including location, meta, and bonus. Some want to focus on just the main set, without a bonus. We find that players enjoy having a bonus puzzle available, but we cannot always offer one every month. If you’d like to submit just a single puzzle, we’d be happy to work with you on getting it ready for a bonus. (Hey! Here’s a dirty little secret: one can make an arbitrary puzzle fit just about any month’s theme by simply changing flavor text and graphic design.)

This is your call to action! Write puzzles for Puzzled Pint!

The Puzzled Pint mailing list has closed but you can still hear from us

There are a lot of steps that go into producing Puzzled Pint across 25 locations every month. When it was just Portland, organizing the event could be somewhat ad hoc. Adding Seattle added more communication and process. Running Puzzled Pint in dozens of locations has helped refine and streamline that process. We’ve come a long way from those early days of posting the location puzzle on Tuesday at lunch.

That growth, streamlining, and refinement has forced us to re-evaluate certain parts of our process. Big-picture decisions and the first few rounds of playtesting continue to be the focus of HQ here in Portland — as well as running our monthly event — but there’s only so much worldwide managing we can do, as volunteers, and still maintain sanity. We’ve been slowly federating a lot of the day-to-day duties, activity, and communications to individual cities. One casualty of this is the global announce mailing list. It has been an afterthought for many months now, with most of HQ’s focus on the global Twitter and Facebook accounts. Between these, city-specific social media accounts, setting up a recurring calendar event (try importing Puzzled_Pint.ics into your calendar app), and planning with friends, the global mailing list felt like a little too much overhead for the number of subscribers.

Gone but not forgotten.
Gone but not forgotten.

But what if you were a subscriber? There are options. One complaint about Facebook is that what it decides to show you or hide feels a little non-deterministic. Few people know that you have some level of control over what is hidden or shown as well as what appears in your notification inbox. You can edit a page’s notification settings:

Notification settings. Also take a peek at news feed settings while you’re here.

Then you can decide what kind of posts you’d like to get notifications about:


You can do this for the main Puzzled Pint Facebook page, your individual city, or both:

You can find city links for both Twitter and Facebook on the Puzzled Pint About page, so check there for the latest information, and please excuse the construction and hiccups during our growth.

Welcome to the blog!

Welcome to the first post of the Puzzled Pint blog. The hope here is to have an informal place to talk about Puzzled Pint, share with you the Question of the Month responses (yes, we have all of them, we’ve just never really published the results), and have discussions — a place without the 140-character Twitter limit and a place that doesn’t require a Facebook login.

If you are a Twitter or Facebook person, keep an eye on the global Puzzled Pint accounts (Twitter / FaceBook). We hope to get cross-posting set up soon so you won’t miss out on the blog posts. If you’re the kind of geek that uses RSS, you may subscribe to our RSS feed.

Although we will start with the Portland Game Control staff writing blog posts [okay, probably just me ~Brian], we hope to pull in GC from other cities and possibly even other guest authors.


Stay tuned for the next post, where we look at our recent Portland survey results, including — most importantly — the kitten vs. puppy debate. And if you have questions or suggestions for future blog posts, please contact us, either as a comment here or to the game control email address.