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Geo-Art Puzzle Ideas?


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Hello! I have hidden my fare-share of puzzles and found them as well. I ususally have tons of ideas for puzzle caches, but have hit a puzzle block. I am working on a holiday geo-art that will launch on demeber 24th in Iowa. The geo-art is small and consists of 20 caches, however, I am running out of ideas for puzzles for the caches and need some ideas. I have read other forums, and have seen mostly negativity about asking. Please do not post things, saying I shouldn't be doing this if I don't have puzzle ideas. P.S. The geo-art is made out of mystery puzzles. 

 

Thank you so much for any ideas! I really appreciate them. 

 

-ElmsFam, WDM IA

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Having a puzzle block after six puzzles created seems a little surprising. :)

 

If your main reason is only to create a geo-art then you could use visible final waypoints to make it easy to create and find.

 

Some cache owners used this https://www.geocachingtoolbox.com/index.php?lang=en toolbox to create mystery series for a geo-art.

 

https://www.jigidi.com/ is also very popular for puzzle caches. Easy to make harder to solve - or is it? ;)

 

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You could do some simple multiple-choice trivia. Maybe some that has something to do with the geoart?

It usually works like this(Just in case you've never seen it before:)):

What color is the geocaching logo?

Red:N00 00.00 W000 00.000

Yellow:N00 00.00 W000 00.001

Green:N00 00.00 W000 00.002

Blue:N00 00.00 W000 00.003

Edited by TmdAndGG
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My brother-in-law dared me to put out a geoart series.  I worked long and hard at it!  Twenty-four puzzles.  Dolphin in the River.  All different.  Some I borrowed from ones that I had solved (at a fair distance).  Some my brother helped me create.  (Like numbers on airport runways...)  It was a popular series.  But it was a lot of work. Good luck.

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Whatever you choose to do, please make it something that I can automate.   Tedious pointless puzzles are a waste of everybody's time and effort.  Making puzzles in order to create a shape of geocaches is fine and good fun, as long as I don't have to spend hours of mind-numbing repetition clicking or, worse, looking up trivia.  Have something in a consistent format from which I can write a program to extract coords.  Then I can download a PQ or grab the caches from a list and use the GPX format to extract the coordinates, and everybody's happy.

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22 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

as long as I don't have to spend hours of mind-numbing repetition clicking or, worse, looking up trivia.

ElmsFam said that the Geo-art would only be 20 caches. If you're efficient, you can get that done it 20-30 minutes. Not hours.

22 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Have something in a consistent format from which I can write a program to extract coords. 

 

22 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Whatever you choose to do, please make it something that I can automate.

I get that you don't want to do tedious puzzles, but this just sounds like all you care about is getting them over with as fast as possible. I'm not sure whether or not this is how you intended to sound like.

I'd much rather do creative thought-out puzzles that repetitive ones, but if I want to do the series I'd deal with it. They usually end up not being too bad.

Edited by TmdAndGG
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12 minutes ago, TmdAndGG said:

ElmsFam said that the Geo-art would only be 20 caches. If you're efficient, you can get that done it 20-30 minutes. Not hours.

 

I get that you don't want to do tedious puzzles, but this just sounds like all you care about is getting them over with as fast as possible. I'm not sure whether or not this is how you intended to sound like.

I'd much rather do creative thought-out puzzles that repetitive ones, but if I want to do the series I'd deal with it. They usually end up not being too bad.

 

Generally I prefer well-thought-out puzzles.  But for geo-art, that never happens, because the focus is on the shape, not the quality of the puzzles.  My point is that since the puzzles are probably not going to be very good, please don't waste my time making them tedious.

 

I am sure that there is a counter-example out there (of geo-art with good puzzles), but I have never seen or heard of it.

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1 hour ago, fizzymagic said:

I am sure that there is a counter-example out there (of geo-art with good puzzles), but I have never seen or heard of it.

I can think of one example of geoart in the SF Bay where the puzzles were amazing, an example that I would think you'd be familiar with. A certain average, everyday embassy employee was involved.

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50 minutes ago, niraD said:

I can think of one example of geoart in the SF Bay where the puzzles were amazing, an example that I would think you'd be familiar with. A certain average, everyday embassy employee was involved.

 

That one doesn't count.  :ph34r:

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Local to me is a giraffe, all the Q&A are on theme.  Designed such that you can simply assume the answer that's ahead of you along the road is correct.  

https://www.geocaching.com/play/map?lat=28.59102&lng=-82.44247&zoom=14&asc=true&sort=distance

 

I'm not interested in road side PnG, so I've not done this, but from people who have, this design -> multi-choice that can be answered on the fly, is appreciated. 

 

Unlikely to influence the OP, but the best geo-art I've ever done was traditional caches.   Obviously this requires the physical location, and may require higher terrain ratings. 

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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11 hours ago, TmdAndGG said:

ElmsFam said that the Geo-art would only be 20 caches. If you're efficient, you can get that done it 20-30 minutes. Not hours.

 

I get that you don't want to do tedious puzzles, but this just sounds like all you care about is getting them over with as fast as possible. I'm not sure whether or not this is how you intended to sound like.

I'd much rather do creative thought-out puzzles that repetitive ones, but if I want to do the series I'd deal with it. They usually end up not being too bad.

 

Someone may have no desire to go out and find the caches but want to hide a cache in the same area.   Geo-art that is made up of puzzles is usually all about the image on the map that it produces.   The location and quality of the caches is typically secondary and often indistinguishable from a power trail (albeit, a short one).   However, someone that wants to place a cache in the area might have to solve every puzzle in the series to avoid proximity issues.

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2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Someone may have no desire to go out and find the caches but want to hide a cache in the same area.   [...]   However, someone that wants to place a cache in the area might have to solve every puzzle in the series to avoid proximity issues.

 

C'est la vie.  IMO, not a good reason for the OP to change their plans.

 

2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Geo-art that is made up of puzzles is usually all about the image on the map that it produces.   The location and quality of the caches is typically secondary and often indistinguishable from a power trail (albeit, a short one).   However, someone that wants to place a cache in the area might have to solve every puzzle in the series to avoid proximity issues.

 

My understanding of "Geo-Art" is different ... and possibly wrong!  There are plenty of examples local to me where CO's have gone to a lot of effort to set a decent series of 20 (or so) varied puzzles; hidden good caches along pleasant rural footpaths; and given them posted coords that leave a little picture on the map.  In none of these cases is the Geo-Art the primary driver - the posted coords have to be somewhere, so why wouldn't you arrange them nicely?

 

Again, my understanding of Power Trails seems different to many of those on the forum, but 20 caches on a pleasant 5 mile circular walk, say, doesn't tick that box (or select the attribute!) for me.

 

Maybe this is just regional differences?

Edited by IceColdUK
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On 12/7/2020 at 4:53 PM, ElmsFam said:

I am working on a holiday geo-art that will launch on demeber 24th in Iowa.

 

Following on from some of these posts, I guess we need to know more about what you're trying to achieve.

 

Is it all about the Geo-Art?  From your original question, I'm assuming you weren't intending to set trivial puzzles simply to allow you to create the art.  Is there a common theme that runs through the puzzles / geo-art?  And how easy or difficult do you want the puzzles to be?

 

As for ideas, can you 'reuse' ideas that you've seen on other puzzles?  Or, following arisoft's link to the Geocaching Toolbox, can you use any of the 'Encryptions and ciphers' or 'Other conversions and alphabets' to create puzzles?  As arisoft says, Jigidi is also very popular - maybe too popular!  Some will enjoy them, others will find a short-cut...

 

Otherwise, anything you can assign a number to gives you an option - episodes of a TV program, books / films in a series, Olympic medal totals, the numbers on Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (is that just a UK thing?), and so on, and so on.

 

To be honest though, I do think you're running out of time if this all needs to be done in the next couple of weeks - it can take me that long to fully flesh-out just one decent puzzle idea.

Good luck.

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Just one more thing...

 

(Now there's a puzzle idea: catch phrases of TV detectives.  "Who loves ya, baby?")

 

From local experience, 20 puzzle caches released together as a series (with their Geo-Art) is likely to attract more interest than the same 20 released independently over a period of time.  Cachers here (myself included) do seem to enjoy a nicely defined circular walk that allows them to pick up 'a few' caches on the way.

 

If folk know that the caches form a circuit, then reasonably enough they like to know where they're all hidden before heading out ... even if they can't solve all of the puzzles.  It seems to me, that people are far more likely to ask their friends for the coordinates of an unsolved puzzle in a series than for those of an independent puzzle cache.  In some cases, I suspect that the full list of coords for the series is shared around, and the puzzles aren't even attempted.

 

All this results in a greater number of generic cut and paste logs which can be a bit disappointing for the CO.

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Most "geoart" puzzles we've seen were ridiculously-easy to solve.  Like fizzymagic said, it seems the idea was just to get out the "art".

Two we've seen are similar to Isonzo Karst... themed, and basic knowledge could make it an in-the-field run, multiple guess.    :)

 - But lately we're seeing puzzles in general becoming easier. 

When asked (I do ;-), most are saying it could have been a traditional, and it's just to keep the weekend n done kids away.

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5 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Most "geoart" puzzles we've seen were ridiculously-easy to solve.

 

One near me had the coordinates in the "comment" section of the additional WP.

I was inspecting the obvious places in the listing without seeing "it" and started to scroll down... it then hit me... The other 58 were solved very fast. B)

I do prefer mysteries that take more effort though. I've been working on and off on an Harry Potter geo-art for months. Haven't seen the movies/read the books so I need to look up everything. I just hope the series is not archived before I'm done.

 

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4 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

My understanding of "Geo-Art" is different ... and possibly wrong!  There are plenty of examples local to me where CO's have gone to a lot of effort to set a decent series of 20 (or so) varied puzzles; hidden good caches along pleasant rural footpaths; and given them posted coords that leave a little picture on the map.  In none of these cases is the Geo-Art the primary driver - the posted coords have to be somewhere, so why wouldn't you arrange them nicely?

 

Again, my understanding of Power Trails seems different to many of those on the forum, but 20 caches on a pleasant 5 mile circular walk, say, doesn't tick that box (or select the attribute!) for me.

 

Maybe this is just regional differences?

 

That sounds much like the geo-art series by lee737 and his son Samuel737 that I completed recently. Called the Atom series, each is a science or maths puzzle that requires a little bit of research or working out, and the geo-art itself, which I didn't realise until I'd completed them all and looked at the smileys on the map, is a representation of an atom.

 

image.png.f9dee817b01f276cdec1e20ec7b7df4c.png

 

The physical caches are spread out along the many bushland walking tracks in the area with at least one of them a themed container. I really enjoyed working through the puzzles and brushing up on some old high school stuff, then making several trips up to Newcastle for some hiking to find them all.

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5 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

 

C'est la vie.  IMO, not a good reason for the OP to change their plans.

 

 

My understanding of "Geo-Art" is different ... and possibly wrong!  There are plenty of examples local to me where CO's have gone to a lot of effort to set a decent series of 20 (or so) varied puzzles; hidden good caches along pleasant rural footpaths; and given them posted coords that leave a little picture on the map.  In none of these cases is the Geo-Art the primary driver - the posted coords have to be somewhere, so why wouldn't you arrange them nicely?

 

Again, my understanding of Power Trails seems different to many of those on the forum, but 20 caches on a pleasant 5 mile circular walk, say, doesn't tick that box (or select the attribute!) for me.

 

Maybe this is just regional differences?

That's certainly possible for a 20 cache geo-art.  And certain for a geo-art of only 20 caches, coming up with 20 distinct but thematic puzzles shouldn't be too hard. 

 

There's a geo-art of a steam train with about 1000 distinct caches (most are traditionals though).  There's one in Indiana that is an outline of the state with 125 caches.   In Iowa there's an area with four different geoarts fairly close to each other.   Coincidentally, most of the roads in the area are long, straight, and for some reason there on few caches along them.

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1 hour ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

There's a geo-art of a steam train with about 1000 distinct caches...


I guess that illustrates the difference.  For ‘art’ you need a significant number of caches on the map.  Those series local to me (and Jeff’s example above) are just a few nicely arranged icons.

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On 12/7/2020 at 11:23 AM, arisoft said:

Having a puzzle block after six puzzles created seems a little surprising. :)

 

If your main reason is only to create a geo-art then you could use visible final waypoints to make it easy to create and find.

 

Some cache owners used this https://www.geocachingtoolbox.com/index.php?lang=en toolbox to create mystery series for a geo-art.

 

https://www.jigidi.com/ is also very popular for puzzle caches. Easy to make harder to solve - or is it? ;)

 

I will look into geocachingtoolbox! I already used a jigsaw and may or may not use another! Thanks!

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