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Daniel Egnor
Attended Caltech
Lives in Palo Alto, CA
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Daniel Egnor
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Berkeley Mystery Hunt registration opens tomorrow!

https://oskibearin.space/
Berkeley Mystery Hunt 2016. Puzzlehunt! We want you and up to 9 of your friends to join us in solving puzzles! Some puzzles may involve bears in space. Saturday July 16, 10AM — 8PM. Registration opens June 7. © 2016 Campus League of Puzzlers.
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Daniel Egnor
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Daniel Egnor
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I'm not sure what this is.
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Le jeux d'évasion ou Real life room escape Le principe Les jeux d'évasion sont un type de jeu d'aventure physique dans lequel les gens sont enfermés dans une chambre avec d'autres participants et doivent utiliser des éléments...
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Philip Dasler's profile photoMark Pearson's profile photoDaniel Egnor's profile photo
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That existed before I posted this, but it's not surprising someone else found out about it. Might be interesting to start a thread on escape-enthusiasts...
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Daniel Egnor
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Ana and I did the Headlands Gamble this weekend. It's not a puzzle hunt, but people were curious, so here are my (spoiler free) impressions.

First of all, I'm glad I did it; we had a good time. I have some quibbles for sure (more on that later) but for us, it was a fun adventure with moments of legit amazement. However, given the price, it's hard to give an unqualified recommendation. And, of course, everyone's experience will vary.

To avoid spoilers I won't discuss anything about the specific story, locations, characters or activities in the game. Even so, if diving into a completely unknown adventure is an important part of the appeal for you, then you might want to avoid reading much further. (Maybe have someone who knows you read it for you.)

Again, this isn't a puzzle hunt. It's more like a live action version of the video game L.A. Noire. I hasten to add that the Headlands Gamble is (obviously) not set in L.A. and doesn't use the film-noir style! But it is similar in that you are a detective, driving a fun car to a variety of picturesque locations, talking to a variety of colorful characters, collecting clues, and piecing together a mystery. If this sounds like fun, it's because it is fun! In fact my only real quibble is that there wasn't quite enough of this fun.

The characters we met were probably the strongest part of the experience. The acting was good and flowed well into the story and the setting. I'm not used to role playing or improv acting, but we had the whole weekend to ease into our roles, and repeated encounters with important characters helped us feel comfortably immersed. (LARPers may find this old hat, but it's a new experience for me.) The actors brought a lot of energy to the encounters and worked to draw us in, while giving us plenty of freedom to make conversational choices in a natural way.

We were in-character and in-story from pick-up to drop-off. They didn't spend time explaining how things work; there was no briefing or debriefing; we just had to roll with it. I quite like this, but it was a little disorienting at first; it took a couple hours to get the hang of things.

The story follows the rough conventions of the mystery genre; there is a crime, there are suspects, there are leads and alibis, there is discovery and resolution. If you generally enjoy those conventions, you'll be happy. If you demand ironclad nitpick-proof logic, or prefer a more mathematical type of deduction, then you may be disappointed. There were a couple of loose ends we never quite figured out, but it's quite likely we missed something. We certainly hit the major points.

You get a tablet running a custom app which keeps track of characters, locations, messages and the like; it's the equivalent of a video game's electronic notebook. (They also give you paper and pen, if you're so inclined.) The tablet also helps with navigation. There were a couple of technical glitches during our game, but nothing that came close to interfering with the story.

Now, at the same time as you're playing detective, you're also being a tourist. They give you plenty of opportunity to explore the locations you're visiting, tips on interesting things to do, background on the area, and of course they set up food and lodging. Probably my biggest complaint is that there was a bit too much touristic exploration that was only loosely tied to the story; I was eager to get on with the investigation! But I'm sure other people have a different view. (And, from a logistics point of view, it gives the organizers a time buffer. Having run plenty of events, I can very well appreciate the logistics challenge of running something like this.)

You are well taken care of during the event; if anything, I was overfed. The overnight lodging was comfortable and charming. There's no five-star extravagance, but there is a tremendous amount of attention to detail; absolutely nothing was generic or boring. The organizers work hard to provide a personalized experience, often to an astonishing degree -- I can't say more (spoilers) but it goes above and beyond.

All told, throughout this event there is no doubt that you are at the center of a Major Production. At its best, you really do feel like you've been transported into a movie. Some rough pacing and occasional consistency slip-ups aside, we loved it. If this seems like your bag and the price doesn't make you faint, then you should definitely consider signing up.
An immersive narrative mystery weekend for two in the Marin Headlands. Two-day long theatrical experience, custom convertible, homey hotel, and meals all included.
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Glenn Willen's profile photoDaniel Egnor's profile photoGabe Smedresman's profile photoFicus Kirkpatrick's profile photo
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All right, I booked a weekend. It is indeed pretty expensive but #yolo  and experiences > things right?
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Daniel Egnor
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Recommended! We're now top of leaderboard for both the Kingdom of Cats and the Dark Altar at Omescape SJ, but they've only been open a few days so I doubt that will last for long.

If you've played Omescape in Richmond this is more like that -- expect charmingly cheesy intro videos and lots of fun gadgets -- but these rooms are oriented toward smaller groups (max 6, rather than max 12).
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Yay!
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Daniel Egnor
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This was a fun way to see the city! In usual SCRAP fashion, the initial puzzles were fairly straightforward (but in this case involved traveling the city by Metro; day pass is included in the kit); the final steps had substantial twists, and we needed a hint (available through their web site) but I thought it was entirely fair.

The kit is available in Japanese, English, and traditional Chinese. I'm bringing back kits in all three languages, because I'm curious about their approach to translation.
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Nikolai Lokteff's profile photoDaniel Egnor's profile photo
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I discovered that SCRAP have two new language-neutral rooms here (http://realescapegame.jp/events/), but I'm too late to sign up for those. We did do an Escape Hunt room, though. I would have loved to try a Nazotomo "cube", but all the reviews are very clear that Japanese knowledge (linguistic and cultural) is important.
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Daniel Egnor
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From out of left field! (Too bad it overlaps with the Berkeley Mystery Hunt...)
You and your siblings (your team) are the heirs to a billionaire empire that your father built creating and selling CIA grade encryption codes and drop boxes. The problem is that he recently passed away without telling anyone where his fortune is hidden and who would get what. The will that the lawyers gave you guys look like a list of puzzle clues: gibberish that's all jumbled up and undecipherable. Oh, how you wished that you had paid more at...
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Daniel Egnor
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[Not puzzle hunts exactly, except in the sense that I'm hunting puzzles...]
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Daniel Egnor
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I enjoyed this writeup of what sounds like a great ballroom puzzle event.
Note: All photos courtesy of Andrea D’Silva. There are a number of worries that went through my head as I was preparing this next theatrical escape event, but the main one was: “Will I fit into my pants?” Our previous event, Night at the Speakeasy, was set in the 1920s, and a number of people …
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Daniel Egnor
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By pure happenstance, I discovered recently that, for a couple of model years starting in 2008, Chrysler made what I can only describe as the ultimate puzzle hunt van.

Called "Swivel 'n Go", it was an option on the Town and Country (aka Voyager, Caravan, etc) minivan, where the second row of seats can swivel to face the rear. A table rises from the floor on a stalk. Promotional photos show kids playing cards, having a game of Scrabble, etc.. The third row is a bench, so you could actually squeeze five around the table.

Notably, you could do this while moving, assuming folks are OK with facing backward while driving.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this option didn't sell well among the muggles, who complained about silly things like "limited legroom" and "this is actually totally useless", so it was cancelled before too long.

It's probably good that there aren't many van games any more, otherwise I'd be sorely tempted to pick up a used model -- and the very last thing I need is an 8-year-old minivan with weird seating collecting dust somewhere.
2009 Chrysler Grand Voyager - Features - Seating - Swivel 'n Go® Seating System
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Daniel Egnor's profile photoJason Wodicka's profile photoBruce Lin's profile photo
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"assuming folks are OK with facing backward while driving."

I think you're taking this self-driving car thing too far
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Daniel Egnor
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This is pretty far afield for "Puzzle Hunts", but this was an interesting facility several of us visited while we were in the area before the MIT Mystery Hunt. (Thanks +Todd Etter for organizing!)

Boda Borg's "Quests" (16 in one place!) are sort of like escape rooms, only 100% automated, 100% self-resetting, pipelined, and relatively quick; you typically get 2 minutes per Quest segment (individual room; each Quest has 2-4 segments). Normally you have to try a Quest several times before you succeed. Quests vary from purely figure-out-what-to-do mental exercises (escape room like) to difficult physical challenges well beyond my ability.

Maybe: (escape rooms) : (point-and-click escape room games) :: (Boda Borg) : (Super Mario style platform games).

If this sounds at all interesting, and you happen to find yourself in the Boston area, it's recommended. I suggest the day pass, and the kneepad rental service they offer (there's a lot of crawling). Expect to end up with a number of minor bruises and scratches.
We will be open from 10am to 10pm on January 18th, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Holidays tend to be busy, so if you'd like to join us then please make a reservation. To buy a gift certificate or to make a reservation at Boda Borg Boston, please go here! Remember, you need at least three people ...
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Danny Arbeiter's profile photomiller ramos's profile photoJustin Graham's profile photoJason Lee's profile photo
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Daniel Egnor
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TFW you're in a foreign city and chance on a photo of a Bay Area puzzle hunt team.
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Richard Chiburis's profile photoDaniel Egnor's profile photoEllen Juhlin's profile photo
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It was the Samurai room. They let us stay and go through the other puzzles we skipped, it was a fun room!
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Education
  • Caltech
    computer science, 1992 - 1996
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Palo Alto, CA
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Upper West Side, New York, NY - Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA - Pasadena, CA - Ithaca, NY - Santa Fe, NM - Branchport, NY
Daniel Egnor's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
ClueKeeper - Android Apps on Google Play
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Seeing as we were busy with the chase all day yesterday, there wasn't much chance for chili. The closest I could get was at a Sheetz (yes, t

The Humble Indie Bundle #3 (pay what you want for five awesome indie games)
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Pay what you want for some awesome games and help support two charities. All of the games are DRM-free and support Mac, Windows, and Linux.

SoundHound ∞
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What's that song? Identify it FAST with SoundHound. Unlimited music recognition! Featuring the world's fastest, most accurate music identifi

DASH
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Monkey Write: Numbers
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Monkey Write workbook for numbers. Learn 14 Chinese characters, and you can write numbers up to 99999999! Characters included: 一 二 三 四 五 六 七

Monkey Write ★ Learn Chinese
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Learn to write Chinese with Monkey Write ★ Winner of Samsung Galaxy Note App Challenge ★ Learn to write Chinese with Monkey Write! Chinese c

Muffin Knight
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Enter the fairytale world of the Muffin Knight! Brought to you by the creators of Guerrilla Bob! * Xperia PLAY optimized * Fertilize the f

Loctite 20253 No-Mix Adhesive Kit Acrylic Adhesive
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$5 online. Dry Time 5 Min - Pale Yellow - Temp Range 0 to 250 F - Flash Point 181 F - Viscosity 67500 - Specific Gravity 1.16 - VOC 1.59 % -

Awesome collection of board games!
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