What is it?
PuzzleBang is a week-long puzzle contest. Teams solve a series of puzzles through the week, leading up to a metapuzzle on Saturday. Registration for PuzzleBang can be done on the PuzzleBang website.
One year ago, an AI achieved full sentience on the UIUC campus. Given the instruction "I think, therefore I am," it then opted to hide itself away from the world, stealing cycles stealthily to process that final thought. We think it has come back, oh brave Puzzler, and we require your assistance to discover what it is up to now....
Anyone can play! We recommend teams of no more than four human beings (mostly because that's what we're budgeting our prizes at). If you haven't met any other friends that are interested in playing, drop us a line at GameControl@puzzlebang.com and we'll see about pairing you up with a new friend or two.
What you need to know
Everything! No, just kidding. Wikipedia's classical cipher's page might be useful. Number of letters in the alphabet, number of cards in a deck, all the US state abbreviations, and silly other things that you've probably run across in your daily life. Some awareness of the recent memes and popular culture will probably be helpful. Knowledge of current events at UIUC and the campus layout will be really helpful.
What you don't need to know
How to code. It might be useful to be able to write a script to print out all the ways you can rearrange a set of letters, or apply different ciphers to them, but in general, you should be able to do everything by hand, or ask Google and find a tool online to do it for you.
What you will need to have
Access to a functional human brain, an internet connection (ideally at or better than 28.8kb), and a computer with a good web browser. A mobile device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, dumbphone with a friend at a computer on the other end, etc) with internet capabilities might be useful for Friday and Saturday.
Where are the puzzles located?
Is campus presence a requirement?
The puzzles during the week will all be online. The final few puzzles / metapuzzle on Friday and Saturday will likely require you to have a presence on campus, however, so if you're playing remotely, make sure you have a friend near UIUC who can run around and do things for you. Or shoot us an email and we'll try and help you find a team to work with.