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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Community Mystery Games  / Post-n-Solve  / Post - n - Solve Help Folder  /

Post & Solve Guidelines -- for hosting, creating and solving
Originally created by chi cerca

These guidelines are meant to help you around the Post & Solve section. They are not strict rules. But if everyone tries to take them into account, it will certainly contribute to keeping the P&S puzzles clear and active.

For tips on creating specific P&S puzzles, check out the Resources for Creating page.

Your input is always welcome! If you have any concerns, comments, complaints or queries, about the guidelines above or any Post and Solve topic at all, please feel free to email Eeva and eek meep or post them here. Thanks! And happy post & solving! :o)

  • Guidelines for Hosting
  • Guidelines for Creating
  • Guidelines for Solving

    Note: Please do not post in this discussion. Any unauthorised posts will be deleted.

    Atanua- 8^) - 03:08am Aug 20, 2004 PST(#1 of 3)
    Short and unpronouncable ... and proud of it!!!

    Guidelines for Hosting

    Post your puzzles and answers in bold. This makes it much easier on players and helpers to keep track of everything. Text appears in bold if you put it in between <B> and </B>.

    Include copied & pasted questions in your answer posts. Saying "no to all" when answering several posts at once can bring players to a page with just that answer, which isn't very helpful if we don't know what's been asked. ;o)

    Use colors (and any other font embellishments such as font faces or sizes) only when part of the puzzle (e.g. wuzzles, dialogue differentiation in smugglers). Italics are fine for limited asides.

    Answer posts at least once every weekday. If this isn't possible for you, ask for a co-TM to help you out. During weekend, time off is allowed. ;o) If you canít continue hosting for some reason, please donít put the puzzle up for grabs. Ask for someone to help you out and e-mail the solution. If you donít have the time for that, e-mail the puzzle and solution to Eeva and Chris Wise and one of them will take over.

    Number your clues in multi-part puzzles. It will avoid any confusion when a player makes a correct guess at the wrong clue. Making regular recaps in these puzzles will help both players and hosts to keep track of whatís been solved.

    Clearly state when a puzzle has been solved and who has the next turn. When players are left wondering about whether the puzzle is over or who's up next, it can lead to a dreaded lull. *gasp*

    Keep track of your own puzzle(s) and don't rely on your subs or Atanua's pings too heavily when you're hosting. If you forget about your puzzle, it's not a stretch to think that players might have forgotten, too.

    If you aren't getting many/any guesses, do something about it! :o) Try pinging players back, offering a hint, making a recap, rephrasing a clue, clarifying what you're looking for, etc.. Especially in more complicated puzzles, it is encouraged that hosts make regular recaps. Remember, you're the temporary host and we're counting on you. :o)

    Remember that the suggested time limit for all P&Ss is 5 (week)days. If your puzzle reaches the time limit, as the host, you should do what it takes (hint, nudge, cajole *g*, etc.) to wrap things up within a day or so.
    If your puzzle nears the limit and there's not much activity (even after extra hints), please either post a new puzzle or arrange on your own to have someone else take the turn. Simply putting the turn up for grabs creates a vacuum. *booo vacuums!*

    Know that you may have to forfeit your turn if your puzzle goes untended for 5 consecutive weekdays. We'll try "pinging" you and then emailing a reminder, but for the sake of keeping things moving along, we might put the turn up for grabs. Don't see it as a punishment it's just a matter of keeping as many P&Ss active as possible.

    Have fun! And encourage your fellow players to have fun, too! It might sound like something your mother would say, but... play nicely. ;o) We all have different styles and that's a huge part of the beauty of P&Ss but some things (basic courtesy, making all players feel welcome, giving people the benefit of the doubt, etc.) go beyond style and, I hope, help to define us as a community.

    Atanua- 8^) - 03:14am Aug 20, 2004 PST(#2 of 3)
    Short and unpronouncable ... and proud of it!!!

    Guidelines for Creating

    Remember your audience. We're an international group that spans several continents, native languages and generations. Keeping this in mind doesn't mean that there isn't a place for country-specific clues, but remember that the more specific the knowledge required to solve a clue, the smaller the pool of interested players is likely to be.

    Try keeping a few puzzles for your favorite P&Ss in reserve. A lot of vets do this and it seems to work well. An added benefit is that if you've never made a particular puzzle before, trying your hand at one before it's your turn will give you time to test it on a friend or another player, if you like. Most P&Sers would certainly take it as a compliment if another player asked their opinion of a puzzle and would be more than happy to offer feedback. :o)

    Err on the side of making a puzzle that's too easy rather than too difficult. Puzzles that draw on obscure fields and facts are usually less popular than ones that draw on general knowledge. While all 2-minute solvers could get dull, all hair-pulling stumpers would get tiresome and probably result in a loss of participation.

    If you're feeling stumped, try asking someone for help. You probably have a sense of which MNers are regulars in the various P&Ss and whose puzzles you especially enjoy. Maybe the person whose puzzle you just solved? Or someone who's posted a lot in the most recent few pages of the discussion? Or a clever friend who just happens to be on an instant messenger? And pay attention to what draws you to your favorite puzzles you know what they say about imitation. ;o)

    Be judicious in your use of red herrings. The more red herrings you include in your puzzle, the more likely it will take players a long time to solve.... while this can be fun, a long series of "No"s from the host can lead to a loss of interest/activity. Also, in most of our P&Ss, the tighter a clue, the better the construction.

    Don't be overly vague in your clues. When players are at a loss as to where to start or get absolutely nowhere after a couple days of guessing, we often end up with a lull.

    For tips on creating specific P&S puzzles, check out the Resources for Creating page. And please feel free to e-mail Eeva and Chris Wise with recommendations on other resources that could be included! :o)

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     [F] Mystery Net Community  / Community Mystery Games  / Post-n-Solve  / Post - n - Solve Help Folder  / Post & Solve Guidelines -- for hosting, creating and solving

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