Designing Treasure Hunts, CS 227

This is the official course website for Designing Treasure Hunts, CS 227, taught by Ira Fay at Hampshire College in Spring 2014.

Basic Info

The most important document for this class is the syllabus. I spent hours crafting it, and I believe it contains useful information, including the course schedule.

Class Sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30pm - 1:50pm, FPH 102
Professor: Ira Fay, (413) 559-6844, ASH 216,
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm - 3:30pm, and by appointment. A sign up sheet is available digitally.
Course Email List:


Project details will be posted here when they are available.

Design Journal project.

First Puzzle project.

Second Puzzle project.
Hint 1: What do those numbers mean? Did you try Googling them?
Hint 2: It could be an emergency if you don't figure this out!
Hint 3: Don't over-react. It's better to be under-stated.
The Answer: Actual Second Puzzle project.

Third Puzzle project.
Hint 1: Perhaps I should have called this Guveq Chmmyr.
Hint 2: The translated version has some useless letters.
Hint 3: Try meditating to get centered.
The Answer: Actual Third Puzzle project.

Fourth Puzzle project.
Hint 1: Lightning is dangerous if you're swimming in a river, particularly in South America, North America, or Europe.
Hint 2: Use each set of numbers and the river name to find the building. The rivers start with A, M, and R, respectively. The clouds provide the room number.
Hint 3: Each set of numbers + river name yields one letter. The rivers are the Amazon, Mississippi, and Rhine. Each cloud yields one number.
The Answer: Actual Fourth Puzzle project.

Fifth Puzzle project.
Hint 1: Maybe you could call me using your phone keypad?
Hint 2: Notice the shapes created as you dial each group of numbers.
Hint 3: Each group of numbers represents one letter.
The Answer: Actual Fifth Puzzle project.

Sixth Puzzle project.
Hint 1: The numbers are important, and not for sorting!
Hint 2: The last two clues aren't talking about planets. Don't count spaces.
Hint 3: Each line represents one letter of the final answer. Use the number and the clue's answer to find a letter.
The Answer: Actual Sixth Puzzle project.

Choice Project.

Useful Links

Puzzle Feedback Form

Feedback Results

News Guru

Throughout the semester, students present game-related news to the class, which hopefully puts our work in context of the greater world. The articles are listed below.

Field Trip

We may go on a field trip to see the Art of Video Games exhibit. We need student drivers. If you are willing to drive a van provided by the college and have a good driving record, please sign up here!

Bonus Info

If you want to keep up with Game Development at Hampshire and in the Five Colleges, join the Game Development email list.

On Wednesdays 2:30pm - 4:30pm on the main floor of the library (near the tables in the back), there are regular Game Gatherings to play card and board games. Everyone is welcome!

Ira is running a Magic league to explore the design of the newest set. Sign up here and learn more about it.

There was a game jam event at Mount Holyoke the first weekend of classes. Everyone in this class should attend! More information here, and sign up here.