Tasks and Challenges
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Tasks and Challenges are types of 'puzzles' and puzzle components often found in large-scale, live puzzle hunts. In them, rather than being presented with a static puzzle to solve, solvers are given something to do, such as collect a series of objects, perform a particular skill or action, or play (and possibly win) a game with the hunt organizers. This category of 'puzzle' is very broad, and includes almost any physical task outside of Events and Runarounds.
Background[edit | edit source]
Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]
Tasks and Challenges have a very large variation in content, as the skills and abilities of solvers are equally variant. As a result, the content of tasks is usually only limited to what is legal and possible to complete within the time span of the hunt, and what fits within the theme and context of the hunt. For example, a task may involve bringing a piece of food to the hunt runners, but likely would not involve bringing a stolen car (too illegal), bottle of top-shelf alcohol (too expensive), or perpetual motion machine (too difficult) to them. Tasks can also be done regardless of whether a hunt is online-only or has an onsite component, as tasks may be digital in nature, or allow for photographing or filming one's attempts to be sent in.
Tasks can be given to solvers as entire puzzles or as components of other puzzles. The latter of the two is most often applied via Extraction By Reward, where a task is posed to solvers through the natural course of solving a puzzle, and the correct final answer is only given once that task has been completed. Similarly, puzzles that are just entire tasks often extract the same way, regardless of the fact that the task is more likely to be larger and more difficult. Some exceptions to this involve tasks where solvers are brought to a particular location, where they have to spot or discover their final answer during the task itself, rather than being handed a slip of paper that says 'your final answer is X' or the like.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Notable Examples[edit | edit source]
- 2007 MIT Mystery Hunt (web) - Some of the metapuzzles in this hunt resulted in a task that needed to be completed in order to earn a 'Hell Certificate'. These ranged from staging intentionally bad sequels, finding (or really just buying) a lottery ticket with specific numbers, and interpreting the phrase 'Throw a Game' in whatever way they wanted.
- Taskmaster (MITMH 2019) (web) - As expected from a puzzle themed after the famous British game show Taskmaster, this puzzle gives solvers 33 tasks to choose from, with the goal of reaching a particular point threshold. These tasks range from creating an outfit out of paper, memorizing MIT class names and codes, and building very tall towers.
- Mash-Ups (QoDE) - An example of a final task needing to be completed in exchange for an answer. In this case (since the puzzle belonged to the character Kite Man), the task was to 'go fly a kite'. Teams were given a lot of leeway, however, and were actually just tasked with making something 'fly' for any amount of time.