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Teamwork Time (stylized as TEAMWORK TIME) is a type of puzzle that involves live cooperation between members of a team in order to solve it, in contrast to the cooperation-optional nature of non-TEAMWORK TIME puzzles.
Background[edit | edit source]
While cooperation-requiring puzzles have existed before then, the Teamwork Time name for them only began use in 2020, with that year's MIT Mystery Hunt. Beginning in the third round, Spaceopolis, certain rounds had a single puzzle whose name included the words 'TEAMWORK TIME' and involved all people signed into a particular teams' instance being able to interact with the puzzle at the same time. These puzzles included collaborative jigsaw puzzles where each person was assigned a particular piece to place, live chat windows with pre-assigned roles, and voting games. An alternate name used for these puzzles once the hunt ended was "scrums", after the chaotic huddles performed in rugby matches.
Prior to 2020, some puzzles dabbled with the concept of simultaneous online cooperation as their main premise, such as 2018's Twitch Plays Mystery Hunt and 2019's Twitch Plays GPH (although the latter was cooperation with the entirety of the solving base, rather than within each team). Both were a result of the Twitch Plays Pokemon phenomenon that began in 2014.
Offline cooperation is much more common in previous hunts, and is often an element of Events, Runarounds, and Escape Rooms, but these only count as Teamwork Time examples when the cooperation is contained within one's own team.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
The most effective strategy for dealing with Teamwork Time puzzles is having a clear and open channel of communication. Either being physically in the room with those you are solving with or starting a voice call can help speed up this process immensely, as it can drastically reduce the amount of time spent correcting mistakes and trying to communicate in text while also trying to solve in text.
In addition, it's often a good idea to establish roles, particularly if the puzzle is complicated or has several different goals to accomplish.
Notable Examples[edit | edit source]
- Twitch Plays Mystery Hunt (MIT 2018) (web) - The first use of simultaneous online cooperation as the basis for a puzzle.
- Gallery of Tomorrow (MIT 2020) (web) - The first ever (official) TEAMWORK TIME.
- Basketball (Athletics round, MIT 2021) (web) - A mini-round with five in-depth TEAMWORK TIME puzzles.